9 Major Updates From Meerkat, Facebook, Pinterest & Snapchat

Social network news of the week - Facebook Instant Articles open for brands, Snapchat revenues will be $300million by this year end, Facebook Lead Generation ads, and more

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1. Facebook Just Debuted Video for Its Growing Suite of Lead-Generation Ads: Facebook today added video to its lead-generation advertising offerings that should attract financial brands, automakers, insurance companies and real estate players. It is including a call-to-action button within the video unit that will direct consumers to fill out contact forms.

2. Meerkat is moving away from livestreams and toward being a video social network: Meerkat has come up with a solution of its own — they’re not shuttering, but they’re moving away from the livestream space, and moving towards a video social network instead.

3. WordPress releases plugin to support Facebook Instant Articles: WordPress has partnered with Facebook to launch a plugin that supports Instant Articles out of the box.

4. Facebook introduces video ad serving to Atlas, rolls out path of purchase product: Facebook is pressing ahead with its Atlas rollout launching several tools including a video ad serving product, plus tools enabling brands to better understand their customers’ paths to conversion across screens. It comes amid a wider global PR-drive for its publisher offering, namely its Instant Articles and eLearning products.

5. Snapchat Thinks It Will Generate at Least $300 Million in Revenue This Year: Investors are buying into Snapchat’s massive $16 billion valuation because its business is growing significantly. Or at least expected to grow significantly in 2016. Snapchat is targeting between $300 million and $350 million in revenue in 2016, according to multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. That’s six or seven times the $50 million in revenue Snapchat projected last year.

6. Facebook is using AI to decide where to beam its free Internet: Facebook is using artificial intelligence to give it a better sense of where humans live across the world. The technology is allowing the social networking company to create “much more accurate population maps” across 21.6 million square kilometers of Earth compared to traditional population maps.

7. Pinterest Fully Opens Its Ad Spigot to Every Small and Medium-Sized Advertiser: Pinterest  ads are getting more pointed. After 18 months of beta testing a self-serve platform that lets brands buy ads, the site is opening the tool to all small and midsize brands in the U.S. today.

8. Twitter Will Send Moments Readers to AMP Pages Any Time It Can: Twitter will automatically take mobile users who click links in its Moments section to sped-up AMP pages every time it’s possible, the company said Wednesday, lending momentum to the effort to improve the mobile web experience.

9. Facebook’s Instant Articles open up to brands through Steller: Media companies have had Facebook’s Instant Articles all to themselves since the social network introduced the fast-loading mobile content format last May. But now, brands are finally able to get their hands on one of digital publishing’s shiniest new objects without piggybacking a publisher’s access.