Weekly Reads – Original ideas and functionality are losing importance

Instant Articles and Google’s AMP. Disappearing stories on Instagram. Facebook emulating Google and YouTube. The need for creating new, original ideas and tools for users is no longer as important in the digital war as how quickly you can copy your competitors. The big three (or four) of Facebook, Google, Snapchat and Twitter become more and more alike every single day.

Facebook

Search Marketing Daily: Facebook’s Three-Stage Search Advertising Strategy Underway
Facebook is taking the next step in their plan to enter search marketing with their vast treasure trove of data. After focusing on building out their Knowledge Graph search in Phase One they are now working to make that search useful for businesses. Once that is complete Facebook will begin to make that data available for advertising for both businesses and publishers on the platform.

AdAge: Facebook Is Testing Mid-Roll Video Ads in Facebook Live
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Online Video Daily: New Facebook Mobile Video Features Turn Up Heat On YouTube
Not content to just grow their social media domination by adding in search marketing, Facebook is making continual strides with their video business. It is taking on YouTube directly by adding a dedicated video tab and subscription-based video channels and beginning to monetize Facebook Live by testing mid-roll video ads.

Google

The Verge: Google’s Instant Articles competitor is about to take over mobile search
Google’s AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, are the search giant’s answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles. The pages load significantly faster than a standard website on a mobile website and have previously been confined to a specialized carousel at the top of search results. Now, Google has announced that it plans to expand the delivery of AMP links beyond that carousel to all mobile search results.

Publishers and brands will now need to adapt their stories for both Instant Articles and AMP to make sure that the content is in front of their audiences.

Instagram

The Verge: Instagram’s new stories are a near-perfect copy of Snapchat stories
Maybe we saved the biggest story of the week for last. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat em, join em. Facebook has tried to emulate, or even buy, Snapchat multiple times but hasn’t been able to recreate its success. Now Facebook has decided to use Instagram, an established, thriving platform to host a direct copy of Snapchat’s stories and disappearing content functionality. It remains to be seen how the tool will take off on Instagram without the unique lenses and stickers that Snapchat uses but it is going to be interesting to watch for brands and marketers a like.

What GFM Blogged About This Week…

A Visual Analysis of Trump and Clinton’s Twitter Accounts
What is Nextdoor and How Can it Benefit Businesses?
New Insights Into Employee Engagement