Amazon Turns to Social Apps to Battle Popular Competitors

Will Amazon's deals with Meta and Snapchat slow down the Shien/Temu/TikTok rush?

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E-COMMERCE
Amazon Gets Its Hooks Deep Into Social Apps

Facebook and Instagram

Meta and Amazon have joined forces in an interesting e-commerce collaboration.

Users will now be able to link their Meta accounts to their Amazon accounts. This will let them buy items from Amazon’s Facebook and Instagram ads, checking out on Amazon, without ever leaving the social media apps.

Meta [will] gain better targeting and optimization by using information from Amazon and stores that offer Buy with Prime to show consumers ads.

This [will] result in better conversion rates as well, as customers can check out more quickly.

Plus, Meta will be able to tailor the ads messaging and product page based on whether or not the user is a Prime member, then adjust other information like real-time pricing or shipping estimates, as needed.

Techcrunch

Snapchat

There’s also a deal with Snapchat that will let users purchase Amazon products directly through ads within the app.

Amazon clearly recognizes it needs to make its products more accessible outside its website. Integrating shopping ads into popular social media apps is probably the best option there is.

It’s not lost on many e-commerce analysts that this comes at a time when big competitors like Shien, Temu, and even TikTok are growing in share and attention.

TIKTOK COMMERCE
Advertisers Bet on TikTok Shops Despite Mixed Performance

  • Advertisers continue investing in TikTok Shop despite varied results.

  • Some brands see significant sales increase, others report minimal impact.

TikTok is, indeed, positioning itself as an Amazon competitor, but it hasn’t been an easy path. Some industry media report that advertisers are seeing mixed results with TikTok Shop.

But AdWeek says despite the lukewarm results, advertisers are increasingly investing in TikTok’s commerce platform. 

Launched in the U.S. in September, TikTok Shop lets users purchase products directly within the app. While some brands, like cosmetics company BK Beauty, have seen a substantial increase in sales, others report only a minimal impact. Those often say the platform's requirement for frequent content creation is a challenging investment with low returns.

TikTok shop is a direct click-to-buy system, so this is of course is a key attraction for brands, reducing the friction typically associated with redirecting users to external websites for transactions.

AdWeek has a great piece about this on their site, if you play in this space. It’s called Advertisers Are Investing in TikTok Shops Despite Mostly Tepid Results.

AD OVERLOAD
TikTok's Algorithm Floods Users With Ads: Report

  • A third of content on TikTok consists of various advertisements.

  • Users experience a blend of traditional and influencer-sponsored ads.

  • Ads are interest-customized, making them less noticeable to viewers.

Perhaps one other issue keeping TikTok from truly breaking out is the volume of ads.

Business Insider last week watched 1,000 TikTok videos back-to-back and found that about one-third of the content consisted of ads.

This included traditional advertisements, influencer-sponsored content, and affiliate links — the latter having increased significantly, now that content creators can act as affiliates for the new TikTok Shop platform.

Despite this high volume, the ads are so well integrated into the platform that they often go unnoticed by users. The platform's algorithm tailors the ad experience to individual users, making the ads feel less intrusive and more relevant.

TikTok did not respond to a request for details on how frequently ads are supposed to appear on the site, but they did say ads should only make up a small portion of the content people see on their FYP.

GLITCH CITY
YouTube Select Campaigns Plagued by Broken Links

  • Buyers struggle to verify channels in premium YouTube ads.

  • Majority of impressions in reports linked to dead pages.

Buyers of YouTube's premium ad product, YouTube Select, are facing challenges verifying the channels where their ads are displayed because of what appears to be a widespread glitch.

Links which were supposed to lead to the channels where ads were shown, instead direct to non-existent YouTube pages. This has been found in both YouTube Select and YouTube TV campaigns.

This problem has raised concerns about transparency in YouTube's advertising practices, especially since YouTube Select, introduced in 2020, promises ads on the platform's most popular channels for a higher price.

One buyer found that over 60% of the impressions were reported to be on broken links for a one-week, $17,000 campaign that ran earlier this year.

Another buyer found that 98% of the links across multiple YouTube TV campaigns were broken in reports, equating to $3 million in spend.

AdWeek

To be clear, as far as anyone can tell, the ads still all ran fine on various YouTube channels — this is only a reporting issue, preventing media buyers from seeing which channels those were.

GIVETH AND TAKETH AWAY
Carousel Posts Out… Close Friends In

And finally, a couple of social media platform updates:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn will remove all carousel posts and profile videos starting December 14. 

This will also deactivate clickable links within images and videos.

Carousel posts, introduced in July last year, were popular for generating engagement — but apparently not enough engagement: LinkedIn says a lack of user interest was behind the decision to cut them.

If you want to continue posting carousels, you’ll need to upload PDFs as a workaround.

Profile videos, introduced in 2021, and clickable links in images, added last August, will also be removed.

Instagram

Instagram is expanding its Close Friends feature to include posts and Reels. 

This lets users share content exclusively with a select group, marked by a green star icon next to the user's name.

It was originally only available for Stories and Notes.

To use this, select the 'Audience' option when sharing a post or Reel and choose 'Close Friends.'

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