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Andy's Round-Up: Pinterest introduces Shopping Spotlights + Facebook launches CatchUp app

Blog Post Author – Andy
Andy1st June 2020

Pinterest introduces Shopping Spotlights

🤔 What happened?

Pinterest is introducing a new feature called shopping spotlights that brings expert recommendations from influencers and publishers directly to consumers.

💡 My take

Pinterest has announced a new feature called 'Shopping Spotlights' which is really Pinterest doubling down on discovery. Now, we spoke last week about the launch of Facebook Shop. Facebook Shop is a great way to conduct e-commerce from a small business perspective. However, where Pinterest really has a niche is in the discovery side of things and Shopping Spotlights just takes things to a deeper level.

The way that Pinterest describes this feature is that users should feel like they are flipping through their favorite catalog made specifically for them. These spotlights are formed from curated content from brands and influencers related to styles that you are interested in. So this discovery element of Pinterest, with the ability to save items and plan your activities around certain saved trends, is a huge niche for Pinterest.

Pinterest has seen incredible growth recently, specifically in the US, so it's still under-appreciated as a platform in the UK from my perspective.

Facebook launched 'CatchUp' app for group phone chats

🤔 What happened?

Facebook's experimental NPE team has released its sixth new app, this time focused on facilitating phone calls between friends who are up for a chat.

💡 My take

Facebook has announced a new app which is just another one of their experimental apps called CatchUp. It's like Houseparty or Messenger Rooms where you can see when your friends or contact are available and then join an audio-only call.

This isn't anything to do with video as it's audio only so I'm a little ambivalent on this one. I can see the value to a degree, but perhaps Facebook knows something that I don't because if they're seeing more of a shift towards audio-first communication then maybe this is the start of a trend.

Typically Facebook aren't going to do things or invest development time into something they don't see potential in, so maybe this is another signal that audio-first content is actually growing. After all, we have seen the growth of podcasts so this is going to be an interesting one to watch.

Instagram announces next stage of IGTV monetization

🤔 What happened?

Instagram has announced the next stage of monetization for IGTV, while it's also adding new digital 'badges' for IG Live, which will enable viewers to donate money to their favorite broadcasters.

💡 My take

Facebook have announced monetization options for Instagram TV. You'll have heard a lot about IGTV as of late due to recent updates such as their new ability allowing you to repurpose your Instagram Live videos on IGTV.

IGTV are completely going after that YouTube market and option for creators are a key part of that in tempting creators to leave Youtube and get onto IGTV and allowing them to make money from their content. As a result, advertising is starting to be rolled out to IGTV.

If IGTV is the right platform for you to get on then now is the time to do it because this is the time that Instagram are going to be putting a lot of emphasis behind IGTV as it's been pretty quiet and a little bit in the background recently. IGTV is sure to receive a push in the algorithm as they'll want it to grow in popularity.

Facebook starts verifying identity of people behind high-reach profiles

🤔 What happened?

Facebook last week announced it will now verify the identity of people who exhibit inauthentic behavior and whose posts tend to go viral in the US.

💡 My take

Facebook is changing the rules in terms of the verification process that page owners need to go through when they operate a page with high influence. Think about pages like UNILAD or LADbible who proliferate viral content. What Facebook wants to do is make sure that the source of that viral content is verified and validated increasing security measures to make those page owners verify themselves.

It's a fantastic step and is really important as any viral content needs to be from a credible source and I think that's a really positive step for social media in general.

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


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