16 Major Updates From Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, & Pinterest

Social network updates of the week - Facebook to sunset FBX desktop retargeting, Facebook buys VR audio company Two Big Ears, Snapchat raised $1.8B, Twitter tunes into Spotify, and more


1. Facebook expands Audience Network reach beyond just its users — to everyone: Two years ago Facebook launched the Facebook Audience Network as part of an effort to expand the reach of Facebook ads outside of the boundaries of Facebook itself. Facebook users could then be targeted on third party mobile apps and, as of earlier this year, mobile websites in the network.

2. Facebook Is Using This Data to Pitch Canvas Ads to Mobile-Minded Marketers: Almost a year after Facebook rolled out its Canvas ad unit at Cannes, the social network is releasing data about the mobile product, which allows for entire campaigns to be built inside of it. Ford, Target, Nike, Samsung, Little Caesars, Apple, Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal are among the brands that have run Canvas campaigns in recent months, and Facebook opened up the full-screen ad format to all marketers in February.

3. Twitter tunes into Spotify to soundtrack its audio cards: Whistle while you tweet with the new partnership between Twitter and Spotify. Now you can listen to 30-second previews of songs in your timeline and Moments thanks to Twitter’s audio cards that now support Spotify.

4. Snapchat raised $1.8B in a Series F round; leaked deck reveals revenues, user numbers:Earlier this week, we reported that the messaging app startup Snapchat was raising more money. Now we have more updates for you. An SEC filing has been made today with information about Snapchat’s latest Series F round, in which it has raised $1.8 billion. Separately, we’ve also obtained a leaked pitch deck, revealing Snapchat’s revenue and forecasts.

5. Bye bye Twitter “Buy”: The team behind Twitter’s “Buy” button has been disbanded, and the company is focused on other programs and features to speak to its core experience.

6. Facebook to sunset FBX desktop retargeting in favor of mobile capabilities: Facebook’s desktop retargeting solution, Facebook Exchange (FBX), will soon meet its end. Facebook’s decision not to expand FBX access to mobile inventory has led to the exchange’s declining influence. Instead FBX has been overshadowed by the newer Custom Audiences and Dynamic Ads capabilities.

7. Instagram building business features to enhance the brand experience: Instagram is givingbrands a boost with data-rich features and the ability to promote visuals, among other things.

8. Google Augments AdWords To Meet Mobile Ad Demand: In a nod to mobile’s growing importance for advertisers and its own bottom line, Google on Tuesday unveiled AdWords updates and local ad formats to help marketers execute mobile-focused ad campaigns.

9. Google Maps Will Feature Local Search Ads for Businesses: In a blog post published today, Google said it’s investing more in “branded, customized experiences” for businesses to help increase store visits. Users will be able to tell the difference between a promoted location and an organic location by the color of the pin on the map and the word “ad” in the text at the bottom of the screen.

10. Express even more in 140 characters: In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, so for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters.

11. Why buy buttons on Pinterest and Instagram haven’t taken off for retailers: Buy buttons haven’t quite taken off as hoped. They generate very low sales volume to retailers and are negligible for most large brands, according to Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst for Forrester.

12. Facebook ditches Bing, 800M users now see its own AI text translations: In 2011 it started working with Microsoft Bing to power translations, but has since bene working to transition to its own system. In December 2015, Facebook finally completed the shift, and nowexclusively uses its own translation tech.

13. Facebook just made it easier to live stream your kittens indefinitely: The social network is unveiling a new continuous video tool that lets publishers broadcast streams for hours on end.

14. Facebook Live lets you skip to the good part: Now Facebook tells it’s putting reactions to work to power a visualized timeline of when a Live video receives the most engagement. When you go to fast-forward through the recorded replay of a Live clip, you’ll see the graph of reaction volume overlaid on the progress bar. Essentially, you’ll be able to see when the video gets interesting and skip there if you want.

15. Facebook buys VR audio company Two Big Ears, debuts ‘Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation’:Today Facebook announced it acquired Two Big Ears, a spatial audio technology company, for an undisclosed sum. Now part of Facebook, Two Big Ears’ Spatial Workstation has been repackaged and rebranded as the free “Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation.” Two Big Ears says support for its paid licenses will be wound down in the next 12 months.

16. Story-sharing site Wattpad is attracting young users and brands: People love to bemoan the state of our youth: Attention spans are shorter than ever; the preferred methods of communication are Snapchat and emojis. All hope is not lost. Toronto-based story-sharing platform Wattpad claims about 45 million 13- to 34-year-olds spend 15 billion minutes on reading and writing novels. (Wattpad.com has an average of 4.6 million monthly unique visitors over the past year, according to comScore.)