Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - the Latest Developments

Facebook_Instagram_and_Twitter_the_Latest_DevelopmentsThe world of social media is changing so rapidly, even we find it difficult to keep up.  And the last couple of months have been particularly busy ones. So we thought it would be useful for us to share the most significant updates of the past 60 days and to bring you up to speed.Facebook - Updates to the News Feed & Video Advertising (perhaps)Facebook is reportedly contemplating offering brands the ability to serve 15 second video ads in users' news feeds, according to a report from Bloomberg. The report claims that users will not see more than three 15 second spots per day.The sheer scale of Facebook's user base, as well as the ability to target ads demographically, should be appealing to advertisers, but the service is by no means definite. According to Bloomberg, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already pushed back the launch twice over fears of a user backlash.What is definite is that Facebook is changing its news feed algorithm. This isn't news in itself - Facebook is continually tinkering with its algorithm to ensure that its users are served the updates that they want to see. However, this change is more significant than most.In short, when deciding which updates users will see, greater weighting will be given to the relevance of a post to that user and its overall popularity in terms of likes, shares and comments. Relevance will be determined by analysing what sort of posts a user 'likes', what posts they 'hide' and how often they interact with friends.The good news for page owners is that great content should reach a wider audience than before. Timing will become less of a factor as popular posts will have longer 'shelf-life' - appearing in user news feeds that they wouldn't have done under the old system. In tests, Facebook Pages saw an 8% increase in likes, shares and comments as a result of the new algorithm.Instagram - Advertising (Just Not Yet) and VideoMark Zuckerberg, CEO of Instagram's parent company Facebook, revealed at the end of July that advertising is probably coming to Instagram, but that the priority at the moment is growing the footprint of the photo and video sharing social network.Zuckerberg also announced that Instagram had reached 130 million monthly active users and that the recently launched 15 second video product was 'growing really quickly.'The popularity of the new video feature, launched on 20th June, has been clear by its impact on Twitter-owned rival Vine, which has been sinking down the AppStore charts since Instagram Video's launch. The new service, which features video specific filters and a 'Cinema' function which stabilises wobbly hand shot videos to make them look as if they were shot professionally, has already proven to be popular with brands. Starbucks and Nike were amongst the first to create and share Instagram video offerings.Twitter - Experimenting with New Ways to Tailor AdsTwitter - aware that too many promoted posts may drive away users - is faced with the conundrum of how to increase ad revenues without necessarily increasing the number of ads served to its users.  Its solution - to offer better targeting solutions so that the ads can be sold to advertisers for a premium i.e. not more ads, but better ones.So Twitter is experimenting with utilising advertiser-supplied email  and browser-related information so that promoted tweets need only be targeted to users who are on brands' email lists or have visited their websites.  Users will have the option to 'opt out' of this form of advertising if they feel it is too much of an invasion of their privacy.This service is only available in the US at present and there have been no indications to date as to when it may reach the UK.