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The Week in Social: Facebook's Ecosystem, Google Lens, and Snapchat Ads

The Facebook Ecosystem

Facebook shared a literal plethora of updates this week. We’ll start with Messenger’s new design that focuses on improved navigation. The layout shuffles Groups, Contacts, and Active conversations into primary focus. Sharp eyes will notice that with Groups being relocated to the top, Games have found a new home in the global navigation.

With the Messenger updates, we’re seeing an early test of cross-app integration in the Zuckerberg ecosystem. The test was spotted by an analyst who found a set of anxiety-inducing red badges within Facebook. The alerts noted untouched activity in Messenger and Instagram, and provided the option to instant-switch to either app. While this type of integration is inevitable, it occupies the mushy ground between single and multi-app strategies.

Finally, Instagram has added selfie filters, a feature likely familiar to 18-24 year-olds on mobile devices. Users can adorn themselves with virtual crowns, makeovers and animal features and share as they see fit. Though the idea isn’t unique, Instagram is bringing the feature to a larger, broader user base that hasn’t previously experienced this kind of social sharing.

Successful Publishing on Facebook

Facebook wants to raise the credibility of the information feed delivered to its users. Since taking heat for denying its role as a media company, they have aggressively stepped up efforts to regain public trust. This week, Adam Mosseri provided written guidelines to publishers on how to keep their content in the news feed. He advises content producers to keep it clear, meaningful, accurate, and informative. With his voice behind the effort, we expect to see Facebook wrangle in the spam, click-bait, and fake news.

Read more at Facebook

Facebook has food now

Hungry? Presently, you can procure properly prepared pierogies without parting from Facebook’s platform. This week, several users spotted the ability to order food delivery from Facebook desktop and mobile. We suspect the feature will first be served to users that have Locations and Payments enabled. The more interesting implication is the ad-targeting options this opens for local food establishments. Ad duration: 12:30-3:00PM; Geo target: SoHo, NYC, NY; Occupation: marketing; Interest: tacos.

Read more at AdWeek

IG testing public searchable stories

Instagram is re-surfacing older Stories and expanding their digital footprint in public spaces. Location tagging is nothing new. However, offering to unlock Stories as a reward for being in the same space could be an interesting prospect. If this feature remains geo-oriented, we see it being an interesting tool for influencers and brands alike. If it becomes easily searchable from the couch at home, the opportunity feels less distinct.

Read more at TechCrunch

Google Lens Search

What’s the nutritional content of this cereal? Is that restaurant open tomorrow? Is this a hot dog, or not a hot dog? Google hopes that you’ll answer all of these questions with Google Lens. Encouraging you to gather information with your camera, rather than a keyboard search, fits perfectly in line with acclimatizing people to interact with the world digitally. In turn, the metrics of of where information is gathered and how it’s consumed creates a gold mine of data. We’re most thankful that Google is bringing this technology to the devices in our pockets, rather than mounted our our faces.

Read more at Wired

Sponsored content

An Influencer-based content marketing agency is reporting something shocking. Readers don’t mind sponsored content, as long as that content is informative and well produced. As influencer marketing matures into adulthood, this is a fact that brands cannot ignore. Paying someone with a 500K network reach to mention you is a tactic from yesteryear. The worth of an influencer has surpassed reach and engagement. Their effectiveness lies in how they integrate your story effectively with their own brand, and present it to their audience with quality and value.

Read more at AdWeek

The age of Influencers

While we’re discussing Influencers, Vice reports that Influencer Marketing is here to stay. This, according to 2 heads of influencer marketing firms … but they have a point. Public awareness of Influencer Marketing is at an all-time high. With that awareness will come distinct reactions when followers sense that something is authentic vs. when it’s bought and paid for. We don’t think Influencer marketing is going anywhere. However, we expect that followers will grow smarter about their actions when they see sponsored content.

Read more at Vice

Snapchat new products

Will Snapchat stand idly by while others poach their best ideas? No, they won’t. Snapchat currently enjoys a loyal user base, and has the more experience with ephemeral story sharing than any other platform. Armed with these things, they announced three new products this week. World Lenses will insert 3D objects and animations into the backgrounds of your selfies. Audience Lenses will enable advertisers to create lenses and target them both by region and by demographics. Finally, Smart Geo-filters are custom overlays that gather local information and incorporate it into the filter.

Read more at TechCrunch

Snapchat and Instagram are the worst

For your kids, that is. The Royal Society for Public Health interviewed more than 1,400 British youths aged 14-24. Asked about issues such as bullying, self identity, and body image; Instagram and Snapchat scored the worst for negativity. In positive news, YouTube was the only social platform that scored more positive feelings than negative. Researchers suggest a good way to counteract these feelings is to remind your kids that there is life outside of these apps. In other words, go out and play.

Read more at The Next Web

Spotify acquires Niland

I know the implications of playing through Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book in a single afternoon. It means next week’s Discover playlist is going to be a random hell of anything tagged rock, soul or funk. As well, my Daily Mix will have about 37 different covers of, “Superstition” in it. Spotify seems to know this, and they’ve acquired French AI company Niland to help them make better recommendations based on user preferences. We’re overjoyed at the possibilities.

Read more at TechCrunch