Social Media News July 2021
Facebook’s e-commerce push
Facebook has been focusing on growing its eCommerce aspect for some time now. According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, Facebook has announced a range of new shopping and discovery tools, including Shops on WhatsApp, Shop listings in Facebook Marketplace, as well as a new visual product search option on Instagram. With 300 million visitors per month and more than 1.2 million monthly active Shops, Facebook and Instagram Shops are booming.
Shops on WhatsApp:
Shops on WhatsApp make it possible for businesses to present their entire Shop within the messaging app. This way, people can easily find products and brands they want to engage with. In developing digital markets like India, where WhatsApp has more than 500 million users, Facebook is trying to make this the key facilitator for more connection and transactions. Therefore, Facebook is currently working on more business tools and payment options inside the app. Also, brands that would like to create a Shop would only have to set it up once to have a shop across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Shop listings on Facebook Marketplace:
This new option offers additional product listings on Marketplace. It is one more way for brands to connect with their customers, to show them their products and to encourage them to buy them. If you already have a Shop, you don’t have to do anything to have your products listed and shown in related searches. The feature is now available in the US with on-site checkout. According to Zuckerberg, new personalized Shop ads are coming soon.
Visual search for Instagram Shopping:
According to Jan Firsching from futurebiz, Instagram is testing visual search for Instagram Shopping in two steps. The first step is about showing people related products when they tap on a product that is linked to Instagram Shopping. The test is not yet running in Germany. The second step is the actual visual search. In principle, the whole thing works like Pinterest Lens or Google Lens. Products are photographed via the smartphone camera and Instagram then suggests the matching products. With the new function, Instagram tries to compensate for Pinterest’s strength in the search function.
When Pinterest has the advantage in search, Instagram has the advantage in the Shops that are already available and in the power to quickly push new technologies. Nevertheless, Pinterest covers two search scenarios. The targeted search for products via search queries and the visual search via the smartphone camera. Even if Instagram catches up with visual search, the other aspect of product search is still missing. In addition to this, Facebook’s also making ads with product tags available globally, while it’s also testing AR Dynamic Ads and expanding its AR try-on partnerships.
TikTok introduces TikTok Jump
TikTok is introducing a new feature that offers brands and companies new opportunities to generate more visibility for your own external content in the For You Feed. We are talking about TikTok Jump. According to Jan Firsching from futurebiz, TikTok Jump is mini-applications and, at their core, a connection between TikTok videos and external apps and websites.
So, how does it work?
TikTok Jump is supposed to provide TikTok users with a more interactive experience in the feeds and to strengthen the link between TikTok and external content. Those who use TikTok Jump integrate TikTok directly into their mobile app and can, for example, share direct links to a recipe in TikTok. The advantage is that the link to your own app is linked to your own logo and an individual call-to-action. The videos not only disseminate the content but also lead users specifically to the communicated content. If a recipe is presented in the video, the integration can take the user directly to further information about this recipe.
On TikTok, the linking takes place within the publisher. In the same place where you can activate for example the duet function, there will be a new option for it. Here, users select the appropriate app and thus establish the connection between the produced video and the TikTok Jump mini-application.
TikTok hopes that the new feature will provide even more content and, in return, give participating companies visibility and thus higher usage of its own mobile app.
How to use the feature:
Initial partners include Whisk, Breathwork, Wikipedia, Quizlet, StatMuse, Tabelog BuzzFeed, Jumprope, IRL, and Watcha. So, at launch, there are various topics and interests that are already covered. At the moment, the TikTok Jump integrations are only available to selected creators until the tests are done. If you are interested in the feature now, you have to register via a form.
It is a function that could again strengthen the link between social media and own content. We will probably see many of those integrations in the future. Whether TikTok Jump will become a success depends on the implementation and the resulting acceptance on the user side.
Pinterest’s new shopping functions
In the beginning of June, Pinterest announced that their shopping functions will also be available in Australia, Canada, France and Germany in the future. Pinterest users will be able to buy products directly from pins, pinboards, search results and the Pinterest Lens camera. In addition, the social platform is launching Shopping lists. A place where saved product pins are automatically saved so that users can easily buy items they like later. Pinterest users will also receive a notification when products they have saved are on sale. Shopping lists are initially only available in the US and the UK, and are coming to Australia, Canada, France and Germany later this year.
The following will give you an overview of Pinterest’s shopping features:
Shop from search:
With the new Shop tab, only products are displayed in the search results. This way, Pinterest users can buy available products from different merchants when they search for example for “home office decoration”. With price and brand filters, they can customize the search to their liking.
Shop with Lens:
Shopping with Lens connects real-world, offline inspiration to online ideas that can be shopped on Pinterest, powered by visual search. When Pinners see something that inspires them out in the real world, they can take a picture using the Pinterest camera and run a visual search for similar in-stock home decor and fashion products.
Shop from Pins:
When Pinterest users open the close-up view of a pin, the products in the pin that they could buy are automatically detected. The products are marked with category labels and white dots. When users tap on these labels and dots, they can find similar products using visual search technology.
When users open the close-up view of a product pin, they see additional product details and information from the merchant, such as price, shipping information, and reviews. This allows them to make an informed purchase decision.
Shopping Spotlights presents trendy content selected by experts. The function serves as inspiration and helps to discover new brands.
Shop from Boards:
Pinterest users can now find an extra shopping section on their pinboards. It shows available products that appear in their bookmarked pins or are inspired by them.
Update: IG Reels ads available in all regions
Instagram has now expanded Reels Ads in all regions. The ads will be displayed in full-screen format and will be shown in between individual Reels. According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, it’s hard to say how effective the format will be, as it largely depends on the creative, and how engaging your ad content is. TikTok ads, for example, perform better when they look and feel organic, so users don’t simply swipe on past as soon as they come up.
Instagram hasn’t shared any official numbers on Reels usage yet, but Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has noted that the option is growing “both in terms of how much people are sharing and how much people are consuming”. According to Instagram, Reels has seen specific usage momentum in India, where TikTok was banned last June.
With that ongoing push, Reels could become a good ad option over time. And as mentioned a few months before, Reels is one of the key drivers of channel growth on Instagram and the format has the highest discovery factor. With that said, Reels should definitely show up in your content plans.