Tag Archives: snapchat

The More You Know: Cyber Dust

Written by: Sarah Shapleigh
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Cyber Dust

The world of social media is a constant cycle – as soon as people get comfortable and used to the way things are, a new movement begins. Prior to the launch of Facebook, people would communicate online via email or instant messaging, with ambiguous usernames like GreenBayFan56 or CutieKate16. Then, with Facebook, people were no longer anonymous and hidden behind these online identities. They used their real names and provided specific details about their lives online.

Now as we move into 2015, a new movement is taking shape. As people share more and more personal information online, there is a growing level of skepticism about the security of that information. People are starting to shift back to the anonymous days of the pre-Facebook era. This is evident in the growing popularity of networks like Snapchat, Whisper, Secret, and more.

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There are many companies trying to emulate the success of Snapchat and Secret. One of the latest ventures comes from entrepreneur Mark Cuban with his app, Cyber Dust. Cyber Dust is a cross between WhatsApp and Snapchat, with privacy and security being the main priorities. Similar to WhatsApp and Snapchat, it allows users to communicate directly with friends using disappearing text, photos, or emoticons.

Upon opening the app for the first time, users are greeted with a welcome screen emphasizing the simplicity and security of Cyber Dust. As creator Mark Cuban explains, “I wanted to have a means of communication that is analogous to face-to-face – where you can speak openly and honestly. That is why we created Cyber Dust.” The main screen echoes this sentiment stating, “Every spoken word isn’t recorded, why should your texts be?” In Cyber Dust, messages delete based on their length, and last from 20 to 100 seconds.

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Cyber Dust also shares their data policy with app users, which reemphasizes the data privacy issue.

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Once you have created an account, the app lets you connect to social networks or scan your contacts to find other people who use the application. Once you have added some friends, you are able to start sending messages.

There are three different types of messages you can send: dusts, group dusts, and blasts. Dusts are messages between you and one friend. Group dusts let you message with a group of up to 12 people. The group dust is a new phenomenon because it not only lets you send a message to a select group, but also allows everyone in the group to see each person’s response. Blasts let you send messages to all the people you select. Blasts also let you add a location by choosing your current location or a nearby place. If a user taps the location, they will be taken to a map view and can also be directed outside of the app.

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The overall functionality of the app is very similar to Snapchat, where you have a list of friends you can send “snaps” to or you can share your snap story with your full list of friends. Users also have the option to “pin” their own sent messages in order to remember the conversation. If you pin a sent message, it will remain at the top of the chat room until you leave.

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Cyber Dust gives you the option to follow celebrities including founder Mark Cuban (blogmaverick.com). Cyber Dust users that are on iOS devices also have the ability to take screenshots since it is a key function of the device; however, the app will send a notification to the other user (as seen below). 

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Overall, Cyber Dust is very similar to Snapchat but one of the main advantages is that you are able to share pictures from your photo library, whereas on Snapchat you need to take pictures within the app itself. Instagram launched its video capabilities with these limitations; however, a little over a month later, they announced that you could upload videos from your phone’s media library and share to Instagram regardless of when they were captured.

Cyber Dust taps into the anonymous messaging trend and brings a few competitive advantages to the table, including the group dust feature and the ability to use photos from your phone’s photo library. However, the social app landscape is constantly changing. With the Snapchat hack last October, Whisper being attacked for tracking personal data, and even the Sony email hack, people are starting to get nervous. Time will tell whether some of these security/privacy breaches are enough to drive people away from these messaging apps for good.

SMWNYC: Day 2 Recap

Written by: Sarah Shapleigh
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“The New Millennial Model for Business: Under-30 Leaders Sound Off on This Generations Impact”

This session featured a panel of millennials from the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and was moderated by Randall Lane, the editor of Forbes Magazine. The panelists were Elise Andrew, the creator and editor of I Fucking Love Science, Jeremy Cabalona, a community manager at Vine, and Rachel Gogel, a Creative Director at The New York Times. Each of the panelists brought a different perspective because they each had a different path to lead them to the position they have today.

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It is predicted that by 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will be comprised of millennials. As more and more millennials are becoming leaders, they are bringing tech-savvy ideas and changing the way business is done. Each panelist stressed the importance of technology in their personal and professional lives. Elise Andrew talked about how she created a Facebook Page so she could share articles and funny things she found on the Internet without clogging up her friends’ News Feed with science posts. Similarly, Rachel Gogel discussed how technology and social media are transforming businesses from fashion to publishing. Gogel has worked at companies such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Travel and Leisure, and GQ, and she now works at The New York Times. Her experience spans many industries but digital played a large role in each.

A common question in recent years has been “How do we manage millennials in the workplace?” With millennials making up such a large portion of the global workforce, people are now beginning to wonder about Gen X. Jeremy Cabalona stressed the importance of treating them like a peer because there is so much you can learn from them. He even said he has recommended hiring a 15-year-old consultant for Vine because they really have become the experts on that platform.

One of the most interesting responses from the panel came as a question from the audience. An attendee asked a classic interview question: “What is your five-year plan?” All three of the panelists had the same basic answer: A five-year plan doesn’t work anymore because the landscape is constantly changing. With the rise of social media and advances in technology there will be jobs in five years that don’t even exist today, so it is impossible to plan that far ahead in today’s world.

“Is Social Media Just Media? The Future of Paid, Earned and Content”

The second session I attended was with Matt Britton and Lisa Weinstein, and moderated by Mike Shields, senior editor of The Wall Street Journal. Matt Britton is the CEO and Founder of MRY, the creative agency that was one of the first social media marketing stewards. Lisa Weinstein is the President of Global Digital, Data, and Analytics at Starcom MediaVest Group, the largest media shop in the world.

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Weinstein and Britton discussed how social media marketing is currently at a crossroads because Facebook has stressed that brands will have to pay to get visibility for any of their posts, and most social platforms have rolled out “promoted post” ad models. This shift causes brands to have to pay to play in social. In addition, both Weinstein and Britton agreed that there really isn’t such thing as a USP anymore. All brands claim their product works and is the best – so nothing is unique. This is where content comes in. Creative briefs need to shift from focusing on a USP to focusing on content and the unmet needs of the consumer. Brands will have to be more selective in the content they produce – as Britton said, “The days of ‘Like this if you like Wednesdays!’ are gone.” If a brand can deliver on that unmet need and provide compelling content, then they will be successful.

Matt Britton brought up dark social and his views on whether social networks such as Whisper, Snapchat, and Yik Yak were a good solution for combatting the zero organic reach on Facebook. He argued that brands don’t really have a role on these platforms and that consumers don’t want brands to be there. On Snapchat for example, brands think they have a role in branded stories and events, but consumers may not. Similarly, Discover on Snapchat is not set up for success. Facebook and Twitter naturally integrate sponsored content into the overall user experience, but for Snapchat it is on a completely separate page. Many teens and other users are using the app daily but not even going to the Discover page because it is not an integral part of the user experience for the platform. Weinstein added that from an ad model perspective she loved it, but from a consumer perspective Snapchat hasn’t fully figured it out yet.

Britton and Weinstein also brought up an interesting point – “brands are people, people are brands” and that most times brands don’t influence audiences, people do. This is evident in Marc Cuban having more followers than the Dallas Mavericks or Bill Gates having more followers than Microsoft.

Overall, it was a very interesting discussion about the challenges that marketers face in getting their message across to consumers. In an increasingly crowded space, brands need to act as publishers and develop focused content that meets the unmet needs of their consumers, with an emphasis on quality content over quantity.

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“Networks of Influence: Hosted by Translation, Elite Daily, and Crimson Hexagon.”

My final session of the day was my favorite session of the week. It included a presentation by Marcus Collins, Head of Social Engagement at Translation, with an overview of a social analytics tool by Mitch Brooks, a Senior Research Strategist at Crimson Hexagon. The session ended with a Q&A with David Arabov, Co-founder and CEO of Elite Daily.

First, Collins shared a presentation on networks of influence and how important they are for marketers today. He defined networks as groups of people that exchange information, experiences, data, and knowledge. Networks have shared beliefs, unwritten rules, rituals, and social rules. Essentially, our networks significantly impact our behavior. Collins explained that our brains are wired to imitate people and we are most likely to imitate people that are like us.

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The rise of the connected class and the social web have made it theoretically easier to reach target audiences but more difficult to forge authentic connections with consumers. Traditional methods of demographic-segmentation will no longer work, because demographics fail to fully describe people. For example, a person who lives in a certain area or falls into a particular age range does not tell you much about their interests or behaviors. Marketing to the connected class will require a deeper understanding of human behavior and to see consumers as complete human beings. This can be done through leveraging networks of influence.

As marketers, we need to understand that we are in the business of behavior adoption. Broad demographic information does not help us anymore, so “target audiences” are useless. Instead, we need to be focusing on target networks, which have social norms and can influence the rest of the people within that network. This will completely change the dynamic of how we target consumers, and if done correctly can help us reach consumers more effectively in order to impact their behavior.

Why Your Brand Will Love Snapchat in 2015

Written by: Tom Edwards
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Each year I like to dive into a specific platform that can make an impact for brands in the coming year. In February of 2014, I published “2014: The Year of Tumblr.” This prediction was recently validated, as TechCrunch released data showing that Tumblr just overtook Instagram as the fastest-growing social platform.

In 2015, Snapchat is the fastest growing social app. I have received numerous client requests for POVs on the platform, and I was recently briefed by the Snapchat team. What the team unveiled takes the platform to the next level for brands interested in reaching the 14-to-28-year-old demo in 2015.

Snapchat is already the fastest growing social app heading into 2015.

Here are the five reasons to consider Snapchat in 2015:

1. Heavy usage by younger audiences

According to Business Insider, nearly half of Americans aged 12 to 24 have used Snapchat.

A majority of campaign briefs called out some form of Millennial as the target, and Generation Z began to regularly appear toward the end of the year as well. Combine the penetration and rate of growth with new offerings that are designed to further enable brands on the platform, and Snapchat is important to consider for the right brand.

Snapchat launched in 2011 with a heavy emphasis on teen and 20-something users, and it has quickly gained traction over the past few years. Snapchat’s sweet spot is between 14 and 28, with a slight female lean. The numbers are impressive, including the fact that almost 50 percent of U.S. users aged 12 to 24 have tried Snapchat. The company now sits at 100 million active users with 50 million users in the U.S.

When it comes to frequency of use, the platform is even more impressive, as 60 percent of the active users are on the app daily, with frequency numbers as high as 22 times per day.

For those not familiar with Snapchat, one of the unique elements of the platform is that content “disappears” after a short period of time that is set by the content creator.

Users also have the ability to “doodle” directly on the content to quickly personalize it, as well as add filters and comment on top of content.

To give you further perspective, check out this Snapchat infographic that our team developed in 2013. You can see the explosive growth since then.

If that’s not enough, there are more than 700 million snaps sent everyday. One of the key behavioral factors is tied to the fact that there is a sense of urgency with the content, as it will eventually disappear.

2. Brands are active on Snapchat?

When it comes to the various use cases of Snapchat, users can chat with one-to-one messaging and live video chat, they can consume a feed of directly sent snaps and messages from friends, capture photo and video (filter, doodle, caption), and interact with the story feed.

While some brands go the route of directly sending and feeding snaps and messages, one of the key areas of focus recently has been tied to the “story” feed.

Here is an example from Taco Bell showcasing new products directly to its followers:

The “My Stories” feature was introduced in 2013 and has become one of the most popular features within the app. “My Stories” allows users to link multiple snaps together over a 24-hour period. This feature alone is driving more than 1 billion views a day and has become the “go-to” for brands emphasizing a one-to-many strategy on the platform, versus one-to-one messaging.

Here is an example of McDonald’s using multiple snaps to reveal a new product:

3. Snapchat and advertising

When it comes to an approach to advertising, Snapchat is more like BuzzFeed than Facebook. It focuses on contextual relevance of the content to drive impressions versus a highly-targeted approach. Both have their pros and cons, but Snapchat recommends that relevance and authenticity are the keys to success when it comes to advertising within its platform. Furthermore, it has recently introduced the ability to position sponsored content in the friend feed.

A sponsored post is for a period of 24 hours and can be up to 20 seconds of premium content. From a viewability standpoint, Snapchat counts a view as two seconds of consumption, and it states that the biggest difference is its model is built around the idea of connected engagement versus reach and frequency.

Here is an example of sponsored content from the recent “Ouija” movie:

4. Snapchat is opening up opportunities for brands and event sponsorship

One of the latest additions and one of the bigger brand opportunities is tied to the new “Our Story” offering. “Our Story” is a location-based collaborative story that leverages content from events and allows others not attending to directly experience the events. A user at an event has the ability to upload a photo or video snap, and Snapchat drops a Wi-Fi geofence around the event. Content is then aggregated and the “Our Story” content prompt is located in the story feed next to friend content. The video below helps to clarify this new offering:

There is also an opportunity for brands to “sponsor” the “Our Story” events. This comes to life in the form of 10-second interstitial title snaps. The sponsored content is then interlaced through the user-generated content and clearly identifies the sponsor. One key point to consider with this type of offering is to leverage authentic event content versus pre-produced content. This better aligns the message and makes it more contextually relevant.

Check out this example from Samsung tied to the recent “American Music Awards” show:

5. Snapchat partnerships

It was recently reported by multiple media outlets that Snapchat is in negotiations with Comedy Central, Spotify, Vice, and other media publishers for the upcoming launch of “Discover.” “Discover” will most likely serve users articles, music, and videos produced by media companies. This will create an additional avenue to drive contextually relevant native advertising to further monetize the platform.

In addition, Snapchat recently partnered with Square to release a peer-to-peer payment prototype. The prototype allows users to store their debit card via Square to quickly process a payment or send cash to a friend’s bank account through the chat feature. Users can type the dollar sign, an amount, and hit the green button. It is available in the U.S. to those 18 or older with a debit card.

With its diversity of use cases, ease of use, sense of urgency tied to the consumption of content, and focus on enabling brands and partnerships, Snapchat is primed to have a very big 2015.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

 

 

BERLIN: the logo of the brand “Snapchat”, Berlin” and “heart shape design for love symbols” images via Shutterstock.

2015 Will See The Rise Of Dark Social

Written by: Tom Edwards
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dark-social

Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, emails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat, and WhatsApp.

A majority of focus today is on social broadcast platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With the tides shifting toward ephemeral social communication applications as a key driver of sharing, the attribution data of the share — and all of the value that comes with it — is essentially untapped and, in some cases, simply unknown.

According to a recent Radium One study, 59 percent of all online sharing is via dark social. Furthermore, a whopping 91 percent of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods. This study also showed that 72 percent of sharing is simply users copying and pasting long URLs and either emailing or texting the information.

There are a significant number of conversations — and more importantly, potential intent— from a marketing perspective that are simply being ignored and untapped. Currently, there’s an over-reliance on retargeting. Dark social could represent an opportunity to bring balance to the equation.

What makes cracking the code with dark social in 2015 even more paramount is the sharp rise in adoption of ephemerally charged, socially-centric communication apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Kik. The convergence of social and mobile is here and the percentage of content shared through dark social will continue to rise at an exponential rate in 2015.

A few pioneering brands have incorporated sharing functionality with the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has over 400 million users sending 50 billion messages a day. FTW, a USA Today sports site, introduced a WhatsApp sharing button to its mobile experience recently, and almost immediately saw shares from WhatsApp climb to 18 percent of the site’s overall sharing activity. Furthermore, 53 percent of shares came from “dark social” vs. 47 percent through traditional social mechanisms.

Snapchat, another ephemeral application, is the fastest-growing social app heading into 2015. With a user base of 100 million active users, 60 percent of whom engage with the app 22 times per day, Snapchat represents another dark social platform that should be considered in 2015. This is especially true with the upcoming strategic partnership model that will incorporate multiple media outlets into the platform. This will convert the experience to include more content from external networks and publishing partners.

And there’s Wechat, with a global audience of 600 million users, 180 million outside of China. It is the fifth most-used smartphone app worldwide. All of these essentially represent the next wave of dark social that will quickly raise dark social sharing’s current percentage of 59 percent of total sharing even higher in 2015.

Outside of the applications listed above, there are many more that are growing quickly, including Kik. Even Apple’s AirDrop is being used to share images and messages with school-age kids.

And there are more on the way — hybrids of the hybrids — like Mark Cuban’s Cyber Dust, which essentially combines elements of WhatsApp and Snapchat, boasts high levels of privacy and security, and is, as Cuban recently commented,  “troll-proof.”

Moving forward, there are ways to begin building a dark social strategy. In addition to simply relying on URL-shortened links, brands can employ advanced Google Analytics against long-form links.

It’s also important to consider what integration options are available from the social communication providers themselves, the type of data and analytics available, and how these will be aligned with existing measurement framework.

Taking these steps will ensure that while we’re testing and learning, we can begin to formulate how these platforms will go from experimental to a reliable part of the marketing mix.

Understanding how content is shared when not immediately visible will be a key metric in 2015. Dark social is on the rise, and the more we can harness its power, the faster we can build connections and leverage intent to drive conversions.

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what we learn with you in these posts.

Teenagers are Snapchat’s Biggest Fans

Snapchat ran its first advertisement this past weekend. So, who’s been using the service? According to July 2014 polling by NuVoodoo, teenagers are the platform’s biggest fans.

Among 14-to-17-year-old US internet users surveyed, 36.8% said they used Snapchat at least weekly. Meanwhile, 18- to 34-year-olds trailed by nearly 16 percentage points, and a mere 4.2% of those ages 35 to 54 smiled, snapped and sent. In all, the total percentage of internet users who said they accessed Snapchat once a week or more came in at just 14.2%—so to say teens overindex in usage is a big understatement.

Q2 2014 research by GlobalWebIndex found similar results. While just 14% of US mobile internet users ages 16 to 64 said they had accessed Snapchat in the past month, a far higher 42% of the teens in that group (16- to 19-year-olds) reported doing so.

And of course, when teens are taken out of the picture, the percentage drops even more: A September 2014 study by Raymond James found just 11% of US adult internet users actively used Snapchat.

Source: eMarketer

Headlines & Stuff

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

Twitter Introduces Audio Cards
This week, Twitter announced that it is introducing a new type of Card to your timeline: the Audio Card. The new tool lets you listen to music and podcasts directly from your timeline. The first Audio Cards will be shared by a small group of partners including NASA, David Guetta, and the White House.

Social, Digital Brands Lead 2014 Loyalty Index
Apple, Amazon, Whats App, Google, YouTube, and Kindle are the top dogs in consumer loyalty this year. In Brand Keys’ 2014 Loyalty Leaders List, an annual survey that gauges how connected consumers feel to 721 brands in 65 categories, 36 of the top 100 are new brands. Most new arrivals are around social and digital, including tablets, smartphones, and social networks. The only non-digital or non-social brand that rated in the top 20 was Dunkin’ Donuts.

Facebook Stickers are Now Available in Comments
Facebook expanded its stickers feature to comments on Timeline, Groups, and Event posts. Stickers, which are Facebook’s emoji-like icons, have been available within Messages and in the Messenger app for some time, but were not available elsewhere. Stickers in comments will work the same way – users begin with only a few stickers but can get more from Facebook’s in-app Sticker Store.

Google is Testing Video Chat with Real Doctors
Google has confirmed that it is testing a system that would offer video chats with doctors to people whose search terms involve medical symptoms. Google is paying for the feature while it’s in the testing phase. It is likely that it would be a paid feature if it is rolled out to the public at large.

Global Social Media

Global Millennials Share Ideas and Desires
According to the first-ever global “Cassandra Report,” millennials share attitudes about commerce, brand preferences, and life goals regardless of where they are in the world. The study argues that millennials are a world demographic (Global Y’s), representing half the population on earth. Seventy percent of global millennials surveyed said that they use social media as a source of news on current affairs. Seventy-five percent said that traveling the world is an important life goal. Thirty-eight percent said that they prefer to communicate with pictures instead of words (cue Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat).  This global group is three times as likely to wear socially conscious brands over luxury brands, and 40 percent are willing to pay more for products/brands that are eco-friendly (especially in China and India).

Noteworthy Campaigns

McDonald’s Launches Transparency Campaign
In an effort to gain more trust from consumers, McDonald’s is launching a transparency program called “Our food. Your questions.” The move comes as the chain battles sliding sales and works to improve perception about McDonald’s food quality, particularly among millennials.  As part of the effort, McDonald’s has dedicated a section of its website to the campaign, as well as a video series featuring former MythBusters co-host Grant Imahara as he visits multiple suppliers for the chain. In addition to the company’s website, the videos will appear on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  McDonald’s will respond to questions with behind-the-scenes webisodes and other social content that will provide facts on ingredients, how food is made, and how it’s prepared.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook wants to better understand consumer thinking in an effort to serve more relevant ads in the news feed. To that end, the social network will start asking users why they choose to hide an ad as soon as that user does so. Users can select from a variety of reasons including: irrelevant, offensive, spam, too frequent, or “something else.” Taking into account the reasons why an ad was hidden, Facebook said it will show the ad to fewer people.

 

Spotify’s video ads are coming. The music-streaming service will soon roll out its video ad products for marketers, including a mobile product that lets listeners watch a video ad in exchange for a half hour without any further commercial interruption. Spotify will start testing video ads in the fourth quarter with a limited number of brands, and plans to extend them to advertisers in the first quarter of 2015. Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald’s, and Universal Pictures have signed on as the first global buyers. Kraft Foods, Target, and Wells Fargo will be the U.S. only launches.

 

In a question and answer section on Facebook, the company now describes how to set a post you’ve published to expire, a process that allows the message to disappear. The capability is only available on certain posts, currently.  This is Facebook’s attempt yet again to take on Snapchat.

 

This week, Twitter introduced its Buy Now button, a feature that allows users to make purchases directly on Twitter.com and throughout its mobile app.  The company is moving cautiously with the product, which it says will only operate in the U.S. and be seen by a “small percentage” of users. Only 26 nonprofits and musical artists were handpicked to deploy the feature, including country singer Brad Paisley, rap artists Eminem and Wiz Khalifa, and metal band Megadeth (yes, Megadeth).

 

Facebook has reached out to some of Google’s biggest content producers and encouraged them to test distributing their videos on the social network. Facebook’s push reflects a desire to become a bigger competitor in web video and get more content on its site. Right now, content creators use Facebook to promote their programming but prefer people to watch the videos on YouTube and other platforms, where they can make money through ad sales more easily.  Facebook and content creators are discovering how advertising might be incorporated into these videos. It’s likely that some sort of ad product will be rolled out by the end of the year.

 

Global Social Media

China has ordered video-streaming sites to get state approval to run foreign TV shows and films as authorities in the world’s largest Internet market tighten online control. Video sites need to register foreign TV shows and films by the end of March. Starting April 1, unregistered content can’t be shown online. This year, China barred video websites from airing four U.S. TV shows, including “The Good Wife” and “The Big Bang Theory.” The country plans to cap the amount of foreign TV programs allowed on the sites at 30%.

Noteworthy Campaigns

During New York Fashion Week, Adidas showcased their new Fall/Winter 2014 collection dubbed #NeoRunway. The event, which was the world’s first tweet-powered fashion show, was created entirely by teens.  Teens had the power to decide everything from music, lighting, and the set design to styling the fresh new looks of the models walking down the catwalk. Teens participated in the show using the in-card voting mechanic from Twitter to choose between options. NEOLovers voted for two weeks prior to the show to decide what clothing, hairstyles, and makeup the models should wear. Participants could vote right up to the last seconds of the show. In addition, a team of young bloggers were on-site, bringing the show to life across social media channels.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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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.

Noteworthy Campaigns

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.

Headlines & Stuff

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.

Headlines & Stuff

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

FTC Sues Amazon
Amazon unfairly allowed young children to rack up charges on their parents’ credit cards by making in-app purchases, the FTC alleges in a lawsuit filed last week. The FTC is seeking a court order requiring Amazon to reimburse parents for charges their children incurred within apps. Earlier this year, Apple agreed to provide refunds of at least $32.5 million to settle a similar claim.

Facebook Launches “Out-App Purchase” Ads
What if in-app purchases didn’t have to happen in an app? Rather than indirectly helping developers monetize with ads that drive them installs and re-engagement, Facebook this week began letting them sell Facebook desktop game virtual goods straight from ads in the News Feed or sidebar.

Twitter’s New Analytics Tell Advertisers and Publishers How Many People Actually Saw Their Tweets
Twitter today released a new analytics dashboard for advertisers, Twitter card publishers, and verified users. The company already gave advertisers data about tweets that they’d paid to promote, but there was nothing equivalent for “organic” tweets. Now, the new dashboard offers a broader view of an account’s entire Twitter strategy. The dashboard includes data including: total impressions, total engagements, and engagement rate for each tweet, and also aggregates the data for the past month.

You Can Now Embed Vine Videos on Tumblr
You can now embed your favorite Vine videos on your Tumblr blog. The platform announced the new integration over Twitter this week.  To embed a video – simply add the URL or embed code into the video post box from your Tumblr homepage.

Global Social Media

Gmail Languages Expanded to Cover 94% of the Internet Population
Email is still the universal means of communication. You don’t need a proprietary app to send an email. What you do need is support of languages and regional dialects. To get more people connected, Google just announced it’s added 13 new languages to Gmail including: Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala, and Zulu.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Sour Patch Kids Snapchat Effort
Earlier this week Sour Patch Kids launched a five-day Snapchat campaign featuring social media influencers, which marks a first for the brand and for the parent company Mondelez. The campaign dubbed “Real-Life Sour Patch Kid” enlists social media star Logan Paul to take over the brand’s Snapchat account while documenting pranks he pulled in New York this week.  Logan began posting Snapchat Stories to the Sour Patch Kids account on Monday detailing his hijinks. The theme changed throughout the Story starting with ‘Sour’ pranks and moving to ‘Sweet’ snaps.  The initiative aligns with the brand’s “first they’re sour and then they’re sweet” tagline.  For example, the first  message sent this week shows a giant Sour Patch character splashing water and throwing crackers at Logan, but at the end of the clip, the character shifts his attitude and gives Logan a cup of water to to drink.  Logan will also post to his own Snapchat and Twitter account promoting the partnership.