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This week on #SubjectToChange: Among all the eclipse hype (you do you, MoonPie .. but cereal was the real winner of the day), Facebook made another huge move for ad dollar domination, Instagram upped its community engagement capes, and LinkedIn got some skin in the realtime video game.
Live, From Instagram
It’s U + Me = Us. Instagram now lets you go Live with a friend. The new “Live Guest” feature allows users to invite anyone who’s watching to join their Instagram Live stream, and taps into a key trend among its younger users – virtual hangouts.
What it means in IRL: Instagram is hoping to succeed where other live-stream apps have struggled and failed (RIP Meerkat, Blab), while playing block & tackle with Snapchat … which still only allows users to broadcast from a single perspective. Unlike Facebook Live – hosts & guests get equal facetime via splitscreen, a la news broadcasts. Why you should care – the feature opens up a whole plethora of possibilities for brand content, influencer partnerships, and consumer engagement.
Make it Work: Current state, it’s only available to a select number of users but that doesn’t mean you should wait to start planning & testing its programming capabilities among key brand influencers and your brand-owned Instagram feeds. The key to success lies in the ability to create compelling content in real-time: Influencers can co-host programming together or with multiple guests, run Q&As with followers, share dual perspectives from high-interest events, among other ideas – and then save the broadcast to Instagram Stories for amplified reach and engagement.
For Your Coworker Who Wants More ‘Direct Response’
Insta also made community engagement remotely possible by adding comment threads to posts (finally). You can now reply directly to any comment and your response will be nested underneath it in its own thread, Facebook style.
Did Someone Say Cross the Streams?
No longer just an add-on to in-feed sponsored posts, you now have the option to only buy in-stream video ads on Facebook (select publishers & creators), Audience Network or both. It turns out, context matters: FB reports that more than 70 percent of its in-stream video ads that are 15 seconds or fewer are watched to completion.
Does this mean the rise of the Facebook Star? Too soon to tell. But if its early success stands – this has major implications for brands, publishers and influencers as Facebook aggressively starts competing with Youtube, Hulu and TV for share of ad dollars, especially if they’re able guarantee brand safety better than Google in their new commitment to transparency around the great unknown that was Audience Network. Think greater revenue share and exclusive content partnerships with high-demand publishers and influencers – and higher ad premiums for brands.
Don’t Tell the Michael Scott in Your Office …
All those heart-to-hearts can now be posted on LinkedIn, in real time. LinkedIn rolled out native video in its mobile app (only available to top contributors, naturally). The move makes it easy for influencers to share their personal work hacks, conference access, or take followers BTS on their day-to-day (or all three – looking at you and taking notes, Gary Vee).
Clearly, huge implications for the B2B space – and cross pollination opps with the B2C influencers you’re already working with to tap into their business, content and audience know-how.
So Much Video, So Little Time
With a new video platform or capability literally launching every week (see above) – video content is going to be increasingly important – especially around key shopping periods.
Google just published this think piece around Youtube trends for back-to-school … granted, this is at least a month too late … but it has some decent insights for Halloween & the Holidays. The TL:DR: if you’re not tapping into influencer- and consumer-generated video, you’re going to be fighting a losing battle.