Social Media Weekly Podcast

Shawn geeks out on Skyrim on Alexa, JK tries to sound like a newscaster, Wei Han forgets his name, Faustina chooses Face Pay and Facebook continues to dominate the world.

Facebook is removing its ‘Trending’ section

Facebook previously has a section on the top right corner of the desktop and a special tab on mobile that shows all trending news happening around us and also based on our interests. As of June 1, they just announced that they are killing it.

The reason why Facebook initially pushed for this feature, along with “Breaking News” feature, is because Facebook announced a change in its algorithm early this year to demote Brands’ reach below that of users. This is so they want to bring back the early days of Social Media where people are more connected with each other rather than zombie-consume content from brands.

This caused many major publishing platforms to lose their interest in Facebook, because publishers are also brands. So Facebook gave them a special section where their content will always appear for all to see.

A few months after this, Facebook is cancelling the whole thing, and we don’t yet know what they are replacing it with. Reason is because Facebook doesn’t want to be a media company. Media companies come with a lot of responsibilities, which Facebook don’t want to shoulder. This feature was in alpha testing, so most of us here wouldn’t have seen it anyway.

Facebook will allow copyrighted music on their platform. And they are also trying to steal Musically’s thunder

Facebook has been working with a tonne of major labels and indies to strike a deal so users won’t have their music-enabled videos be taken down. This is music to our ears!

When we post a video containing copyrighted music, Facebook will compensate the labels when these music are used. We don’t know how much or how often. Maybe not all songs will be available from the get go, but eventually, we hope, we can use all songs.

Since Facebook is already striking deals with record labels, why not extend their service right into Musically’s doorstep? Calling it Lip Sync Live, users can select a song, mouth the words while adding filters and effects during the stream. They can even do it with friends too!

Instagram planning to copy Snapchat’s Discover video hub

Since Instagram is already copying Snapchat so much. Might as well go all the way. They’re paving the road to roll out long-form videos to take on YouTube and Snapchat’s Discover. Videos will range up to 15 minutes long. They’re already in talks with YouTube creators to use this platform.

Skyrim uses Alexa to market its new game

The new Skyrim is coming out soon, and they’re using Alexa to market it in a video. I don’t think it’s real, but as a guy who used to play old gamebooks, I wished it was!

In the video, the guy chooses to play Skyrim using Alexa. Then Alexa will narrate the situation, and allow the gamer options for actions.

Facebook Ads will be appearing in Marketplace very soon

As if we cannot foresee this from Facebook already, but here’s the official announcement from Search Engine Journal. Soon we will be able to see ads popping up between Marketplace items, supposedly by category.

This is actually pretty amazing, assuming Marketplace becomes a proper marketplace. Because at this moment it looks like no humans are taking care of it and weed is literally festering all around.

Instagram build in-app payments feature would allow users to store their payment information in a personal profile then shop directly within the platform.

We may just start to see an influx of #impulsebuys on Instagram according to new reports that claim Instagram is testing a native in-app payments feature for certain users in the U.S. and U.K.

Per The Verge, the announcement comes just over a year after Instagram took to its business blog last March claiming, “we’ll roll out the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile later this year.”

For reference, Instagram already has a shopping feature called Shoppable tags, which requires users to access a third-party website in order to complete their check out process. With this native option, the added steps are removed from the equation for a faster, more convenient experience.

How would it work? As the image below depicts, users would navigate to “Payment Settings” and create a personal profile for themselves including adding a debit or credit card and a PIN number for security purposes. A separate Activity tab will keep a running log of anything that a user has purchased on the platform.

Image via TechCrunch

Once users complete the setup, they can start making purchases from within the app. Per TechCrunch, an Instagram spokesperson has confirmed the feature is currently available for a select group of partners, which includes a test integration with the dining reservation app Resy. Through a third-party integration with the app, users can book appointments at restaurants and salons and have their reservations accepted by the business. Down the road, Instagram says we can expect direct payments for additional items like movie tickets and other products and services.

Instagram isn’t the first platform to dabble in social commerce. This past February, Snapchat was reported to be testing its own native payment and checkout feature via the Snap Store, a digital store that lives within the app itself designed to boost app loyalty and strengthen community through promoting and selling Snap merchandise.

More recently, last month the company announced Shoppable AR, a feature that allows users to not only shop within the app directly but gives companies the ability tack a URL onto a sponsored photo filter lens to make activities like buying and watching longer-form content without navigating away from the app.

In March, Pinterest announced it would be expanding its Shopping Ads to hundreds of additional retailers. These ads are designed primarily to provide inspiration while also enabling Pinners to click through and purchase the product from within the Pin.

Given most social media players have already started acting upon the potential of making it easier for brands to advertise their products and users to buy them, Instagram has nothing to lose by testing an in-app payments feature. With an uninterrupted experience, brands stand to see higher conversion rates, and users will be more inclined to complete their purchase given they won’t have to go to multiple sources to do so.

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