Market Trends

Written by The Marketing Team July 27, 2018

WATCH: Tour de Social – 2018’s major social advertising updates

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Since we’re over half way through the year, we thought it’d be worthwhile to go back over some of the major social advertising updates across the 4 major networks in 2018.

In our latest Facebook Live we did a ‘tour’ of some of the major advertising updates across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Since the Tour de France finishes this weekend in Paris, we’re taking the cycling theme as inspiration for our ‘Tour de Social’! Watch the full Facebook Live replay below and scroll further down to read through more detail on everything discussed.


New UI

Snapchat launched its now infamous new UI in late 2017. It initially rolled out in November last year, to a small number of users, with the majority later getting access in February 2018.

The idea was to separate the ‘social from the media’, to get away from making people feel the need to perform for friends rather than just express themselves. The new interface also aimed to improve user experience and increase the amount of ad inventory available within the application.

The Snapchat app was reorganized into two feeds:

      • The Friends tab is where users can find snap stories from their friends, but instead of being sorted chronologically, the new UI now sorts these through an algorithm.
      • The Discover tab serves up content from major media outlets, influencers or brands.

Snapchat Story Ads

Snapchat has since rolled back some of this, due to some uproar from users, including a petition that received over 800,000 signatures. Overall, the new UI has given advertisers valuable insight into Snapchat’s own vision for their app, and how they want to set themsleves apart from competitors.

Story Ads

Story Ads, launched in April 2018, is the advertising format within Snapchat’s Discovery tab. Snapchat’s vision for Story Ads is that they will “allow advertisers big and small to say more on Snapchat.

This ad format allows advertisers to reach their audiences with a branded tile in the Discover feed. With one tap of the finger, users can jump into a collection of Snaps (between 3 and 20), diving deeper into the ‘world’ of a particular brand. The Story ad format allows brands to tell deeper stories, and drive real-world actions through swipe-ups.



More than 50% of Twitter’s business is video

In April 2018, Twitter announced that video ad revenue now makes up more than 50 percent of its ad revenue. Video website cards and video app cards were two ad formats specifically mentioned as driving growth in video ad revenue.

Twitter also noted the impact of video ad growth in Japan – Twitter’s second-largest market.

Overall, it’s interesting to see video playing a bigger and bigger role on Twitter. It is, after all, the network for “what’s happening”, and what better way to showcase that today than through video.

Twitter ad transparency

Twitter Ad TransparencyThe new Twitter Ads Transparency Center allows anyone to view a business’ ads running on Twitter. This feature will incorporate all Twitter advertisers globally, although this is being gradually rolled out over time.

Any user will be able to search for any advertiser, gaining visibility into all ads that business is currently running on Twitter. They’ll also be able to see if an ad was suspended and why.

Twitter is making this move to both fight misinformation on the platform, as well as hold advertisers accountable for the ads they post.




As you’ll know Instagram Stories have take off this year. At last count there were 400M daily active users, and there have been a number of new features added within Instagram Stories this year. These include:

  • Interactive options: From GIFs, to music, to questions, polls, slider polls and more – Instagram has added all sorts of interactive options to Stories this year. Things like polls can be an excellent way to maintain engagement organically with Instagram users, offering a fast and non-committal way for users to interact with content.
  • Carousel ads in Instagram Stories Beta: This new ad format allows advertisers to have up to three pieces of media per Instagram story. Our client Social.Lab saw some great results from testing it. Read the full success story here.
  • Shopping tags: Addition of a shopping bag icon to organic Stories can lead users to more info or a purchase. This is another simple yet effective way brands can drive sales through Instagram.

instagram-igtv-1-1600x1067-178987-editedIGTV & 1 billion monthly active users

A a launch event in San Francisco, Instagram recently made two major announcements: IGTV and reaching the lofty heights of 1 billion monthly active users.

IGTV is a vertical, long-form video hub, full of content from your favorite Instagram creators. For many analysts it signals Instagram’s announcement that they’re ready to compete head on with YouTube.

IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Next, video can be long-form, with each video being capped at an hour long. Anyone can be a creator ’97 brands and individuals can upload their own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start their own channels.

While there are no advertising options within IGTV as yet, Instagram advertisers should stay tuned since it’s more than likely to arrive soon.



News Feed algorithm change

In January 2018, the big news in social media was Facebook’s announcement of a change to its algorithm. This was all about promoting deeper more meaningful interactions between users. It meant tweaking things to make the time people spend on Facebook more valuable, helping people stay connected and bringing them together.

For brands, this signalled an increasingly important role for advertising, due to a decrease in organic reach for pages.

Info & Ads Feature for Pages

Facebook recently took steps to increase transparency on its platform, with the launch of a new ‘info & ads’ section on all Facebook business pages. This tool allows users (and competitors) to see:

  • How many ads a business is running
  • Which products they are promoting, and their key sales messages for each
  • What style of creatives they use
  • Which ad formats they most often choose
  • Whether they are running any seasonal campaigns
  • & more!

At first glance this might seem like very bad news for Facebook advertisers. However, at Paragone we feel like it’s more of an opportunity. Our message is to use this tool in your competitive intelligence, but ensure you keep what makes your business unique! The best ads are still the ones that come from outside the box, where marketers have taken the time to think creatively about how to convey a message and drive their desired action from users.

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