Facebook attracts more than a billion mobile users each month and 66 percent of its revenues come from this channel. In fact, mobile users spend 20 percent of their mobile time on Facebook!
Facebook’s success on mobile, whether from the point of view of the audience size or monetization, is unparalleled.
Instagram and WhatsApp (acquired respectively in April 2012 and February 2014) are two other social apps also with phenomenal audience success, although several notches below. They’re not profit centers yet and will not be discussed here.
What about the blue giant’s mobile diversification strategy beyond the main app and purchased successes?
Retailers are coming around to the power of Facebook’s targeted advertising. Facebook Marketing Partner Offerpop feels that with innovations such as the Buy button and more ways to drive direct commerce, Facebook will be a major factor in Q4, when many companies ramp up advertising for the holidays.
Offerpop is also bullish about Instagram, where brands will tap into user-generated content.
Mairead Ridge, Offerpop’s Senior Marketing Manager, talk with Inside Facebook about how the sentiments about Facebook’s ability to deliver ROI are changing in time for the holiday shopping season:
Recently, there’s been a sense from marketers that Facebook is on the decline. It’s tougher than ever to get organic reach. We’ve heard a lot of brands and marketers react to that. But what we’re seeing is that there’s still ROI out there for brands that are using Facebook’s ad platform and organic tactics out there to drive reach and site traffic and sales. I think everybody that experimented with the platform for a long time is starting to see better and better results from their efforts.
According to a recent Offerpop survey, 92 percent of marketers polled planned to spend most of their social budget on Facebook.
Instagram has reportedly hired its first Chief Operating Officer: Marne Levine, previously Facebook’s Vice President of Global Public Policy.
According to re/code, Levine will handle the day-to-day internal operations of Instagram, which Facebook acquired in 2012. Levine has been with Facebook for the past four years, leading the company’s decisions on global policy.
Instagram on Thursday announced an update to its Hyperlapse app (currently only for iOS).
Now, Hyperlapse users with the updated app can use their phone’s front-facing camera to take time-lapse videos.
An Instagram spokesperson described the update:
Creating a #selfielapse is as simple as tapping an icon on the app’s home screen, which toggles between the front- and rear-facing cameras. As before, a Hyperlapse video can be shared directly to your Instagram or Facebook account, or simply saved to your smartphone’s camera roll to access later.
By now, if you’re on iOS, you’ve no doubt fawned over Instagram’s new stand alone time lapse video app, Hyperlapse.
The app uses stabilization technology to allow the user to create videos that look cinematic versus a typical jittery movie most can make with a phone.
The increasing focus on video is hard to ignore — especially with the release of Hyperlapse and Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch happening on the heels of one another — but what does it mean for the future of marketing?
Inside Facebook caught up with James Borow, CEO of Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer SHIFT to get his take on the video trend.
Instagram announced Tuesday another standalone app — Hyperlapse. Through Hyperlapse, which is currently only available on iOS, users can create high-quality time lapse videos.
The app includes a stabilizer which allows users to create time lapse videos, even while they’re in motion. Smartphone cinematographers can then choose a playback speed between 1x and 12x, and share the video to Instagram or Facebook. You don’t need a Facebook or Instagram account to use the app.
Hyperlapse requires iOS version 7.0 or later, and is optimized for the iPhone 5.
Instagram’s clout as a marketing channel just got a little bigger. Instagram announced recently that there will be a trio of tools for advertisers and marketers: account insights, ad insights and ad staging.
Instagram announced these new tools on its blog:
The new tools will help brands monitor their posts and campaigns by providing information on reach, impressions, and engagement. For example, an advertiser will now have access to a real-time campaign summary and data showing how their target audience is responding to each of their sponsored photos. Also, brand marketers will be able to better understand the best time of day to post a photo or video.
We’ve worked closely with several of our advertising partners to make sure these tools meet their needs. We’re now making them available to all Instagram advertisers, whose feedback will help us improve the product before releasing it to additional brands later this year.
So what can these features do?
Digital marketers are used to assimilating platform updates and advancements into their ad campaigns, but there could be a sea change on the horizon.
It’s been over two years since Facebook acquired Instagram, and the social giant has finally dropped a big clue about how it might integrate the photo-sharing platform. If a recent test proves to be a precursor to a bigger strategy to come, Facebook could position itself as a marketing ecosystem that will challenge everyone – Google, Twitter, etc. – to catch up.
The newest app from Facebook/Instagram — leaked last week — Bolt, is official. The company announced Tuesday that Instagram Bolt has been launched for iOS and Android users in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. Bolt is a way for people to quickly share images via one-on-one messaging, somewhat similar to the most recent app Facebook launched, Slingshot.
As Instagram slowly starts to mix in some advertising, the major question for the photo-sharing app is how it will become a source of monetization for Facebook. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or COO Sheryl Sandberg might address the early effects of Instagram advertising in its Q2 earnings call on July 23, it’s worth noting that Instagram ads are still in their infancy.
How new are Instagram ads? In a Fortune story published recently about Instagram, noting that CEO and Co-Founder Mark Systrom still personally reviews each ad the limited subset of advertisers design for the app. Instagram first allowed advertisers who already appealed to core segments of Instagram’s user base.
The feature story shed some light on newer features, such as Instagram Direct and video. In the past month, 45 million Instagram users (about 25 percent) have either sent or received a message through the app.
However, the video feature hasn’t been as successful, Fortune reports.