In social media this week Messenger launches Days, Facebook increases the options for monetization in Instant Articles, Instagram rolls out advertising in Stories, Pinterest Lens beta is expanded and YouTube launches Uptime.
Already available in 12 countries including Poland and Australia, Messenger’s Days are now rolling out globally. Messenger’s Days let you share decorated photos and videos which disappear after 24 hours, either publically or with chosen friends. Sound familiar? So familiar to Snapchat Stories that Snap’s share price dipped slightly on the day of the announcement. Once you’ve created your day you can add to it from your conversations and while you’re messaging someone you can also see if they have anything new from their day. Days from your friends will appear as a thumbnail tile on Messenger’s home screen (similar to Instagram Stories). A green dot on a thumbnail shows that they are currently available so you can chat. You can’t “like” a day but you can privately reply using custom or preset messages. Added to the recent camera overhaul this really is another direct attempt to gain more ground on Snapchat. It could also open up Messenger as an income stream as adverts could appear in-between days which play automatically back to back. Instagram Stories grew to 150 million daily users in just 5 months. Will days grow even quicker?
Facebook’s Instant Articles
Since opening Instant Articles to all in April 2016, Facebook have made several changes to allow publishers to monetize their content. This week Facebook have confirmed new more flexible options allowing publishers to control the placement of adverts in their Instant Articles. Automatic Ads placement is still available but from next week a manual option allowing more frequent placement (up to every 250 words rather than every 350 words) will also be available. Facebook have also confirmed that they are “working with our partners to explore additional ad placements and formats”.
Businesses of all sizes can now run adverts in Stories on Instagram. Available to only a few businesses since January, all businesses around the world can now utilize them through Power Editor or Adverts Manager. Rolling out now it will be available globally in the coming weeks.
In February Pinterest announced a small group testing of its Lens feature and this week they have rolled out the beta test to all users in the US on iOS and Android. This new Lens tool allows you to point your camera at an object to find similar items on Pinterest, or point at an item of food to see recipes. You can also use photos from your camera roll to do a search or discover new Lenses within Pinterest. Hopefully, Lens will come to the UK soon.
A new app from YouTube lets users meet friends, share and watch YouTube videos together. Uptime, which bizarrely is available to download on iOS and not android, has come out of Google’s Area 120 startup incubator where employees can spend up to 20% of their time on side projects. The app not only lets you watch videos with friends in real-time but also lets you search, share and interact with stickers and comments. Have you used Uptime yet?