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This Week in Social Media – Nov. 3, 2017

Sharmin Kent November 3, 2017

It’s a new month and there’s a lot of social media news on the interwebs. Instagram and WhatsApp are outperforming Snapchat, Facebook is hanging its hopes on video, and Pinterest is ready to do business with a new ad format.

Instagram, WhatsApp Snap Up Users

It looks like Snapchat’s copycats are pulling more users than Snapchat itself. TechCrunch reports that both Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status have around 300 million users, up from 250 million in June and July of this year, respectively. Snapchat still has a solid user base, but Facebook is doing everything it can to draw users–and their data-rich activities–to its channels.

So, what’s a photo app to do? For starters, Snapchat could lean in to servicing its younger base with more content targeted toward teens and young adults. Fighting against Facebook properties will be, at least for the foreseeable future, a losing game. That means Snap Inc. will have to get creative with its features and leave the gimmicky hardware alone.

Facebook’s Big Picture Future

“When done well,” said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “video brings us closer together.” Wired reports that Zuckerberg wants to facilitate more engaging video consumption and empower community building, hoping that users will share video with friends and family and comment on it more actively.

There’s just one little problem. Despite having more than 2 billion users, the trust people have in Facebook is eroding for more than a few reasons. An investment in video content will likely keep many users engaged, but the social network has a lot of work to do to regain the confidence it’s lost. Perhaps putting resources toward user safety, strengthening security against fake and unsourced news and accepting its role in media creation and distribution would be a good start. Well, a writer can dream, right?

Pinterest is Open for Businesses

In other news, Pinterest is ready for you to give it your money. Search Engine Journal reports that Pinterest’s self-serve search ads are now generally available through the channels’ Ads Manager. Users conduct more than 2 billion searches each month, providing brands with an excellent opportunity to reach target audiences.

With nearly 100 percent of Pinterest searches being unbranded, search ads provide companies with powerful tools to target its audiences with laser accuracy. Lifestyle, clothing and food brands are just three of the industries that could benefit greatly from this new ad format. In fact, the SEJ article cites a brand that saw 90 percent of its traffic come from new customers, with a cost-per-click that was 90 percent lower. Your mileage, of course, may vary–but results like those are likely to make Pinterest a focus of holiday social ad spend for lots of companies.

What’s on your social media news list this week? Drop me a line at and let’s chat about it.