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The Social Stories Issue 187: New Views & Friendly Payments

360 youtube360 Degrees of Separation

YouTube has recently announced that the platform will now be supporting 360-degree video footage on desktop and mobile.

The new feature will enhance viewing experiences by allowing users to watch a video from all angles. This is great news for brands that host events, concerts or even news reports as viewers will feel like they are there in real time and experiencing it for themselves.

Virtual reality headsets like Cardboard or Oculus Rift will also play a role in this visual development by creating an even greater immersive experience for those who use the channel for gaming or watching films, effectively impacting the way we consume media.

360 viewing videos are currently only available on Android but will be rolling out on iPhone soon. If you want to check out some 3D footage, YouTube has created a playlist that’s available to watch here.


instagramChanging Channels

Brands are now posting more frequently on Instagram than Facebook according to new studies, with an average of 9.3 times per week on Instagram and 8.8 on Facebook.

With organic reach at an all time low on Facebook, it comes as no surprise that brands are shifting towards sharing their content on Instagram, where every post will reach and be seen on each fan’s feed. The number of Instagram users has tripled in size from 100 million to 300 million within the space of two years, and features a younger demographic which is often more appealing to brands than the audience on Facebook is.

Only a small number of chosen partners are able to advertise on Instagram at the moment, so it’s possible that this strong frequency of organic content will only last until advertising is rolled out more widely.


Facebook paymentsIOU

Facebook has announced that they will now be allowing their users to transfer money to their friends via the Messenger app for free.

The app now includes a ‘$’ (American app only just now) sign on the keyboard which leads users to a payment interface. Once the user has entered their card details, all they need to do it enter their chosen amount and press send. The payment is then held until the other user adds their bank details.

Facebook is joining others such as Snapchat and Gmail who have incorporated money transfer into their apps, further ensuring that users don’t need to leave the platform for activities such as sending money to friends who have bought them festival tickets. Watch the promotional video here for more info.

The Social Stories Issue 186: Partnering Audiences & Your Mum

PTwitter PAairing Up

Twitter has introduced ‘Partner Audiences’ for advertisers to target new and potential customers who have shown signs of intent to buy outside of the platform.

Marketers will have the choice to target over 1,000 different audience categories, ranging from previous purchase items that are within a certain household income, to those who eat food that is only related to dairy and eggs. Brands also have the option to exclude partner audiences  and target new customers only.

Early testing has already shown positive results from brands. Nestlé’s Butterfinger bar received a 52% lift in engagement rate after targeting those who frequently purchase peanut butter candy in food shops, demonstrating that more accurate targeting will enable brands to reach the right people in just a few clicks.


PenguinMotherly Love

Penguin Books UK has caused social controversy with their latest campaign, #YourMum, to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Using the hashtag, the publishing company asked their followers what they’d be getting for their Mum this Sunday, which was then hijacked by users who replied with a sea of ‘Your Mum’ jokes, rather than stating what book they’d be purchasing for her instead.

Penguin responded to the tweets shortly after with a mature, humorous tone of voice that was received well by their audience. Some may suggest that they knew this would happen all along, however it’s a great example of how a brand took a risk with a sensitive subject, and turned it into a viral trending topic.


Twitter PeriscopeLiving in the Moment

The demand for users to watch and create live stream video through social is becoming increasingly popular, so it’s no surprise that Twitter has reportedly brought Periscope; an app which does exactly that.

For users, live streaming an event is more exciting and engaging than a post that contains content from the past. They want to see something that is taking place two thousand miles away with their very own eyes whilst sitting on the bus or taking their dog for a walk.

After the recent release of the inbuilt native video feature, we think this is a great move for Twitter and fits in perfectly with their mission to give ‘everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriors’.


The Social Stories Issue 185: Swiping, Sharing & Splitting Up

google-plus-to-split-into-three-new-productsBreak ups & Make-ups

The end of Google+ as we know it is near after the recent announcement that the channel will be splitting into two products, Photos and Streams, to allow them to focus on each of these areas rather than combining them into one.

Google Photos will give users a designated image management service, which will include editing/enhancing, uploading, sharing and syncing. Streams is probably what you think of G+ as currently – a content feed where users can share content from themselves and other websites.

Hangouts, a popular tool that brands regularly use to integrate real time content and live audience interaction, will also become an individual product, which the company has said will help see it improve and develop overtime.

Users were annoyed and overwhelmed with the wealth of Google+ integration so it seems wise to take a different approach, letting users choose which Google services they use rather than forcing everything on them in order to compete with Facebook and Twitter.



Instagram has released multi-photo carousel ads that will enable brand ads to have more than one photo and for the first time ever, a clickable link.

The feature has been created to raise brand awareness and drive revenue. E-commerce companies who use the click through and buy journey will benefit from the ads, as well those who need more than one image to show off their products, such as car manufacturer or a fashion retailer breaking down a full outfit.

Users will be able to swipe through the images on the ad, with a clickable ‘Learn More’ call to action button at the end. As Instagram is a continuous scrolling feed of content, placing all the images in one carousel will stop the fear of clogging up users feeds and potentially being unfollowed.

We think the inclusion of a link in the ads is a big step for Instagram, and could be the holy grail that brands were looking for, finally making the platform shoppable.


Twitter VidPutting it to Bed

Twitter is now allowing the embedding of videos from the network onto the user’s own site.

Users are given an ‘Embed video’ option in the drop down menu on a tweet, where they are able to copy and paste the generated HTML code and place it onto their site. Once uploaded, the video will include a timeline, option for full screen and playback buttons. A Twitter logo is also placed in the bottom right hand corner that will link back to the original tweet and display the account profile picture, name and follow back button without leaving the video.

This new feature will allow the network to increase their audience size by reaching those who don’t have an account, as well as driving traffic back to the platform. It’s another interesting step in Twitter’s aim to be a content provider around the web and not just an isolated platform.

The Social Stories Issue 184: Fashion, Facebook & Falls

burberryModel Behaviour

Burberry made their fans feel like they were part of the action at London Fashion Week this year by partnering with Twitter and allowing them to capture a photo in real time of the runway show.

When users tweeted the hashtag #Tweetcam to @Burberry, a camera was prompted to take a shot of the models walking down the catwalk which was then personlised with the users own twitter handle, time stamp and sent back.

This is just one of many digital innovative ideas that Burberry has carried out through social media. The luxury clothing brand worked with Twitter in 2012 to provide a live stream through a tweet of their Spring/Summer collection. September 2014 also saw them sell their items through Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ feature too.


FB ads managerAdbook

Facebook has launched a new Ads Manager App to help their 2 million advertisers on the platform. The app will give advertisers the freedom and power to create and manage campaigns, track spend, view results and much more on the go on their smartphone.

The layout of the app makes the process of creating a campaign easy from start to finish. Advertisers are able to select photos, write the copy and set their preferred audience targeting, as well as being able to edit spend and scheduling.

With increasingly more users choosing mobile as their primary device to browse the web, this is another example of Facebook providing more mobile tools to reach their customers and allow them to manage their businesses… and maybe even spend more on media!


Brit AwardsPapa Don’t Tweet 

Last night saw the Brit Awards take over Twitter with a huge volume of tweets and trending hashtags.

Throughout the event, all of the UK top ten trending hashtags were dominated by the awards ceremony, which included the controversial performance by Kanye West, One Direction and Sam Smith. For the second year running fans were able to vote for the Best British Video by an exclusive Twitter ‘social vote’. Each video had it’s own hashtag and fans were asked to simply Tweet the one they wanted to win.

Madonna, who tumbled down a flight of stairs during her first performance at the Brits for ten years, topped off the night. Even though Twitter declared this to be only the fifth most talked about moment of the night, it was probably our favourite hashtag! #shefellover

The Social Stories Issue 183: Topical Trends, Snaps & Apps


Pinterest has announced they’ll be partnering with Apple to let users download iOS apps directly onto their iPhone with their new feature, ‘App Pins’.

The tool allows users to pin apps straight onto their board from the App Store Pinterest account just like they would with an exercise regime or cake recipe. If they decide that they want to then use that app, they can download it without leaving the platform. 1.4 million apps are available in the App Store; therefore this method will strongly facilitate 75% of Pinterest users who are mobile only, to find the one that they want more efficiently, by using the channel as a search engine, as well as a place for finding inspiration.

This move could potentially generate extra revenue for Pinterest, with the possible notion of selling advertising space to developers and software companies, which has previously been achieved by Facebook and Twitter.


Snpachat tgifLocal Chat

Snapchat are experimenting with a more personal version of its ‘Our Stories’ feature by introducing local Snapchat stories from particular locations that will only be seen by users nearby.

Los Angeles has been the first area to experience this new feature with the story ‘TGIF’. Local Our Story gives Snapchat the opportunity to interact and connect with smaller communities, and let them see what other people are doing in their area.

With more brands and global events releasing content on the Stories newsfeed, we’re interested to see whether incorporating local snaps will entice users to open the app to see activity from a smaller scale.


Untitled-143Trending Topics

Topshop will be using real time marketing during London Fashion Week to help their fans get the latest look by monitoring tweets from the fashion industry, and curating live digital billboards around the UK featuring products which represent that trend.

Customers who tweet Topshop with a hashtag trend, such as #pleats or #kaki will receive a reply shortly after, with a collection of clothes which fit that particular style and can then be purchased straight away.  Fans will also be able to view backstage action as their models will be visiting a Vine booth before they head out onto the catwalk, which will be shared across their social platforms when the event goes live.

This is a fun, interactive way of allowing Topshop fans to become part of the event, and revealing exclusive content on the latest trends as soon as they have been on the catwalk.

The Social Stories Issue 182: Singers, Footballers & Zombies


Topman have taken to YouTube for their new music project, #OpenShoot, which helps to connect artists with their UK fans and creative communities.

British artist Ghost Poet will be the first to collaborate in the video series, with Topman fans being asked to upload their most innovative and inspiring images and videos that they’ve made or taken with the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram or the designated hub on their website, to be in with a chance of featuring in his music video ‘X Marks the Spot’.

#OpenShoot allows Topman to obtain a large volume of user generated content and apply it to a creative collaboration that is specifically designed for YouTube, which will help drive traffic to their channel.

Fans have until February 22nd to get involved and submit their entries. Watch the introductory video here.


AdidasInbox (1)

Adidas has become the first brand to use Twitter’s group direct messaging service since it launched two weeks ago as a marketing tool.

As part of their #ThereWillBeHaters campaign, certain lucky users were able to ask questions to footballers via agroup direct message.

Three fans that were most actively involved with the campaign were able to message the Real Madrid star, Karmin Benzema, and were ecstatic  with their experience.

Using this feature has enabled Adidas to interact with their audience and build relationships through an innovative, yet simple campaign on social.


TalkTalkWalkie Talkie 

TalkTalk has launched a social and PR campaign created by CHI&Partners to celebrate the fifth series of ‘The Walking Dead’.

Their social channels will be taken over with advice on ‘how to stay safe in a Zombie attack’ to appeal to fans of the show. It aims to highlight TalkTalk’s growth of popular TV content, including the addition of blinkbox movies and Netflix.

The campaign is complimented by funny sketched cartoons that resemble a 1950s public service pamphlet, demonstrating ‘simple yet effective measures you can take to protect yourself from the undead’ within the home and how to ‘keep family morale high’ when under attack.  TV bloggers and journalists have also received a paper pamphlet entitled ‘Protect and Survive’.

Micky Tudor, Creative Director at CHI&Partners, expressed that “TalkTalk is a fun, lively brand with a sense of humour. This campaign is all about bringing that playfulness to life in an inclusive way, inviting TalkTalk customers and ‘Walking Dead’ fans to be part of the conversation”.

The Social Stories Issue 181: Sharing Is Caring

YouTube musicA Room With A View

YouTube is experimenting with a fun, new feature this week to improve user’s video experience with the launch of ‘Choose Your View’.

It allows the choice of multiple camera angles to view from, which are located on the right hand side of the video with a thumbnail preview. The first stream that has been chosen for the feature is singer Madilyn Bailey performing at YouTube’s Music Night.

This will give users an even more personalised viewing experience, as well as bringing in a new interactive element.

As YouTube are currently experimenting with the multi angle feature, only selected videos will be able to access it, however if you want to be considered in the future, you can sign up here!


Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.10.10Loop the Loop

Instagram’s latest update will now see video content play on a loop, similar to Twitter’s video service, Vine.

It’s the latest in a host of recent new features. In 2013, the channel introduced the option for users to create and upload 15 seconds worth of video, which was followed by the release of their stop motion app, Hyperlapse, late last year.

2015 has already seen a huge push for video on social, with updates on channels such as Facebook and Twitter creating similar features so users aren’t tempted to move from one to the other. Instagram’s new update will be helpful for advertisers who struggle to get their posts seen amongst its 300 million active users.


Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 17.09.33Shamelessly Spending 

New research from Mintel has shown that young people are donating to charities more than ever due to social media campaigns.

Based on a three-month period, 16-24 year olds were the second highest age group who contributed the most to charity with an average donation of £40. The #NoMakeupSelfie and #IceBucketChallenge were two of the most prominent viral social media campaigns that appealed to young people over the world in 2014. The requirement to ‘nominate a friend’ once posting your entry dramatically helped with reach, and gave an incentive to take part. Further research shows that 23% of 16-24 year olds feel guilty if they don’t donate, compared to the average across all age groups of 12%.


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.