MailChimp is broadening its horizons

Think MailChimp just supports small business email marketing? Think again.

Based in Atlanta–far outside Silicon Valley’s bubble of venture-funded would-be unicorns–the company has 600-plus employees and did more than $400 million in revenue last year. More than 15 million customers sent 246 billion emails in 2016.

But the future of the company, CEO Ben Chestnut says, is “to take MailChimp magic we give to email, and sprinkle it on other marketing channels.”

A year ago, MailChimp introduced a recommendation engine–akin to the ones devised by big companies such as Amazon–that let its customers plunk product suggestions into the emails they sent their customers. In January of this year, it began helping small businesses buy Facebook ads.

Now MailChimp’s Instagram ad-buying feature aims to simplify the process of purchasing ads.

MailChimp’s strategy with these new ad-buying services and other functionality it’s recently added isn’t to give itself a new revenue stream. Instead, it’s offering them as part of its existing subscriptions at the same price as before. As with its freemium model, the company is betting that the more essential it can make itself to the way small businesses operate, the easier it will be to get large numbers of them to pay on an ongoing basis.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40424782/mailchimp-wants-to-solve-every-small-biz-marketing-challenge-even-snail-mail

Why It’s Hot
While most companies aim to leave their roots behind and move on to bigger and better customers, MailChimp is staying firmly committed to small businesses and providing them easy yet robust marketing support at a price most can afford.

Facebook is Connecting You To Your Local Representative

For anyone who knows me, this information truly hits the sweet spot in my wheelhouse. Now, not everyone is Facebook friends with their state rep like me, fortunately, there’s an app for that… Facebook!

Facebook is looking to dive deeper to connect communities locally.

“Our goal is to help people build the communities they want by making it easier for them to engage and have a voice in government – on a daily basis, not just Election Day”

New features include, constituent badges, so representatives can see that they are a constituent when they interact online, as well as a community tab, so you can see what news stories affect your community and hear about local legislation.

To find your reps online go to: https://www.facebook.com/townhall

Turns out I need to update who I follow too!

Why it’s hot:

As Russian’s hack our newsfeeds and we all watch the Comey testimony, some of our most important legislation happens right in our backyards. It’s great that for all the global connections that we make, we are starting to see that social media can do a great job connecting communities. Isn’t that what it was originally built for?

Zuckerberg Announces 3,000 New Moderator Hires Post-Heartbreaking Videos

Over the past few weeks, there have been too many FB posts of people posting content of them hurting themselves or others.  Mark Zuckerburg stated:

“If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down. Over the next year, we’ll be adding 3,000 people to our community operations team around the world — on top of the 4,500 we have today — to review the millions of reports we get every week, and improve the process for doing it quickly.”

Why It’s Hot:

Facebook has a tremendous amount of clout, and I’m glad that they’re taking a stance and moving quickly on improving brand safety.  People’s abilities to post anything on social media is great for the most part, but also should not be a venue for people to act violently and be rewarded by free press.  Facebook taking a stance for keeping their site safe is important- especially in this time where brand safety is so important.

Source

Can Facebook Turn Blue Into Green?

Can advertisers target teens when they’re feeling sad? Facebook might want to help them find out. Facebook came under fire this week when leaked documents showed Facebook Australia promoted advertising campaigns that exploit Facebook users’ emotional states—and how these are aimed at users as young as 14 years old.

According to the report in The Australian, the selling point of this 2017 document is that Facebook’s algorithms can determine, and allow advertisers to pinpoint, “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” If that phrase isn’t clear enough, Facebook’s document offers a litany of teen emotional states that the company claims it can estimate based on how teens use the service, including “worthless,” “insecure,” “defeated,” “anxious,” “silly,” “useless,” “stupid,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” and “a failure.”

The data is specific to teens in Australia and New Zealand only.

Facebook responded to the report: “Facebook does not offer tools to target people based on their emotional state. The analysis done by an Australian researcher was intended to help marketers understand how people express themselves on Facebook. It was never used to target ads and was based on data that was anonymous and aggregated.”

https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/05/facebook-helped-advertisers-target-teens-who-feel-worthless/

Why its hot

Facebook knows everything about us and this ability to gather incredibly intimate data raises obvious ethical questions. Should a pharma brand be able to target medication to mother’s with sick children? Should a sports supplement brand be able to target kids who feel weak?

Curious to know how sexy your voice is?

A condom brand, Skyn, has tapped in a new way to create engaging experience with fans through Facebook messenger.

Skyn’s Facebook Messenger-based voice analyzer is a bot that rates voices sent through chat by sensuality, mystery, intensity and sophistication. Not only can the bot predict that but it can distinguish between male and female voices. In addition, it can interpret multiple languages such as English, Italian, French, Portuguese and Polish.

So what’s the goal of this? There has to be a catch, right? Well once the bot finishes analyzing your voice, it directs you over to the brand’s website, where consumers can check out which of its condom boxes suit them best.

Learn More:

This Condom Brand’s Messenger Bot Analyzes Your Voice and Tells You How Sexy It Is

Why It’s Hot:

Not going to lie but this experience intrigued me. Isn’t everyone curious to find out how a bot can predict something like this? Technology is so fascinating. Anyways… I wanted to share this given the fact that the use of bots is on the rise and every brand constructs them differently to achieve different desired actions. Although some might not realize that this is a promotion for it’s products, the underlying fun aspect of the voice rater is a great way to spark curiosity and drive traffic to the website in a subtle way.

Facebook’s latest superpower: mind reading

So Facebook is developing a way for users to type and create posts with their mind. Not even your mind is safe anymore, Facebook wants it.

Stanford University researchers have already created a system that allows paralyzed patients type eight words per minute using only thought, although that is achieved via an invasive implanted electrode array.

Building 8’s provisions, it is claimed, will be entirely non-invasive, and optimize human function, for instance allowing people to type faster than they would physically, up to as much as 100 words per minute or more.

Even though this is decades away from being streamlined and super available there has been huge backlash from people in regards to ethical, legal, and social implications. It’s been reported that this type of technology may start out in the form of smart clothes, where smart clothes transit data.. instead of your mind.

Why its hot?

  • Aside from Facebook, only one other person is developing this type of technology. Elon Musk is creating his own brain-computer interface with a new venture called Neuralink.
  • When this technology becomes accessible, it will change everything. Who knows how many other companies will have developed similar device/tech.
  • How can we create strategies around this tech? How much data will be collected? So many questions…

Source: http://www.adweek.com/digital/facebook-is-working-on-technology-that-lets-you-type-and-control-vr-devices-with-your-mind/

Can 4/20 Be the Healthiest Day of the Year?

When people think about 4/20, they’re probably not thinking of healthy activities, but cannabis health and wellness company, Hmbldt wants to change that—with the help of their products, of course.

The company’s product line consists of vape pens that are designed to distribute controlled hits of cannabis designed to help to alleviate common ailments such as pain and insomnia — without getting its consumers high.

Yesterday, the company rolled out “GO420,” a social effort that will highlight 420 healthy ways to enjoy April 20 via the hashtag #GO420. Gifs and videos offer tips like “Go make a dream come true,” “Go take a pottery class,” “Go tell your partner you love them,” “Go do push-ups in the park,” “Go tell your partner a sexy secret.”

Why It’s Hot

  • Putting the consumer first by leveraging what is likely their biggest moment and making it about personal health rather than buying a product.
  • Campaigns like this create excellent affinity and lifelong ambassadors for a brand.

Facebook Launches Townhall!

We’ve all seen Facebook political rants and now Facebook is giving you an outlet to take it to the next level. Enter your location and Facebook will prompt you to follow or message your local rep and Facebook is calling it “Townhall”. Facebook lets you call, message, email and go to the Facebook Page of each representative listed. Messages are sent through Facebook Messenger.

Facebook officially released a tool Monday that lets its users — all desktop and mobile users in the U.S. — easily contact their local officials.

Why its hot

  • Facebook is giving people the opportunity to get involved in something they play a big role in.
  • Allows young people to get involved.
  • This could be the beginning of a larger effort for Facebook to be more involved in politics.

‘Town Hall’ – the best thing Facebook has ever done?

Facebook officially released a tool Monday that lets desktop and mobile users in the U.S. easily contact their local officials. It’s called “Town Hall” – reminiscent of what Facebook likes to see itself as, especially in political discussion.

Facebook Town Hall

Here’s how it works:

1. Find the “Town Hall” tab in your Setting pages on the Facebook app or go to facebook.com/townhall.

2. Enter your address. This will let you see which representatives are in your district.

3. See the list of representatives. You can choose to follow their Facebook Pages to see updates in your News Feed. You can also press contact.

4. Facebook lets you call, message, email and go to the Facebook Page of each representative listed. Messages are sent through Facebook Messenger.

The feature is integrated into the News Feed. If you choose to like or comment on a post by one of your local representatives, you’ll see a way to contact your representative after the post.

http://mashable.com/2017/03/27/facebook-town-hall-launch/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link#gvMh7KygCiq9

Why It’s Hot

Facebook has a huge impact on politics, whether we like it or not. I’d rather see the company focus on trying to encourage civil engagement (even if it backfires) than not acknowledge its role in the political dialogue.

Secret world of cool girls on Facebook

I’m a sucker for cultural sub-pockets on social media, First there was the Secret Life of Tumblr Teens, and now we follow the coolest girls on Facebook. ‘Girls Night in’, a name that is ever changing for the purpose of keeping its secrecy, is a secret Facebook group/online sorority that consists of 1,500 women based in L.A .Getting an invite to the group isn’t easy, but if you do its like having friendship on demand — if one person isn’t around to give you a virtual hug, someone else is.The group is there for advice and an ego-boost. Any question, photo, or anecdote gets an overwhelming response. Additionally, the group itself is a filter bubble, members rely on the group’s hive mind to make any and all decisions.

The author sums it up nicely:

I realized that ‘Girls Night In’ is just the natural end result of constant connectivity. This is what happens when you are surrounded by people who are always up to hear about your day and offer support. The desire for that constant, supportive communication is why services like fake girlfriends exist and why millions of people in China regularly talk to Microsoft’s digital assistant Xiaoice. ‘Girls Night In’ offers the same appeal, except from real life humans who you don’t have to pay.

Why it’s hot

  • Research says Facebook is the uncool social network your parents are on, but it could just be that users are erasing their footprints with these closed groups (think weird Facebook).
  • In a way, users have found ways to retrograde Facebook to when it was less focused on brands/ads and more on relationships.
  • This group, I think, is an interesting reaction to impatience in real life friendships friendships (missed calls, cancelled plans, delayed texts). The group’s connectivity always fulfills the desire to connect.

Source: http://fusion.net/story/278904/cool-girl-secret-facebook-groups/

 

Facebook’s fonts join the rest of the human race

Facebook users are self reporting, throughout the network that their fonts are changing.

One Web forum user guesses:

“They might be doing what Medium do which is have a CSS font-family stack that covers multiple platforms so the platforms native font is used to give a native feel.

So on Macs it’s San Francisco, Android it’s Roboto, Windows is Segoe UI etc.”

Why it’s hot:

This is how most sites broadcast content online. All we hear from our clients is how they wish they could customize FB fonts, but what FB needed to do is be flexible and customize for its users.

Source: http://mashable.com/2017/03/13/facebook-tests-new-font/#9loG7QOMvSqw

Facebook’s Next Power Grab for Your Attention

Two weeks ago, Facebook talked with dozens of media companies including news outlets such as The New York Times, NowThis and The Washington Post in New York  about their content and monetization product roadmap for 2017. Conversations covered Facebook’s plans to fund original shows, the platform’s focus on getting publishers to distribute more long-form videos for Facebook’s video tab and soon-to-launch TV app, and mid-roll advertising products for live and on-demand videos.

Many publishers agreed it was a step in the right direction for Facebook, which has struggled to build an ad product that helps media partners generate consistent revenue on the platform. What’s troubling some hard-news publishers, however, is that Facebook’s new plans don’t really seem to have their specific interests top of mind, according to multiple news media executives that were in attendance.

Facebook is looking for scripted and unscripted shows covering light genres like entertainment, lifestyle and sports — not hard news. It’s unclear how much Facebook is willing to spend on original content, but the company has been making the rounds in Hollywood to speak with L.A.-based studios and producers, far from New York, where most of the news media is headquartered.

Why? Facebook is after TV money, and the big money on TV is for entertainment content, not the latest atrocity in a war zone.

Why Its Hot:

As Facebook begins to pursue TV studio content , their goal is to provide a better reason to get people to go to the video tab on their phones and their video app. To do that, they’re going to need programming that’s differentiated, and not what people already get in the news feed. It’s a growing trend of original content that we’ve seen over the past several years from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and cable entities that continues to fragment our options and vie for our ever-increasing time spent staring at screens. However, with more options come more niche targeting possibilities. Something to keep an eye on for brands as original content creation the platforms struggles to be….well, original.

Google Opens Up YouTube and Ad Platforms for Measurement Audit

On the heels of Facebook’s decision to undergo an audit by industry watchdog the Media Rating Council, Google has agreed to have its metrics vetted, too.

The Alphabet-owned site is opening up YouTube ad inventory and ad-buying platforms DoubleClick Manager and AdWords that allow for the MRC to track stats including viewability and how long a video was watched. The audit includes three of Google’s biggest third-party metrics companies: Moat, DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science. The audit will examine how the three companies pull their data, including the technology that plugs into YouTube and the methodology used to measure digital metrics. The MRC tapped Ernst & Young to conduct the review.

“The audit will validate that data collection, aggregation and reporting for served video impressions, viewable impressions, related viewability statistics and General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) across desktop and mobile for each integration adheres to MRC and IAB standards,” said Google’s senior director of product management Babak Pahlavan in a blog post.

The move should help add a bit of transparency for advertisers who have increasingly asked for better metrics and insight into their campaigns with Facebook and Google, which receive about 85 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising. Both Facebook and Google are notorious for being “walled gardens” that do not let measurement companies in and self-report their own metrics.

Facebook has been under particularly high scrutiny with a number of mistakes to its metrics in the past six months. In November, Facebook began revamping some of its metrics and added a blog that focuses specifically on measurement issues.

Why It’s Hot

Getting both Facebook and Google on board with MRC audits could quell marketers’ frustrations as they push for industry-wide standards to grade their campaigns.  It’s been a constant frustration that these partners have not obliged to be measured the same way as pretty much any other partner in the industry, so this will be a step in the right direction for equalizing the playing field in regards to measurement… along with adding a little more comfort to knowing that the metric are legitimate.

 

Facebook Is Expanding Ad Breaks for Live and Uploaded Video

Facebook is back at it AGAIN… developing new ways to monetize their platform. The social network will soon be introducing 15 second ad breaks for Facebook Live videos within Facebook’s own app and ad breaks for publisher videos uploaded to Facebook.

It was stated that ad breaks will only be available after 4 minutes of streaming. “Facebook didn’t disclose exactly what the revenue split might be. However, it said pages and profiles with more than 2,000 followers and live audiences of more than 300 people will be able to take advantage of earning money from ads. Facebook ad breaks will only be available after four minutes, with additional ad breaks available after every five minutes.” – Marty Swant

Why It’s Hot:

Ad Breaks will allow brands to take breaks for ads during their live videos. When the broadcaster chooses to take an ad break, people watching the video will see an in-stream ad of up to 15 seconds in length. The broadcaster will earn a share of the resulting ad revenue.

The action of offering in-stream video ads shows that Facebook is trying to capitalize on the success that Google has seen from its YouTube ad offerings. I believe the beauty of live videos is that this raw content isn’t interrupted by the noise of ads so its going to be interesting to see how brands leverage this new feature and if it will result in drop-offs on their live video content.

Learn more here and here.

It’s Official: Facebook Is Launching Mid-Roll Video Ads

Facebook wants to show more ads to people who watch its videos and start making money for the people who supply it with those videos. Video is Facebook’s most valuable content format and it is about to be monetised. Industry sources say the social network is going to start testing a new “mid-roll” ad format within on-demand video (uploaded videos that are not live-streamed). Instead of front-loading ads which play at the beginning of a video, the way YouTube does, these will appear in the middle of publisher’s videos, kind of like TV commercials. The new Facebook ads can only run once a viewer has watched a video for at least 20 seconds, and they can only appear in videos that run for at least 90 seconds. Ads must be at least two minutes apart.
Facebook is testing the new ads with a small group of U.S. publishers, and will split ad revenue with them — 55 percent to the publisher and 45 percent to Facebook. That’s the same split offered by YouTube, which dominates the online video ad business.
Facebook has been running mid-roll ads on some live videos, and those efforts are expanding. The criteria for live video ads is slightly different. If a publisher has at least 2,000 followers and has hit 300 concurrent live viewers in a “recent live video,” they’ll be able to insert ads as well – assuming the broadcast has been running for at least four minutes. Each ad runs for only 20 seconds.

Why It’s Hot

By 2106, people were watching over 100 million hours of video on Facebook, per day.
All those views on Facebook videos are actually very valuable and they’re valuable to publishers. This will be the first chance publishers will see ad revenues from their videos running on Facebook.
The parameters of the new ads suggest that Facebook is placing more importance on the time people spend watching videos, rather than the total number of videos they watch. Up until now, Facebook has defined a “video view” as any time a user watches a clip for a minimum of three seconds. That’s been a source of controversy in the media business, especially since Facebook automatically plays videos when they show up in users’ feeds.

Facebook Competing With LinkedIn by Adding a Job Application Feature

On February 16, Facebook announced that it will begin to allow users to apply for jobs directly through the platform. The social giant is trying to make it easier for businesses to recruit valuable employees through its channel.

Why It’s Hot:

Facebook is making moves to compete with LinkedIn on its core offering. There are many benefits for businesses to invest in ads specific to recruitment outreach on Facebook as opposed to LinkedIn due to the large audience and high volume of daily active users. It will be interesting to see how LinkedIn combats this with its paid offering and targeting capabilities.

Learn More:

Facebook Wants to Compete With LinkedIn by Adding a Job Application Feature

Facebook Testing Branded Selfie Filters

The battle between Facebook and Snapchat continues…

The social giant, Facebook, recently announced that it is looking to open up a new revenue stream by improving its ad offering. The company will test brands sponsoring augmented reality selfie lenses in the style of Snapchat.

Hollywood Studios will be the first brand to gain access to this offering as an “unpaid experiment” to help promote big-budget releases and it’s expected to launch in March of 2017.

Why Its Hot: According to Snapchat, snaps with filters are viewed more than 1 billion times per day.  “Snapchat has proven that people will create content with brand filters and share it with their friends. In fact, this type of participatory marketing has forged a new category of advertising called “shared media,” which is beginning to explode even beyond the confines of the Snapchat community.” – AdWeek Guest

Facebook is looking to capitalize on the success that Snapchat has been receiving by experimenting with a similar offering. Currently, no other mainstream ad product has persuaded people to voluntarily brand themselves and then organically share content of their branded selves across their social networks

It will be interesting to see how Facebook’s audience reacts to the feature considering users on Snapchat have the option to view branded content. Whereas on Facebook, branded content will be served to users in Newsfeed, Knowing this, how will Facebook try to combat branded content becoming invasive considering that is the beauty of Snapchat right now?

Learn More: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/01/31/facebook-apparently-testing-snapchat-style-branded-selfie-filters-hollywood-studios

Crowdsourcing donations in wake of election is gaining traction on your newsfeed and in Silicon Valley

Raising money for causes online is nothing new, but as political unrest has risen in recent weeks, causes like the ACLU are benefitting from private citizens starting grassroots fundraisers across social networks, and gaining traction from heavy hitters in Silicon Valley.

Just as the Pussyhat Project gained millions of followers to gear up for the January 21st Women’s Marches around the world, in the wake of the election powerful grassroots movements are forming by private citizens, using the tools most readily accessible to them to speak out, organize, and recruit followers.

Why It’s Hot: 

As marketers, it’s crucial to pay attention not only to the macro-trends and cultural movements of our communities, but also to how regular people are using the tools available to them (namely, in this case, social media) to take political and philanthropic action in this time of rapid change.

The Battle Continues: Google Reacts to Facebook’s Latest Video Announcements

buying-cheap-boxing-gloves-online

This week, just one week after the F8 conference that was so highly focused on Facebook’s commitment to video, Google has made two large announcements concerning its digital video tools.

This week, YouTube and Oracle Data cloud announced that they would begin tracking sales data for select CPG campaigns to connect the power of YouTube campaigns to in-store purchases. Google announced that early tests showed 61 percent of skippable YouTube ads (TrueView ads) generated significant sales increases.

This Gatorade TrueView ad generated $13.05 in sales for every dollar the brand invested in the ad and also generated a 16 percent lift in new buyers who viewed the ad versus those who did not, according to Google.

Also this week, YouTube released its 360 degree feature to creators and brands—kicking off with a T-Mobile sponsored stream of the Coachella festival. This releases comes just a week after Facebook’s announcement of its 360 video and live content hub, demonstrating the growing trends and interest in publishing live content to users.

On the other side, Facebook and Instagram released a beta program this week for interactive video ads, which would allow users to explore products deeper or even be directed to quizzes simply by hovering over a CTA button in the corner of the video. On mobile, the interactive features are available by swiping on the video and going to a landing page. This new format has proven to increase engagement rates significantly.

Why It’s Hot: As YouTube and Facebook go back and forth to claim dominance in the digital video space, both are opening up new features to brands. There is now more opportunity for brands to livestream content to viewers as well as more engaging videos. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see which platform can out-innovate the other, and what new capabilities are most effective for brands.

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/google-wants-prove-its-video-ads-drive-offline-sales-brands-170903

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/youtube-takes-facebook-360-degree-livesteaming-brands-and-creators-170893

www.adweek.com/…/brands-can-now-create-interactive-video-campaigns-facebook-and-instagram-170889

 

AR glasses from Facebook

Earlier this week, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the clunky VR headset, shipped to the market. But Facebook has hopes for the tech and form factor to be reduced to the size of a normal pair of glasses.

During a recent developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated a concept pair of smart glasses that he envisions being able to view both virtual reality AND augmented reality. It would be similar to what Google Glass has tried to establish.

To distinguish, AR provides you overlays of data and information while you view the real world through the glasses vs VR, which is a virtual rendering of worlds.

There may be a race to market heating up as Microsoft just shipped its HoloLens headset to developers and Snapchat is apparently working on its own augmented reality glasses.

facebook-augmented-reality-virtual-reality-glasses

Why It’s Hot

AR and VR show true integration of the real world with information and data that can enrich our experiences. Particularly with augmented reality, overlaying information into your field of vision that is contextually relevant to what you are experiencing, can augment and enrich the experience.

The Best Sound for Video Ads on Facebook is Silence

FB_image

If you’re one of those people who’s complained about video ads playing automatically with the sound blaring, Facebook has heard you. Loud and clear. According to Facebook’s own research, 80% of people react negatively when mobile video ads begin playing loudly in content feeds and blame both the advertiser and Facebook itself. But on the other hand, it found that 41% of video ads don’t communicate their message effectively unless they have the sound on. Now Facebook wants advertisers to rethink their ad strategy: it’s not TV ads. It’s TV ads with the sound turned off. To help address this issue, the social network plans to begin automatically putting captions in video ads running in its newsfeed, which play automatically with the sound off by default. Facebook will roll out the automatic video ad captioning later this month in the U.S. and Canada.

Brands can already add captions to their videos on their own, but now there is a tool that does it all for them (advertisers can review and edit before posting the video ads.)

Facebook is also addressing its viewability concerns. They say that 55% of people who watch the first three seconds of an ad will watch the next 10 seconds. And 45% will make it all the way to the end. Facebook counts three-seconds as a “view.” Facebook has announced it is extending its “100% in-view” buying option – so marketers can opt to pay only when an entire ad has passed through the newsfeed. They are also introducing new measurement metrics so advertisers can see the percentage of people who have viewed their videos with the sound on versus those that watched with the sound off.

Why It’s Hot

People are now watching over 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day – and many of those users are watching autoplay videos on their mobiles, which silently play in the news feed. As Facebook is asking advertisers to rethink “video,” they are introducing the automatic captions for the video ads. Captions help give the users context when they are scrolling through their silent newsfeed. Facebook says that in their internal testing, adding captions on video ads actually increased view time by an average of 12%. Facebook is encouraging advertisers to make their videos more mobile-friendly – design them to be played silently, visually appealing and intriguing so consumers will want to stay.

Facebook Ads Automatic Caption to Muted Videos

On Thursday, Facebook began offering two lines of automated captions in branded videos for free.   The addition could be a new way for marketers to still use the silent autoplay feature while getting more messaging across.To make that possible, Facebook has transcribed over 50,000 video ads to help train the captioning tool to become more accurate over time. Advertisers will also be able to review and edit the automated captions before posting the video ads. Internal tests conducted by Facebook found that captioned video ads increased video view time by 12% on average.

Facebook found that when video ads pop up and play loudly without people expecting the noise as they’re scrolling through their phone feeds, 80 percent “react negatively” toward both the advertiser and Facebook itself.facebook-silent-video-hed-2016

Why It’s Hot

As mobile ad revenue now accounts for 80% of the Facebook’s ad revenue, it is the most important device. Ultimately, brands achieve much better business outcomes and attention rates when mobile video formats are used — as opposed to repurposing TV content. The addition of captions will allow advertisers to better engage audiences and get their message across quickly. A study of Facebook done by Nielsen found recall increases to 47 percent after three seconds of viewing and to 74 percent after 10 seconds. Facebook also shared that 65% of the people that watch the first three seconds of a video end up watching at least 10 seconds of it.

 

Madewell’s next designer collab to come early for social followers

Madewell launches capsule collections with designers every few months. For its newest partnership with Daryl K., launching February 10, the shop is trying something new– giving its social media followers two days to shop the collection before everyone else.

Here’s how it works: Madewell is promoting the collection on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using hashtag #MadewellxDarylK. The hashtag and posts will direct to a landing page to collect followers’ email addresses. On the morning of the 8th, they’ll receive special access to the pre-sale site.

Why it’s hot: designer collaborations are notorious for selling out the day they launch– H&M x Balmain, Alexander Wang for Target, etc. Oftentimes, the only way to get one’s hands on a coveted item is to buy one that’s been marked up on Ebay. Allocating extra days for the most loyal fans to have a chance to purchase will keep them coming back to the brand.

Source: https://digiday.com/brands/madewell-releasing-next-designer-collection-early-social-followers/ Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 9.32.28 AM

Facebook Opens Live Streaming to All of US

Facebook announced that live streaming will be opened up to all users in the US. Previously, live streaming was only available to celebrities, verified pages, and journalists.

To use Live Video, users tap on the Update Status button and add a brief description of the livestream. Users can also customize their audience before going live. During the livestream, users will be able to see the number of viewers, the names of friends who are viewing and also a real-time list of comments. Completed streams will be saved to the Timeline, just like any other uploaded video. Additionally, Facebook users will be able to discover which friends or public figures are using live video feeds.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 4.37.11 PM

 

Why It’s Hot

Video is becoming more and more important on social with Facebook reporting people watch 100 million hours of video every day on the platform. With videos growing popularity, Facebook and Twitter are fighting over who will reign king for live streaming. This live stream announcement comes on the heels of Twitter’s announcement Tuesday of Periscope’s integration with GoPro Hero 4 earlier this week.

Facebook: Messenger, Marketplace & Interests

Facebook Wants to Kill Phone Numbers Forever.David Marcus, Facebook’s head of Messenger, believes Messenger is the way of the future. 

Messenger was the fastest growing app in the US in 2015, reaching 800 million monthly active users. It’s the second most popular iOS app of all time right behind Facebook itself.

Facebook wants to change the app from just a chat app to a full blown platform, a strategy that is already in place with ordering Uber rides, or companies being allowed to chat with customers.

Two future endeavors are M, a virtual assistant that can complete tasks on your behalf and Marketplace.

Marketplace enables users to buy products immediately after clicking on an ad. In these tests, a Marketplace icon replaces the Messenger icon on the mobile app (the Messenger gets pushed to the top left), enabling users to quickly reach a shopping page based on the products sold by Pages you’ve liked. That feature is currently available to a small subset of users in the U.S.

 

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Facebook is also testing interest based newsfeeds. While the traditional “News Feed” remains, it is supplemented with secondary feeds — like “Style,” “Travel,” and “Headlines” — that are just a swipe away.

Source- http://www.theverge.com/2015/12/29/10683722/facebook-news-feed-customize-interests-update-shopping

Uber & Facebook Messenger Unite

Taking mobile transportation to the next level!

The mobile messaging war continues to heat up, and Facebook Messenger is betting that its size will make it everyone’s all-in-one app.

The Menlo Park, Calif-based company announced a partnership with Uber today that lets users hail a black car from Facebook Messenger. The feature is rolling out in the U.S. with plans to expand internationally.

People can sign up for Uber and log in to their accounts from Facebook Messenger, which is tied to a credit card. Similar to the ride-sharing app’s design, people can track their drivers, receive real-time updates about when their cars will arrive and view receipts at the end of their trips.

Uber is the first company to partner with Facebook on transportation services, and the social network said it plans to work with additional businesses.

Facebook has steadily worked on building Messenger into a marketing app for brands over the past year. In March, a small group of retailers began testing the app as a tool forcustomer service, and users can also send money to their friends through chats.

The beefed-up features suggest Facebook is taking a page from other messaging apps like WeChat that have exploded in popularity internationally with e-commerce platforms.

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Video Updates

#1. Facebook is testing a new “click for more” feature on desktop. This “click for more” text will be anchored in the center bottom just above the video controls, and clicking the text, or anywhere in the video will take you to a new window with an enlarged view of the video in a light box with a carousel of related videos. User can chose what to watch or let them auto-play.

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Why it’s hot: Facebook gets around 8 billion video views each day, a number that is only primed to grow with the new video experiences coming out. This feature will drive more premium video-based advertising allowing brands to create a curated experience and drive views.

 

#2. Facebook has unlocked Live for all verified pages. Before it was only open to a group of celebrities and public figures, but now any person or brand with a verified page has access to the feature.

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Why it’s hot: This is a huge chance for brands to tap into live streaming with an established audience. For our brands, this is a new way for storytelling and event activations.

Eulogy for Standalone Apps

A few days ago, TechCrunch wrote a eulogy for standalone apps from tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter. Some of the apps that “died” this year were Carousel, Slingshot, Songza and Mailbox.

Facebook made some waves this week as well when it announced it is closing Creative Labs, which was the production segment behind apps like Moments, Paper, Rooms and Riff.

Why It’s Hot: It’s difficult to predict which apps will become popular or not, but in these tech giants’ cases, we can see that many of these apps were often inorganic to the platform or copies of more popular apps, like Snapchat. Dropbox had acquired Mailbox when it was still in its development phase, which likely restricted its full formation. With Twitter’s #Music, which was closed last year, it was clearly a latecomer to an already competitive landscape, with Spotify and Apple Music joining in the mix. It’s interesting to observe which apps would be successful in an increasingly innovative and busy industry.

Facebook Testing Offline Features for Android

We’ve all been somewhere with bad service just sitting there waiting for our Facebook News Feed to update. Well Facebook is now trying to take care of that for you .. The platform announced it is continuing to feed the social media addiction by testing ways to help users with shaky connections access the app across the world.

More specifically when a user with bad service is on Facebook,  this update will take previously downloaded and unread items and push them to the top of the stream of posts you see from friends. Cached items will be displayed by relevance and replace the spinning icon that is normally displayed as the user waits for new posts to load.

Taking it another step further, the new functionality will allow users to comment on friends’ posts despite having no connection and post the comment when they’re back online.

It should also be noted that Facebook strategically decided to test this update on Android devices. The choice to test these updates on Android devices is especially key to Facebook’s growing user base in emerging markets in Asia, many of whom are coming online on slower mobile connections and on Android devices.

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Why It’s Hot

Facebook is finding new ways to fuel the addiction that is social media.Because one minute without social media is just one minute too much …

Read more here.