May 17rd, 2016:  Mega-Influencers take a hit, Instagram proves it had a point all along, and Google takes another swing at the social game:

True Confessions of a Social Media Executive

The mega-influencer wave may have peaked. A recent confessional released on DigiDay by a social media exec has annihilated the mega-influencer strategy, citing the epic sums of money lost and overall hassle that working with mega-influencers can entail.
The exec’s prediction? “Brands are going to start realizing the amount of followers you have doesn’t mean shit. Just because photos look good and have 200,000 followers means nothing.” Wise words. Want to see data on why engaged reach is worth way more than size of potential audience? Check out our blog on it here.

Instant Gratification from Instant Articles

The results are in: Facebook Instant Articles are driving some serious revenue for publishers. IGN reported a 20% increase in ad revenue compared to non-Instant Articles, because of the increase in impressions and reach.

Facebook maintains that it isn’t prioritizing Instant Articles over other ads within its algorithm, but regardless, more people are clicking on the Articles and thus they’re showing up higher on news feeds. The publishers who are using Instant Articles seem unlikely to poke holes into the system, considering their ads are now reaching double the number of people on Facebook than other posts are.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Looks like there may be a new spot for video advertising in the near future: in the wake of the slow death of Google Plus, Google has announced an upcoming app called Spaces that helps users consolidate and collaborate their video watching and usage with other friends.

The app is technically a messaging platform, but it hopes to bring a lot more to the table than conversation. Built-in app tools will include Google search capabilities, YouTube browsing, and even web browsing; once you find something cool, you can invite your friends to a “viewing party” and watch it all together. Video advertisers, start getting in line.

Life is Full of Second Chances

You know all of those ads on your Facebook feed that basically say, “We know what shirt you just considered buying, want to consider it again?” Those ads are about to show up on your Instagram feed, too.

Facebook is rolling out retargeted ad products to Instagram under the new name “Dynamic Ads”. Why the new name change you ask? It’s because they’re not just going to be pitching products on Instagram: travel brands will also use Dynamic ads to advertise hotel rooms to people about to take a trip.

Instagram Says, “I Told You So…”

Remember all of that drama over Instagram’s new algorithm? Brands are accepting a consolation prize from the photo-sharing platform: their organic reach is throttled, but the ads that they have no choice but to pay for are definitely working.

Instagram’s video ad strategy is winning over brands left and right for two main reasons: the videos aren’t costly to run and they’re even less costly to produce. It may still be a higher cost for brands than their old Insta-strategies, but the fact that video watch time is up is a strong sign that the algorithm shift was a good move.