Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Uber Extends Ride Service to Other Apps
Want an Uber rider to go with that grande latte? Through the Starbucks app – and a small group of other third-party apps — people can now request a car without having to download the Uber app. The new feature comes as a result of the ride-sharing company releasing an API that lets developers add Uber features to their apps. Besides Starbucks, other initial partners include Expensify, Hinge, Hyatt, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, and United Airlines.
News and Ads to Debut on Snapchat
Snapchat has held talks with advertisers and media companies in recent weeks about a service called Snapchat Discovery that would show content and ads to Snapchat users. According to sources, this new service is set to debut in November. At least a dozen media companies, including newspapers, magazines, and television networks, are said to be on board. The product would let users read daily editions of publications, as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen (like they do with regular messages on the platform).
Google is Planning to Offer Accounts to Kids Under 13
Google plans to offer accounts to children under 13 for the first time. Accounts on Google services like Gmail and YouTube are not officially offered to children currently, but Google is hoping to establish a new system that lets parents set up accounts for their kids and control their usage.
Twitter Timeline Changes
Twitter recently began adding tweets to your timeline that have been favorited by people you follow. The decision is a controversial one, but it looks like it’s here to stay. Twitter has now officially changed its definition of your home timeline to note that it will add content that it thinks you will want to see.
Instagram Launches Analytics Tools
Starting this week, Instagram will begin letting some marketers check out how their posts are performing in real-time, including more detailed measurements, accompanied by a new tool to collaborate on creative with Instagram’s team. The new tools will initially only be available to current and previous Instagram advertisers, but they will be extended to more advertisers later this year.
Vine Adds Mobile Features
Vine is now letting users upload video via their mobile devices, while making it easier to actually capture and edit video. People can now dip into their camera rolls and use existing videos they’ve recorded for Vines. Vine says more than 100 million people now watch video on its platform every month. Loops play more than a billion times every day.
Global Social Media
In Mexico, Internet Users are Young, Use Mobile Devices, and Like Facebook
Three factors stand out in a study and analysis of Internet use in Mexico: young people are the most active users, the device of choice is mobile, and the most popular destinations are social networks. The study by comScore found that one of every four Internet pages was viewed in Mexico on a smartphone or tablet, and that the country had the second largest Internet audience in Latin America. (Brazil is first.) Mexico also has the highest mobile penetration in the region, with Android being the most common OS. Also, social media has the highest reach in Mexico. At 98.3% it beats every other country, whereas the global average is 85.4%. The top five social media sites include Facebook, YouTube, Taringa, Slideshare, and Twitter.
Newcastle Asks for Fan Photos, Which It Promises to Photoshop Poorly Into Terrible Ads
Newcastle just launched a new hashtag campaign #NewcastleAdAid, in which it’s asking for fan snapshots — and promises to use the wonders of Photoshop to turn them into really shoddy-looking ads. The brand claims that it must use low-cost, user-generated content because it blew its marketing budget on celebs for their Super Bowl and Fourth of July campaigns. Check out the campaign video here.
Greenpeace Targets Amazon and Twitter in an Effort to Clean Up the Web
Greenpeace has launched a new online video campaign featuring Reggie Watts to pressure tech players including Amazon and Twitter to get more of their energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power. The ClickClean campaign follows an April report from Greenpeace that found little progress from Amazon and Twitter toward using renewable energy to power their data centers. The initiative, which will include paid social media ads, aims to be humorous and positive, though it is a step toward further escalation — including boycotts and protests by the group. Check out the video here.