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Facebook Debuts Original News Shows on Monday; Advertisers Gain new AR tools & More Headlines from the Week Ending July 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

Welcome to Facebook Friday, your weekly recap of headlines, news and notes.


Facebook Is Getting Its First Big Fine Over the Cambridge Analytica Scandal (Fortune)

The U.K.'s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, said this week it’s going to fine Facebook approximately $600k because it said it broke the law by failing to protect people’s information and it wasn’t transparent about how its users’ data was being harvested by third parties.


New Facebook AR Ads Will Enable Users to Virtually Try On Products (Social Media Today)

Facebook’s looking to take its augmented reality tools to the next stage with a new ad type that will enable users to virtually try on different products, like make-up and sunglasses, direct from their News Feeds.

Users will be able to click the ads' "tap to try it on" button to superimpose a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses on their face to see how they look, and then make a purchase directly in the app. Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, Wayfair and King will start testing the AR ad format later this summer.

Video Creation Kit Launches (TechCrunch)

TechCrunch reported this week that Facebook is rolling out a new Video Creation Kit, which will enable brands to create video assets from still images for ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network. Planned release to all advertisers is slated for August. According to weight loss company Noom, which has been testing out these tools, the resulting videos performed 77 percent better than the static images.


Facebook Announces News Programming for Watch, Releases News Schedule (Social Media Today)

Last month, Facebook announced its upcoming slate of exclusive video news programs for Watch. Now, rather than relying on an algorithm to highlight the news of the day, Facebook will be able to choose the publishers it works with - so if you want news content on the platform, you can just switch over to Watch. It all starts July 16. Check out this video promoting the news service debut. 

Facebook Will Begin Testing a New Highlights Option for Facebook Stories Content (Social Media Today)

Facebook confirmed this week that it will soon be rolling out a new Stories Highlights feature for profiles, similar to what’s currently available on Instagram. This comes only weeks after Facebook rolled out its Stories Archive for Facebook Stories, giving users an option to save and re-share their best Stories content.


Facebook in Talks with Soccer's Cristiano Ronaldo for Reality Show (Variety)

Facebook is in talks to develop a reality show about global soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for Facebook Watch. The Portuguese player may get paid about $10 million for a 13-episode show on the social-media giant’s video platform for TV-style content. Ronaldo has more than 120 million followers for his official Facebook page, making him the most popular athlete on the social network. He also is one of the most-recognized sports celebrities worldwide as a player for the Spanish pro team Real Madrid.

Separately, Facebook won the live broadcast rights to show English Premier League soccer games in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which have an enormous following of British games, per The Times of London. The social network paid £200 million ($267 million) at auction to show each season's 380 games, topping bids from BeIN Sports and Fox Sports Asia.

Instagram Officially Launches Question Stickers in Stories (Social Media Today)

While it had already been seen in expanded testing, Instagram has now officially confirmed that it’s rolling out its new ‘question sticker’ for Instagram Stories to all users. Along with regular and ‘emoji slider’ polls, the tool could give brands, in particular, another way to gather feedback from their audience, with questions relating to new products, ideas, opinion, etc.

Facebook Will ‘Figure Out’ Ads on WhatsApp but Is Focusing on Business Tools for Now (AdWeek)

Facebook is hopeful about its plans to build out WhatsApp’s offerings for business accounts, but it’s staying mum on whether ads might be coming to the encrypted messaging service.

In the immediate future, Facebook’s focus is on building tools that will make WhatsApp a friendlier and easier platform for businesses. And with that investment comes monetization opportunities. For one thing, WhatsApp has said it’s testing enterprise business tools for big companies like airlines and banks that want to communicate with consumers on the messaging service. Neither the WhatsApp Business tools nor the enterprise tools include the ability for businesses to target WhatsApp users, a WhatsApp spokesperson said.


Instagram rolls out ‘time well spent’ tools, Facebook sets off its own July 4th fireworks & more headlines from the week ending July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018

Welcome to Facebook Friday, your weekly recap of headlines, news and notes.


Feds expand probe into Facebook’s data sharing practices with Cambridge Analytica (Washington Post)

Representatives for the FBI, the SEC and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries about the two companies and the sharing of personal information of 71 million Americans. This is on the heels of Facebook recently releasing more than 700 pages of answers to lawmakers’ questions from the congressional hearings in April.

Walmart, P&G see their ads pulled under Facebook's new political labeling policy (Marketing Dive)

Just a week after new disclosures for every ad, Facebook hit its first speed bump. The social media company initially pulled ads from Walmart and Procter & Gamble because they contained political themes but did not include a "paid for by" label now mandated under the platform's policies. Walmart's ad discussed "bringing jobs back" to America, while P&G's was for LGBTQ pride and the marketer's "commitment to inclusion." Facebook later reversed its decisions.


Instagram rolls out tools for users to encourage ‘time well spent’ on the app (Social Media Today)

This week, Instagram announced that it's rolling out its new 'All Caught Up' notifications to all users, which will inform you of when you've seen all the new content posted by profiles you follow. Also, a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature is in prototype. This will allow users to shut off notifications from the apps for 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, eight hours, one day or until they’re turned back on manually.

Facebook adds Stories archive, enabling re-use of Stories posts (Social Media Today)

Facebook is expanding the roll out an archive option for Facebook Stories, the same as what Instagram provided for Instagram Stories late last year. For brands, that could provide more motivation to invest additional time and effort into Stories content. While the initial impetus for Stories was to create immediate, disappearing content, it can be difficult to justify spending too much time on them, knowing that they'll be gone the next day.


Facebook provides new tools to view all ads being run by pages (Social Media Today)

Not to be out-done by Twitter and its Ads Transparency Center launched this week, Facebook also released its ad transparency tool, providing new insight into the ads being run by any Page, at any given time. Two options now available:

  • View Active Ads – The first element enables you see all the ads that any Page is running across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, as well as Facebook’s partner network.
  • More Page Information – The second component is Page information, which will enable users to view recent name changes, the date the Page was created, and more to come. This will be available on all Pages, even those that don’t advertise.

 From a marketer’s perspective, you’ll now be able to view all the ads being run by competitors and get a better understanding of how they’re looking to boost appeal to their Facebook audience.


Facebook Is killing off three under-performing apps acquired in recent years (Fortune)

Due to low usage, tbh, a platform for providing positive feedback to friends, Hello, a service that helped Android users combine information from Facebook with their phone contacts data, and a fitness app called Moves were all dropped this week.

Bacardi tests Instagram's IGTV with fan-directed music video (Mobile Marketer)

Bacardi this week will create what it says is the first music video directed entirely by Instagram users in real time, according to a statement shared with Mobile Marketer. The "Live Moves" video will feature dancing duo Les Twins and premiere on IGTV, Instagram's new long-form video hub, as part of the rum brand's broader "Do What Moves You" campaign.

Facebook sets off its own fireworks in inadvertently blocking patriotic posts (multiple news outlets)

Example 1: A newspaper serially publishing the Declaration of Independence on social media this week got an unexpected surprise: Facebook had blocked one of the posts. The Liberty County Vindicator, a newspaper in southeastern Texas, had been posting portions of the Declaration on Facebook each day leading up to the Fourth of July. But the tenth installment of the foundational document didn't post -- and Facebook said it was because of hate speech.

"Somewhere in paragraphs 27-31 of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote something that Facebook finds offensive," Casey Stinnett, managing editor of the Vindicator, said on the paper's website Monday. "The Vindicator received a notice from Facebook saying that the post 'goes against our standards on hate speech.'" They later rescinded the block.

 Example 2: Facebook was called out by country artist Wes Cook Band after it prevented the group from using the social network's paid tools to promote its song "I Stand for the Flag." The Nashville-based group released a video on Facebook Monday. They planned to promote it for 24 hours using the paid promotion tools that the social network provides. The request was initially approved and then rejected by Facebook, which cited the video’s "political content," according to the band. Late Tuesday, Facebook told Fox News that the decision has been overturned.

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