Digital Dash: New Facebook video metrics & more

1. Facebook tinkers with video ad metrics, here’s what you need to know

Don’t be alarmed if you see video views for your Facebook ads dip over the next couple of months.

The company is tweaking the way it measures views, meaning view counts will no longer include repeated seconds. So if someone watches your video ad, then rewinds it or rewatches it later, it will only count once.

Depending on your content – and whether viewers typically watch it, or parts of it, more than once – this could mean you see 3-second and 10-second view counts drop.

I can see the value of this update actually. It’s almost always better to deal with unique figures for reporting because you get a much clearer picture of overall performance. You don’t want one viewer watching 100,000 times and making you think your content is going viral.

As far as I can tell, the metric adjustment only applies to video ads. So bear this in mind when analysing a mixture of paid and organic video.

Facebook is also including a new metric to video ads: video plays. This will report on impressions, but only in relation to when someone actually saw a video playing. You might not have realised it but video ad impressions include instances where people saw the thumbnail of your video in News Feed, but it didn’t actually play.

This can happen for a few different reasons, like if a user has autoplay turned off, has low battery, or bad connectivity.

In more video ad news, Facebook is removing two metrics it says are “infrequently used”, which are 3-second video view and video percentage watched. The second of these is not to be confused with the video watches at 25%, 50%, 75%, 90% and 100% metric – which is used all the bloody time and is going nowhere.


2. WhatsApp helps businesses communicate with customers, but there’s a sting in the tail

WhatsApp is expanding its Business API to help companies better connect with and support customers via the app.

The move could mark the first real revenue stream for the Facebook-owned company – but we’ll come back to that in a second.

Firstly, let’s have a look at the details of the API expansion.

People will soon be able to use the WhatsApp Business app to:

Request helpful information: customers can give their mobile number to a business on its website, app or in store to receive information such as shipping confirmation or boarding passes.

Start a conversation: click-to-chat buttons will soon appear on websites and Facebook ads – users can click to begin a conversation

Get support: some businesses will provide real-time support to answer questions or help resolve an issue

That all sounds great, but what about that revenue stream I mentioned?

Here’s the cash plan: as reported by The Next Web, WhatsApp will let businesses reply to customers at no charge for up to 24 hours – but beyond that point, they’ll get charged at a fixed rate per message.

This is such a slick move.

WhatsApp wants to evolve into the go-to for customers to communicate with businesses, but that will never happen if the businesses in question aren’t on the ball with responding.

The charges (they’re essentially fines, right?) will not only make WhatsApp money but also incentivise companies to use the app in the most customer-friendly way possible.


3. Snapchat launches Storytellers influencer programme, won’t take cut of deals

You might remember that Facebook is set to launch a Branded Content Matching search tool to help businesses and creators connect.

Well now Snapchat’s coming through with something similar.

Snapchat Storytellers, which launched last week, is a pilot programme that will profile 5 of the app’s top influencers.

If brands like what they see, they can easily link up with one of the creators (Snapchat will make the introduction). From then on, the social stars will be available to star in Stories, Discover content or provide creative direction. For a fee, of course.

And if I know influencers, that fee probably won’t be small. But at least Snapchat won’t be taking a cut of it.

If the pilot is successful, I can see Storytellers eventually opening up to a huge bank of creators. It would actually be really useful if this could include micro influencers as well as those with follower counts in the millions.

If Snapchat could also somehow include a filtering functionality to match a user to brand needs, Facebook’s upcoming tool might just have a run for its money.


4. The clock’s running! Facebook and Instagram to tell users how long they’ve been scrolling

While most social media dashboards are reserved for business accounts, Facebook and Instagram are both about to launch activity dashboards for users.

Instagram’s tab will be called “Your Activity” and Facebook’s “Your Time on Facebook”.

Both will show you how much time you’ve spent on the app and a daily average for the week.

You’ll also be able to set a time limit that triggers a reminder when reached, and a notification mute period to help you stay off the app when you’ve finally prised yourself away.

If you’re currently scratching your head wondering why Facebook and Instagram would facilitate people getting other hobbies, you’re probably not alone.

So what’s all this about?

Well the new dashboards are all part of Facebook’s ongoing project to enhance people’s experiences of the platforms.

In a blog post announcing the new features, Facebook said, “We have a responsibility to help people understand how much time they spend on our platforms so they can better manage their experience.”


5. Meet Pinterest’s 4 types of holiday shoppers – which one are you?

Just because there’s no tinsel in stores, fairly lights on porches or trees in living rooms, doesn’t mean people aren’t already getting into the holiday spirit.

In fact, we know they are.

Because while most people would have you believe that the festive season kicks off around November, the truth is, Christmas spirit is already in full flow. Or at least it is on Pinterest – where people (around 46 million of them) begin searching for holiday ideas and inspiration as early as July.

Any brand with a Pinterest presence knows how early Pinners start planning. Getting in on key calendar moments in this crucial consideration period could put you at a real advantage come gift/decoration/food/party buying time.

Knowing how important the demographic is, Pinterest set their research team to work to identify four types of shoppers who use Pinterest to plan for the holidays.

Here’s the lowdown:

The time-saver

The gifter

The guest

The planner

Photos: Pinterest