In this week's 'Skim: social media speeds past 3 billion users (and other stats you need to know); how Facebook's new platform for original video could change it forever; LinkedIn expands partners program with new capabilities, and what it could mean for your company or brand; YouTube dives into mobile messaging with new features; Google prepares to launch Snapchat Discover competitor; Snapchat's powerful new tool for marketers; the latest social media trends for B2B marketers; and much more...
Skim for all the highlights you need!
1. Social media hits 3 billion users, shows no sign of slowing
There are now 3 billion of us on social media. That's according to the latest stats from We Are Social and Hootsuite, and indications are there's no slowing down: One million people, on average, joined social media every day in the second quarter of 2017.
It's also clear from the reports that mobile is the future, with 2.78 of those 3 billion social media users already accessing social platforms on their mobile devices.
Even more impressive? Facebook absolutely dominates the list of top platforms, with Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram rounding out four of the top 10 social networks in terms of number of active users.
2. Facebook launches Watch, a platform for original shows
Welcome to Watch on Facebook. Launched to a limited number of US users last week on mobile, desktop, and Facebook's TV apps, Watch already boasts more than 30 original shows from publishers.
Facebook's working to find the perfect mix for social video to make video viewing more social than ever: personalized recommendations, the ability to add shows to a personal watchlist, and a feature that links Facebook groups to shows so viewers can connect with each other and the creators.
With original content from the likes of A+E and National Geographic, the social network hopes the 55/45 split of ad revenue in favor of publishers will attract more brands to produce content.
YouTube, Netflix, watch out.
3. LinkedIn expands Marketing Partner program
LinkedIn made 19 new partner additions to its Marketing Partner program, aiming to provide companies more options to drive ROI via the platform.
Spanning in expertise from marketing analytics to audience management and media buying, the three new partner categories aim to help digital marketers gain performance insights, target their audiences more effectively, and find the right campaign management experts to help take full advantage of LinkedIn.
With the new names including Marketo, Hootsuite, and Microsoft Dynamics on the list, it's an announcement that marketers will want to take seriously if they hope to optimize performance and ROI on LinkedIn.
Check out what the update has to offer.
4. YouTube gets more social, enables video sharing and messaging within app
Google's YouTube just made it much easier for users to get social. From videos to messages, the video network has built up the sharing aspects of its mobile app to include the ability for users to send videos to their friends and initiate a chat—all within a new "Share" tab of the app.
The features, originally tested with some users in Canada and Latin America, have now rolled out globally, essentially turning YouTube into a mobile messaging platform much like Instagram and Snapchat. Users can share and chat with a group as large as 30.
The change seems to be an effort by the company to claim some of the social chatter surrounding content on its platform back from other social networks.
5. Facebook begins testing Stories for desktop, live video from Facebook Camera
Facebook plans to expand its Snapchat-esque Stories from its mobile app to desktop, and also wants to mimic Instagram's Live Stories, letting users go live with video or audio directly from Facebook's Camera within its mobile app.
The new Web Stories feature has a selection of Stories appearing in the top right corner of a small percentage of its global users' Facebook desktop interfaces, and the social network already says that it hopes to roll the feature out more widely.
Some users report also seeing the option to go live with video or audio as a part of their story, rather than as a post to their timelines.
Facebook is clearly conducting a lot of tests to find just the right combination to drive user engagement.
6. Google wants in on the Snapchat game, and it's got a platform to do it
Google isn't about to let Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram get away with a popular new format like Stories without a challenge.
The search giant is reportedly working on a new product, dubbed "Stamp", a visual publication format that mimics Snapchat's Discover feature and presents a swipeable slideshow of text, photos, and videos.
The catch? Stamp will likely surface in Google search results, giving the company a massive leg up in terms of traffic and the ability to monetize should the feature succeed.
7. YouTube gives creators new tools to earn cash, beefs up guidelines for monetization
In an update to the video platform's Video Manager set to roll out for all users in the next few weeks, YouTube is helping creators see exactly which pieces of content are earning money, and providing a way for them to file an appeal for videos that aren't.
The changes to the website's guidelines and Video Manager functions come after a public backlash from some brands after their ads accompanied inappropriate video content on the platform. As a result, YouTube beefed up the software it uses to detect objectionable content, and is now appealing to video creators that are concerned their content might be inappropriately flagged, and demonetized.
If you're a creator, you can expect a notification inside YouTube's Creator Studio when the features become available for you.
8. Snapchat unveils powerful new tool for advertisers
Snapchat's taking its advertising game to the big leagues with an all-new Advanced Mode in its ad manager that lets agencies and companies set up automated, large-scale campaigns with the ability to quickly apply defined target audiences.
Snap Inc., which rolled out the Snapchat updates following a new measurement partnership with several groups, including Nielsen and MMA, also added features that automate campaign naming and new ways to format how campaign results are viewed.
9. Tips for targeting older demographics on social media
For many B2B marketers, sometimes your target audience doesn't quite match up with the young, Snapchat-yielding hipster Millennial that spends Saturdays at microbreweries. Targeting older demographics with more purchasing power or influence in a company may take reevaluating which social media platforms you use and what your messaging should be.
Based on stats gathered by the Pew Research Center, Business News Daily highlighted some of the major players from Facebook to Pinterest, and why one platform might be advantageous over another. Older generations might use Facebook more to share articles than selfies, for example, while Pinterest serves as a top platform to match your brand with a particular community's interests.
Check out the full insights to make sure your social media team is maximizing its lead generation opportunities!
10. B2B vs. B2C: social media marketing trends
Though they've traditionally employed different approaches to social media marketing, B2B and B2C companies' strategies might be converging. LinkedIn used to be the preferred platform for B2B marketers, but Facebook has made big strides to reverse that, according to stats from Social Media Examiner and marketing technology company Grazitti.
But which group of marketers uses more live video? What about blogs? Check out the recap for the latest trends and tips.
11. We'll wrap with LinkedIn's new Tinder-like matchmaking service for professionals
OK, it's not exactly Tinder, but the idea remains the same. The business oriented social platform is looking to swipe the feature that made matchmaking app Tinder such a success, and turn it into another reason for users to spend more time on the LinkedIn app. That's right: the company is preparing a swipe right or left feature to let young professionals find industry mentors who can help them climb the corporate ladder.
The feature, now only available to a hand-selected group of mentors in San Francisco and Australia, lets the experienced professionals decide who within or outside their networks can reach out for mentorship—for example, by limiting it to those in their geographical area, or those who went to their alma mater.
LinkedIn is certainly wading into new waters with this one. Hopefully, we won't end up with a LinkedIn for Lovers.