Social Shorts: New Messenger features, Instagram Threads and SiriusXM’s new CMO
The social media marketing week in review: A round up of news and announcements you may have missed.
This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.
Facebook gives businesses new Messenger tools. Facebook has rolled out two new features for businesses on Messenger and is testing a new dynamic persistent menu and composer. The latest updates include the ability to send images, template quick replies within messages sent in response to a post or comment on their Facebook Page. It has also added app link support for URL buttons shared via a message. “Now when people click URL buttons with the App Link metadata, it will enable developers and businesses to provide a button that will directly open the target native app,” writes Facebook on its Developer Blog. The beta test for the dynamic persistent menu and composer is designed to make it easier for businesses to personalize conversations on the user level. Developers can sign up to be part of the closed beta here: User Level Menu Beta for Messenger.
LinkedIn renames Groups. LinkedIn sent an email to Group Admins to notify them that, in the next few weeks, it would be updating the names for Group types and introducing a separate
Instagram gets creative. Instagram is launching a new “Create” mode in Stories that, according to TechCrunch, will initially highlight an On This Day feature. The feature surfaces previous posts by users that they can share in a Story as an embedded post. “This new
Bad video metrics cost Facebook $40 million. Facebook has agreed to pay $40 million in a settlement with the ad agencies that accused the company of miscalculating video metrics. According to The Hollywood Reporter, most of the payment will go to the agencies that purchased video ads, but $12 million of the settlement has been earmarked for the plaintiffs’ attorneys. Facebook was charged with, not only miscalculating metrics, but knowingly inflating video ad metrics by as much as 150% to 900%, per the complaint filed by the plaintiffs. Facebook agreed to the settlement, but still claims the case is “without merit.” The plaintiffs said, had they gone to trial, they could have received as much as $100 to $200 million in damages, according to the report.
Instagram says goodbye to the Follower Tab. Instagram is disabling its Follower Tab, a feature that allowed users to view likes comments and follows from their connections on the app. The heart tab, where users could view their friend’s activity, will display only the user’s own activity now, according to BuzzFeed News. “People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Instagram Head of Product Vishal Shah told BuzzFeed, “So you have a case where it’s not serving the use case you built it for, but it’s also causing people to be surprised when their activity is showing up.” Shah said simplicity was the driving factor for removing the tab since it wasn’t a feature many were using — or even knew existed.
“Emails from Instagram” helps identify phishing attacks. To help prevent phishing scams, Instagram has launched a new feature that lets users check if an email they received was a legitimate email sent by Facebook or Instagram — or if it was part of a phishing attack. The new “Emails from Instagram” feature is contained within the app’s Security settings and lists every email sent by Facebook or Instagram during the last two weeks. “If you see an email in there then you can be sure it’s legitimate, and you can safely click any links it contains,” reports The Verge, “If it’s not, then it could be a phishing scam, whereby someone impersonates a service to trick you into giving them your username and password.”
Facebook launches app to compete with Snapchat. Threads from Instagram is the company’s new standalone, camera-first messaging app. Similar to Snapchat, users will be able to send text and videos with augmented reality filters to their friends. Unlike Snapchat, though, the app only allows you to communicate with your Close Friends — the private list of VIPs that you designate within the main Instagram app.
Additional information such as a location description, battery level and statuses is where Threads diverges from Instagram’s built-in direct messages. This information can be shared to give your Close Friends an idea of your availability to interact with them. Precise locations are not shown — for example, “At the gym” may display as a status but without the gym’s name or address — and the app does not include a map. Currently, Instagram has no plans to show ads or monetize Threads directly, nor will Facebook use location data for targeting, TechCrunch reported.
Facebook plans to challenge global content takedown ruling. “It undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country,” Facebook said in a statement to TechCrunch, regarding the European Court of Justice’s ruling that it must remove content on a worldwide scale if any of the national courts of its 28 member nations determines that the content is illegal or defamatory.
Facebook currently complies with requests to take down illegal content, but reserves the right to leave it up for global users so long as it obeys the platform’s Community Standards.
Google in talks to acquire TikTok rival. Conversations are being held between Firework, a Redwood City-based company and app used to share short videos with other users, and Google. The app tries to surface viral videos for its users, separating itself from the industry leader by emphasizing an older audience. In a fundraising round held earlier this year, the company was valued north of $100 million and, although the Wall Street Journal reported that pricing has yet to be discussed, the acquisition is expected to cost Google more than that. This potential deal is something to keep an eye on as Google’s dominant position has garnered more regulatory pressure and raised issues of anti-competitive practices at home as well as abroad.
Gartner CMO Spend Survey: Social wins biggest chunk of digital ad dollars
In its latest CMO Spend Survey, Gartner asked more than 400 marketers how their company’s 2019 digital ad budgets would be allocated. Social won the biggest piece of pie, getting 23.7% of digital ad budgets, followed by display ads and video ads. “Overall, CMOs maintain a positive outlook for digital ads, with 78% of CMOs confident that they’ll increase investments in 2020,” reports Gartner.
Based on the survey findings, nearly a quarter (22%) of marketing budgets are going to agencies. While this is still a significant portion of marketing investments, that number has steadily dropped during the last two years: 25% of marketing budgets were allocated to agencies in 2017 and 23% last year. Gartner reports marketing budgets in North America and the UK have shrunk since 2018, dropping from 11.2% to 10.5% this year.
On the Move
Brinker International has promoted Ellie Doty to senior vice president and CMO of Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurant chain. In her new role, Doty will lead U.S. and international brand marketing for Chili’s, managing everything from menu innovation to advertising, media and public relations efforts. “Ellie’s innovative leadership has helped the Chili’s brand achieve positive results in fiscal 2019 and I am confident she will continue to drive success for the business,” said Brinker CEO Wyman Roberts. Doty joined Chili’s in 2017 as the restaurant’s VP of marketing. Before coming to Chili’s, Doty held leadership roles at Yum! Brands, working with Taco Bell and KFC.
Denise Karkos has been named CMO for SiriusXM. She will report to SiriusXM President of Sales, Marketing and Operations Jennifer Witz and oversee brand and digital marketing for both SiriusXM and Pandora brands. “She and her team will execute a cohesive marketing strategy to drive brand relevance and consideration through to customer conversion, with a deep focus on digital, social and mobile marketing,” said Witz. Prior to joining SiriusXM, Karkos served as Ameritrade’s CMO and was named the 2019 CMO of the Year by Ad Age.
Traeger Grills has named Todd Smith as its new CMO. The industry veteran will be focused on brand building and storytelling to help elevate the company as a lifestyle brand and further expand its community. “We’re most excited to bring in Todd for his dedication to culture and leadership,” said Traeger Grills CEO Jeremy Andrus, “Todd’s ability to build and lead great teams to do innovative things will help strengthen what it means to be part of Traeger Nation.” Before joining Traeger Grills, Smith was CMO for EXOS and has held various marketing roles at The Coca-Cola Company.