October 22, 2019: Reddit now lets iOS users share to Snapchat; Facebook updates existing features to improve on-platform experiences; Educators use TikTok for learning; Instagram and Pinterest push for personalized experiences; Fortnite makes hundreds of thousands of people watch nothing on Twitch
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
Reddit and Snapchat Team Up for Content Sharing Integration
Reddit and Snapchat have teamed up for a new integration of the two platforms that allows iOS users to share links and image-based posts on Reddit directly to Snapchat.
Tell me more.
To use the new sharing feature, Redditors who have Snapchat installed on their devices can tap the “Share” icon on posts in the Reddit app, then select Snapchat to share the post with friends or post it to their Stories. Snappable content will be limited to posts from “Safe for Work” communities and communities in good standing on the platform, and will appear with a new sticker designed specifically for this integration that includes the Reddit logo and source information. If the recipient also has the Reddit app installed, that person can swipe up on the Snap to visit the post. If the recipient doesn’t have the app installed, that person will be directed to the App Store to download it.
What’s Snapchat saying?
“Reddit empowers discovery and discussion that many Snapchatters love. With this integration, Snapchatters will be able to share interesting posts they find, adding new context and conversation-starters to their Snaps. As shared Snaps drive engagement back to Reddit — this helps advance the power of community and connection across both platforms.” – Ben Schwerin, VP of Partnerships at Snap Inc.
What’s Reddit saying?
“Snapchat is the first platform partner with whom we’re testing a content sharing integration, and we’re excited to see how the feature will shape the sharing habits and experiences among our users. We hope the integration empowers redditors to share Reddit content more frequently, while simultaneously exposing new users to the unique content only found on Reddit.” – Vaibhav Sahgal, Head of Growth Product at Reddit.
Cut to the chase: what are the benefits for both platforms?
For Reddit, whose audience tends to skew male and elder millennial, it’s hoping to increase traction with Snapchat’s younger user-base while also providing another way for Redditors to promote their content and drive more discussion. On the other hand, the inverse holds true for Snapchat, which also benefits by tapping into a new creator-base that skews male and a little older, while also gaining access to more content.
While music and streaming services have long relied on this kind of content sharing to reach new audiences on social networks, an integration between somewhat competing social networks is almost entirely unheard of. However, if executed correctly, it could hold tremendous value for both platforms involved – especially in a space that is so heavily dominated by Facebook & Co.
Additionally, it’s likely that we could begin to see other challenger social media platforms form similar integrations with each other that would improve and increase the distribution of content, while also keeping brand safety and appropriate attribution in mind. Could Twitter and Twitch be next? Too soon to tell.
With 330 million monthly active users, advancing ad options, and now, new ways to cross-promote Reddit content on another trending platform, marketers have the opportunity to consider Reddit in their 2020 planning.
Facebook Updates Creator and Advertiser Experiences
Over the past two weeks, Facebook has made a plethora of updates aimed at improving creator and advertiser experiences on its platform.
Search Ads Availability: After almost a full year of testing ads in News Feed and Marketplace search results, Facebook has rolled out search ad placements to all advertisers. The ads will appear in results for search terms that have commercial intent (think: e-commerce, retail, or auto verticals) and will have the same layout as News Feed ads.
STC POV: Facebook’s platform is saturated with ads to say the least. So what does Facebook do? Create more space. With search ads, advertisers have yet another destination on the platform through which to reach their target audiences – an area not over-saturated with ads (yet).
“Suggested Time” Feature: Facebook is testing a new “Suggested” option within its post scheduling feature for Pages, which would allow Page admins to reach their audiences when they’re most active on the platform.
STC POV: While similar functionalities exist in social media management tools, none of them use Facebook’s own internal data. What’s interesting is that this test comes on the heels of the release of Instagram and IGTV scheduling features, which allow creators to publish and schedule their Instagram Feed and IGTV content up to six months in advance. While “Suggested Time” is currently only being tested on Facebook, if this feature eventually finds its way to Instagram, it could prove beneficial for creators looking to schedule content in advance without sacrificing engagement.
Removal of Gray Verification Badges: Starting October 28, Facebook is removing the gray verified badges meant to show Page authenticity. The badges, which were gained via an application process, were primarily used by SMBs to prove their Page’s legitimacy.
STC POV: Symbols of social proof are only as useful as they are easily understood in an instant. Where Facebook already has blue verification badges that easily communicate proof and value in the moment, the addition of gray badges only caused confusion among users, signaling the need for their removal.
Changes to Organic Page Impressions: Between now and October 28, Facebook is changing how repeat organic page impressions are calculated. Specifically, the platform is focused on reducing duplicate metrics based on the same person revisiting a page and/or posts, resulting in a number that is more representative of how many unique people have actually seen a piece of content (vs. counting repeat viewers).
STC POV: While, in the short-term, page administrators may see a dip in organic impressions (which isn’t exactly new news), in the long-term, page administrators will be better able to compare impressions generated from organic and paid efforts since the two numbers will now be calculated the same way.
For marketers, if you haven’t already, capture Q4 2019 benchmarks now so you can see how your organic performance is affected after October 28.
TikTok Pushes for Educational Content
TikTok in Schools? TikTok as School? What’s going on?
Across the US, “TikTok Clubs” are popping up as after-school extracurricular activities. In the clubs, students come together to create content for the platform by dancing, singing, and acting. TLDR; students are forming drama clubs, but the audience is other TikTokers and their audiences could span farther than the walls of a high school auditorium.
Educators are embracing the tool as a creative outlet in the same way that they embrace other theatrical, musical, and dance clubs and teams. Just like those more traditional clubs, TikTok Club has been a way for students to come together and work on something as a team, focusing more on the group rather than individual success.
In India, a newly launched program utilizes the bite-sized clips [to] educate across a variety of topics from math and science to language learning, health and wellness, mental awareness, and motivational content.
Eleven percent of Gen Zers use TikTok daily and 12 percent use it weekly. There’s no use in trying to stop the platform from permeating the hallways of schools and being a part of the daily conversation on a myriad of topics. Instead, educators have found a way to use the platform’s power in a way that stimulates personal and academic growth.
In the Indian market, this program would be the first of its kind for TikTok, which was chosen due to its increased adoption of mobile video content and its 200 million monthly users of the platform. Expansion by the platform into e-learning could be a way to assuage and prove its usefulness as a public service to local Indian authorities, who banned the platform in April over claims it was promoting illicit content.
TikTok democratizes creativity and education. On the platform, virality (or even “success” for that matter) is not based on what you look like or your inherent popularity in the same way that other social networks operate. In other words, it’s not about a race to get the most followers because content exposure is not dependent on social metrics (i.e., likes, followers); it’s based on the actual content itself. This frees creators from the confines of algorithms placed on them by Big Social and results in content that is highly engaging and, as seen above, continues to contribute to and positively shape cultural moments.
Instagram and Pinterest Lean into Personalized Experiences
Ok, one at a time. What’s going on with Instagram?
Instagram is testing a feature to let users group accounts into lists. Some lists may be auto-generated from the platform, such as “Least Interacted With” and “Most Shown in Feed,” calculated over the course of the last 90 days. Others may be self-aggregated, such as accounts based on interests (i.e., sports, fashion, memes), which aid in users’ abilities to create alternative feeds centered around interests.
Cool, what’s Pinterest up to?
Last Tuesday, Pinterest launched a new “Home Feed Tuner” that gives users more insight into what factors impact the content being surfaced on their home feeds and more control over what they see. With the tool, users are shown the boards, topics, followed accounts, and recent history activity that determine recommendations in their feed, and they can remove these signals if they’re not relevant.
For both platforms, the feature released speak to a growing industry trend towards personalization based on users managing their own experiences formed directly from their personal attributes and preferences. As seen on both platforms, customization tools don’t need to be insanely complex in order to excel at creating a unique user experience. Instagram’s follower categories are setting the foundation for tools to come by creating a feedback loop that its existing API can use to curate those unique experiences. More and more, we’re seeing that the technology behind its API can’t express what is “Good” and “Bad” because content is contextual. The API is not end-all, be-all for personalization; without direct validation from the user, it can draw the wrong conclusions.
“Fortnite: Chapter 2” Anticipation Drew 400k+ People to Literally Watch Nothing for Two Days
You read that right. The game was pulled last week in anticipation of the release of Fortnite: Chapter 2. During the drought, the game’s production company, Epic Games, streamed a black hole for nearly two days. The stream managed to capture around 400,000 views and maintained its top spot on Twitch.
Impressive. Tell me more!
Impressive is right. The cultural relevance of the game is mindblowing. From the memes the game has created to its integration into esports and its ability to launch personalities to mainstream stardom (we’re looking at you, Ninja), Fortnite has proven itself to be more than just the game of the moment.
Fortnite turned online multiplayer games into appointment viewing, just like any other show on primetime television. Taking Fortnite away without an explanation or time of return was a strategic move by Epic Games and Fortnite to take advantage of cultural permanence and hold people’s attention to watch – and we can’t emphasize this enough – literally nothing.
The fact that a singular game can inspire this level of cultural obsession is impressive and it isn’t a trend that we see going away anytime soon. But what’s more interesting is just how much the creator ecosystem relies on Fortnite as a place to generate content. Even when the game is unplayable, it still manages to occupy the top spot on Twitch. Creators are essential to this hype engine as they are often the ones in the know about these updates before they’re released. Their excitement spreads to their followers and only further pushes the promotion of the product.
Additionally, it’s refreshing to see the evolution of fandoms throughout generations. This is the modern day equivalent of camping outside and waiting in long lines for tickets, but this time fans are showing up to be a part of what happens next and then watch their favorite streamers play the game.