April 2020 Social Media Water Cooler: Updates From Instagram and Facebook

While March 2020 presented us with the effects of the pandemic spreading, April 2020 presents us with the impacts of widespread quarantine regulations. That being said, we hope you are safe and healthy. If you are interested in content specific to the impacts of the pandemic, take a look at our article focusing on the impact of coronavirus on ecommerce or our article on how some brands are making a positive difference in their communities.

With that, here’s our April Social Media Water Cooler!

Social Media Usage Spikes From COVID-19

As COVID-19 disrupts normal life around the world, social media platforms are seeing an unprecedented increase in activity. Daily time spent in apps on Android devices increased 20% year-over-year in Q1 2020, and consumer spending for iOS was up 15%.

For advertisers looking to connect with audiences, there are significant opportunities to use social apps. WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat were among the top 10 app downloads worldwide in Q1 2020. TikTok, however, still holds the top spot.

Meanwhile, Twitter announced expected drops in ad sales that impacted their previously released revenue projections.  Consumers are still flocking to the platform for updates on health, politics, and the economy, increasing engagement every day. Twitter daily users, in fact, were up 23% quarter-over-quarter.

This increase in users isn’t reflected in their bottom line, however, since their revenue stems from their advertising service. The financial downturn seems to have pushed many businesses to cut their advertising budgets, starting with Twitter.

Instagram Testing Two New Projects

Instagram’s home for longer videos, IGTV, will include advertising placements starting this spring. Since launching in June 2018, IGTV has struggled to attract users because Instagram’s most popular profiles were not posting long videos. Prior to this test, IGTV offered no revenue share to creators, this dissuaded top video starts from moving away from the shorter video format.

To incentivize adoption, Instagram is partnering with its top video creators to run ad tests. Those who take part will share 55% of advertising revenue from IGTV, which is equal to the rate YouTube offers.

Instagram currently makes up more than 25% of sales for Facebook and is expected to be the next growth area for the parent company. Facebook has plans to leverage IGTV as competition with YouTube, which is currently the world’s largest online video site, generating over $15 billion in advertising sales per year.

Another new development from Instagram allows users to send text messages that clear once you leave the page. While a launch date has not been announced, the project is a clone of Snapchat’s disappearing messaging and another development in the competition between Instagram and Snapchat.

Instagram has already duplicated disappearing photo and video messaging, as well as the popular user Stories. Since launching Stories, Instagram has seen more than 500 million daily users, compared to 218 million users on Snapchat.

Facebook Reporting and Ad Format Updates

Facebook announced that, as of mid-March, an impression-counting capability with Google had launched. This integration will allow advertisers to measure Facebook impressions delivered in both browsers and apps within Google’s Campaign Manager.

This exciting update will surely unlock insightful windows into how businesses’ paid social efforts compare to other sources. The integration will be available for previously excluded segments like Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences by June 2020.

Facebook recently shared that its Lead Form Ads will be receiving a much-needed makeover with a new instant experience option. This ad type has been available for other campaign objectives for several years now, and is expected to modernize the experience for people filling out lead forms.

This update will make filling longer forms easier and improve the clarity on what happens after a lead submission. We expect this updated format to improve both lead conversion rates and quality. Facebook forecasts this feature to be widely available by the end of April 2020.

Thanks for joining us for the April 2020 Social Media Water Cooler. Stay safe!

Click here for past editions of the Social Media Water Cooler.