Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Facebook to Acquire Atlas from Microsoft
Facebook has agreed to acquire the Atlas Advertiser Suite from Microsoft. Atlas is said to be a leader in campaign management and measurement for marketers and agencies. Facebook hopes that Atlas will provide their customers with the much needed tools to let them see how effective their spend is across online channels.
Google Said to Be Developing Subscription Music Service
Google plans to start a subscription music-streaming service to challenge Spotify. Negotiations are underway with major record labels to license their music. Google is also discussing renewal deals that cover the use of songs in videos for YouTube. The worldwide service is targeted for a third quarter start.
Foursquare Adds Credit Card Specials
Foursquare is allowing members to link their Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards to their accounts, to redeem money-back specials from participating merchants. The company will pocket a fee for every credit redemption it processes. This week’s announcement marks the first significant expansion to their credit card specials program, which Foursquare launched exclusively with American Express two years ago.
Facebook Showing Off ‘New Look’ For News Feed March 7
Facebook has invited reporters to its Menlo Park headquarters on March 7 to take a look at its new News Feed. A redesigned version of Timeline is already being tested in New Zealand, which features a new look for the toolbar at the top of the screen, a new About widget below your profile picture, and moves Timeline navigation to the top right of the Page.
China’s Fast-Growing ‘WeChat’ Shakes Up Weibo
Weibo, China’s version of Twitter was the hot place to be as recently as last year. Now, marketers are clamoring to engage with WeChat and the 300 million users it has amassed in just two years. WeChat is a mashup of several existing applications, with fun features like “Shake Shake” and “Drift Bottle.” WeChat users trade text, audio and video messages with friends over mobile-data networks. There’s a popular group-messaging function and newly unveiled live chat capability. Photos can be posted on an Instagram-like “Moments” Page, while “Look Around” identifies other WeChat users nearby. There is also a QR-code reader. Brands including Durex, Nike, Intel and Starbucks are currently using the platform to reach consumers.
Oreo Ramps Up YouTube Efforts
Oreo released a YouTube video this week that shows physicist David Neevel and his Oreo separator machine. Neevel – who is reportedly a physicist and copywriter, is featured in the first series of videos that Oreo plans to release displaying inventors’ solutions to solve the age old problem of twisting an Oreo apart to get at the crème filling. It’s an expansion to the “Cookie vs. Crème” campaign which Oreo launched on Instagram around the Super Bowl. The original campaign urged people to share photos, some of which were selected and turned into sculptures by a team of artists in Portland, Ore., using either cookie or crème. In this new portion of the campaign, Oreo will post videos to YouTube over the next two weeks that show high-tech robotic ways to eat the snack. Neevel’s is the first of four videos from Oreo lovers whose inventions that Oreo will post.