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Facebook adds a new reporting feature and Twitter introduces Promoted Video

A new Facebook reporting feature, Promoted Video on Twitter and more of the latest digital news.

Facebook Now Tells Advertisers When Ads Lead To Purchases Across Devices

Facebook’s latest announcement regarding a new reporting feature will give advertisers insight into how often ads drive users to purchase the advertised product across different devices. Facebook reports that within 28 days, 32 percent of people who showed interest in mobile Facebook ads transferred to desktop in the US.

Introducing Promoted Video on Twitter

Earlier this year, tests conducted by Twitter found that tweets containing native videos earn better engagement and higher views. Following the recent addition of Twitter Amplify and feedback from users and brands, the platform released Promoted Video in beta this week. Companies are now able to upload and distribute videos and view the content’s success through an analytics service.

LinkedIn details new publishing platform improvements

This week, LinkedIn announced three updates to improve the distribution of new posts on its publishing platform. The improvements include integration with the platform’s feed algorithm, mobile notifications for first degree connections and post inclusion in daily or weekly Pulse emails. LinkedIn remains a strong social competitor, employing an extensive network that allows users to distribute content to their connections and followers.

Create Video Collections on Pinterest with Vevo

Pinterest users can search, save and share more video content with the addition of the new Vevo player. Joining YouTube and Vimeo, the entertainment platform could potentially entice a more diverse audience to engage on Pinterest. In the future, this could mean possible opportunities for Pinterest to profit through advertisements and sponsorships.

Friday5: Pinterest Announces Conversations

Last week, Pinterest unveiled a new way for users to “communicate, collaborate and share with one another,” by launching a new messaging feature called Conversations. With the launch of Conversations, users will be able to keep ongoing discussions on Pinterest around their favorite Pins without having to leave the platform. In this week’s Friday5, we look at what this new feature has to offer.

1. What It Is

Pinterest’s new messaging feature allows Pinners to share discoveries with the people who’d appreciate it the most, plan projects with friends and reach out to people who share their interests. It’s meant for friends or partners to share ideas and make plans around different Pins that interest them. It’s a way for Pinners to share Pinterest content privately with each other.

2. What it isn’t

Unlike Facebook or Twitter’s messaging platforms, Pinterest Conversations is not about messaging or being a communications service. Conversations is about empowering the way people are currently using Pinterest. It’s not necessarily designed to plan events but rather discuss Pinterest content on Pinterest rather than through another medium such as email or another social network.

3. How It Works

When users choose to ”Send a Pin,” they can select to send the Pin to one person or a group of people from a list of contacts that is provided. Once the Pin is sent, the conversation will appear in the lower left-hand corner of the website or tablet app. Mobile users will be treated to a separate screen to view their messages. Exchanged conversations will look similar to those of Facebook’s and will be easily accessible by simply clicking on them and can quickly be shut down by selecting the “X” in the corner. On the desktop version, the conversations will only partially cover the frames behind them, making it easier for Pinners to scroll through and still be able to see the content shared on their feed.

4. Why Did Pinterest Launch Conversations

Last year, Pinterest launched a feature that allowed Pinners to send Pins directly to their friends. This feature exploded with users sending more than two million Pins a day. However, once the Pins were sent, there wasn’t much users could do with the Pins. With Conversations, the hope is to have Pinners continue the conversation within the platform, which can lead to more Pins being shared, and more users engaged.

5. Implications for Clients

Pinterest has directly included Guided Searches into the messaging feature, which will help Pinners to search, discover, and share content that is relevant to their conversations. This may lead to new ways of sharing and collaborating via Pins. Brands that are on Pinterest can now, more than ever, assist their audience with projects such as meal planning, travel ideas, home remodeling and more.

How can your brand utilize Pinterest Conversations?

Image credit: Pinterest

A new video streaming app and Pinterest introduces messaging feature

A new video streaming app, Pinterest introduces messaging and more of the latest digital news.

Remote Control Your Friends with Video App Sup

A new video streaming app called Sup was released this past week from the founders of Yahoo acquisitions Stamped and Milewise. How it works: A user sends a request, and if accepted within five minutes, a silent, live video stream begins between friends. “Supping” is expected to be an interactive experience, as users can direct and watch friends in real-time.

Your Twitter Feed May Soon Be Filled with Accounts You Don’t Follow

Twitter is testing a new feature that displays tweets on users’ timelines from accounts that they don’t follow. The tweets, which include a subtle “follow” button in the bottom corner, are currently available to a select group of Twitter users. Though this feature presents additional monetary opportunities for Twitter, it will likely result in more cluttered feeds.

Pinterest Launches Messaging Feature

Pinterest has introduced a messaging capability so users can collaborate on projects and share pins. In an effort to encourage more conversation within the platform, Pinterest will allow users to share a location or project pin for upcoming trips, and those in the group can respond with a message or additional pins. This messaging feature differs from Facebook’s messenger in that users will not have contact lists following them around on the platform.

Twitter Dropping Hints about Shopping Services

It is very possible that Twitter will be introducing shopping capabilities in the near future. Several users have noticed a “Payments and Shipping” menu option on Twitter’s Android app, and there is no denying that this service has great potential to increase Twitter’s revenue. An official release date has not been announced at this time.

Friday5: Understanding What Planning Is (And What It Isn’t)

Strategic planning has a critical (and growing) role in how we practice digital communications. As a multidimensional discipline, it helps align relevant insights and find specific opportunities for brands. Whilst doing that, it serves as a conduit between creative, the client and the consumer.

Nevertheless, the function and role of planning is not always clear. The question remains: “So what exactly do planners do?” Being a recent arrival to the Planning model, I too initially struggled to understand it, but over time and experience I’ve figured out the basics.

1. Always Planning

Planners divide their time into thinking and doing. They are often thinking and learning more about a recent survey result, current trend or upcoming challenge. Then they put their thoughts and learning into action when they are actively working on a client challenge informed by their accumulated knowledge. Both types of moments are equally important. To be a planner is also to be able to come up with ways to apply original thinking to our work, and being informed and able to use that information is essential. So don’t be surprised if a planner doesn’t have an immediate answer to your question; they will be able (and eager) to figure it out and get back to you.

2. Getting To Know People

Planners are tasked with understanding human behavior. Understanding people’s expectations and if they have been met brings great perspective for planners to define how brands can engage them. Sometimes it could be understanding how a generation behaves online; other times it means engaging in a one-to-one conversation with a more specific audience. In the end, the idea is to be able to fully comprehend how people react – and if that’s a reaction we are looking to stimulate or mitigate. Sometimes, that involves developing personas. Ultimately, planners become the voice of the consumer in the room.

3. Finding an Opportunity

Using several research tools, processes and their own accumulated knowledge, planners compile every bit of information about a subject they were asked to work on, and extract an insight from it. Armed with an insight, planning becomes a process of aligning business objectives and the current cultural scenario information to define a brand’s strategic opportunity in the market. In that sense, planners are responsible for the “Big Idea” that comes from research, and solving a very specific challenge, at a very specific timeframe, with the brand’s long-term narrative in mind.

4. Tracking Progress

The work of planning does not end with the “aha moment.” Once the opportunity is articulated, it is also the planner’s job to brief the creative and account teams on how to use this information to create campaigns that speak to the audience. Later, it becomes their role to verify and reevaluate the effectiveness of that idea, and tweak the strategy as needed, based on people’s reactions. Planning has many forms, but at the heart of it is the need to ensure our communication is meaningful and directed at the right people.

5. What Planning is Not

Planners are tasked with asking the difficult questions, facilitating brainstorms and inspiring breakthrough ideas. Here are what planners are not: researchers, even though they do a lot of research; data analysts, even though they analyze a lot of data; the consumer, even though they represent them in the room. It may be hard to see beyond these misconceptions, but after a while it becomes clear that they don’t do one thing, but many. And considering that all of this takes time, make sure to get the planning team onboard from the start.

How can you partner with a digital planner on your next big project?

Facebook shuts down Gifts service and Instagram rolls out Snapchat rival

Facebook shuts down its Gifts service, a new competitor for Snapchat and more of the latest digital news.

Facebook to Shut Down Gifts Service

Facebook will be shutting down their Gifts program on August 12. This service, originally launched in 2012, allowed users of the social network to purchase presents and gift cards for their friends. Facebook promises to leverage their learnings to identify new ways businesses and developers can help drive web sales.

Instagram Quietly (and Slowly) Launches Snapchat Rival, Bolt

Bolt, Instagram’s new one tap photo messaging service, was officially released on Tuesday. The app is unique in that it allows users to very quickly send messages, as tapping on a contact both takes a photo and sends it at the same time. Although currently only available to users in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand, a global roll out is expected in the near future. Bolt also has an undo capability in case messages are sent by mistake.

Hangouts Now Work Without Google+ Account

Beginning this week, a Google+ account is no longer required to use Google Hangouts. In a step towards becoming more business-friendly, the tech giant will also add the Hangouts capability to Google Apps for Business and partner with other companies in providing access to the service. The update is now available on the web, and mobile availability will soon follow.

Pinterest is courting an audience of professional designers with its latest acquisition

Social bulletin board Pinterest is acquiring Icebergs, a visual organization tool that allows users to add images, videos, websites and notes to groups and projects. The move is a step towards Pinterest’s overarching goal to guide users to specific interests that are relevant to their personal and professional lives. Other new features from Pinterest this year include a guided search function and the ability for users to follow interest-based category pages.

Friday5: Takeaways from #AdweekChat

If only we could know the future direction of social media with certainty. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know for sure, which was why Adweek brought together a panel of guest experts, as well as hundreds of social media professionals, for its first #AdweekChat this past Wednesday. Our own David Armano joined as a guest expert to discuss the topic: “How are social networks evolving?” We asked David about his takeaways in this week’s Friday5:

1. Did any major themes surface throughout the chat?

One overarching theme that bubbled up was the idea that some social networks are growing up, or evolving, into media, while others are becoming social engines.

Social networks that are becoming media are stream-focused, more integrated networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Whereas a social engine is a service that feels less like a place where consumers are spending time. More often, these networks are appearing, or integrating, themselves into other networks. Foursquare (including Swarm) is an example as well as Google+, which, despite significantly less traffic, has continued to rank highly in Google’s search ecosystem.

2. You described mobile plus social as the “peanut butter and jelly” of the digital era. What did you mean by that?

Like peanut butter and jelly, they’re more powerful together. Using social networks on the go is far more natural a behavior than using Facebook or Twitter while tethered to a desk. You’re able to share and see what’s going on in your life while you’re out there living it. Life doesn’t happen on a desktop. In addition, nearly all platforms have some type of newsfeed, which users can skim and check multiple times per day in between shareable moments. Mobile is simply a behavior that’s allowing social to fulfill its original promise.

3. You said SlideShare was the “Facebook of B2B marketing.” What other networks should we be paying attention to?

LinkedIn works really hard in the B2B context, especially on the publishing side of the house. Their long-form content is getting shared rapidly throughout the professional community on the network. Similarly, Medium has an elegant mobile experience and the ability to reach specialized audiences. On that note, Tumblr is one of the best networks for reaching creative niche audiences like photographers.

4. You also said that Snapchat risks becoming a commodity. Is Snapchat here to stay?

It’s got impressive numbers and certainly brands are beginning to experiment with it. But I think the demographic is a fickle one: if you’re on Snapchat and your friends start to use something else, you’re not going to stay on Snapchat. Obviously, you could say that about any network, but Snapchat operates on a different social scale than most. It’s operating largely in a one-on-one context with a much smaller social circle. You probably wouldn’t Snap all of your Facebook friends, for example. In that sense, I think it’s in competition with rising, text-like networks, such as Whatsapp.

5. This was the first Adweek Twitter Chat. Why did you do it and what did you think?

I know David Greiner who works for Adweek and I trust his judgment. When he invited me, it seemed like an interesting topic, plus they invited other great minds like B. Bonin Bough and Shannon Paul, who I also know personally. It’s encouraging that after seven years of Twitter, the medium can still attract a high volume of participation and thinking.

What did you take away from #AdweekChat?

This post was co-authored by Chris Rooney and David Armano.

Facebook mobile advertising revenue and the ultimate selfie

Facebook mobile advertising revenue skyrockets, an iPad app takes selfies to a new dimension and more of the latest digital news.

Facebook Revenue Jumps 61% on Mobile Ad Strength

Facebook blew away investors for the ninth straight quarter with the release of their quarterly earnings report this week. Advertising revenue at the company saw a 67% year-over-year increase, with mobile advertising growing 151%. Key to their reported successes, the social network is finding ways to monetize mobile browsing worldwide and increase their share of the advertising market.

An iPad App to Make All Your Selfies Go 3D

In partnership with computer vision technology company Occipital, Itseez3D is making headway into the 3D world as the first app to turn any picture into a 3D object. With the help of a ‘Structure Sensor’ attached to an iPad, users can create virtual characters of themselves without needing an expensive 3D scanning unit. This capability opens the door to many opportunities in gaming, architecture and more.

Foursquare Reveals a New Logo and Previews Its Overhauled Discovery App

Foursquare has announced a revamp of their app, which includes a new logo, color scheme and design format. The updated mobile app will also include a “Most Popular” section, where suggestions will be sourced based on check-in data. With this update, Foursquare hopes to harness years of data to challenge location-based apps Yelp and Google.

LinkedIn Makes another Deal, Buying Bizo

The world’s largest professional network is strengthening its B2B marketing platform with the acquisition of Bizo, a company that specializes in advertising for businesses and professionals. The addition will allow LinkedIn to grow its business-to-business offering, specifically in its Sponsored Updates ad unit.

Friday5: New Social Media Features

Keeping track of all the major updates across social media can be daunting even for the most tuned-in digital people. Here to help is this week’s Friday5 looking at some of the most recent updates to the major social media platforms. These tools are great ways to help Community Managers reach and engage more of their community.

1. Twitter Amplify

Twitter’s Amplify service is moving out of the garage and into the fully-functioning real world. Historically, the Twitter Amplify service has been used by major U.S. and European TV broadcasters to share live TV clips and video content on Twitter in real-time. The paid media distribution service from Twitter has seen the most success during live televised events such as award shows and sporting events—including the World Cup. The service extends the reach beyond a broadcaster’s standard TV viewers by serving live TV content to Twitter users without leaving the Twitter app. Twitter recently announced that it’s expanding the service to more broadcasters and media companies, potentially allowing more live video content from events such as concerts or speeches.

2. Snapchat Geo Filters

Snapchat recently released a new feature on its app which allows users to add customized filters to their Snaps based on location. Currently the geo-filters only exist for popular destinations and neighborhoods in Los Angeles and New York City—a few were created for Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup. It’s unconfirmed, but speculated, that Snapchat will use this new feature as a revenue source tapping popular tourist destinations such as theme parks, sports arenas and museums to name a few.

3. iPad App Makes 3D Selfies

A partnership between Occipital and Itseez3D created an iPad app which can turn any picture from an iOS camera—with an attached Structure Sensor device—into a 3D object. Although this app isn’t specific to a particular social media platform it could create a whole new way for users to share their selfies—especially after Facebook closed the $2 billion purchase of virtual reality startup Oculus Rift. Of course there’s hundreds of applications for an app which creates 3D images beyond the self-indulgent selfies—such as mapping dimensions of a room, gaming avatars or 3D printing—but let’s be honest. Consumers want one thing: to share selfies.

4. Vine Loop Counts

Twitter’s popular micro-video sharing platform, Vine, has added a way to measure engagement and popularity of a Vine, which was previously unavailable to users and admins. The updated feature allows users on the mobile app and vine.co to view in real-time, the popularity of a Vine based on how many times it’s been looped. This is a great KPI for clients to understand the reach and popularity of their Vine beyond the standard comments and Twitter engagement.

5. Updated Tweet Activity Dashboard

Twitter already has a robust analytics platform for promoted Tweets but has recently expanded its analytics offerings to organic Tweets. Through the updated Tweet Activity Dashboard, Community Managers can now view how Tweets are performing in real-time, impressions (time a Tweet is viewed by a user), and total engagement including clicks to links and embedded media in addition to the standard Retweets, replies and favorites. The updated Dashboard can help optimize content strategy in real-time and provide up-to-the-minute metrics.

What new feature are you most excited to use?

Snapchat adds geofilters and updates from Pinterest

Snapchat adds geofilters, Pinterest revises follow feature and more of the latest digital news.

Snapchat Adds Geofilters for Quick Image Location Tags, And a New Revenue Possibility

Popular messaging platform Snapchat now offers customized image filters depending on user location. This new feature could potentially evolve into a revenue source for Snapchat, with a few geofilters featuring Disneyland and other heavily branded locations. Location services must be enabled to activate these new filters.

Pinterest Makes It Easier to Follow E-commerce Brands

Pinterest is taking another step towards creating a more brand-friendly platform. Last week, the social network announced a revision to its current “follow” feature, allowing fans to automatically follow a brand’s page without being directed to an external website. Brand pages with an existing follow button already have the feature, and those that do not can easily enable the button and feature.

Facebook Tries Being a TV Channel With New Mobile Video Player

Facebook’s recent video recommendations update aims to entice users to watch, and ultimately upload, more native video content to the platform. Currently being tested with select users, a carousel of suggested videos appears after a video is viewed on the mobile News Feed. This feature is similar to YouTube’s related videos feed, and includes only ad-free, organic content thus far.

Best Practices for Twitter Amplify

A new service from Twitter, Twitter Amplify, provides brands and media companies the opportunity to co-brand and target video content. Amplify has primarily been used as a medium for interacting with Twitter users during live events, and has taken the form of video clips with short, sponsored pre-roll ads. Ad Age shares a few best practices for the offering, such as making content relevant and being creative with how and when content is placed.

Take the Work out of Networking with LinkedIn’s New Connected App

In a move to simplify networking and strengthen relationships, LinkedIn announced the LinkedIn Connected app for iPhone last week. The app sources opportunities for users to connect with others through birthdays, work anniversaries and events. The professional network also hopes to ease the stress of networking with timely push notifications and meeting reminders.

Kanvas Goes Beyond Video Sharing With a Stop-Motion Camera

Kanvas 3.0 is setting itself apart from other media sharing apps with a unique focus: stop-motion videos. Catering to a young and creative audience, the app offers the ability to create mashups of text, video, stickers and music. Kanvas has a predominantly young audience, with 72% of users being under the age of 24.

Friday5: The #WorldCup Happened on Twitter

We all got a kick out of the #WorldCup, and Twitter showed it. As the FIFA World Cup excitement unfolded in Brazil, it also played out on the social media platform in a big way: fans across the globe discussed every exhilarating and emotional moment as it happened.

After all of the 64 thrilling matches, including Sunday’s dramatic final, Twitter compiled the numbers and released some pretty impressive-sounding statistics to illustrate just how massive the conversation has been since the start of the World Cup on June 12.

1. There were 672 million Tweets sent related to the 2014 #WorldCup

Whether fans were discussing the latest injury or reacting to a big goal, the crowd came to Twitter to discuss the games 672 million times, making it the highest number Twitter’s announced related to an event; it’s hard to compare the 32-day, 64-match World Cup to, for example, the single-game Super Bowl, the one-night Oscars, or the 16-day Olympics.

2. Fans shared the most during the Brazil vs Germany semi-final match

While fans were discussing the drama of the games every minute of every day, conversation really took off during each live match, as expected. Specifically, during the semi-final between Brazil and Germany fans sent more than 35.6 million Tweets, making this a new Twitter record for a single event.

Top three most-tweeted matches:

  • Brazil vs. Germany on July 8: 35.6 million Tweets
  • Argentina vs. Germany (World Cup Final) on July 13: 32.1 million Tweets
  • Brazil vs. Chile on June 28: 16.4 million Tweets
3. Fans sent 618,725 Tweets per minute when Germany won the #WorldCupFinal

To no one’s surprise, three of the top five most-tweeted moments occurred during Brazil’s depressing 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany on July 8, while the other top moments came in the final match. Below are the top five moments that generated the highest peaks of conversation, measured in Tweets per minute (TPM), during the entire tournament:

  • Germany defeats Argentina to win the World Cup Final on July 13: 618,725 TPM
  • Germany’s Sami Khedira scores goal assisted by Mesut Özil in July 8 semi-final vs. Brazil: 580,166 TPM
  • Germany’s Mario Götze scores game-winning goal in World Cup Final on July 13: 556,499 TPM
  • Germany’s Toni Kroos scores his second goal of July 8 semi-final match vs. Brazil: 508,601 TPM
  • Germany’s Toni Kroos scores, bringing the score to 3-0 in the July 8 semi-final match vs. Brazil: 497,425 TPM
4. Brazil’s Neymar Jr. was the most mentioned player

Brazil’s Neymar Jr. and Argentina’s Lionel Messi were the most mentioned players on Twitter during the World Cup. Coming in third place was Uruguay’s Luis Suárez due to the infamous biting incident rather than his fútbol skills.

5. The conversation around the World Cup has truly been global

The World Cup lived up to its name with the Twitter conversation reaching nearly every country across the globe. Click here to see a map of how the games have played out on Twitter, with the entire tournament in 60 seconds, from beginning to end. You can also explore individual games too with Twitter’s maps for each match.

While the month-long celebration of the World Cup is over, there’s plenty more to discuss – and Twitter is making sure to remind users that it’s a great place to engage in conversation around real-time events as they’re unfolding. The World Cup proved just that.

To learn how to implement best practices for your own sports-related clients, visit Twitter’s Sports Media page.

Image credit: alobos Life

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