1. Twitter Earnings Highlights (0:40) – First off, on users – Twitter’s Monetizable Daily Active User (mDAU) count is now up to 206M, an increase of 11% YoY, and an additional 7 million on its Q1 figure. In terms of revenue, Twitter posted a strong result of $1.19 billion in Q2, a 74% increase YoY. As per Twitter:
“Total international revenue was $537 million, an increase of 69%, or 64% on a constant currency basis. Japan remains our second largest market, growing 40% and contributing $151 million, or 13% of total revenue in Q2. Revenue from Japan declined on a sequential basis in Q2, reflecting typical country-specific seasonality.”
Twitter included this generic note on Blue take-up within its shareholder letter:
“We’ve been encouraged by the initial response and look forward to further innovating and growing this new revenue stream with additional features, geographic expansion, and other offerings as part of our revenue durability strategy.”
Read the Q2’21 Shareholder Letter here: Q2’21-Shareholder-Letter.pdf (q4cdn.com)
2. Snapchat Earnings Highlights (3:22) – First off, on users – Snapchat added 13 million more daily actives in Q2, rising to 293 million, which represents a 23% increase, year-over-year. On the revenue front, Snap posted a huge 116% YoY increase to $982 million for the period.
Review the Q2’21 Earnings Report here: Q2’21-Earnings-Slides-Final-7.22.21.pdf (q4cdn.com)
3. LinkedIn Offers Free Marketing Certification Program to Help Showcase Your LinkedIn Marketing Knowledge (4:55) – LinkedIn is allowing professionals to become accredited LinkedIn marketing experts by completing a free course. This program is for professionals who want to show that they not only have experience with social media marketing, but they have specialized knowledge in LinkedIn. The two courses available are:
Fundamentals Certification (Basic): Demonstrates expertise in launching LinkedIn Ad campaigns and tactics. With this certification, you can run successful LinkedIn Ad campaigns that drive business results.
Marketing Strategy Certification (Intermediate): Demonstrates expertise in leveraging LinkedIn Ads for full-funnel strategies, including Brand Awareness and Lead Generation. Once certified, you can create marketing strategies that leverage the full suite of LinkedIn marketing tools.
The process for earning your certification involves first learning about LinkedIn’s ad products, via a range of courses available on the LinkedIn Certifications page.
After you’ve gone through each module – or if you’re confident that you know all the key details – you can then take the relevant certification exam, in which you’ll have 60 minutes to answer 60 multiple choice questions on LinkedIn’s ad tools and processes. You can retake the test up to 3 times, and the certification expires in 2 years. And while you do have 60 minutes, if you know your stuff, you can get it done in significantly less time than that.
4. YouTube Introduces Super Thanks for Fans to Support Creators of Uploaded Videos (5:44) – Until now, creators on YouTube were able to earn money directly from fans on their live streamed videos and Premieres, via Super Chat and Super Stickers, but fans had no way to support on-demand videos uploaded by creators until Tuesday’s introduction of Super Thanks. It is essentially an expansion of its Super Chat streamer donation feature to regular video uploads, providing another way for creators to generate income from their content. As explained by YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan:
“Since launching Super Chat in 2017 and Super Stickers in 2019, creators from around the globe have wanted us to bring this magic beyond live-streams and Premieres to video uploads. Enter Super Thanks! Fans watching YouTube videos can now purchase Super Thanks to express their gratitude and show support. They will see an animated GIF and, as an added bonus, get a distinct, colorful comment to highlight their purchase, which creators can respond to.”
5. 4 Additional YouTube Updates You Need To Know (6:19) – YouTube announced four new features that will make make way for YouTube to be a more interactive experience for creators and viewers. They are:
- Comment Translation
- Polls – Live polls can be used, for example, to ask your audience’s opinion on the current topic of discussion.
- Subscribers-only chat – A new option to make live chats available only to subscribers can help with moderating the live chat and creating more connections. This feature can be enabled during live stream setup or while broadcasting live – directly from Live Control Room settings.
- Expansion of Clips feature – YouTube is expanding the rollout of Clips, a feature which has been in testing with a limited number of creators. Clips allow viewers to select a 5-60 second segment of content (both video uploads and streams) that can be shared with others on YouTube and across third-party platforms.
FYI: YouTube is not breaking any new ground with these features. Rather, it’s catching up to what are standard offerings from live streaming competitors like Twitch.
6. TikTok Adds New Features to Live-Stream, Including Live Guests and Q&A Panels (9:00) – This week, TikTok has added some new elements to its live-streaming options, including scheduled events that you can promote, live Q & A, and a co-streaming option to enhance the experience.
First off, on scheduled events, you can now create an event card for your upcoming stream, which you can then share on TikTok and across other platforms. Users can tap the ‘Register’ CTA for an in-app reminder, which provides another way to increase awareness and interest in your upcoming streams, which could be great for brands considering the option.
Next up is live guests, which, like other platforms, will display you and your guest in split-screen mode in the live broadcast window. Which is actually not new. All TikTok users with more than 1,000 followers (who are over the age of 16) are able to live-stream, while those with more than 5,000 followers have been able to stream with guests in this mode for some time. It seems that TikTok is reducing this requirement, with all users that are able to stream (i.e. those with 1k followers) now also able to add guests.
And last is the updated Q & A overlay on-screen, which provides another way to engage with streamers in the app. Live viewers have always been able to post questions via the comments, while the Q and A option has been available on selected creator profiles since January this year. This new option combines the two, adding another engagement option for streamers, which will improve the context for viewers, and give those posting questions more individual focus.
7. TikTok Launches New ‘Spark’ Ads Which Enabled Brands to Tap into Trending Organic Content (11:04) – TikTok has launched a new ad option which essentially enables brands to sponsor already trending organic content that aligns with their offerings, in order to get an association boost without having to create anything themselves, or even commission a creator to do so. Through TikTok’s new ‘Spark’ ad option, brands can identify existing organic videos that might fit their campaign – like, say, if a beauty influencer has showcased your product in his or her organic clips. Brands can then reach out to these creators and repurpose their clips for paid campaigns. Per TikTok:
“TikTok is made up of creators who are redefining entertainment, starting trends, and sharing with the world their take on popular products and services. Brands can now tap into the plethora of creative, diverse content and connect with the creators who help bring these products and services to life.”
8. Instagram Announces Sensitive Content Control for Its Explore Feed (13:04) – Instagram has added a new way to help users better manage their on-platform experience with a variable ‘Sensitive Content Control’, which provides three options for restricting the content that you are shown in the app. If you head to Settings > Account > Sensitive Content Controls, you’ll now be able to choose between these options:
Allow – You may see more photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive
Limit (Default) – You may see some photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive
Limit Even More – You may see fewer photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive
The middle ground ‘Limit’ is the default setting for all users, while only those over the age of 18 will be able to select the ‘Allow’ option, which removes any restrictions on displayed content.
9. Google Launches Free Deals Listings in Search Results (16:36) – Google is highlighting deals in the shopping tab of search results. When searching for a product, the shopping tab will now organize and show product listings that are competitively priced or discounted from retailers across the web. When people search for deals during major sales events, like “Black Friday deals” or “Cyber Monday sales,” they will see a new section highlighting relevant deals, alongside other related sales information.
When retailers upload promotions and deals in Google Merchant Center will be automatically surfaced for relevant queries in the Shopping tab.
Google will surface offers based on factors such as the discount itself, how popular a product is, how popular the site it’s listed on is, and more.
10. Google Adds ‘About This Result’, Which Explains Why You’re Seeing Each Result (17:22) – Google has added a new element to its ‘About This Result’ panels in search results, which will provide more context about each result that you’re seeing, including a brief overview as to why it’s being shown in response to your query. Per Google,
“Starting today, About This Result will show searchers information about some of the most important factors used by Google Search to connect results to their queries. Because just as these factors help Google decide if a result may be relevant, they may also help people decide what result is useful for them.”
11. Google Launches New Way to Optimize Videos For Search (18:11) – Google now officially supports SeekToAction markup for videos on your site, so that you can use the SeekToAction markup to communicate the key moments (timestamps) Google shows for videos in Google Search. Google said this is “a new way for you to enable key moments for videos on your site, without the effort of manually labeling each segment. All you have to do is tell Google the URL pattern for skipping to a specific timestamp within your video. Google will then use AI to identify key moments in the video, and display links directly to those moments in Search results.”
12. Google’s Ads New 3-Strike Policy – What Counts As a Strike? 19:16) – Google announced a 3-strike policy, which would effectively suspend ad accounts that have received repeated violations. Google does have some checks and balances in place to try to ensure that only accounts that have truly violated policy are being penalized. For now, these penalties are only applicable to three categories: Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances, and Dangerous Products or Services. These are policies that monitor deceptive behavior, hacking services, spyware, drugs, weapons, etc.
Wrongful violations that are successfully appealed will result in the removal of the strike. So that means, if your business receives a violation for ad content and you are able to appeal it (without making any edits to the ad), you will not receive a strike as the disapproval was not truly a violation.
The first incident will result in a warning. After that, advertisers will receive strikes. Each expires within 90 days. So if an advertiser receives a warning and then, within 90 days, violates the same policy then they will receive a strike. If it has been more than 90 days, they would receive a warning and the process would start over.
Once they’ve received their first strike, the account will be placed on a temporary hold for 3 days. Regardless of when the warning occurred, if another violation happens within 90 days of the first strike, then they would receive a second strike which would result in a 7-day temporary hold.
Finally, if the violation occurred again within 90 days of the second strike (regardless of when the warning or first strike happened), then the account would be suspended for repeated violation of policy.
Keep in mind, if any of those strikes were successfully appealed as being incorrectly flagged for violation, the strike would be removed and it would not count.