Spotted: Snapchat features on other social channels

You’ve probably heard by now that Instagram has launched ‘stories’ which allows users to post images and short videos that disappear after a certain period of time.

Of course, everyone thought they'd come up with the idea completely on their own, so you can imagine our shock when Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom openly admitted they completely copied it from Snapchat.  He told Techcrunch:

“This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it”.

If you say so, Kevin. Such blatant plagiarism hasn't deterred brands, who have already reported great success with the new format. Nike generated 800,000 views in 24 hours for an Instagram Story, compared to just 66,000 views on Snapchat for its 'best' story.

Instagram’s big brother, Facebook, also “took inspiration” from Snapchat when it started testing live photo and video filters. So far, the service is only available in Canada and Brazil. Guess the rest of us can just keep Snapchatting…

Facebook to stick ads in the middle of your live feeds

Long ago, Facebook vowed never to put ads at the beginning of videos because it would be annoying for users (hear that, YouTube?). Now, they’ve decided it would not be at all annoying to whack them right in the middle of your live video feeds. The 15-second ads are being trialled on broadcasts that run for five minutes or more, and the platform already has some ‘top publishing partners’ who are equally keen to interrupt your favourite streams. Stay tuned!

Snapchat launches Geostickers

Is Snapchat annoyed that Instagram and Facebook are copying everything it does? Nah. It’s too busy launching a new feature called Geostickers. So far, Geostickers can only be found in specific locations, and users have to have location services enabled in order to use them. So far they are available in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Honolulu, London, Sydney, São Paulo, Paris and Riyadh. Check out some of the options...

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NFL is the first sports league to get a Snapchat discover channel

In what appears to be completely relevant news for us, the National Football League has signed a multi-year extension with Snapchat that will make the NFL the first sports league with its own Snapchat Discover channel. According to a release, NFL Media will handle programming, which will  include news, hot topics, photos and videos specifically produced for the mobile app. Can we expect to see EPL or NRL in the near future? We’ll have to Snap and see!

Twitter launches ‘instant unlock cards’

Twitter is hoping the allure of exclusive content might help brands better engage with consumers and drive conversation. The company is unveiling an 'Instant Unlock Card' that encourages people to tweet about a brand to earn rewards, such as a movie trailer or an exclusive Q&A. Twitter claims that during a beta test, brands saw an average earned media rate of 34%.

Kik's chatbots have exchanged 1.8 billion messages with real people

Canadian messaging app Kik claims that 1.8 billion messages have been exchanged between users and the 20,000+ chatbots that have been created for the platform since April. Around 70 brands have gone through Kik's vetting process to enter the 'Bot Shop' so far. Have you befriended a Bot yet? Tell us in the comments!

A crackdown is coming for branded influencer content

The US government is getting cross about the amount of undeclared branded content being pushed out by influencers in exchange for payment. In March, the FTC issued a complaint against Lord & Taylor for paying fashion influencers to create posts about one of its dresses on Instagram without disclosing that the dress was free and influencers were paid. Some savvy influencers on Snapchat have been quick to show they are playing by the rules by declaring sponsorship on their posts. Something to keep in mind as we continue engaging influencers in the future - avoid the US government!

NBC Universal introduces Snapchat-exclusive TV shows

Snapchat and NBC Universal have teamed up to develop a catalogue of mini television shows only available on Snapchat.

The TV shorts will launch on 22nd August with The Voice on Snapchat, which will broadcast The Voice judges feedback on user-generated singing clips submitted via the app. This Snapshow (?) will be followed by episodes of The Rundown from E! News, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.

Stand by for the release of America’s Got Talent on Facebook Live and X Factor on Instagram Stories...

Australia celebrates #IndigenousDads

Australians are filling Twitter feeds with positive messages to and about their #IndigenousDads in response to this hugely-controversial cartoon published by The Australian last week.

The hashtag, which quickly began trending, was a swift move to counter the hurtful and blatantly racist message sent by the illustration by cartoonist Bill Leak.

See some of the touching declarations of love and pride below, and keep updated with the updates here.

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