Since Facebook started in 2004 and is going into it’s tenth year, we expect to see a lot more changes and updates to social. Many social networks have come, exploded and gone. Each year social networks roll out a variety of updates to stay relevant, compelling and viral. We’ve compiled the most notable ones here, from Pinterest’s API to Instagram Direct, these updates will be game-changers in 2014.
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Pinterest API: A great win for businesses that have seen continuous success on Pinterest. With an API, businesses can now collect social data from Pinterest users for smarter remarketing.
+Post Ads: Google’s answer to sponsored ads, promoted posts and sponsored stories by competing social networks that might just trump all native ads. +Post ads enable brands to turn their Google+ content, like a photo, video or even a Hangout, and turn it into a display ad that can run across more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network. Currently in testing mode, this lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream. Just another reason Google+ is moving to the top of our list in 2014.
Instagram Ads: Earlier this year Instagram introduced its first native Ad from Michael Kors with huge results, the brand received a 370% increase in engagement over its regular feed. With over 130 million users, blasting an ad out on Instagram is a surefire way to amplify your social reach, especially in this new visual world.
Instagram Direct: This feature was just added this month, users can now send photos and videos directly to a private inbox. Many believe this is in response to Snapchat’s meteoric rise, which have peaked some brands and advertisers’ interest. The jury is still out on whether or not this will become a popular feature for Instagram users and eventually for new marketing efforts on Instagram.
Photo Timeline Expansion: Earlier this year, Twitter expanded their timeline to include photos and Vine videos in users feeds. As an attempt to become more user friendly and attract more ads, Twitter drastically changed their format, but not without some backlash. Many users are against the change, arguing that the new look is reminiscent of competitors, ruining the unique 140 character structure they love.
Broad Match for Keyword Targeting: Twitter advertisers are now able to connect with their audience based on keywords mentioned in their Tweets. With broad match, advertisers can reach even more members by expanding their target to related words.
Autoplay Videos: Facebook wanted to increase video engagement and saw some results with instream autoplay videos. Sponsored videos will now automatically play without sound to peak users interests. Users can either scroll past or tap on the video in order to play with sound.
Donate button: A huge win for non-profits on Facebook, users can now donate directly on Facebook to nonprofits. Social has played a huge role in helping out whenever disasters strike, and now users can instantly share and donate to causes of their choosing. It’s great to see social do something good as we welcome in the New Year.
Social is becoming more of a two way street, and constantly updating to answer to advertisers, proving themselves over and over again as a way to drive ROI.