Social in Short

Social in Short: April 2021

Each month, our team of social experts dig through the trenches of the internet to find the biggest, best and most important news coming out of the social platforms we and our clients use daily.

Facebook Announces Two New Ad Updates

Facebook is expanding its targeting options for in-stream ads, adding topic-based targeting similar to YouTube’s Affinity Audiences, breaking down larger topic groups like ‘Fitness & Workouts’ into more bespoke interests from ‘Gym Workouts’ to ‘MMA Fighting.’

What it means for brands: Facebook continues to expand its ad features, allowing for brands to test and learn new formats to understand and gauge consumer interest.

Instagram Introduces Reels Ads

Instagram announced it will begin testing Reels ads in India, Brazil, Germany and Australia, with expectations to expand quickly. The ads will be shown between organic Reels and will look and feel like a natural extension of Reels in your feed—but with the addition of a ‘Sponsored’ tag and CTA button.

What it means for brands: As Reels ads roll out in more markets, it is an opportunity for brands to test this new format. While Instagram has not released data on the performance of Reels, there seems to be greater adoption of the new feature among brands and influencers, likely thanks to TikTok’s continued rise in popularity.

Apple’s New iOS Update Could Make Ad Targeting a Lot Less Accurate

Apple released iOS 14.5, its big software update that social platforms—especially Facebook—have been worried about. The release allows users to block apps from tracking their behaviors across other applications on the phone. This privacy update is expected to severely limit Facebook’s (and other platforms’) ability to target ads to iPhone users.

What it means for brands: Consumer privacy concerns have been top of mind over the last year, and this pending update from Apple isn’t exactly new news. However, as a result of this change, brands should expect to have less definitive data to work with when analyzing digital ad performance.

Pinterest Sees Strong Growth with eCommerce Concentration

Pinterest has seen steady growth over the last year, thanks to the sudden need for consumers to move nearly all shopping to virtual stores. Pinterest has positioned itself as a key shopping platform and, as a result, reported a 30% growth in active users and 34% growth in average revenue per user.

What it means for brands: The success of Pinterest in the eCommerce space means other social platforms are racing to compete. Instagram in particular has been focusing on its eCommerce products over the last year, and soon shoppable UGC may be the future of eCommerce success.

Twitter Launches Test of ‘Professional Profiles’

Similar to Facebook’s Business Profiles, Twitter is testing Professional Profiles for brands and creators. The unique profile will provide additional information, including a verification badge, business category and business information (like hours of operation and address).

What it means for brands: It’s still unclear how Twitter will develop Professional Profiles, but the new feature provides Twitter more control in how they manage user engagement and ads with brands, like Facebook’s practice of restricting visibility of brand pages to encourage ad buys.

Other updates of note

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