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Archive for the ‘The week in social’ Category

The week in social: Facebook Donate, Tumblr GIFs, and YouTube translations

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Google+ is relaunched

Google+ over the past several months has cutting back features, in preparation for a relaunch which happened earlier this week. The new Google+ focuses on having users join interest groups, organized into Communities and Collections. Google has stated that the simplification of the network will allow people to connect with other linked-minded individuals and find more of the content they are interested in. The changes took place after Google+ was disconnected from YouTube, and once the photo product was also split out. It remains to be seen if Google+ will pick up much needed momentum after these changes.


Read more on Business Insider.


Third party app access for Instagram changes

Many apps are losing their access to the Instagram news feed, or will have a harder time maintaining it in the future, in addition to a host of other conditions. The changes were outlined in a company blog post earlier this week. There will be a new process in place for how Instagram reviews 3rd party apps that will begin on December 3rd, and existing apps must submit themselves for review no later than June 1st, 2016. A portion of the Instagram API that gives apps access to the feed is also being revoked for many apps including Retro, Flow, Padgram, Webbygram, and Webstagram, with noted reasoning being that it needs to be more clear for users who apps use and display their information on other sites.

More information on Business Insider.


Facebook improves tools offering for non-profit companies

Facebook is testing updated tools for non-profit companies, the most important of which is a new fundraising tool. Not to be confused with the likes of Kickstarter and other fundraising products, Facebook’s tool is strictly for non-profits such as charity companies, and the tool can be integrated into a Facebook Page, as well as accessed via mobile. Pages have the option to show progress towards meeting a fundraising goal directly beneath the cover photo and core information of the Page. With it comes a Donate button that can take the place for the main call to action button on the page, with the intent of making it seamless for users to contribute to a cause.


Read more on Facebook Newsroom.


Instagram users want a Buy Now button

According to a new study from GlobalWebIndex, the social network that users most research brands on is Instagram. Social platforms have increasingly been introducing ways for users to directly purchase products straight from posts and ads, and although Instagram is the channel where most research happens, Tumblr users have declared most interest in using a Buy Button on the platform. Tumblr comes in second place with regards to use of a social network to research brands at 47%, with Pinterest and Twitter following at 44% each.


Read more on Social Times.


Tumblr improves process of making GIFs for iOS users

Addressing a common complaint for Apple users, Tumblr has now made it easier to automatically create a GIF on its iOS app. Now any video can be automatically turned into a GIF through the post upload menu. GIFs can also be edited to crop, zoom, and change the speed of playback. They can also be arranged in a photo set to help tell a specific story. The blog post from the Tumblr staff goes on to provide some best practices, such as keeping the GIF short, and uploading slow motion videos to make the normal-speed playback of a GIF smoother.

More information on Tumblr Staff Blog.


Vine introduces new editing and collaboration tools for posts

A popular trend on Vine since its debut has been for users to take the audio from a popular vine and reinterpret it using the same audio track, but acting it out or animating it with original content. Vine is now showing its support for this trend by creating an option whereby users can make an “audio remix” of any Vine, which automatically copies over the timing and audio from another Vine, ready for a user to reinterpret it. In addition, the search functionality for Vine has been improved such that if a user finds a Vine with an audio track they like, they can search for other Vines that use the exact same track. The new discovery features are available on iOS and Android, while the audio remix feature is currently only available on iOS.

More information on Vine Blog.


Facebook introduces tools to help users after they end relationships

Facebook earlier this week introduced a set of tools to help users manage what content they see from someone they end a relationship with, after numerous requests from the community. When a user changes their profile to state they are no longer in a relationship, they will be promoted with a new pop up, that allows them to see less content from the person they ended a relationship with, as well as limiting what is shown to that user from the originator’s profile. Past posts can also be edited to limit what others will see if the content remains on Facebook. The new tools are currently available on mobile platforms in the US, but will potentially be rolled out wider based on feedback.


Read more on Facebook Newsroom.


Twitter updating the notifications for Moments

Moments is a new feature from Twitter that lets users explore developing stories in real-time. It comes with notifications when new stories are added to the mix. To make the experience more personal, the blue dot that signifies new stories are available will appear less often, based on user feedback. The post came from the official @TwitterMoments handle, and there is no further information currently available on what drives when the notification will pop up in the future, but it is likely that users will share this online as it occurs.


Read more on Mashable.


Twitter is testing new ways to express reactions to tweets

Twitter made news recently with the shift from Favorites to Likes as positive sentiment reactions to tweets, but it appears that the company is now testing the ability to give different types of emoji-based reactions to tweets, not completely dissimilar to Facebook’s empathy reactions, unveiled last month. There is no official word on if this will be extended to all users or within what time frame.


Read more on TechCrunch.


YouTube provides new options for translations

YouTube has just introduced several new features to help creators provide translations for their videos so the entire global audience can enjoy them. According to YouTube, an average of 2/3 of a channels views come from outside of the creators country, with a high likelihood that the viewer speaks a different primary language. The new features to help with translation include community contributed close captioning and subtitles, automatically translated titles and descriptions. Lastly, a translation marketplace is now available that will allow creators to request and purchase professional translations through the video manager.

More information on YouTube Creator Blog.

The week in social: Notify, FotoSwipe, and Pinterest visual search

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

FotoSwipe app launched for Android and iOS

The latest in photo sharing apps to hit the market, FotoSwipe takes photo sharing and makes it more personal, but without having to share any specific information. The app works by having both users be within a close distance to each other, or in the same room, having the app open. From there, each user can choose photos that they want to send, and then “swipe” them to the other device and user. Accepting users have 60 seconds to choose to receive the photos. If users are not in the same room but still want to share photos with someone, they can send a pairing code that will enable photo transfer over wider networks.

More information on Social Times.


Facebook testing auto-delete messages

It was revealed earlier this week that Facebook is testing ephemeral Snapchat-style messaging within its stand-alone Messenger app, the latest by Facebook to bring features to its service to compete with other popular social networks. The test is said to be only taking place in France according to a Facebook rep, and users can tap an hourglass icon before they send a message, and if they do, the message will disappear after an hour. The test is also only available on the iOS and Android versions of Messenger.

More information on Mashable.


President Obama launches Facebook Page

One political figure who has held out longer than others, Barack Obama’s administration has finally launched a Facebook Page for the current president. The goal of the Page is to be a forum for discussions about political issues. Earlier in 2015, a specific Twitter account was also launched for the President. According to a representative for the White House, the Page will be not for an individual person, but for each person who becomes President, with the Page to be handed over to the next electee. This is not to be confused with Barack Obama’s individual Facebook Page, which already has an established presence.


Read more on TIME.


Instagram introduces partner program

Earlier this week, Instagram announced a new program to help advertisers find the right partners to enhance the results of their efforts using Instagram Ads, called Instagram Partners. Starting with a roster of about 40 companies, categories range from Ad Tech, to Community Management, to Content Marketing. The announcement came from a blog post which went on to cite examples of best-in-class content, and ads execution.


Read more on Instagram Business Blog.


Facebook adds subscribe option to Live for Facebook Mentions

Live, the feature in August introduced as part of Facebook Mentions, has had a subscribe feature added to it which allows users to get notifications when their favorite public figures, celebrities, athletes, and more are live-streaming through the stand-alone Facebook app. As part of the Facebook Media post that announced this update, Facebook also noted that some broadcasters including Vin Diesel have had view counts as high as 1 million, with 60% of all broadcasters coming from outside of the United States.


Read more on Facebook Media.


Tumblr launches new messaging feature

Tumblr has this week announced the introduction of a messaging feature, following the trend of many social networks who are picking up the feature. Tumblr’s plans are to roll out messaging slowly over the next several weeks, where some users initially received the update, and can “pass it on” by messaging users that do not currently have it. The announcement blog post stated the reason for this was so Tumblr could work out any bugs or issues in a timely manner, instead of dealing with issues from a network-wide release. All public and connected blogs can message each other, but private or group blogs cannot receive messages currently.

More information on Tumblr Support Blog.


Facebook officially debuts Notify app

A long rumored stand-alone application in progress from Facebook, the Notify app has officially launched. With the aim of helping users receive notifications and updates from several aggregated sources in a single format, Notify allows users to choose categories of news they are interested in, and sources of information from where they want to receive notifications. The rationale behind creation of this app is that the average user would not want to have to open several different apps to get news on sports, politics, tech, or a range of other subjects. Each news publisher partnered with Facebook for this is referred to as a station, and notifications sent from each station are sent to a user’s lock screen, and notifications can be shared or saved for later viewing. the Notify app is currently only available for iPhone users in the United States.


Read more on Facebook Newsroom.


Periscope announces new features for mobile apps

In a bid to continue securing its dominance in the mobile live-streaming space, Periscope has announced several new features; an updated global map, and the ability to skip ahead on stream replays. The updated global map now shows the difference between live broadcasts and replays, denoted respectively by red and blue dots, with only replays from the last 24 hours popping up on the map. The other addition, the ability to skip forward in replays, has also debuted, with the ability to preview where the replay will start back from, as well as the ability to change the speed of forwarding or rewinding through the replay.


Read more on Medium.


YouTube launches streaming music service

Still considered the second most popular search engine behind its parent company Google, YouTube has launched a music streaming service to take advantage of the fact that one its largest contingencies of consumed videos is music, called YouTube music. The service has licensed approximately 30 million audio tracks, but the app experience differs because it also provides access to live streaming music content, instructions on how to play music tracks on instruments, and lyric content for videos. The search experience is also tailored on the app so that when common words are placed in the search bar, only the music related results will come up, as opposed to general results a user may see in standard YouTube search. If users have a YouTube Red subscription, the company’s paid model, they can experience all content in an ad-free environment.

More information on The Verge.


Pinterest updates search with a new visual component

Pinterest has updated its search capability to help users dig deeper into individual components of pings they are interested in with the introduction of visual search. When a user sees a pin, they can now use a search tool to highlight a specific portion of that pin (such as a lamp in a pin of a living room), and Pinterest will surface other pings that match the content of the cropped area. This presents opportunities for brands and individual alike as it will make it easier for users to find exactly what they are looking for on the service, and it will allow brands to link specific items to bigger picture pings they post online. The new search capability is available both on the web on on mobile apps starting now.


Read more on Pinterest Blog.

The Week In Social: stars and hearts, Adele’s content management, and what’s in a view?

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Twitter kills Favorites, adds Likes

The Star is dead, long live the Heart. Twitter and Vine have shifted their engagement option into a more universal symbol of approval. In raw numbers, “favorites” on Twitter are often out-shined by “likes” on channels like Facebook and Instagram, and the change may represent a desire for Twitter to be more competitive. As product manager Akarshan Kumar reports “you might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite“.

Read more at The Verge

Nostalgic Chrome users already have a hack that brings back the star

Facebook swaps Maybe for Interested

Along with a set of alternate “like” options for interacting with posts, Facebook is changing the event response “maybe” over to “interested”. The implied subtext of the previous response read as noncommittal at best, and passively judgemental at worst. With the changeover to “Interested”, invitees can can stymie event planners with a far more positive sentiment.

Read more at Social Times

Adele not allowed to send her own Tweets

In an insight to how the super elite handle content editorial, Adele revealed that her management does not allow her to Tweet directly. The singer reported on the Graham Norton show that too many incidents of drink + posts resulted in an executive decision that her Tweets be vetted and signed off. Fans of Adele’s new video will also note that her handlers have apparently downgraded her to a flip phone. The horror.

Read more on Mashable

Apps sharing data with third-parties

Certainly, you’ve wondered who gets to see what you’re doing when using apps on your mobile device. A recent report from JOTS indicates that apps share potentially sensitive information (names, email addresses, location) with an average of 3 third party domains, while the worst offenders share with as many as 17 third party domains. In lighter news, the most common sites that are shared to are Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

Read more at Business Insider

Twitter campaign for Force Awakens fan

Twitter is a proven force of nature when it comes to social activism. In a recent mass community campaign, #ForceforDaniel was created as a plea to allow terminally ill super-fan Daniel Fleetwood to see the new film prior to its release in December. Reports say that Fleetwood received a private screening of the unedited film in his home, following supporting tweets from cast members, and a phone call from J.J. Abrams.

Read more at The Verge

Facebook reports 8 Billion video views

If watching a video for three seconds counts as a view, then Facebook racked up 8 billion video views per day last month. For the quick stats, that means that 500 million users watched 16 videos per day. Figures such as this naturally garner skepticism, and popular opinion attributes the numbers to Facebook’s default auto-play setting for videos. Since Facebook is pushing aggressively into the video content market while charging premium rates for video ads, brands and agencies alike should watch these reported numbers carefully.

Read more at Business Insider

Snapchat generating 6 Billion views per day

The figure represents a 300% increase since May of this year. While Facebook (above) qualifies a view at 3 seconds, Snapchat counts a view at anything seen in a few milliseconds. The report helps support the success and relevance of Snapchat’s recent improvements including Stories, and provides a greener picture for advertisers as more and more brands adopt the channel as part of their marketing strategies.

Read more at The Verge

Facebook improving localized marketing
You have a quirky chain of coffee shops across the city, but your targeted social campaign isn’t getting the traction you want near the stores that need the most help. Facebook is coming to the rescue, with an improved set of Locations tools that enable you to target campaigns based on store addresses. Want to go one step further? You can customize the campaign copy based on the user’s proximity e.g., “The best Joe in town is at Rise & Grind on 14th st.”

Read more at Facebook for Business

What brands should know about Influencers

Influencer Marketing has been a hot topic this week. We’ve known for a long time that consumers trust word of mouth more than any other form of communication. Brands, thus, have taken influencers very seriously as a part of their marketing strategies. As Influencers further develop as a venue for campaigns, smarter brands and agencies will know the difference between an authentic influencer and bloggers hoping to cash in on their audience numbers.

Read more at Social Times

Facebook Messenger is not trying to do everything, really

Facebook suffered backlash when the channel dropped Instant Messaging from its primary mobile app and forced users to move to Messenger. Despite complaints, Messenger has risen to the second-most downloaded app on iOS. Facebook has continually opened up the platform to developers, and is fostering frictionless transactions like payments and connections to companies. Despite this, FB’s global director of platform says the goal is not to have one app that does everything.

Read more on Venture Beat

The week in social: mobile video spending, wearables and Boomerang

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Video accounted for 66% of mobile ad budgets in Q3

A new study from mobile analytics platforms AppLovin and AppsFlyer shows that mobile video spending has made leaps this year. With video being a major player in encouraging return users, and retention becoming one of the most important factors in the mobile space, video spending increased from 32% in Q1 to 66% in Q3. The study also showed that video ads garner better retention for apps than non-video ads, and that video ads served on iOS performed 10% better than ads served on Android devices.


Read more at Social Times


Study shows that Millennials chase opportunity via technology

While some members of older generations worry about the impact of technology in their lives, this year’s Webby Report shows that nine out of ten Millennials believe that technology and the Internet give them access to the kinds of jobs and futures they are suited to. Out of 2000 adults surveyed, all of them admitted that technology helped them to connect with friends and loved ones, but that connections forged in the online realm are less meaningful and that it will only get worse. The White Paper explores how the rapid advancements of the internet age are changing the way we live, work and interact with the world.

See the finding at Webby Awards


National Geographic named #1 brand on social media

Another story of video leading the times on social, new data from Shareablee shows that the brands who fared best on social media in Q3 are the brands with a strong video game. After analyzing 19.8 billion social actions – likes, shares, comments, retweets, favorites – across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from July 1 to September 30, National Geographic came out on top with close to half a billion social actions across all platforms.


Read more on Social Times


Brands are throwing out content from Instagram’s Boomerang app

Less than a week after Instagram’s Boomerang app was launched, brands like Benefit Cosmetics, Plated, Gold’s Gym, Refinery 29 and Coca-Cola are getting onboard creating content for their social pages. The video app lets users turn everyday moments into not-so-everyday moments, taking a burst of photos and stitching them together to create a mini-video that plays forward and backward.


Read more at Instagram’s blog


Wearable technology usage on the rise

According to eMarketer’s first wearables forecast, 2015 will see 39.5 million adults donning wearable technology like smartwatches to fitness trackers. Looking toward the coming several years, this number is set to double with almost two in five internet users using wearables by 2019. What is now a younger and female skewed market, is slowly becoming more male dominated and will see ages of wearers rise as more health-related items are released. In addition, availability of major social apps on wearable technology has increased adoption as functionality increases.


Read more at eMarketer


Facebook beating Google in the click-through game

Facebook’s advertisers can know they made good choices after the release of the latest research from Adobe Digital Index. Findings show that Facebook ads are the most clicked on the internet, and are only rising. The study also revealed that Facebook’s ad impressions rose 10% in Q3, that it topped the list of revenue per visit at $1.24, and that it continues to hold off Google in terms of growth of click-through rates.

Read more at CMO


Brands are using Marquee to reach the masses

Instagram’s Marquee is giving brands the opportunity to reach millions with high-impact, single day advertising. Marquee’s blast advertisements have proved ideal for brands like Sony Mobile Hong Kong and Universal Pictures, spreading the word around premieres, product launches and key moments. Available in 26 countries, it gives brands the ability to target by country, and choose between video, photo, carousel and link ad formats to tell their story.

Read more on the Instagram blog


Skype adds new features to Skype for Android, iPhone and iPad

Following on from the release of Mojis, Skype Translator and a new range of emoticons, Skype has recently launched new video message filters in Skype for Android, iPhone and iPad. When sending video messages, users can now tap a button on the screen to choose between filters. As well as this, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus users can now take advantage of 3D Touch functionality within the app and at their device home screen.

Read more on the Skype blog


Snapchat updates terms of service

Snapchat recently followed in Facebook and Instagram’s footsteps, updating its terms of service in relation to user content uploaded through the app. As was the case with Instagram’s previous privacy amends, this caused a groundswell of rumour and speculation about privacy on the platform.


In the statement, Snapchat clarified its position on privacy and assured users that they were not storing user content indefinitely stating the following on their blog on the 1st November.

“First off, we want to be crystal clear: The Snaps and Chats you send your friends remain as private today as they were before the update. Our Privacy Policy continues to say—as it did before—that those messages “are automatically deleted from our servers once we detect that they have been viewed or have expired.” Of course, a recipient can always screenshot or save your Snaps or Chats. But the important point is that Snapchat is not—and never has been—stockpiling your private Snaps or Chats. And because we continue to delete them from our servers as soon as they’re read, we could not—and do not—share them with advertisers or business partners.

It’s true that our Terms of Service grant us a broad license to use the content you create—a license that’s common to services like ours. We need that license when it comes to, for example, Snaps submitted to Live Stories, where we have to be able to show those Stories around the world—and even replay them or syndicate them (something we’ve said we could do in previous versions of our Terms and Privacy Policy). But we tried to be clear that the Privacy Policy and your own privacy settings within the app could restrict the scope of that license so that your personal communications continue to remain truly personal.”

Read more at Social Times 

The week in social: Twitter shares, YouTube rights, and FICO scores

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Twitter’s CEO gives 1/3 of his shares back to employees

Two weeks ago, recently re-appointed CEO Jack Dorsey laid off 8% of Twitter’s workforce. This week, Dorsey committed 1/3 of his company shares (about 1% of the company) back to the social channel giant’s employees. Beyond the PR and morale benefits, the move is being seen as a personal commitment to the success of Twitter, and a serious value to the employees if Twitters trajectory remains on the upswing.

Read more at Tech Crunch.

Burberry’s catalog shoot on Snapchat

Burberry will publish its Spring 2016 catalog in January of the coming year. Fans and followers on Snapchat, got a free preview this week, when the brand covered the catalog shoot on Snapchat. Fashion brands remain eager to embrace new technology to keep vibrant and relevant with their target audiences. Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s CCO/CEO, cemented Burberry’s desire to stay up front, “We have to innovate all the time to drive fashion forward and I think this is just part of it.”

Read more at Mashable.

Tweeting from apps takes a step forward

Over the years, the barriers for tweeting natively from within applications have slowly dissolved. Twitter, app developers, and marketers have sought to help bring tweeting from within apps to popularity by addressing three things: provide a distinct value for sharing from within an app, minimize/remove the effort level for sharing, and instill confidence in the user that sharing from the app is safe.

Twitter made a huge step forward with the latter two elements by introducing the ability for apps to preview the shared text from within an app, and the ability for the app developer to provide an install link that will go with the shared Tweet.

Read more at Tech Crunch.

Twitter Polls for everyone!

Should I wear sneaks or oxfords tomorrow? Should I dress as The Dude or The Most Interesting Man for halloween? Should I have the fish or the chicken? You may now unburden yourself from life’s toughest questions, as Twitter has opened up its poll functionality to all. Anyone can now post a A/B poll from the native Twitter client. Polls remain active for 24 hours, and individual votes remain anonymous. Will brands take hold of this new functionality to deepen their connection with their audiences?

Answers: oxfords, the most interesting man, chicken, yes

Read more at Engadget.

Twitter & Vine profiles combine

Twitter and Vine have been inseparable since the beginning, and the channels have finally decided to take the next big step. You may now link your Twitter and Vine profiles on each respective platform. Other users can find your Vine account by searching for your Twitter handle, and your identity on each can be shared as part of your profile page.

Read more at Vine’s Blog.

YouTube Red already seeing content revolt

YouTube Red will require partner contributors to agree to a new deal that enables payment from a subscription model (rather than a share of ad revenue). YouTube states that those that do not agree will have their content removed, and Tech Crunch reports that ESPN has already removed content in the wake of the announcement.

Users have clamored for an ad-free option from YouTube for some months. Few saw this option being paired with a policy that could so drastically alter how indy content creators and giant media outlets generate revenue alongside each other. YouTube’s viability for small channel producers will remain in question for some time.

Read more at Tech Crunch and Forbes.

Engagement and user patterns

AppLift produced a new infographic showing how consumers interact with Media & Entertainment apps. Among the data insights: music apps saw the greatest increase in usage, news apps are most popularly consumed in the morning commute hours, and push notifications dramatically increase app launches.

Read more at Social Times.

Instagram trumps FB for engagement

In September, Instagram was credited with 699 million engagements, while Facebook trailed behind with roughly 666 million likes/comments/shares/dislikes. 156 million engagements came from National Geographic alone, as the company continues its reign as king of the Instagram mountain. Buzzfeed has dramatically increased its production effort in video and food across all channels, giving it the most improved engagements from August to September.

Read more at Social Times.

Star Wars: the tweets were strong with this one

The third (and reportedly final) trailer for the next Star Wars filmed debuted last Monday during NFL half time. As a new benchmark for pop-culture success, the trailer generated a conversation rate of 17,000 tweets-per-minute, peaking at 390 thousand conversations Monday Night alone. To throw in with the fans, Twitter has announced a series of emojis available to accompany the ongoing buzz.

Read more at AdWeek.

Your social profile could affect your FICO credit score

Creditors are early adopters when it comes to tools for assessing consumer credit worthiness. The Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) has announced that they are looking at “alternative sources” to enhance their industry standard tools. These sources include smartphone records, and information volunteered on social profiles. For now, if you have a loan interview on Monday, don’t post that you were ‘wasted’ on Friday.

Read more at Forbes.

The week in social: Place Pins, Instagram for Business, and Snap Channel

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

65% of US adults are on social media

A new study from the Pew Research Institute cites that the majority of US adults, those above 18 years of age, have at least some usage of social media. The report also shows that an increasing number of older American adults are using social media, with 35% currently, an increase from a low of 2% in 2005. Less surprisingly, 90% of young adults, those aged 18-29, use social media, and the percentage of social media use of all internet users has increased over time from under 25% in 2005, to about 75% in 2015.


Read more on Social Times.


Pinterest updates Place Pins

In an effort to help users get more out of each pin, Pinterest announced through a blog post earlier this week that they would be retroactively adding location data to all currently existing Place Pins, a number over 7 billion, and adding location information automatically to all new Place Pins. Data that is added to Pins with locations includes addresses, phone numbers, and a location preview on the map. On iOS, the feature will allow users to directly access Google Maps or Apple Maps to get directions.


Read more on Pinterest Blog.


Facebook testing new options for videos

Through a News Room post on Facebook, VP of Product Management Will Cathcart announced how Facebook is testing new options for videos. The post highlighted recent additions such as the 360 video format support announced in September, as well as Live Video through Mentions, which was announced back in August. New features currently being tested include a suggested videos menu, that lets users select a new video directly in the new feed after they are done watching one. Another feature in testing is multi-tasking, which will allow users to watch videos in a floating light-box, while they continue to browse on Facebook. Finally, for users who want to watch videos later, Facebook is introducing bookmarking to save videos of interest.

More information on Facebook Newsroom.


Instagram launches @InstagramForBusiness

To help inspire the brands, creative agencies, and small businesses that use Instagram to reach their fan-base, Instagram launched a new handle, @InstagramForBusiness, announced through an official blog post. The post tells the story of how one of the first brands to advertise on Instagram, Ben and Jerry’s has learned to use the platform to reach more fans as it developed its style of photography and illustration specifically for the network. Instagram will be using the account to tell stories from the three aforementioned types of businesses, and sees the account as a natural progression for companies to find new inspiration especially as Instagram Ads have just opened up worldwide for all advertisers.

More information on Instagram Business Blog.


Snapchat shuts down Snap Channel

The channel of content on its Discovery tab focused on original content created by Snapchat itself, called Snap Channel, has been shut down by the company after less than a year in production. There had been rumors that the service would be taken down for a short period and re-tooled, but it appears that with the departure of a major team member, head of program planning and development Mark Wiley, that the service is being shut down indefinitely. The team members working on the content have all been laid off, and Snapchat will focus on further developing the partnerships it has with original content creators on its Discovery tab.

More information on The Verge.


Facebook reportedly working on a standalone notifications app

Facebook is planning to launch a brand-new standalone app that will provide real-time notificationsfrom a host of partner publishers, according to multiple news outlets. The app, called Notify, would allow users to set push notifications to tell users when a publication of their choosing, referred to as stations, publishes a new story. The intent is for Facebook to act as an aggregator where the average user is less likely to check multiple news sites, or even dedicated apps, several times per day. The new app would come in direct competition to Twitter’s Moments, a way of viewing stories strictly related to a trending subject. The app is rumored to launch as soon as the end of this month.


Read more on The Verge.


Foursquare debuts Trending This Week

To help visitors to major cities know the best places to visit while they are in town, Foursquare is debuting Trending This Week, a list of the top ten locations trending with reviews, comments, and check-ins. Currently, the list is only available on the web, but Foursquare announced through a blog post that the feature would be available soon through the app. Currently, it only supports five major cities; New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and the list updates every Tuesday.


Read more on Foursquare Blog.


YouTube launching more local versions of website

Earlier this week YouTube announced the launch of several new local versions of its site, specifically aimed at users in the following countries; the Adriatics, Baltics, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Citing that 80% of video views come from outside of the United States, YouTube is continuing its push to show more relevant videos and search results to its users. YouTube currently has local versions of its site in 85 different countries, and with the launch of new channels, creators from these countries will be able to enter into publisher partnerships with YouTube to help monetize their content.

More information on YouTube Blog.


Skype now allows users to join chats without an account

With a new update unveiled earlier this week, Skype users can now create chats that will have shareable links, allowing other users to join a web-based chat without needing to have, or log into a Skype account. The user creating the chat must do so from a desktop client or web, but other who join can start chatting on any platform, desktop or mobile. Current Skype users are also able to join the chats using their existing usernames. The feature is currently available in the US and UK, and will be rolling out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.


Read more on Skype Blog.


Twitter adds new reporting tools to measure effectiveness of ads

Twitter has introduced new reports which it is calling conversion lift reports, which will allow advertisers to track how well their ads are performing in terms of converting towards a goal, whether that is website visits, app downloads, or another type of action. The reports work by analyzing audience who see the ads, and those that don’t and compares conversion results against these control groups and test groups. The results of the report then recommend optimizations the advertiser can make to their campaigns. Twitter stated in their blog post announcing the feature that all advertisers worldwide can use these reports for campaigns starting in the future, by request.


Read more on Twitter Blog.

The week in social: Buyable pins, Twitter Moments, and Facebook Reactions

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Pinterest improves buyable pins options

Announced through a blog post last Monday, Pinterest has expanded the merchants and platforms that buyable pins are compatible with. New partnerships between Pinterest and Bigcommerce, IBM Commerce and Magento will allow new merchants to leverage buyable pins to help consumers makes purchases direct through the social network. Specific merchants that will be offering buyable pins include Bloomingdale’s, Wayfair, DVF, and Steven Alan. As part of the blog post, Pinterest also announced that there are now over 60 million buyable pins available. Pinterest went on to cite that buyable pins have a 2x conversion rate in comparison to other mobile pins, touting the effectiveness of this offering.


Read more on Pinterest Blog.


Twitter launches Moments

As a way of helping more new users get into Twitter, the company has announced an launched a new feature called Moments. Moments aggregates customized pages for real-time events that allow users to follow conversations from many different accounts they may not follow. Users have to click the lightning bolt icon on the menu of their mobile app and they are brought to an intro page that has a short description and conversation highlights around the subject. Users also have the option to tweet about the moment with a prompt in the menu. If a user chooses to follow a moment, tweets that are related to it will be temporarily blended into the main timeline.


Read more on Twitter Blog.


YouTube releases updated app on iOS

In an effort to encourage more creators to take their work mobile, Google has released a new YouTube app for iOS with enhanced video editing tools. For general use, the new three main tabs are Account, Home, and Subscriptions. The video editing features include the ability to trim an uploaded video, add filters, and add music. Any music that is added to a video can be previewed first and can be chosen from a collection offered by YouTube or uploaded straight from the mobile device.

More information on Social Times.


Facebook launches Lead ads

A new format that has been in testing for the past several months, Facebook has just officially rolled out Lead ads. Aimed at making the process of subscribing to a service, newsletter, or another list easier, Lead ads will popular a form from the advertiser with pre-existing Facebook data from that user. Land Rover is among the brands using the new type of ad, and it was found that in A/B testing between Lead ads, and website link click ads, the Lead ads were more effective at gathering potential customer information. Additional features of the Lead ads include conversion tracking to calculate the return on investment for spending against the new ad format.


Read more on Biz Community.


Facebook testing Reactions instead of Dislike button

News broke several weeks ago from Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook was looking into a form of a Dislike button that would allow users to express empathy for a number of given situations where the traditional “like” may not be appropriate. The new expressions have now come in a user test in the form of Reactions, which are animated emoji to represent Like, Love, “HaHa”, “Yay”, “Wow”, Sad, and Angry. The impetus behind the different reactions is to give the user more options to express themselves, according to Zuckerberg. Currently, only users in Ireland and Spain are receiving the emojis for use, and it remains to be seen when they will be launched to the rest of the world.


Read more on Engadget.


Pinterest updates search for international content

With roughly half of the 100 million active users on Pinterest residing outside of the US, the company has taken some steps as of earlier this week to ensure that people searching on the network are receiving locally relevant content. Search results are customized now by country and by language, so if a user were to search for receipes in the United States, they would see results in English, with pins from other US users. In addition to this announcement, the blog for Pinterest cited that spell checking and search suggestions would become available for users in French, German, Portuguese, and Japanese.

More information on Pinterest Blog.


Twitter updates emojis for Direct Messages

One of the new small changes made to Twitter as Jack Dorsey is taking back control of the company as CEO, is how emojis appear in Direct Messages. Taking a hint from other messaging services, when an Emoji is posted by itself as a message, it will appear at larger than its normal size to emphasize the emotion that goes along with it. The change works for Twitter on the web and within mobile apps, but it is unclear if this support will carry over to third party tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

More information on Mashable.


Facebook debuts a feature to add college borders to profile photos

As the fall season goes into full swings, Facebook is debuting a new feature to let users show off their college pride in the US. The new feature lets users add a border around their profile photo with their college of choice, and it is being called team frames. This follows the trend of Facebook letting users temporarily change their profile photo to a different color for a cause, and also letting their profile photo be a looping video instead of a static image. The individual colleges features designed their own frames in combination with the Facebook product team.


Read more on TechCrunch.


Twitter expands its Amplify ad platform

In a bid to serve more high quality video content to users and help its creators monetize their efforts, Twitter announced earlier this week that it is expanding its Amplify ad platform, to allow advertisers that are part of a beta program to select categories of content and audiences they want to sponsor video content for. Previously, advertising sponsors would make a partnership with a specific content creator to advertise with pre-roll on top of that video content, but now advertisers can choose specific categories and audiences in such a way that it expands their potential reach. Content creators consist of brands from sports, news, and entertainment, and Twitter has cited through its blog post that it plans to expand the program globally in the coming months.


Read more on Twitter Blog.


LinkedIn is making groups private

As part of updates that will taking place on October 14th, LinkedIn will be making all groups, a feature introduced in 2004, only available privately to the members who are part of them. This is in part an effort to improve the quality and experience of the groups themselves, as users have been complained that there is an abundance of spam and self-promotion in the groups. In addition, LinkedIn will be launching a stand-alone app just for groups, to push the feature further after the change has been made, but the app will only be available on iOS to start. Additional features for groups will include adding images into conversation threads, improved filtering, and moderation.

More information on Marketing Land.

The week in social: Lobster on YouTube, the reality of Peeple, and verifying the Obvious

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Twitter expanding “Buy Now”

Twitter is ramping up its effort to close the loop on sales-over-social by extending their partnerships with Shopify, Demandware and Bigcommerce. These expanded relationships will bring opportunities for more vendors to enable “Buy Now” functionality to their posts. Best Buy, Adidas and PacSun are all rumored to be on board to provide social ads that don’t just redirect, but cut down on steps and friction along the purchase process.

Read more at Tech Crunch


Lobster partners with YouTube

Lobster has succeeded in placing themselves at the intersection of content creators in the wild, and companies seeking media assets. If you think that picture of a pumpkin patch on Instagram is perfect for your fall campaign, Lobster will contact the rights holder and negotiate the contract for you to do just that. This week, the company has made a huge step forward by confirming a deal with YouTube.

Read more at Tech Crunch


Twitter won’t verify the Obvious

A coffee retailer’s latte has a verified Twitter account. A brand’s concept of disorder and chaos has a verified Twitter account. A cereal cartoon has a verified Twitter account. Even a media company’s broad caricature of a human has a verified Twitter account. Despite all this, Captain Obvious continues an unanswered campaign for Twitter to verify and legitimize his identity. Note: this author, Captain Obvious, and The Most Interesting Man in the World all continue unverified, demonstrating a 3-point trend of bias against truly great beards.

Read more at AdWeek


Edward Snowden joins Twitter

In 5 days, Edward Snowden has amassed 1.34 million followers on Twitter. His first tweet “Can you hear me now” earned 120k retweets. Snowden has kept up a strong initial content push, trading tweets with Neil deGrasse Tyson, poking fun at the NSA, and complaining about 47GBs of notifications in his inbox … and yes, his account is verified.

Read more at The Next Web and Twitter



Klink is a new photo sharing social platform that has recently wrapped a 3 month beta. The company is promoting the app first and foremost as a social sharing channel, while promising users $2 for every 1,000 unique views to an image. Meanwhile, users can pay $.99 to feature their images and lift content above the noise floor. This type of pricing model will be an interesting study as the demand for promotion interacts directly with the supply of attention.

Read more at The Next Web


FourSquare and OpenTable

FourSquare and OpenTable have had a long standing relationship, and they’ve recently improved their user experience. An update released this week will enable OpenTable reservations to be secured directly within the FourSquare app. It’s a small feature that cuts down on clicks, and demonstrates the demand for companies to simplify the conversion process on mobile.

On the other hand, OpenTable is also experimenting with Uber-style surge pricing for hard-to-get reservations. The intersection of providing easier usage while also raising prices based on demand represents an interesting company picture.

Read more at The Next Web


Peeple, the answer for a problem no one has

At last, a place on the internet where people can judge others without recourse. No doubt you’ve heard already of Peeple, the Yelp-style rating app for humanity at large. The app promises users the ability to rate other human beings with the same ease and care with which they rate their local taco stand. While the predictable (and perhaps valid) backlash has been widely covered this week, some are speculating that the whole idea is simply a hoax gone wrong.

Read more at The Washington Post and Newsweek


Google acquires Jibe

Google is betting heavy on Rich Communication Services (RCS) to pick up the slack where SMS has left off. “The features in SMS have not kept up with modern messaging apps” says Android’s Minister of Messaging. RCS handles rich media such as high-resolution photo and video, and can be expanded into applications like screen sharing and location mapping. Jibe has been working on RCS since 2010, and appears to be saddled with the responsibility of integrating RCS into Android along side Google Voice and Google Hangouts.

Read more at Silicon Angle


Mobile timeline facelift

Facebook is rehashing the look and feel of the mobile timeline, creating more robust opportunity for identity expression. Users can create a featured photo gallery, produce a short bio & detail section, and elect to display their friend gallery above their activity timeline. FB is also testing the waters with replacing the profile pic with a short looping video.

Notably, the option to produce and post brief animations with minimal effort follows the social trends set this summer, like the Live Photo feature announced by Apple, and the GoPro’s recent addition of Trim & Share.

Read more at Social Times


Facebook ad updates

Four new ad options have surfaced at Facebook this last week. Most interesting among them is the introduction of Brand Awareness Optimization, which is said to target viewers that are most likely to recall a brand’s ads. There has long been a need for this type of targeting, though the methodology for finding these viewers is vague at best. FB’s feature updates also include the addition of video to carousel format, TRP style ad buying for cross-platform planning, and mobile polling.

Read more at Facebook Business

The week in social: Flagship, Twitter polls, and Facebook 360 video

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Instagram reaches 400 million users

Instagram reached a new milestone of users, with 400 million total registered. This is an increase of an additional 100 million since December of last year. In total, users are also posting 80 million photos every single day. The majority of users (around 75%), come from outside of the United States.

More information on Mashable.


Facebook introduces 360 degree video

Facebook has officially launched 360 Video. This means is that viewers can ‘choose their own adventure’ when it comes to how they view videos by choosing what angle they watch from (presuming they’ve been filmed with 360 degree cameras in the first place). Due to the technology constraints, it may be difficult for the average user to produce this content, but it is being considered an exciting step in the evolution of content creation.


Read more on iDigitalTimes.


Pinterest users have saved 92 million holiday pins

Saving pins for the holiday season is an incredibly popular activity on Pinterest, and an infographic released by the company with data compiled between 2013-2014 shows that 38 million users have saved 92 million pins. In addition, year over year the network has seen a 50% increase in the number of holiday pins being saved. Interestingly, 43% of the pins saved are from millennials, and 170 million of the saved pins are for holiday decor, the largest category.


Read more on Social Times.


Facebook offers new messaging options for users who decline events

Previously when a user would decline an event invite on Facebook, they had the option to post in a group thread for the event with the reason they could not attend. Now, in an effort to further promote Messenger, Facebook is providing a prompt to have the declining user message the organizer and provide the reason in a private thread. This is not a publicly announced feature and it remains uncertain if it will see wider availability among all users.


Read more on Social Times.


New timelocked photo-sharing app Flagship launches

Flagship is a new photo app inspired by the movie “The Hangover”. It lets users take photos that are not view-able or shareable with other users until 12:00pm the day after they are taken. Users create private groups and all recipients then get to see the group content at the same time the day after. Using the app safeguards accidental social sharing meaning no content taken can be posted to social during the night in question. The French startup who launched the app has received $1.5 million in funding for a launch in the US.


Read more on iDigitalTimes.


Facebook quietly begins to roll out Page updates

ShortStack showed off a preview of some of the changes coming to Facebook Pages on a recent blog post. The changes include smaller profile pictures, and different locations for the Like, Message, Share, and Page Tab links. Lastly, the call to action buttons are far more visible. Facebook’s hope is clearly to help push more users from content to commerce.


Read more on ShortStack.


Users of Facebook Mentions can now see comments on articles

Content creators and journalists will now be able to see what users are saying about their articles using Mentions, whether or not the article comment mentions the author’s name. Facebook has cited through a Media blog post that this will allow authors to see how the public is reacting to their content. All authors have to do is implement the author tag on their website, inputting a single line of code on the header, and viewing the Mentions feed on the app.

More information on Facebook Media.


Twitter debuts custom Emojis for the Pope’s United States visit

Custom emojis are becoming an increasingly popular trend for Twitter, and the visit of the current Pope to the United States saw Twitter introduce a series of new emojis for hashtags citing his visits to various cities. Users can post about the Pope being in the US, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, and when the associated hashtag is posted, the emoji will show up in line within the post. Twitter also released a list of accounts users can follow for tracking the Pope’s visit.


Read more on Mashable.


Facebook updates Notes

Facebook has made new features of Notes official and rolled them out widely to all users. It is now possible to add cover photos to each note, in addition to re-sizing and adding captions to photos. Other features include adding formatting to the text in notes, such as bullets, quotes, and adding headers. While Notes can be viewed on mobile, they can only be created on the Facebook’s desktop web version.

More information on Facebook Newsroom.


Twitter introduces embedded polls into tweets

Twitter has released embeddable polls into native tweets. There has been no official announcement of the feature, and users who have access to it can only choose from a two answer poll, but if it picks up traction, that is likely to increase. The feature works on desktop and mobile, and it is reported that much of the Twitter staff and verified profiles have access to it. Polls are available only directly through Twitter, and third-party services such as TweetDeck do not support it yet.

Read more on Digital Trends.

The week in social: Custom emoji, Snapchat replays, and the Dislike button

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Users can now purchase replays on Snapchat

Snapchat has introduced a new feature to help monetize its service outside of ads and Discover partnerships, now allowing users to pay $0.99 to purchase 3 replays of a favorite snap. Snapchat this past year introduced a feature that lets a user replay a single snap once per day, but this new feature is aimed at allowing users to see more. Another new feature as part of the announcement saw Snapchat introduce “lenses”, or masks and other visual features that can be placed on top of selfies, with some being interactive. New lenses are being planned for continual release.

More information on The Verge.


Klout adding YouTube stats into scores

Earlier this week, Lithium Technologies announced that they would be integrating YouTube data into Klout, a service that scores users based on social media activity. Klout will add video views, likes, dislikes, and shares to its scoring algorithm moving forward. The changes will occur for all users over the course of the next several weeks. Klout currently covers a range of social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.


Read more on Social Times.


Facebook is testing a “Dislike” button

At a question and answer session this past week at Facebook headquarters, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would finally be bringing a dislike button to the service, but not for the reason that most people thought. Zuckerberg positioned the test as a way for a new button to let users show empathy, addressing many user complaints that it is not always appropriate to “Like” bad or sad news. Although there is no official timetable, the feature will roll out to a test bed of users first and then more widely if the feature picks up in usage.

More information on The Next Web.


Skype introduces licensed video clips with Mojis

As a unique take on the distribution of GIFs online, Skype has introduced Mojis for its instant message feature, a way of sharing high quality video clips licensed through various partners. Current partners include Disney, Universal Studios, and the BBC. Content comes from shows featured on those networks, and in order to get access to Mojis, users have to update their Skype program. Mojis are currently available across all major platforms, desktop and mobile.


Read more on Mashable.


Twitter and Bloomberg expand partnership to surface financial tweet content

Twitter and Bloomberg are now working more closely together, where the former is helping to identify tweets that have financial opinions and information, to be provided on Bloomberg terminals. The data shared will also include sentiment analysis, which will allow users of the terminals to understand the intent of the content, and help them make better estimated decisions with it. A live feed or curated tweets will be provided to the terminals, and alerts will also be provided to keeps users aware of breaking news. The partnership between these two companies started in 2013 when Bloomberg first started integrating tweet content into its terminal feeds.

More information on Fortune.


Facebook introduces 100% in-view ad impressions

As Facebook is seeking to remain competitive against other social networks offering ads for marketers, it has this past week introduced a new way to pay for impressions of ads, those that only are 100% in view of a user. The ad type will be available for any ad product served in the news feed, and for the ad to have been considered as serving an impressions, the entire unit from top to bottom has to pass through a user’s feed. As a second part of the announcement, Facebook is now partnering with Moat, an independent measurement 3rd party, to ensure the video metrics it serves back to admins and advertisers are accurate.

More information on Facebook Business News.


Snapchat and NFL partner for Story content

NFL has partnered with Snapchat to provide exclusive football-related content to users through the Snapchat Live Story feature. Although users will not be able to watch actual games, they will have access to user snaps and official NFL content from various events. The NFL worked directly with Snapchat to create a schedule of content that will last the entire professional season, and last all the way through post-season into Super Bowl 50. The NFL reported that its first Live Story was viewed by “millions” of fans, but has not given clear performance numbers of this new campaign to date.


Read more on TechCrunch.


Google Chrome now offers Facebook push notifications on mobile

Google is continuing its trend of offering push notifications from various sites to users who access Chrome on mobile. For those who opt in, notifications can be received from the Facebook mobile site, delivered through Google Chrome. This expands a list of sites that can do this, including eBay, Pinterest, and VICE. Facebook software engineer Nate Schloss stated that the notifications were part of an effort to create the same experience for all mobile users, regardless of platform.

More information on The Verge.


Pinterest hits 100 million users

Pinterest announced that it hit the 100 million user mark, only 5 years after its inception, an average growth of 20 million users per year. Community Manager Enid Hwang made the announcement on the company’s official blog, and featured examples of pinners from different categories, ranging from comic book lovers to teachers. The post went on to express appreciation to users of the service, and made a note about looking forward to how it would evolve with the next 100 million.


Read more on Pinterest Blog.


Twitter debuts custom emojis as ad campaigns

Although custom emojis on Twitter are not new and have been used for special events like the World Cup and Wimbledon, a new partnership with Coke is marking the first time that a company is paying for a custom emoji as an ad buy. When a user tweets “#ShareACoke”, two bottle of the soda will appear as an emoji next to it. Roff Hoffman, director of global brand strategy at Twitter stated that as Coke is a partner with established trust, this new type of ad campaign would first be tested with them before it would see wider adoption and availability with other marketers.


Read more on TechCrunch.