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Weekly Social Media Round-Up

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Our weekly round-up of the new developments and innovations in social media.

eMarketer Grades Social Media Networks

Nothing totally groundbreaking  here (Facebook still rules) but there are some interesting graphics, and it’s worth the click through.

“The executives we interviewed said one of the key strengths of paid social media advertising is its targeting capabilities,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “Marketers consider Facebook an extremely sophisticated targeted advertising platform, while Pinterest benefits from its strong connections with ecommerce and purchase intent.” [via eMarketer]

Impact: Paid social is a good investment but being aware of each platform’s unique strengths and weaknesses is key to success.

YouTube Announced Ad-Free Subscription Service YouTube Red

YouTube is rolling out a paid subscription service that will remove ads, allow you to save videos for offline viewing, and keep videos running the background on mobile (which, for anyone who streams music on YouTube on their phone, is really cool.) However, unsurprisingly, YouTube’s being a little heavy handed in their negotiations with content creators.

“YouTube Red will split subscription revenue with the rights holders of content people consume through the service. YouTube managed to sign-on most of the independent creators, record labels, TV networks, and movie studios to the program. A YouTube exec told reporters at today’s launch event that YouTube is paying out “the vast, vast majority of revenue”. Still, there’s bound to be some creators who feel slighted by the deal or coerced into it. And any partnered creator who doesn’t sign the deal for YouTube Red will have their videos on the ad-free old-school YouTube hidden from view. That’s pretty harsh.” [via TechCrunch]

Impact: More bad news for advertisers. Some people will subscribe while others will continue to use ad blockers.

Instagram Introduces Standalone App Boomerang

It’s a dead-simple app where you shoot a one-second burst of five photos that are turned into a silent video that plays forwards and then reverses over and over in a loop. Boomerangs are automatically saved to your camera roll, but can easily be shared on Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere since the app doesn’t have its own feed. The app doesn’t require an Instagram account and you don’t even have to log in. [via TechCrunch]

Impact:A new app from Instagram is always notable, but Boomerang is especially fun. We’ve already started playing with it.

Twitter Introduces New Insights API and More New Features

Twitter is introducing new features at a breakneck rate these days. This week they officially launched Twitter Polls, announced new tools for finding and publishing embedded tweets, and will allow brands to link user Twitter handles with customer accounts for real-time customer service from a real person. They’re also introducing a new Insights API to deliver more targeted information to marketers.

Impact: Better tools and better targeting will make Twitter a more valuable player for paid media in the near future. Start experimenting now.

Facebook Expands Their Search Capabilities

Facebook is making an effort to compete with Twitter and Google by upgrading their largely useless search tool.

Starting today, its search bar is now capable of retrieving every public post ever made — that’s 2 trillion of them. It’s a major step in making Facebook’s search tool relevant when finding breaking news and trending topics, two areas dominated by Google and Twitter. Previously, searching on Facebook would return Pages a user liked or friended. Now it will return basically everything, but displayed in a more organized manner. [via DigiDay]

Weekend Reading

Airbnb Ads Flop, Offend San Francisco

A series of advertisements meant to show the amount of hotel tax the company provides to San Francisco came across instead as tone deaf, snarky and passive-aggressive.

This is not the first time Airbnb has come under scrutiny for its marketing strategy, particularly as the company looks to appeal to adventurous millennial consumers. In July, Airbnb made a series of Twitter posts with lines from a new commercial that was intended to address human kindness. “Sleep in their beds, so you may know their dreams,” the company posted. “Go look through their windows, so you can understand their views.” But the reaction to those messages ranged from confusion to scorn. One person wrote Twitter that they sounded “like instructions an ax murderer would write himself.” [via New York Times]

In-Depth Look into YouTube Red

This is a bit of an advertorial, but it provides insight into the economic and cultural factors at work in YouTube’s new service. The most interesting component concerns YouTube’s plan to start making original content.

“Kyncl also believes Red needs premium content, but he is committed to creating it on YouTube’s terms. The service has no plans to pay big bucks to license the NFL or Seinfeld, Kyncl told me. He sees Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, HBO, and others all bidding for the right to show the same films and TV series, all trying to grab the hottest actors, producers, and directors to make originals. He wants to move against that tide. “To us what is important is we are not doing what everyone else is doing, competing for the same sources of material, the same creative elements. We are looking for people who are proven to work really well on our platform.” [via The Verge]

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