I’m sure there’s something big happening today. Something at once terrifying and momentous that could plunge the world into chaos over the next four years…..

Something about a game of Top Trumps, is it?

No. My mind seems to be blocking it out for some reason.

Perhaps it’s because there are far more pressing concerns at hand, for this week, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have all been up to their usual tricks, unleashing new updates to their platforms into the wild and changing the way we do our jobs yet again.

Let’s take a look…

Instagram Announces Insights and Ads for Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have only been on the scene since August, but, in world where our favourite apps exist in a perpetual state of beta, the updates have been coming thick and fast ever since the feature’s launch.

And the focus seems to be paying off – Instagram have recently announced that Stories now boast more than 150 million daily users. That’s impressive. What’s more, with 70% of the entire Instagram user-base following a business account on the platform, Instagram says that “one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses.”

Often marketed as a user-feature, this statistic goes to show that innovative marketers like your good selves are keeping abreast of the latest offerings and exploiting them to your advantage. Nice one.

And now we are gifted with two brand new updates that will help us get even more out of Instagram Stories. First up, Stories Insights.

From the Instagram blog:

“In the coming weeks, Instagram Business Tools will now include insights on stories. For businesses converted to a business profile, you’ll be able to see the reach, impressions, replies and exits for each individual story within Business Tools. By viewing these insights, you can learn how to create more relevant content that resonates with your audience.”

Instagram-Insights

(Image source: blog.business.instagram.com)

Pretty cool, huh? As marketers, we love analytics, don’t we – without them, optimisation would be all but impossible, so I for one am pleased with this update. Better stories will make for better leads which will make for better conversion rates from this channel. Nice one.

The second update coming our way is the ability to start running full-screen ads in Instagram Stories. TechCrunch has uploaded a video to YouTube showing us all “What Instagram Stories Ads Look Like”. Check it out…

Currently still in the testing phase, it’s as yet unclear when we’ll all get a chance to start dabbling with this new feature. But here’s what Instagram says we’ve got to look forward to:

“Ads in stories will let you use targeting, reach and measurement capabilities that make your ads personally relevant to the people you want to reach—which is unmatched in a stories experience today.

“To unveil this first-ever, full screen ad to Instagram Stories, and create the most impact for businesses and Instagrammers alike, we’ll test with 30+ clients around the world, including: Capital One, Buick, Maybelline New York, Nike, Yoox, Netflix, and Qantas. With roughly 70% of watched stories being sound-on, this immersive, full screen nature creates an intimacy with people like never before.”

Sounds amazing – really looking forward to this one.

End of the Twitter Dashboard App

Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And the Twitter Dashboard app mortality.

I’m beginning to think that there is enough material to fill a whole PhD thesis on the subject of classical poets foretelling the slow but sure demise of Twitter-associated apps and features.

You will recall that we first brought this spooky phenomenon to light back in September when we noticed that Auden’s 1938 poem ‘Funeral Blues’ had in fact been written to portend Twitter eventually putting an end to its 140-character limit some 68 years later. Then, just six weeks after this, it suddenly dawned on us that Dylan Thomas’s famous villanelle ‘Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night’ from 1947 had been warning us about the death of Vine all along.

And now Emily Dickenson’s at it. I must say that Dickinson’s ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’ displays the greatest foresight of them all. First published in 1890, it’s nothing short of a wonder that such an accurate prediction could have been made.

But yes, long story short – the Twitter Dashboard will be no more as from February 3rd 2017.


In a series of tweets, Twitter Dashboard has told the Twitterverse that “In the future, we hope to bring the best features from Dashboard to the broader Twitter community”, and that “All your scheduled Tweets will still be posted as scheduled and can be seen/updated from @tweetdeck”.

Having only launched this tool in June, it certainly makes me wonder if the grand finale will be the death of Twitter itself. Perhaps I’ll start digging through the Shakespeare canon to see if there are any clues.    

Facebook Experiments with Enhanced Ad Retargeting

Finally, a scoop from Adweek – Facebook is updating its ad retargeting features to enable advertisers to deliver more ads to Facebook users based on their web browsing behaviour.

Retargeting is a powerful tactic. In fact, we covered the very subject only a few weeks ago, and so I refer you to our post ‘Facebook Custom Audiences: How to Retarget Your Facebook Leads’ for the low-down on how the feature works.

This update, however, brings even more flexibility to the offering.

“For example,” Adweek blogger Lauren Johnson explains, “someone who has been looking for red dresses across multiple retailers and also likes Facebook posts and pages about dresses could automatically be served an ad for a red dress. In the past, advertisers have only been able to single out folks who specifically looked at a product on their website or mobile app.”

Facebook-Dynamic-ads

This is a big update for Facebook marketers. The power of retargeting is not to be underestimated. The ability to serve up a highly-tailored advertisement to a consumer on Facebook based on the exact products that they have already been thinking about purchasing is a conversion-driving wonder. Now, with this new update, the process has been made even simpler for advertisers.

I’m going to give the last word to Maz Sharafi, director of product marketing at Facebook, on this one, as he breaks down just how process-simplifying dynamic ads are set to become:

“It automates the process of who it can show products to. It takes out a lot of the trial and error and complexity of being able to do this in a manual way. For example, to sell 1,000 products you have to create almost 1,000 different ads to reach those products to different people. With dynamic ads, you’re effectively creating one ad.”

Wow.

That’s it! Provided there’s no apocalypse between now and then, I’ll see you all next week!

james-prideaux
Written by James Prideaux

James was born and raised in the heart of Leeds. As our social media executive he keeps on top of the cutting edge technology in the social stratosphere and creates and develops streamlined social strategies for all our clients.