Tuesday Tune-Up #261
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Professional networking app LinkedIn has published promising Q3 earnings ahead of its planned acquisition by Microsoft at the end of the year. Revenues for the third quarter were $960 million, up 23 percent on a year ago, and membership numbers were up 18 percent to 467 million. Mobile now accounts for 60 percent of all traffic to LinkedIn, the company said, growing at double the rate of its desktop service.
Instagram v Snapchat – who wins with Millennials?
Adweek asked 511 Instagram and Snapchat users aged 13-34 how they feel about Instagram and Snapchat, with interesting results. The most striking difference between the two was in the coolness stakes, with 64% of respondents picking Snapchat as the coolest platform. Neither did particularly well on specific ad recall but Instagram scored marginally better, in spite of the fact more people using Snapchat remembered seeing ads on the platform in the first place. Interestingly, Instagram had the best predicted longevity, with 35.5% predicting it would still be popular in five years compared to Snapchat’s 26.8%. Will Snapchat eventually vanish like so many (very private) Snaps?
Ad blocking rates stabilising in Europe
Townsend Freehan, CEO of IAB Europe, has reported that ad blocking rates in Europe have stabilised, which will be welcome news for advertisers. Several publishing executives at the Digiday Publishing Summit Europe in Nice, France reported that ad blocking rates are no longer growing, helped by the shift to mobile. But with one estimate claiming publishers in France are losing up to a fifth of desktop ad revenue to blockers, the blocking battle is clearly far from over.
Twitter axes Vine
Vale Vine. In news that will come as a surprise to, well, nobody, Twitter has axed video service Vine. Twitter has not given a reason for the closure, but on Thursday it announced it was cutting 9% of its workforce following slow platform growth. Vine will, however, be staying live to allow people to access content. Which is great news for me because I have just discovered this Vine and I watch it about once a day.
Facebook tests Snapchat-style camera special effects
Facebook is overhauling its in-app camera to copy, *ahem*, I mean embrace, augmented reality visuals pioneered by the likes of Snapchat. The Facebook camera’s new features include animated selfie masks, overlaid graphics, geofilters, Prisma-esque fine art-themed style transfer filter, and some innovative new “reactive” filters that respond to your body’s movements. Facebook is testing the new features in Ireland from this week.
Facebook demos art-themed video filters
Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox has demoed an un-launched prototype of Live video filters that make footage look like it was painted by a famous fine artist like Vincent Van Gogh. The feature is strikingly similar to an app called Prisma, which applies art filters to photos and videos. The new tool is not live yet but in a demo video Mark Zuckerberg said he looked forward to it ‘being in your hands soon’. If only Van Gogh could see the world we live in.
Facebook Messenger now supports PayPal payments for US users
PayPal will now be available for use within Facebook Messenger in the US. Facebook has been beta testing payments in Messenger with select developers, and will roll out this capability more broadly by the end of the year. In addition, Messenger payments are not being limited to PayPal – customers can use payment info already stored in Facebook and Messenger within the bots, as another option.
Twitter is testing relaxed character limits for replies
Another week, another change to Twitter’s character limit rules. #Yay? In a limited trial for some users on mobile, Twitter will not count usernames against character limits in replies. If the change is rolled out, it will mean, whether responding to a single user or a bunch of them, you’ll be able to reply with all 140 characters.
Just grab them by the… online dating app?
Try not to be too freaked out if Donald Trump rocks up on your Tinder. True, given his reputation, it may well actually be him, but it could also be part of a Tinder campaign called Swipe The Vote. Tinder users can now swipe left or right to show their support for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton on 15 key issues. Are you #WithHer ? or are you on the #TrumpTrain? ?
Justin Kan launches Whale
The genius behind Twitch, Justin Kan, has released a new question and answer app called Whale. With Whale, users can send questions to influencers and experts and receive a response in real time. Sign up with your Twitter account and flag categories you’re interested in, then browse previously answered questions and answers and send your own questions in. Why would anyone do this? Well… money. Influencers and experts can charge $1/answer, and users browsing previous questions have to pay to view the answer with coins, the app’s currency. In that case, both the original asker and the influencer receive money.
Giphy raises $72 million
Oh look, it’s raining
With cash money.
In its fourth round of funding, Giphy has managed to raise a sweet $72 million. The three year old company (THREE?!) has, over the past year, partnered with Tinder and Bumble, introduced Giphy search for Android and iOS and opened the world’s first gif studio.
To celebrate, here are my top 7.2 favourite gifs:
Twitter introduces Muted Words
Mums around the world rejoice! Twitter, the communal gathering ground for cyber bullies and misogynists, has introduced muted words. It is as simple as it sounds – you input different words that you want blocked from your timeline, and tweets containing those words are blocked from your timeline.
For the sake of keeping it light-hearted, imagine I’ve made a vague joke here about the election being over. But seriously, this has been a long time coming. Thanks for finally listening Twitter.
This blog post courtesy of @liam_cross