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 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.

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: Most Pinteresting Man, Podcast Resurgence, Sports on Facebook, and More

In a week filled with new planets (well one), Sarah Palin‘s return to the headlines and more famous men passing away, social networks continue to make news. Some highlights:

  • The Most Pinteresting Man in the World exists and is winning
  • The Podcast resurgence continues
  • You can follow sports on Facebook now
  • How many videos have 1B views on YouTube? One more was added this week.
  • The Clinton campaign has embraced content marketing

Industry News: Podcasts

Podcast Pioneers: Where Audiences Choose to Listen to the Ads

Call it the MailChimp (or Kimp?) effect. A little over a year ago, Serial, a true crime story told in tantalizing weekly installments, captivated listeners with over 100 million downloads. More surprisingly, so did its advertising  with sponsor MailChimp riding its coat tails to gain cult status as it accrued memes, trending hashtags, t-shirts, even a remix. Podcasts are transforming advertising, and podcast producers have become pioneers in creating a different commercial model, where audiences are choosing to not skip the ads, but in some cases rewind to hear them again. With 46 million Americans listening to podcasts each month, podcasters are now evolving the commercial offering even further. Some have taken to developing entire shows that place the advertiser at the center, like Panolpy, which recently co-produced a fictional sci-fi podcast “The Message” with a division of GE, amassing over 1 million listeners. Source: AdAge


Facebook Takes on Twitter & ESPN With New Sports Feature

Until now, the one major advantage that Twitter has had over Facebook is its ability to capture people’s attention during live events. Meet Facebook Sports Stadium, a new hub on Facebook that will aggregate all the Facebook buzz about live sporting events in one place. Fans can follow games, get live stats, see what their friends are saying, and view expert commentary from journalists, the leagues, and the teams. With this new tool, Facebook is making a more concerted effort to convince advertisers that Facebook is a valuable resource for targeting sports fans on game day. For now, Facebook is only launching the tool for football fans, but it plans to expand to basketball, soccer, and other sports soon. – Facebook Newsroom


Global Disruptions Demonstrate True Twitter Additions

During coding updates on the site last week, Twitter users experienced mass disruptions for about six hours while the platform was down. Because Twitter is an important news source and a popular sounding board, the shutdowns disrupted global conversation. When other technology and media companies have faced similar problems in the past, people have often turned to Twitter to vent their frustrations — an outlet unavailable this time because the platform itself was the cause of the problem. Read more about how Twitter users handled the blackout here and here.

Bonus: Twitter summarizes how brands built buzz on the platform for #CES2016. >>Read More


Is Snapchat at a mainstream tipping point?

During the second half of 2015, Snapchat managed to reach 15 percent of the U.S. adult population, so if historical data is an indicator, Snapchat is about to reach a tipping point. (Source: AdWeek). This graph from eMarketer also shows how Snapchat is the hottest target for new ad spend in 2016 among platforms (new dollars, not overall spend).


Adele’s ‘Hello’ Joins the 1 Billion Club on YouTube

There are now 17 videos in the 1 billion club — and seven of those reached the milestone in the past year, YouTube said. Read More

YouTube Figures Out How to Supercharge Super Bowl Ads Even More

YouTube once again launched its AdBlitz platform, which gives Super Bowl advertisers a way to display their multi-million dollar television spots online before game day. Read More

You Can Now Loop YouTube Videos Directly Without Any Third-Party Software

A handy feature has quietly been added to YouTube without any major fanfare from the Google-owned video service. The new tool allows viewers to set videos to loop on the desktop version of the site. In the past, the lack of an auto-repeat function meant that in order to loop a YouTube video, users would have to download a third-party extension. Read More


Google Introduces Real-Time Ad Product in Time for Super Bowl 50 

Google announced it is expanding beta testing on a new ad product timed to Super Bowl 50 that will allow marketers to serve ads in real-time in response to relevant TV moments. Participating marketers will need to pre-plan the content they want to run as part of Google’s new offering. But the product will allow for dynamic insertion in real-time, as the moment is happening or just after it occurred. The ads will live on YouTube as well as sites and apps on Google’s display ad network. Wix.com, which has purchased traditional commercial time on CBS during its broadcast of the Super Bowl, will be one of the first marketers to use the product, with plans to air a real-time ad during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. Source: Advertising Age


LinkedIn is once again driving big traffic to publishers 

The social network has had a schizophrenic relationship with publishers. At one point, it was a small but reliable referral source, then it turned off the traffic hose.  Now, LinkedIn is getting back in publishers’ good graces by significantly ramping up the amount of traffic it sends out. Publishers, like the Financial Times, which has seen a 300% increase in LinkedIn referral traffic over the past month, say that the changes are a result of a series of tweaks made to Pulse, LinkedIn’s news aggregation app. Sending out more traffic should help LinkedIn mend its relationship with publishers, which saw their traffic from the platform plunge by up to 44 percent last year. Source: Digiday


Clinton media campaign follows BuzzFeed model 

The Democratic front-runner [barely] has a staff of dozens producing original content — including bylined news stories and professional video — all managed by an audience development team, a model similar to digital news pioneers BuzzFeed or Vox. A blog, called the ‘Feed,’ anchored by five full-time writers, pumps out articles, interactive trivia quizzes, GIFs of Clinton’s late-night-show appearances … ‘They seem to be trying to mimic a publisher,’ said Michael Wertheim … a former strategy director at Upworthy. President Obama’s team was the undisputed powerhouse of the 2008 and 2012 cycles. Now his digital mastermind, Teddy Goff, is helming Clinton’s efforts, but, Goff says, succeeding in 2016 is far more challenging. Source:USA Today 


10 Cool Things to Do on Pinterest for Business

Leverage the visual aspects of Pinterest for your brand. Small biz trends recommends a few tips such as verifying your business account ( a frequently missed step) and measure pin success with analytics. Read the full list here.

Pinterest’s Most Famous Man has 2 Million Followers–Here’s how He uses the Site

It’s no secret that Pinterest is dominated by females, but a 45 year-old father and architect’s page has garnered some attention. Josh Draper was recently voted “The Most Pinteresting Man in the World”  Check out his page here: Tech Insider

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: Twitter’s Character Count, WSJ on Snapchat Discover, Periscope in 2016, and More


It rained in LA last week and it was weird that the rest of the Earth kept spinning. There was also this conference thing in Vegas where everyone wanted to see a future where we don’t really experience things but just use video games to fake it. And social platforms kept trying to grab headlines:

  • Twitter might increase the character limit to 10K [that will look great on my phone]
  • WSJ joined Snapchat Discover – if that doesn’t bring the C-suite what will?
  • Periscope is ready to make it rain in 2016
  • and more

Have a great week!


Facebook is secretly allowing some developers to build chat bots

Facebook is reportedly working on a plan that would allow developers to build chatbots to run inside of Messenger. The move should come as little surprise as Facebook has been steadily expanding the scope of Messenger — and its relationship with third-party developers — for more than a year. The company recently added a transportation integration with Uber, for example, and plans to expand to more transit partners in the future. – TechCrunch


Is it Finally Happening? Twitter to Expand 140-Character Limit?

This week Twitter was ablaze with whisperings that, not only will Twitter expand their 140-character limit, but they may even expand it to 10,000 characters. That’s a lot of characters. Find out why this might make sense here


The Wall Street Journal becomes the first US newspaper on Snapchat Discover

WSJ becomes brand number 19 on Snapchat’s coveted Discover page. This marks a big shift towards a broader demographic on the social network. There are five members working solely on the channel, creating eight pieces of content/day. The content leans towards a mature audience, WSJ’s average readership age is 55. While Snapchat’s demographics indicate more than 40% of users are 18-24. Will WSJ be able to grab readers while their young and hopefully keep them as they age? The Next Web 


Q&A: Periscope CEO Dishes on What Brands Can Expect With Livestreaming in 2016

Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour discusses new features for marketers, how livestreaming will plug into new gadgets and technology, and Periscope’s unique influence on this year’s presidential election. Read More


The Top 10 Most Impactful BuzzFeed YouTube Videos of 2015

BuzzFeed compiled their most impactful videos living on YouTube. Taking a break from the most “viral” videos, these videos cover topics from texting and driving to what it is like living with depression. Take a look. BuzzFeed Blog.


Can Medium be the Internet’s Op-ed Page?

Evan Williams suggested this week that the long blog platform Medium is a great place for op-ed type of articles specifically for politicians. A great way to skip the publisher and get straight to the people. Some are concerned about fact-checking, but at least it encourages feedback and a two-way conversation which newspapers don’t allow. [Also it’s 2016.] Fortune.


Pinterest Points The Way As Silicon Valley Grapples With Diversity

Major tech companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon have gone public with reports detailing employee demographics and have begun openly talking about their diversity problem. Pinterest is leading the charge by hiring Candice Morgan as their head of diversity. Along with this hire, Pinterest announced two new diversity initiatives: an apprenticeship program for three candidates from non-traditional tech backgrounds and an engineering internship for college freshmen.  WIRED

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