Digital Dash: Instagram’s big Stories news & more

1. Stories on profile pages? Instagram just changed the game
Remember last week’s Digital Dash, when we revealed rumours of a ‘Stories Archive’ feature for Instagram?

Well that rumour just turned into a reality, but with a really nice twist.

The first bit of news is that from now on, all of your Stories will be automatically saved to a private in-app archive – a function that can be turned off if you wish.

Snapchat already has something similar to this (of course it does) with Memories, but with that version, which Stories you save is up to you.

There’s a very good reason Instagram has decided to go the whole hog and save every single story for you though – and this part is what makes the update most interesting.

From your collection of archived Stories, you’ll be able to select a range of individual snippets (up to 100) to appear together in a Story Highlights feature that will be showcased towards the top of profile pages.

Yes. That’s right. Stories on profile pages.

Instagram_stories archive + highlight

It’s likely the new feature could act as an incentive for more brands to jump on board the unstoppable Stories train.

Even though Instagram reports that 200 million people view at least one brand’s profile page on any given day, relatively few businesses are truly making the most of Stories… possibly due to the fact that until now they disappeared after 24 hours.

But with the new option to repurpose Stories and create themed Highlights to enhance the profile page, it’s expected that Stories’ success – and quality – will continue to soar.

Note that Stories Highlights will be an ad free zone. For now.


2. Amazon crush the Cyber Week competition, achieve nearly 1/3 of all online sales
You know it’s nearly Christmas when the Black Friday/Cyber Monday hype dies down and news starts to break about how many billions were spent, and more importantly, where.

Best Buy and Target both fared well this year, but Amazon rose above the ranks like the true ecommerce titan it’s become, cleaning up with almost 1/3 of Cyber Week’s online sales. No contender came within 19 percentage points of the lead.

To add to its accolades, Amazon also won the title of most digital content mentions.

Where Amazon did slip down the rankings however, was in terms of online sales growth. As you can see below, Best Buy and Target emerged as champions of this category – which essentially just goes to show how phenomenally Amazon performs sales-wise for the other 51 weeks of the year.

Cyber Week_sales growthRead more here.


3. The reason bounce rate is so misunderstood, and two ways to fix it
Bounce rate is one of those things that most people are aware of but very few understand. It’s a bit like the website analytics version of Donald Trump.

As a KPI, bounce rate is less popular now than it used to be. However, despite the fact there’s a lot of uncertainty around what it actually means, it’s still widely used.

Bounce rate, when not properly understood or set up, can be really misleading.

For example, a website that’s driving tons of traffic to a specific landing page packed with content could easily report an alarmingly high bounce rate.

Why? Because the user visits the page, gets all the information they need and then leaves the site.

Regardless of how long they were actually there, they will be reported as being a ‘zero time on page’ visitor and will technically be judged to have bounced.

This is especially common for websites with ‘infinite scroll’ pages – a feature that dramatically reduces the need for a visitor to take any definitive action (e.g. navigating to other pages).

Here are two ways the problem can be tackled:
1) Time triggers: this form of engagement event kicks in when a visitor has spent a certain amount of time on the page (e.g. 15 seconds). Only if they leave the site before this point will they register as a bounce.
2) Scroll interaction: a different form of engagement event, which triggers when a user scrolls past a certain percentage of the page.

With both of these, multiple events can be set up to make it even easier to work out how many people you’re losing and when.

Read more on everything discussed here from Marketing Land’s Alan K’necht.


4. Sprout Social acquires Simply Measured, and this is interesting news for analysts
The more successful social media sites become, the more seriously businesses take their investment in them. And the more that happens, the more important it becomes to be able to analyse and report on results to prove ROI.

While the likes of Facebook’s Ads Manager and Insights offer a lot of information, companies such as Sprout Social, and to a greater extent Simply Measured, cut out an incredibly time-consuming manual stage by working in perfect unison with platforms’ APIs to collate, present and arrange all the data you could ever need.

Of course, advanced social media marketers (e.g. SMSW Media) also have an additional in-house analysis phase built in to ensure reports are impeccably insightful.

As this article from The Drum points out, the social analytics market is set to reach $9.54 billion by 2022.

And to strengthen its position well ahead of this, Sprout Social – which offers social media management, analytics and advocacy services – has officially acquired Simply Measured – an analytics powerhouse that uses full-funnel insights to give social media teams far more in-depth intelligence.

As long-time fans and users of Sprout Social, we’ll be watching closely to see how this deal pans out, and discover what it will mean for customers.


5. Did you know about Facebook’s new ‘Did You Know’ feature?
Have you ever been checking out someone’s Facebook page and said to yourself, ‘What I’d really like to know right now is whether this person prefers chocolate or vanilla…”

No? Me neither.

And yet here we have it – a new Facebook feature called Did You Know, which gives users the opportunity to respond to random preset questions. The answers then appear in a scrolling list on their profile pages.

The idea behind this is to encourage users to divulge interesting facts about themselves and give friends a better idea of who they are.

Facebook_did you know

The update makes slightly more sense when you take into account that back in October, Facebook acquired anonymous polling app tbh.

It starts to make even more sense when you think about Facebook’s lifeblood: data. There’s no doubt that this could serve as a clever way to collect the kind of first-hand information about its users that might otherwise be hard to gather.