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The Social Stories Issue 180: Discovery

SnapchatDiscovery Channel

Snapchat are establishing themselves to be more than just a messaging service with their new ‘Discover’ feature, rolling out this week.

‘Discover’ gives Snapchat the opportunity to become a media platform by releasing content created by publishers and brands. So far, the content has been from some of the big players such as CNN, ESPN, Daily Mail, Vice and Warner Music Group, who are reaching out to a younger demographic in this new way.

With the app now valued at over $10 billion and obtaining over 100 million active users over a 4-year period who send over 400 million snaps per day, it gives them another source of revenue from the use of paid ads during the content.

In our opinion, the Discover feature barely fits into the Snapchat app, and doesn’t really seem like a natural way to consume entertainment.  It will be interesting to see if users will take kindly to news related content from major media companies automatically appearing on their Snapchat story feed, which has always felt more personal than Twitter or Facebook’s feed did.

 

Princes-Trust-LogoLearn The Hard Way

CHI & Partners has created the ‘Learn The Hard Way’ campaign for The Prince’s Trust to encourage employers to take on young people who come from disadvantage backgrounds.

YouTube and LinkedIn are the primary platforms that have been used to push out the campaign. A LinkedIn profile has been created for a young girl who is located as ‘homeless’ and has skills such as problem solving, independent and a fast learning. A 30 second YouTube ad is featured on the page for employers to engage with, showcasing multiple types of difficult backgrounds young people come from and how they’ve created skills from their experiences.

With the charity market more competitive than ever, Jonathan Burley, CHI & Partners Executive Creative Director, explains that using LinkedIn allows the campaign to directly reach people in the work industry and get them to think differently about employing young people with troubled upbringings.

Watch the video here. 

 

Twitter PostcodePin You Down

Twitter is bringing targeting down to a T with their announcement of postcode geo-targeted ads on the channel this week.

For brands, this allows them to target certain areas of the country and send out tweets that are specifically relevant to them, such as whether a store has remaining stock of a popular item left, or local companies that need to bring in new business.

With the UK elections just around the corner, this is going to be a useful tool for politicians who want their campaign message to be seen by particular regions which may be particularly competitive.

The Social Stories Issue 179: It’s All In The Eyes

YouTube super bowlLet The Games Begin

YouTube will offer a live stream halftime show during America’s most watched TV event, the Super Bowl on February 1st, which will feature some of the biggest online stars to help promote advertisements on the site.

YouTube will showcase their own talent, celebrities and creators, whilst also highlighting their creative content such as musicals, stunts and fake Super Bowl ads that will be directed by Freddie Wong.

The influencers and vloggers that YouTube are using have a combined subscriber base of 60m+. Even though the channel will be competing against performances by Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz on TV, YouTube are confident that users will be tuning in as more than 6 million hours of Super Bowl ads were watched on the platform last year.

 

WhatsAppWhatsApp Whenever

WhatsApp has announced that it’ll be launching a desktop version of the app for Chrome and Android. The app’s primary use will still be on mobile, but the desktop version will benefit those who spend a lot of time on a computer.

Users are prompted to scan a QR code on the site to activate the service. As the web client acts as an extension from a user’s phone, it allows them to chat through the site with the messages still syncing and appearing on their mobile. The feature isn’t available on I0S just yet due to ‘Apple platform limitations’, however they’re planning on bringing the experience to them sometime soon.

With WhatsApp having over 600 million users who are sending over 30 billion messages each day, it’s now at the forefront of its main competitors; Facebook Messenger and WeChat. We’re interested to see how many people will choose to use the desktop site or continue to carry on their conversations on mobile.

 

Be My EyesGiving You The Eye 

Be My Eyes is a heartwarmingly brilliant free app that allows perfectly sighted people to help those that are visually impaired.

For the blind, it’s the simple things that they need the most help with, such as being able to see when your milk goes off or when the bread has gone mouldy, and this app is designed to do just that.

Blind users are able to request assistance from others who can see to help answer their questions through a live audio-video chat. They can then use the camera to show what they need read to them, or even have a family photo described!

If one user is too busy, the help request will move onto another until somebody is available. If you’d like to spare some of your time to help, download it from the iTunes store here.

The Social Stories Issue 178: Work and Play

AdventureDo you want to play a game…?

Twitter users have been lost in a world of action over the past week with the ‘choose your own adventure’ storytelling game, created by web developer Terence Eden.

By using interconnected Twitter accounts; users are able to decide how the story goes from the dreadful start to the end by choosing one out of two options that leads them to the next part of the story. Whether they make it alive or not is what makes the game so exciting and addictive to users, who have reacted positively to the challenge on the channel.

This is an interesting way of creating interaction and engagement by using Twitter in a novel way.

Start your adventure here.

 

Facebook at workWork and Play

Facebook has created a new app that allows you to scroll through your newsfeed during work hours guilt free.

Facebook At Work lets businesses create their own social networks between their employees by using Facebook tools such as the News Feed, Groups, messages and events to help pass on news, documents and plan meetings.

Lars Rasmussen, engineering director at Facebook explained that most people already have an active profile and therefore will be familiar with the logistics of the site. Users can also link their work and personal accounts together so they’re able to check in and out whenever they like. It is not yet decided how the app will become profitable as they are not currently running any paid ads or 3rd party apps.

We’re interested to see how many companies will choose to use this method of communication and if it can compete with other tools from intranet-type brands such as Microsoft.

 

Twitter videoTwitvid

2015 has been dubbed the ‘year of the video’ on social media according to the top tech companies, so it comes as no surprise that Twitter’s latest announcement expands on how they’re going to be pushing it on the channel.

Not only has Twitter released its own built in video system that allows brands to create native videos up to ten minutes long, but the added feature of auto-play is now available with marketers being able to create a six-second preview from any part of the video to entice users to click. Once a user has clicked through to the promoted tweet, the sound will be activated, along with a payment from the advertiser.

These new features have been designed to encourage more video content on the channel from brands and to compete with YouTube and Facebook. Twitter has stated that users should expect to see a ‘slew of amazing announcements throughout this year and next’ and we can’t wait to hear them.

The Social Stories Issue 177: FaceTube, Social Separation & More

youtube-channelFaceTube
Facebook is releasing a new design layout for the video section of business pages to help increase video activity on the site.

Pages will automatically receive the new, improved layout over the next couple of weeks. It will give brands the ability to have a main feature video, the option to create playlists and other previous uploads being listed in date order with full descriptions such as titles, length and Like and View counts – all of which show extreme similarities to it’s now rival, YouTube.

This is another significant move in Facebook’s push for video after they introduced auto-play, which saw them gain a 50% increase in viewing figures (although this has been criticised for being a slightly unreliable stat).

 

Twitter-while-you-were-away-thumbMissed me?
Twitter is rolling out a ‘While you were away…’ feature to recap top tweets that users have missed if they haven’t logged on for a couple of days.

It hasn’t appeared for all users just yet, but a significant number have experienced it since going back online, suggesting that it will available for everyone soon.

The feature will benefit more casual users who only tend to check in once or twice a week, and will be based on aspects such as who they follow, retweets and engagement. For brands, this could potentially give them the opportunity to increase their reach on the channel if Twitter decides to turn ‘While you were away…’ into a paid feature at some point, which we suspect they may do…

 

pinterest-pin-3602Pay to Pin
Pinterest has given all brands the ability to use promoted pins on the site after a successful selected partners last year.

This announcement sees the photo sharing channel become another one of many social media platforms who are now looking to generate revenue through ads. The decision comes after Pinterest saw that promoted pins received higher impressions and repins than those that were posted organically. Brands also saw 30% more organic engagement with the rest of their content through the use of promoted pins, with 5% of this still increasing a month after posting the pin, demonstrating how effective the use of advertising spend can be.

We’re interested to see whether their users will find this new feature too pushy and off putting when searching for inspirational content.

The Social Stories Issue 176: Pushing Buttons & Discovering Secrets

FacebookPush The Button

Facebook has added seven new call-to-action buttons for business pages this week, which can now sit on top of the cover photo. These have already been available for posts, but they will now be much more prominent for users visiting the page. They have been designed to help businesses achieve objectives such as driving traffic to their website, increasing sales or creating more views.

 

The buttons include:

·       Book Now
·       Contact Us
·       Use App
·       Play Game
·       Shop Now
·       Sign Up
·       Watch Video

American razor brand, Dollar Shave Club, have started to use the new function and seen a 2.5x higher conversation rate within a three-week period, demonstrating that they’re definitely worth installing.

Over the next few weeks, Facebook will be rolling out the new buttons in the US and worldwide in 2015.

 

TumblrExplore and Discover

Tumblr  has released a new ‘explore’ button that allows their users to sift through endless amounts of content from the site.

Once clicked, the compass shaped button pulls out text, photos, GIFs, audio and video content that the user has previously liked. It also mixes in real time top trending’s posts, along with Tumblr staff picks.

With over 230 millions users and over a billion posts published, this new feature is designed to increase discovery and engagement levels on the site, as well as attracting new users with the ability to search without having to sign up.

 

snapchat-push2Snapchat Secrets

Sony’s recently leaked emails with Snapchat suggest that the photo-sharing app is looking to bring in a new promotional music feature.

The emails detail how Snapchat were potentially looking to introduce new bands on the app with 30 second clips that link through to the iTunes store, but Spiegel’s demand for a high revenue share seems to be where plans stalled.

Snapchat already integrated music-related content in user’s stories feeds earlier this year when they exclusively announced the nominees for the MTV Music Awards. They have also brought in a handful of promotional videos for existing bands to help fan acquisition, but the release of these private emails suggest that CEO Evan Spiegel is planning even bigger projects, such as starting his own record label and continuing to use the app as a music promotion platform.

All of this news suggests that music will be a big part for Snapchat in 2015.

The Social Stories Issue 175: Rewind, Social Wars & More

YouTube rewindCan I get a rewind?

YouTube has put together a special Rewind short film to celebrate the best moments, memes and people of 2014 on the channel.

The video giants have aimed to include songs and references to clips that were popular all over the World, emphasising its global reach and the power of sharing content on social media.

It includes a mash up of the top tracks that were released this year, such as Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’, Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ and Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’. It also includes the most popular videos like the ‘Mutant Giant Spider Dog’ and ‘First Kiss’ that were not just watched in their millions, but also shared on other social media channels.

Watch the full video and reminisce with YouTube here.

 

Instagram 300 millionSocial Wars

Instagram announced this week that they now have over 300 million active users on the channel, beating Twitters announcement of 284 million in October.

The app has come a long way since it’s launch in 2010 on the iPhone. Over the years its popularity has dramatically increased, with the number of users doubling from 150 to 300 million over the past year.

The concept of storytelling through imagery seems to be the marketing tool that’s capturing users imagination the most on social media, along with the ability to create and scroll through other people’s cool, filtered photos.

Instagram have recently announced that they will also be using verified badges for celebrities and brands to help cut down spam accounts.

 


Facebook searchA Blast From The Past

It’s time to prepare yourself for that embarrassing photo you’ve managed to bury in your timeline to reappear back on your Facebook timeline with the new advanced search feature that allows users to delve back into old posts.

The new feature comes after user feedback showed that the most wanted feature was to search through their history. It works by using keywords that are included in the post that you’re looking for and is strictly private and personal, by only finding posts that were shared with you and your friends.

Facebook holds a huge amount of data on its users which it traditionally uses for targeting advertising, but look out for more user features like this to start tapping into the archives in the future.

The Social Stories Issue 174: #TedsElfie, Filter Me & More

FB_AD_V8-Copy#TedsElfie

Ted Baker has launched their Christmas marketing campaign on Instagram to get engagment and interact with their audience over the festive period.

#TedsElfie has been designed to drive their fans to their Instagram Tedselfie account in a bid to find Santa’s missing Elves. The brand’s photos have been cleverly uploaded to create a Winter Wonderland. The game works by users tapping on a specific image and receiving clues in the copy and tags as to where the Elves might be. There are seven elves to be found, with prizes to be won including a trip to the northern lights.

This digital element of Ted Bakers campaign is a key strategy for reaching out to their social audience, whilst creating something that is innovative, engaging and a way to spread the Christmas cheer!

 

screen-shot-2014-12-02-at-3-56-47-pmBuy Now

Tumblr is testing new buttons on the site that include ‘Buy Now’, ‘Pledge’, ‘Browse’ and ‘Do Something’, in order to become more interactive and bring social commerce to the platform.

Initially the buttons have been available to only a handful of brands such as Etsy and Kick Starter on the channel. If these see a successful click through rate, this will enable Tumblr to compete with other social channels that have already started to use direct transaction features such as Facebook and Twitter, and eventually work with larger retail brands like Amazon and Ebay.

The new service will only be on desktop for the time being, with the ‘Buy Now’ button directing users straight to the purchase page on the brand’s website.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 17.30.44Filter Me

Snapchat is allowing its users to create their own Community Geofilters when they’re in specific locations.

Following on from the addition of standard geofilters in July, users can now choose the area that they want the filter to be available in and upload an image for it to Snapchat. All images have to original and approved by the Snapchat team.

This feature comes just in time for Christmas, when Snapchat users will be travelling more than ever. For more information and to upload your own Community Geofilter, check out the website here.

The Social Stories Issue 173: New Beginnings, Pushing On & More

ATNWe Are AllTogetherNow

We’re excited to share the news with you today that we’ve launched our 10th agency within The & Partnership, called AllTogetherNow.

With a team drawn from The Social Practice, M/Six and CHI & Partners, as well as former editor of NME and Top Gear magazine Conor McNicholas, AllTogetherNow is a new kind of content agency, where we integrate social, video, planning, editorial and metrics to create inspiring work and brilliant results.

Give us a follow at www.twitter.com/agencyATN

 

VineImgBlog-01Keeping Pushing On

Vine is helping its users to not miss a post by their favourite accounts with their new push notification feature.

By starring accounts, users will receive notifications from the users they enjoy the most on the channel, instead of missing them in a sea of other six-second clips. For brands, this is great news, as it could help boost their accounts by making sure that their content is seen by their followers.

The previous feature of loop counts added to the app will also benefit popular artists and brand in terms of measuring engagement, as they will be able to see a vast increase in viewing figures by using push notifications.

 

twitter-conversion-trackingLets Get Personal

From next week, Twitter will be rolling out a new setting which allows them to track what apps their users have recently downloaded.

The new feature, called ‘app graph’, is designed to create a ‘more tailored experience’ for its users, by suggesting new followers and ads based upon their interests, as well as being able to see tweets from accounts they don’t follow on their timeline.

After going live, all users are automatically will be opted into the tracking, however they are able to change this within their settings.

With Facebook also relying on users browsing history to show specific ads, social channels are doing their upmost to add that personal touch to each account.

 

The Social Stories Issue 172: Star Jumping, Money Grabbing & More

starcollage-tw#GetUpandGoJump

Travelodge have been promoting their room saving offers by launching a photo campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Fans have been asked to submit a photo of themselves, friend or family member on the social channels star jumping along with the hashtag, #GetUpandGoJump, for a chance to win an iPad and a weekend stay at a Travelodge of their choice.

The public has taken well to the campaign with the amount number of entries submitted so far, including people jumping on beaches, trampolines, on top of mountains and reaching for the stars.

 

wersm-snapchat-snapcash-money-470x490Snapcash

Snapchat unveiled its partnership with the credit card processing company Square this week, to allow their users to send money via the app with its new feature Snapcash.

The instant cash service can only be used within its chat feature. After entering your debit card details the first time you use it, you’re good to go. Simply type a dollar sign and then the amount into the chat box and wait for the yellow send button to turn green. Once sent, the recipient will get a notification and can receive the money when tapping the money icon.

With Facebook and Snapchat now offering this feature to its users, the pressure is on for other social channels to deliver a faster, safer service.

 

rachel atherton FBAsk Atherton

World Champion mountain biker Rachel Atherton will be taking over the Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport Facebook page this evening at 8pm for a Q&A session.

Made for adventure, Vito Sport is holding the live session on their social channel to promote their sponsorship and work with Atherton Racing, so whether you want to know how to improve your biking skills, hear about Rachel’s journey or find out her interests and hobbies – now’s the time for you to get involved and find out.

Vito Sport recently held an action packed experience day at Bike Park Wales. Thirty lucky competition winners were given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride with Rachel, Gee and Dan Atherton, plus Taylor Vernon, all courtesy of Vito Sport. Watch out for the upcoming highlights video, released next month.

For more information on Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport, check out their blog here.

The Social Stories Issue 171: Colour Control, Oversharing & More

asos_colour_controlTechnicolor

Online fashion giants ASOS has released a new interactive YouTube music video with girl band JUCE to push their Autumn Winter 2014 collection.

‘Colour Control’ allows users to pick the colour palette (red, yellow, green, blue or black) they want to dress the band in as they perform the song ‘The Heat’. The video was shot five times with the different coloured backgrounds, in order to create smooth, seamless jumps in between the change of colours.

We think this is an innovative way of showcasing their new clothing range in a cool, fun, energetic video.
Watch the video and create your own look here.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 14.57.38Micro-gram

Tech giant Microsoft finally took the plunge and joined Instagram this week. The account will feature image and video posts showing how people around the world use Microsoft products and services in their work and daily life.

With Microsoft already having a strong social following on Facebook (6 million+) and Twitter (5 million+), the brand is pulling out all the stops to ensure that this is continues on Instagram by hiring professional photographer, Justin Bastien to find and shoot suitable candidates for the campaign.

The first image posted is of a barista in Seattle using Skype to communicate with other coffee lovers in different countries. The hashtag #DoMore is also being used to amplify Microsoft’s ‘mission to reinvent productivity’.

 

Facebook-Privacy-GuideHide and Seek

Does a brand, friend or family member you know post far too much on Facebook? Well, we’ve got some great news for you. The social channel will now allow users to ‘turn down’ the amount of content they see from friends or pages over the past week in their newsfeed settings, rather than completely unliking or de-friending.

For brands in particular, this means that oversharing and creating poor posts will result in low reach and view figures.

To explain these new features in more detail, Facebook has produced a video to demonstrate how it all works- watch it here.