15 major updates from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn & Instagram

Social network news from last week - Facebook paid $22 billion for WhatsApp’s user data, Snapchat is pushing for shorter ads, Google removes AdSense 3-ads-per-page limit, Instapaper acquired by Pinterest, and more


Facebook suspends Domain Insights, changing rules of the road for new publishers: On the last day of June, Facebook dammed up a stream of audience data that publishers once used to see how their content performed inside Facebook. Late last week, it acknowledged that it may not turn the tap back on, either. Specifically, Facebook noted that it was cutting off new access to Domain Insights, a tool that gave website developers access to rudimentary information about how a site’s externally hosted content performed when users shared it inside Facebook.

Spotify plans more original video series: In May, Spotify unveiled 12 original series including “Landmark,” a documentary series about significant moments in music history, “Drawn & Recorded,” an animated show narrated by Grammy winner T Bone Burnett, and “Ultimate/Ultimate,” a mockumentary series about semi-talented people trying to become the next EDM star.

Two months in, Twitter’s emoji targeting hasn’t taken off … yet: Agencies and brands are often quick to glom onto the newest social media features like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live as well as phone and video chat on Snapchat. Compared to those updates, emoji targeting on Twitter — introduced by the platform back in June to “unlock unique opportunities for marketers” — seems like an abandoned child: It is not gaining traction from most agencies and brands.

For some reason, Facebook is testing video with autoplay sound: Facebook has made no secret of its love for video, challenged only perhaps by its affection for bots. The re-creation of Facebook as a video platform is well underway: Facebook Live experiments abound, it’s trialling what are basically 15-second ad breaks, and now the social media behemoth is treading delicate ground; testing how users react to autoplay video in their newsfeeds. With sound.

Facebook’s New App for Kids Creates Privacy Concerns: Facebook’s new app sets out to keep the company cool among teens, but it is drawing privacy concerns. The app, dubbed LifeStage, was built for high-schoolers to share videos and connect locally, but it lacks privacy settings, requests personal information and makes all content public.

Video ads on Instagram are more common and getting longer: App marketing and data company Sensor Tower just released its Q2 “Ad Intelligence Data Digest.” The report presents mobile advertising trends on social media sites and Instagram in particular. The report finds that one out of every four ads on Instagram is now a video ad. This coincides with Facebook’s effort to make “video ads” more broadly accessible to small businesses and in emerging markets. There has also been a general market push toward mobile video ads.

Instapaper has been acquired by Pinterest: Instapaper, a pioneering app for saving articles to read later, has been acquired — again. The app, which was created by developer Marco Arment and sold to Betaworks in 2013, has found a new home at Pinterest. The goal is “to accelerate discovering and saving articles on Pinterest,” the company said in a statement. It will continue to operate as a standalone app, and the Instapaper team will work on both that app and on Pinterest generally. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Facebook adds new tools, capabilities to Slideshow video ads: Facebook introduced “Slideshow” advertising for emerging markets and small businesses (SMB) last October. In March of this year, Facebook said that its related “Your Business Story” SMB ads had more than three million advertisers.

How Kik’s director of expression creates the future of messaging: As mobile messaging app Kik’s director of expression, he’s in charge of managing how the app’s hundreds of millions of registered users (it does not break out monthly users) interact, not just with one another but with the growing stable of bots on Kik.

Snapchat Is Reportedly on Pace to Reach 217 Million Users by the End of 2017: An eMarketer report Tuesday revealed that the social app—which claims to have 150 million daily users worldwide—would grow by 27.2 percent during 2016 and then another 13.6 percent next year. That would put Snapchat at 217 million users by the end of 2017.

Twitter adds a button for people to direct message businesses from their sites: Now, four months after Facebook rolled out links businesses could put on their sites, ads (anywhere really) that people can click on to contact a business through Messenger, Twitter is rolling outa button businesses can put on their sites that people can click on to direct message a business through Twitter.

Google removes AdSense 3-ads-per-page limit, focuses on content-to-ad balance: Google has removed the policy of limiting AdSense ads to three ads per page. The move can largely be seen as a response to mobile, on which pages have turned into never-ending streams and a specific ads-per-page policy doesn’t make much sense.

LinkedIn for Android and iOS now lets you search by topic, article, or hashtagLinkedIn has updated the search tool across both its iOS and Android apps to now include content-based results. The company introduced its content search feature that facilitates queries based on any topic or articles published on the professional social network, both by third-parties or other members. It’s currently only available on mobile and to English speaking members.

Facebook paid $22 billion for WhatsApp’s user data, and now it’s getting it: WhatsApp updated its privacy policy on Thursday to state that it will now be sharing people’s account information — but not their messages — with Facebook, unless people follow these steps to opt out within 30 days. That means Facebook will be able to match the phone numbers people submit when signing up for WhatsApp to the ones they may have attached to their Facebook profiles to connect those accounts.

Snapchat is pushing for shorter ads between Stories, within Live Stories: After pushing for shorter video ads around the time it began to intersperse ads between people’s Stories in June, Snapchat is zeroing in on exactly how much shorter it would like brands’ ads to be. In conversations with brands and their agencies, Snapchat has been pushing for advertisers to cut their typically 10-second-long video ads to seven seconds when running between Stories and five seconds when running within Live Stories.