In case you missed it, Mark Zuckerburg, Cambridge Analytica, and talks of APIs have been all over the news this month, forever changing how we access social media data. SPARK’s Senior Community Manager, Nicole Luistro, gives her “Quick Strike” on what it could mean for social media marketers.
Cambridge Analytica, a political data analysis firm, collected the data of 87 million Facebook users without their consent via a personality quiz on the platform. Then, they used it to inform voter-targeting strategies for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Basically, sh*t hit the fan.
Because of this, Facebook has been trying to catch their breath rushing to update their privacy settings and inform affected individuals. But the biggest hit for social media managers? The disabling of the Instagram application programming interface (API), severely restricting the data that advertisers can access—many social media management apps stopped working immediately, leaving developers in the dark.
So how will this affect us as marketers? Let’s break it down.
Within hours of the scandal leak, a flurry of tweetstorms with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook hit Twitter. Some major figures like Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak decided to take the stance, but are consumers really leaving this mega platform? The short answer is no.
According to Facebook’s monthly active users data for March 2018, very few people, if at all, have deleted Facebook. And the SimilarWeb’s App Usage rankings suggest that over the past 30 days, Facebook has remained the most used app in the U.S. and U.K.
What about influencers? Coast looks clear.
Many influencers relied on third-party apps as a main source of income. Because of the data limitations, developers no longer have access to public data. This makes it harder for marketers to evaluate viable influencers that don’t already run on a business account.
But, there doesn’t seem to be a mass influencer exodus yet. Instagram is far too embedded in influencer marketing strategies for companies to pull the plug. However, it makes us wonder how it will change the behavior of influencers. Many may decide to reallocate their time and resources to avoid putting all their eggs into one basket.
A new era for User Generated Content (UGC) rights.
The majority of social media marketing strategies now include some way to incorporate authentic UGC over staged content. But with these API changes, apps can no longer comment on users’ profiles for you, affecting the social media content management systems used to request consent from an individual to use their photo in a campaign.
So if you’re not already working with an app that partners with Facebook and still has access to the API, now’s the time to switch. Otherwise, community managers will likely get carpal tunnel manual searching and asking for those permissions.
The Quick Strike:
- Your Facebook is safe.
- Influencers aren’t going anywhere, but keep an eye out.
- Find social media management tools still connected to Instagram’s API.
As social media marketers, adoption has to be our middle name if we’re going to keep up with platform changes happening at any given moment. Are you up for the challenge?