Digital Dash: Instagram copies Pinterest & more

1. Should Pinterest worry about this pending Instagram feature?

Well, yes.

Seasoned code tipster Jane Munchun Wong has revealed Instagram might soon let you make your Collections public.

So just to be clear: a section featuring a curated selection of things you like, which anyone can see… hmm, sounds pretty Pinterest to me.

Collections were introduced a couple of years ago and let you save a variety of posts in one place, arranged by theme or topic e.g. Food. But until now these were private.

The new “Make Collection Public” option, spotted in the app’s Android code, could signal a whole new way to use Instagram. Instead of simply saving and organising posts to find again later, Collections would become a form of public self-expression alongside profile pages, stories and bios.

Photo: Jane Manchun Wong via Tech Crunch

As you can see, there’s even the option to tag contributors who can add to the Collection too.

This is very similar to the evolution of Facebook Collections – a few months ago it was announced that these would feature an “invite” button, allowing your friends to contribute.

Ultimately, both these updates pit the platforms more directly against Pinterest. I can see the Instagram public Collections really taking off especially, which would bring new value to the app in terms of planning.

We need to remember though that Pinterest is a different prospect in many ways. Its users are in “consideration mode” and actively looking to discover, learn and shop. That’s quite different from the more passive content consumption mentality of Instagram users.

It will be interesting to see how much impact this has.


2. Facebook launches “Showcase”, a high-end ad product for big spenders

Facebook Watch reminds me of Facebook Stories. The take-up has been relatively slow but Facebook is determined to make it a success, and by any means.

Will the persistence pay off? Nobody knows for sure. But one thing I can say is that slowly but surely, Watch is getting off the ground.

The platform already hosts a bunch of popular shows, with many more on the way.

And in the latest Watch push, Facebook has launched “Showcase” – a premium video ad unit for online – and TV – advertisers willing to drop serious cash.

While the new product isn’t exclusive to Watch (it could also involve video on News Feed and Pages), it will likely be focused there.

In Facebook’s words:

Showcase gives online video and TV ad buyers participating in the upfront selling cycle new opportunities to reach their target audiences within the highest-quality videos on Facebook.

Now available for campaigns targeting US audiences, Showcase includes the following products:

In-Stream Reserve: bought in advance at a fixed cost and delivered to in-target audiences verified by Nielsen. On average, nearly 100 million people in the US watch In-Stream Reserve eligible content.

In-Stream Reserve Categories: as above but also allows advertisers to reach people within contextually relevant content. Categories include: sports, fashion/beauty, entertainment, food and news.

Sponsorships: advertisers can choose to be the exclusive sponsor of a show for US viewers, meaning no ads from other brands will be shown.


3. Facebook gives some advertisers early access to new-look Ads Manager

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve heard a few rumours that Ads Manager will be getting a new interface.

This is both intriguing: “Ooo, what will the improvements be?!”

And concerning: “Glitches.”

Anyway, we’ve finally been able to take a sneak peek at the makeover thanks to screenshots shared by couple of early-access advertisers who are currently giving the beta a test drive.

Here’s a screenshot from Duane Brown via Marketing Land:

Interestingly, the new design has been likened to Google Ads and Reddit – i.e. more intuitive and more in line with other ad platforms.

The current navigation tabs at the top will be replaced with dropdowns.

Without the opportunity to get hands on this ourselves, it’s hard to tell how much the changes will improve user experience (although presumably this is the main aim).

Bottom line is, we’re all in favour of anything that simplifies, speeds up and reduces friction when it comes to Ads Manager.

There’s no word yet on when this will roll out to all advertisers. But as soon as we know more, we’ll update you.


4. Can you guess how many hours people spend online each day (global average)?

Each year, We Are Social and Hootsuite put together a bumper report charting digital stats from across the world.

Working with clients in many different countries, we really love how the report dives into regional detail and differences instead of just focusing on the US or UK.

The Global Digital Report 2019 has just been released, gathering data on digital usage from the whole of 2018. It’s quite a lengthy read – 221 slides to be precise – but to save you flipping through to find the best bits, here’s a snapshot:

  • 6 hours and 42 minutes is the worldwide average in terms of time spent on the internet per day (“reduces” to 3 hours and 14 minutes for mobile, and 2 hours 16 minutes for social)
  • 45% of the world’s population are active social media users (42% for mobile)
  • There are more mobile subscriptions than people in the Middle East
  • UAE has the highest internet penetration rate at 99% (92% mobile), with Ghana the lowest at 35%
  • 99% of the UAE’s total population use social media, 68% in Saudi and 67% in the UK
  • Canada has the fastest mobile internet speed at 63.1 mbps
  • Google, YouTube and Facebook are the world’s most visited websites (Amazon ranks 11th)
  • India leads for use of voice search and voice commands at 51% of internet users
  • On average across the world, 42% of internet users believe their data is being misused
  • 59% of social media users worldwide are aged 18-34
  • Facebook has the largest global advertising audience (by a mile!)
  • The typical Facebook user clicks on 8 ads within a 30 day period
  • Almost 77% of Facebook mobile users access the platform via Android

Photos: Global Digital Report 2019


5. Going live now: Facebook’s Top Fans feature (do you have it yet?)

Facebook began rolling out a Top Fans feature for Pages last year. Now more and more Pages are starting to see it, we wanted to give you a closer look.

In case you need a reminder, Top Fans highlights creators’ most engaged fans, rewarding them with a special badge when interacting.

When the feature was announced, Facebook also promised it would enable creators to easily identify and interact with their most loyal audience members.

We let you know about this when the rollout began in October, but now the feature is officially live for many, we can reveal more about how it actually works. Shoutout to advanced Facebook advertising guru Jon Loomer for his insights.

  • Facebook detects a Page’s most engaged fans (all highly-weighted actions count) provided there are 10,000+ followers
  • Those selected receive an option to accept or deny the status
  • The Top Fans badge will appear next to the person’s name every time they interact with the page
    It looks like users who accept will then receive a notification every time the page posts (this could be valuable)
  • Page owners can also choose to publish a post to Top Fans only

That last point is pretty interesting. I can think of a few different ways brands could capitalise on this opportunity to communicate exclusively with such a highly engaged audience.