Weekly Digital News Roundup: December 20-24

Instagram Ads Work, Advertisers Say

  • instagram-cropAccording to Mashable, six weeks after Instagram began running ads on its platform, some results are in. They give a pretty positive — although incomplete — picture.
  • On Nov. 1, Instagram began running ad campaigns from 10 advertisers, including Adidas, Burberry, Michael Kors, Ben & Jerry’s and Levi’s, among others. The Facebook unit Thursday released results from the latter two advertisers plus two unnamed advertisers. Among the findings: There was a 32% incremental lift in ad recall per campaign for people who were repeatedly exposed to a particular campaign versus control groups.
  • That means if you saw an Instagram ad for a new product, like Ben & Jerry’s Scotchy Scotch ice cream, you were 32% more likely to remember that product than those who had not seen the Instagram ad. There was also a 10% incremental lift in brand message awareness per campaign for people who saw an ad or ads compared to those who didn’t. Continue reading

Weekly Digital News Roundup: December 13-17

Instagram Launches Direct Messaging feature

  • instagram-cropAccording to The Washington Post, Instagram has added a new feature that lets users share photos and videos with up to  15 people rather than everyone who follows them on the popular Facebook-owned photo-sharing app.
  • Called Instagram Direct, the feature is available for Apple and Android phones, CEO Kevin Systrom said at a news event in New York City. Previously, the only way to share content on Instagram was to post it to your feed, which can be either visible to everyone or locked so only people you approve can see it.
  • Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia thinks the new feature will help Instagram compete with Snapchat, the disappearing-message app that Facebook reportedly tried and failed to buy for $3 billion recently. Continue reading

Weekly Digital News Roundup: December 6-10

Tumblr adds ‘Sponsored Trending Blogs’ section for brands

  • TumblrAccording to The Next Web, Tumblr has introduced a new sponsored content section in a bid to give brands an easier way to garner more attention and ultimately to generate more money from its platform.
  •  “Sponsored Trending Blogs is an opportunity to put advertisers’ blogs at the forefront of what’s hot on Tumblr within a feed of the most popular blogs of the day,” the company said.
  • Companies that have signed up to take part in the beta trial include: Twentieth Century Fox (Devil’s Due), Delta, Calvin Klein, Turner Broadcasting and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The move will provide brands with a unit dedicated to building their presence on the network, and follows the initial introduction of the Trending Blogs back in July this year.

Social Media Drove Just 1% of Black Friday Online Sales

  • According to Mashable, Black Friday online sales hit another record this year, according to the latest data from IBM, but social media played a relatively small role — at least when measured directly.
  • IBM found that just about 1% of purchases and traffic on ecommerce websites for Black Friday and the week as a whole were directly generated by social media sites. To put that another way, only 1% of orders on shopping sites came from people who visited a social network immediately before.
  • Shoppers may not go straight from seeing a product on Facebook or Pinterest to buying it on an ecommerce site, but rather stop off at a few other websites in between before finally making a purchase. The trick is figuring out how to measure how much influence engaging with a product or brand originally on one of those social networks had in the eventual purchase.

Twitter Appoints Marjorie Scardino as First Female Board Member

  • According to the New York Times, Twitter announced on Thursday that it had added the former publishing executive Marjorie M. Scardino to its eight-member board of directors — the first woman to serve in such a role at the high-profile social networking company.
  • In the run-up to its November initial public offering of stock, Twitter had come under fire for the absence of any women on its then seven-member board, the body that oversees strategy at the company and decides important issues like executive compensation.
  • Ms. Scardino’s background should certainly help Twitter with its global expansion plans and its efforts to encourage use of the service by the media, including news organizations around the world. Before running Pearson, she ran its Economist Group, which is well known for its deeply reported country and industry profiles.
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