Digital Dash: LinkedIn launches live video & more

1. LinkedIn gets serious about video, launches LinkedIn Live

Slowly but surely, LinkedIn is changing.

Although still distinct in its core professional focus, it’s increasingly turning to new engagement-driving features that have proven successful for many years on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It’s hard to believe but LinkedIn only introduced native video in mid 2017, far behind the other major social players.

But it was a good move and has been a big success, with the company seeing a significant boost in traffic and revenue. In fact, it’s the fastest growing format on the platform.

Live video was always the next obvious move, and according to LinkedIn (as reported by Tech Crunch), is the most requested feature.

And now it’s here… well almost. In the coming weeks, LinkedIn will be beta testing LinkedIn Live in the US. The test is invite-only right now but we bet it won’t be long before all users can enjoy it.

Photo: Tech Crunch

LinkedIn Live will work in a very similar way to Facebook Live, with likes, comments and moderation enabled in real time.

But here’s the difference: the platform wants live content to follow its niche, so the videos will initially focus on things like conferences, product announcements, Q&As, earnings calls, graduations, awards ceremonies and more.

 

2. Pages gain access to Facebook Groups, but wait – here’s a word of warning

The Facebook Communities Summit recently took place at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

The event celebrates the “…connections made on our platforms and the impact those connections have on strengthening communities around the world.”

With that goal in mind, Facebook announced a bunch of new updates at the summit, all related to the community theme.

Aside from Instagram Direct messages coming to Facebook Page Inbox (which we let you know about last week), one of the big announcements for brands is that Pages will be able to contribute to Facebook Groups.

Facebook page owners can already set up their own groups, but this is different. This will mean you can participate in discussions held in other groups too.

To me, this links back to Facebook’s whole “meaningful connections” focus, announced in early 2018.

Joining conversations your customers are having could be a really powerful way to build new connections and show expertise.

Photo: Facebook

But businesses, please, proceed with caution! Groups are a whole different domain, where the emphasis really is on adding value and making thoughtful contributions. I can imagine admins won’t waste any time blocking brands who see it as an opportunity to be salesy or spammy.

 

3. You’ll soon start seeing IGTV promotions in Instagram’s main feed

If we’re being honest, IGTV – Instagram’s standalone app dedicated to higher-quality, longer-form content – hasn’t really taken off. And when I say really, I mean at all.

IGTV videos are up to 10 minutes long (1 hour for larger accounts) and can be accessed through the main app and Explore section. Recently, Instagram also added IGTV notifications and the ability to share previews through Stories too.

But now it’s going a step further. 1 minute IGTV previews will soon start appearing in the main Instagram feed, and just one tap will take you straight to the IGTV app to watch the video in full.

I’m not 100% clear yet on how this works from the creator’s side. I’m assuming the previews are automatically triggered when a new video is loaded…

Either way, this could make a real difference to IGTV’s discoverability, and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Instagram’s concerted efforts to push IGTV haven’t seemed to work brilliantly yet – so is this what’s been missing? To be honest, I doubt it. But let’s wait and see.

 

4. Facebook will start telling users much more about how they landed in a custom audience

Last year, Facebook made a commitment to improve transparency following some pretty major data privacy scandals.

As part of this, the company is now expanding the “Why am I seeing this?” explanation (accessed from the top right of any ad) to include:

  • The name of the business that uploaded the user’s information to Facebook
  • Any custom audience sharing that may have taken place

Photos: Tech Crunch

This will look slightly different if an agency, for example, has an “on behalf of” agreement set up, which allows them to specify who they are advertising for.

This all comes off the back of Facebook’s enhanced accountability settings for custom audiences, which require uploaders to pledge they have permission to use the data.

Between that and users themselves having greater visibility into custom audience targeting, Facebook hopes to stamp out those “bad actors” who misuse people’s information.

 

5. Here are 3 interesting facts from an analysis of over 105 million Facebook posts

Social analytics company Quintly has released findings from a study of 94,000 Facebook pages and over 105 million posts. The aim was to learn more about the network and how people used it in 2018.

Here’s the split of pages that were analysed:

And here are 3 top findings:

1. Link posts make up the majority of posts shared

But receive the lowest engagement…

Note: I’m assuming this doesn’t include link posts that also feature photos or videos. It would actually be super useful to have that as another category.

2. “Love” and “Haha” are the most widely used reactions but “Like” still reins supreme

3. The majority of post captions are 51-300 characters in length

Photos: Quintly

It would have been great to know more about how engagement levels relate to this.