Social shorts: Instagram tests new Stories trimming tool, WhatsApp hits 2B users, Pinterest to verify merchants
The social media marketing week in review: A round up of news and announcements you may have missed.
This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.
YouTube tests a donate feature for creators, WhatsApp hits a milestone
YouTube mirrors Twitch with new donate feature. YouTube is testing a clap feature that lets fans donate to creators, the Verge reported. Officially referred to as “viewer applause,” the feature allows people to purchase a clapping animation that appears over the video they’re choosing to support. The animation is only shown privately to the buyer. While Twitch doesn’t have a clapping function that works as a donation, YouTube is leaning heavily into what works for Twitch’s streamer base. Donations are a big part of how Twitch streamers earn income (alongside subscriptions and ad revenue).
WhatsApp hits 2B users, emphasizes privacy focus. The Facebook-owned messaging app announced that it has officially amassed 2 billion users, becoming only the second social media platform in the world to do so. WhatsApp didn’t specify how it calculated the number of users, but in 2014, when the messaging platform was first acquired by Facebook, it had 500 million users. The platform reiterated its privacy efforts, stating, “We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe. For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry-leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy.”
Snapchat rolls out new features for health and wellness, Instagram tests new Stories trimming tool
Snapchat’s new wellness push. Snapchat is launching a new set of tools and custom content around mental health and wellness. It’s the first product launch around what will be a bigger health and wellness push from Snapchat that will be rolled out in the next few months. The search tool called “Here For You” launched in beta earlier in February, along with new content features, including the ability to surface special sections in Snapchat when a user types in words that could imply they need help with health and wellness issues.
Instagram tests a video trimming tool. Instagram is working on a new trimming feature for Instagram Stories, which would make it easier to edit and upload your Stories videos within the app. The new option would provide a video slider trimming tool built into Stories, which would function in the same way as similar video editing tools available on other platforms. In the creative options along the top of the first frame, a new editing icon has been added. Tap on that and you’ll be taken through to the second frame trimming process.
Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program and Instagram looks to monetize IGTV
Pinterest to verify merchants. Pinterest is in the process of launching a Verified Merchant Program that will allow retailers on the platform to be verified, making their products eligible for distribution within Pinterest shopping experiences, including Shop the Look Pins and related product carousels. The program will roll out over the coming months. Brands can sign up to be put on a waitlist so that they’re notified when applications are open.
IGTV working on monetization feature. Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch it is prototyping a feature that would give creators on IGTV, Instagram’s long-form video platform, a way to monetize their content. The “Instagram Partner Program” would make it possible for creators to earn revenue by showing ads alongside their videos — something that’s been absent from the platform since its inception in 2018. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri tweeted, “It’s no secret that we’ve been exploring this. We focused first on making sure the product had legs — else there would be little to monetize in the first place.”
On the move
Localized marketing platform SOCi has appointed Chad Jordan as VP of business development for brands. In the newly-created position, Jordan (who recently oversaw digital marketing for national haircut chain Sport Clips) will work closely with national franchises and multi-location brand customers of SOCi to serve as a resident expert to help grow and scale localized marketing programs. “As a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), I’ve always been incredibly passionate about empowering franchisees to take control of their online presence, and am thrilled to join Afif and the team at a fast-growing company like SOCi,” said Jordan. “For franchise and multi-location brands, localized marketing is critical, and I’m excited to see how I can help SOCi continue to bring the revolutionizing power of localization to brands worldwide.”
Audience technology platform Eyeota has named Marc Fanelli senior vice president of strategic partnerships and development. Reporting to the company’s CEO Kristina Prokop, Fanelli will be focused on deepening relationships with key local and global supply partners. “Marc’s intimate knowledge of the objectives and challenges facing today’s data ecosystem will bring a fresh perspective to our team,” said Prokop, “We look forward to tapping Marc’s industry prowess to further strengthen and foster our partnerships.” Before Eyeota, Fanelli was most recently the general manager for Impact, overseeing the company’s Marketing Intelligence Product suite.
Pantheon, the website operations platform, has hired marketing veteran Elissa Fink to be part of its board of directors. Fink is the former CMO for Tableau where she helped drive over 90% of the company’s new business opportunities as it brought in more than $1 billion in annual revenue. “With her experience implementing web operations at a global publicly-traded company, Elissa brings an extremely valuable perspective to the table,” said Pantheon CEO Zack Rosen. Pantheon reports it powers more than 300,000 sites in the cloud and serves over 750 million unique users per month with a customer list that includes Google, Lyft, Stitch Fix and Docusign.