Good morning, is your audience spending more time on Pinterest these days? 

If so, maybe it’s time to take that connection a step further  Pinterest announced a slate of new features for merchants yesterday, including the launch of the Verified Merchant Program, new conversion reporting capabilities, dynamic retargeting options, and updates to product Catalogs. 

Pinterest retailers can now get verified with a blue checkmark badge, making their products eligible for distribution across Pinterest shopping experiences, including ‘Shop the Look’ Pins and related product carousels. Merchants will also get early access to organic and paid conversion insights, and can now use the dynamic retargeting feature globally to reach users who have previously engaged with products. Product Catalogs also got an upgrade and have been optimized to “lessen the time from feed ingestion to Product Pin creation,” Pinterest said. 

In other news, contextual advertising has come full circle. It’s back on marketers’ radar as data privacy regulations and browser crackdowns on cookies greatly limit how data and tracking can be used for targeting digital advertising. A new study from GumGum found that, yes, contextual advertising can be highly effective in the age of machine learning and natural language processing.

Keep scrolling for more news, including a look at the traffic storm across Facebook’s family of apps, and our curated list at the bottom to ensure you always have something to read. 

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor

Social Shorts

Facebook dealing with massive traffic spikes, Snapchat’s Zenly app has a Stay At Home challenge

Facebook’s just trying to keep the system running. With billions of people glued to technology behind (literal) closed doors, it’s no surprise that Facebook is seeing a massive spike in activity across its apps. According to Facebook, over the last few weeks, it’s seen: 

  • Total messaging increases of more than 50% on WhatsApp and Messenger
  • An increase of 70% in Messenger group video calls, and more than double the regular demand for video calls in WhatsApp
  • Overall U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites has increased by more than 50% week-on-week

Why we care: ​​The increased traffic load will undoubtedly put a massive strain on Facebook’s network – an issue Facebook and other tech giants like Amazon, Netflix, and Apple have already been dealing with in the EU. Facebook’s news also pointed to advertiser positions on ad spending: “[W]e’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the company said. Source: Facebook

Snapchat app shows who’s winning at staying home. Snapchat’s location-sharing app acquisition Zenly has gamified shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 outbreak, launching a Stay At Home challenge that shows a leaderboard of which friends have spent the most percentage of the last three days in their homes. Users can see who’s social distancing the best and share stickers of the scoreboard and coronavirus prevention tips to Snapchat, Instagram and other apps. Why we care: It’s simple, yet it’s an example of how online platforms can still offer value while encouraging responsible actions during a time of crisis. Source: TechCrunch


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Mindful Moment

We’ll be sharing daily mindfulness exercises to help us all take some time to decompress during this difficult time. We’d love to share your suggestions, please email me at

Thank you to Abby Reimer, senior SEO analyst at Uproer, who sent in today’s exercise: “Sit in an upright position, close your eyes or soften your gaze, and pay attention to every individual sound. You’ll feel grounded in the present moment as you focus solely on what’s happening right now.”


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What we're reading

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

Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter warn that AI systems could make mistakes – Vox

Troubling signs for out-of-home amid COVID-19 – AdAge

How to Participate in Video Conferencing Calls Without Looking Like a Fool – Digital Marketer

United Nations issues global call to creatives to help spread the word on the coronavirus – The Drum

How to Handle Temporarily Out-of-Stock Product Pages – Moz

How the coronavirus is changing the influencer business, according to marketers and top Instagram and YouTube creators – Business Insider