17 Major Updates From Facebook, Twitter & YouTube

Curated social network news of the week include #Love dominates Instagram, Pinterest acquires The Hunt & Pext, Facebook is updating Instant Articles, Twitter serves promoted tweets for logged out users and more

1. Twitter Says Promoted Tweets Will Be Served To Logged Out Visitors: The new targeting will allow advertisers to reach the 500+ million people who visit Twitter each month without logging in. Previously, Twitter couldn’t monetize this traffic, and advertisers couldn’t reach those visitors. The 500+ million number includes both those direct visitors on the Twitter.com domain and those who click through from a Google search result — essentially anyone who lands on a desktop version of a Twitter page.

2. Facebook’s Cost Per 10-Second Video View Ad Option Is Now Available Globally: Facebook this week rolled out the option to bid for 10-second video views on a cost-per-view basis. The company had been testing the CPV bidding option since June; now it’s available for all advertisers globally.

3. Facebook Makes Another Accommodation For People With Slower Connections: Previously, people with sketchy cell signals had to wait for stories to load in Facebook’s mobile app. Now Facebook will look at all the previously downloaded stories that have not been viewed yet, rank them based on relevance and display them for users. It will also factor in whether images associated with the story are available.

4. YouTube’s New Trending Tab Shows Videos As They Go Viral: As part of its #YouTubeRewind 2015 announcement, the site rolled out a new “trending tab” that monitors the latest viral videos. “This new tab in your YouTube app delivers the top trending videos directly to your Android, iOS and desktop device,” says YouTube on its blog, “See ’em as they take off and before they appear in YouTube Rewind 2016.”

5. Facebook’s Year In Review Is Heavy On Heavy News: The social network parsed all the posts from its 1.5 billion active users and pulled together a list of the topics that sparked the most discussion in 2015. Hard news crowded out everything else; US politics, terror attacks, an earthquake in Nepal, the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, the Greek debt crisis, protests in Baltimore and a mass shooting in Charleston are all represented.

6. Facebook Is Updating Instant Articles to Help Publishers Make More Money: Starting today, publishers utilizing Instant Articles will be able to place an ad every 350 words instead of every 500 words, according to the rep. They will also soon be able to sell Facebook-only campaigns for the first time—they had been required to couple Instant Articles sales with inventory from other websites—which means publishers can offer Instant Articles ads to brands at premium prices.

7. TV’s Top Twitter Moments Of 2015: Kanye, Super Bowl & The Walking Dead: Kayne West crashed the Twitter TV party in 2015. Kayne’s announcement at the MTV Video Music Awards that he will run for president of the United States in 2020 spawned the most tweeted about moment of the year, according to data from Nielsen. There were 248,000 tweets in the minute following his announcement — it was facetious, right? — surpassing the 243,000 tweets sent at 8:19 p.m. during the Super Bowl telecast in February.

8. Facebook kills its Slingshot, Rooms, and Riff apps: Facebook has shuttered its app development division called Creative Labs, a two-year experiment to build standalone mobile app experiences. Consequently, the company will also be shuttering the programs that emerged from this division, namely Slingshot, Rooms, and Riff.

9. Pinterest Acquires The Hunt & Pext To Boost Ad Tech, Commerce: Pinterest today announced the acquisition of two startups — The Hunt and Pext — that it says will boost its mobile shopping, ad tech and image indexing technologies.

10. Twitter Is Testing Timelines That Are Not Reverse Chronological: Twitter is tinkering with the timeline, space continuum.The company confirmed today that it is testing a new way to sort user timelines, breaking from the reverse chronological format that has been Twitter’s foundation since its beginnings.

11. Facebook Unveils Tools to Help Businesses Keep Up With Customers’ Comments: Facebook unveiled new features for Pages today that could help businesses better handle the flood of customer communication coming from mobile devices. 

12. Twitter Is Now Displaying Fuller Versions Of Photos In Your Web Feed: Starting today, the social media network will display fuller versions of photos in Twitter users’ web feeds. That means an end to awkward crops that cut off people’s heads or zero in on inappropriate parts of images.

13. #Love dominates Instagram for the third year in a row: Just when it seems like all social media can offer is bad news and cat photos, Instagram unveils its top hashtag for 2015, and it isn’t either of those. For the third year in a row, the most used hashtag of the year, according to the Instagram blog, was #Love.

14. Twitter wants to trademark the word ‘subtweet’: We all subtweet, but Twitter wants to take ownership of it. The social network has filed papers to trademark the word “subtweet,” according to a Oct. 30 filing first noticed by Politico media editor Alex Weprin. For those unfamiliar with subtweeting, it’s when a Twitter user shades another without explicitly stating their name or handle. It’s the modern equivalent of talking behind a person’s back.

15. Facebook Tweaks News Feed To Serve Only The Best Viral Stories: Sometimes a lot of likes, comments and shares is not enough. Facebook wants to make sure people actually like the viral stories that pop up in their News Feeds. Today, the social network announced an algorithm update that will rank viral stories lower if enough people indicate that they are not interested in seeing them.

16. Twitter Sharing Drops 11% After Twitter Kills Share Counts: Has Twitter’s killing of share counts on tweet buttons reduced people’s sharing activity? By one measure, yes. Shareaholic reported today that it’s seeing 11.28 percent less sharing using the Twitter button on its network since Twitter turned off tweet count totals on Nov. 20.

17. Facebook testing concert ticket sales in San Francisco area via events pages: Ever been on Facebook and noticed an event page for a gig you wanted to attend? In the past, you would have had to exit the social network and buy the tickets from a third-party website. Now, thanks to a new feature, you can purchase tickets to select events directly from Facebook, reports BuzzFeed.