We Are Social: Wednesday Wrap-up #228


Facebook gets creative with Masquerade acquisition

Sick and tired of your ugly mug? Nobody liking your selfies? Well, fear no more! Last week, Facebook added Masquerade (MSQRD) to its ever-growing social empire. The app allows you to overlay animated filters on your face with a range of likenesses ranging from Barack Obama to Leonardo DiCaprio. You can see how it’s done courtesy of the Zuck here.

This comes as no surprise, as Facebook had previously (unsuccessfully) attempted to acquire Snapchat, and Masquerade’s filter tools have been compared to those on the ephemeral platform. While neither party has disclosed the price of the deal, an educated guess would be a whoooooole lotta dollar.

Twitter courts game makers with Unity/Fabric integration
Twitter has teamed up with one of the world’s most popular game development engines, Unity, to allow game makers to take advantage of Twitter’s mobile development platform, Fabric. By embedding games with Fabric, developers will see improvement in important elements such as real-time user reports, revenue generation and attracting/retaining users, especially from social media. Twitter is even giving game developers their own Web destination — ‘Fabric for Games’ – where we’ll likely see more gaming-friendly tools roll out in the future.

Instagram kills newly-launched ‘Being’ app
The ‘Being’ app was launched to give users access to celebrity newsfeeds and allow them to view the world through A-list eyes. The rush of having that unique insight was, unashamedly, pretty cool. However, eight days after launching, Instagram blocked API access, leaving developers and stalkers alike stumped. If anything, Being’s early exit should be a word of warning to developers hoping to skirt around Instagram’s updated API rules. RIP, Being, we had fun whilst it lasted.

Facebook updates Atlas with tracking tools and video ads
Facebook has made a number of updates to its ad server, Atlas, to help marketers track the effectiveness of their campaigns. Firstly, ‘Offline Actions’ allows Atlas users to upload their own point-of-sale data and view it alongside their ad campaigns. The platform is also helping marketers better understand their customers’ conversion path across screens – i.e. whether ads on desktop or smartphones/tablets drove a digital sale. While they were busy making updates, the folks at Facebook also tweaked Atlas’ video capabilities to enable video ads by the end of March, making it easier for brands to tell their stories across devices within Atlas.

Facebook Lite has become Facebook’s fastest-growing app

Global domination sneaks one step closer as Facebook Lite hits 100 million active monthly users. The stripped-back version of the app has already gained major traction in Brazil, India, Philippines, Mexico and Indonesia since its 2015 launch in 150+ countries. At its core, the app is about maximising data efficiency – the app itself is less than 1MB, has disabled video and doesn’t require a separate download for Messenger. In essence, Facebook just became even more accessible and addictive!

Snapchat expected to generate big bucks in 2016 
This once-controversial social platform has officially changed our way of sharing forever, and it’s no surprise they’re continuing to see growth early in 2016. After refining various ad offerings such as sponsored lenses and Live Story ads, the video-centric platform has exploded into a $16 million monster. Clearly, Snapchat’s revenue is at an early (yet promising) stage, and investors foresee the next wave of young users continuing to adapt this Snap-happy lifestyle. Seriously, Snapchat, if you do want to share the wealth, my rent is due next week…

Oculus puts Facebook into Gear VR 
It’s believed that social will take VR mainstream, and now Oculus is helping accomplish this with a load of new social features and a Facebook integration for the Samsung Gear VR. If you’re lucky enough to have a Gear VR headset, soon you’ll be able connect your Facebook account to “Like” and share 360-degree videos from inside it.

Samsung Gear VR social video 1-970-80

There are already Facebook 360-degree clips in the Gear VR’s video app, but soon Oculus Video will start letting users sign into Facebook and get a personalised feed based on pages and people they follow. In the “coming weeks,” users will also be able to add reactions to videos or share them while inside VR. Aside from the addition of 360-degree Facebook videos, this is the first big tie-in between Oculus’ Gear VR platform and Facebook since Oculus’ purchase in 2014. Soon, we will be able to enjoy our lives without the hindrance of leaving our homes – can’t wait!

Kim Kardashian is finally on Snapchat

The day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived – Kim Kardashian has taken her selfies Snapchat. The infamous turned-camera world champion joined the platform this week in a relentless tidal wave of disappearing selfies for all to enjoy. Kim’s arrival is yet another indicator of Snapchat’s move from emerging platform to a serious element of the social media ecosystem. You can find her snaps at @kimkardashian.

I’m on snapchat now! Add me- KimKardashian ?

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Mar 8, 2016 at 10:56pm PST