14 major updates from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google, WhatsApp & Snapchat

Social network news from last week - Snapchat’s new advertising API technology, Whatsapp borrows from Snapchat for camera, Facebook launches Marketplace, and more

An Inside Look at Snapchat’s New Advertising API Technology: Snapchat has turned on the gears of its ad technology platform, unleashing a new way to buy and even test ads. Snapchat has fired up its ads API – application programming interface – that allows third-party partners to plug into the app and deliver ads for brands and agencies. It’s Snapchat’s first foray into what’s known as programmatic advertising, which is the automated buying and selling of ads.

How Pinterest is cracking the social commerce code: When it comes to broad brand awareness, the value of social media advertising is clear. But why have channels struggled to keep users on their platforms for a direct purchase? Despite the massive reach, engaging content and success of social advertising, in-channel purchasing has been a bit of a hurdle for marketers and advertisers alike. However, with over 100 million monthly active users globally, Pinterest is one channel that is poised to overcome the purchase hurdle.

Tumblr’s New Head of Ad Products Embraces YouTube Model of Sharing Ads With Creators: Tumblr has a new ad product leader to help the platform as it tries to catch up to rivals in key areas like video. Owned by Yahoo, which was bought by AOL, Tumblr hired its first VP-ad product management, Buzz Wiggins, who started this week. Mr. Wiggins, 32, came over from mobile ad technology platform Kargo, where he also directed ad products.

Jack Dorsey Is Losing Control of Twitter: A few days before Twitter’s Sept. 8 board meeting, as the company’s finance team readied a presentation, it received conflicting directions on a crucial question. Should their slides reflect Twitter’s prospects as an independent company or delve into the benefits of getting acquired?

Yahoo’s new Newsroom social app is ‘Reddit for the masses,’ exec says: Yahoo is getting social, and its vehicle? A new news-centric app called Yahoo Newsroom. The new core mobile app from Yahoo hopes to make it “easier to discover content relevant to you, and to participate in conversations around issues you are passionate about.”

Google debuts new Pixel phone, Google Home & Google Assistant: Google unveiled its new Google Pixel phone today and began taking orders for its previously announced Google Home hands-free home assistant. Those were the stars of a special event focused on new Google hardware, underpinned by the new Google Assistant.

Pinterest hires former Twitter exec Todd Morgenfeld as its first CFO: Pinterest has hired its first chief financial officer, Todd Morgenfeld — who was most recently vice president of finance at Twitter — the company said today. He was at Twitter for about a year and a half before joining Pinterest.

Google Home is smart, loud, and kind of cute: It’s finally here, the smart speaker that Googleannounced in May at its I/O conference. And the biggest thing to know is that it’s priced to beat its main competitor, at $129 to the Echo’s $179. I got a brief chance to mess around with the Home last week at Google’s campus in Mountain View, and my takeaway is that it has a decent shot at giving the Echo a run for its money.

Facebook Launches Marketplace to Let Users Buy and Sell Items: Today, the company announced the launch of Marketplace, a destination for people to find—and make offers for—items directly through Facebook’s mobile app. A button for Marketplace will replace the Messenger icon in the bottom center of the app.

Facebook’s Craigslist-style Marketplace isn’t open to brands, Page owners: For now, Pages cannot sell products through Marketplace, and there’s no way for anyone who can sell products in Marketplace to pay Facebook to have an item featured in Marketplace or shown to a specific group of people.

Whatsapp borrows from Snapchat for camera update: WhatsApp is the latest Facebook-owned app to emulate Snapchat courtesy of its camera update. The popular messaging service now lets Android users personalize images and videos with text, doodles, and emojis. The update allows you to customize both new and old media, whether it be photos and clips stored on your phone or those taken from the camera whilst in WhatsApp.

Twitter’s pre-roll ads are slow to take off with influencers: Twitter’s pre-roll video ads have been open for business to influencers for a month now. But it appears they’re not being widely adopted yet.

Facebook is reportedly planning to build a huge new data centre in Denmark: Facebook is planning to build its third data centre outside the US in Denmark, according to local news site fyens.dk. The social media giant is reportedly looking to build a facility with three server halls in an industrial area near Odense, which is Denmark’s third largest city.

Facebook launches Messenger Lite for Android: Facebook has launched a slimmed down version of its popular Messenger app in an effort to appeal to users in countries with less than stellar internet access. Called Messenger Lite, it gives the ability to send text, photos, and links to anyone using Facebook Messenger when they have “slower than average internet speeds and a prevalence of basic Android smartphones.”