Social Shorts: Instagram pegs Reels and Shop, Pinterest’s engagement metric, TikTok’s size and more

Why Pinterest moved beyond CTR to understand ad engagement 

Source: Pinterest

Relying on a straight click-through rate metric to understand how ads are resonating has its shortcomings, explained Pinterest engineers in a blog post. Those shortcomings include not accounting for ad position bias, users’ Save or Hide actions and brand awareness objectives. 

Instead, Pinterest explains, it developed a User Metric defined as Weighted Engagement on Ads [Clicks, Saves, Hides, etc.]  / Weighted Engagement on Neighboring Organic Content [To account for position bias]. In the table above, the team shows examples of how the “new metric better reflects user engagement,” says Pinterest. (Blue is statistically significant positive, red statistically significant negative, grey is neutral.)

Why we care. While the post illustrates how the new metric helps Pinterest better account for user satisfaction with ads as it continually runs new experiments, understanding how platforms consider and account for ad quality (such as Google Ads’ Quality Score and Ad Rank), can be very helpful in informing how to interpret your own campaign metrics — and help you optimize your campaigns toward your own goals. 

TikTok could reach 1.2 billion users next year

TikTok’s monthly active users (MAU) are estimated to hit 1.2 billion in 2021, according to mobile analytics firm App Annie. The short-form video app’s hot streak has continued, with its user base having tripled since 2018, TechCrunch reported. Further, its growing advertising business and sales of virtual gifts for tipping creators made TikTok the number two non-gaming app by consumer spending in the third quarter of this year.

Why we care. It’s been a chaotic 2020 for TikTok. It’s fate in the U.S. is still up in the air with the Trump administration’s ban blocked in federal court and the proposed deal for Oracle and Walmart to take ownership stakes in a new TikTok Global entity still under review. And yet, TikTok’s popularity with creators, users and advertisers shows no signs of slowing.

WhatsApp’s disappearing messages option rolls out 

WhatsApp announced the launch of a new disappearing messages option last week. It’s been in testing for some time. Snapchat, of course, pioneered ephemeral messaging. When enabled, messages will disappear after seven days. In one-on-one chats, either user can enable the option. Admins have control in group chats. “We’re starting with seven days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about,” the company said in the announcement.

Why we care. The feature is aimed at giving users a feeling of chatting “as close to in-person as possible” when using the messaging platform. WhatsApp has also been building out its customer service and shopping features for businesses, integrating more deeply with Facebook. More than 175 million people every day message a WhatsApp Business account, the company said last month.  

LinkedIn ad measurement errors affect more than 418,000 advertisers

LinkedIn has acknowledged it discovered two measurement errors that led to overreporting of video views and ad impressions on sponsored content campaigns. The issues persisted for more than two years and affected more than 418,000 advertisers, the company said. LinkedIn is issuing ad credits to advertisers who were overcharged. Most were overcharged by less than $25.

Why we care. This disclosure will remind advertisers of Facebook’s problems with inflating video ad views and numerous other measurement errors. LinkedIn said it is in talks with the Media Ratings Council to audit its ad measurement metrics and with Moat for viewability measurement. 

Instagram moves Shop, Reels into the spotlight

Instagram puts Reels and Shop in the main navigation.
Instagram puts Reels and Shop in the main navigation.

Shop and Reels tabs are now permanent fixtures on Instagram’s home screen, the company announced Thursday. The new design pushes the Create new post and Activity (likes, etc) options out of the main tab options at the bottom of the screen. 

Why we care. The changes are aimed at keeping younger audiences and creators engaged and capitalizing on the growth in e-commerce. Shopping is a key piece of Facebook’s revenue strategy. Online commerce now accounts for the company’s largest advertiser vertical, and the company gets a share of each sale made via Instagram Checkout. Reels, Instagram’s short-form video product, is aimed at rivaling fast-growing TikTok. Instagram head Adam Mosseri told CNBC that ads will eventually come to Reels. 


About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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