Headlines & Stuff July 22, 2013

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Instagram Looks to Hire D.C. Manager, Become Destination For Political Content
Instagram is now honing its pitch to a new category of celebrity content creators: politicians. Facebook is hiring a Washington D.C. Based political outreach manager to “manage and execute relationships with governments, politicians and political influencers on how best to use Instagram.” The job listing suggests that politics is a major area of focus for Instagram, which still has less than 30 employees. Instagram will join the ranks of Twitter and parent company Facebook who also have employees dedicated to political group/government outreach.

Facebook Cans Another Ad Format

It’s official: Facebook’s “Questions” ad unit for Pages is getting the boot as part of the ad unit massacre announced in June.

YouTube Subscription Channels Off to a Slow Start
Some of the partners for YouTube’s “pilot program” for subscription-based channels, which launched in May, have said that their paid channels are off to a slow start. A total of 29 channels went live as part of the pilot, with partners including Sesame Street, UFC, Nat Geo, PGA, and Magnolia Pictures charging $0.99 or more a month for paid channels that would sit alongside their free videos on YouTube. Despite the struggles, partners are still committed to their YouTube strategies and are using the program as a testing ground.

Facebook is Testing a Feature That can Track Customers’ Physical Movements at Businesses
Facebook has been quietly testing a new feature to help brick-and-mortar businesses engage with customers on their smartphones and give them more insight into customer habits. The idea: encourage users to check-in on Facebook in exchange for access to free in-store Wi-Fi. Users who connect to a network that has Facebook Wi-Fi activated will be automatically redirected to the business’ Facebook Page. They are then prompted to leave a message to let their friends know where they are and what they are doing. But businesses will get more than just a check-in. The new feature only works if merchants have a Meraki wireless router with a free feature called Presence. The routers collect info from smart devices, giving owners location-based performance indicators including capture rate, media visit lengthy, repeat visit rate, total number of visitors and total visits for a given site. Meanwhile, Facebook can collect data on users based on their check-ins, such as where they go and how frequently.

Global Social Media

Facebook Grows Mobile Usage 22% in the UK
The number of people in the UK using Facebook from their mobile devices increased 22% since June last year.  Facebook says the average user now logs in 10-15 times per day, while sharing 4.7 billion content items daily.  Globally, 751 million people use the platform via mobile device, an increase of 54% from the same time last year.

China’s Sina Weibo is Reportedly Testing a Feature That Lets Users Buy Influential Retweets
Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social network with over 500 million registered users, is test driving a new feature that lets users pay a small fee to have their content reposted by influential users. The cost will  vary based on follower size and influence – but early tests show an average range from 20RMB ($3)  to 50RMB ($7).

Noteworthy Campaigns

Mercedes-Benz Taps Top Instagram Shutterbugs for CLA
To promote the the new CLA (gateway luxury sedan), Mercedes-Benz is sending five top Instagrammers on the road.  The photographers — chosen for aesthetic, sheer fan numbers and fan engagement — will get behind the wheel of product model Mercedes-Benz CLA’s and take a five day road trip to capture and post their experiences. The photographer that gets the most “likes” during their week, wins a three-year CLA-Class lease. Mercedes isn’t the only auto brand tapping Instagram, Lexus recently amassed 200 Instagram users at Angel Stadium to create an ad for their latest model, while Nissan is asking Instagram users to upload videos and photos of a cutout of the new Versa for the chance to be featured in upcoming ad creative.