Last week, Facebook’s shares have dropped by a total of almost 7% on the back of very solid performance; As CNBC has reported, the platform’s earnings have exceeded analyst expectations, and Facebook has added more users than Wall Street expected.
So, what went wrong?
Much like Jean-Baptiste Colbert reported in the 17th century, “the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to procure the largest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.” Facebook have realised that the art of advertising is to input the greatest number of adverts into a news feed with the least possible amount of hissing.
Nonetheless, Facebook’s CFO Wehner claimed that they would continue to invest in new ad products, as well add engineering talent as part of their key investment priorities.
The TJM take: Facebook are 2 years ahead of their rivals- targeting tech, but with the advert frequency growth drying up, user growth is starting to slow. Additionally, with Instagram’s engagement rate dropped by almost 23% between September and October, Facebook need to diversify.
They are doing this (and at some rate!), with investments in WhatsApp, a new jobs board to rival LinkedIn’s, the Marketplace (which a few of us in the office are about to make our first sales on), and work apps suite. Who would bet against them?
In terms of what the saturation will do for Facebook marketers and users, it will do two things:
Firstly, more competition will increase prices to advertise. More precise targeting and improved creative and user journey will be essential.
Now while that may sound all doom and gloom, it will benefit the user. Higher costs will mean more targeted adverts, and more engaging content leading to a better experience. A very good parallel is the use of Bing vs. Google. Because Bing is slightly cheaper to use and has smaller budgets, advertisers are not as tight on their campaign management as on Google. Hence you get a worse set of results if you do a search.
We still feel Facebook has some of the best targeting around and if you are smart, you can be miles ahead of other platform CPAs while providing solid volume in most industries.
Twitter rolls out welcome messages and quick replies in Direct Messages
This month, Twitter has announced the release of two new direct messaging features to help improve how brands provide customer service through the platform.
As Twitter explains in the official announcement posted through their blog, the new quick replies and welcome messages will advance customer service teams, as well as “open up new possibilities for how people engage with businesses on Twitter.”
With direct messages, brand accounts will be able to automatically greet users after they send a Direct Message. According to Twitter, this won’t require an active human user to reply to messages- instead, you will be able to create multiple welcome messages and deep link to a specific greeting from tweets, websites and apps.
The quick messaging functionality will also give users the choice to choose from a list of options when sending their message. By allowing them to enter specific text values, this will aim to reduce the time spent resolving issues.
The TJM take: As they’ll be best optimised by brands that use social media to deliver customer service, Twitter is using the new features to ‘gear up’ for those in the retail industry. We’ve theorised that this could be due to them struggling to find a buyer, as this will provide them with the opportunity to make more money off the platform.
Additionally, Facebook (a main competitor), also already offer an auto-reply feature, so it’s no surprise that Twitter is doing the same!
WhatsApp to introduce a new ‘Status’ feature for users
The popular instant messaging service, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), is taking inspiration from the likes of Instagram and Snapchat by unveiling a “Status” feature.
The Status feature, which enables users to post multiple updates, will be able to be accessed under a new “Status” tab in the app. Like Snapchat and Instagram, users will be able to post images and videos from their library, as well as add doodles and text to them.
Updates posted through the new feature will be available for a period of 24 hours.
Although beta testers are currently able to access “Status”, they’re required to download a third-party app to do so. As of the date of this article going live, no public release date has been announced.
Interestingly, the team at TJM have also noticed that WhatsApp users can also now tag specific users in messages sent within group chats.
Our research tells us that this update was recently implemented, and that users just need to type the ‘@’ symbol followed by the name of the user they want to receive the notification.
The TJM take: The great thing about Whatsapp was that your Gran could use it. It was simple (as it was like texting(, and there was very little ‘noise’. We question if ‘Mission Creep’ could mean it loses what made it so good. Is it ‘evolve or die’ or ‘evolve and die’?
… one last thing: Google reveals how HTTP usage has increased
Browsing the web is becoming increasingly secure due to ubiquitous HTTP, the official Google Security blog reported recently. In fact, secure browsing is now the standard for Google Chrome users.
To compliment this information, Google has released a new section to the HTTPS Report Card in their transparency report to reveal how HTTPS usage has increased.
For more details, check out the Google Security blog and the updated HTTPS Report Card.