This Week in Social

With so much happening in social media of late – we couldn’t pick just one story…So here’s a round up of social news that we want to share with you.

Facebook took an unprecedented step this past week by announcing on Friday afternoon (we believe this is called ‘Friday at fiving’) that it will begin limiting the reach of brand’s unpaid (‘organic’) posts that are deemed “overly promotional” by the powers that be – a.k.a. Facebook’s ever-shifting algorithmically-enhanced newsfeed system. The change won’t be applied to all organic posts, just ones that fall outside of Facebook’s guidelines. No word yet on what these guidelines are specifically, other than that organic posts by brands will now undergo the same process of evaluation as paid posts – re-purposed ads as organic posts are a particular target.

If you’re a digital/social marketer and you’ve ever gone through the back_and-forth process of trying to have a promoted post or sidebar ad approved by Facebook’s algorithms, you’ll know what we referring to here. The other thing to know is that pages churning out a heavy amount of content will see their organic reach severely limited, so as to dial down the number of brand posts that users see in their feeds. Advertising Age points out that while this is ostensibly to satisfy users’ complaints about their clogged newsfeeds, it’s worth considering that Facebook’s average price per ad has jumped by a whopping 274% year-over-year while the network served up 56% fewer ad impressions than a year ago. What better way to force the hand of those brands leaning on organic reach?

Publishers are now selling sponsored content on Instagram and Snapchat, just as they have done for a while now on Facebook on Twitter. The process is simple enough: they create sponsored content, then format it for these two newer platforms. Success is being measured using understandable engagement metrics: likes and comments on Instagram and open rate for SnapChat. If growth rates are to be taken as an indicator of a given network’s success in advertising, then we can expect to see more of these campaigns as their usage continues to grow. SnapChat and Instagram will also have to experience all the risks we have come to associate with advertising in social in that brand will need to guarantee that their content is relevant and engaging for their audience if they want to be successful.

Sorry Redditors: the days of messy, ad-free chaos seem to be headed bye-bye. More news this week that the social network cum content sharing platform cum endless source of ridiculous news stories cum cesspool for misogynist nerds and “bronies” interested in growing into a viable business as Reddit’s chief executive, Yishan Wong, resigned from his position after two years of service. Reddit’s business strategist, Ellen Pao, will now serve as interim chief. That’s not the only shuffle happening at Reddit. With fresh stats showing that the site now attracts 174 million active visitors a month, Reddit is poised for change. They already have raised more than $50 million in investment capital to meet the demand for their growth.

Finally, and this is not exactly news from this week, but we discovered a Wired magazine article about the TSA’s Instagram account that we had to share. We’ll be markedly less annoyed with the lines through the body scanner when travelling by air in the US from now on…

What do you think? Please leave your comment below.