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Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. This week’s post focuses on several new updates to Facebook, and a closer look at Twitter’s new custom emojis.



Crazy For Custom Emojis

It all started back in June with the little rainbow at the end of tweets celebrating the legalization of gay marriage in America. Now it’s city-specific icons announcing the Pope’s visit, two Coke bottles clinking, and Rugby balls patterned in countries’ flags. Twitter’s emojis, also called hashflags, have been rolling out to announce events including the MTV VMAs and NYFW, but one of these examples is unlike the other.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 2.14.26 PM

For the first time, Twitter has created a custom hashflag for an advertising partner, Coca Cola. Taking their #ShareaCoke campaign a step further with their new custom Twitter emoji of two bottles clinking, Coca Cola’s advertising partnership with Twitter includes all the latest market offerings. There is no disclosed financial information on the ad offering yet, but this is definitely an indication of things to come in Twitter advertising.



Sending A ‘Signal’

Facebook is tired of Twitter’s reputation for being the go-to social media channel for breaking news. It’s answer? Signal. Last week Facebook launched Signal, a new feature that gives journalists free access to what’s currently trending on Instagram and Facebook. Features include:

  • Monitoring trending topics
  • Lists of public figures ranked by Facebook mentions
  • Searching Instagram by hashtag, (public) account, or location
  • Creating collections of Facebook posts, Instagram photos and videos, and correlating metrics
  • Embedding content




Expanding Ad Targeting

Yesterday Facebook announced it would be including information gathered from pages that use Facebook’s ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons in its ad targeting. In pursuit of serving interest-based ads, this new feature doesn’t even require a user to take action on Facebook’s social buttons, it’s enough just to be on the page. This means advertisers will now be able to target based on browsing data.

If this seems a bit tricky and you’re not too sure what it means, Facebook has provided an example:

“… if you visit hotel and airline websites to research an upcoming trip, you might then see ads for travel deals on Facebook.”

This new update is expected to roll out next month and users can turn interest-based targeting on and off within their ad settings.


Facebook Rolling Out Instant Articles In A Big Way

Expanding from its small test back in May, Facebook is now rolling out Instant Articles with more than 20 publishers. Although this means a decline in traffic from Facebook for these sites, Facebook is working with comScore to quantify the number of people that read the Instant Articles and credit that amount to the publisher.

Currently confined within the Facebook mobile app, Instant Articles marks the beginning of media organizations having to work with Facebook and potentially sacrifice revenue. Other platforms including Snapchat’s Discover and Apple News are already running with similar features to Instant Articles.

Current publications with Instant Articles include the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, MTV, Complex, Refinery 29, Time Inc., Business Insider, and more.



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