CMO Today: Instagram Usage Dips; Facebook Watch Changes; Vayner and Animal Crackers

CMO Today: Instagram Usage Dips; Facebook Watch Changes; Vayner and Animal Crackers C-Suite Network
CMO Today: Instagram Usage Dips; Facebook Watch Changes; Vayner and Animal Crackers

Good morning. In this age of social media addiction and despair, many internet users seek out the dopamine hit that comes with going viral. But what if you could take away all the numbers: the retweets, the likes, the follower counts and notification alerts? Twitter Demetricator, a browser extension from artist Benjamin Grosser does just that. Once the metrics disappear, you might question whether they fueled biases: Does seeing how many responses a tweet received, or knowing how many followers someone has, influence whether you interact with the content yourself? Slate has more.

Facebook said in January that time spent on the platform was down by an estimated 50 million hours a day in the last quarter as the company made changes to ensure the time people did spend on the platform was more valuable. So not too much of a surprise, then, that Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser’s latest analysis of Nielsen’s U.S. digital content consumption data showed that the core Facebook platform lost 18% in aggregated time spent in December, a 24% decline per person. Overall, Facebook’s share of U.S. consumers’ digital consumption (including Instagram and WhatsApp) dropped to 16.2%, from 17.6% in December 2016. But this did pique my interest: Instagram added users, growing aggregated consumption by 7%, but consumption per person dropped 9%. So while the company has warned about a decline in usage on core Facebook, the Instagram picture is more puzzling. Could the shift away from a reverse-chronological timeline and a ramp up in ad load be putting users off? I’ve asked Facebook for comment but haven’t heard back yet. (Mr. Wieser does also point out that Nielsen data can sometimes be flawed, given methodological tweaks that may occur in any given period, but that it’s solid enough to infer trends.)

Watching, Waiting, Commiserating

One way Facebook is looking to drive up the minutes users spend on its core platform is through its dedicated video section, Watch. But, according to Watch content partners, Facebook has been indecisive to say the least about how it wants the program to play out, Digiday’s Sahil Patel reports. At first, Facebook wanted publishers to go gangbusters about getting as many shows as they could ready as quickly as possible. Now Facebook, disappointed in programming quality and ad demand, is getting more selective about vetting shows and deciding which ones are eligible for mid-roll ads. Facebook Live déjà vu, anyone? Facebook declined to comment…