Facebook Messenger rolls out ads worldwide
Our round up of this week's social media news and insights:
Facebook Messenger rolls out ads worldwide
Facebook has announced plans to test home screen advertising on its Messenger platform globally, following limited trials is Australia and Thailand. The worldwide rollout was announced by Messenger’s head of product Stan Chudnovsky at the MB 2017 event in San Francisco, saying the move brings the platform closer to its true business model – advertising. He revealed that ads on the home screen will feature similar user-targeting capabilities as found on Instagram and Facebook. It will also allow Messenger to move forward with its goal of forging connection between the apps 1.2 billion users and the 70 million businesses on Facebook. This desire to unite the two has been part for the strategy since the Messenger Platform for bots was revealed in April last year. By clicking on an ad displayed on Messenger’s home tab, users will be either redirected to a brand’s website or a chat window where then can interact with the advertiser. While users will be able to temporarily hide specific ads, they will not be able to stop them entirely.
Facebook currently generates around 85% of its ad revenue from mobile, but advertising though the main Facebook app is expected to quieten this year, making revenue streams from other platforms more important. Chudnovsky said Facebook will ‘start slow’ with the Messenger home screen ads. ‘When the average user can be sure to see them we truly don’t know because we’re just going to be very data-driven and user feedback-driven on making that decision,’ he added.
PR and Marketing in Social Media
BBC Three takes over Twitter for new crime documentary
Six stories from BBC Three’s new crime documentary ‘One Deadly Weekend in America’ have been playing out on Twitter over the weekend. The feature length film focuses on events that took place in the US over two days in July 2015, when 87 people died and 187 were injured as a result of gun crime. The corporation’s in-house agency BBC Creative used recordings, news reports and video clips to piece together the events of the day as well as revealing the impact of gun crime on the victims, their families, the perpetrators and communities. BBC Creative’s Adam Thompson said the intent was to move away from editorialising the sensitive events and instead focus on the facts delivered by the source material. He said turning BBC Three’s Twitter feed into a real time timeline of the events allowed audiences ‘to immerse themselves in the stories from the film as they unfolded across the weekend’.
Thompson described the Twitter platform and its Moments product as a ‘tonally perfect delivery channel and allowed the audience to engage with the content in a whole new way’. Users were able to follow the campaign through the hashtag #DeadlyWeekend2015.
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Facebook is building a Houseparty clone for live group video chat
Facebook is reported to be building a standalone app called Bonfire that mimics Houseparty, the group video chat app that rose from the ashes of Meerkat. The new offering, which was recently demonstrated for employees, is being targeted for a fall release, according to a person familiar with the matter. Meerkat founder Ben Rubin developed Housparty having observed that most people never broadcasted more than a handful of times, whether on Meerkat or later competitors like Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope. Houseparty notifies a user’s friends whenever they have the app open, inviting them to hang out virtually on their smartphones, and the app took off among teenagers. By November 2016 it had 1.2 million users spending 20 million minutes on it a day. Houseparty’s continued growth all but guaranteed Facebook would explore such an app, and its core - bringing close groups of friends together - matches Facebook’s mission statement which focuses on building tight-knit communities.
Sources are also saying that Facebook is looking into the development of another app called Talk, designed to encourage younger users to video chat with their grandparents.
Twitter shows of Periscope with ‘world-first’ live guided tour of the Great Barrier Reef
Twitter has taken its users on a guided tour of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef live on Periscope. The Great Barrier Reef Periscope Adventure comprised of two separate broadcasts, letting viewers watch the reef live and learn how to protect it. The first broadcast featured marine experts in a boat on the reef discussing how to preserve the natural site for future generations. The second broadcast was a live reef dive by @MitchOates, who used a specialist scuba mask to answer user questions while diving through the coral ecosystem. The initiative was supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, with its CEO Leanne Coddington revealing the natural treasure its Australia’s ‘most valuable tourism asset with around two million visitors experiencing it every year’.
Twitter described the Periscope Adventure as a good fit for its platform, which is home to a strong community of reef activists and marine biologists. Twitter Australia head Suzy Nicoletti said the Periscope broadcast became ‘a literal underwater periscope’, which allowed its users to experience the reef. ‘Twitter, like no other platform, has an incredible way of breaking down barriers to participation, and of creating connections between people and places,’ she added.
Twitter appoints new CFO
Twitter has named Ned Segal as its chief financial officer, replacing Anthony Noto who continues as chief operating officer. Segal most recently held the role of senior vice-president in Intuit’s small business group. He will be responsible for Twitter’s finance, accounting and investor relations divisions and will report to chief executive Jack Dorsey. ‘Ned’s experience in financial operations as a public company business unit CFO, along with his background serving technology companies and investors, are an ideal fit for Twitter as we work to extend our positive momentum,’ revealed Dorsey. The former managing director at Goldman Sachs will receive an annual salary of $500k, a signing bonus of $300k and stock awards, the company revealed in a filing with US securities regulators.
The appointment comes as investors are signalling renewed confidence in Twitter. In April, the social network reported better-than-expected user growth for the first quarter of the year, buoyed by increased user interest in political coverage. Commenting on his appointment, Segal noted: ‘I’ve long admired Twitter’s impact in the world, and I’m committed to helping the company build on its recent momentum’.