Social Media Sunday: Ads Coming to Your Facebook Messenger Soon, Twitter Smacks Down ISIS
This week in social media, word leaked out that Facebook will start showing ads in Messenger very soon. Meanwhile, Twitter executives bought millions in their company's stock in a move to boost confidence, and Snapchat is rumored to have started delivering detailed ad analytics, possibly resulting in a dip in prices.
It's time for Social Media Sunday!
Ads to Flood Messenger
Facebook is reportedly getting ready to launch ads on the second most popular messaging platform it owns, Facebook Messenger.
Soon Messenger's nearly 1 billion users will be subjected to advertisements, according to a leaked document obtained by TechCrunch. The document leaked by a "verified source" indicates that ads will launch sometime in Q2 of 2016.
Businesses will be able to send users ads and encourage users to start conversation threads with them, undoubtedly expanding engagement, not to mention building a model for Facebook's revenue from the messaging platform.
Facebook didn't confirm the move, but didn't exactly deny it either.
The company responded to TechCrunch's report saying, "We don't comment on rumor or speculation. That said, our aim with Messenger is to create a high quality, engaging experience for 800 million people around the world, and that includes ensuring people do not experience unwanted messages of any type."
So it sounds like it's happening, but at least advertisers won't be allowed to hit you up out of the blue.
Helping Nonprofits and NGOs
While Facebook's biggest self-started NGO, Internet.org, hit a roadblock in India last week, the company is looking to help other nonprofits and NGOs benefit from over 1 billion people who use the social network.
On Thursday, Facebook announced a new website with resources to help nonprofits get as much out of their Facebook pages as they can. Among other things, the site provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Facebook's relatively new fundraising features, along with information on how to garner more "likes" and engagement from possible supporters.
"We are constantly blown away by the ways people and organizations use Facebook -- not just to connect, but to make an impact in their communities and around the world," wrote Facebook marketing manager of social good Joanne Sprague. "This is especially true of nonprofits, who inspire us every day by raising awareness about their causes, activating supporters and raising funds they need to support their organizations. We want to help nonprofits use Facebook more effectively to achieve these goals."
Smacking Down ISIS
In a bad turn for Twitter last year, it became widely believed the social media site had become a global platform for ISIS to broadcast recruitment propaganda with impunity. Twitter has taken steps to change that, and it has been surprisingly effective in tamping down on ISIS.
According to research published this week by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, Twitter's game of "whack-a-mole" -- suspending ISIS accounts or those that associate with ISIS -- has actually worked pretty well.
"We found suspensions typically had a very significan detrimental effect on these repeat offenders, shrinking both the size of their networks and the pace of their activities," wrote GW researchers J.M. Berger and Heather Perez of their findings. "Returning accounts rarely reached their previous heights, even when the pressure of suspension was removed."
Score one for the good guys!
Twitter Execs Buy up Millions in Stock
Twitter was doing pretty terribly on Wall Street after it revealed last week that its monthly active user base had flatlined. But the company's own executives apparently saw the low price as a bargain.
Twitter CFO Anthony Noto and Executive Chairman Omid Kordestani both bought huge amounts of Twitter stock this week, Vanity Fair reported. Noto purchased a quarter-million dollars worth of shares in the company, and, not to be outdone, Kordestani acquired $2 million worth of Twitter stock.
The moves were seen mostly as a way to rally investors and boost company morale after the beating Twitter took on Wall Street last year, but it wasn't just Twitter executives who were buying in. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, also saw the dip in share price as a deal, buying $26.6 million in the company after Twitter tumbled on Wall Street.
Detailed Ad Measurements Yield Lower Prices
Snapchat is reportedly working with app analytics company Tune to provide more detailed insights and metrics to its advertisers, resulting in a downward correction in ad deals with the company.
The unicorn startup and incredibly popular social network is looking to compete with more established platforms for ad dollars. It needs to provide data to marketers on how many people click ads, download advertised apps and open those apps. Tune is helping Snapchat figure out those statistics, though neither company confirmed they were working together.
However, increased analytics likely forced Snapchat to lower the price of its ads. The company was originally charging an incredible $750,000 per day to run a featured campaign. It is now rumored to be selling to some advertisers starting at prices as low as $50,000. Some are (anonymously) saying Snapchat also offered free ads on campaigns the company liked.
Snapchat is denying it has lowered its prices, saying the lower figures were a result of selling smaller ad units and encouraging access to smaller firms and campaigns.
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