James Allen runs through the latest in social media marketing news, including an update to Facebook Metrics & Reporting tools, Instagram’s video content update, Facebook’s closure of Atlas ad server, and more.
Facebook Updates Metrics & Reporting
On 16 November, Facebook updated its metrics and reporting tools to give “more clarity and confidence” about the insights Facebook provides.
The update improves a number of features, providing Facebook advertisers and partners with more granular data. It is a large update that has brought changes to various features of Facebook’s reporting and metrics – here are some of the biggest changes:
Third Party Verification
Facebook has increased third-party verification, which is designed to give publishers confidence in the metrics Facebook provides them with. To do this, Facebook has given partnering reporting companies permission to collect data on how many times publishers’ ads are viewed. This data is given alongside Facebook’s to show verification that the reporting is accurate.
Regular & Clear Metric Communication
Facebook has put in place a new internal reviewing process for metrics to make sure all data is clear to understand and as up to date as possible. Facebook has said that it will communicate with publishers in a number of ways.
- Through Facebook’s client teams – important metrics will be communicated through publishers’ teams.
- In-product definitions – updates will continue to be communicated in-product by Facebook where partners buy ads or access reports.
- Metrics FYI – Facebook is making a blog called Metrics FYI which will keep ad publishers up to date on any changes that are made to the metrics section.
A few more new features were mentioned in the blog, including improved page insights, follower counts, and more. Read Facebook’s coverage to learn more.
Instagram Gets an Update
Instagram received an update on 21 November that brought a few new features to the social media platform.
Much like many other social media sites recently, Instagram has launched live video. This feature gives users the ability to watch live broadcasted videos right from their Instagram feed. The new live feed feature allows users to broadcast or watch other users Instagram stories live. Users can broadcast live on their story and when they’re finished the video is no longer accessible.
The second feature brought to Instagram with the update is called Instagram Direct. This feature is much like Snapchat, where self-deleting video messages can be sent to individuals or groups through private conversations. It’s not possible to replay Instagram Direct videos - once the video has finished on the receivers device, the video automatically deletes itself. Instagram Direct is accessible via a box with a paper airplane symbol, and Instagram Direct video snaps can only be sent to people who follow you.
Instagram’s Direct feature went live on the date of announcement, while Instagram Live will be rolling out slowly over the next few weeks.
Facebook Shuts Down Part of Atlas
On 18 November, Facebook announced it was closing down the ad serving section of Atlas.
In an update posted on the Atlas Solutions ad server website, Facebook announced that the ad serving section of Atlas would soon be closed down.
Beginning today, we’ll start winding down the ad serving portion of Atlas. We believe Atlas will have a greater impact and create more value for advertisers by focusing on measurement.
The Atlas ad server was popular, and it has had lots of advertisers use it. Although Facebook refused to comment on how many advertisers have used it to date, the blog post states that more than 300 advertisers have used it in the past 18 months. Due to the fact that there are still many advertisers using Atlas, Facebook said that it will try to smoothly move Atlas advertisers over to a different platform.
We understand the impact this will have for some clients, and we’re committed to making the transition as smooth as possible. We will provide support over the next few months to our current ad serving customers as they transition off the Atlas platform’s ad serving capabilities.
Only part of Atlas will be closed down, as Facebook wants to keep it to focus solely on measurement, rather than ad serving.
Facebook Eliminates Part of Its Marketing Partners Program
Facebook will remove the ‘media buying’ specialty from its Marketing Partners program.
The Marketing Partners program media buying specialty was set up by Facebook in October 2014. It is a reward status given to companies by Facebook as approval of them helping other brands to purchase ads and manage their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Since its launch two years ago, only 12 companies have earned the media buying specialty, and four of those were agencies. These agencies will be hurt by Facebook’s removal of the media buying specialty, as they weren’t awarded any other specialties – so when media buying is eliminated, they will drop off the Facebook partner list.
Facebook is not removing any other specialties, or any other aspects of its Marketing Partners program, but as of 31 December 2016, the media buying specialty will be no more.
More Social Media Marketing News and Advice
Read last week’s social media news roundup: Facebook Creates a Messenger Bot Analytics Tool
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