Social shorts: Instagram tests web DMs, TikTok explores curated content streams, Pinterest passes Snapchat in users

Social Media

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Instagram DMs, Pinterest beats Snapchat and TikTok looks to change its content stream

Instagram tests DMs on the web. Instagram is finally testing the ability to direct message users on its desktop version. As of yesterday, Instagram began testing the feature on a small percentage of the platform’s global users, who are now able to access their DMs from Instagram’s website. The new feature could be a major win for businesses and influencers who already use Instagram’s desktop version during the workday, and will help round out the app’s experience across devices. While the feature is only a test for now, the company said it will provide more details on a potential wider rollout in the future.

Pinterest eclipses Snapchat in users. In 2019, Pinterest surpassed Snapchat as the third-biggest social media platform in the U.S. and will continue to stay ahead in the coming years, according to the latest estimates from eMarketer. In 2018, Snapchat barely edged Pinterest out with 75.8 million users (compared with Pinterest’s 75.5 million), despite the fact that Snapchat lost users after its major redesign. Snapchat rebounded last year with 80.2 million users, but was still surpassed by Pinterest, which claimed 82.4 million users at the end of 2019.

TikTok might be testing a curated content stream. As it works to address advertiser concerns around ad placement alongside controversial content, TikTok is exploring the idea of a curated content stream, similar to Snapchat’s Discover dashboard. The Financial Times reported that TikTok is looking at adding in a highlights ​stream, which would display curated, original videos from popular TikTok creators alongside content from publishers. The added curation could give businesses on TikTok more control over the viewing experience, ensuring that ads don’t get buried in controversial content streams.

Reddit issues its own anti-deepfake policy, Instagram adds new options to Boomerang

Reddit’s deepfake policy. Last week, Reddit joined the growing chorus of platforms pushing back on deepfakes and other forms of manipulated media. Reddit updated its community guidelines to ban the use of deceptive impersonation within its app, including the use of deepfake content. The update states, “Do not impersonate an individual or entity in a misleading or deceptive manner.” The policy goes on to explain that Reddit doesn’t allow content that aims to impersonate users or entities in a deceptive or misleading way. “While we permit satire and parody,” the policy states, “we will always take into account the context of any particular content.” 
More creative options in Boomerang. Instagram has added three new creative options to its Boomerang camera mode, including ‘SloMo’, ‘Echo’ and ‘Duo’ variants. The features can be accessed via Instagram Stories creation mode in the Boomerang tab, giving users more ways to create engaging experiences in Stories. Users can trim and tweak their Boomerang loops to better control the final clip.

On the move

Trustpilot gets a new marketing VP, Oracle recruits a former AWS exec

Trustpilot has named Lauren Lowman VP of global demand creation and Americas marketing. Lowman, who began her career with Trustpilot in product marketing before overseeing demand generation in North America, is the first to step into the newly-created role with the organization. “As we embark on an exciting new year and prepare to launch dozens of initiatives, it was crucial that we aligned our organization in a fashion that ensured the greatest success,” said Don Ross, President of the Americas for Trustpilot.

Oracle has hired the former VP of worldwide marketing for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ariel Kelman, as its new CMO, reports CNBC. Kelman’s move to Oracle is a likely win for the company which has long been an AWS competitor. Kelman will be replacing Rupal Shah Hollenbeck who recently exited Oracle. According to Kelman’s LinkedIn profile, he was the co-founder and VP of marketing at Ventaso, a customer Message Management (CMM) solution, from 1998 through 2004. Prior to being with AWS, Kelman held roles at Salesforce and MicroStrategy. 

Ben Brewer has been named chief revenue officer for Nintex, a process management and automation solution. He will lead direct and partner sales for new and existing Nintex customers, as well as the company’s global sales organization which is comprised of teams within North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. “We can’t wait to see what Ben and his team will achieve across the global Nintex community in 2020,” said CEO Eric Johnson. Before joining Nintex, Brewer was with SAP Concur, overseeing its SMB division — a unit comprised of 1,100 employees and more than $200 million in annual bookings.

Lowe’s gets a new CMO, BuzzFeed hires Peter Wang as CTO, and Allocadia brings in a Chief Product Officer

Lowe’s has appointed Marisa Thalberg as executive vice president, chief brand and marketing officer, taking effect Feb. 10. Prior to joining Lowes, Thalberg served as global chief brand officer for Taco Bell, where she led the transformation of the company to become a culture-centric lifestyle brand, leading to sales growth and category share gains. Thalberg has also served as head of corporate digital and integrated marketing worldwide for Estée Lauder Companies, and before that held various senior leadership roles at Unilever Cosmetics International, Sure Fit Inc. and Revlon. 

Buzzfeed has hired Peter Wang as chief technology officer (CTO), the company announced last week. Formerly the CTO of healthcare community The Mighty, Wang joins BuzzFeed with a wealth of experience in the media industry, having held executive roles at Refinery29 and Narrativ (a startup for publishers). Wang is replacing BuzzFeed’s previous CTO, Todd Levy, who left to join a health startup last summer. Wang will oversee engineering, product, data, design and project management for the media company.

Marketing performance management (MPM) platform Allocadia has named Rahul Nirula as its new chief product officer. Nirula will work with the company’s CTO to drive innovation and expand growth for the MPM market. “As the former CPO, I’m excited to be handing over the reins to Nirula, whose expansive product expertise and focus on customer success is a strong addition to Allocadia as we continue to grow the executive team,” said Allocadia Co-founder Katherine Berry. Prior to joining Allocadia, Nirula was with the Volaris Group and has been part of the product teams for OpenText, Research in Motion and Polar.

About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.

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