Digital Dash: Pinterest hits big milestone & more

Along with most of us, Digital Dash has been on summer vacation for the past few weeks. And as we all know, that’s about 6 months in the digital world.

But fear not!

Today we’re back, putting sunbathing and beaches behind us to bring you a bumper edition covering all the biggest stories in social and digital since the last update.

1. Pinterest monthly active user count now outnumbers Brazil’s population

If you’re a regular Digital Dash reader, you’ll know there’s no stopping Pinterest right now. Need proof? Try this stat for size: the platform has just hit the 250 million monthly active user milestone (MAU).

Now before anyone says it, I’ll just address the obvious. While this is a great achievement, it doesn’t even come close to the figures the likes of Facebook and Instagram boast, which sit at over 2 billion MAUs and 1 billion MAUs respectively.

But what’s important here is Pinterest’s growth. 25% YoY is seriously impressive whichever way you look at it.

Plus 250 million is no small number. As pointed out in the title here and by Evan Sharp in the official announcement, it’s more than the entire population of Brazil.

The MAU milestone wasn’t the only metric discussed in the announcement either. It was also revealed that there are now more than 175 billion Pins to explore on Pinterest – which is a massive 75% increase from early last year.

Interestingly, it was also mentioned that over half the people on Pinterest – and 80% of new signups – are from outside the United States. This really highlights the global appeal of the platform.


2. Facebook pixel coming soon to Groups and Canvas ads (which FYI aren’t called Canvas ads anymore)

If you don’t have the Facebook pixel installed in your website, you’re missing out. It’s as simple as that.

The pixel is a magical snippet of code that lets you track visitors, measure conversions, quantify ad success and create custom/lookalike audiences based on visitor behaviour.

Every social sales funnel should be informed by the invaluable data the pixel collects.

In case you didn’t notice already, we love the Facebook pixel here at SMSW – which is why we can barely contain our excitement over the news that you’ll soon be able to embed it in both Groups and Canvas posts.

Let’s break this down.

Groups: implementing the pixel within a Facebook group means you can use this highly-engaged audience for future precision targeting, and also link events to your website to get a grasp of how influential your group posts are in terms of website actions.

Photo: Facebook

Canvas: firstly, did you know that a Canvas isn’t actually called Canvas anymore? The format is now known as “Instant Experiences” – and along with the name change comes advanced capabilities, including the introduction of the pixel. This means you’ll be able to reengage with customers who interacted with your Canv.. sorry, Instant Experience.


3. Retailers are you ready? Instagram could soon launch a standalone shopping app

If rumours are to be believed, Instagram has a standalone shopping app in the works.

As of right now, selling on Instagram means tagging posts or Stories with products, which users can then view and shop within the app. This is great, but there’s a major limitation around not having native payment functionality.

And although that might be coming soon, there could be something even more intriguing in the pipeline: a brand new app dedicated to one thing and one thing only – shopping.

Details are very limited right now, as you’d expect from a rumour that is still unconfirmed by the company itself.

But according to sources, users will browse collections of goods from merchants they follow and be able to purchase them directly within the app.

The Verge reports that sources familiar with the app’s development say Instagram believes it’s well positioned to make a major expansion into ecommerce.

So will IG Shopping follow IGTV and become the company’s second spinoff app venture? We shall see.


4. Facebook tests links in Stories

While you may hear fairly little about Facebook Stories, the feature is not actually doing too badly. It currently has 150 million daily active users (DAUs).

But Facebook won’t give up on its dream that it will one day rival Instagram Stories – which has a DAU count of around 250 million more – and is constantly releasing updates that it hopes will boost its appeal.

The latest in a long line of these updates is the inclusion of links in Stories, something that’s currently being tested and will definitely get the attention of retailers, especially in light of Facebook’s algorithm changes and the negative effects of these on referral traffic.

Of course, you’ve long been able to add a link to an Instagram Story, which users swipe up to see.

The Facebook test was spotted in the wild by user Valentin Blanchot. And as you can see, it looks like you can simply tap or click to view instead.

Photo: Social Media Today

But wait! We’re not done yet with Facebook Stories updates.

This one was bound to happen: Facebook is now rolling out its own version of Stories Highlights, the feature that lets you select stories to store permanently in “folders” and feature on your profile page.

Photo: Social Media Today

Again, this could be really useful and I can see lots of different creative ways it could be used.


5. After a long wait, Instagram will finally let you tag people in videos

Sometimes a relatively small update can make a big difference to users. And this might just be a case in point.

Instagram is now testing a new feature that would let you tag people in videos – something that people have been waiting forever for.

Photo: TechCrunch via Instagram account @cablegirlsrd

When this rolls out fully, it will become the third way of tagging people in your content, adding to photo tagging (been around for ages) and Stories tagging (relatively new).

Tapping the “view tagged people” button takes you to a separate page where all tagged users are listed.

As TechCrunch notes, it doesn’t look like tagged videos will appear on the tagged users’ profiles as is the case with photos. But it will serve to give the content an exposure boost through notifications.

From a retailer’s perspective, this is definitely one to watch. Not only would it be great to be able to tag fans, employees, influencers and/or campaign stars in video content – but it’s possible that something even more valuable will follow: shoppable videos.

Right now you can tag products, just like people, in photos and Stories. So if you’ll soon be able to tag users in videos, it seems very likely products will follow.