We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #304
Not one to do things by halves, last week’s Facebook F8 conference was full of announcements and developments for the platform, where nothing stays still for long. Unable to put all of them into one long sentence, here’s some bullet points with the highlights:
- Messenger platform launches with added chatbots – businesses can now deliver automated customer support. If you want to order some flowers (or anything else) via Facebook Messenger in what seems to be quite a clunky way at the moment.
- Bot Engine has been released, so developers can make smarter bots for use on the Messenger platform through machine learning.
- Instant articles are now available for all publishers.
- Facebook starts ‘Sponsored Messages’ ads, which allow businesses to send re-engagement messages to people who have already started a conversation with them on Messenger.
- Oculus demoed their take on Social VR.
Two more new features for Facebook Messenger
The rate at which Facebook introduces new features is truly mind-boggling. Along with all the F8 activity above, you can now also drop files straight from your Dropbox into your chats to keep you within the app for longer. Unless they add another hour onto the day, I’m not sure how much longer I could spend on it Facebook! There’s also been an update to video chat, so you can switch the view from full screen to ‘persistent Chat Head’, which sounds like something I might have been described as at school.
Instagram brings more video to Explore tab
After an overhaul of Instagram’s Explore tab, there will now be more video channels including a ‘Videos You Might Like’ section. “Featured” is another channel being launched which revolves around events, the first being Coachella, so tune in for videos of a lot of people desperately trying to fit into shorts and with dip dyed hair.
Snapchat brings in dynamic emoji
Along with the lenses, static emoji and text overlays that you can currently use to spice up your snaps, you can now add a moving emoji that attaches itself to objects and moves with them, changing size and even orientation. So if you want to add a smiley face which covers your perpetual, overwhelming sadness and moves along with it, you can. Or you can just do this plane thing.
Twitter Moments now includes curated playlists with Soundcloud
Twitter Moments, which purports to curate the ‘best of Twitter’ has worked with Soundcloud to turn Moments into a source for tweetable playlists. Chosen curators (who include Stereogum and Vice’s Thump) can put together groups of audio enabled tweets and people can press play to hear music within the platform. But don’t get too excited yet, as individual users are not currently able to make their own playlists, so my Pet Shop Boys mega-medley will have to wait. For now.
Whisper introduces new polling features for brands to learn from users
Whisper is known as an app where people speak candidly about their inner emotions, and it’s claimed to have added 10 million new monthly users since December, taking the total figure to 30 million monthly users. It’s now offering brands the opportunity to use polls to find out more about their chosen target audience, which have already been used by publishers like Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Glamour to steer their future editorial. It allows for more personal, private responses; for example, feminine-care brands could ask users what their favourite things to do are during their periods.
Whisper has also said it is going to start interacting with users, something it has never done in the past. Aishwarya Iyer, communications rep at Whisper said: “When people are on Whisper, they don’t necessarily hear from Whisper — we really haven’t had a voice… We are excited about this because Whisper will be sharing positive or empathetic notes with users”.
Ticketmaster partners with Facebook to sell tickets on platform
Now if you want to buy tickets to your favourite concert, you may not have to leave Facebook to do so. Ticketmaster is starting to sell tickets for a limited number of events on the social network by the end of April. Facebook will of course be taking an affiliate fee from tickets sold. Ticketmaster said: “By putting the ability to buy tickets directly within Facebook, we hope that we’re going to provide a more seamless purchase experience and sell more tickets.” Simples.
Starbucks buys Snapchat’s Promoted Lens to promote loyalty program
Starbucks has bought a 24-hour promoted Snapchat lens spot in the hope that it’ll warm up their customers to their poorly received updated loyalty program. Previously customers could earn rewards just through purchases but now the number of rewards equates to how much you actually spend, meaning a free drink actually would cost you $62.50. But, I think this cat is going to make everrrrryone think verrrry differently about that…
I’ll take a bacons latte with extra bacons ☕️ @Starbucks @starbucksgold #theoreocat @Snapchat pic.twitter.com/GGLLlV3I9z
— The Oreo Cat (@TheOreoCat) April 14, 2016
Rimmel hosts Snapchat conference with new ambassador Delevingne
Cara Delevingne has been announced as a new brand ambassador for Rimmel London and her first big job was to attend a press conference on Snapchat. She answered five questions submitted by users using the hashtag #RimmelxCara. Fashion and beauty brands are said to be constantly looking for ways to innovate on Snapchat beyond behind the scenes footage at fashion shows; for example Burberry recently ran its own Snapchat Discover channel for 24 hours.
Starwood uses Instagram workaround to take bookings from platform
With many brands wanting to use Instagram for sales, Starwood has sort of made it possible to book a hotel room by working with shopping platform LiketoKnow.it. It means that users who tap a photo on Instagram posted by Starwood-paid influencers will receive a link via e-mail to book a stay at two of their featured properties – Parisian hotels. Long story short, it’s not a perfect user experience. Instagram does already have a ‘Shop Now’ button but it is only available to brands who want to stump up the cash for paid advertising support. I think it all sounds great, just let me know when Travelodge are on this bandwagon and then we’ll talk.