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The Week in Social: ads, adds and dollar signs

Cha-ching! Snapchat adds to its ads offering and the dollar signs are gleaming

Snapchat is braced to be rolling in it after announcing a number of important updates to its ads offering. These updates give advertisers the spotlight, buying flexibility, ROI opportunities, and the opportunity to reach the platform’s 150 million daily users. Offerings include: Snap ads between stories, expandable ads, ads API, Snapchat partners for ads and creative, ad measurement, and an ad review system to protect its user experience. Together, these announcements transform Snapchat from a thriving social network experimenting with monetization into an advertising powerhouse.


Read more on TechCrunch

Getting down for the cause ain’t no thang with Spotfund social-first mobile app

Pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over your head is all well and good,

but what viral campaigns really need is cold, hard cash. Enter Spotfund. Launched this week, it has created a site and an iOS app that makes raising $1 – $3 donations far easier than before. The company operates under the idea of lots of little, manageable donations and engaging friends and family in giving, rather than giving till it hurts. Spotfund CEO and co-founder Sanford Kunkel said: “ Making an impact isn’t about the size of your wallet, it’s about the power of your social network.”


Read more on TechCrunch

Pinterest does advertisers a solid and expands its ad-targeting options

Advertisers rejoice: Pinterest has you in their thoughts, prayers and efforts once again. This week, the idea-sharing site rolled out three new targeting options for advertisers. Customer list targeting enables partners to reach their existing customers across Pinterest; visitor targeting allows partners to reach people who have already demonstrated an affinity for their brand by retargeting pinners based on their interactions on their website; and lookalike targeting helps increase the potential audience size for a partner by targeting pinners that are similar to a particular seed audience specified by the partner. Businesses that have been involved in the testing phase of these options have said they have already seen dramatic results.

Read more on SocialTimes

Facebook set to go even more gung-ho on video

If you’re into cat videos and the like (and let’s face it – who isn’t?) in five years’ time, you’ll be in your element. Facebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn, who heads up operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told a conference in London this that in five years Facebook will “probably be all video.” (She didn’t mention cat videos but they’ll clearly be part of it.) She also suggested 360 video will be commonplace and that VR is set to grow. “The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video. It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. We’re seeing a year-on-year decline of text… if I was having a bet I’d say: video, video, video,” she said.

Read more on TechCrunch

Facebook Messenger has a new home screen to keep users close

We all know that Facebook wants to make its Messenger app our everything, and with this week’s addition of a home screen, it’s one step closer. Instead of the seemingly endless list of chronological conversations we’ve come to know and love/hate, the Home tab organizes Messenger into recent conversations, favorites, active users, and messages awaiting response, and a handy shortcut also reminds users about any Facebook friends celebrating birthdays. The tweaks make Messenger pre-populate your “favorites” list according to the people you chat to most, and also offer an improved the search function. Thanks Facebook!

Read more on Wired

Facebook creates online Creative Hub in bid to simplify creation of ads

As Facebook has gotten more intricate, so too has its ad space. In an effort to help marketers keep ads coming hard and fast, and to create them more easily, as well as make the shift to mobile advertising, Facebook has introduced Creative Hub – an online platform for agencies, brands and anyone involved in the creation of ads on Facebook to share, review, test and create ads on Facebook and Instagram. The Creative Hub is every ad-creating creatives’s best friend, showcasing the range of formats they can choose from, along with ad specs, best practices, tips on targeting and design, as well as the ability to create and test mock mobile ads.


Read more on AdvertisingAge

Twitter introduces emoji targeting (insert smiley face emoji here)

In the always-awesome world of the emoji, Twitter is now letting brands advertising on its platform use emojis to target their campaigns. Twitter ads application-programming interface product manager Neil Shah announced in a blog post that emoji keyword targeting is now available to advertisers on the social network. According to the blog, advertisers can now target Twitter users who recently tweeted or engaged with tweets that features emojis, with the help of six Twitter Official Partners. This presents the opportunity to connect with people based on their expressed sentiment; target people who tweet food emojis; and reach out to people based on their passions.

Read more on SocialTimes

Snapchat is starting Real Life, an online magazine about technology in everyday life

Snapchat is thinking beyond dog filters and video, and is soon to be launching a new online magazine called Real Life, which, starting June 27, is set to publish around one article each week day based around the subject of technology. In a blog post this morning, Snapchat employee and social media critic Nathan Jurgenson writes: “Real Life will publish essays, arguments, and narratives about living with technology. It won’t be a news site with gadget reviews or industry gossip. It will be about how we live today and how our lives are mediated by devices.”

Read more on VentureBeat

Sky News is using Snapchat for breaking news (and it is the future)

For 18 months, Sky News has been building its Snapchat Discover news empire. It’s become a standalone editorial channel that can flex in response to breaking news. Sky News output editor Alan Strange said: “We speak about Snapchat Discover in production and editorial meetings in the same way as our TV news. When we look at the big stories, we’re looking at how they’ll look on Snapchat. It’s embedded in the newsroom. Sky News on Snapchat is arguably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, millennial news desk in the UK. When you look at the numbers, they’re big enough that they compete with our other platforms.”

Read more on DigiDay