August was a packed month of social media updates, with many channels racing to expand into the video scene.

At the center of it all is Snapchat. With the four-year-old ephemeral messaging app recently surpassing Twitter in daily usage, other channels are now playing catch up.

Snapchat’s dynamic, highly personal format has lead most millennials to say that they’re more likely to use Snapchat than Instagram or Facebook. In turn, this highly niche, tech-savvy user base has also helped inspire new features and updates that have build Snapchat into the innovative experience it is today.

Other social channels are now trying to cut a share of this success by releasing similar updates themselves. Just this month, Instagram released Stories, Twitter made some updates to their newest live-streaming feature, Moments, and Pinterest also unveiled their own video updates.

As marketers prepare for a strong finish to the last few months of the year, they’ll want to tune into some of these recent changes.

Let’s take a look at what happened in the world of social media this month:

1) Instagram Releases “Instagram Stories”

There was an uproar earlier this month when Instagram released Instagram Stories, a disappearing video-messaging feature that looks very similar to Snapchat. Over 100 million users, one-third of Instagram’s total active users, are now creating Stories.

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The lowdown:

  • On Instagram, content can still be posted permanently on the feed or as a story which is available for 24-hours before disappearing.
  • Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories also offers a handful of filters, but the selection is much more limited. Consistent with the Instagram feed experience, users can apply filters to change the color, contrast and lighting of their story content.
  • You can add hashtags to your story to target specific topics or communities, like #foodstagram or #music.

2) Twitter Will Be Opening “Moments” to Groups of Content Creators

Last year, Twitter launched “Moments,” a feature that curates and rounds up tweets about important current events and trends. More recently, Twitter announced that it would finally be opening this up to a broader group of influencers, partners, and publishers in the coming months.

One of these partners is brand consulting agency VaynerMedia. “We’re excited about the new ability to make Moments because it provides our brand partners with a great opportunity to seamlessly integrate into how real-time culture is being consumed today,” says Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer at VaynerMedia.

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The lowdown:

  • “Moments” lasts for 24 hours and is a powerful visual storytelling tool for brands because of its real-time aspect and media-rich format.
  • This content can be shared with Twitter users and non-Twitter users, which gives advertisers a greater reach.
  • “Moments” content can be easily embedded in publishers’ sites to drive even more engagement.

3) Twitter To Release Preroll Ads

Twitter announced that they will be releasing preroll ads through their Amplify Push Program. U.S. based influencers can opt in to run these ads in front of their content to receive a cut of the ad revenue.
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Photo from Adweek

The lowdown:

  • The feature will make it easier for influencers to publish content. Influencers will be able to upload, manage, and publish media across desktop and mobile all from one place.
  • The program will offer ads on a per-tweet basis or as a part of a plan for all videos.
  • Creators will receive 70% of revenue, Twitter will receive 30%.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.07.46 PM4) Twitter Promoted Stickers

Shortly after rolling out stickers last month, Twitter followed up with a launch of Promoted Stickers. Companies can brand stickers that users can choose to add to their photos. Once a user adds a sticker to a photo, it triggers an associated hashtag that makes the tweet discoverable to the brand. Pepsi, for example, used #SayItWithPepsi with their promoted stickers.

The lowdown:

5) Snapchat Buys Vurb, a Search and Discovery App

Earlier this month, it was reported that Snapchat is acquiring search and discovery app, Vurb, for $100 million. It isn’t confirmed exactly what the acquisition will entail, but The Information speculates that Vurb will let users link in media such as news stories in their Snaps or recommend Snaps to each other.
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Photo from TechCrunch

The lowdown:

  • Integrating Vurb into the Snapchat platform can make it easier for users to image search or for the platform to suggest recommendations to users.
  • 2016 research shows that Snapchat is used by 72% of millennials, beating out Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. These new updates could potentially help the platform gain even more mindshare.

6) Facebook to Derank Clickbait Articles

Over the next few weeks, Facebook will be updating its algorithm to suppress clickbait. So titles like “Man Befriends A Wild Lion, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!”, might now be pushed to the bottom of the feed.

Facebook defines clickbait as a title that withholds information required to understand the article and/or a title that is misleading or exaggerated. The platform will look at publisher activity and rank each brand based on the ratio of clickbait content to quality content.

“If you post 50 times a day and post one piece a clickbait, this shouldn’t affect you. If you’re a spammer and post clickbait all day, this should affect you a lot,” Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP of Product Management on News Feed says.

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Photo from TechCrunch

The lowdown:

  • According to Techcrunch, clickbait is one of the most complained about aspects of the Newsfeed.
  • Facebook’s algorithm will assign each story a clickbait score, similar to the way email spam filters work.

7) Pinterest Rolls out Paid Video Advertising

Pinterest rolled out Promoted Video Pins, a video ad offering. This is after seeing a 60% increase in the amount of video content users have been posting to the platform this year. Since 55% of users on Pinterest want to find or shop products on the platform, video offers a more dynamic way to learn about products and quickly purchase.

The lowdown:

  • Video ads appear as muted previews in users’ feeds and plays at a speed that corresponds with their scrolling pace. Similar to Facebook, users turn on sound by clicking on the ad.
  • Currently only available to businesses in the US and UK working with a Pinterest account team.
  • One study found that General Mills’ Old El Paso’s Promoted Video ads were 4x more memorable than a non-video ad.

The Great Social Migration to the All-in-One Ecosystem

Social media channels are competing hard for mindshare. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are all building ecosystems where users never have to leave the app. This is in line with broader moves from Facebook, Google, and Apple in what we’ve previously termed “the ecosystem wars.”

While most platforms are just now adding in video to boost engagement, it’s clear that Snapchat is already one step ahead, potentially acquiring Vurb to build out an even more sophisticated video experience for users.

Video will be a powerful and necessary tool for marketers in the coming months. One survey shows that 71% of marketers will be using video ads on social next year. That’s because consumers are tuned in on video – it builds trust and is easier to remember and share. Now that social media channels are making video production more streamlined, it will be more important than ever to find the right channels to invest in.