Headlines & Stuff April 4, 2014

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

YouTube to Run TV Ads Promoting Video Creators in 2014 Push
Next week, Google will introduce a campaign to promote three YouTube creators with ads appearing across Google-owned properties as well as TV, print and out-of-home.  YouTube’s ad campaign will highlight creators from beauty/fashion and cooking verticals – and later this year will showcase creators from other Google preferred verticals.  The three creators Google has chosen include: make-up star Michelle Phan (also a Dr. Pepper spokesperson and has a cosmetics line with L’Oreal), beauty-and-fashion vlogger Bethany Mota (also has a clothing line with Aeropostale) and baker Rosanna Pansino. Each of them have more than one million subscribers to their respective channels.

Twitter Acquires SecondSync & Mesagraph
Two social-TV companies announced they had been acquired by Twitter for undisclosed sums – France–based Mesagraph and UK based SecondSynch. The second had announced an international partnership with Facebook in January to analyze conversations about TV that take place on the social network. Facebook was looking to SecondSync to make the case that Twitter wasn’t the only medium that mattered for real-time conversations about TV happening at scale. They even published a white-paper with results learned from SecondSync’s efforts.  Now Twitter owns them. SecondSync is not commenting on their previous partnership with Facebook.

Amazon Announces Fire TV
Amazon has just announced Fire TV, an compact, streaming video set-top box that can also play games. Titles from Ubisoft, Double Fine, TellTale Games, EA, Disney, Sega, and Gameloft will be coming to the Fire TV.  The unit itself will be $99, the controller $39.99 and the average price of games will be $1.85 with free titles also available.  Video streaming services will include: Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and WatchESPN. Music services will include: Pandora, iHeartRadio, and your Amazon library.

Vine Releases Private Messaging Feature
Vine released a new private messaging feature this week. Users can now send video and text messages to one another through the app. They can record a video message, add text, and send to those in their Vine network, as well as those in their phone’s address book.

Monthly Cost of an Instagram Ad Campaign Can Approach $1MM
Much like Pinterest, Instagram is out pitching advertisers on a premium ad offering. Following the conclusion of a test late last year with ten advertisers, the photo and video sharing platform is out pitching Instagram ads at CPMs that would put a month-long buy deep into six figures and verging on seven depending on the reach and frequency sought. Quotes ranging from $500,000 to $1 million for a month have been leaked by advertisers. No rates have officially been set in stone.

Global Social Media

China Surpasses U.S. In Mobile Commerce
China leaves the U.S in the dust when it comes to embracing m-commerce. Seven out of 10 smartphone users in China have used their devices to make a purchase in the last three months, compared to only 22% in the U.S. and 13% in France.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Pepsi Ad Changes the Plot With a Click
With the World Cup just two months away, Pepsi has released a new ad that celebrates Rio and the game of soccer with a few interactive detours that gives the viewer control over the narrative. There are 11 instances in the video where a viewer’s cursor turns into a symbol. Click on it and the video launches into a vignette that you wouldn’t see otherwise. For example, at one point there is a cameo from soccer superstar Lionel Messi, who is shown reading a newspaper. If you click, the scene changes to show the crowd discovering Messi and mobbing him. If you don’t click, the scene moves on quickly and Messi picks up the paper and just continues to read it.  Watch the ad here.