Tuesday Tune-Up #407

Nick Carolan

Cash Rules Everything Around Mark
Keeping up with their promise of making communities central to the platform, Facebook has begun to test monetisation on the Groups section. Starting this off with a select few brands, the new format will enable those taking part to place new ads – and extend existing mobile News Feed – into the feed that appears under the Groups tab. Although this sounds like heaven for the media buyers among us, brands will not be able to target users based on interest groups they belong to and all ads will still be clearly labelled as ‘Sponsored’, with the same transparency and controls as ads elsewhere on the platform. I guess they’re still committed to the commitments they outlined in their F8 keynote earlier this year.

Instagram introduces a security check for users’ data
In good news, Instagram is introducing a number of new in-app features to help users better control the data they share with third parties. From now on, Instagram users will be able to go into their ‘Settings’, click on ‘Security’ and then ‘Apps and Websites’ to remove any third-party services that they no longer want to have access to the data from their accounts. In addition to the new controls, over the next six months, Instagram will also be introducing an updated authorisation screen for third-party apps which will list all the information a third party is requesting and allow users to accept or decline it then and there.

Snapchat are back at it again with dynamic ads
If you asked me this time last year how I thought Snapchat would be faring a year later and I would’ve told you it’d be dead soon. But in a miraculous turn of events, the company has seen great MoM growth and more ads options for brands. Recently, it has announced that it will be conducting an open beta-test for dynamic ads that enable brands to automatically create ads in real-time from their own product catalogues, making this easier than ever. The ads will be delivered through made for mobile templates and designs and will automatically update with any changes to availability or price. Advertisers in the US can begin reaching out to Snapchat to take part in the test from Thursday this week, before it’s opened up globally in the next few months.

And they’re not done there…
Snapchat and Reddit have announced a new integration enabling users on iOS to share Reddit posts directly to their Snaps. Users simply need to tap the ‘share’ icon on posts from Reddit communities that are deemed ‘safe for work’. Those users who have the Reddit app installed will also have the option to swipe up on the Snap to view the origin post in Reddit. Non-users of the Reddit app can still swipe up but will first be directed to install the app before they can view the article.

YouTube expands its options for beauty brand drama
After launching its augmented reality ‘Beauty Try-On’ ad format in June to a select number of partners, YouTube has expanded the pool of brands who will be able to access the function. Via Masthead and TrueView Discovery ads, viewers will be able to try on lipstick and other makeup from brands such as NARS and MAC, using their phone’s camera. Those who like what they see will be able to tap through to purchase within the YouTube app. With this amount of freedom to sell beauty products on Youtube, the possibilities of another Tati and James Charles like drama are endless. And I’m here for it with popcorn bucket in hand.

LinkedIn catches up to other platforms with an Events feature
It took them long enough. LinkedIn has announced the global rollout of LinkedIn Events, a new feature that will enable members to create and join events, invite connections, manage events and communicate with other attendees. Users looking to create an event can now go to the Community panel on the left side of the LinkedIn feed and click +Create. From there, they will then be prompted to enter the event’s description, date, time and venue, and invite attendees using filters such as location, company and industry. The launch follows a pilot programme run in key cities around the globe since November last year.

LinkedIn company page managers, rejoice!
For those of you keen to make company pages on LinkedIn more spammy, the platform is looking to boost employee engagement on the platform with a suite of new features for Company Pages, including employee notifications. The new notification type will allow Page admins alert employees to important posts and prompt them to share with their own networks. In all seriousness, to help counter the risk of this feature becoming too spam driven, LinkedIn has put a limit on these notifications of just one per week. It makes sense to do this to support brands as “content shared by employees sees 8x more engagement, on average, than content shared through branded channels.”

Along with the new notification update, LinkedIn is also providing Page admins with new ‘Kudos’ and ‘Team Moments’ posts, which are dedicated post formats to welcome new team members, spotlight outstanding work, and more. A new completion meter will also help guide users through the process of fully setting up their Page.

Pinners want transparency as well
Pinterest has added home feed and Pin-level edit options and controls to help give its users a clearer picture of why they are seeing Pins. Apparently it’s the top request from ‘Pinners’, which is how Pinterest users like to identify themselves as, I guess. Similar to Facebook’s ‘Why am I seeing this post?’ functionality, the new options give users the change to give feedback if they see a Pin they don’t like. The new home page feature also provides users with the option to turn off recommendations for occasional topics, such as Halloween or weddings, once the occasion has passed.

Giphy goes into gaming
Giphy has launched Giphy Arcade, a new platform that allows users to play, create and share their own Giphy-powered microgames. The Giphy Arcade home screen includes a selection of templates to let users create their own games, along with a playlist of individual microgames which are ready to play. Users can share a game, either their own or someone else’s, by simply dropping the link into text messages, tweets, emails and more.

The platform launched with Wendy’s as an exclusive launch partner and users worldwide can now play the game, which features Wendy’s icons and takes the style of the classic game Breakout. 

Influencer Avengers: #DoWhatYouCant
Our work with Samsung, featuring influencers Miquela, Ninja, Steve Aoki and Millie Bobbie-Brown was recently featured on Gruen. The TV show, which pulls out a magnifying glass on anything noteworthy in the advertising world, praised the tour de force of the influencers, and likened the campaign to “an influencer Avengers”. It even made the host Wil Anderson “feel 4000 years old”. A huge shoutout to our Samsung team who absolutely nailed this. We couldn’t be more proud. You can check out the Gruen episode here. And psst, the best bit starts from 10 minutes in.

Let’s talk about Fortnite
…again because it’s the beast that never sleeps. Last week, Fortnite’s event ‘The End’, which destroyed the world of Fortnite and literally sucked everything into a black hole, became the most watched gaming event for western audiences. According to Rod Breslau, we’re seeing some serious numbers on socials.

Ooft, I do love a good Mixer burn. For those of you who are worried that the game is now dead, fear not. Fortnite has pulled back its beastly curtains and revealed Chapter 2, with a brand new map filled with various new features. If you’re intrigued enough to finally start playing the game, the answer to your question is ‘yes’: You will be destroyed by 10-year-olds who will floss over your cold, dead corpse.

Extended highlights: Japan vs raucous tourists
With the Rugby World Cup well underway, the energy and excitement of the spectating masses has reached peak level. This is especially true for the fans who managed to make it to Japan to watch the matches, but for the people of the host country who run on more of a still-water-runs-deep type vibe, this has become somewhat of an issue. In fact, they’re so distraught by the tourist behaviour that Japanese people are running to the streets of Twitter to document all the shenanigans.

It’s such a talking point for the nation that prominent filmmaker Beat Takeshi has discussed it with a panel on his variety show, TV Tackle. Imagine what 2020 will be like for them once the tourists really let loose and start acting like 凸(>皿<)凸, (☝ ՞ਊ ՞)☝ and naturally, @( oóꎴò)@. 

Watch this space…
Facebook has begun rolling out a new beta version of its website which includes dark mode and a new (Twitter-like) interface; Instagram is reportedly testing a new Sticker for Stories that will allow event organisers to share details of upcoming events while also removing plastic surgery facial filters from circulation; Twitter is testing emoji reactions for direct messages; and Pinterest is trialling quick emoji responses for videos posted on the platform.

This edition of the Tuesday Tune-Up was lovingly prepared by John Pegios, with additional reporting by Ryan Dubras.