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Andy's Round-Up: WhatsApp ads are shelved and goodbye to the IGTV button

Andy27th January 2020

Facebook is shelving adverts on Whatsapp

🤔 What happened?

Facebook has reportedly decided to scale back the use of advertising inside WhatsApp.

💡 My take

Facebook, and more specifically WhatsApp, have scrapped the idea that they're gonna put ads on the platform. It's an interesting move because they need to monetize the platform but still can't find a way to do it properly. There's been a lot of backlash about having ads on WhatsApp, not least from the original founder of WhatsApp. But as we saw last week when WhatsApp announced catalogs for businesses, the relationship between WhatsApp and businesses is going to be significant. From a consumer to business play, WhatsApp is really strong, especially in having that direct relationship. Expect to see more from a consumer to business direct scenario with WhatsApp in the future.

Instagram is dropping the annoying IGTV button

🤔 What happened?

Instagram is removing the IGTV shortcut button from the top right corner of the home screen.

💡 My take

Another one from Facebook's suite of products is Instagram. They've now scrapped Instagram TV from the navigation at the top of the Instagram app. Basically, IGTV is Instagram's rival to long-form video networks like Youtube, but in their removing IGTV from the primary navigation I have a feeling that they haven't really seen much growth in this area. Plus, it is all about short-form video.

Vine is back and it's called Byte

🤔 What happened?

Vine is back and only now it's called Byte. It brings back the 6-second looping videos we all grew to love.

💡 My take

If you remember a couple of years ago, Twitter bought an app called Vine, which was then discontinued. Now, there's Vine 2, otherwise known as Byte, which is a six second video looping app. This is coming in to try and encroach on TikTok's growth so it will be interesting to see what happens with that. I don't think there's gonna be much additional space for another app like that because TikTok are really flying. So basically, going back to TikTok, I have a feeling that you're going to see fantastic growth from advertising on that platform if the audience is right for you.

Instagram's VP of Product provides insight into hidden like count tests

🤔 What happened?

Instagram has provided a little more insight into the thinking behind the hidden like count tests.

💡 My take

Going back to Instagram, you may recall that they began testing removing likes on the platform back in April because they thought that having likes displayed on posts encouraged people to actually delete their content if they couldn't get enough likes in the first 5 - 10 minutes or so. They thought that by removing likes, more people would create content. Whilst we don't know all the results of those findings, what they have said is that they have seen total engagement go down as a result of removing likes.

Advertisers see early promise in TikTok's self-serve ad platform

🤔 What happened?

Advertisers with beta access to TikTok's self-serve ad platform are, for the most part, optimistic about their attempts to reach marketplace parity as an ad-supported platform.

💡 My take

TikTok has just launched its self-serve ad platform which allows you to buy ads directly on the platform. Snapchat took two years to launch a self-serve ad platform so TikTok is really maturing quickly.

Changes could be coming for Twitter's Explore Page

🤔 What happened?

Twitter has been working to refine its Explore listings of late as Twitter product designer Martin Craster puts a call out asking for user feedback.

💡 My take

Twitter has announced some updates to the Explore tab. Twitter is really driving organic growth at the moment. While the feed is pretty much dead, lots of things are happening around the Explore tab so keep an eye on that.

Andy does a round-up of social media news every week. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn to get it first.

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