Instagram Continues To Add New Features | Digital Scoop 029


 

As Instagram continues to grow, so does it’s increase in new tools and features. Instagram has rolled out a couple of official new additions, while other new tools coming soon.

First, Instagram has confirmed the launch of GIFs in Direct, including a new ‘Random’ GIF button, which could add an interesting element to your private chats. Usage of Instagram DMs has been rising, reflecting the broader trend towards private messaging, so it makes sense for the platform to give the option more focus, and more communication options to consider.

All of their marketing mentions this feature being in Direct, not DMs. This could be happening because of Instagram’s plan to launch it’s standalone messaging app, Direct.

The second officially announced feature from Instagram is video tagging, enabling you to make specific users aware of your posted video.

In addition to these confirmed features, several others have been highlighted.

Instagram’s also sorting out hashtag cramming. They are reportedly testing out separating hashtags from captions. The separation of hashtags from captions could be the solution to the annoying crop of hashtags some people include… cluttering their post. A separate button called “Add Hashtags” will appear on the New Post screen, which will allow users to use hashtags without including them in the caption. Thank the social gods!

Another one of Instagram’s in-development features include Quiz Stickers for Stories, which would enable users to share an interactive quiz question with their audience, and add multiple answer options. You would then be able to make one of the answers the correct one, which would be highlighted to the user when selected.

Instagram also continues to move forward with its test of limiting access to your Instagram Stories by location/region restriction. In that capacity could also be extended to individual posts, giving you more control over where your Instagram content can be seen. The option would be particularly beneficial for global brands with a multinational presence.

It’s smart for Instagram to maintain the momentum, and keep a hold on user interest while releasing all of these small features keeping users engaging on the app, which in turn, puts more pressure on competitors to try to keep up.

Will these new features change the way your brand will use Instagram? Comment below and let me know!

 

YouTube Launches New Fundraising Tools for Nonprofits | Digital Scoop 028

YouTube is launching YouTube Giving, will enable creators to raise awareness, and money, for their chosen organizations via the video platform with a new set of fundraising tools which will include Fundraisers, Community fundraisers, Campaign Matching, and Super Chat for Good.

The Fundraisers feature will allow YouTube creators and qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofits to create and embed a fundraising campaign next to their videos and live streams. Fans are able to donate to campaigns directly on YouTube via a “Donate” button, making it easier than ever for creators and fans to raise funds for causes they care about on the platform. Creators set their campaigns up and YouTube will take care of the logistics and payment processing.

The Community Fundraisers allows multiple creators to co-host the same fundraiser. The feature is designed so that a Community Fundraiser will appear on participating creators’ videos at the same time and reflect the collective amount of money their communities are raising together.

The Campaign Matching feature, which is not yet available, will allow creators who organize Fundraisers and Community Fundraisers to receive matching pledges to help amplify their efforts.

And finally, the Super Chat for Good feature will enable creators to raise funds for nonprofits via the YouTube live-streaming Super Chat payment system. The option is in limited testing, with YouTube covering all transaction fees in the initial period – meaning that 100% of the donations go to the relevant organizations.

YouTube currently has 1.8 billion monthly active users. There is an amazing potential your cause and fundraiser can reach with the new features.

Online fundraising is a popular activity today across sites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. Facebook also entered the market in mid-2016 when it rolled out the ability for its users to raise funds for nonprofits they support.

The company this year has been expanding the types of things creators can do with their videos, in the face of increased competition from Facebook Watch and Amazon’s Twitch. If you’re a non-profit organization, it’s worth looking into these new tests, and keeping an eye on the platforms updates and evolutions.

Instagram Working On Standalone Shopping App & More | Digital Scoop 027


Facebook is planning a major new move into e-commerce with Instagram working on a new standalone app dedicated to shopping. Over the past few years, Instagram has been rolling out various shopping-related features (like tagging products in the post).

Earlier this year, Instagram rolled out its shopping tools to eight more countries, allowing more merchants to display their products’ prices on their posts. It makes sense that the next step/evolution would be its own shopping app. A couple of months later, it gave some companies the ability to add electronic payments that would allow their followers to book appointments. And this June, it started allowing some brands to test and sell products in Stories.

The app (which could be called IG Shopping) will let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app. No one is quite sure when it will launch. It’s still in development, and it could possibly even be squashed before it is released.

Shopping would not be the first Instagram feature to be spun out into a standalone app. In June it introduced IGTV, a YouTube competitor that puts vertically shot videos into their own app.

Instagram has also been testing Direct, a new messaging app, since last December. Facebook is looking to duplicate the success of their Messenger app with Direct, eventually offering brands more advertising opportunities.

More than 25 million businesses already have Instagram accounts. According to Sheryl Sanberg, four in five Instagram users follow at least one business. Creating a standalone app would allow the company to provide a dedicated place for the increase in activity on Instagram while also expanding opportunities for revenue.

Do you think you will shop on Instagram? Comment below and let me know!

YouTube Launches Channel Memberships, Merchandise and Premieres | Digital Scoop 026

YouTube Goes After Instagram

YouTube creators are gaining three major new tools to generate revenue from their videos outside of traditional advertising, as well as those that will help them better engage their fans. This comes after Instagram’s launch of IGTV, so clearly this is a rebuttal since IGTV offers similar features.

This new features include rollout of channel memberships, merchandising, and the launch of Premieres. 

Memberships

Creators with 100,000 subscribers or more, are over 18 and members of the YouTube Partner Program qualify for this feature. For $4.99 per month, this feature will allow subscribers to gain access to members-only posts in the Community tab where creators can share custom perks, like access to an exclusive videos, news, announcements, and more. YouTube says it will vet these perks manually, to ensure they meet YouTube’s guidelines and are something the creator can actually deliver. The perks can be almost anything the creator wants to offer, within YouTube’s guidelines.

Merchandise

In addition to memberships, creators will also be able to sell to fans directly. The feature will show pictures of creators’ merchandise in a display under their videos. This tool is available to all channels in the U.S. with over 10,000 subscribers. This greatly increases the visibility of YouTubers’ branded gear on the platform. Previously, creators could only paste a link with no options to upload images of their merchandise in their video descriptions. This has the opportunity to increase sales by getting more clicks to products. Previously, people had to click “show more” to see the full description, creating an extra step in the process.

Premieres

Finally, YouTubers can use a new feature called “Premieres” that creates a landing page they can promote ahead of a video’s release. This page will also have a chat feature, like Live videos do, which means creators can use Super Chat and take advantage of Channel Membership perks even if they aren’t doing live content.

The videos are uploaded in the same interface on YouTube, so there’s no new workflow to learn beyond toggling the “Premiere” switch on. Creators can also join in the chats as the video goes live to engage with their fans around this pre-recorded content, as well as comment on the videos before they start. When the Premiere wraps, it’s posted as a regular video on the site (without the two-minute countdown video YouTube adds).

What’s next?

YouTube said its version of Stories will arrive for all eligible creators with more than 10,000 subscribers later this year as well. The announcements come at a critical time for YouTube, as Facebook and Instagram are trying to woo creators away to their platforms and video hubs with unique features of its own.

 

Instagram Launching One Hour Videos & Hub | Digital Scoop 025

1 Hour Videos And New Hub Coming To Instagram

Instagram is planning to launch it’s own video hub which could allow videos of up to an hour in length, instead of the current length of one minute. This new update could change the way your business engages with the younger demographic, teens and young adults specifically.

There are sources that told the The Wall Street Journal that social media platform has also been talking with influencers and creators about making long-form content (shows). Of course they are saying the plans are tentative and subject to change, but it all makes sense. If they actually releases this hub, this could be the platform’s moment to take users away from YouTube.

Teens have been flocking from Facebook and going to YouTube and Instagram. A recent survey found that teens are over Facebook and prefer other platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Over 80% of online teens are using YouTube, with 72% of them using Instagram. That’s a whole lot of video content.

Instagram’s new hub will be similar to Snapchat’s Discover and Facebook’s Watch and offer creators a place to show their content, shows and more. Even though you can upload videos up to an hour, look at this hub as YouTube. Expect to see 10-15 minute videos compared to the hour long. Continuing the attraction to content creators, the videos will also reportedly feature a swipe-up option to open an associated link so viewers can easily navigate to the video creator’s website or store.

If you looking to target the young demographic, then it’s time to start looking at how your business and utilize the new feature. How will your brand engage with teens and young adults? Will your business use Instagram’s new hub and hour length video when it launches? Comment below and let me know.

Facebook to Remove Trending Feature | Digital Scoop 024

 

Facebook to Remove Trending Feature.

Facebook says that it’s removing its “Trending” feature to make way for “future news experiences” on Facebook. Trending was introduced on the platform in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were popular across the platform. It aggregated news topics based on what’s being shared on Facebook by users the most. It was also only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average.

Stated from Facebook’s press release, “From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful. We will remove Trending from Facebook next week and we will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API.” 

Facebook also says that the way people consume news on Facebook is changing to be primarily on mobile, and increasingly through news video. So they are exploring, or trying out, new ways to help people stay informed about timely, breaking news that matters to them, while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy sources.

Here are three new changes to replace Trending (so far):

  • Breaking News Label
    • This was a test they actually already have been running with about 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia lets publishers put a “breaking news” indicator on their posts in News Feed, making it easier for readers to identify news while scrolling through their feed. They’ll also be testing breaking news notifications depending on the pages you follow.
  • Today In
    • Facebook is testing a whole new dedicated section on Facebook called Today In that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials, businesses and organizations.
    • The test is running in just six cities for now: New Orleans, La.; Little Rock, Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y. Facebook users who self-identify as living in those areas will be able to visit the new section to see local information, like stories from local publishers or emergency updates from local authorities. Facebook is using machine-learning software to surface content in this new section.
    • This may change the newsfeed algorithm again for businesses. Stay tuned with Digital Scoop.
  • News Video in Watch:
    • Facebook will soon have a dedicated section on Facebook Watch in the US where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives that are only exclusive to Watch.

From the data breach to Fake News and content, Facebook needs to do something to keep users interested in the platform. What do you think of the changes? Comment below and let me know!

Facebook Video Monetization And Promotion Tools | Digital Scoop 023

Facebook has released a new set of monetization options and best practices for video creators as it seeks to build interest in its Watch platform.

 

The new monetization options include:

  1. Pre-Roll Ads
  2. Preview Trailer
  3. Ad Auto Break Insertions
  4. Pre-Publish Brand Safety Check

Facebook Tests Out New Video Format called Facebook Premieres | Digital Scoop 022

Facebook Premieres

Facebook is testing a new video format called Facebook Premieres that will let video creators, publishers and shows post prerecorded video as live footage. Facebook says its new video format is currently being tested among a group with a wider rollout happening soon.

The prerecorded videos will play similar to a livestream, allowing viewers the chance to interact with the video as it is broadcast on the site. Comments, reactions and interactions with the prerecorded Premieres video will happen in real time, as with Facebook’s Live videos.

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LinkedIn Adds New GIF Feature In Messaging | Digital Scoop 021

LinkedIn Adds New GIF Access Within its On-Platform Messaging

LinkedIn on a bender to tap into the trends of other social networks, even if those trends don’t necessarily seem like a perfect fit for the professional platform.

LinkedIn’s latest trending option is the addition of an immediately accessible GIF library within their message flow, powered by Tenor, a gif sharing platform, via a new partnership.

The functionality is pretty much the same as adding GIFs on Facebook. You will be able to tap the GIF icon on the toolbar and search for a gif to add to your chat.