Tuesday Tune-Up #251
Instagram launches curated video channel
In their ongoing attempt to become Snapchat, Instagram launched a new channel that curates user-generated videos recorded at major events such as concerts and sports. The Events channel, which sits in Instagram’s Explore section, is personalised for each user based on the photos and videos they like and who they follow. While the feature is currently only available in the US, we’re preparing for a total Instagram-to-Snapchat transition in the upcoming months. With reports that Snapchat users still spend more minutes each day on the app than Instagram since the launch of Stories a few weeks ago, we’ll have to stay tuned on who will win this battle!
Pinterest launches video ads
Remember Pinterest? Well they just launched their first video ads for the UK and US. The ads appear like regular pins, but they move and expand across the screen once they’re clicked. They also link to the products featured in the videos, which makes the social network more shoppable.
The video ads are initially only available on mobile (which makes up more than 80% of Pinterest’s traffic), but a desktop rollout is planned in the future.
Call of Duty is the first video game to create global Snapchat lens
To accompany the exciting news that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will have a zombies chapter, Snapchat users in the US were treated to a sponsored lens that turned selfies into zombie faces. The “infection” spread throughout the country over four days before eventually TAKING OVER THE WORLD. The musical lens was the first time a gaming company has purchased an international Snapchat lens, and it had us all singing Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s hit ‘Relax’ all weekend. It really was infectious! (Get it? Because they’re zombies, but also because the song got stuck in your head!)
Zombies have broken out of Spaceland and taken over Snapchat – sing along with our #IWZombies lens today. pic.twitter.com/N2TXhS7THN
— Call of Duty ANZ (@CallofDuty_ANZ) August 19, 2016
Snapchat launches 360 video ad to promote horror movie Don’t Breathe
Swiping isn’t just for dating these days! Snapchat has created a 10-second video ad that allows users to ‘swipe up’ to view it from every angle. They’ve launched the feature with a 360-degree version of the Sony Pictures Don’t Breathe trailer, which is visible via a website link inside the app. The ad format kicks off in the US first and will roll out to users in the UK and Australia in the next few weeks. Will users swipe the ads right up? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Optus leverages Olympic legends and leaders in cheeky Olympic video series
To culminate Optus’ UCG-led #FanUpAUS campaign, which kicked off with Ian Thorpe, Lee Lin Chin, and the Bondi Hipsters asking Australia to #FanUpAUS, we put the Olympic legend back in the pool to interview athletes from this year’s games. The six-episode series puts a twist on our traditional view of Olympians and uses quirky questions, challenges, and good-humoured #FanUpAUS fun to entertain the social masses.
Check out our favourite episodes starring cyclist Anna Meares and swimmers Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton. You can find the whole series on Optus’ YouTube channel or read about it on Bandt.
Facebook and Denny’s create talking pancake
It’s a questions as old as Betty White – what would a pancake say if it could talk? Well, thanks to Facebook and Denny’s, the answer is now within all of our reach. Phew. In a move that will make chatbots everywhere feel instantly inferior, Denny’s has combined animation and voice synthesising software to create an ‘anthropomorphic pancake‘ that will respond to comments on a live stream. The stunt follows Denny’s popular animated web series, The Grand Slams, which featured animated versions of popular menu items. Sounds like ‘snackable’ content to us!
Meet Julius Yego, the offline YouTube sensation
Got a free weekend ahead? Why not tune into some YouTube tutorials and teach yourself a fun new trick? If you can already contour/highlight, strip, sand and reupholster pre-loved dining room chairs and make risotto in a slow cooker, why not teach yourself how to become an Olympic javelin thrower?
Kenyan athlete Julius Yego won silver in the Javelin during this year’s Games (are we allowed to start calling it the “Olympics” again? Or is it still “non-descript sports tournament wink-wink”?), but the best part is that he taught himself everything he knows from YouTube videos. His technique, weights conditioning and training regimens were all copied from watching online tutorials, and (with a serious amount of discipline) he managed to turn those computer hours into a “second place finish in a sport competition that happened somewhere in South America roughly 6 years after 2010”.
Make AI bots Great Again
Sweary, racist chat bots be gone! Good bloke Zuckerberg has open-sourced Facebook’s AI bot building research on Github to facilitate further research and advances in AI technology. The code library, ‘fastText,’ can apparently be utilised to train bots to learn “more than one billion words in less than 10 minutes using a standalone multi-core CPU”. Now, we can’t tell you what a “standalone multi-core CPU” is, but we do know that one billion is a lot of words and 10 minutes is not a lot of time, so consider us impressed!