By Shane Carroll & Natasha Chew


Instagram Introduces @mention story notifications

Instagram Stories just got an update. From now on, when someone @mentions you in their Story, you’ll receive a notification in your Direct Message thread with that person – along with the option to add that content to your own Story. You’ll be free to embellish it with text and stickers, and the original poster’s username will remain tappable for viewers to explore their profile.

Of course, only public accounts can have their Stories shared.

Yahoo bids farewell to its Messenger app

Yahoo Messenger, one of the first instant messaging apps on the market, is shutting down on July 1. The company did not provide specific reasons for this termination, but it’s easy to surmise based on the current competitive landscape with apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat. Yahoo (now a part of Oath Inc.) does not have a replacement product for this app, although they are experimenting with an invite-only group messaging app called Yahoo Squirrel that is currently in beta. For the next six months, you will be able to download your chat history only onto your computer or device, not any other messaging app.

Google gets in tune with programmatic audio ads

DoubleClick Bid Manager, Google’s demand-side platform, is now offering programmatic audio ads that can be placed on SoundCloud, Spotify, TuneIn, Pandora, and Google Play Music. According to DoubleClick’s product management director, Payam Shodjai, around 25% of consumer time on mobile devices is spent on music, podcasts, and other audio, making it a huge opportunity for advertisers. In moments when they are listening to audio, users aren’t overwhelmed with multiple ads, granting a higher share of voice to the brands that are present.

The news comes at a time when SoundCloud is taking bigger steps to push its platform to marketers, touting its creator-first ecosystem and young, passionate audience as big draws to the brands it works with. Chris Blackburn, SoundCloud’s Head of Global Sales and Partnerships, said, “SoundCloud is thrilled to be working closely with DoubleClick...This is a huge milestone for the digital marketing industry and for the evolution of audio advertising.”