February Round Up

13 February 2017

Industry Insights

Welcome to the Outpost round up, a snapshot of the latest digital, social and advertising news from around the world. This week we take a look at Facebook’s new algorithm update and Snapchat’s public offering. You can also read our piece on the ever-muddy world of influencer marketing, and why global stories should be told at a local level.

The Facebook clickbait clampdown

‘Fake news’: the plague of our social feeds. Fabricated stories that are manipulated to resemble credible journalism, structured to achieve immense engagement, driving high volumes of traffic online to ultimately increase advertising revenue. Google has already created for Chrome to detect news of questionable authenticity, but Facebook (which has a potential audience of 1.8bn people) has now addressed the issue of legitimate content by updating their Newsfeed algorithm to clampdown on this clickbait.

While your Facebook Newsfeed algorithm already ranks stories on their newsworthiness, the latest update now works to measure the authenticity of a story too. By identifying pages that publish spam or content that users choose to ‘hide’ (a key indication of fake news), Facebook has been able to model this data to determine the authenticity of a story and also categorize pages based on the authenticity of their content. You can read more at The Drum - We promise it’s real.

Snap Inc. prepares to go public

With more than 160 million daily users, 10 billion daily video views and an average app engagement of 18 times per day, Snapchat (parent company Snap Inc.) is preparing to go public. Rivalled only by Facebook, the 5-year-old photo-messaging platform is looking to raise around $3bn on the New York Stock Exchange by selling non-voting shares. But while revenue increased significantly in 2016, Snapchat’s rate of audience growth is slowing down, with users siding with rival Instagram Stories to live-broadcast their coffees and cupcakes.

Relevance is everything in social media. Relevance and video content. Snapchat will have to evolve quickly to keep up with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. But with a young audience and unique user experience, Snapchat’s future in the digital video space does look promising. From a variety of video decorating tools to Sponsored Lenses and Geo Filters, Snapchat’s brought in over $400m last year - however it still made a net loss of over $500m.

Will Snap’s float on the NYSE have investors queuing on Wall Street? Its success depends on the ability to bring something new to the table – something that Mark Zuckerberg can’t so easily copy (aka Instagram Stories). These days ‘real-time’ rules, and if Snapchat continues to innovate as a ‘camera company’ it may make all the difference.