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Instagram, now with more than 400 million users, announced a growth strategy to improve the advertising experience through partnerships with 100 companies (the first 41 were unveiled – including Hootsuite). They will initially focus on improved planning and buying processes, consumer insights and content creation tools. Supported by Facebook’s data/targeting, Instagram is likely to become the new social media advertising norm. According to Instagram, 1 in 5 minutes spent on mobile are used on either Facebook or Instagram.
“It will be interesting to determine what opportunities pharma may have in the Instagram space, specifically with advertising. How can we support our clients with breakthrough Instagram strategies that put them ahead of the pack and in front of their target audiences? Leverage Facebook and Instagram targeting to get the right messages in front of the right people at the right time.”– Christina Hanlon
If you’re still smarting from Twitter’s abandonment of the ambiguous “favorite” button in favor of the less versatile heart, you’ll be pleased to hear that Twitter is exploring a new response system that would allow users the ability to select from a wide range of emojis. Twitter user @_Ninji reported catching a glimpse of the feature, still in development, which lets users select a grimace, frown, party noisemaker or a couple dozen other symbols in place of the heart or star.
“Twitter’s move follows the recent announcement that Facebook is looking to supplement the “like” button with a wider range of reactions (initially referred to as a “dislike button”). If you think about it, it’s strange that for so long we’ve been limited to such simple, binary response buttons. Clearly the time is ripe for more nuanced alternatives. But I predict that making it easier to respond with an expressive emoji will make people less likely to respond with more meaningful text. And the ambiguity will sometimes be difficult to translate for our clients. Before you know it, we’ll be writing media monitoring reports with sentences like, “your tweet announcing FDA approval received 11 retweets, 4 winks, 2 tears (of joy, we think) and a monkey.”– Julian Suchman
Two stories that came out recently highlight how Facebook is thinking about growth, and the focus is on emerging markets. The first is a new internal initiative called 2G Tuesdays, in which employees will be prompted to use the social network’s mobile app through a super-slow 2G connection, the kind typically used in emerging markets in places such as India and Africa. The second was the introduction of a new ad unit called Slideshow, a video substitute which uses a series of 3-7 images to create an up to 15-second slideshow. It’s designed to play on slow networks (again, common in emerging markets) where video is less likely to play smoothly.
“Facebook’s approach here is a great reminder for those of us in the communications business to put ourselves in the shoes of our audience. We can come up with the most exciting, interactive programming in the world, but if our audience can’t access it or has a suboptimal user experience, it’s a waste of time and money. We could all take a cue from Facebook and spend time every week thinking about things from our audience’s perspective.”– Josh Baldwin