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Facebook to start offering video ads 

Despite shares in Facebook crashing following the release of its Q1 earnings last week, Facebook is reportedly ‘excited’ about the potential of video ads. Narrowly missing Wall Street’s expectations, the social media giant took $3.54bn in revenue for the first three months of 2015, with analysts expecting $3.56bn.

However, Mark Zuckerberg did have some positive news to share, revealing that videos are now watched on Facebook approximately four billion times every day.

Commenting on the growth, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said: “We’ve always believed that the format of our ads should follow the format of what consumers are doing on Facebook”. She added that this increase in consumer video provides “the opportunity to do more marketing video as well.” Sandberg went on to reveal that 75% of global video views on Facebook happen on mobile devices and that: “We believe mobile video will become more important to marketers over time”.

Despite Facebook’s move into the video space, Google has indicated that YouTube (which is owned by Google) is not prepared to relinquish its grasp on video without a fight. As YouTube celebrated its 10th birthday last week, Google reassured analysts that YouTube’s performance remained strong and that revenue had risen 100% year-on-year in 2014.

Social media increases its influence on shoppers

A recent report by DigitasLBi’s Connected has found that Facebook influences 52% of consumer purchases. Both on and offline. In addition, 46% of shoppers were influenced by Pinterest, 43% by Instagram and 36% by Twitter. More than a quarter of respondents revealed they had purchased an item via a social media platform.

The study took place across 17 countries and looked at the shopping habits of 1,000 adults.

Commenting on the results, DigitasLBi Commerce managing partner, Jim Herbert said: “Peer pressure has always been a powerful influencing factor when it comes to making purchases.

“Social networks aimed at our personal lives rather than our professional lives are translating this online. Retailers need to ensure that social media is integrated throughout the entire customer journey and that they manage their social channels to make a real impact on purchase behaviour.”

Twitter shares plummet 

Twitter shares took a dive this week following news of poor results for the first quarter. The micro-blogging company’s share price had increased by more than 40% this year, mainly due to better-than-expected results and rumours over a potential takeover by Google. However, after its Q1 financial results were accidently leaked (on Twitter), its stock plummeted, wiping $6.1 billion off its market capitalisation. Despite predictions, it appears as if Twitter has missed revenue expectations, disappointing investors. Commenting on the results, chief executive Dick Costolo said that: “We remain confident in our strategy and in Twitter’s long-term opportunity”.

Social music network Tunepics launches on Apple Watch

First launched in 2014, Tunepics, which allows users to attach songs to shared images, and share information about their current mood, has become the first wearable British social app. Users can search for over 35 million songs by genre, emotion or by keyword – and of course – go on to purchase the song via iTunes.

Delivering a “multisensory social network” that combines the emotional impact of music with the power of visual, Tunepics encourages users to share their “moments”. Interestingly, the app also uses data to create a map of what users are feeling at any given time – proving a unique insight into the mood of the nation.

Commenting on the Apple Watch launch, founder and chief executive of Tunepics, Justin Cooke said: “Apple watch is yet another significant advance into what the future of devices and emotional communication will look and feel like – Apple are the masters of giving people what they want at the perfect moment balancing fashion and function.”

Snapchat to launch a News division

According to reports, political correspondent Peter Hamby is leaving CNN to join Snapchat as Head of News. The appointment will see Snapchat benefit from Hamby’s considerable political acumen as it continues to develop its news product. Snapchat, which has moved aggressively into news media over the last few months, has been described by Hanby as: “one of the most exciting young companies in the world.”

It is believed Hamby has been appointed to appeal to more traditional media outlets, and to convince them that piggy-backing on Snapchat’s platform could deliver more readers.

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