15 Major Updates From Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Social network updates from this week include YouTube Red button, Twitter Embedding Tool, Facebook Topic Based Feed, Instagram Boomerang

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1. Facebook will now alert you if your account is targeted by ‘state-sponsored actors’: While the chances of nation-state agents breaking into your Facebook account must surely be pretty slim, the social networking giant has nevertheless put in place measures that mean you’ll be the first to know should it uncover any such nefarious behavior.

2. Facebook’s carousel ads are 10 times better than its regular ads: The carousel ads, which let brands show multiple images and ultimately a link to some action, are driving 10 times more traffic to advertisers’ websites, according to data compiled by Kinetic Social, a social marketing tech firm. The report looked at ad trends over the past three months, according to the campaigns that pass through its platform.

3. GIFs Are Now Working For All Facebook Pages: Facebook’s slow rollout of animated GIFs has finally reached Pages. In August, the social network started testing GIF support for a small number of brand Pages, extending access beyond personal profiles which got GIF-posting ability last May.

4. Only 3% Of Facebook News Feed Is Promoted Content: Only 3 percent of Facebook’s News Feed is made up of advertising, according to a new Socialbakers study. That will probably come as a surprise to those who assume that Facebook’s News Feed ad load is higher, driving as it does more than a billion dollars a month in advertising revenue, but Socialbakers found that typical users are seeing few sponsored posts when they scroll through their feeds on the desktop.

5. Facebook unleashes ‘thousands’ of Instant Articles to all iPhone users: Facebook is unleashing “thousands” of Instant Articles to iPhone users beginning today. The expansion comes four months after it launched with just a few publishers, like The New York Times and The Atlantic, and seen by even fewer users. Now, everyone who uses Facebook’s app on the iPhone, which is the Apple’s most downloaded app of all time, will experience the fast-loading, image-heavy article pages that are housed within Facebook.

6. This New Instagram App Lets Creators Make Endlessly Looping GIFs: Even Instagram has gone crazy for GIFs. Today, the Facebook-owned company launched Boomerang, an iPhone and Android app that lets users make mini-social videos that endlessly loop.

7. Alphabet (Google) Q3 Beats With $18.7 Billion, Mobile Search Revenues “Strong”: Google announced revenues $18.7 billion, which represented 13 percent year over year growth vs. $16.5 billion a year ago. Revenues beat financial analyst consensus estimates of $18.54 billion. Google shares jumped in after-hours trading.

8. Facebook expands search to better compete with Twitter, Google: 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.

9. Twitter Announces Native Video Ads and a New Polling Feature: Developers will have access to more than 170 buyers on the MoPub digital advertising marketplace as well as support for direct ad partners. The company has not yet announced the beta testers who can use video ads similar to those found in Twitter’s timeline.

10. Facebook Is Testing Topic-Based Feeds: Facebook is looking into providing more ways for people to filter what they see on the social network. In a test first noticed today by Social Times, Facebook is giving some users the ability to pull up category-based streams of posts from friends and Pages.

11. Twitter’s New Tool For Embedding Tweets: Meet Embedded Grid, Twitter’s new way to give a series of tweets a much more visual look. The new feature, introduced today at Twitter’s Flight developers conference in San Francisco, is part of Twitter Publish, a new, free tool to help people create better-looking embedded stories from the raw materials of Twitter.

12. YouTube Red Subscription Will Include Original Series From PewDiePie, CollegeHumor, And More: YouTube wants to use exclusive series and movies from its biggest stars to differentiate its new $9.99 ad-free video and on-demand music subscription service YouTube Red. Launching next year, these YouTube Original Series And Movies include Scare PewDiePie, where YouTube’s top video game commentator gets dragged through terrifying real-life experiences, Sing It!, a scripted comedy parodying singing competitions starring The Fine Brothers, and an “Untitled CollegeHumor Project”.

13. Inside Pinterest’s plans to win advertisers and (maybe) beat Twitter: Brands are poised to pour big money into Pinterest, which could pose a challenge to rivals like Twitter, according to some ad world insiders. The photo-bookmarking platform is getting ready for this influx of ad dollars by working with agencies, brands and marketing partners on the tools they demand before they invest fully.

14. YouTube Will Make You Pay to See Some of Its New Videos: The world’s biggest video site is readying a slate of programming that will only be available to people who join its upcoming subscription services. YouTube will announce some of that programming, which it is helping to fund, at an event at its studio/event space in Los Angeles next Wednesday, October 21.

15. Facebook Looking To Partners To Extend Reach Into Small Business Market: This past week, Facebook introduced a new small business “channel” in its broader marketing partner program. AdRoll and Constant Contact are the first two announced providers. Each will gain the ability to use an official Facebook partner badge as part of their marketing.