Welcome to the first Social Media Water Cooler of 2020! We’re starting of the year with new features from Instagram and Snapchat as well as an overview of Facebook’s (and Instagram’s) current and projected success.

Instagram’s New Brand Collabs Manager

Brand Collabs Manager, Facebook’s marketplace tool for creators, will now be available to Instagram creators. The tool will make it easier for creators to get discovered by brands that best fit their audience, content, and objectives. The tool allows brands to:

  • Set an audience match to see how accurately a creator’s audience matches yours.
  • Find similar audience based on a creator.
  • Explore custom lists of creators based on past partners and creators who like your page.

As Instagram’s branded content grows, this manager will allow Instagram creators to find new partners and brands to work with and consolidates performance information into one place. Brands can now also see insights when they are tagged in branded content in the interface as well as in the Instagram app.

“Having enhanced capabilities to connect with relevant and relatable partners who share our values will help make these platforms an even more powerful tool for our business,” said Sephora’s Vice President of Content Strategy Emmy Berlind.

Snapchat Launches Image Recognition for Brands

Snapchat is currently testing a new advertising functionality, Snapchat Scan, that uses image recognition on a brand’s logo to launch branded AR content. Users can unlock the content by hovering over the brand’s logo with their Snapchat camera.

Building off a scanning capability that has been available organically in Snapchat Spectacles since 2016, the new ad option could give brands more opportunities to put product information or promotional details in front of qualified customers. A full rollout of Snapchat Scan could have significant implications for advertisers on the channel, as the company will need to determine how to charge brands for those impressions.

While the feature is currently only being tested by Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, Snapchat is hoping that the new functionality will become a major component of its advertising repertoire in the future.

Instagram’s Projected Ad Sales

Now 10 years old, Instagram is marching into maturity with its sights set on becoming a significant marketing platform. Forecasts predict the social media platform will see ad revenue soar to $13.9 billion, up 47% this year from 2019. This is in spite of a slowing user growth rate, which is likely due to its currently crowded sector.

Instagram and parent company Facebook have been investing in substantial development of ad placements, such as the Discover tab that helps users connect with other accounts and businesses. Even more promising is Instagram’s shoppable ads that are still in beta, but are expected to be a key driver of ad revenue.

Facebook Is Dominating Even as Costs Increase

Despite a tough couple of years for Facebook’s public relations team, the organization has emerged as a powerhouse for advertising with four of the five most popular apps worldwide. AppAnnie, a social media analytics company, ranks Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and WhatsApp as the top three most downloaded and used applications, with Instagram in fifth place just behind newcomer TikTok. Facebook has achieved such success through consistent app development and key acquisitions (WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus).

It seems that with this success comes higher costs for advertisers. A recent study examining impressions and clicks on the Facebook Audience Network showed that Facebook advertising costs in 2019 were up 90% year-over-year.

LiveIntent, an email marketing platform, posits that nearly half of all advertisers think they could be priced out of advertising on Facebook, but Forbes consumer tech writer John Koetsier cautions that brands should consider the value of the advertising in relation to their key metrics versus the cost. In an example geared toward measurement of profitability, Koetsier notes that “an ad that costs $1,000 but returns $10,000 is a great deal.”

The ROI Revolution social media advertising team monitors and analyzes CPM trends on a regular basis, and takes measures to ensure the most efficient possible cost for our partners.

Thanks for joining us for the January 2020 Social Media Water Cooler!

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