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the week in social: Snapchat Lenses, esports in schools, and Facebook Live

Snapchat introduces “Shoppable AR”

As if online shopping isn’t tempting enough, Snapchat is introducing three new features, dubbed “Shoppable AR,” to its augmented reality lenses, giving advertisers the opportunity to bring real-life shopping experiences to the digital platform. Here’s a glimpse at what they are: “website” lets consumers tap a button and open up a product or sign-up webpage; “video” allows users to watch trailers or how-to shorts; and “install” prompts a user to install an app (or open it, if it’s already on their phone). These tools are the products of Snapchat flexing its guns in the social commerce realm, and its push to make advertisers and companies consider AR lenses as part of their marketing strategy. Shoppable AR when live a few days ago with four partners: Clairol, Adidas, STX Entertainments, and King.


Read more at Adweek

PlayVS is out to change what it means to be a high school sports hero

Every parent wants their kid to be a sports star, and with eSports scholarships making their way into colleges and universities around the U.S. and Canada, more students now have the chance! L.A.-based startup PlayVS is now working to bring a similar infrastructure to high school eSports. The company has signed an exclusive contract with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) that provides students with the opportunity to play eSports on behalf of their school all the way to the state championship level. While the NFHS has 100 years experience building out school sports tournaments and all the moving parts that go with them, eSports represents a new challenge for the governing body that PlayVS oversees. The company handles league organization, scheduling, leaderboards and more, as well as fostering relationships with game publishers. To start, high school eSports leagues will be PC-only games in three genres: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, Fighting, and Sports games. First season starts in the fall!


Read more at TechCrunch

Facebook weighs in on GDPR privacy protections for global users

Some Facebook users (as well as its recent hoard of haters) have been wondering whether the company is looking to extend Europe’s recently-approved and soon-to-be-instated GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to users around the world. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said the platform’s users deserve these solid privacy controls, and that he will extend them globally, the platform is taking steps to ensure it can’t be punished by the European Union if anything falls through the cracks along the way. Since the European regulations stipulate that the company can be fined up to four percent of its global annual revenue for GDPR infractions (that’s a cool $1.6 billion), Facebook is (understandably) moving to ensure its additional 1.5 billion users don’t fall under the EU jurisdiction by rerouting non-European users from agreements with its Ireland offices through its U.S.-based offices.

Read more at Engadget

Snapchat invites its community to create their own lenses

If you’ve ever whiled away the hours playing with Snapchat filters, you can now take it (and your creativity) even further by creating your very own face Lenses to join the famous puppy face and flower crown. The templates include augmented reality baseball caps, face paint, and distortions, and users can script their own templates to trigger with certain cues and facial expressions. The best bit is Snapchat’s promoting user-created Lenses by creating a public story specifically for them so users can unlock them for themselves with just a swipe.


Read more at The Next Web

You may soon be watching video premieres in Facebook Live

Facebook has been floating the idea of publishing pre-recorded video on its Facebook Live platform for a while, and now it’s testing a new feature called Premieres, which will allow creators to publish pre-made videos to Facebook live. Info is scarce but the feature looks to be geared towards movie trailers, Facebook Watch shows, and music videos. This will allow Facebook users to experience new content together in real time. Facebook’s Fidji Simo said of the feature: “We’re testing this now with a group of diverse video creators, publishers, and shows, and we’ll be rolling this out more broadly soon.”

Read more at The Verge

Upset at Snapchat redesign doesn’t stop at users

Snapchat dropped its new redesign on February 6 and it didn’t take long (22 days, to be exact) for 1.2 million users to sign a petition requesting Snap return to its old self. Today, sources say that traffic to Snapchat publishers’ content has plummeted by more than 50%. Though Snap has been firm about its redesign, even commenting to the petition saying that the design is here to stay, the company will report its earnings on May 1, and investors will likely be watching closely for positive proof of the redesign.

Read more at The Motley Fool