Weekly social scoop

 Latest news and developments on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop

#1 Twitter’s Periscope challenges Meerkat

By The Independent

  • Following the buzz surrounding Meerket, Twitter has launched its own video-streaming app, Periscope
  • The main feature which differentiates it from Meerkat is that it allows users to save videos from their feeds. They can then upload them elsewhere
  • Following the launch, the question on everyone’s lips is will Periscope or Meerkat be king of live-streaming? 

#2 Instagram launches Layout

By Forbes

  • In a bid to compete with apps such as  InstaCollageMoldiv and Instavid, Instagram has rolled out a new photo-sharing app: Layout
  • The free, stand-alone app will allow users to combine multiple photos to create collage-style pictures which they can then share online
  • Collage-style pictures can often be more effective in helping brands tell a story than a single image 

#3 Facebook opens up Messenger

By BBC News Technology

  • At Facebook’s F8 conference last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Messenger is opening its service to third-party developers
  • The update will allow developers to add functions of their own and more than 40 new add-on apps have already been developed

#4 Twitter is testing auto-play videos

By The Guardian

  • Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is testing whether users will tolerate auto-pay video on their Twitter feeds – including adverts
  • The update, which is currently only being tested on iOS, is further evidence of Twitter’s increasing focus on video 

#5 Facebook in talks to host news articles

By The Telegraph

  • Facebook believes that the loading time of 3rd party media-outlet websites is too clunky for users
  • In an attempt to combat this, Facebook is reportedly in talks with half a dozen traditional publishers such as BuzzFeed and The New York Times to make their content available within Facebook itself, removing the need to open a separate browser to view the item 

#6 YouTube set to launch live game streaming service

By The Guardian

  • According to reports, YouTube is preparing to launch its own live game streaming service
  • The move will see the video sharing giant take on Twitch TV who YouTube made a bid for last May

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onechocolate loves… the view from the U.S.

Our San Francisco office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events…

#1 360 degrees on Facebook

Facebook F8

This week at the annual F8 developer conference, hosted by Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will soon support spherical 360-degree videos in its Newsfeed. So what does this mean? Now you’ll get the chance to be fully immersed in videos from all viewpoints. You’ll feel like you’re there with the person posting the shot, or at least that’s what we’re told, and we can’t wait to try it!

#2 Instagram Layout

Instagram Layout

Instagram has finally rolled out its collage feature with a new app called Layout. The tool allows users to combine multiple photos into a single image. While it doesn’t yet allow you to apply different filters to the images within a collage, images can be flipped either horizontally or vertically, offering several new photo options.

#3 #MarchMadness

March Madeness

March Madness is upon us! The Internet is abuzz with everyone talking about college hoops on Twitter and Facebook, while running searches on Google for their favourite players and teams. According to Mashable, Facebook reported that 14 million people have generated more than 32 million posts, comments and likes about March Madness since it started on March 15. Twitter also reported that Kentucky’s round-of-32 game against Cincinnati was the fourth most tweeted of the tourney so far. Maybe social media can predict the winner, too!

#4 Meerkat

Meerkat

With all the noise at SXSW Interactive, everyone left the conference talking about Meerkat; the new live-video streaming app. According to Adweek, there hasn’t been this much buzz surrounding one app since Foursquare launched at the festival in 2009. Meerkat is already opening doors for journalists who want to live stream events, but some also see it as a privacy issue with event organizers banning the app to create more exclusivity. Whether Meerkat survives or not, it’s clear that people are interested in real-time, live streaming so they never have to miss out on events again.

#5 RoboGames

RoboGames

Robots will soon become part of our everyday lives, so why not watch a few battle it out to destruction? If this sounds like your kind of thing then check out RoboGames, coming to the San Francisco Bay Area April 3-5. At the games, tech experts from all over the world design robots that battle to the death in a ring (surrounded by plexiglass, for health and safety). Some are even designed to solve mazes, play soccer with each other and play music. Countries from all over the globe will be competing, so be sure to check it out to cheer yours on!

#6 World Backup Day

World backup day

World Backup Day is March 31 and while it’s not exactly a day of celebration, it’s definitely a good reminder for everyone to backup all of their important files and data. Given the growing number of healthcare and corporation hacks in the past year, there’s never telling when disaster (natural or a hack into your system) might occur. Protect your data!

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5 smart ways to add Meerkat into your marketing mix

Meerkat

It was the hot topic on everyone’s lips at SXSW; Meerkat, the live streaming social video app that currently has more than 120,000 users (and growing, fast). The basic principle behind the technology is that users can live stream directly to Twitter using their mobile and anyone can tune in to watch.

There is potential for Meerkat to have an enormous impact on brands’ digital marketing. However, the streaming app should not simply be viewed as a way to broadcast; it’s all about real-time interaction and engagement. The benefits for brands are plentiful; never before have brands had such insight into exactly who is watching, listening and engaging with them right at that moment. Moreover, companies have the power to schedule upcoming live streams and alert their followers with notifications on Twitter.

So, how do you make your mark on the hottest newbie in digital marketing? With our five smart tips of course!

#1 Events and news announcements

Live conversations are key to an event’s success, so open up your conference, speech or product release to a whole new audience, anywhere around the globe. Live video access to an event or announcement will convey a new depth of information about your brand and combining a live stream with the relevant hashtag will supercharge your reach on social.

#2 Product demonstrations and tips

Product demonstrations tie into the above point, as the unveiling of a new product is often the focus of an event. However, brands can take this even further; got a complex B2B tech product? Inviting a tech expert to do a live demonstration, answering potential and existing customers’ questions in real-time, goes beyond providing entertainment and offers something uniquely valuable to both customers and prospects.

#3 Behind-the-scenes access

People love to feel that they are part of something ‘exclusive’, so offer a fly-on-the-wall experience to build anticipation to your brand’s events or announcements. Seeing behind the scenes allows your audience to discover the ‘human’ side to your brand which, as we know, goes a very long way to building consumer trust.

#4 Promos and deals

In much the same way as Snapchat, brands can use Meerkat to offer exclusive, limited-time deals and promos. And unlike Snapchat, Meerkat has an audience in the B2B arena. Twitter is home to many business professionals and producing content that users can only get via Meerkat will help brands build a large following, right from the word go.

#5 Q&As

Live ‘ask me anythings’ are a great way for B2B brands to prove their expertise, position themselves as thought leaders and build the profile of C-level execs. Meerkat offers the opportunity to show the brand’s ‘human’ side through a Q&A with ‘unscripted’ answers in real-time.

It’s still too early to tell whether Meerkat is here to stay, or whether it will be another ‘fad’. While it can add genuine value to your marketing mix, the main barrier to brands adopting the streaming service will most likely be lack of control over content. Unlike Instagram and Snapchat, the live nature of the app prevents any editing and once it’s out there, it’s out there. However, it’s precisely this ‘realness’ that we think makes it special.

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn YouTube and Pinterest – just in case you missed it… 

Weekly social scoop

#1 Facebook adds payments to its portfolio

By The Guardian

  • Facebook is the latest in a long line of tech companies expanding into the payments market
  • The social network has announced that it will enable users to send money to their friends through a new feature on its messaging app
  • The tool will initially be available in the US on Android and iOS, before being rolled out internationally

#2 Twitter to sell even more data

By The Drum

  • In 2014, Twitter sold $70m worth of tweets to brands and businesses, but data strategy chief, Chris Moody, has revealed that the social network will significantly increase this amount in 2015
  • The move is reflective of the increasing value of social media data to marketers in understanding their customers at a more sophisticated a level than ever before

#3 Twitter and Rhapsody bring music to tweets

By Mashable

  • Announced at SXSW last week, Twitter and Rhapsody will team up to allow users to share full-length songs on the social platform
  • Rhapsody is hoping that the new tool, which is already available on Twitter’s mobile app, will attract more subscribers to the service

#4 LinkedIn acquires Careerify

By Tech Radar

  • Following its acquisition of Bizo in 2014, LinkedIn has purchased Canadian HR software start-up, Careerify
  • The move will bolster the enterprise social network’s big data recruitment offering through Careerify’s product focused on employee referrals

#5 YouTube rolling out subscription service

By The Telegraph

  • In an attempt to better rival existing video-on-demand services such as Hulu, Vimeo and Netflix, YouTube is planning to launch a subscription service which will allow users to watch unlimited video without ads
  • The new service is reported to be modelled on YouTube Music Key, which launched in beta last November for £9.99 per month

#6 Pinterest valuation soars

By International Business Times

  • Pinterest has raised $367m in its latest round of funding, bringing its total valuation to $11bn
  • The virtual scrapbooking website hopes to bring this round of funding’s total to just over half a billion dollars before it closes in a few weeks
  • A spokesperson said that “Pinterest will use the additional capital for corporate purposes, including to fuel international expansion”

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onechocolate loves

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 #SeeTheRealMe

Clean and Clear has released its latest ad campaign featuring a range of famous youngsters such as Demi Lovato and Jazz Jennings. If you’ve never heard of Jazz Jennings before, she is one of the cool, up-and-coming vloggers taking over the social media scene. Named one as one of Time magazine’s ‘25 Most Influential Teens of 2014’, she also happens to be one of the very few transgender individuals in the public eye. Jazz’s appointment as a Clean and Clear ambassador is indicative of the gradual increase in the LGBT community being included in high-profile brand campaigns. Through the stories of its inspirational yet relatable young ambassadors, Clean and Clear is encouraging its audience to embrace their ‘real selves’ and be confident in their own skin. Definitely a message we second!

#2 Artificial romance

AI love

This week at SXSW in Texas, a clever and – for some – heartbreaking stunt involving a ‘Catfish’ Tinder account had everyone fooled. Those who swiped right for 25-year-old Ava’s profile were then met with several odd questions, such as “What makes you human?” and “What attracts you to me?”Ava then redirected the user to an Instagram page where it is revealed that their ‘match’ is actually a promotional stunt for Ex Machina, a Sci-Fi film which premiered in Austin over the weekend. The stunt ties in with the theme of the movie and there is a familiarity between the questions asked on Tinder and those asked by characters in the film. The campaign is smart and relevant as it leverages the high profile of SXSW and reaches out to a social media-savvy audience.

#3 Power to the user

Tweet

We really loved @Keithdyer’s tweet from The Mobile Network, commenting on the modern trading space and the growth of the user-generated economy. Looking back five years, would any of us have considered that some of the biggest brands and companies wouldn’t offer their own assets, but instead be entirely dependent on user submissions and uploads to populate their services? Yes they may have their own innovative technologies, but the real force behind these giants is the users. If we really think about it, what would happen to Facebook if everyone suddenly stopped posting content? Power to the user!

#4 Drawing with my eyes

Artist Graham Fink’s latest exhibition ‘drawing with my eyes’ is an incredible fusion of art and technology. Graham’s pieces of live art are created through innovative eye-tracking tech from Tobii Technology, which uses infrared beams to intricately trace the movement of the eye, to create portraits that are better than what most of us could do by hand! It’s a great exploration of the relationship between modern technology and creativity and the exhibition is running till the 21st March. If you haven’t managed to get a ticket, check out the video above to see the talented Mr. Fink in action.

#5 Show me the money!

payments tech

Mobile payments and financial services digital offerings are really picking up pace across the globe as tech companies try to keep up with consumer demand for convenience. From Apple Pay, to Square and Snapchat’s partnership, to the anticipated launches of Samsung and Google Pay, it’s a competitive marketplace. And now, Facebook is jumping on the bandwagon. It announced this week it is going to launch a ‘friend-to-friend’ payment system via Facebook Messenger; soon to be introduced across the Pond. This means big things for the B2B market as advancements in payments technologies usually means one thing… more vendor partnerships!

#6 Bad budget jokes

Budget

The UK is renowned for its, ahem, interesting sense of humour, and unsurprisingly this manages to filter down into its politics. Luckily for those of you who missed the annual Budget announcement on Tuesday, the Telegraph has lovingly compiled a video of the best and worst jokes from the speech. As we’re a techie bunch here at onechocolate, we were very pleased to hear the loudest laugh coming from the joke about the Internet of Things!

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