The week in social media - Trump hits Twitter milestone

Our round up of this week's social media news and insights:

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Trump hits Twitter milestone

Donald Trump reached a Twitter milestone on Monday, notching up 20 million followers. However the US president elect still trails behind the man he follows into the Whitehouse, as Barack Obama can boast four times as many Twitter fans. Trump recently rejected the option to switch to the official @POTUS account, which already has 13.6 million followers. Instead, he will keep posting from the @realDonalTrump handle, as he does not want to lose his loyal followers and because he is ‘covered so dishonestly by the press’ The Republican alleges that as soon as he sends a tweet his comments are used on American news channels as ‘breaking news’. Trump is very keen on tweeting to get his message out, something that has earned him the moniker ‘Tweeter--in chief’. He feels that when speaking to the press or holding a news conference his comments are not’ reported accurately, but this cannot happen with a tweet. ‘I’m careful about it, it’s very precise, actually its very, very precise – and it come out as breaking news’. Meanwhile, a recent NBW/WSJ poll found that two-thirds of Americans think Trump on Twitter is a bad idea. Among Democrats, a huge 89% did not approve of his tweeting, while only 46% of Republicans supported his use of the social media network. Trump often cites his social media statistics, adding up his followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to claim he reaches 46 million people through the three social networks. However, it is pointed out that this number also includes bots and dormant users who never see what he posts. He is now aiming to use targeted Facebook ads to help attract people to attend his inauguration party. Trump’s team has taken action to live up to the his claim of a ‘perhaps record-setting’ turnout, by posting a video on vice president elect Mike Pence’s Facebook page which features Trump inviting people to the Lincoln Memorial on 19th January.

PR and Marketing in Social Media

Pinterest president tells marketers what to expect in 2017

Pinterest president Tim Kendall believes more brands are buying into the social network’s advertising. ‘They’re really paying attention and seeing us as a platform where they need to invest in the same way they have to invest in Google and Facebook – I didn’t feel that a year ago’, revealed Kendall, who joined Pinterest from Facebook in 2012 and was made president in 2015. He is keen to put the message out to marketers that the scrapbooking site is a ‘mass reach play’. He argues that while Pinterest has a fraction of Facebook and Instagram’s user base, it can more than compete when reaching the crucial ‘women aged 25 to 54’ demographic. It can reach 80% of what Facebook reaches every month and speaks to more of that segment than Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. Kendall also notes that long-form videos is taking off more than short clips, as evidenced by a 50% higher rate of longer content being saved on the platform than bite-sized clips. It is rumoured that Pinterest’s chief executive Ben Silbermann is seeking to take the company public soon, with the site’s overhaul last spring and recent appointment of a chief financial officer leading to the speculation. However, Silbermann will not confirm or deny the reports. ‘We’re just right now focused on building the business,’ he revealed.

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Instagram rolls out live video and disappearing photos in the UK

Instagram has rolled out its Instagram Stories live video feature in the UK following its US debut late last year. The feature is also now available in Germany, France, Brazil, Canada and Japan. Parent company Facebook launched its own live video last April, while Twitter rolled out in-app broadcasting in December, joining competitors including Snapchat Live Stories, Meerkat, Periscope, YouNow, Livestream and YouTube Connect. Instagram, which last week reported that 150 million people use its Stories feature every day, is also rolling out disappearing photos and video directly to groups and individual friends in the UK. The social network wants to encourage its community to post content ‘in the moment,’ and to broadcast in real-time; users simply need to swipe the Stories camera icon at the top of the app and toggle into 'Live' mode. Videos disappear when the broadcast ends, rather than being saved to the app - setting it apart from Facebook's Live function which saves videos. Viewers can react to the live-stream with comments and subscribers can pin comments. Celebrities have been testing out Instagram Live over the last couple of months. Selena Gomez told her followers what she'd learned during 2016, while Jaden Smith admitted he'd failed his driving test and asked fans how to break the news to his dad, Will Smith. Calvin Harris also did a fan Q&A from inside his music studio and stars including Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lily Collins and Sofia Vergara filmed their preparations for the Golden Globes.

WPP’s Sorrell comments on Snapchat’s emergence

Clients of WPP spent $90m on Snapchat last year, chief executive Martin Sorrell told CNBC on Tuesday. WPP began 2016 by forecasting that clients would spend only $30m on advertising with Snapchat. But later in the year WPP revised this upward to $60m, followed by a December comment from Sorrell that clients were spending $70m. Now the WPP chief has told CNBC that last year’s spending on Snapchat by clients is actually $90m. Snapchat's revenue in 2016 has previously been forecast at $350m, but Sorrell noted that if WPP clients alone were spending $90m, it was likely that the actual figure would be higher. He said he expected this growth to present a challenge to Facebook in the ad market. However, he also highlighted that spend on Snapchat by WPP’s brands remained small compared to the $5bn and $1.7bn they allocated to Google and Facebook respectively in 2016. ‘I think that's the big opportunity for them,’ he told CNBC, ‘we know Facebook has tried to buy Snapchat a couple of times, we know that it's made product changes as a result of Snapchat's products.’ He continued: ‘I think Facebook is concerned about the potential opposition.’ Snap is reportedly preparing for an IPO this year that could value the company at $25bn. The platform has 150 million daily active users and has been trying to boost its ad offerings. One of the main ways companies can advertise on Snapchat is via lenses - filters that go over a user's snap. But the company has also introduced adverts in between Snapchat Stories too.

Facebook may stop paying publishers for live videos

Publishers do not expect Facebook to renew any of its current partnerships with them to provide live videos, with the social network instead pushing for longer clips of premium content as it seeks to compete with streaming providers such as Netflix. It is understood that larger publishers like BuzzFeed were paid up to $3m to produce videos in a deal last spring, but the returns weren’t enough to justify Facebook Live as a long-term business option. However, the social network has not abandoned its commitment to Facebook Live and continues to invest heavily in promoting the platform to regular users, but not publishers or celebrities. It remains unclear whether digital publishers that are part of Facebook’s live video programme will be paid to create longform videos, which isn’t traditionally associated with these digital publishers. Some such as the New York Times assigned seven workers to its Facebook Live efforts. Other publishers have revealed they will continue to make live video content for Facebook and other social networks, but will reduce their efforts.

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