Facebook puts its name on app family
Facebook owns a load of popular apps and it’s not going to let you forget it. The social media giant confirmed a report that it plans to change the names of its owned apps to ‘Instagram from Facebook’ and ‘WhatsApp from Facebook.’ While this will lose the apps in question a few cool points, the purpose is apparently greater transparency: “we want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook.” The new branding will appear in Facebook's official communications and also in the Google Play and App Store. The app names on a device's home screen will stay the same for now, but it's likely that the new one will feature when you open them.
Snapchat releases new tool for easy vertical video ads
In case you hadn’t noticed, people consume lots of content on smartphones, in vertical. Snapchat is helping advertisers tap into this with a new tool called Instant Create, designed to make the process of creating vertical content as easy as possible. The tool, which will be available for all advertisers using Snapchat’s self-serve Ads Manager, uses a three-step process. First the advertiser identifies the objective of a campaign, then enters their website address and finally, determines audience targeting. Users don’t even have to upload assets or do any design work as the tool pulls content from websites. Sounds like a fast path to lots of average content, but should help make Snapchat accessible to smaller advertisers.
Pinterest reports significant revenue growth in Q2 results
Pinterest has impressed Wall Street and exceeded expectations with its Q2 results. Last week, the platform announced revenue of $261 million, up 64% year-over-year, on losses of $26 million for the second-quarter of 2019. Shares rose 15% in after-hours trading on the news. While it may still be a loss-making business, Pinterest appears to be building a solid and growing user base (up 30% y-o-y to 300m) as well as new products and tools and a focus on global expansion. Dare I say we may see a profit in the not-too-distant future? Fingers crossed!
Pinterest adds ecommerce-focused tools
Here’s a couple of those aforementioned new tools from Pinterest, and these are focused on driving ecommerce on the platform. Firstly a 'Picked for You' Pin collection, which will appear at the top of your home feed. The aim is to remind people what’s drawn their attention to inspire more purchases. Secondly, Pinterest is adding an updated shopping section below Pins from certain businesses, which will showcase expanded brand catalogs based on the items you've shown an interest in. Time to get shopping.
TikTok partners with Giphy to add animated stickers
Here’s another way to pimp your TikTok content. The video app has partnered with GIF platform Giphy to allow users to add animated stickers into TikTok posts. A sticker directory can be brought up by hitting a Giphy button in-app and the options available will be boosted by some newly-created stickers that reflect some of the more popular memes and hashtags on TikTok. While there are currently no (public) plans to monetise this, it’s not a big leap to consider that in the future, brands may be able to get in on TikTok action via bespoke stickers.
TikTok turns one (in US), hashtag celebrations
While it may feel as though TikTok has been around forever, it’s actually just 12 months since it launched in the US. The Verge has celebrated this milestone with a roundup of the top TikTok hashtags from each month of the last year. These include #ReactToThis which makes use of TikTok’s react feature that overlays the user’s screen over clips; #CreateForaCause, where TikTok pledged to donate to charities for every post made using the hashtag; and this July’s #Area51 – if you don’t know what that’s about, how are you even on the internet?
Jack in the Box turns to Snapchat for virtual burgers
Fast-food chain Jack in the Box is looking to create a new burger via a partnership with Snapchat. It will ask the good people of Snapchat to unlock a special Jack in the Box lens and then create their own virtual burger. And because there is nothing more disappointing than virtual food, users can then submit the creation to the chain for the chance for it to be made IRL and added to the Jack in the Box menu. The experience will only be surfaced in the Lens Carousel for the brand's target audience, so if you’re not near a restaurant don’t hold your breath.
Fast & Furious uses Snapchat AR in theatre promotion
The Fast & Furious move franchise is getting all experimental. Last Friday’s release of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was supported by a new activation using Snapchat’s augmented reality marker technology. Some movie theatres featuring the film will have Hobbs & Shaw displays that include a Snapcode to unlock a Hobbs & Shaw-themed lens. Those with the lens can then create their own mini action film using AR in front of the display. Unfortunately, the lens doesn’t extend to making you look like The Rock.
Twitter turns user tweets into outdoor ads
Twitter is championing some of its wittier users in a new campaign. The platform is turning statuses into funny outdoor ads that will be seen in San Francisco and New York City subway stations; the tweets all focus on the theme that people are more honest about themselves on Twitter than they are on other social platforms. A total of 31 tweets will be turned into billboards - here are some of the best.