Kevin Barnes, 25 Dec 2016

The week in social: Snapchat games, holiday stickers, and Messenger video calls

Twitter retires lead generation ad format

Earlier this week, Twitter confirmed to Marketing Land that it would be retiring its lead generation ad format in an emailed statement, although specific reasons for closing down the format were not disclosed. The ad format would collect information about a potential customer that would allow the advertiser to follow up through various channels. The format was introduced in mid-2013, and was soon copied by other social networks, such as Facebook.

More information on Marketing Land.

Facebook Messenger now offers Group Video Chat

Facebook has just introduced mobile group video calling for its standalone Messenger app. The app allows up to six people to be seen on a mobile device screen at once, with us to 50 people able to be on a single call. Use of a call is seamless, where all a user has to do is be present in a group conversation and tap the video call icon. Users will have to have the latest version of Facebook Messenger installed in order to use the new feature.

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Read more on Facebook Newsroom.

Facebook begins sharing brand initiative ‘Moments’

Facebook has started showing notifications at the top of the newsfeed on both desktop and mobile for special events, holidays, and more. This is part of a brand initiative to give users inspiration for things they can share with their friends on the network. At the moment, these notifications are not something that can be sponsored by brands, but it is easy to see how this may become an option in the future. Some users have been seeing similar notifications for several months, but only earlier this week have they been appearing for the majority of users as shareable announcements. Some of the notifications feature more interactive elements, such as choosing a holiday card to share with friends.

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Read more on TechCrunch.

Twitter releases Holiday stickers

For the advent of the Holiday season, Twitter has released a new set of themed stickers that can be added to posts. The company announced the new feature through its @TwitterFaith account, the handle that shares religious-related posts. The stickers represent three core holidays; Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

More information on Twitter.

Snapchat creates its own native game for the Holidays

Snapchat has recently worked in partnership with brands to create games within the app, such as the Serena Williams tennis game made in partnership with Gatorade, but this week marks the first time that Snapchat has made their own game, usable within a lens. The game is called Santa’s Helper, and it captures a photo of the users face, superimposes it onto an elf, and then the elf skiis down a slope collecting presents. Users can snap a photo of the action at any time to share with their contacts.

More information on Social Times.

Vine is pivoting into a camera app

After news of Vine shutting down caused shockwaves in the social media space, numerous other services have been offering ways for Vine users to export their content or find alternatives creating content in similar 6-second formats. Late last week, Vine issued a blog post with its own solution, stating that while Vine in its current form would still be going away, users will have to option to utilize a new camera app that will take 6 second videos to be shared on Twitter or saved to the camera roll to be used anywhere else. The company also announced that they would be introducing a new alert for Vine users that allows them to help transition their following to Twitter.

More information on Medium.

Twitter is testing serving breaking news as notifications

As a way of bringing more users into its Moments feature, Twitter is testing out serving push notifications on mobile devices of breaking news. Twitter has apparently been testing the feature for several months, with entertainment-based subjects. There is no word on an official wide release of the feature, as Twitter has a history of quietly testing before wider release.

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Read more on AdWeek.