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Tuesday Tune-Up #312

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Snap: weak earnings, redesigns and a load of unsold Specs
Snapchat has experienced one of its poorest quarters to date. The company saw its daily user numbers hit 178 million, up just 2.9% against last quarter (its weakest ever growth) and came up $30m short on its revenue projections. The result? A 16% drop in share price, meaning a lot will be riding on that forthcoming redesign. Evan Spiegel told investors the redesign will involve changing its feed from reverse chronological posting to algorithmic ordering to create a more personalised feed, much like Facebook and Instagram. The report also revealed that the company lost $40 million on its Snap Spectacles, citing overstocking (300,000 went unsold) as the major reason for the loss. I suppose I'll take a pair for summer, if they're offering?

Instagram tests hashtag follow feature
Instagram knows that content is essential. It also knows that sometimes when your favourite accounts aren’t posting, you still need your kittens in knitwear fix. And so they are testing a new feature that allows you to directly follow hashtags (i.e. #kitsandknits). An early spot of the feature suggests that only top-trending posts on the hashtag will be served, so as not to flood your feed. This could be a great way for both brands and users to be discovered directly in a user’s feed, instead of just in the Discover section.

Instagram lifts 24-hour cut-off for Stories content
You can now add any picture or video, no matter when it was captured, to your Stories feed. Until now, you could only add content that had been created within the last 24 hours, but now you can add content direct from your camera roll. So that insane stack of pancakes I ate last week (with all the fixings and the pretty flowers, you know the type...)? Stay tuned for it tomorrow @michele_danno #brunch

Instagram expands access to branded content tool
Instagram will also be offering more users access to its branded content tool that it first introduced back in June. The tool will allows users with high follower counts to easily tag brands they have partnered with in a banner that appears above posts. While this may just seem like an even easier way for influencers to markup paid for their posts, it also goes some way to helping address issues of transparency and clarity.

Facebook trials Messenger website plugin for businesses
Facebook is trialling a Messenger plugin that will allow businesses to use the chat app on their own websites. It will work like a regular pop-up chat window but will allow brands to continue that conversation across all mobile, web and tablet. Businesses will now be able to interact directly with the app's 1.2 billion monthly users, and users will be benefit from handy features like in-app payments. Although still in its beta testing phase, a number of big brands are said to be signed up to the test, including Argos, Aviva and KLM.

Messenger payments enabled for users in UK and France
Facebook users in France and the UK can now make payments through the Messenger app. The service was rolled out last week to a small batch of users and will be made available to all users within the coming weeks. The update allows users to both send and receive payments by adding a bank card to the app. It also announced that its suggested replies powered by M are being made available in France, and for payment-based interactions in the UK. Hopefully, it's only a matter of time before I'm paying my mates back in Messenger #cometoAus

Facebook Local wants to crush Yelp and help you find a nice local pub
In a move that may crush the souls of Yelp, TripAdvisor and Foursquare, Facebook is relaunching its Events app as Facebook Local. The listings app layers business profiles over maps to make it easy for users to check for nearby events and get recommendations for bars and restaurants from locals and friends. The app’s interface shows you a calendar of your scheduled events, a feed of listings for you to browse and a map overlaid with suggested places of interest.

Facebook to introduce campaign budget optimisation tool
Facebook is launching a new campaign budget optimisation tool that will allow advertisers to support their best-performing content in real time. It will be available for any campaign objective and is best suited for campaigns with multiple ad sets.

 Twitter halts user verification system
Twitter has halted its system for verifying user identity - the blue tick - calling it “broken." The tick was created as a way to help distinguish legitimate accounts from fake ones, but the platform drew criticism after it verified the account of white supremacist Jason Kessler, which many saw as an endorsement. Twitter’s user support division said this of the decision to relinquish the tick: “Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice, but it is interpreted as an endorsement. We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it.”

Small businesses get a closer look at Twitter’s Promote Mode
Twitter’s Promote Mode is still in beta in both the US and UK, but its functionality has been revealed by Twitter’s director of product management, Wook Chung. Chung’s recent blog post explained that those in the beta have access to a neat dashboard that shows how many extra users were reached, number of new followers acquired and how many users visited profiles that month. He said businesses who tweet frequently and leave the Promote Mode on throughout the month will see the most benefit, although it will depend on the account type and how the tweets are targeted. There’s no word yet on a full roll out.

PopBuzz is launching a TV show on Twitter
Can Twitter overtake TV? I doubt it, but they're trying. This week, Twitter will launch an evening TV show aimed at those who don’t like TV, apparently. PopBuzz Presents will be a 30-minute show broken into seven-minute segments that will offer a host of video ad packages and run for at least six months. Twitter already has a deal with BT Sport to stream its Score programme, and brands like Bloomberg and BuzzFeed have also livestreamed programming on the platform.

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