We Are Social’s Tuesday Tweakup #28

Snapchat to reach 217m users by the end of 2017
eMarketer is predicting that Snapchat will grow by 27.2% during 2016 and then another 13.6% next year. The growth will take the platform from today’s 150 million daily users worldwide to 217 million users by the end of 2017.

Whatsapp shakes up privacy policy to allow data sharing
WhatsApp has made several changes to its privacy policy. One change will allow businesses to message its billion-plus users. The move will enable companies to send messages that many people now receive by SMS. WhatsApp plans to test these new services, such as fraud alerts from banks and updates from airlines on delayed flights, in the next few months.

The move is part of a privacy shakeup that will also enable Facebook to better target ads across both Facebook’s own properties, including Instagram, and ads anywhere on the web through Facebook’s Audience Network. Whatsapp user phone numers will become part of an existing database that can be anonymously matched with companies’ own customer lists to create audience profiles. Facebook will also be able to use the number to suggest friends to add and to track whether a user has both WhatsApp and the Facebook app on their phone.

As well as phone number and last seen data, TechCrunch understands Facebook will also be fed intel on a WhatApp user’s operating system, mobile country code, mobile carrier code, screen resolution and device identifier. All of which open up plentiful tracking/ad-targeting possibilities. 
WhatsApp has set out two ways to opt out of sharing data for Facebook ad targeting on its website here.

Facebook launches Lifestage for people 21 and under
Not old enough to drink in the US? Well, there’s one club that all the overage people can’t join – Lifestage, a standalone iOS app for people 21 and under launched by Facebook. Users shoot videos of their happy face, sad face, likes, dislikes, best friend, the way you dance and more, and the app creates a video profile others can watch. Anyone aged 22 or above can, technically, hold an account, but they will only be able to see their own profile.

Facebook spruces up Slideshow ads
New updates to the Facebook Slideshow app mean advertisers can create ads directly from the Facebook mobile app. The move also means brands will be able to include text and music – initially from a range of themed audio tracks. As 10 photos can be included, and footage can come from brand photos, still images from video or from Facebook stock images.

Facebook introduces vertical videos
It’s no longer hip to be square – at least not for videos on Facebook. The platform is copying Snapchat’s rectangular videos which fit snugly onto smartphone screens, and already has brands on board. Ruby Tuesday, Mountain Dew, GE, Axe and Budweiser are among the brands testing the feature in its early stages. Until now, marketers and users have been able to upload vertical videos, though clips have appeared as squares until the user taps the post.

Facebook is also testing autoplay video ads that load with the sound turned on, rather than silent videos that currently play. Facebook confirmed it is running a trial in Australia where people can choose if they want sound from the start.

Twitter launches new direct message buttons for websites
Want to DM a brand from their website but can’t be faffed opening twitter? Now you don’t have to, if the website you’re looking at has a direct message button installed. The new button allows visitors to privately message an individual or company directly. The feature isone of several new Twitter website buttons available.

YouTube rumoured to be planning new text and photo service
YouTube is rumoured to be planning to launch a new feature called Backstage to offer users a way to share texts and images without leaving the platform. Expected to launch by the end of this year with select popular YouTube accounts and with limited features.

Akin to a Facebook Timeline or Twitter profile, Backstage will live alongside the Home and Videos tabs within individual YouTube channels. Posts shared to Backstage will appear in reverse chronological order, and, crucially, will also appear in subscribers’ feeds and notifications, making them highly visible to fans.

Snapchat to offer real-time geofilters at high school football games
High school football teams in the US will be able to enjoy real-time geofilters for their games this season on SnapchatThe location-based technology, which Snapchat originally trialled with NFL, is now being deployed at thousands of high schools so teenage and millennial users can spruce up their snaps with their teams’ scores. Gatorade has signed on as the program’s sponsor for the fall season.

Burberry launches Snapchat filter for Burberry Black campaign
For 24 hours on 23 August users who took a selfie using Burberry’s Snapchat lens would see themselves beneath an umbrella. If they blew the camera a kiss, it would trigger a golden light filtering effect. Followers of Burberry’s Instagram account would simply see a Snapchat logo signposting them to the Snapchat lens. Burberry is no stranger to Snapchat, having run an organic, 24-hour fashion campaign last year and a sponsored a Snapchat Discover channel.

Gatorade’s  Snapchat video game ad to mark the US Open
Serena Match Point is an old-school video game featuring 22 levels, each representing one of Serena Williams’ Grand Slam wins. The game sits within ESPN’s Discover channel on Snapchat as an ad and when users swipe up the ad, they will be directed to an in-app game experience. Gatorade will also use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to drive users to the game.