LinkedIn’s up to 690 Million Members, Reports 26% Growth in User Sessions

linkedin-logo-1940x900_34994As part of its broader Q3 2020 Performance report, Microsoft has reported that LinkedIn has seen ongoing growth in both total members and engagement. But there’s also been a slowdown in ad spend and job listings as the impacts of COVID-19 take effect.

In terms of users, LinkedIn is now up to 690 million total members, increasing from 675 million back in January. Total members, of course, are not active users, the more common stat used to reflect social platform performance, but as an indicative measure, it does show that LinkedIn is continuing to expand, and gain traction in more markets over time.

In regards to active usage, Microsoft says that Linkedin sessions have continued to rise, up 26% for the quarter.

How you view that number will be relative – some businesses are seeing significantly more referral traffic from LinkedIn, and increased engagement on their posts, while others believe that much of that extra ‘engagement’ is actually being fueled by Facebook-like personal posts and gimmicky updates designed to draw clicks, as opposed to communicating professional information.

Your own experience will inform how you view such, but in overall terms, LinkedIn now has more users than ever before, and those users are more active on the platform than in times past. That could facilitate greater opportunity to connect.

Indeed, during the COVID-19 lockdowns, LinkedIn is seeing even higher levels of engagement

“Professionals watched nearly 4 million hours of content on LinkedIn Learning in March, a nearly fifty percent increase month-over-month. With LinkedIn Live […] streams are up 158% since February.”

Neither is a real surprise, though the increased interest in LinkedIn Live could also be worth noting in your approach to the platform. LinkedIn added LinkedIn Live to company pages back in January.

In terms of revenue, as you can see in the above snapshot, LinkedIn revenue increased 21% for the quarter, but it is seeing slowing demand in both its ads and job listings due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“We expect continued strong engagement on the platform. However, a material mix of revenue is driven by customer hiring needs and advertising, therefore we expect a significant slowdown to mid-single digit revenue growth.”

Given its correlating expansion in overall members and usage, LinkedIn looks set to limit the impacts of the lockdowns on its bottom line. But they will have an impact on performance – and that’ll likely be ongoing, depending on how long the COVID-19 mitigation processes remain in place.

Overall, LinkedIn continues to perform well, and deliver good results for parent company Microsoft. Again, personal experience will dictate your view of the platform, but the data shows that there are more people using the app, and with more tools to connect, like live-streaming and its recently expanded Events feature, it could be worthy of increased focus.

The Best Times to Post on Social Media During COVID-19 [Report]

Last month, Sprout Social published its latest listings on the best times to post to each of the major social platforms, based on insights gleaned from its 20,000+ user base, in order to provide guidance as to when you should consider posting to maximize response.

But since then, a lot has changed. The COVID-19 lockdowns have lead to massive increases in social platform usage, and in some cases, significant shifts in when people are active. As such, this week, Sprout has published an update to its listings, which may help guide your revised strategy to cater to engagement changes during the pandemic.

Here’s what they found – and note that all the time frames listed here are Central Time Zone (CST), though based on the data, these would be largely indicative for local time zones as well.

First off, on Facebook – in Sprout’s original report, it suggested that the optimal time for Facebook engagement was Wednesday between 11am and 12pm. In the COVID-19 version, based on data gathered between March and April, it notes that the current best times to post to Facebook, based on overall engagement trends, are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 11am.

Facebook best times
Read full article HERE.

Snapchat Publishes New Research into How Snapchatters Are Adapting to COVID-19

Snapchat has this week published some new insights into how Snapchatters are feeling about the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns, and the impact of the pandemic on society more broadly.

Snapchat’s predominantly younger audience is in an interesting position here – while research shows that, in general, COVID-19 doesn’t affect younger people as severely as it does those in older brackets, young workers are also likely among the most impacted by the lockdowns, with many retail and hospitality staff being laid off as a result of the mitigation efforts.

That means that while they’re healthy, their immediate income and employment prospects may be limited.

So how do Snapchatters feel about the current situation and its ongoing impact?

First off, Snapchat notes that the vast majority of its audience is anxious, at some level, about the outbreak – though, understandbly, they’re more concerned about their connections in this respect:

“Snapchatters are most concerned about the health of their family and friends (46%) and society in general (24%), whereas only 7% are most worried about their own health. As social distancing guidelines and economic pressures take their toll on classrooms and workplaces, Snapchatters are also worried about their education and employment. This feeling is especially prominent among 18-20 year olds – 20% of them are most concerned about the impact to their education or employment as a result of COVID-19.”

In terms of day-to-day impacts, an interesting note here is that the majority of respondents say that they’re actually getting used to the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Snapchat COVID-19 impact study

That does make sense – do anything for long enough at you’ll normalize it – while it also bodes well for the ongoing containment of the virus. If people are getting more used to staying at home.

Read full article HERE.

YouTube Announces New, Celebrity-Fronted Originals to Maximize Lockdown Viewing Trends

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With online video consumption reaching new highs during the COVID-19 lockdowns, YouTube has announced a new slate of YouTube Original programming, featuring a range of high-profile celebrities and online influencers, which will help boost interest in YouTube’s exclusive offering.

As outlined by YouTube:

“Among the announcements, celebrities and educators come together to energize distance learning in “Celebrity Substitute” including Karlie Kloss working through a coding problem and Ken Jeong giving a Biology lesson; a weekly series “Stay Home With: YUNGBLUD,” following the UK recording artist and his band as they adjust to a remote lifestyle while creating music; a short-form family series, “Create Together #WithMe,” hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt featuring the creations of everyday people collaborating to make art on HITRECORD and YouTube while being at home; and “The Secret Life of Lele Pons” which gives an intimate look at battling Tourette Syndrome and OCD while juggling life in the spotlight

Read full article HERE.

LinkedIn Publishes Data on Latest Content Engagement Trends on the Platform

In what will come as absolutely no surprise, LinkedIn has reported that it’s seeing a massive increase in company posts mentioning ‘COVID-19’ and ‘working from home’ at present.

That’s no revelation, but what is interesting is noting the engagement that these posts have received, and how LinkedIn’s members have responded to coronavirus-related content – which may provide some helpful indicators for your company page strategy.

This week, LinkedIn has shared some new insights on both fronts, and there are some interesting trends of note among the more obvious shifts.

First off, as noted, LinkedIn has seen a massive spike in company page posts mentioning COVID-19.

LinkedIn COVID-19 trends
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Snapchat Posts Increases in Both Users and Revenue in Q1 2020 Report

With the global COVID-19 shutdowns set to significantly impact Q2 2020 reports, Q1 may be the best true indicator we have for some time as to where the major social platforms are placed, and how their growth plans are actually panning out in a normal operating environment.

On that front, Snapchat, and parent company Snap Inc., would appear to be on the right track, maybe not for transcendent growth, but for stable, steady increases that look set to solidify its position within the social media space.

First off, on active users – Snapchat posted an increase of 11 million DAU on its last report to 229 million – which represents a 20% jump in active users year-over-year.

Snapchat Q1 2020
Read full article HERE.

5 things to know about Americans and their smart speakers

speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home have gained popularity over the last several years, and consumer experts found that these devices were especially popular with holiday season gift buyers last year. But even as some Americans are integrating these devices into their homes, many owners express concerns over data collection and personalization, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted June 3-17, 2019.

Here are five findings about Americans and smart speakers:

1Smart speaker ownership varies across demographic groups. One-quarter of U.S. adults say they have a smart speaker in their home. However, ownership of these devices varies, especially by age and annual household income. Adults younger than 50 are more likely than those 50 and older to say they have this type of device in their household (29% vs. 19%). And while around one-third of Americans living in households earning $75,000 or more a year (34%) say they have a smart speaker, that share drops to 15% among those whose annual family income falls below $30,000.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Smart

Pinterest Outlines Rising Trends Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns

Amid rising usage during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Pinterest has seen the emergence of a range of new search trends, which could provide some valuable insight for brands looking to use the platform to connect with their audiences.

And brands should, indeed, be considering Pinterest. The platform has seen a 44% YoY increase in Pinners engaging with shopping Pins on the platform, with many replacing their regular mall browsing with looking through Pins instead. That could present significant opportunity – to give you a better idea of some of the key shifts, Pinterest has this week highlighted three key, emerging trend areas.

First off is food – Pinterest says that the lockdowns have inspired more people to explore new home cooking ideas:

“Around the globe, people are increasingly searching for creative flour-ful recipes like “salty croissants” (+1532% in Argentina), “damper bread” (+263% in Australia), “Japanese brioche” (+1081% in France), and perhaps most notably, “Navajo bread” in the US (emerging search 350X greater!!). Other significantly rising searches include “fried sweet fritters” (+2145% in Argentina), “mimosa (flower) cake” (+1408% in Italy), and “healthy gut recipes” (+3900% in Japan).”

Pinterest COVID-19 food trends
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