Meta is Killing Third-Party Access to Facebook Groups

ALSO: Pinterest numbers look good, marketers are ready to spend again, and why the Taliban is shutting down domains

Meta is Killing Third-Party Access to Facebook Groups

ALSO: Pinterest numbers look good, marketers are ready to spend again, and why the Taliban is shutting down domains

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Facebook • Shutting Third Party Apps Out of Groups

I’m not sure how I missed this, but Meta is set to pull the plug on its Facebook Groups API. This will leave many businesses and social media marketers scrambling.

This was announced a couple of weeks ago, as part of the rollout of Facebook's Graph API v19.0.

This API has been crucial for brands that use third party tools to schedule posts in Facebook Groups, reply to comments, and so on.

Meta explained that a major use case for the API was a feature that allowed developers to privately reply in Facebook Groups.

For example, a small business that wanted to send a single message to a person who posted on their Facebook Group or who had commented in the group could be messaged through the API.

Meta hinted that the newer API version would be able to handle some of this, but the details were pretty scarce.

For companies like VipeCloud, which serves around 5,000 Facebook accounts, this change could bring significant revenue loss. Another third-party platform PostMyParty — which is used by micro-businesses like health and fitness coaches who do online boot camps in Facebook Groups — says it’s probably going out go of business as a result.

As for exactly why Meta’s decided that third-party apps will no longer be allowed to access Facebook groups, that’s a big mystery — at least, from any official statement.

There is concern, however, that Meta is deprioritizing developers’ interests having recently shut down its developer bug portal as well.

Reps from Facebook haven’t replied to the developers’ comments in its forums (as of the time of writing), leaving everyone in the dark.

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Pinterest • Back on the Rise with New Google Deal

Pinterest is on the rise, with 16 million new monthly active users in the fourth quarter, pushing its total to 498 million.

This growth marks a significant rebound from the dip after the 2021 COVID surge.

Pinterest has consistently grown its audience over seven quarters, especially in Europe and regions like Brazil and Mexico. However, growth in North America, its main revenue source, was modest, with only a million new users.

Revenue-wise, Pinterest is making strides but still has room to improve, particularly outside the U.S. The company reported $981 million in Q4 revenue, contributing to over $3 billion for the year, slightly below expectations.

Pinterest also announced a new ad partnership with Google. But some analysts fear the company's reliance on third-party ad partnerships could limit its direct sales potential, despite these alliances offering short-term revenue boosts.

Instagram • Make Your Own GIFs From Videos

Instagram has a new addition to its Cutout stickers — they can now include videos. This will let you create animated stickers from any video clip.

This will give you a quick way to make an animated GIF out of a video.

Which could provide you with a heap more creative options, through the creation of individual stickers of various post elements, that you can then share over and over again in your own Stories and Reels.

There are some limitations.

Like still image stickers, in order to create a sticker from a post, the creator has to have posted publicly, while they also need to have enabled permissions for other users to create cutouts from their content. This is opt-in by default, but users can switch this off if they choose, in order to stop people from reusing their images.

Also, if you do create a cutout sticker from someone else’s posts, and that user then deletes the post, you’ll also lose your sticker.

All in all, definitely a nice option for people who manage social channels.

This is, of course, just in-app — there is no API for it, and thus no third-party plarform support.

The Industry • Martech and Media Spend Going Up

More than 70% of British marketing leaders say they’re planning to spend more on their digital campaigns this year — definitely welcome news for the martech sector, which has seen four years of basically flatlined growth.

The data comes from a study by the content agency No Brainer.

Breaking down the specifics — here’s how many said they plan to increase spend by 60% or more.

  1. In top spot: AI spending — 64% say they’ll boost spend there by much as 60% 

  2. SEO: 62%

  3. TV, Radio & Podcasts: 59%

  4. And Email Marketing at 58%

Though the rest were all over 50%, so it’s pretty much a broad group.

Only 14% of marketing decision makers said they’ll be spending less this year compared to the last. 

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Domains • .AF Domain Under Attack

There are lots of TLDs out there — top-level domains. There’s .garden, .limo, .beer., and .george. There’s also a lot of country code TLDs — like .tv, which is managed by the tiny nation of Tuvalu, which can be found midway between Hawaii and Australia. The .tv domain is so lucrative that it’s estimated to have provided the nation with 1/12th of its GDP.

There’s also .af — which many people have used as an abbreviation for “as fuck;” like: “” or “

The .af domain is run by the government of Afghanistan — in other words, it’s controlled by the Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist political and military group, known for enforcing strict interpretations of Sharia law.

And, as you might imagine, “queer as fuck” does not meet their very narrow morality guidelines, so they’re shutting it down. used to be home to a Mastodon server. It wasn’t just for Afghanistanis — people from all over the world used it. The domain was set to expire in two months, but the Taliban just closed access to it early.

And while Mastodon’s system does let you move your accounts and followers to a new system, that relies on the old system being still up for a while. Technically, the server is still running, but the Taliban has shut off its records in the master domains list, so no web browsers can find it.

So, if your brand has been using a .AF domain name for the lolz, it might be time to pick up and move, before the Taliban does it for you.

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