Headlines & Stuff July 18, 2014

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

Facebook’s Buy Button Lets You Purchase Products Directly From Page Posts and Ads
Facebook’s new Buy button, which is currently being tested with select small business partners in the U.S., lets you make a purchase directly on the site. Once you click the button, a pop-up will prompt you to confirm payment and shipping info, then complete the purchase, all without leaving Facebook. The tool is only available to select merchants for the time being, including Modify Watches, though it could roll out to more companies if this trial is deemed a success. In other Facebook news, the platform debuted ‘Mentions’ for celebrities, a new iOS app that gives actors, athletes, musicians, and other influencers the ability to join popular conversations and see the latest posts from those they follow.

LinkedIn Buys Newsle
LinkedIn wants to overtake Twitter and Facebook as executives’ social news service of choice. On Monday, the platform added to its news arsenal, acquiring people-centric news aggregator Newsle to bolster its burgeoning media business.  Newsle crawls a person’s list of LinkedIn, Facebook, and other email contacts and surfaces articles mentioning those people.

Twitter Acquires Payments Startup CardSpring
On the same day Facebook announced its new Buy button, Twitter said it planned to acquire CardSpring, a startup that allows developers to write applications for credit cards, discount coupons, and other payment systems. Its platform is aimed at linking e-commerce with brick-and-mortar sales. Online shoppers can collect sales offers, sync them with their credit card, and then collect them at stores. For Twitter, the company offers an existing payments infrastructure that is not built solely around impulse purchases.

Snapchat Adds Filters That Unlock Art Based on Your Location
Snapchat users can now add specific art and labels to snaps taken in certain cities and destinations. For example, if you’re taking a photo at Disneyland, you’ll be able to swipe right to see art related to the amusement park; if you’re passing through NYC, you can add an overlay label to your picture based on the neighborhood you are in. It’s also possible to add a drawing of a roller coaster and Ferris wheel while visiting the Santa Monica Pier, a SoulCycle lemon logo when you’re at one of its cycling studios, and a TV, movie, or theater mark near the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Twitter Tells Brands They Can Reach 30% of Their Followers for Free
Twitter is telling brands, “Come to us if you want to reach fans freely.” The company said today that marketers can hit an audience equal in size to 30 percent of their followers in a given week with a consistent and free tweeting strategy. That level of free exposure contrasts with Facebook, where brands have to pay to be seen by more than 5 percent of fans.

Global Social Media

Twitter’s New ‘Everyday Moments’ Tool Launches in the UK
Twitter aims to help marketers in the UK create real-time content around “everyday moments” and aid an always-on approach to the platform. According to Twitter, 55 percent of UK users tweet about what they are doing at any one moment.  These are predictable moments that brands should be harnessing, as they are just as important as national or global events. The online tool, called ‘Everyday Moments,’ will aim to help marketers tap into the rhythm of conversations. Alongside a map of the UK, there will be a list of 30 terms, emotions, activities, and TV shows. Each term has a color and when selected will appear on the map as a series of large or small spots, indicating where a cluster of conversations is taking place around a term. Marketers can then track mentions of it in real-time and analyze where it was used most during the day or week. The tool will only be available for UK marketers in the short term, though there are plans for a wider roll out.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Uber’s Ice Cream Delivery Service Goes Global
To kick-start celebrations of National Ice Cream Day this Sunday, July 20, Uber is delivering ice cream on demand through its app, TODAY, July 18.  The summer-time initiative is live in 130 cities, spanning 38 countries and six continents, and is a significant rise on last year’s ‘Ice Cream Day’ initiative, which ran in 33 cities. The ability to order ice cream from the Uber app will provide thousands of Uber users with their first experience of a paid-for service from the company that has nothing to do with cars. Uber has offered other non-taxi services before (lion dances, kittens on demand), but ‘Uber Ice Cream Day’ 2014 will be its largest roll out of ‘alternative’ services to date.  This is a sign that the service might harbor ambitions to go beyond providing taxi services.