Good morning, could brands take a hit if Facebook removes “Like” counts?

Instagram recently experimented with removing “Likes” from posts – and now parent company Facebook is considering doing the same on its platform. A spokesperson from Facebook confirmed the company is considering hiding “Like” counts, but had nothing further to share.

The test was first spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong. “Currently, with this unreleased feature, the like/reaction count is hidden from anyone other than the creator of the post, just like how it works on Instagram,” wrote Wong, “The list of people who liked/reacted will still be accessible, but the amount will be hidden.” With rumors swirling that the “Like” takedown could roll out to both Facebook and Instagram, brands with sponsored and/or organic posts should take note and prepare tactics that measure beyond the “Likes.”

Labor Day has come and gone, which means brands and retailers are shifting the seasonal focus to fall. For some brands, like Starbucks, historical location intelligence can be a shrewd indicator of incremental visits based on seasonal product offerings. As Starbucks cranks up its promotions on its cornerstone fall products (like the pumpkin-spice latte), foot traffic analysis by location intelligence company Gravy Analytics found that the drink didn’t actually drive any additional incremental visits when it was brought back to the menu last fall. Gravy Analytics observed, “Average daily foot traffic decreased by 2%. Starbucks customers also didn’t visit their local Starbucks more frequently once the pumpkin spice latte was released. Average daily visits per device remained flat throughout the period.”

This pumpkin spice latte insight marks just one example of how location data can deepen our marketing understanding of customer behavior. And while test marketing and sales data have historically been used to determine product viability, location data can help assess whether that product still has market appeal – or has run its course.

There’s more below, including how your brand’s CMO role can shed light on the company’s vision for growth, and our marketing reading list curated just for you. 

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor


Want to understand a brand’s vision for future growth? Look to the CMO role

Brands are evaluating 2020 plans into the next decade on growth strategies. What a company will do with the CMO role will make a statement. The background of this new executive could provide insight on the growth strategy. The hot debate on who serves as the ‘voice of the customer’ in the boardroom will continue to, and should, rage on.

CEOs must be agile to match consumer needs. In the meantime, CMOs must think like a CEO to both grow and earn a seat in the boardroom. It’s entirely possible that the CMO position may evolve to be replaced as appropriate with a boardroom level role of Chief Growth Officer. This may not just be a title change, but set a new bar for operational and experiential customer whisperers.

– Anand Thaker, martech and growth advisor


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Social Shorts

Tik Tok hooks up with the NFL, YouTube modifies Community Contribution review process

Are #WeReady for some football? The NFL has entered into a multi-year partnership with the short-form video app Tik Tok, according to TechCrunch. As part of the deal, the NFL has launched its official Tik Tok account and started a #WeReady hashtag challenge on the platform, asking fans to post NFL-themed videos using the #WeReady hashtag. “The platform reaches a fast-growing global audience of NFL fans and future fans,” said NFL VP of Digital Media Business Development Blake Stuchin. “Hashtag challenges are a perfect way to kick off the NFL’s 100th season – with fun, new content that will entertain fans.” According to the report, Tik Tok will also have a presence at the NFL’s September 5 season kick-off at Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago. 

YouTube’s new review process for Community Contributions. YouTube announced via its @TeamYouTube Twitter account that it’s making changes to the review process for Community Contributions. Going forward, creators who have opted to turn on the Community Contributions feature will have to manually review any Community Contributions before they are published and check for spam. YouTube said the change was based on feedback from creators. The Community Contributor feature allows viewers to add video titles, descriptions, subtitles and closed captions to videos, and can be turned on so that it applies to all videos on a channel or individual videos selected by the channel owner. Previously, contributed content was automatically published when it received enough reviews from the community. 

An update on YouTube’s safety efforts. YouTube reports it has reduced the number of views on videos that are later removed for violating content policies by 80% during the last 18 months. Per its most recent transparency report outlining its efforts to clean up the platform, the company showed a significant increase in the number of videos and comments that were removed for hate speech, along with the number of channels that were terminated for the same reason. “Spikes in removal numbers are in part due to the removal of older comments, videos and channels that were previously permitted,” wrote YouTube on its Official Blog. During the second quarter of 2019, YouTube removed more than 100,000 videos for violating hate speech policies and terminated more than 17,000 channels for promoting hate speech — five-times more than the number of videos and channels it had previously removed from its platform for hate speech violations. 

What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Ellen Pao: It’s Way Too Early to Talk About #MeToo and Redemption – Wired

Examining Where 8 US States Stand on Consumer Data Privacy Laws – CMS Wire

With Facebook And Google Automating Most Aspects Of App Marketing, What’s Next For UA Managers? – AdExchanger

Websites have been quietly hacking iPhones for years, says Google – MIT Technology Review

Disinformation and the 2020 Election: How the Social Media Industry Should Prepare – New York Stern Center for Business and Human Rights

‘The math is wrong’: Publishers grumble about Google’s ad targeting research – Digiday

When Loyalty Rewards Expire, So Does A Customer’s Loyalty – Forbes

WeChat restricts controversial video face-swapping app Zao, citing ‘security risks’ – TechCrunch