Social Shorts: Snapchat advertiser certifications, YouTube masthead ads go full CPM, more

The social media marketing week in review: A round up of news and announcements you may have missed.

Ginny Marvin on November 9, 2020 at 9:30 am

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Facebook Ads bugs unnerve advertisers

Last week, more bugs beset a wide number of advertiser accounts and ads, causing temporary ad disapprovals and accounts being disabled. “This is the second widespread bug that we’ve seen impact Facebook campaigns in the last 4 weeks,’ said Zenia Johnson of 3Q Digital.

Why we care. Advertiser frustrations over an unpredictable and glitchy ads platform could drive them to consider channel diversification more seriously. That could help Snapchat and Pinterest, in particular, both of which have been investing in direct response advertising solutions and saw healthy ad revenue growth last quarter. 

YouTube to stop full-day masthead reservations

Starting next year, YouTube will price its homepage masthead ad unit on an impression basis only rather than allow advertisers to reserve the spot for an entire day. 

“For years, advertisers asked us for more flexible options for appearing in the YouTube masthead, which is why we introduced the cost-per-thousand (CPM) Masthead in 2019 and earlier this year told advertisers that it would be our primary masthead reservation option in 2021,” the company told CNBC in a statement. “This change gives advertisers more budget flexibility and applies across all verticals — not just political advertisers.” 

Why we care. Though advertisers were notified earlier this year that Cost per Day (CPD) pricing would end, it caught attention this week as the Trump campaign reserved the homepage masthead for election day and the two preceding days. 

YouTube said the change isn’t related to political advertising or the election. Masthead CPM pricing has been available for more than a year. The CPM model also gives advertisers targeting options, whereas with the CPD option, every user sees the ad when they land on the YouTube homepage. 

Snap launches 3 certifications for advertisers

Snap Connect advertiser certification modules
Image: Snap, Inc.

The new program, Snap Connect, offers learning modules for direct-response advertisers on Snapchat. There are three tracks to certification. The tracks focus on three key direct response advertising verticals for Snapchat: mobile games, apps and e-commerce. Snap Connect is part of the Snap Focus education portal. 

Why we care. The modules are aimed at helping advertisers run more effective campaigns, and certifications can help agencies and consultants market their Snapchat media services. Users can choose regional paths (North America, for example) and earn certification after completing the modules and passing an exam. 

Pinterest says it gained from brand safety concerns

Pinterest reported strong revenue growth of 58% year-over-year to $443 million in the third-quarter, and global monthly active users (MAUs) increased by 37% YoY to 442 million.

The company may also have gained from the Facebook Ads boycott. “[W]e continue to benefit from marketers who are prioritizing positivity and brand safety,” said Pinterest CFO Todd Morgenfeld, on the earnings call. “Advertisers tell us that Pinterest is brand safe relative to other consumer internet platforms. And we’ve benefited from this in Q3.”

Why we care. The impact of the brand safety boycott on Facebook’s bottom line appears to be negligible, but it’s all relative. Minor losses to Facebook can represent substantial gains for Pinterest. Facebook also saw its North American user base fall by two million from the previous quarter to 196 million, while Pinterest’s US users increased by 2 million to 98.

Pinterest said it saw higher advertising demand than it had expected in the third quarter with investments in conversion optimization or OCPM ads, shopping, ads, and auto bidding helping diversify its advertiser base. 

Snapchat adds option to show follower counts 

Snapchat users with public profiles will have the option to show their follower counts, Tubefilter first reported. “We’ve listened to feedback from our creator community and many of them expressed interest in having the option to show that their community on Snapchat is growing,” a Snapchat spokesperson told Tubefilter. 

Why we care. Follower counts are more than just a vanity metric when it comes to influencer marketing. They can help indicate how big a creator’s footprint is on a platform to brands looking for creator partners.

Snapchat also debuted creator profiles this fall for users with “an engaged following,” a tier lower than verified Snap Stars, that offer reach and engagement analytics and other features that can help facilitate brand and creator partnerships on the platform.

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