Platform News July 2018

Posted on July 24, 2018

Promoted Job Postings on Facebook, IGTV on Instagram and Sound Responding Lenses on Snapchat - A lot has happened on the platforms over the past month! Read more about the latest features on Facebook & Co.


Introduction of ads within Marketplace: In 2016, Facebook launched its virtual flea market called ‘Marketplace’. The feature lets users discover, buy and sell items on the platform within a local community. Recently, Facebook planned to expand its Marketplace offering that ranges from used vehicles and home rentals to jobs and home services. Now, Facebook announced that it will be possible to place ads within Marketplace in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They will appear alongside other products and services in Marketplace. By selecting Automatic Placements, ads can be shown within Marketplace from now on. At the moment it is not yet possible to book Marketplace in Germany. The new placement could become especially interesting for clients who want to target for an explicit search behavior placing their own products and services within organic content on the search result pages.

Promoted Job Postings available: In March, Facebook expanded its job finding function to 40 countries, including Germany. Job-seekers can find job postings when they click on the new ‘Jobs’ bookmark in the Explore section or on Marketplace. They can set job alerts and when they want to apply for a job, the application form automatically fills in job history and other information from the Facebook profile. With the help of Messenger applicants can have a direct conversation with their employer. Now Facebook announced that it is possible to promote Job Postings. Page Admins can share the Postings directly on their Page and they will also appear within the jobs section in Marketplace and in the users’ Newsfeed. Advertisers can promote the Postings via Ads Manager with a detailed targeting.

Facebook made Lead Ads available for further objectives: Previously it was only possible to book Lead Ads with the objective Lead Generation while the algorithm focused to deliver the Ad to users who were most likely to generate a lead. However, starting in June Facebook will allow advertisers to book Lead Ads in combination with further objectives, such as Brand Awareness, Reach and Traffic. This can be especially interesting for clients who want to combine their branding and direct response marketing measures.

Facebook announced the release of new features for Dynamic Ads: These are Categories for Dynamic Ads and comment moderation. Categories for Dynamic Ads enable advertisers to reach users early in their customer journey. The new feature increases personalized product recommendations on brand or category level to drive results further up the funnel. Advertisers need to supply a creative catalog of images for each category to use this feature. Facebook will then match the product categories to users most likely interested in the category. This feature is currently limited to commerce catalogs and is not yet available for travel, real estate or automotive while supporting Traffic, Conversion and Catalog Sales objectives. Furthermore, the new comment moderation feature enables advertisers to extract comments, likes and product IDs for Dynamic Ad Posts to monitor and moderate their Dynamic Ads.

Reduction of impression measurement partners: In May, Facebook announced that it would reduce the number of partners for external impression measurement to a few select partners: Initially these are comScore and Nielsen. They will be integrated via a server-to-server connection. Facebook started to notify advertisers with accounts that have spend or impressions tied to third-party view tags in the last 90 days by in-product messaging on the upcoming changes. On July 1st new campaigns using view tags from providers with server-to-server integration will be moved to the system in which view tags count impressions only. All existing campaigns that use view tags of the providers who enable server-to-server implementations will be moved to the new system starting on October 1st.

Facebook announced changes to Custom Audiences: To provide additional transparency for users and remind partners and advertisers to comply with its recently updated terms and conditions, Facebook will launch changes to its Custom Audiences. As of July 2nd, Facebook will introduce a new upload and sharing flow within Ads Manager and the Ads API. All Custom Audiences created from a customer file will be required to go through this flow starting on that date, whether through Ads Manager or the API. Further, every business uploading a file must accept the terms and conditions. For the sharing of Custom Audiences, Business Manager admins need to initiate and accept an ‘audience sharing relationship’ and as well the existing Custom Audience terms when establishing the relationship for the first time. An audience sharing relationship enables a business to share audiences with another Business Manager. However, audiences can only be shared in one direction. When advertisers upload data, they need to indicate how the data was collected (first or third party data). On the other hand, users will see additional details around Custom Audiences in the ‘Why Am I seeing this?’ module of an ad. Specifically, in addition to the advertiser's name (which already exists), Facebook will show new information around the data origin highlighting if the customer file was provided by partners. Furthermore, it will be indicated whether a person was matched to the audience by their phone number or email address. The changes will be enforced starting on July 2nd.


Facebook started to roll out Automatic Placements to Stories: Following the success advertisers have seen with placement optimization across Instagram Feed and Stories, the platform started to roll out Automatic Placements to Stories. This means that the default behavior of ads on Instagram changes and that they will be automatically switched on for Feed and Story. Previously, ads targeting Instagram without specifying the position were only served to the Feed. Starting on June 4th, Automatic Placements will be available for some ad accounts. Facebook eventually plans to roll out this behavior to all ad accounts later this month. As always, advertisers who are looking to only display on Feed or Stories can continue to do so by specifying the position.

Instagram enabled advertisers to add shoppable tags to their Stories: They allow users to shop directly within the app. After testing the feature in 2016 with only 20 partners, the platform will now roll it out to a broader audience. Instagram Stories with approximately 300 million daily users give advertisers a compelling way of driving sales by launching this new feature.

Ads Manager will enable delivery of organic Instagram Posts: Instagram rolls out an anticipated feature, which allows advertisers to run organic Instagram Posts through the Ads Manager. Therefore, advertisers do not have to use the Instagram app to do so. The reach of organic posts like videos and photos can be extended through auction bidding while allowing for several objectives, such as Brand Awareness, Reach, Video Views and Post Engagement. As Facebook announced, it will take until the end of June for the feature to be rolled out to all accounts. Other formats and objectives will be added later.

Instagram launched IGTV: Five years after the launch of videos on Instagram and after announcing 1 billion monthly active users, the platform introduced a new (organic) feature called ‘IGTV’. It is a video standalone surface that features longer videos all in a vertical, full-screen format. The new format can be reached when users open the Instagram app and tap on the small TV icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Videos play automatically and can be discovered easily. They are curated, focusing on creators a user already follows or structured in channels to discover new content. Anyone can be a creator and upload videos in the app or on the web. Businesses can make use of IGTV to get closer to their audiences and to be discovered by new people. Advertising might become possible in the future.


Twitter expanded the delivery of In-Stream Video Ads: For the last months, Twitter was testing a new Video Ad format running in-stream. According to the platform, the In-Stream Video Ads will be displayed within compelling, brand-safe video content, allowing marketers to capture potential consumers’ attention when they are most receptive. Test results showed a lift in brand metrics performing above the platform’s internal benchmarks. In the US Twitter partnered with more than 200 video publishers, including top TV networks, teams from major sports leagues and professional news outlets like Business Insider, CNN, Condé Nast Entertainment or Reuters. Now the platform announced that it will make the ad format available to all advertisers and within self-serve in 12 global markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, UK, and US. We keep you up to date when the new format will be rolled out to Germany.


Snapchat launched sound responding lenses: Until now, Snapchat lenses were only triggered by facial gestures like opening your mouth, raising your eyebrows and other motions. Now Snapchat launched lenses responding to sound. The first of these lenses come as an animal-like filter. When users speak or make a sound the ears of the mask expand – the louder the sound the greater the expansion. According to different online magazines, the platform will roll out further lenses during the next weeks. The sound lens might also become bookable as an ad format for advertisers.


LinkedIn started to roll out Sponsored Content Carousel Ads: They can include up to ten swipeable cards. The feature will include standard metrics for measuring a campaign's performance, such as clicks and impressions for every individual card while also including click-through rates and number of leads. The interactive feature allows advertisers to promote attention-grabbing content within LinkedIn’s Newsfeed.


Pinterest launched Promoted Videos with max. width: Two years ago, Pinterest launched its first version of Promoted Videos. The platform worked on that format and now started to test a new version of Promoted Videos with a new max. width. The format spans wider than the standard format in feeds and search on mobile. It is available in a 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratio so brands can use new and existing creatives. Thereby advertisers get the possibility to use a format that is much easier to spot and more likely to drive brand awareness and impact. Promoted Videos with max. width will be launched later this year but it is still not possible to advertise on the platform in Germany. 

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