What’s the Story with Social Media Today?

Does it seem like you’re getting served an article every day about what’s new in social media?

That’s because it’s always changing. Social platforms are certainly the most fickle of all media sources. Spearheaded by Facebook, and the onslaught of scrutiny they have been under, social platforms need to continually adapt, evolve and respond to their consumers. But the battle is on as each day there is some new twist or turn with the various platforms and their offerings.

Facebook doesn’t seem any worse for wear with the recent revelations concerning data protection and regulation. Although the next quarterly posting won’t be until July 25th, all indicators seem to point to a continued positive direction for the company. Even amongst the criticism of its user data policies, their shares are up 24% in the past three months, and first quarter ad revenue was up 50%. Looking at their core platform, monthly active users increased 13% year-over-year to a record 2.2 billion in the company’s most recent quarter. Daily active users rose 13% year-over-year to 1.45 billion.
While mimicking Instagram, Facebook just announced a small but mighty improvement – the ability to archive Stories. Brands were pushing back on the short 24-hour shelf life of this feature as the cost to produce Stories became hard to justify when comparing to the length of time it remained active on Facebook. Now Facebook has to follow Instagram, yet again, and add the highlights capability whereby a brand can feature specific elements of a brand and its features.
In less than two years, Instagram announced that they have over 400 million daily active users of Stories – that’s a 60% increase year-over-year. Compare this to Snapchat’s recent numbers of a 15% increase year-over-year to 150 million users. And it doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better for Snapchat as their active users declined in March as compared to February. While Snapchat has spent years developing their format and capturing viewer’s attention, advertisers remain challenged as to how best to use the screen pitching brands. And while Snapchat may have a stronger Stories platform, Instagram and Facebook have more users and the ability to better target consumers. To add to Snapchat’s obstacles, Instagram just announce the ability to add music to Instagram Stories, allowing them to expand their native advertising efforts.
WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, is their most popular Stories product with over 450 million users daily. WhatsApp is stronger outside the United States, while Instagram has the edge domestically. While there is sure to be overlap between the platforms, they each enjoy their unique visitors as well.
Is your company trying to navigate its way through the social channels and various formats? Reach out to us and our social team can help with either introducing your brand to social media or better utilization of the social platforms.