Weekly Roundup: Instagram Notifications Uproar, Periscope Celebrates First Birthday, and More


This month we welcome MLB Opening Days, season six of Game of Thrones (the countdown to April 24th is officially on), the crowning of a new NCAA champion, and – of course – April Fool’s Day, when brands’ pranks made us gasp, groan and giggle (see AdWeek’s roundup of the best and worst here).

Last week, in the world of social media:

  • Instagram’s impending algorithm inspires a “Turn on Notifications” uproar
  • A mega Snapchat update doubles down on messaging
  • Twitter wants everyone to “see” your photos
  • Periscope celebrates their first birthday… and 200 million broadcasts



Twitter Images Are Now Accessible to All Users – Including the Visually Impaired

Attaching an image to a Tweet not only drives engagement, but images shared on Twitter have inspired some of the platform’s greatest moments. To date, users who are visually impaired have been able to screen readers for text posts, but last week Twitter announced that people using the platform’s iOS and Android apps can add descriptions to images in Tweets, empowering everyone to ensure content shared on Twitter is accessible to the widest possible audience. >>Read More


Young People Spend More Time On Facebook Than They Might Want to Admit

Facebook is used by 934 million users daily, but industry analysts still worry about the future of the platform when it comes to a younger demographic. However, a new report shares that Facebook is far outpacing competitors like Instagram and Snapchat in monthly use among 18-34 year-olds (when it comes to time spent on site). This demographic spends more than 1,000 minutes per month on Facebook. >>Read More


You Can Now Post Much, Much Longer Videos on Instagram

Long-winded posters, rejoice! In hopes of improving video engagement and creativity on Instagram, the platform announced they are expanding the length of videos from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. The platform will also allow users to make videos out of multiple clips. >>Read More

Instagram Is Changing Its Feed, But (Calm Down) Not Yet 

Are large social platforms destined to use algorithmic feeds? Instagram has promised an update that includes an algorithmic feed to help users consume more of the content they want. Instead of a chronological feed, the algorithmic feed would work much like Facebook’s News Feed, with the type of content you engage with most delivered first. The announcement prompted branded Instagram accounts to ask their followers to turn on push notifications for their posts.  >>Read More


Snapchat is Growing Up: Everything You Need to Know About Snapchat’s Latest Update

It was a big week for Snapchat users. A new update doubled down on messaging functionality, aka Chat 2.0 – providing the ability to make video and audio calls (taking on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger). The update also included auto-advance stories, stickers, and audio/video notes. >>Read More


Can Periscope Become the Pillar of Twitter’s Growth?

Periscope celebrated its first anniversary by announcing more than 200 million broadcasts have already occurred on the platform, with more than 110 years worth of video watched live every day. Touting their vibrant global community and increased watch time (indicating an engaged user base), Periscope reaffirmed itself as a leader in live streaming. >>Read More

Bonus: Periscope’s “Time Watched” Metric becomes increasingly important for Twitter. >>Read More


Did Facebook Copy Its New In-App Basketball Game From Peach?

A few weeks ago, Facebook quietly launched a new in-app game, hidden inside its Messenger app. Here’s the thing, though: Peach did it first (Insert: Peachball). See how the upstart social networking app is inspiring OG platforms. >>Read More


Tumblr is Bringing Back Replies

Tumblr users can now interact with one another more easily. The blogging platform is bringing back replies and launching the redesign of its notes feature. >>Read More


Fullscreen Targets the YouTube Generation With New Streaming Service Launching in April

Fullscreen, a media company whose creators’ videos reach 600 million subscribers across YouTube and other social networks, announced this week the launch date and details regarding its subscription video-on-demand service for mobile devices. The app will feature exclusive creator-driven content, along with a library of TV shows and movies licensed from Hollywood studios, differentiating itself primarily through its focus on the younger demographic (millennials and Gen Z). >>Read More

YouTube Emerges as Platform for Social Good

YouTube has begun offering nonprofits access to their worldwide production spaces free of charge…as long as you have 1,000 subscribers and meet eligibility requirements. >>Read More


LinkedIn Now Offering “Learning Paths” Through Lynda.com – It’s Online Video Library

Better leveraging the video library they bought for $1.5 billion last April, LinkedIn will now offers users “course recommendations” based on their data around which jobs are most popular on the site. The hope is these course recommendations – which will help users prepare for their ideal careers – will drive traffic to Lynda.com and, ultimately, revenue for the site. >>Read More


Pinterest Debuts Step-By-Step How-To Pins 

Brands such as Home Depot, Cosmopolitan, and Martha Stewart are already utilizing Pinterest’s latest update. The update unveiled a new kind of dynamic “Rich Pin” that provides step-by-step instructions that are helpful for crafts, cooking, and grooming. The Pins can be seen, followed and shared without leaving Pinterest. >>Read More

Have a great week everyone!!

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Cameron JoyeLaura GrahamKate Acker, Austin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Twitter Celebrates 10th Birthday, Snapchat Buys Bitmoji Maker, Facebook Ads In Tumblr, and More

Last week on social media organizations, monuments, and human beings took yet another moment to pause to stand with Brussels. #BrusselsAttacks brought the world together across social as we gathered news, heard firsthand from those affected, and outpoured our global support.

And while we sent our love via Tweets and posts to those in Belgium, social media continued to roll baby roll as…

    1. Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday, and it’s birthday wish was for more Gen Z in 2016
    2. Instagram users with broken phones turned to desktop to satisfy notification addictions
    3. Snapchat braced itself for a Bitmoji revolution
    4. YouTube asserted itself as “Totally Relevant” yet again — even for Hillary Clinton


Troll Alert! Facebook’s New Feature Will Now Notify You If Spammers Attack

Facebook’s latest update will alert users when suspicious activity occurs or when users are being targeted by online trolls. The developed tool alerts Facebook when accounts are set-up with the same names and photographs as existing users. The accounts are most likely using stolen pictures and details. When detected, accounts will be notified and the user will have to flag Facebook to have the imposter taken care of.

Facebook Messenger 101: Tips, Tricks, and Secret Games

More than 800 million people use the app and 9.5 billion photos are sent through it. From calling an Uber to initiating secret games of chess, see all of the app’s capabilities and what is to come. (The Verge)


Twitter Celebrates its 10th Birthday, and We’re Not Counting Dog Years

As Twitter marks its first decade in existence, AdWeek breaks down the platform’s history and strategy for success moving forward. Should Twitter put all it’s eggs in the Gen Z basket? AdWeek (and the Easter Bunny) says yes.>>Read More

Microsoft Turns Off its new A.I. bot Tay, After Twitter Corrupts It


Notifications Tab Comes to Instagram on Desktop 

The social platform’s website pre-update only consisted of the users’ feed. The new website will feature a notifications tab that allows users to see likes, comment, and mentions. The mobile app is still much better, but hopefully this update is a step in the right direction. (Mashable)

Pope Francis Joins Instagram, Garners Over 1.6M Followers

The Pope (@franciscus) is active on Instagram! His first picture was posted with the help of Instagram’s CEO and co-founder, Kevin Systrom. The Pope states he wanted to join Instagram because “photos can convey messages that words cannot.” (NWF Daily News)


Snapchat Buys Bitmoji Maker 

Snapchat has agreed to acquire Bitstrips, a Toronto-based company best known for their customized emojis called bitmojis. A source claims the deal was worth $100 million. It is not clear what Snapchat plans to do with the company. (Fortune)

Still figuring out how this Snapchat thing works – 10 tips for you

Snapchat made its name with disappearing photos and videos, but there’s plenty more to the app than that. Behind its deceptively simple appearance are a few useful tricks you might not yet be aware of. (Gizmodo)


Pinterest Works to Pin Down Path to Wider International Audience

In the last year Pinterest has spent much of its time gathering research around what content works best overseas. From a financial perspective, much of their anticipated revenue will need to come from abroad. (Wall Street Journal)

Pinterest’s Scroll-Activated Video Ads Are Paying Off

One year after Pinterest’s Cinematic pins launch, the platform says its video ads are getting users’ attention as they scroll through their feeds. Reese’s and L’Oréal are featured in their recent case study showing the success rate of Cinematic pins versus promoted pins. Read more from (Adweek)


Yahoo Considering Deal to Run Facebook Ads in Tumblr

According to a report from The Information, Yahoo is considering a deal with Facebook that would allow the giant social network to sell ads inside Tumblr’s mobile app. Read More


Google is Reportedly Building a New Live Streaming App Called YouTube Connect

The tech giant is building a standalone live-streaming app called YouTube Connect that would function in a similar way to Facebook Live and Periscope. YouTube Connect would have chat and tagging features, as well as a news feed that displays videos from friends and brands to which a user has subscribed. Read More

How YouTube is Shaping the 2016 Presidential Election

In January, a political ad — actually, three — ranked among YouTube’s 10 most-watched ads for the first time in history, delivering millions more views to campaigns than to the best commercials corporate America had to offer. Read More

Also Gracing the Interwebs This Week…

    1. We all picked our jaws up off the floor when we heard the Star Spangled Banner play in Cuba upon Obama’s historic arrival
    2. A-Rod took on Peyton Manning for Retirement Announcement of the Year award
    3. The Hunger Games came to the US in the form of March Madness’ Sweet Sixteen (my bet’s on District 12)
    4. David Letterman surprised us all by revealing he’s actually been Santa Claus this whole time

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Cameron JoyeLaura GrahamKate Acker, Austin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Instagram’s New Algorithm, Facebook’s WordPress Partnership, and More

Most of last week’s news may have been focused on Presidential candidates and SXSW and college basketball (that time of year when hopes and dreams are dashed every few minutes). But if you were on top of social media then you spent Tuesday celebrating #Bam4Ham and using all the fun great St. Patrick’s Day filters on Snapchat and Bitmoji. And despite all those distractions, social platforms were out there making news – just like every other week.

  • Instagram introduced a new algorithm meant to piss users off
  • Facebook partnered with WordPress in their continued quest for world domination
  • LinkedIn got all celebrity and got Gwen Stefani to sell albums on their site (or something like that)
  • BuzzFeed totally ignored that Swarm was already a thing
  • …and so much more

Have a wonderful week!


Facebook Just Got a Huge Partner for Instant Articles

With the hopes of reaching more publishers, Facebook has teamed up with WordPress to support a plugin for users that use the open-source content management system. WordPress powers 1 in every 4 websites on the web. Partnering with WordPress opens the door for a lot of smaller publishers without the technical support to otherwise publish to an Instant Articles feed to get started with the new format on Facebook.

Facebook’s Messenger Bot Store Could be the Most Important Launch since the App Store

Read more about the Bot Store, that many predict would be the “most consequential event for the tech industry since Apple announced the App Store and iPhone SK in March 2008.” (TechCrunch)


LinkedIn Flexes Its Star Power With Addition of Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani ain’t no “Hollaback Girl,” but she’s a bit of a follow back girl. At least on social media.This morning, the Grammy-Award winning songstress and global fashion icon became the first-ever singer-songwriter LinkedIn Influencer. She follows fellow girl-boss celebs Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington and Lena Dunham in joining 500-plus VIPs that publish special blog posts on the popular professional social network. Publicity-wise, it’s bananas — a win-win deal. Stefani gets to promote her new album,  “What the Truth Feels Like,” to the platform’s approximately 414 million members. (She gave the record a healthy shout-out in her inaugural Influencer post, titled “The Key to Success – and Creativity – is Truth” music video embed included.) And LinkedIn gets to flex her star power all over its site and, ahem, in the press. [Source: Entrepreneur]


Leave Me Out Of Your Instagram Algorithm Bubble 

Instagram has been working on an algorithm, similar to a Facebook News Feed. What is most important or relevant to you will be seen first, opposed to in chronological order. According to Instagram, on average people miss 70 percent of their feed. If Instagram doesn’t want to upset their 400 million users, they will make this change optional. [but they haven’t yet] (Forbes Tech)

What does this mean for brands and agencies? AdWeek 

Also: Selena dethrones Taylor Swift for most followed person on Instagram with 70 million followers.


6 Hidden Snapchat Features

Snapchat’s updates may be hard to keep up with, check out this article to find 6 hidden features.

Watch DJ Khaled Explain Snapchat to Jimmy Kimmel

The king of Snapchat himself, becomes Jimmy Kimmel’s personal Snapchat coach.


Users Accepting New Twitter Algorithm 

Last month we reported on Twitter’s new Algorithm, which places recommended Tweets at the top of your timeline (not the newest). According to Twitter, after about a month of testing they are finding that users are accepting the new timeline experience, and are seeing an opt out rate in the single digits. The update represents a large change for the real time platform. >>Read More

SXSW Twitter Partnership Highlight

At this year’s SXSW festival, Dove and Twitter announced that they will partner to analyze user’s tweets to gauge body positivity in a digital move against body shaming. The #SpeakBeautiful Effect tool invites users to share the handles they want analyzed. >>Read More

BONUS: Infographic: A TV Show’s Appeal Can Determine Ad Recall, Twitter Study Says


BuzzFeed Launches New Ad Format to Further Monetize Its Big Social Reach

During a keynote at SXSW Interactive BuzzFeed’s marketing chief unveiled a beta test of an ad format called, Swarm. This feature would allow brands and advertisers to run their campaigns simultaneously across all of BuzzFeed’s web and mobile properties plus its six social platforms: Snapchat Discover, Vine, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. Read More


If (When?) Yahoo Goes Under, Who Should Buy Flickr and Tumblr?

Yahoo is in turmoil. Its CEO and Board are pursuing different paths to either return it to solvency or a shell corporation. Much of what’s being discussed is what the company should do with core assets, two of which are Flickr and Tumblr. Read More


YouTube and Google Play Agree to Join T-Mobile’s Binge On Program, Following Criticism of Video Throttling

YouTube and Google Play Movies & TV will now participate in T-Mobile’s “Binge On” program, which offers cellular subscribers the ability to watch a variety of services without those streams counting against users’ data plans. Read More


Medium Evolves Again

The service will add human editorial decisions to its mobile app. Read More


Top Tips For Being Successful On Pinterest In 2016

This article breaks down how brands can leverage Pinterest’s updates in 2016. Target audiences on Pinterest are aspirational, meaning they are looking to Pinterest to inspire them to cook, buy, and travel. From the importance of the “Buy” button to pinning cadence read up on how 2016’s platform updates are keeping brands and audiences in mind. 

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamKate Acker, Austin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Welcome to the Age of Distributed Content

For years, marketers’ cardinal rule has been “go where your audience is”; encouraging brands to invest in social media channels rather than creating massive owned media channels. This rule has proven successful to brands and as a result it turned social platforms like Facebook and Twitter into vital platforms for any integrated marketing plan. Recognizing the significance of this rule, social platforms have pushed the envelope in a way that has fundamentally changed the way brands think about their own content strategy.

Over the past year, social platforms have been experimenting with a new model called “Distributed Content”. Initially reserved for journalists and publishers, distributed content is a process by which media outlets create and publish content specifically for a social network rather than it’s own website. Using this model allows publishers to meet their audience in unique and engaging ways in exchange for giving up control of the platform that their content appears on.

With their rich targeting capabilities, social platforms have encouraged brands to embrace Distributed Content strategies as a cost-efficient, engaging way to reach their audiences. While initially cautious about giving up too much control away, media outlets have started to embrace the model, generating much better ad revenues than their traditional websites. After months of anticipation, social platforms and even publishers like Buzzfeed are opening up their distributed content models to brands.

Website discovery is evolving – more often than not; we’re finding and consuming content on the social platforms we already visit all the time (Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter etc). Recently, we’ve seen popular digital media outlets like NowThis and Obsessee omit a proper brand website entirely, opting to embrace the Distributed Content model by generating content specifically tailored for multiple social platforms. This shift in channel strategy for Now This has been hugely successful, accounting for one billion monthly video views this past January.

Source: NowThis

Source: NowThis

Curious how Distributed Content works in the wild? Here’s a breakdown of the major platforms disrupting how we think about content strategy.


Following the recent success of Instant Articles, Facebook has launched a new immersive mobile ad feature called Canvas. When a user clicks a Canvas-enabled ad, the content expands to the full screen of their phone with a rich-media page all embedded within the Facebook platform. Canvas content includes a lot of rich media elements and interactivity that allow them to explore content before being directed to a brand web page. Early results from Facebook have shown this type of ad format has been successful; 53% of users that click on a Canvas ad view at least half of the content driving 30-50% lower cost-per-conversions. Given that mobile ads generated 80% of the company’s $5.6 billion ad revenue in Q4 of 2015, it’s fair to assume that Facebook will continue to evolve interesting new mobile ad features for brands.


As the premiere platform for real-time engagement, Twitter has launched a “native ad format” with a select group of brands called “Promoted Moments”. This ad format aggregates a selection of tweets, photos and videos around trending or branded content. Similar to Facebook, Promoted Moments keeps branded content within the Twitter platform by pulling in content from multiple sources that weave together a story. Brands like Tesco that have experimented with Promoted Moments have reported success despite initial rumors that the price tag for this ad feature cost $1 million.


While Buzzfeed has been selling branded content ads on their own website for a long time, CMO Frank Cooper recently announced at SXSW a new cross-platform marketing product dubbed “Swarm”. This ad product is designed to have your content live across all of BuzzFeed’s social and web properties including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube, and Tumblr. The reason? To take advantage of their extremely large social footprint and generate some ad dollars beyond what they’re able to monetize on their own website. BuzzFeed believes that traffic on their website only makes up 1/5th of their overall audience, so it makes perfect sense that they would want to sell content on other platforms where the majority of their audience actually is.

While Swarm will cost a premium and there is little in the way of case studies since it’s brand new, there’s no doubt that if you’re a brand trying to make a splash and reach this audience then this is a very attractive way to do so.


When Snapchat first burst onto the scene, many thought it would be little more than an app that allowed teenagers to send pictures to each other that would then disappear seconds later. Then something funny happened: it became a company with a $16 million valuation and a legitimate source of news with a feature called Discover that opened up the platform to a host of big name publishers including Vice, Buzzfeed, Mashable, and ESPN. All of these publishers curate daily content for Snapchat specifically, and users are able to pick and choose the content they want to read. Unlike standard snaps, users can view this content for as long as they like. The pickup has been huge, with Cosmo reporting 3 millions users daily on Discover as of October 2015. These numbers are significant if brands are wary of the type of reach Snapchat has.

All of this good news for Discover does come with caveats. While Snapchat is undoubtedly a great way to reach a millennial audience (Snapchat promotes that more than 60% of 13 to 34 year-old are Snapchatters), ad formats and targeting capabilities are still limited for brands wanting to use this platform. As of now, the only ad unit available is a 10 second vertical video interstitial that can be skipped by a user. Analytics and performance metrics are also light, although that might change with Nielsen recently partnering with Snapchat to become the standard measurement offering for all ad campaigns on the platform. Snapchat is also in talks with several ad tech partners and DSPs for more granular targeting, although that might come until later in 2016.

Apple News

From it’s inception, Apple News was designed to be a one-stop shop for all your news content, aggregating and personalizing stories that you like to read into one handy app, but so far it hasn’t quite taken off. That might change soon, with news surfacing that Apple will be launching an ad campaign promoting the app in an effort to gain more readers, and eventually monetize those readers with ads. The company also announced some new tools for publishers, including enhanced analytics that will give deeper insight into what people are reading. Apple News will also begin including content from local newspapers and independent publishers, further expanding its content.

Ad capabilities on Apple News are still in infancy. Publishers offer banner and interstitial units while reading and swiping through stories, and some publishers also allow for sponsorships of their content at more of a premium cost. Apple recently announced they would add ComScore tags to this app, which will finally allow publishers to better quantify the readership on the platform. If you’re a brand, it makes sense to see if traffic improves over the coming months before investing a lot of your budget into this platform. If it does take off, and I wouldn’t count out Apple, then this will become yet another unique way to reach your audience and give your campaign even more of a surround-sound feel.

Key Takeaways for Brands and Advertisers

  1. Embrace the lack of control. Social platforms offering Distributed Content have unparalleled targeting capabilities to get in front of your target audience in a way that isn’t possible with owned media content.
  2. Consider re-evaluating your content strategy and determine the role of your brand’s website. In an age of Distributed Content, your brand website will certainly have fewer visitors but that shouldn’t mean it’s time to give up on it just yet.
  3. These platforms are a creative way to get around ad blocking. Ad blockers are not as popular on mobile devices, which is where most of these platforms shine.
  4. Utilize distributed content for branding and awareness, not necessarily direct-response campaigns.
  5. Social platforms are still experimenting with cost structures for Distributed Content so it’s too soon to provide an accurate estimate for this type of advertising. Some platforms will be more expensive than others. When determining budget, consider what the goal of your advertising is to help define the right content platform for your campaign.
  6. Set you and your clients up for success; recognize that metrics for these campaigns will be much different than your standard traditional metrics. If web traffic is your ultimate goal, then this might not be the best fit for you.
  7. Measurement & analytics are still a work in progress. Don’t expect to get the same detail you’d have on your own web properties.
  8. Have a different strategy for each platform. What works for Snapchat is not necessarily going to work for Twitter. Brands must be wary of creative specs and speak to each platform’s unique audience to really make discovered content work.

Weekly Roundup: LinkedIn Targeting Features, French President’s Periscope Fail, and More

Last week saw a Leonardo DiCaprio finally win an Oscar (and breaking Twitter records), a Bachelor make a critical mistake, and John Oliver and Mitt Romney take swings at Donald Drumpf. Yet still social platforms kept making news – and NEW ones decided the field wasn’t too crowded. Some highlights:

  • You can make Facebook Reactions look way better than hearts for your own personal amusement.
  • Instagram cut those comments to make the platform faster. So stop your whining.
  • Snapchat is for everyone – even the “olds” (not my words)
  • LinkedIn is letting you target up to 30,000 companies with ads
  • Meet Slyce, Mave and Quartz
  • OH – and don’t be like the French President’s communications team on Periscope



Facebook Emjoi ‘Reactions’: Are There Ulterior Motives?

If you haven’t seen the “Like” button’s new friends, meet the “Reactions” they are love, haha, wow, sad, and angry. Facebook spent years deciding on what emotions are most commonly used and the Reactions have seen quite a lot of engagement in their first week. But we can’t assume these ‘Reactions’ are there just for user enjoyment. Facebook plans on pulling rich data to adjust the current algorithm. Read more here.

Also for fun: How to change your Facebook Reactions to Pictures of Donald Trump or Pokémon.


A Tiny Change to Instagram Led to a Major Increase in Usage 

Instagram engineers began brainstorming how to improve the platform’s delivery and load time. It may seem obvious that we are on the app to look at the media, not the comments, but generating the comments actually takes a surprising amount of computational work. So instead of loading 20 comments at a time, engineers have switched it to 3 at a time. The result? Scrolls through user profiles have gone up by 2.7% and overall impressions are up 0.7%. Venture Beat

Instagram Banned ‘Being’ But Celeb Voyeur Apps Are Inevitable 

Feeding our obsession to know what it would be like to feel like a celebrity, the new app Being allows you to view a celebrity’s Instagram feed just as they would see it. Don’t get too excited though, Instagram has blocked their access to its API. Stay tuned if we will be mindlessly scrolling through Taylor Swift’s feed any time soon. Fingers crossed.


How Snapchat Built A Business by Confusing Olds [Try not to take that headline the wrong way]

My front-runner for headline of the year, this article from Bloomberg is a great look at how and why Snapchat is so successful with those coveted millennials and includes a profile on the biggest Snapchat influencer our there – DJ Khaled.


Pinterest Founders Are Among The World’s Youngest New Billionaires

In this week’s episode of we are doing it wrong: what once started as a collection of dried insects pinned to cardboard is now Pinterest and valued at $11 Billion. Pinterest’s CEO, Ben Silbermann has a net worth of $1.6 billion and Evan Sharp is worth 1 billion. Oh and we forgot to mention, they are 33. (Forbes)


NBA MVP, Steph Curry has launched a new social media platform to help athletes engage with fans. He claims as his fame increased his activity on social media decreased. He hopes to block all internet trolls and allow athletes to engage in the best and most relevant content with their fans. (Geek Wire)


Ex Google, Instagram and Snapchat employee, Emily White has a new startup. Mave is still in its early stages but is rumored to act as a “chief of staff for your household.” The company will pair smart, experienced virtual personal assistants with category experts and will act as a black book of “Best Ofs” in your neighborhood.


LinkedIn Debuts New Targeting Feature for Marketers

Last week, LinkedIn introduced a service letting marketers run targeted campaigns on a large scale, capable of targeting people at up to 30,000 companies at once.  Advertisers using the service, called LinkedIn Account Targeting, are able to present a list of companies they’d like to reach, which LinkedIn will cross-reference against the 8 million businesses in its network. Targeting can be further refined so it can reach profiles based on job function or seniority. [AdAge]


Quartz’s First News App for the iPhone

The app, exclusive to iPhone, is a whole new way to experience Quartz, a digitally native news outlet “for business people in the global economy.” What’s unique about the app is that it presents the news as a conversation, sort of like texting. Quartz sends messages, photos, GIFs, and links, and you can tap to respond when you’re interested in learning more about a topic. Each session lasts just a few minutes, so it’s perfect for the train, elevator, grocery store line, or wherever you have a spare moment to catch up on the news. Advertising is integrated with the rest of the app, in parallel with the editorial experience. Readers can engage with the ads just as they would any other content. MINI is the launch sponsor. [Quartz

Download the app.


Why Yahoo Is Writing Off Tumblr’s Goodwill?

While Yahoo named Tumblr as it one of its three major products going forward, the segment could not meet its $100 million revenue target for 2015. We believe writing off Tumblr’s goodwill is a signal that Yahoo is cleaning up its financials for an impending sale and indicates that Tumblr fell short of its revenue targets, after Yahoo acquired it at a very high valuation. Read More


Creep Yourself Out by Searching YouTube for Your Address

YouTube doesn’t have an official way to search by address, but a YouTube experiment on GitHub lets you type in a street name and it’ll dig up every video shot in that area. Read More

YouTube Creator Studio Updated With the Ability to Watch Videos Directly in App

Great news for content creators wishing to manage their YouTube videos on the go. YouTube Creator Studio, the mobile app version of YouTube’s Creator Studio platform for managing video content, has received a notable update. Read More

YouTube Launches Two New Initiatives to Support Female Filmmakers

YouTube is launching a global production program and partnering with the United Nations in an effort to highlight and support women’s voices across the platform. Read More


French President’s Epic Periscope Fail Leads to Massive Live Trolling

French President François Hollande and his media team learned the hard way that it pays to completely master modern technology before broadcasting a live event. Read More

Facebook Fights Periscope by Showing Live Videos Higher Than Saved Streams

It doesn’t matter if it was Live if you missed it. And Facebook knows that people watch actually Live streams 3X longer than saved ones. So it’s changing the News Feed to prefer on-going broadcasts. Read More

GoPro is Livestreaming a Shark Swim on Periscope Using a Simple Cable and An iPhone

GoPro athletes Jeb Corliss and Roberta Mancino will get up close with great hammerhead sharks and stream it live from underwater with a cable that costs less than $200. Read More

Periscope Competitor Stre.am Expands With Pivot to Mobile eSports

While Twitch and YouTube gobble up live and recorded video for traditional gaming platforms, a battle is heating up on smartphones. Read More

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamKate Acker, Austin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

The Aftermath of the Buttonization of Our Emotions

No, I’m not referring to emojis or emoticons that are already taking us back to Egyptian hieroglyphics.

I’m referring to the new ways to react, on Facebook. The Like now has 5 more for company.


It’s early days to delve into the deeper implications for marketers and agencies with these new ways people can react to their posts. Facebook has started showing individual Reaction numbers on a per post basis in Facebook Insights, but there are no ways to look at Page-level numbers. Also, brands cannot yet use the new Reactions to target ads.

However, Facebook Reactions throws up a lot of intriguing issues that our society could do without. Here are some to begin with. Now, these may sound frivolous and funny, but I think they are imminent!

1. Scene in a corporate boardroom

Brand manager: “Boss, we did really well with our last campaign on Facebook! It got 789 Likes, 2,287 Yays and 324 Wows!”
Boss: “But why does it have 1,453 Sads and 954 Angrys? You mean we paid money to Facebook to promote our campaign and we got this in return?”

2. Phone conversation between 2 friends

Friend #1: “Dude, what the heck?”
Friend #2: “What happened man?”
F1: “You just Liked that pun of mine?”
F2: “Oh yeah, it was nice! You called me to just ask that?”
F1: “No. I called to ask why you didn’t Love it?”
F2: “Well, I did Like it, didn’t I? “
F1: “You see, F3 Loved it! So much for our friendship!”
F2: “But, but…”
F1: [Disconnects call]

3. Frenzied meeting at a superstar’s fan association

Head of Superstar actor’s rabid fans association: “Friends! We have an important assignment for tonight!”
Rabid fans: “Anything for our dear star!”
Head: “Remember… at 12am tonight, that other actor’s new film teaser is releasing! We have got to show our might!”
Rabid fans: “Just tell us what to do and we will all do it immediately!”
Head: “Go to the Facebook post announcing the new teaser and click on Angry… all of you!”
Rabid fans: “But, is that ‘angry about the content of the post’ or ‘angry at the person posting it’?”
Head: “Aah, that’s the beauty of Facebook! There are no such nuances on Facebook! Let us build a new meaning to the Angry button and use it to our advantage!”
Rabid fans: “Deal! Here we come Angry!!”

(Replace superstar’s fans with devotees of a Godman, or followers of a political party, and we have a fantastic new problem in our hands!)

4. Phone conversation between a person and his ex-boss!

Tring tring!
“Hey, what’s the big idea?”
“Hmmm, who is this?”
“Aah, you don’t even have my number? I was in your team, remember?”
“Which company? Which team?”
[functional information being passed on]
“Oh! Yeah, now I remember! How are you doing?”
“I didn’t call you to tell me how I am doing! I just wanted to know why you Wow’ed my status update on my joining that hot start-up last year”
“Huh? I just noticed it randomly. I thought that was a good career move, so I Wow’ed it. What’s wrong?”
“I’ll tell you what’s wrong. That was an update from last year. Everybody has Liked it. You are the only one to Wow it, now. Frankly that looks like a sarcastic reaction!”
“Hey, I didn’t mean any sarcasm, I…”
“Yeah right, tell me about it! You [mild expletive]”
[steadily deteriorating conversation]

5. Phone conversation between mom and daughter

“Mom, what have you done?”
“Why, what happened?”
“Mom! You have Loved that post of mine where I mention that I had an accident!”
“Oh that, I was sending my love to you!”
“Did you see others’ reactions? They had Sadded it! You are the only one Love’ing it!”
“I can’t understand these things, I just sent my love to you!”

6. Conversation between YouTube Dislike button and Facebook Reactions’ brand new Angry button

Dislike button of YouTube: “Phew… I finally have company in Facebook’s Angry. At last, there’s another button for expressing a negative sentiment!”
Facebook’s Angry icon: “Duh… I’m no way like you, dude!”
YouTube Dislike: “Haha… that’s what you think. Just wait for people to exploit and creatively expand your use-case!”
Facebook Angry: “Groan!”
YouTube Dislike: “Now that’s a button that your boss should have added!”

Weekly Roundup: Facebook Reactions, Snapchat Tutorial, LinkedIn’s TV Campaign, And More


If you don’t know what that greeting means then you missed the Internet this past week. Which means you may have also missed the Mobile World Congress and the 10,000th Republican Debate. But ALSO these things happened:

  • You can passive aggressively express emotions on Facebook now
  • If you were thinking if only this ad on Facebook would get bigger and take over my screen – dreams do come true
  • The best Snapchat tutorial comes from a 13 year old
  • LinkedIn turned it up with a new TV campaign at Sunday’s Academy Awards (GO LEO!)
  • Mexico is using Periscope in the most amazing way
  • Google is making your search a LOT faster

Have a wonderful week!


Now You Can Create & Send Videos Privately Via DM

Shortly after enabling users to search for and send GIFs in tweets and direct messages, Twitter introduced the ability to capture and share videos in direct messages. The move brings Twitter closer to video-heavy messaging apps like Snapchat. >>Read More


Facebook Officially Launches Canvas Ads That Load Full-Screen Rich Media Pages In-App

Facebook wants to give advertisers an immersive way to reach people without making them leave the social network. So, it introduced Canvas, a full-screen ad experience built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile. When users click a Facebook News Feed ad connected to Canvas, it opens a full-screen, rich media page inside of Facebook rather than forcing users to wait for a mobile website to load. Canvas removes constraints that low-power mobile sites put on content. Facebook Canvas allows interactive elements like animations, carousels, product catalogs, tilt-to-view images, and videos. Canvases appear linked to from News Feed ads on iOS and Android, and Facebook is evaluating how to expand this to other versions and apps such as Instagram.  Facebook for Business

And those emoticons finally launched. More here.


Snapchat Enlists Nielsen to Track Ad Campaigns

Specifically, Snapchat will be able to provide brands and agencies with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, which can track how many people a given ad campaign reaches. Meanwhile, Snapchat ad tech partners Innovid and Sizmek will each supply ad tags that allow more detailed tracking of how many times individual ads are delivered in campaigns. (source: WSJ)  

Also the funniest thing we read all week about Snapchat courtesy of Elsbitch and Bitchamen Hoeson. Seriously read this or risk being a NARP.


LinkedIn Debuted Its First TV Commercial During the Oscars

The 30-second spot debuted during the Academy Awards telecast on Sunday. It’s an inspirational ad bouncing off a finding by NASA that 3 million LinkedIn users qualify to be astronauts. BBDO San Francisco handled the creative for the ad, which is expected to air also during “Shark Tank” and “Fresh Off The Boat.” (Ad Age)


BuzzFeed Creates Its First All-Video App 

BuzzFeed launched a new mobile app, BuzzFeed Video, so viewers can watch all their videos in one place. Until now, this content has been exclusive to Facebook and YouTube. There are two sections to the app, one for individual trending videos and the other for shows you are subscribing to. BuzzFeed also plans to use their own native player in order to collect more data about user activity and more flexibility to deliver a customized user experience.


Pinterest Launches Updates To Rich Pins With Recipes And Movie Data

In order to enhance the user experience, Pinterest has launched updates to its movie and recipe Rich Pins to continue gathering helpful data within each pin. A Rich Pin is a pin that includes extra information right on the Pin itself. The movie pins will add information such as: rating, cast members, and [http://Must-watch Movies]movie reviews. Because 90% of Pinners are saving food and drink recipes, these pins will be enhanced with cooking times, serving sizes, and ingredients.

Only 17% of the Fortune 500 Are Active on Pinterest 

Although many Fortune 500 companies are active on Facebook and Twitter, why do so many forgo Pinterest? (Study)


Tumblr Has a New CTO: Brian Murphy From the New York Times

Tumblr has hired Brian Murphy, former VP of engineering at the New York Times, as the company’s new chief technology officer. Read More


YouTube is Launching a New Tool That Lets Filmmakers Blur Out Any Object

YouTube is launching a custom blurring tool today that will let filmmakers blur out any object in their videos. Read More


Mexico City Officials Are Shaming Litterbugs and Parking Hogs on Periscope, and People Love It

Mexico City police have failed to keep the capital’s unruly residents from invading streets and sidewalks with their illegally parked cars, security details, and trash. So officials are resorting to the shaming power of social media. Read More

Google+ (Well, Google)

Google Joins Race to Speed Up Mobile Delivery of News Articles

When you conduct a Google search on your smartphone for a newsy topic — say, “Donald Trump” — the results starting on Wednesday will include a horizontal carousel of news articles, each with a little lightning bolt icon and the letters AMP at the bottom. Click on any one of the articles, and it will come up immediately, with no wait. The fast-loading format is the latest effort by online publications to solve a problem that is the bane of smartphone users everywhere: Most mobile web pages take too long to load.

AMP achieves its remarkable speeds in two ways. First, it requires web developers to use a narrow set of web technologies to create pages. Second, it serves pages from its own servers, at least when you visit an AMP page via a Google search. Sites that follow these specifications to the letter will receive special treatment from Google.  That sounds great for publishers who have decided to build AMP sites, but there’s a catch: if readers decide to share a link to an AMP page they’ve clicked on through a Google search, the link points to Google.com (for example, google.com/amp/yoursite.com/yourpage/amp), not to your site. With its AMP search results, Google is amassing content on its own servers and keeping readers on Google. (Source: New York Times and Wired)

Also: Why Google AMP Is So Much Faster in Three Dramatic Charts

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamKate Acker, Austin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Facebook Reactions and the Implications for Brands

Life is more complex than a simple “like.” For this reason, Facebook launched five new emojistyle reactions this week. And no, “dislike” is not one of them.

The new emoji Reactions include: angry, sad, wow, haha and love. “Yay” was reported to be a proposed reaction; however, this sentiment is not universally understood.

Learn more about Reactions, why the change, and the implications for brands below:

Facebook Reactions from Social@Ogilvy

Weekly Roundup: Facebook Messenger Ads, New Twitter Customer Service Functionalities, And More

Last week the internet raged on with India telling Facebook no thanks in favor of net neutrality, Tim Cook saying the same to the FBI and Trump fighting with the Pope. But somehow social platforms continued to keep their eye on the prize and made some news:

  • Be careful about striking up conversations with brands via FB messenger, they’re about to spam you
  • Twitter wants brands to use them for customer service and are making it easier
  • Spoiler alert: Tumblr has porn. Some countries aren’t fans of that
  • The Guardian did an awesome test of Periscope and Facebook Live at the WDS and the results were interesting
  • Kids on Snapchat aren’t that into the content we’re pushing at them [Just more ME, ME, ME, ME!]

Have a great week!


Brace Yourself For Ads in Facebook Messenger This Spring

A leaked document Facebook sent to some of its biggest advertisers reveals that Facebook will launch ads within Messenger in Q2 2016. The document says businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who previously initiated a chat thread with that company. Messenger is one of Facebook’s most popular and fastest-growing products, with 800 million monthly active users. Yet the social network has never monetized it directly before. Thankfully for users, Facebook isn’t going to let brands send ad messages to just anyone or even people who’ve liked their Pages. Only those who have voluntarily chatted with a business can be sent ads. – TechCrunch


Twitter Unveils Easier Customer Service Functionality

The platform has announced two new features to help businesses provide better customer service. The features include an easier way to send a direct/private message, and a private way for customers to share feedback after an interaction. >>Read More

ICYMI >> Twitter’s Newest Algorithm is Here

What it is, and why it isn’t the end of the world. (and how you can turn it off>>Read More


Instagram Now Has Two-Factor Authentication to Improve Security

Instagram’s popularity continues to grow, and the social network has started to roll out two-factor authentication to help prevent security breaches. Read More


Indonesia Bans Tumblr Over Porn

Indonesia has banned the blogging platform Tumblr, saying that the site distributes pornographic content. Read More


YouTube Runs Out of Ad Inventory in Nevada and South Carolina

Political advertisers hoping to attach their ads to YouTube replays of Taylor Swift’s Grammy speech may be out of luck in Nevada and South Carolina. There’s essentially no reserve inventory left on the popular platform ahead of the coming primary elections and caucuses there. Read More


Periscope’s iOS Update Brings Endless Sunsets for Viewers and Stabilization for Broadcasters

Periscope for iOS has been updated with a few cool new features that may have you streaming endlessly. Read More

What The Guardian Learned From Comparing Facebook Live and Periscope for Event Coverage

For its latest experiment, the newspaper’s Mobile Innovation Lab compared the two live-streaming platforms and the engagement generated on each. Read More


Here’s your guide on how people are using Snapchat today

And according to their infographic, it’s not great news for brands. How often do Snapchat users watch Live Stories? 55% say “never” or “rarely.”  And it’s worse for Discover (84% never or rarely watch) and Branded Filters (60% never or rarely use). It also doesn’t seem to be the best place to drive purchase – 98% say they never or rarely buy something they saw on Snapchat. (source: BI)


Instagram and Pinterest are killing Gap, Abercrombie, & J.Crew

Declining sales for traditional mall retailers are not because of the apparel, it is the shift in how teen consumers think. Young people are looking to purchase experiences rather than actual stuff, and when they do buy, you better believe those new shoes have to be Instagram-able.  Pinterest is giving the option to pin dream outfits, wardrobes, access to runway styles. They can get their inspiration quickly and can click add to cart from Pinterest just as quickly. Fast fashion stores like H&M and Zara are where affordability and stylish collide. Read more from (Business Insider)

BuzzFeed Bonus

What BuzzFeed’s Dao Nguyen Knows About Data, Intuition, And the Future of Media

As the head publisher of BuzzFeed, Dao Nguyen shares her opinions on the way consumers receive and process news and data. People don’t think “I want to be informed, inform me.” Dao believes the way we receive information is a habit and a person’s identity. In terms of data, she thinks it is a myth that data scientists are telling reporters what to write and what to cover. Reporters are taking responsibly for: “27 Sandwiches that Are Better Than a Boyfriend” and a creative mind is still more important than anything. (Fast Company)

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamKate Acker, Austin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.