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.

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.

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.

Weekly Roundup: GIFs On Twitter, BuzzFeed’s Business Challenges, and More

Last week as advertisers started pushing out their most expensive ads of the year that we used to all huddle around the TV to witness for the first time during the game (although running dachsunds are something I can get behind), the rest of the world kept talking Super Bowl too. OH, and the Iowa Caucus which resulted in Trumping Donald (click that link). And that led to more presidential election chatter best seen here. One would think social platforms could take a break, but nope. Some highlights:

  • Need a GIF – check Twitter
  • YouTube is ready to roll out RED – one more subscription won’t kill you
  • BuzzFeed is learning the challenges of hosting content on other platforms (like Snapchat)
  • Publishers are making money off of Trump (OMG is that another Trump mention?)

Have a great week!



Facebook is changing which posts you’ll see first in the News Feed — again

Facebook is once again tweaking its News Feed algorithm based on feedback from user surveys to help weed out posts you may not want to see. Facebook has been surveying users about the content of their News Feeds for quite some time, making it easier to ignore viral posts and asking “tens of thousands” of users to rate stories in their feeds daily. It may sound like a small change, but it’s a significant one, particularly for publishers and other Page owners — some of whom could see declines in referral traffic, the company warns. As usual, you can still manually choose specific friends whose updates you want to see first. – Mashable


Prepare for the GIFs

Twitter is testing a new button that would allow users to insert ready-made gifs into their Tweets. Twitter users are excited about it, and brands keep wondering if they’ll get fined for using clips from films and television. >>Read More

Follow Conversations Easier With New Layout

Long criticized for the confusing nature of following along during a long Twitter conversation, Twitter has now addressed the problem by publishing new functionality that opens long form conversations in a separate window within your timeline. This new functionality is for the website only. Check out the implications and feedback: >>Read More


YouTube Moves Closer to Becoming a Netflix for Millennials

The world’s biggest online video platform will officially crack into the paid original content business next week when it premieres the first four titles produced for its new subscription service, YouTube Red. Read More


Snapchat keeps bending it’s rules to attract brands

After testing “swipe to view” video ads longer than the standard 10 second cap with Call of Duty – Snapchat has rolled out the longer ads for several studios (Fox, Paramount, Universal). The platform continues to lure advertisers as it builds out an API that should give brands the targeting and data collection they need to make bigger investments. (Sources: AdWeekDigiday)

Industry News

Donald Trump’s tantrums drive web traffic—helping him game the entire American media 

A simple glance at Google Trends shows Trump searches far outpace those for any other candidate, Democrat or Republican. In revenue terms, that 10x means if a website earns $20 for every thousand page views, it can make, say, $20,000 on a Trump story, but only $2,000 on an article about Cruz, Clinton, Sanders or Rubio. Given those dynamics and the pressure on many digital media outlets to come up with content that generates page views, more and more stories are likely to be written about Trump, giving him even greater leverage over the media.

Source: Quartz


“Cloud Bread” Is the Latest Food Trend Exploding on Pinterest 

Have our prayers been answered? A bread without gluten, carbs, and hardly sugar, exists, and tastes good? The latest trend has spiked by 73% in the last year on Pinterest. So what IS in this viral recipe? There are only four ingredients: eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, and a packet of sweetener. Try out the recipe here.


With a Bet on a Platform Strategy, BuzzFeed Faces Business Challenges

BuzzFeed has seen rapid success with distributed publishing, using Snapchat and Facebook to reach an extremely large audience. According to Digiday, in less than 10 years BuzzFeed has become the fifth-biggest news site based on desktop and mobile traffic, ahead of The NYT and Fox News. However, traffic to its owned properties is flat. They have pulled back on hiring pace and missed their revenue growth goal last year. How can BuzzFeed look past and capitalize on their viral success to create valuable and memorable content for brands? Check out the full story here.


Instagram Rolls Out Multiple Account Switching for Some iOS Users

Now you can add multiple accounts on Instagram – if you’re lucky. Read More

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

Weekly Roundup: Meet Hypershoot, Facebook Livestreaming, YouTube Donation Cards, and More

In a week full of your newsfeed full of stick figures [more below] and political highlights such as One Direction breaking up and Donald Trump boycotting a debate and amazing public Twitter fighting among Kanye West and his enemies, there was plenty of news among ever-changing social networks:

  • Facebook gives Periscope and other livestreaming platforms a big middle finger
  • You no longer need to spend Saturday nights trying to find out if people follow you back on Instagram
  • Ted Cruz is being fancy on SnapChat [be afraid]
  • YouTube launches Donation Cards in case creators don’t want to keep their money
  • Maybe that Most Pinteresting Man listed last week will discover Hypershoot

Have a great week!

Meet Hypershoot

Hypershoot is a Pinterest-like Bookmarking Tool for Designers

Hypershoot is a bookmarking tool similar to Pinterest, letting you store anything interesting you stumble upon the Internet in a visually-appealing way. Hypershoot is aimed at designers because most of the content surfacing in the explore section is designer focused. It is also an easy way to share bookmarks with different people which is beneficial for collaborative projects.  It’s free to join but probably will not stay that way for long. TNW News

Industry News

BBB investigating ‘Be Like Bill and Jill and Anne and Mark’ app

The Better Business Bureau said Thursday it’s investigating a popular app — and the parent company behind it, Blobla — filling Facebook users‘ feeds for possible privacy violations. The app is a generator that creates a personal version of the “Be Like Bill” meme with the user’s name. A report from CBS affiliate KFVS12 says Blobla had included a statement in its terms of privacy stating: “You will allow us to use, edit your content with our service permanently, no limit and no recover.” Blobla later told KFVS it was removing that excerpt from its policy. So, don’t be like Bill, and be wary of click bait websites and third party apps on social media.

Source: USA Today


Facebook Livestreaming Opens Up To Everyone With An iPhone

You no longer need to be famous to broadcast your life to all your friends and casual acquaintances. You just need an iPhone. The new live streaming feature should be familiar to anyone who’s watched a livestream before, be it on Periscope, Meerkat, or from a celebrity’s Facebook account. A new icon now appears under your status update, showing an upper body with a double halo over the head, which apparently translates to “Live Video.” Opening up access to all iPhone users (don’t worry, Android support is coming at some point) makes sense for Facebook on several fronts. It helps keep livestreaming upstarts like Periscope and Meerkat at bay, while also increasing engagement time on Facebook itself, as people stick around to record and watch little doses of daily life. –Time


What the 25 Most-Followed Instagram Accounts Show Us About the Platform

Tech Crunch breaks down the Instagram accounts with the most followers and what that says about the Instagram. From Taylor Swift to National Geographic, these accounts are setting trends for how the rest of world uses this platform.

There’s An Awesome New Way To See Who Follows You On Instagram

Before this new update, users would have to scroll through their followers to know if a specific account follows them back. Users will now be able to search for an account and the relationship will be shared, meaning users will know if someone is following them back. In addition the new update will begin to notify you when an account you and your friends follow has posted a new photo.  Elite Daily 


Ted Cruz Trolled Donald Trump with a Snapchat Filter at Republican Debate

Trump was not at the most recent Republican debate in Iowa. Ted Cruz decided to sponsor a Snapchat geo tag filter with the hashtag #DuckingDonald which Cruz’s social media team have been pushing on Twitter and was featured in Snapchat’s live Republican Debate Story. See it hereWill other candidates begin using Snapchat as a campaign platform?


YouTube Donation Cards Allow Video Creators to Raise Money for Charity

Recently, YouTube has rolled out donation cards to its US creators that allow viewers to donate to a charity of the creator’s choosing, directly from the video. Read More

YouTube Wins German Appeal Over Artists’ Fees

A German court has handed Google another legal victory over German performing rights organisation Gema, which had sought to make the company’s video-sharing service YouTube pay each time users watch music videos by artists it represents. Read More


Peach Creator Just Released a Web Version, But is That Enough to Juice Activity?

You can now message your friends on the web version of Peach, a new chat app created by the founder of Vine, Dom Hofmann. Read More


GoPro, Inc. Goes Live With Twitter, Inc.’s Periscope

The app is going beyond smartphone cameras by enabling GoPro capture devices to stream live footage to Periscope. Read More


BuzzFeed faces $11 m defamation lawsuit from viral news agency 

Central European News is suing BuzzFeed over the article, “The King of Bullsh*t News”. The British publication claims BuzzFeed had intention of damaging their business in order to obtain a greater share of the market for viral news in Great Britain and the world. The Guardian 

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamLindsey MillsKate Acker, Toby PhillipsAustin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Periscope Autoplay in Twitter Feed, Pinterest’s Personalized Emails, Curated Instagram Videos, and More

In a week full of Hollywood News, good (see the Golden GlobesOscar Nominations, Adele Singing in a Car) and sad (the unexpected deaths of Ziggy Stardust and Snape), social media provided the outlet to carry all of these stories further. And they still had time to make news themselves.

  • Welcome Peach to your long list of things you had no idea you needed
  • You may not have won the Powerball, but you also don’t need to leave Twitter to watch Periscope videos anymore
  • Pinterest is investing in personalization of email (which actually is really important)
  • YouTube just gave a guy named Felix [who likely did NOT buy a Powerball ticket] his own channel

Have a great week!


Peach App for the iPhone Stakes a Social Media Claim

Last week, Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann launched a new social network called Peach. As of late last week, some media were already declaring it “dead” as it tumbled on the US iTunes downloads chart. Users and press have described the app as part instant messenger, part blog, part sketchpad, part Facebook spin-off, part we’re not really sure what it does. There are no hashtags, no reposting capability, and you can only view content from your friends that also have the app. Peach also uses “Magic Words” for user commands – like Siri, but not. Merriam-Webster seems to like it, though. Jesse DeWitt, director of digital learning products at MW, called Peach the “new grammar for social media.” High praise.

This App Brings Peach to Android, But Without the Magic Words

It’s only been a week and someone has already developed an app that brings Peach’s social network not only to the desktop, but also to Android devices. Read More


Periscope Autoplay Coming to Your Twitter Feed

Over the next few days our Twitter feeds are going to get a little noisier. Live streams from users’ Periscope videos will soon autoplay right within your Twitter news feed. Users will no longer need to leave the flagship app to view Periscope feeds. >>Read More

“Conversational Ads” Come To Twitter, Helping Brands’ WOM

Twitter’s newest ad format tries to make it easier for consumers to spread the word about brands they like. The format, which is in beta testing, includes a call-to-action button that pre-populates a users’ tweet with a brand message including campaign hashtags and handles, but can still be customized by users. >>Read More


Facebook v. Snapchat: What Counts as a Video View?

Snapchat and Facebook are racing to rack up video views. The most recent totals: Facebook gets eight billion video views per day compared with Snapchat’s seven billion, which was reported by BloombergBut not all video views are created equal. It’s easy to compare daily totals, but each company has different criteria for what counts as a “view.” – Re/code


Digital video to surpass TV by 2020

In his speech at CES, YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl predicted that digital video will overtake television as the, “single largest way people spend their time” by the end of the decade. Kyncl cited mobile viewing, virtual reality and music programming as elements driving the shift away from TV.  Kyncl also announced that they’ll be using their new subscription service, Red, to present exclusive content from up-and-coming YouTube talent. Like this kid, who’s now a superstar.

PewDiePie Gets To Be The Boss Of His Own YouTube Network Thanks To Disney

In other YouTube news, internet personality Felix Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie) is starting his own network called Revelmode, backed by Disney’s Maker Studios. Kjellberg currently has over 40 million followers on YouTube and he’ll be joined by a supporting cast of other notable YouTube stars. Kjellberg said they’ll focus on original content and possibly raise money for charity, but that he has complete creative control over his own digital platform. Buckle your seat belts!

YouTube Launches in Pakistan Even Though It’s Still Banned There

YouTube has launched a localized Urdu version of the site in Pakistan but there’s a catch: viewers who currently live in Pakistan aren’t able to access it. Read More

Meet the YouTube Stars Who Will Interview President Obama

Three popular YouTube stars who cover topics ranging from silly to serious hosted a YouTube interview live from the White House on Friday with President Obama. Read More [It’s okay if you’ve never heard of them]


Instagram is Now Curating Videos About Live Events

Instagram announced that they’ll be partnering with brands and users to curate content for special live event streams. If this sounds familiar, it’s because both Snapchat and Twitter already have existing live content sections built into their apps – “Our Story” and “Moments”. Instagram launched the feature last week, with live content from the Golden Globes and the College Football National Championship game. You can check it out by navigating to the “Explore” section inside the Instagram app, and tapping the banner with the name of the live event.


How Snapchat Plans to Compete with Facebook?  Be more like Facebook.

Better analytics, targeting and maybe even an algorithmic feed (yet another example of the trend to algorithmic content serving – shout out to the 2016 Digital Trends deck).  Snapchat appears to be borrowing several pages from the FB playbook in order to attract and keep a bigger share of brands advertising budgets. For more check out AdAge.


How Pinterest plans to personalize every email it sends

There has been a lot of talk that social media would eventually kill email. The truth is that social media sites, like Pinterest, send an incredible amount of email. Pinterest announced its partnership with SparkPost that helps personalize modern trigger-based emails. These emails are sent based on specific actions users take (pinning, liking, or subscribing) and have a 228% higher CTR than batch emails. The subject lines are customized and created in real-time, rather than waiting for the data to come through. Venture Beat 

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamLindsey MillsKate Acker, Toby PhillipsAustin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Order Uber in Facebook Messenger, How To YouTube, Price Drop for Buyable Pins, and More

There were no signs of a holiday slowdown in the news or on social platforms this week. From Abby Wambach‘s last game to another GOP debate to Tinder helping with organ donation (really). And from our favorite social and messaging platforms (that’s a nod to a trend for 2016 – you can find more from Sociail@Ogilvy’s annual predictions here):

  • Facebook is trying really hard for you to keep messenger opened all the time
  • Buzzfeed isn’t the most popular video source for 2016 (is it too late now to say sorry?)
  • Pinterest continues to make people use the platform to buy things

Have a wonderful holiday! And thanks for reading these updates throughout the year – we’ll be back in January.



You Can Now Order an Uber In Facebook Messenger 

Need an Uber? Just send a message. You can now hail an Uber without leaving a conversation or downloading the Uber app. To order a ride, you either start a conversation with Uber and tap a car icon or tap on “More” to order a ride from there. The new feature comes as Messenger moves deeper into its mission to morph from a mere messaging service into a platform on which other developers build their services. By layering additional services on top of Messenger, Facebook seems to be seeking the holy grail of messaging that is WeChat in China. Basically, Facebook doesn’t just want Messenger to be a way you chat with friends. The company wants it to be the way you interact with the world. – Facebook Newsroom

And they changed their real name policy a bit. Source.


NFL Signs On as First Snapchat Explorer Sports Partner

The National Football League has had a relationship with Snapchat in the past and they are taking their relationship to the next level. They have become the first sports partner for Snapchat Story Explorer. The feature rolled out last month and is an extension of Snapchat Live Stories. These videos can generate between 10 and 20 million views on a given day. With explorer, users just swipe up and can discover more videos about the same event videos created by Snapchat users. The NFL has seen an overwhelming amount of consumption and 40% of the audience from the Live Stories have been outside the U.S. (WSJ)


“How to…use YouTube”

The latest post from the Google and Your Business Blog is all about how to embrace YouTube in a way that drives small businesses and their brands. According to Google, 50% of YouTube’s video views happen on mobile devices and “How To” videos are one of the fastest growing video categories – to the tune of 70% search growth in one year. Google business bloggers think this is a golden opportunity. Hey, if it worked for Homer Simpson, it could work for other small business owners and strategy teams.


Deny, deny, deny

Parent company Facebook denied that it directly threatened a security researcher who uncovered a weak spot inside Instagram’s storage servers, instead saying he went too far and they won’t be rewarding his diligent hacking. Wait, they reward hackers? Yep. Facebook runs a “bug bounty” program, where researchers who uncover vulnerabilities can report the problems to FB in exchange for a reward.

Researcher Wes Wineberg is accused of poking around in Instagram’s data storage “buckets” and knowingly gaining access to users’ private pictures and data. Wineberg isn’t denying that he gained access, but writes on his blog that he didn’t download anything he wasn’t supposed to. FB’s chief security officer Alex Stamos isn’t buying it, saying Facebook may pursue legal action if Wineberg doesn’t keep his keyboard to himself.


Pinterest releases price drops for buyable pins

In an effort to encourage more buzz around their buyable pins Pinterest has released a new update. They have created a mobile alert to notify users that an item on their pin board is now on sale. From there you can go straight to Pinterest to purchase. 87% of active Pinners claim they use the platform to decide what they should buy. Will the sale alerts be more effective for users to engage with buyable pins?

Also: Pinterest says these 10 food and drink trends are going to be huge in 2016. Find out what beertails and veggie swaps are. (LA TIMES)


Ellen DeGeneres Unseats BuzzFeed as Internet’s Top Video Attraction

For the first time all year BuzzFeed is taking a backseat to Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres. “The Ellen Show” generated over 1.1 billion views across YouTube, Facebook and other platforms. Bieber’s new album Purpose was the No. 2 winner with 853 million views. BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos finished third place with 789 million views but dominated Facebook earning the top spot in November.

Highlighting Muslim Life

On Monday, BuzzFeed applied its typical playful format to a collection of stories about Muslim life.

The Snapchat collection, which disappears after 24 hours, included a profile of a Muslim fashion blogger, a graphic called “8 Emojis All Muslims Need,” a video showing how to wear different hijab styles, a listicle of popular Twitter posts from the hashtag #GrowingUpMuslim, and other Islam-related memes and videos.

Industry News

EPA discovers there is a fine line between social media outreach and lobbying

This week, congressional auditors said the EPA broke the law by engaging in ‘covert propaganda’  and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters. The effort violated federal law, the Government Accountability Office said, because as it ricocheted around the Internet, many people who received the message would not have known that it was written by the E.P.A., making it covert propaganda. The agency is also said to have violated the anti-lobbying law when one of its public affairs officers, Travis Loop, wrote a blog post saying he was a surfer and did not “want to get sick from pollution.” The E.P.A. disputes this finding, noting that it sent out the original message (via Thunderclap) and was hardly hiding its role. New York Times

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamLindsey MillsKate Acker, Toby PhillipsAustin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.