8 Major Updates From Facebook, Snapchat & YouTube

Major social network news from this week which includes Snapchat Hits 6 Billion Daily Video Views, Facebook Notify App, Facebook 360 degree video ads

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1. Facebook Instant Articles aren’t doing that well, and publishers aren’t pleased about it: Not everything Facebook touches turns to gold. It’s just that it normally does a better job of hiding that stuff. Not so with Facebook Instant Articles, which has now drawn the ire of heavy hitting publishing partners like the Washington Post and the New York Times.

2. Facebook’s Virtual Reality-Style Ads Are Here With Big Brands on Board: If you were wondering what Facebook’s $2 billion Oculus Rift might mean for advertisers, we may have just been given a sneak peek. Today, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company debuted the first virtual reality-style video ads for AT&T, Nestle, Mondelez and Samsung, among others.

3. YouTube is already a music-streaming giant — it just now has an app: Dubbed YouTube Music, the free app gives users access to the video giant’s entire library of music content. For users who want to avoid ads, the app is integrated with YouTube’s $10-a-month subscription service, YouTube Red, which comes with additional, exclusive features like offline viewing, audio-only mode and the ability to listen to music in the background.

4. Facebook Invades Lock Screens With New “Notify” App: Looking for another avenue to reach your audience? Facebook has a new app for that. The social network launched a standalone iOS app today that gives a selected group of publishers access to people’s lock screens. Called “Notify,” the app pushes alerts to people’s mobile phones, serving headlines throughout the day. Users customize their selections by subscribing to media sources or “stations” of specific content from those sources. The content is served independently of Facebook; when people swipe or tap through, they are taken to the link in the app’s mobile browser.

5. Pinterest’s new ‘crazy fun’ visual search tool identifies items in a pin: From the chaotic array of pins to the stylish items in them, Pinterest suffers from sensory overload. Now, the social network is hoping to make itself less overwhelming with a new visual search function. Pinterest is rolling its “crazy fun” search tool to users tomorrow that aims to stamp out one of the biggest problems facing it: Users wondering “What is that and where can I get one?”

6. Snapchat Hits 6 Billion Daily Video Views: Snapchat users are now watching more than six billion videos a day. That’s triple what people were watching on the ephemeral chat app last May and an increase of two billion since September.

7. Facebook’s traffic to top publishers fell 32 percent since January: Referral traffic (desktop + mobile) to the top 30 Facebook publishers (as defined by their reliance on Facebook) plunged 32 percent from January to October, according to SimpleReach, a distribution analytics company. The more reliant the publisher on Facebook, the bigger the hit: Among the top 10, the drop was a steeper 42.7 percent.

8. Facebook Messenger reminds you to send photos to your friends using facial recognition: Facebook is deploying a new way to help you share your photos with friends through its Messenger app. Called Photo Magic, the feature will scan through your most recent photos, use facial recognition to find out who’s in them, and prompt you to send the image right to the associated individuals.