Tuesday Tune-Up #262

Transport for NSW & Twitter partner in Australian-first personalised alerts service

Starting in December, New South Wales commuters will be able to receive personalised messages informing them of disruptions on suburban and intercity train lines. Once signed up, users will receive instant alerts when an incident or delay happens on their selected route, in the locations that affect them, and during the times they usually travel. This is “the latest in a series of services and features that make Twitter more useful for businesses and their customers.


‘CU in the NT!’

A cheeky new campaign has been launched to get young Aussies to check out Northern Territory and its wonders. Not sure if they’ve spotted it, but when read from afar the letters seem to spell out a rather provocative word… Yeah, they know what they’re doing. It’s the NT after all. #Straya. Now you can buy merch on their website, Facebook & Instagram. But don’t be fooled by the campaign look and feel: it’s not supported by any government or official NT tourism organisations; it’s an independent underground campaign from a group of “lovers of the top end, spreading love for our favourite state!” And they’ve definitely got the attention of the media: government tourism boffins are considering taking legal action against it. If you want to get your Xmas gifts sorted, you better hurry as there’s no telling how long this campaign will last before it gets taken down.

US Election: shimmy like Hillary on Snapchat

To get young voters onboard, a pro-Hillary Clinton organisation has launched a political-themed lens allowing users to dress up as Hillary. You can wear her hair and choose from three of Clinton’s signature pantsuits (available in red, white and blue, naturally). The animation features a background image of the White House and the Snapchat user “shimmies” while the background audio says, “Whew, OK,” referencing this meme-worthy moment from the first debate. According to Snap Inc., Donald Trump has secured a national geofilter ad for Election Day. Who’s going to win the social game? We have until election day to find out.


Facebook reports $7.01b revenue for Q3
Facebook has reported an incredibly successful third quarter, raking in $7.01b revenue and 1.79 billion monthly users, up 16% year-over-year. The platform has now hit a new billion-user milestone with 1.055 billion mobile-only users.

Instant Games coming to Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is rumoured to be preparing to launch a new “Instant Games” platform. Candy Crush maker King.com is already testing a deeply intellectual-sounding game called “Shuffle Cats Mini” in New Zealand. The move could help Messenger to drive deeper engagement within the platform, with users playing Instant Games, challenging friends via Facebook Messages, and potentially earning Facebook a cut of in-game purchases.

Whatsapp tests Snapchat Stories-like feature
It was only a matter of time before Whatsapp started ripping off Snapchat features, hot on the heels of parent company Facebook. The platform is testing a new feature, dubbed “Status,” aimed at letting people share multiple updates in one day. Each post has a lifespan of 24 hours, and can be shared with every contact on your WhatsApp, or with select people. The new feature is available under a “Status” tab on WhatsApp, which sits in the middle of existing “Chats” and “Calls” tabs.

Instagram tests taggable products in photos
Instagram is testing organic posts that let brands tag products for sale in photos linking directly to a brand’s website. The feature is launching in the US with partners including Kate Spade, J. Crew, Warby Parker and Macy’s. Oddly, James Quarles, Instagram’s VP of monetization, said the feature is not meant to shorten the number of steps between discovering and buying a product, but instead meant to “reduce the friction” between each step.

Facebook tests expansion of its Audience Network
Facebook is rumoured to be trialling ads through streaming platforms like Apple TV in a bid to extend its Audience Network. The network already allows Facebook to serve almost any ad campaign running inside its News Feed to outside apps and mobile websites. With streaming services now coming into the fold, world domination is imminent… Muwahhahahahah*ahem* …sorry.

Twitter is expanding customer service options
Brands on Twitter can now take advantage of an automated welcome message that pops up whenever a customer starts a Direct Message conversation with a business’ account. The move is part of a wider roll-out of improved customer service options on the platform, including “quick replies” that ask the customer to get more specific about their request before the conversation starts. Brands already onboard include Evernote, Pizza Hut, Airbnb and Spotify. Twitter says businesses can also access these new features through third-party software like Lithium and Sprout Social.

YouTube allows creators to moderate comments
Creators on YouTube will now be able to pin favourable comments to the top of their feed and give ‘hearts’ to comments they particularly appreciate. The platform is also allowing page owners to blacklist words and phrases in the comment section to help cut down abuse. YouTube has also developed an algorithm that searches for potentially offensive comments and holds them back from publishing until the page owner has reviewed them.