These days, “what’s trending” no longer only applies to what social media users are talking about, but also what new feature is catching on with users (and then being implemented by platforms). Social media advertisers can’t help notice that each platform “update” is becoming eerily similar to the next. This week’s announcements from social media platforms Twitter and Instagram are a perfect example of the “copy cat” mentality in the social media rat race to keep up with Facebook and please advertisers.

Twitter Adds To Timeline

This past Wednesday, Twitter launched its brand-new version of the timeline, which will feature an algorithm designed to resurface the “most recent and relevant tweets” from throughout the day. If this sounds a lot like the Facebook newsfeed, that’s because it is. The new feature has many Twitter diehards upset over the possibility that Twitter is getting rid of the chronological timeline – a feature that many find useful and would like to see stay. The good news is that the new algorithmic timeline is strictly “opt-in only” at this point, meaning any user can decline the feature for the time-being. Advertisers should find this feature will perform in their favor, as it will only free up more prime timeline space for branded tweets. We hope it doesn’t change things too much because avid Twitter users know, there’s nothing like digging through your timeline to find out what you missed in the past few hours.

Instagram Takes Page Out Of Facebook’s Book – Starts Counting Video Views

Okay, okay we get it. Instagram and Facebook are “allowed” to copy each other. After all, Facebook does own Instagram, but nevertheless,  Instagram announced this week that they would be releasing a “video views” metric for video ads. This comes just a few weeks after they announced they would be allowing 60-second videos.

Instagram’s past two announcements regarding video ads are a sure sign that it is quickly and decisively attempting to make the platform more comprehensive for advertisers. Video continues to shine on social (Instagram reported time spent watching videos has risen 40% in past 6 months), and with that comes a need for accurate analytics to measure performance. The addition of video views, while not ground-breaking, brings immense value to advertisers and the video ads they promote.


Facebook Adds New Video Features For Advertisers

The most exciting announcement this week was that Facebook will be rolling out new video ad features, such as auto-captions and increased performance analytics. Facebook must be seriously recognizing the power of video content, as they have added new performance data for both Instagram and Facebook video ads in the past week. And while increased analytics has the geek inside of us jumping for joy, we are most intrigued by the ability to automatically add captions to videos.

Facebook has long said the best sound for your video ad, is no sound at all. With that said, it can be a struggle to convey a message to your audience without sound. Now, Facebook is finally doing something to change that. The ability to add captions to video ads will help advertisers get their message across, no matter if the viewer is in a crowded bar or at home on the couch with his phone on silent. Sure, you don’t have to use video captions, but think how much more powerful your video ads will be if you draw your viewer in with a clever tag line at the beginning of the video that warms them up to the entirety of your message.