Category Archives for "Social Media News"

February 20, 2017

YouTube To Eliminate The 30 Second Ad

No more YouTube 30 second adWell here’s a bit of good news. I know that most of us hate sitting through even the skippable 5 second pre-roll commercials that run before YouTube videos, let alone the 15 second ones that you have to watch all the way through. What’s even worse though, is having to watch a full 30 second ad that you can’t skip and seems to go on forever. It looks like YouTube now agrees with us as it recently stated that it will no longer allow 30 second un-skippable ads as of 2018.

The fact of the matter is that most people grow frustrated after about 10 seconds of an ad and leave for something else, especially if a timer tells them how much time is left. While that might be a factor, most observers feel that this decision isn’t based on users react to being held captive by an ad. They believe that the real reason that YouTube is taking these steps is because it’s fear of Facebook, which has recently revealed that it will soon only allow ads after a video has run for at least 30 seconds. That means no pre-roll ads, which I think will be a big selling point for users watching Facebook videos going forward.

That said, YouTube will still continue to have un-skippable ads, they just won’t be as long as 30 seconds. YouTube’s options for advertisers include ads that can only be skipped after five seconds, as well as un-skippable ads that run for 15 or 20 seconds. It also offers un-skippable bumper-style ads of up to six seconds.

Believe it or not, Google has said that those long video ads deliver results for advertisers even when users are able to skip the ads. Viewers who watched skippable ads all the way through, or for the full 30 seconds, were 23 times more likely to visit the advertiser’s channel and subscribe, and 10 times more likely to engage with it.

So even while they’ve been effective, the 30 second ad will soon become extinct on YouTube. 2018 can’t get here fast enough.

February 15, 2017

Facebook Is Facing User Fatigue

Facebook user fatigueFacebook may be the largest social network by far, but it appears to be suffering from a severe case of user fatigue in the United States. A recent study found that the satisfaction level of the platform has decreased across all age groups, with ages 35 to 44 decreasing the most.

Much of this has been traced back to the recent election, when more posts became political in nature. As a result, many users began to unfriend and unfollow in an effort to avoid the resulting online social confrontations that would happen. When that didn’t work well enough, many began to visit Facebook less and less, and now many have even fled the platform to other social networks.

Who’s the major beneficiary of this user fatigue? Instagram. One of the top 2 reasons why people use Facebook is to share photos and videos, and Instagram provides a perfect alternative.

The big question going forward is, “Will the number of negative posts decrease as we get further from the election, or will they maintain with the public so divided?” It’s too early to tell, but my guess is that we’re in a new world where the political differences are greater than ever, and Facebook posts will continue to reflect that.

That said, Facebook does have a very sophisticated algorithm that decides what you will see in your newsfeed. While there are reportedly thousands of factors involved in the algorithm, one of the major ones is what you tend to read or view. If you view politically oriented posts regularly, Facebook will gladly serve up more to you, so the simple way to avoid those types of posts is to stop reading them.

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how the algorithm works and are inclined to react when they see something negative, so this will not work in in their or Facebook’s favor in the future, as more and more people flee to other platforms.

February 9, 2017

YouTube Launches Mobile Live Streaming And Super Chat

Mobile Live Streaming - Super Chat

YouTube’s new Super Chat feature

YouTube just launched it’s long anticipated Mobile Live Streaming along with a monetization tool called Super Chat. There’s a catch though. You need at least 10,000 followers to have access to these features right now, although the company says it will be available to everyone at some point and baked into the mobile app.

While it’s cool that Mobile Live Streaming if finally here, YouTube has some catching up to do, since Facebook Live, Periscope, and Instagram Live have already established themselves with users, and you don’t need 10k followers to access them either. YouTube should have been dominating this space for a while, but instead will be playing catchup.

One interesting add-on to Mobile Live Streaming is Super Chat, which allows broadcasters to monetize the chat during a broadcast. What happens is that if a viewer wants to get the attention of the broadcaster, they’ll make a payment (there’s not much info about how that’s set up yet) which will then highlight the message and keep it pinned to the top of the page (see the graphic on the right). This remains there for up to 5 hours.

Many YouTube broadcasters are complaining that there are no filters yet supplied with Super Chat in order to keep some of the more vile comments that frequently happen now during a live stream at bay. Remember this is an early iteration of the feature though, so hopefully it will improve over time. You can see how this would be useful to a broadcaster with a lot of followers though.

Again, the big problem with Mobile Live Streaming and Super Chat is that they’re so late to be launched. Facebook is making a substantial dent in YouTube usage, which may turn into a landslide when it gets its monetization features online. In the meantime, if you have 10,000 followers, give Live Streaming a try.

How Fan’s Video Copies Sold Adele’s “Hello”

Hello video copiesWe all know how powerful video can be when it comes to having a hit, but a recent analysis of Adele’s “Hello” by Pexeso really drives the point home that video copies play a huge part in fan awareness. The site tracked the hit song over a period of 101 days, starting on its October 22nd release date on YouTube, and found out a lot about the popularity of video on various social platforms.

  • First of all, more than 60,000 copies of “Hello” were found across eight popular social media platforms. 45% were published on YouTube, while Facebook accounted for 29% of copies, followed by Vine, which accounted for 12.9%.
  • Even though Facebook had far fewer copies published than YouTube, Facebook still garnered over 2x more video views than YouTube. According to the site, Facebook racked up an average of 73,083 views per video, whereas each YouTube video of the song amassed an average of 23,095 views per video . Vine actually ranked higher than YouTube, with an average of 49,904 views per video. Of course, as you’ve seen by my recent article on the subject, all platforms measure what a view is differently, with Facebook being particularly generous in that regard.
  • Facebook was the leader in terms of engagement though, with 41,436,124 cumulative likes and shares on all video copies, and 15,634,315 on the original. Believe it or not, Google+ came in at second place with 1,715,636 engagements on video copies and 1,496,299 on the original. While it may seem a little lopsided that copies of the song beat out the official uploaded song, remember that there were far more user-generated copies available. One thing here that was surprising is that copies of the music video received over 2.5x more engagement than the source video over the course of the survey.
  • Speaking of copies, the official video was copied and uploaded extremely fast. It took just 2 minutes and 7 seconds after “Hello’s” music video was published to Adele’s VEVO channel on YouTube for the first copy to appear on Facebook. It took slightly longer  for YouTube, at 3 minutes and 12 seconds later. 18 minutes and 48 seconds after its initial release, the first Vine clip of “Hello” surfaced.
  • Despite all you hear about YouTube and the record labels being tough on piracy, only 16.9%  of the 60,055 copies of “Hello” that were located were removed via takedown request. 36% of those takedowns came via YouTube, but they accounted for only 13% of the 27,033 total copies published to the site.

This is indeed a strange new video world we live in that’s asymmetrical in nature. It can’t be assumed that the results on one platform will be matched by another, or that one is better than another. One thing’s for sure, if the fans like your song or music video, it will for sure make it’s way onto every available social platform available.

[photograph: Egghead06 via Wikipedia]

How Video Views On Various Platforms Are Counted

video viewsVideo views are an important measurement for not only artists and bands, but record labels, advertisers and sponsors. A high number of views can lead to not only to label and sponsor interest, but also has a snowball effect of more viewers wanting to watch as well. When it comes to monetizing video views though, the problem is that most services like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all measure what they consider a “view” differently.

According to an article on Business Insider, there are 4 factors that determine a view:

1. Whether the video autoplays or was user initiated

2. The required amount of time spent watching the video

3. The amount of video that’s on the screen

4. Whether the video is played in the app or embedded in another site

Let’s look at what the qualifications for a view are on some popular platforms:

  • Facebook is the most liberal with what it considers a view. If a video is autoplayed for just 3 seconds, and it’s 100% on the screen for desktop or 50% for mobile, it’s considered a view.
  • For Snapchat, as soon as a video is played, even with autoplay, it’s considered a view if it’s 100% in view and played in the app.
  • With Instagram, if the video is played for 3 seconds either in the feed or upon opening a story, and it’s 100% in view in the app only, it’s considered a view.
  • For Twitter, the video can be autoplayed, and as long as it’s watched for 3 seconds and is 100% in view either on mobile or desktop, it’s considered a view. This counts across all platforms and embedded posts as well.
  • For Vine, autoplayed Vines that are watched all the way through are considered a view, but only user-initated are counted for longer videos as long as a certain % of the total video is spent watching. The videos must be 50% in view for Vine, and 100% on Twitter.
  • YouTube is much tougher than any of the above. The video has to be user initiated, and it has to be viewed an indeterminate % of the total video length. For advertisers, it has to be 50% in view, but that includes all devices, all platforms, and embedded posts.

As you can see, not all views are equal and some of the view numbers you see can be taken with a grain of salt as a result.

October 6, 2016

The Best Times To Post On Social Media

best times to postWhen it comes to social media promotion, the time of day that you post can be just as critical as the content that you’re posting. There are some generally accepted post times that apply to the various networks, but some new research has tweaked those a little. Hubspot took a look and came up with the best times to post.

Remember that we’re looking at primarily a United States audience. It’s best to combine Eastern and Central time zones, since that represents almost 80% of the U.S. population, so all the times below are Eastern. Obviously, for audiences located outside the U.S. you’d use the time zone that your audience is in. Let’s get into it.

1) The Best Times to Post on Facebook

The overall best time to post on Facebook is 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, but other good times include 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. tend to see the highest clickthrough rates. Although the research says that Facebook use spikes by 10% on Fridays, I’ve personally not seen that happen. In fact, Friday always seems to be the worst day of the week for engagement, at least for me. The overall worst times tend to be before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m.

2) The Best Times to Post on Twitter

The best times to post on Twitter are weekdays from 12:00–3:00 p.m. and at 5:00 p.m. The overall best day to post is again Wednesday and the weekends, which is also when the clickthrough rate is highest. According to the article, some businesses have also had success with 2:00–3:00 a.m., 6:00–7:00 a.m., and 9:00–10:00 p.m. post times, although I’ve personally found those times (except for 6a.m.) to be dead.

3) Best Times to Post on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is used by professionals, and they tend to use it mostly during working hours, and just before the workday starts or after it ends. That means that the best time to post is midweek from 5:00–6:00 p.m. Other optimal times include Tuesdays from 10:00–11:00 a.m., and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:30–8:30 a.m., at 12:00 p.m., and from 5:00–6:00 p.m.

As for the best day, Tuesdays tend to see the most clicks and shares, especially between 10:00–11:00 a.m., while Mondays and Friday’s see lower engagement rates than the rest of the workweek, which is typical of most social media. As you would expect, the worst time to post on LinkedIn is during the night, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

4) Best Times to Post on Instagram

The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00–4:00 p.m., which is a surprise. Videos tend to perform best any night of the week between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., according to TrackMaven’s research, which is also a surprise.

These may be some times that work for others, but they may not work for you. It’s still best to use the above times as a guideline, and check other times as well to find the ones that best fit your audience.

September 29, 2016

Study Says To Use Facebook Live If You Want To Reach Millennials

facebook live millennialsIf your audience is composed of millennials, then it’s time to start using Facebook Live, according to a new report by UBS. The company surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers aged 13 and up on social media usage as well as video consumption and found that Facebook’s relatively new service is the go-to service for that age group, followed closely by YouTube and Snapchat Live Stories, according to an article in Investors Business Daily.

When it came to social platforms, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn  and Snapchat had the highest monthly average users, which continues to fly in the face of reports that Facebook is no longer popular with millennials. That said, Facebook’s popularity was boosted by its Instagram media-sharing service and WhatsApp messaging service, in addition to a pure Facebook presence.

69% of monthly Facebook users return daily, mostly because the platform is becoming much more than social interaction. Facebook is now a hub for news, events and content with a wide reach that the majority of people use in their daily lives, which differentiates it from all other social platforms.

Although Facebook Live is hugely popular to millennials, the company still is at a loss for how to monetize the content, much to the chagrin of content creators. The company has been testing a “buy button” on its News Feed posts for two years, which lets users purchase items without leaving the platform. “The majority of respondents who are Facebook users have not heard of the buy button (58%), while nearly half of Twitter users (45%) stated the same,” UBS said however.  Twitter and Pinterest have also been testing buy buttons.

Once again, when it comes to social media, it’s important to go where your audience is. If its the 13 to 24 age group, then it’s wise to be on Facebook Live. The idea is that, as of now, you’ll be using it as a promotional tool instead of expecting to make money from it.

September 19, 2016

Here Comes Twitter Video Complete With A Revenue Share

twitter-videoTwitter video is a relatively new element for the service, and it’s being generous in that it’s will to share what it makes from it with content creators. What’s more the company is even giving the lion’s share to the people that make the videos as well.

In an effort to boost a stagnant user base, Twitter is really going for with video, offering a full 70% of the ad revenue to the video creator. This beats YouTube by a lot, since the split there is 55% to the creator, and Facebook still hasn’t figured out how to monetize video views, leaving users with little monetary incentive to post other than a higher view rate on the platform.

Individual content creators can qualify for this new feature by signing up for its Amplify Publisher program, which to date has only been accessible to companies. Once they’re approved by the company (after a quick application process), they can check a box to elect to have pre-roll ads run against their video.

The company is also offering a new media library for creators with any sort of media, including videos, GIFs and images. This also enables tweet scheduling and planning, and provides more tools for managing multiple accounts. Content creators can now manage their videos — and the money they’re making from them — on the desktop as well as on mobile with the Twitter Engage app.

It’s worth noting that if you don’t already have a fan base on the network, Twitter video may not be worth paying attention to. As always, a good online plan of action is to become as accomplished as possible on a single platform before moving to another one. YouTube and Facebook both have a number of positives that go beyond monetization, so making money shouldn’t be the only reason for Twitter video to become a part of your social media strategy.
September 8, 2016

How Facebook Determines What’s In Your News Feed

facebook-algorithmFacebook is the most important social platform for many artists and bands, but the problem is, once you start to get good at using it for promotion, FB goes and tweaks the Newsfeed algorithm, which changes everything works. TechCrunch recently posted an great overview on how the FB News feed works, as well as a whole list of algorithm tweaks, which I’ve copied below. What’s even better is that each tweak leads to an post specifically about it, so there’s a wealth of Facebook info if you’re willing to read for a bit.

Here are all the News Feed change announcements so far:

High Quality Posts From Pages – Timely, relevant, from a source you trust, you would share it or recommend it, genuinely interesting and not trying to game the News Feed, not low quality or a meme, wouldn’t complain, doesn’t get hidden, complete Page profile, fan base overlaps with other high quality Pages.

More Relevant Ads – Fewer ads that other people hide, Fewer ads similar to ones people have already hidden

Higher Quality News – More links to high quality articles, Fewer links to meme photos, related articles to ones you clicked, highlighting stories with new comments

More Status Updates From Friends – More text status updates from friends, fewer text status updates from Pages, more link share stories from Pages, fewer text updates with embedded links from Pages

MoreStories About Topics You Like – Page posts that tag another Page may be shown to followers of the tagged Page

Cleaning Up News Feed Spam – Fewer Page posts that explicitly ask people to Like, comment, or Share. Fewer Page posts that have already been shared by that Page, fewer spammy links that use inaccurate language or formatting to trick people into clicking

Focusing On Explicitly Shared Stories – More explicitly shared stories from third-party apps and fewer implicitly or automatically shared stories

Showing Better Videos – More videos people watch and watch for a long time, more videos to people who watch videos and fewer videos to people who skip videos

Fighting Click Bait – Fewer links that don’t tell people much about what they’re clicking to, fewer links to web pages where people don’t spend much time and come right back to Facebook, more links to web pages where people spend a lot of time, more links to web pages people talk about after visiting and fewer links to web pages people don’t talk about after visiting, more stories with links shared with the link format and fewer stories with links in the description or caption of a photo or video.

Incorporating Feedback About Ads – Using surveys about why people hide ads, fewer similar ads to ads someone hid because it wasn’t relevant to them, fewer ads shown to anyone that people hide because they were offensive, more heavily weighting the hides by people who infrequently hide ads

More Timely Stories – More stories that reference current Trending Topics, more stories shown soon after they’re posted if people Like them soon after they’re posted but Like them less later

More Control Over What You See – When you hide someone’s story, you can select to see less from that person in the future without completely unfollowing them

Reducing Promotional Page Posts – Fewer posts that solely push people to buy a product, install an app, enter a sweepstakes, or that reuse the exact same content from ads.

Minimizing Hoaxes – Fewer posts that people flag as hoaxes or delete after posting because they are scams or deliberately false news

Showing More Content From Friends More posts from friends instead of Pages, fewer stories about friends Liking or commenting on a post, more posts from the same sources for new users without much content in their News Feed

More Stories You Spend Time Reading – More stories that other people spend significantly more time looking at in their News Feed than other stories.

The See First Feature – A new feature lets you choose friends or Pages whose stories you want to see first at the top of your News Feed

Accounting For Differences In How People Hide Stories – People who hide an extremely high number of stories in their feeds including ones they’ve Liked and commented on will have their hides taken less into account by the News Feed algorithm

Incorporating Actions Taken On Videos – More videos that people turn on the sound for, watch full screen, or watch in high definition.

Improving News Feed For Slow Connectivity – Fewer videos and more status updates and links shown to people with slow Internet connections, re-showing stories you’ve already loaded if you have no Internet connection

Incorporating Reactions – More stories similar to ones you react (just as with Likes)

Surveys To Reduce Low Quality Viral Stories – Fewer viral stories that surveys say people would rather not see

Offline News Feed – When someone has slow connectivity, Facebook will re-rank previously downloaded stories by relevance and display them instead of a loading symbol

Incorporating Qualitative Feedback – More stories that surveys and qualitative research show people would be likely to both rate highly and engage with

Matching Reactions And Stories – Over time, Facebook hopes to show people more stories similar to the ones they React to in a certain way, so people who often use the “Haha” Reaction see more funny stories

Showing Live Videos When They’re Live – More Live videos shown while they’re currently Live

Incorporating Time Spent Viewing Sites – More links to Instant Articles and mobile web pages loaded inside of Facebook that people spend more time viewing, fewer posts in a row from the same Page

Prioritizing Friends And Family Over Pages – More stories from humans you care about, and fewer stories by businesses and news outlets

Punishing Clickbait Headlines That Mislead Or Withhold Information – Fewer news stories purposefully trick people into clicking by omitting or exaggerating core details

You can read the rest of this incredibly informative post called Ultimate Guide To The News Feed.

New Twitter Features May Make Promotion More Difficult

New Twitter FeaturesMany artists and bands have found Twitter a great place to promote themselves and their music, but that just got a lot more difficult with the implementation of some new features. New Twitter features include Notifications settings and especially a Quality Filter, which will mean that an artist’s strategy for using Twitter will have to change in order to be successful.

The new Notifications settings will give users the ability to limit notifications to only people they follow on mobile and on twitter.com. The individual Twitter experience will continue unchanged if it’s not selected. Managing notifications is now also easier in that you can now access them directly from your notifications tab.

The real change comes with the Quality Filter though. When turned on, the filter looks at a variety of post data, including account origin and behavior, to select the types of posts that you see. Lower-quality content like duplicate tweets or content that appears to be automated from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience will no longer be seen. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with, depending on your preferences. This can turned on or off in your notifications settings. The feature is also designed to learn and improve over time in updates in the future.

What this means is that if you duplicate a morning post in the afternoon to hit a different audience, it might not be seen by the people that you’re targeting. Likewise, if you are set to automatically tweet from a blog or Facebook post, that may also be filtered out. It’s unknown whether a 3rd party scheduled post from a service like Hootsuite is affected.

We’re still not sure what the algorithm of the Quality Filter actually takes into account, so there may be other types of posts that may be affected as well. The best thing to do at this point is to continue to post custom tweets, and keep the automation to a minimum.

As with other social networks, user experience is the prime directive, and that’s what these new Twitter features aim to improve.