Twitter Collections, Pages, Autoplay Videos, Project Lightning, Instagram’s new Explore features and Google Trends – Digital Marketing News

In this fortnight’s digital marketing news, we talk about all of Twitter’s new features, including Collections, Project Lightning and Product Pages. We also cover Instagram’s new Explore tab and Google’s Updated Trends.

Twitter’s explosion of new features

Following the announcement that current CEO Dick Costolo was stepping down and that Twitter will be seeking a replacement, the platform has released a bucket-load of new features. Following on from last fortnight’s Direct Message character limit change, the new features include: Collections, Product Pages and Auto-playing videos. We go into more detail on each of these below.


Twitter has announced it is creating collections for both products and places – in a similar vein to Pinterest’s boards – they allow users and brands to create a page with a number of products or content curated within.

We found the below example by Penguin Random House, who are using it to promote Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’.

Twitter is increasingly making itself a destination for those looking to window-shop and buy products, which in turn makes it an increasingly important place for businesses to use (and advertise on). You can see further examples from Game of Thrones, Ellen and Nike here, here and here.

Product and Place Pages

‘Pages’ are similar to collections, but are for transactional purposes. They will typically come with a buy button, alongside images, videos and users’ tweets about that product. Retailers will be able to choose if they want to sell on the service or link out to an alternate page. Unfortunately for us, outside of the US the buy button is currently not available, but Twitter have said it will roll it out at a later date.

Place pages will be aggregated tweets, videos and images related to the same events or locations. There are a number of launch partners for Pages, including Disney Store, Nike, HBO’s Game of Thrones and the publishing company Penguin Random House.

Autoplay Videos

Following in Facebook’s footsteps, Twitter has introduced autoplay for their videos (including GIFs, Vine and Periscope) found within the timeline on mobile devices. Videos will also now be in a much larger format within timelines. In similar fashion to Facebook, these videos will be muted unless clicked on.

Twitter showed some data they have seen while testing the autoplay feature:

  • People were 2.5X more likely to prefer autoplay videos over other viewing methods (including click-to-play and video preview thumbnails)
  • They have better video recall with autoplay. In fact, Twitter saw a significant 14% lift in video recall over other video formats.
  • For brands, during our autoplay tests Twitter saw a 7x increase in completions of Promoted Videos

Alongside the autoplay feature is a new metric, which measures ‘viewability’ on Promoted Videos. You can find more information on Twitter’s blog.

Project Lightning

BuzzFeed explained the purpose of Twitter’s Project Lightning in their report on the feature:

“On Twitter’s mobile app, there will be a new button in the centre of the home row. Press it and you’ll be taken to a screen that will show various events taking place that people are tweeting about. These could be based on prescheduled events like Coachella, the Grammys, or the NBA Finals. But they might also focus on breaking news and ongoing events, like the Nepalese earthquake or Ferguson, Missouri. Essentially, if it’s an event that a lot of people are tweeting about, Twitter could create an experience around it.”

This is all completely different to the now familiar Twitter Timeline, with full-screen images, videos, Vines and even live Periscope videos. The user will swipe through them in chronological order, so you look back a few hours ago or catch up to the tweets being posted in real time. Users will also be able to follow these curated moments and have the content within their timeline, whether or not they follow those users.

Importantly, you will be able to see these moments whether you use Twitter or not. Logged out users will see the same content as those logged in.

Although Twitter plans to curate this in-house, they have also reported it will be released to brands and agencies to create their own curated events.

Do you need help with any social media monitoring and campaigns? Contact our Social Media team via our contact form here.

Search and explore on Instagram

Instagram has also announced an update to their explore tab, which now features places and events in a redesigned Explore tab. Instagram’s aim is to bring together all the pictures and videos as they emerge in real time, both local to you and around the world, using hashtags.

Image source:

In addition to this, there will also be curated collections featuring amazing locations and photos.

Image source:

Instagram has also announced an updated search function within the app, adding in “Places”. This now allows anyone to find pictures and videos around their hometown, favourite holiday destination or a music festival.

Although The New York Times has said this is a direct competitor to Twitter and its real-time nature, we feel it also competes with Snapchat’s Stories by curating images and videos from events and locations into a feed.

You can find more information on these two new features in Instagram’s official blog here.

Google updates Trends

Google Trends is a fantastic tool for we marketing types as it is full of historic search data, and now it’s been updated to add in even more usefulness.

The update brings with it a new homepage, trending YouTube videos, articles relevant to current trending topics and real-time trend data.

You can find more information here.

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