Internet, Internet, who's the biggest fool of all?
For the longest time, brands have been jumping on the April Fool's bandwagon with pranks and jokes disguised as actual news and announcements. What have brands been up to this year?

Intel Singapore disguises prank in the form of a tip:

Always running out of battery on your smartphone? We might have a trick or two to help you conserve power. #TechTips Posted by Intel Singapore on Thursday, 31 March 2016

 

Jetstar Group gives us a glimpse into what flight announcements would sound like in Singlish:

 

Google bring fans a new kind of reality with its Cardboard Plastic:

 

Uber Hong Kong launches a new arm for one day only – UberPLANE:

TT Uber HK

If there's anything that we know for sure, it's to never take anything seriously on April 1st!

Line releases chat AI plug-in
While Facebook is a few weeks shy from officially opening Messenger to third party bots, Line has recently announced its move towards making its API available in a bid to integrate bots and chat AI within its messaging app. With this new features, official accounts (typically owned by businesses and celebrities) in Japan will soon be able to automate interactions with its users, thus opening up more possibilities for the messaging app.

Snapchat gets major update with Chat 2.0
In a bid to become the chat app that does absolutely everything, Snapchat has undergone a major overhaul with the launch of a huge new set of features - or as the platform describes it, Chat 2.0. There's some fairly mundane stuff, like the fact that Snapchat Stories now auto-advance, encouraging more views, but also VERY exciting updates, such as 200 stickers now available in private chat, instantly appearing when you type certain words/phrases like “love you” or “hungry”. There's Video and Audio Notes in Chat, which allow you to record and send a quick 10-second GIF-like loops / voice recordings, and Video/Audio calls, another alternative to FaceTime, WhatsApp calls or, you know, the phone. With all this, and much much more, Snapchat is fast becoming the most complete way to interact beyond actually talking in person, potentially saving you a fortune in trips to Starbucks.

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Snapchat gears up for more ads
Buried amongst the more exciting aspects of Snapchat's aforementioned Chat 2.0 was a little update to the app's privacy policy. The new guidelines talk about how Snapchat uses customer information to: “personalize the services by, among other things, suggesting friends or profile information, or customizing the content we show you, including ads.” What's significant is that the old guidelines were exactly the same, apart from the 'including ads' bit. So more, or at least, more targeted ads on Snapchat - big surprise? Not really, given that it's a path other major social media platforms like Facebook have been treading for a while now and it's something advertisers have been keen to see more of on Snapchat. But expect to see a significant shift in the platform's ad offering over the next few months - it's clearly high on their agenda right now.

Pinterest launches 'How-to' Pin
'How to' content is all the rage at the moment. Buzzfeed's Proper Tasty for example, which makes stacking various junk foods on top of one another easy with simple videos on Facebook, has been a storming success. Now Pinterest is getting in on the the action with the launch of its latest Rich Pin, the How-to Pin. The new pins provide step-by-step instructions for cooking, crafting, grooming and other activities and can be seen, followed and shared without leaving Pinterest. The pins have launched in the U.S., France, UK and Germany on Android and web, and are free for brands (rather than individual users) to make their own. Martha Stewart, Cosmopolitan and more are already using them and Pinterest will be hoping they help move the platform away from simply a referral site, to more of a destination in itself.

Pinterest how to pins

KLM arrives on Facebook Messenger
KLM has become the first airline to partner with Facebook's Messenger app, allowing its customers to use the platform to access itineraries, updates, check-in notifications and boarding passes, as well as to organise flights and chat with KLM. It's a move that makes a lot of sense for today's consumers who want as little admin as possible when it comes to, well, pretty much everything, and no doubt it'll be the first of many such organisations to get on board with Messenger.

Sephora launches chatbot on messaging app Kik
Kik just got a bit more glamorous. Beauty retailer, Sephora, has entered the world of Kik messenger to directly communicate with its teen audience via a chatbot. So how does it work? Firstly, users instigate a chat with the brand, which is shortly followed by a quiz to “get to know you”. It asks all the essentials; age, brand preference and the products you just can’t live without.

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From there, it can serve up relevant content from how-to videos and product reviews. In summary, it sets out to eliminate human interaction whilst shopping, which we all know, is a one of life’s biggest burdens.

Domino's DXP delivers pizza through Instagram
DISCOUNTED PIZZA. Now, that we’ve got your attention... Domino's has brought its ultimate delivery vehicle, the DXP (think car/pizza oven/vending machine's lovechild), to Instagram via a click-through game called 'DXP Adventures'. Designed to make the DXP a household name, the campaign asks users to click through each picture ‘level’, where they are faced with a multiple choice pizza. At each new level the player is rewarded with one letter of an offer code, then at the end they will see the full promotional code, granting 20% off their next order. Count us in.