Social video platforms are evolving every day, introducing new features, ad products, and innovations — and we monitor these platforms closely to make sure our customers are up to speed. Here’s the latest social video news that marketers need to know:

YouTube: Redesigned user experience

YouTube recently released a sneak peek of its new user experience. Soon, the platform will implement the Material Design framework, simplifying the desktop user experience and unifying the look and feel of YouTube across devices. YouTube also reports that the updated design will allow it to deploy new features more rapidly, helping the platform compete in the evolving social video ecosystem. Check out the Dark Theme, it’ll completely change your late-night YouTube binge watching.

Facebook: F8 announcements

At the F8 developer conference, Facebook announced both a number of changes to its video products and plans for long-term research projects. Several new video features, like integrating video viewing into the News feed on mobile, and enhancing the Facebook OTT video app, are designed to engage audiences longer, while Facebook’s release of augmented reality filters represent fierce competition to Snapchat. Facebook also teased some of its long-term projects, including making virtual reality more social, bringing the internet to rural areas, and building augmented reality glasses.

Instagram: Explosive growth

Instagram is growing faster than ever, reaching 700M global users in April after adding 100M users in just the past four months. As Instagram’s user base continues to grow, marketers will have a larger audience to reach and engage through targeted in-feed video advertising and on Stories. More than 200M people are now using Instagram Stories, surpassing the 161M user base of competitor Snapchat.

Twitter: In-stream ads & live video

Twitter is launching in-stream pre- and mid-roll video ads. Marketers can now target in-stream ads against video content and live streams produced by publishers and creators that belong to Twitter’s Amplify program. The platform is also diving headfirst into live video with 24/7 coverage from a dozen media companies. Twitter will partner with Bloomberg, Buzzfeed, Live Nation, and several other media companies to vastly scale up live video on the platform. Twitter’s ad offering is particularly effective at engaging audiences during live events — by ramping up live video production, Twitter is providing advertisers with a significant opportunity to reach captive audiences in real time.

Pixability’s recent report on the state of walled garden video advertising indicates that view-to-completion and click-through rates on Twitter increased significantly through 2016, as users adapted to the proliferation of video content, and Twitter’s algorithms improved.

Snapchat: Ads manager

Snapchat announced that it will soon open up its advertising inventory to all marketers through the Snapchat Ads Manager. This self-serve ad buying platform is slated to be released in June, and will allow all advertisers to execute and manage Snap Ad campaigns. Snapchat also announced a mobile dashboard to allow advertisers to monitor and manage campaigns from within its app.

Pinterest: Updates to Lens

Pinterest upgraded its Lens visual discovery feature with new objection-detection capabilities, including QR codes. Now, users can use the Lens tool to explore multiple products within a single image.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how Pixability’s technology can help you or your clients achieve advertising success across social video platforms.