Digital Dash: Shoppable Insta Stories & more

1. Retailers rejoice! Instagram Stories become shoppable
2. Facebook launches “Leave Feedback” tool, bad advertisers could face penalties
3. Carousel ads arrive on LinkedIn
4. Spotted in the wild! Facebook toys with A/B testing for page posts
5. Check this out: first look at Facebook’s 3D posts


1. Retailers rejoice! Instagram Stories become shoppable

Back in March, we were celebrating the rollout of Instagram’s shoppable posts to 8 additional countries.

The feature meant you could link organic Instagram posts to a product catalogue so users can view prices, additional information and even buy items, all within the app.

Shoppable posts are signalled through a shopping bag icon.

Three months later, there’s more big news – you will now be able to add shoppable tags to your Instagram Stories too.

Photo: TechCrunch

This is exciting. Really exciting.

300 million people use Instagram Stories every day, and the format is fast becoming a core element of content strategies.

Until now, the only way you could capitalise on the super-engaged Stories audience to drive direct sales was to include a “swipe up” URL.

The ability for people to simply tap a sticker to take a closer look at a product and then buy it, without ever leaving the platform, is a huge step forward for social commerce.

Items tagged in shoppable posts automatically appear in the dedicated “Shop” feed on profile pages – so we’re assuming this will also be true for items tagged in shoppable Stories.


2. Facebook launches “Leave Feedback” tool, bad advertisers could face penalties

Facebook’s number 1 priority right now is getting back in users’ good books. And over the past few months, barely a day has gone by without an update that shows the platform is on a mission to protect people and improve their experience.

Today’s news is the launch of a new tool called “Leave Feedback”, which you can find under the Ads Activity tab.

It’s a place where users can view all the ads they’ve clicked and complete a quick survey to tell Facebook about their experience with the business.

You know what’s coming next, right?

Any brands doing their customers wrong and receiving a ton of negative feedback will get notified by Facebook (good!).

Although they will get the chance to put things right, Facebook will limit the amount of ads that advertiser can run and potentially even cut them off altogether if things don’t improve.

According to Facebook, users have identified ads quoting inaccurate shipping times or misrepresenting products as being the two biggest frustrations – so if there’s any chance whatsoever you could be accused of either of those things, now’s the time to fix up.

The safe bet is always to make sure customer satisfaction is sat firmly at the top of your priority list.


3. Carousel ads arrive on LinkedIn

This is one of those news bites that really doesn’t need much explanation. The headline pretty much speaks for itself.

But just to be sure, here it is again: LinkedIn has announced carousel ads for Sponsored Content, meaning advertisers can publish multiple images in one ad which users can scroll back and forth between.

Photo: WeRSM

Although this is nothing groundbreaking in the social media sphere, it’s yet another sign that LinkedIn is evolving to keep and attract advertisers.

An increased focus on video, revamped profile pages, and the introduction of hashtags and filters are just a few of the ways the platform is adopting features you might expect to see from the likes of Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

What’s cool about carousel ads is that they give businesses more storytelling space. It’s not clear yet whether you’ll be able to include video along with static visuals in the carousel, but this is a valuable new feature either way.


4. Spotted in the wild! Facebook toys with A/B testing for page posts

Any marketer worth their salt knows the value of split testing. It’s the only real way to gain increasingly clear insights into what your audience enjoys and responds to (and what they don’t), then tailor your content to their preferences.

Here at SMSW, we go crazy with split-testing when it comes to advertising, but it’s never been possible to do the same with organic posts to any degree. Which is why we’re super interested in a test spotted by Jane Manchun Wong in Facebook’s code, and later shared by The Next Web’s Matt Navarra.

It appears Facebook is experimenting with an A/B testing tool for organic posts. The feature would let you show versions of a post to different audiences, then analyse which performed better.

Although most marketers will always rely much more on the advertising side of things, this would still be a really useful way to decide which version of a post is worth promoting.

We’ll be watching closely to see if this gets fully rolled out.


5. Check this out: first look at Facebook’s 3D posts

With the heaps of Facebook updates of late, you might have missed one of the recent F8 “coming soon” items: 3D Posts in Camera.

Well if you weren’t up to speed already, you will be soon. Because the new content form is set for an imminent entrance into News Feeds everywhere, and here’s what to look out for:


On the face of it, this adds a new interactive element to images that will respond to an impressive degree when you scroll past, click or angle your phone.

But what’s even more interesting is the ease in which they are created, and the tech behind it. As pointed out by Social Media Today, the 3D visuals are created through a complex process of image layering and data mapping.

As far as the user’s concerned, they simply navigate to the Facebook Camera, select the 3D option and Bob’s your uncle.

But for that to happen, Facebook is using the smartphone’s two cameras to take a pair of images and calculate a “depth map”. To be honest, I get a bit lost beyond this point – but if you’re interested in reading the full technical details, there’s a great round-up from TechCrunch here.