June has been a huge month for the social media world, with lots of new updates and announcements from the top channels. We’ve collated the biggest updates that happened social media in June, for our social media latest roundup.
You’ll notice a theme to this month’s roundup: all things Instagram. The channel is on a roll at the moment and there’s been a tonne of updates from the platform that we’re super excited about.
Instagram launches IGTV
The biggest news of the month without a doubt was Instagram’s launch of IGTV (Instagram TV), a new video app that’s ready to take on YouTube. Bringing a new wave of video consumption to the social media space, IGTV is specifically designed for watching long-form vertical videos up to 1 hour long. Considering 96% of mobile consumption is vertical, Instagram has seen a need for vertical video. Users can watch IGTV on the standalone app, or within Instagram itself and can instantly start watching videos from the creators they follow.
Already, we’ve seen lots of influencers, content creators and brands start using the new channel, but it’s yet to be determined how people are responding to the app in its early stages. Is it really the next big thing, or is it just another platform for people to keep up with?
Currently, the channel is ad-free. There are already plans to create a monetisation option for content creators and Instagram CEO Kevin Syston agrees the channel is “obviously a very reasonable place [for ads] to end up.” so it surely can’t be long before we start seeing sponsored content in this space.
Instagram hits 1 billion monthly active users
As if that all wasn’t enough, Instagram also announced they hit 1 billion global monthly active in June, which is up from 800 million in September 2017. The growth that Instagram has experienced since being acquired by Facebook in 2012 is incredible – the channel now joins the other Facebook-owned platforms in the 1 billion club, alongside Facebook (2.2 billion), Messenger (1.3 billion) and WhatsApp (1.5 billion). Despite all the controversy, people just can’t stop loving Facebook products and Instagram’s crazy growth highlights this.
Facebook announces brand collab platform
With influencer marketing still on the rise, Facebook wants to help facilitate brand and influencer partnerships by introducing ‘Brands Collab Manager’. Currently only available to a limited number of brands and creators in the U.S, the new tool aims to make it easier for brands and content creators to find each other and build their partnerships.
Based on influencer campaign requirements, Facebook will highlight relevant creators with a percentage match, their content category and audience reach. Creators will also have the opportunity to create their own brand collab profiles complete with media kits, videos and stats from previous brand collaborations.
Facebook is putting full focus on the creators here (and won’t be taking a cut from any partnerships made), in order to help aid their visibility among brands looking for influencers to partner with. It’s a logical step for Facebook, but it will need some of the top creators to start using the platform for it to really gain some traction.
Instagram finally let us into how their algorithm works
There’s been a lot of backlash since Instagram decided to ditch the chronological feed in favour of an algorithm in 2016, with people claiming they don’t see content from their favourite Instagrammers anymore. Now, Instagram has shared with us the key elements that affects how they decide which content to show us.
- Interest – Instagram predicts how much you’ll care about a post depending on past behaviour
- Recency – How recently the post was shared
- Relationship – Instagram takes into account your relationship is with the person who shared the post, depending on your interactions with them in the past
Instagram also bears in mind how often you’re opening the app and how much you’re spending on it, as well as how many people you follow, as they want to make sure you’re seeing the best posts in the time you’re on the app, since you last visited.
The update from Instagram was much-needed and although it may not ease everyone’s concern with the algorithm, we now have some insight into how it works and how certain posts are selected for us in our feeds.
Brands focus their influencer partnerships less on vanity metrics
Although many brands already have (or should have) this practice in place, this month Unilever announced they were going to stop working with influencers who use bots to buy followers, in an aid to crack down on misleading audience sizes and fake engagement. The move is part of a wider push to tackle fraud in the digital space. They also confirmed that brands under the Unilever umbrella will never purchase followers and focus on platforms that are working to increase best practice when it comes to influencer and brand relationships.
The statement from Unilever highlights a shift in the influencer marketing industry that moves away from vanity metrics like follower numbers and instead places a focus on quality of content and engagement rates, as this is essentially what garners the best results. Hopefully more bigger companies will now follow suit and advocate transparency and trust between brands and influencers.
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