Another week gone by and another round of social news. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all made big splashes this week with new products, new functionality and some interesting strategic changes. Here’s the full rundown on this week in social media. Did we miss anything? Send me an email at Daniel.Asulin@bigfuel.com.
1. Instagram Ads May be on their Way – Forgive us for speculating, but Facebook’s decision to have Director of Mobile Partnerships, Emily White shift her focus to Instagram likely means the platform will look to monetize in 2013. Insta has alluded to advertising before, but this move is their first big step towards finally cashing in on their over 100 million active users. Promoted Instagram posts would be a social marketer’s dream come true, but what else can we expect? Verification? Specialized brand pages? Links? Full desktop functionality? Rest assured, big changes are on the way.
2. Facebook Home Takes Mobile to Another Level – “What if phones were designed around people, not apps?” asked Mark Zuckerberg yesterday. Facebook Home turned out not to be a phone like most had imagined, but an app (for Android only currently) that will turn your phone’s home screen into Facebook. Home will allow users access to Facebook Messages, the ability to check notifications and view a constant stream of photos and updates generated by the news feed without needing to remain in or even click into the app. Home will be available for download on April 12th and will come pre-loaded on HTC’s “First” smartphone which is set to be released on the 12th as well. Apple might be a little less willing to let third party applications tinker with their iconic iPhone home screen, but Facebook Home for iOS can’t be too far off.
3. Twitter Diversifies Cards – You knew Twitter wouldn’t let Facebook be the talk of the town for long. Twitter functionality took some major leaps and bounds this week as they announced the expansion of Twitter cards, a function that has revolutionized the way content is shared on the platform. New cards include but are by no means limited to photo galleries, app installation prompts, deep-linking for already installed apps and a music player. If you use Twitter for business, no doubt the wheels were turning halfway through that last sentence. After all, content is king.
4. New Study Says Social Participation Equals Productivity – Just one more reason why your Klout score means more in the workplace than your SAT score. A brand new study conducted by data-cruncher, Evolv determined that employees who are active on four or more social networks close more sales, stick around for longer and handle customer service calls more efficiently. The average Big Fueler uses six or more social networks, so we can’t say we’re surprised.
5. Facebook makes Replies Easier for Brands to Monitor – We’re all still beaming over Facebook’s introduction of the Reply function, and meanwhile, the news just keeps getting better. The “brand-friendliest” social network just announced changes to their API that will make it even easier to monitor comments and replies, and hopefully help marketers get more of a feel for what types of conversations are drawing the most participants within their communities. Developers can now build software that will track comments through three different streams: only top level comments, only replies to top level comments, or both together in chronological order. Big Data just grew a few more sizes.