In social media this week, Pinterest announces promoted videos, Instagram improves video, Google+ move Hangouts, Facebook improves its algorithm and Snapchat goes shopping.
Facebook have announced more tweaks to its algorithm to improve the relevancy of a user’s news feed. The latest changes rank content on an Informative Scale, with 1 being “really not informative” and 5 being” really informative”. This is then combined with how relevant the content is to you personally, i.e. how you are connected to the publisher, what you choose to click on, comment or usually share.
As usual, Facebook have predicted that some pages will see a decrease and some will see an increase, as the combination is to “best predict” what a user wants to see. The changes are based in Facebook’s core concept that stories must be relevant to users as individuals and reinforces that businesses have to create content and stories that are relevant to their audience.
Pinterest are also throwing themselves into the video revolution with an announcement that they are rolling out promoted video adverts. Pinterest have seen a 60% increase in video use on Pinterest within the last year. Pinterest have been testing promoted video advertising with 12 partners including kate spade new york, Garner and Universal Pictures. Their research shows that promoted video adverts are four times more memorable than ordinary promoted adverts.
Promoted video adverts are available now to everyone who is working with a Pinterest account team. Alongside this rollout Pinterest are also promising to improve a users experience with personalized video recommendations to help with discovery and a fully integrated video player both available in the coming months.
Following Instagram’s Stories announcement a couple of weeks ago has anyone noticed the latest Snapchat-like additions? In the latest update, Instagram users can now zoom in or out while recording video and Apple users can also switch between the front and back cameras during the recording. Both of these features were introduced on Snapchat last year and interestingly Instagram have made the changes very quietly with no official announcement. The changes are obviously more significant for users that create video using the app’s built-in camera allowing them more flexibility when creating their video content.
In a fairly low key announcement Google have announced that Hangouts on Air are moving to YouTube Live from 12th September. Current features like Showcase, Applause and Q & A will no longer be available but it is likely that similar features will be introduced in the future. Is this yet another nail in the Google+ coffin?
Snapchat have reportedly purchased search app Vurb for more than $110 million. A long-standing problem for Snapchat has been how users can find people on the app. Purchasing Vurb gives Snapchat the ability to fill the discovery gap. How Snapchat will utilize Vurb isn’t clear as yet but new integrated search and discovery tools could add to Snapchat’s increasing popularity and increase its appeal to new users.