Reddit rising as ads alternative to Google, Facebook

Although it might not be the first platform to come to mind when you think “social media,” Reddit has surged into the mainstream in the past few years and become one of the top destinations on the web. The site hosts about 330 million monthly active users and an average daily use time over 11 minutes.

Over the past three years, ad revenue on Reddit has increased 5x. Strong growth will continue: total ad revenue on the platform is projected to increase more than 50% this year, and double by 2021.

Although a small share of the total advertising market, Reddit caters to a tech-savvy demo that may be difficult to reach elsewhere. Recently, Absolut experienced 2.5x higher video completion rates and an 8% increase in top-of-mind awareness when deploying video ads on Reddit.

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Instagram unleashes polling stickers for advertisers

Stories have become the best way to share experiences on Instagram, with 500 million users using stories daily. 60% of businesses already use interactive features — like hashtags, @mentions or polls — in their organic stories. Soon, paying advertisers will be able to join in — although for now, only polling stickers are available. This lets businesses expand their interactive reach beyond current followers.

Initial results have been impressive.

In almost all beta campaigns polling stickers increased video views. Donut giant Dunkin reported a 20% decrease in CPV and Next Games snatched 40% more app installs from incorporating polls in their story ads.

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Instagram tests in-app purchases

If Instagram is part of your marketing strategy, your life might soon get a little easier. Last week, the company launched a new feature to make the conversion process a snap.

The feature, called “Checkout with Instagram,” allows users to purchase some products without ever leaving the app. It builds on Instagram’s product tag feature, a small button including information like product name, price, and link to landing page. Instagram launched the pilot program in the US, making it available to over 20 top brands including Adidas, Kyle Cosmetics and Warby Parker. For now, the feature is only available for organic posts.

Consumers benefit by only having to go through the payment process once instead of on each company’s checkout or landing page. After that, Instagram saves shipping and payment data so purchases are almost instant. The value offering for retailers is fewer abandoned shopping carts.

The catch? A fee for sellers. So far, Instagram has kept the exact amount hush-hush.

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Twitter goes dark on iOS

On March 28, Twitter rolled out a true dark mode for iOS users, called “Lights out.” As flagship phones have now shifted entirely to OLED displays (which only light up non-black pixels), the feature saves significant battery life — on top of looking cool.

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