The Weekly Download – November 10, 2017

Spodek & Co - Weekly Download - Nov 10 2017Big changes for Twitter, an update from Facebook on advertising transparency, how Instagram is helping more content creators disclose paid partnerships, and an update on that hilarious viral KFC story are all in this week’s edition of The Weekly Download. Let’s get started!

Twitter doubles its character limit to 280 characters per tweet

Huge news for Twitter this week!

Historically, we’ve been limited to 140 characters every time we want to post an update to the Twittersphere. While there have been rumours about the character limit increasing, on Tuesday these new rules came into play for Twitter users around the world.

Twitter says that the update is meant to make Tweeting easier. Some were worried that the increase in characters would add to extra “clutter” on timelines, but Twitter says it isn’t so — early tests show that only 5% of Tweets sent with an extended character limit surpassed 140 characters and only 2% surpassed 190.

As you might imagine, people had lots to say about the update — both good and bad. From Nemo and Cookie Monster to Law & Order, brands also got in on the fun:

If you ask us, we’re excited about the new update and the extra potential it holds for strategy on social.

Instagram’s new sponsor-tagging tool opens up for more creators

In an effort to enhance advertising transparency, Instagram will be opening up access to its sponsor-tagging tool to more creators with high engagement. The tool allows content creators to add “Paid Partnership with” labels when required in an effort to comply with branded content disclosure.

To ensure the tool is being used when required, Instagram has begun monitoring posts with both human and computer-based reviews for branded-content disclosure violations. When a post is flagged by the system as violating the company’s branded-content policy, the creator will receive an in-app notification to attach the “Paid Partnership with” tag to the post.

Facebook issues another update in an attempt to boost advertising transparency

Facebook is still hard at work to enhance the transparency of ad campaigns following the discovery of fake or misleading political ads that may have interfered with the electoral process in the 2016 US election.

Starting this month, Facebook users will be able to click “View Ads” on a Page and view all ads that a Page is running on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, regardless of whether that user is in the target audience for that ad or not. The new initiative is starting as a test in the Canadian market and will roll out to the US sometime next summer.

For now, the new feature will only show active ads. Following expansion of the feature to other countries, Facebook plans to begin building an archive of searchable ads that will include details like amounts spent, impressions delivered, and demographic information. Political advertisers will also be required to disclose and verify their identity prior to advertising.

So what does this mean for businesses?

Essentially, competitors will be able to see all of the Facebook ads you’re running, including your average spend and spend per ad. Spodek and Co. will be following this new update closely to ensure we stay ahead of the game when it comes to advertising strategy for our clients.

Twitter suspends its “broken” verification tool after blue check mark given to white supremacist

Twitter was in the headlines again this week for a much more disappointing reason. The social network halted its verification system after its well-known blue check mark became seen as a stamp of approval for those disseminating hateful speech online.

Intended to help Twitter users identify legitimate users, the system verified the account of Jason Kessler — a white supremacist credited for organizing the hateful rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past summer.

The company has since come under criticism for unclear disclosure of how verification is determined and inconsistent application of the blue check mark. While it was originally meant to authenticate identity and voice, it has become interpreted as endorsement.  

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addressed the confusion and said they will be reconsidering the verification system.

Friday Fun

KFC rewards clever Twitter user with a commissioned portrait

A couple of weeks ago, we shared the story of a particularly clever Twitter user who figured out why KFC was following just 11 random people on the social app. This week, @edgette22 went viral again when he was rewarded by KFC for solving this hilarious mystery with a portrait of him piggybacking on Colonel Sanders with a drumstick in hand.

The epic gift also doubles as some hilarious PR for the brand, which has some people wondering: was it all planned?

Reddit is abuzz with conspiracy theories, and we have to admit, some are seriously thought-provoking — including the fact that @edgette22 works for a PR firm that might have connections to KFC’s parent company. While KFC’s advertising firm maintains that it was done without any insiders in on the gag, many are still skeptic.

The Stranger Things kids and James Corden were in a Motown cover band

You haven’t heard of the Upside Downs?

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site