11 Major Updates From Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram

Major social network updates from the week which include Snapchat’s First Sponsored Lens, Twitter Mimics Facebook, Facebook now lets users share music

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1. YouTube bolts into next phase of virtual reality with 3D video: On Thursday, YouTube, which is part of Alphabet-owned Google, revealed the next phase in its plan for VR. You can now view the 360 videos in 3D. The site is also making every single video in YouTube’s massive library viewable on Cardboard. Just open up YouTube’s Android smartphone app, play a video and tap the Cardboard icon.

2. Facebook now lets users share music, listen to 30-second song snippets: Facebook announced today a new post format called Music Stories. It syncs with streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music to let users listen to 30-second snippets of songs without leaving the social network.

3. Facebook Offers New Tools To Measure Foot Traffic, Dynamically Use Location In Ads: Facebook is launching two related products for local businesses. One is a free analytics tool called “Local Insights” that shows small business owners foot traffic around their stores. The other is an update to Local Awareness Ads that enables businesses with at least five locations to dynamically make their Facebook campaigns more locally relevant.

4. Facebook Beats Estimates With $4.5 Billion Revenue, Now Has More Than A Billion Daily Active Users: Ad revenue is up 45% over last year and 78% of the total comes from mobile ads. The social network has 1.55 billion monthly active users and 1.01 billion daily.

5. Facebook Plans To Launch Notify, A Standalone News App, Next Week: Facebook is planning another move into mobile news. The social network will launch a standalone news app next week, according to a report today in the Financial Times. The app, called Notify, will give users the opportunity to subscribe to media outlets and receive alerts when they publish new stories.

6. Twitter Mimics Facebook by Changing Favorites to Likes: Twitter wants users to show their appreciation for tweets more often, so today it replaced the “favorite” button with a “like” button in the shape of a heart. The San Francisco company said it thought the old button—which appeared as a star icon—was too confusing.

7. Snapchat’s First Sponsored Lens Features “Peanuts” & A Candy Corn Stream: Fox Studios has purchased the first “Sponsored Lens” to promote “The Peanuts Movie” set for release next week. Tomorrow Snapchatters who activate the Lens feature while shooting a picture or video of themselves will be able to overlay Peanuts characters on their selfies.

8. Instagram Is Giving Advertisers Self-Serve Access To Carousel Ads: Instagram has announced that it will soon allow advertisers to help themselves to carousel ads. Instagram will enable purchase of the ads through parent company Facebook’s Power Editor and Ad Manager platforms and the Instagram ads API in the next few weeks.

9. Instagram Builds Its Own Version of Snapchat Live Stories: Instagram is taking cues from Snapchat and Twitter with its latest update — curated content streams for specific events, in this case, Halloween. If you open the Instagram app in the U.S. on Saturday, you’ll see a new prompt at the top of the feed to “Watch Halloween’s Best Videos.” Clicking on the prompt takes you to a new video-only content feed curated by Instagram employees. The video feed is, as Instagram describes it, “immersive.” This means that videos stand alone on your phone’s screen without the usual border, text description and Like count that normally joins an Instagram post.

10. Pinterest Is Rolling Out Buyable Pins For Android Users: Pinterest is bringing Buyable Pins to Android. Pinterest launched its long-anticipated e-commerce feature in June exclusively on the iPhone and iPad. Today, the company announced that it’s starting to roll out the service for Android users and that it’s launching “The Pinterest Shop,” a curated collection of Buyable Pins and products from retailers.

11. YouTube Opens Up To Third-Party Viewability Verification: YouTube has approved a large number of vendors —  comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral AdScience and Moat — to report ad viewability. Moat will begin reporting first, beginning early next year. Advertisers will also still be able to use Active View. The move has been largely anticipated since a report by Financial Times earlier this fall.