The end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 have been interesting times in the history of Instagram and Facebook. For Instagram users, many will find the recent addition of “regramming” posts to multiple accounts extremely helpful. Techcrunch has reported that Instagram is adding the ability to publish feed posts to different accounts you control at the same time by toggling them on within the composer screen. For many social media managers or influencers who operate multiple accounts, this option could be a game changer for their content distribution. Often, many people have more than one account for different purposes. Creating content and distributing it among different accounts has previously been time consuming. Through this feature, time can be saved pushing content out around different accounts seamlessly.
2019: The Year of Facebook Story Ads
Facebook Story Ads were first introduced by Facebook in 2018. This was following on from the 2017 launch of Instagram Stories ads, in which advertisers could insert their ad after stories consumers see on Instagram. This feature, born out of Snapchat stories which pioneered the format, has been a great success. According to Facebook, more than 300 million people use Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories every day. The Instagram Stories launch in 2017, followed by the Facebook Stories Launch in 2018, will lead to 2019 being the year where story ad formats become a massive ad platform for Facebook. According to a recent Digiday interview with Mark Rabkin (Facebook’s vp of ads and business platform) Facebook’s biggest topic to discuss with marketers is its story ads. According to Digiday, Facebook even plastered signs promoting its story ads on automatic sliding doors at McCarran International Airport, so marketers could see these highly visible formats when exiting the airport. It’s clear that Facebook sees Story ads as driving results. According to a survey commissioned by Facebook IQ, 68% of people use stories on at least three apps regularly, and 63% plan to use stories more in the future. It is evident based on Rabkin’s remarks that Facebook sees huge potential in this ad format. Therefore, usage of this medium to drive valuable business outcomes is likely to increase among social media marketers in 2019.
2019: The Year of Ad Transparency
On 29th November, in the very tail end of 2018, Facebook released an announcement that it would begin enforcing stricter rules around political advertisements in the UK. That means that advertisers in the UK who wish to run political ads have to confirm their identity and location, as well as who paid for the ad, before they can be run on Facebook and Instagram. While this is only limited to the UK, it’s likely that this push for ad transparency will begin to ramp up even more in 2019. On the 28th December 2018, Facebook confirmed it has 30,000 people monitoring Facebook to ensure standards are met. On 20th December 2018, 9 Facebook pages based in Bangladesh engaged in inauthentic behaviour were removed from the platform. These were accounts that were active ad buyers, spending around $800 US dollars in ad spend on Facebook. Facebook cited that these pages misled users by trying to look like independent news outlets, while supporting the government through pro-government and anti-opposition content. All of these announcements falling in quick succession at the end of 2018 indicates that more transparent social media marketing, particularly for political ads, will become more important going forward.