onechocolate loves… the view from the U.S.

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

#1 Earth Day

Earth Day

For this year’s Earth Day (on April 22nd), major tech companies celebrated by promoting their own green initiatives. Apple turned its store logos to green around the word. Earlier in the week it also announced its work on new re-forestation projects and solar farms to make operations rely 100% on renewable energy sources. Phillips launched a new line of affordable LED light bulbs. Google dedicated its doodle to Earth Day, which included colourful animals woven into its letters and spinning planet. It also added a quiz, “Which Animal Are you?” featuring an array of endangered and extinct animals.

#2 Hyundai’s ‘out-of-this-world’ stunt

Hyundai has helped orchestrate the delivery of a heartfelt message from a daughter to her dad, who just so happens the be an astronaut on the International Space Station. The car brand used 11 Genesis Sedans to carve giant letters in sand spelling out the message “Steph loves you”. The message, which spanned 2.1 square miles, received recognition from Guinness World Records as the largest tire-track image ever, and gave even bigger smiles for a father and daughter.

#3 Inclusive marketing

After the news about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act drove media and the public into a frenzy, due to wording that would discriminate against those who identify as LGBT, several cities are now promoting themselves through ‘inclusive marketing’. Places like Los Angeles and Houston have launched campaigns promoting the fact that they welcome LGBT visitors to encourage people that may have thought about travelling to Indiana, to go there instead. Even The National Park Service joined in with its “Find Your Park” campaign, which stresses the diversity of the country’s 407 national parks and the diversity of its visitors.

#4 Daycare goes to the dogs

DogVacay

For those who don’t like to leave their dogs home alone all day while at work, DogVacay, the start-up that has been billed as an ‘Airbnb for dogs’, has launched a solution with a peer-to-peer pet boarding marketplace. Given that the price of most boarding is very expensive, this should not only be easy on an owner’s purse strings, but also keep the pup entertained all day. CEO Aaron Hirschhorn says that if the service is successful, it could open up the market for pet daycare services in the same way that Uber did for taxi-like services.

Image credit: Flickr Member zhouxuan12345678

#5 Searching for Nessy

Loch ness

In 1934, the Daily Mail published a hoax photo of what it claimed was the Loch Ness monster. To remember the now infamous incident, Google Street View this week allowed users to explore the surface of the 23-mile long loch and see underwater imagery, too. According to TechCrunch, Google sees more searches for Loch Ness than for Buckingham Palace! It seems some people will never stop looking for the elusive monster.

#6 Summer movie season

Star Wars emojis

While everyone waits in anticipation for the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, to come out in December (and have fun with the Twitter emojis associated with it), there are some great movies coming out this summer to tie you over, including The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World. In case you’re unsure of which ones to watch, The Verge has done a great roundup to help you decide what to see this year.

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Weekly social scoop

The latest news and developments on Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook, just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop

#1 Google shakes up SEO

By The Guardian

  • Mobile friendly sites will take the top spots, due to Google’s new mobile-focused algorithm
  • Search results will be tailored for the device being used when making the search
  • The launch on Tuesday follows research from eMarketer which found that adults spend is 2 hours 26 minutes on mobile devices per day vs. 2 hours 13 minutes on a desktop 

#2 LinkedIn launches Elevate

By Ad Week

  • LinkedIn’s latest investment, Elevate, will make it easier for companies and employees to curate and share content
  • The new app will encourage employees to become brand advocates on social media, gaining bigger exposure both for their company and for their own profile
  • Elevate is currently on a closed pilot and is available on a trial basis to a handful of companies

#3 Twitter opens up content to non-subscribers

By The Drum

  • Through a categorised feed on the Twitter homepage, those who do not have an account will be able to access a homepage feed and see tweets
  • To start with, the feature will be only available on desktop devices in America

#4 Snapchat stops ‘Brand Stories’

By The Drum

  • The ad service from Snapchat, ‘Brand Stories’, has been discontinued whilst the company redevelops the platform
  • It is thought that the cancellation has happened not because of the lack of interest, but to allow for the aesthetics of the service to be updated
  • There are still other advertising options available, including ‘Discovery’ 

#5 Companies back out of internet.org over the principle of “net neutrality”

By The Telegraph

  • A group of technology and internet companies from India have dropped out of Facebook’s internet.org, saying that “all websites should be equally accessible”
  • org’s mission is to bring free internet to those who currently have none
  • Mark Zuckerberg has defended his project by saying: “It is always better to have some access than none at all”

#6 Facebook tests an ‘away’ status

By Mashable

  • Facebook is testing an ‘away’ message with users in Taiwan and Australia
  • The social network is calling the away message the ‘sidebar status’ and it will disappear after 12 hours, or whenever the user updates their status
  • It is currently unclear whether the update will be released to the rest of the 1.4 billion users globally

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Periscope – the view so far

Periscope

Periscope has been available for less than a month and only those living on a submarine could possibly have failed to hear the noise. Rather like one of those thingies you look through on a submarine, you can view scenes in real-time, but of course it’s cooler than that. Twitter users can share and watch live video streams and interact from anywhere, anytime through mobile magic and watch the content again!

It’s the latest in a long line of ‘big things’ that could change social media. Periscope is gaining a huge amount of attention, not least because it’s owned by Twitter and, therefore, offers better integration than its rival, Meerkat. So does that mean RIP Meerkat? Quite possibly, especially if recent reports about heavy-handed tactics are to be believed, but we’re definitely excited about the possibilities that decent live Twitter streaming and commenting brings.

Early reports are promising – the Telegraph’s Harry Wallop took Periscope for a spin, Stuff’s Will Findlater has written an extensive review, and it has already been dubbed ‘the Meerkat killer’.

Yes, it’s still early days and the launch of Periscope on Android is yet to happen – what a shame that it wasn’t around for last week’s Samsung G6 Treasure Hunt – but it’s already being used for some seriously cool stuff including ITV’s sneak peek ‘behind-the-scenes’ at the recent Leadership Debate. It’s also, as reported by Mashable, been used for some not so cool stuff which has sunk into breach of copyright hot water.

In addition to giving a new toy to the generation of over-sharers and voyeurs, Periscope has opened the streaming market for brands and mobile users. The Guardian has put together a nice list of who might use it and for what – drunk ‘scopers’ feature. Check out Harry Wallop’s nifty video for a great overview of just what Periscope can do.

Is Periscope a game changer? We very much hope so, but only time will tell… we’ll be watching closely.

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Weekly Social Scoop

The latest news and developments on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, just in case you missed them… 

Weekly social scoop

#1 LinkedIn buys Lynda

By BBC News

  • Lynda has been brought by LinkedIn for $1.5bn. The online education company is LinkedIn’s largest value acquisition to date
  • Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, said: “The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do”

#2 Twitter wants to champion apps

By The Drum

  • Twitter is testing a new feature which could aid app discovery by allowing brands to pin their respective apps to their profiles
  • The potential new feature offers many benefits for brands and app developers, including participating in more promotions and engagements on the platform

#3 Google could be buying Twitter

By The Telegraph

  • The shares in Twitter increased this week after reports of Google expressing an interest in buying the company
  • If the deal goes ahead, it would fire up Google’s social networking plans after Google+ struggled against competitors such as Twitter and Facebook

#4 YouTube launching paid subscription service

By The Independent

  • YouTube is getting ready to launch its paid-for service
  • Premium users will be able to view videos without any ads and whilst they are offline
  • This service will run along Music Key which is a monthly subscription package for music videos and tracks

#5 Facebook testing WhatsApp integration

By The International Business Times

  • Reports have emerged that Facebook is testing an integrated service with WhatsApp, whereby users can share information on WhatsApp via Facebook
  • It is widely rumoured that Facebook is interested in driving more ad revenue by getting users to talk between the apps

#6 Facebook Messenger for internet browsers launches

By BBC News

  • Facebook is making it easier for users to keep in touch with a desktop version of the Messenger app
  • The new version acts exactly the same as the mobile app, but on a bigger scale
  • There is speculation that the development is the start of Facebook separating its services

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Weekly Social Scoop

The latest news and developments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop

#1 Facebook launches Riff

By The Guardian

  • Facebook has launched Riff, a video camera app similar to Vine and Instagram video
  • The new app allows the user to create a short clip and publish it on Facebook. Other users can then add to the clip with their own video
  • Users can therefore create a collaborative story around a specific topic via video 

#2 Twitter launches Curator

By Mashable

  • Twitter has launched its own Storify competitor, Curator
  • The free tool is available to media outlets and allows users to gather tweets and Vines around a particular topic, conduct more advanced searches and gain access to more detailed analytics

#3 Twitter testing ads on your profile

By Mashable

  • Previously only visible on homepages, Twitter now is testing promoted tweets on selected users’ profile pages
  • Advertising content will appear in a section titled “Suggested by Twitter”

#4 Instagram wants to prove real business value from ads

By The Drum

  • Instagram is evaluating the first UK campaigns since ads were launched on the platform last September
  • The photo-sharing app hopes that the results will help to sell its advertising on the value of impressions and subsequent sales lift

#5 Twitter fixes quote tweet button

By The Telegraph

  • Twitter is now allowing users to add an extra 116 characters to their quoted tweets, alongside the original text
  • The new tool is currently only available on iOS and will be extended to Android in the near future

#6 Pinterest launches new ‘Pin it’ button

By The Drum

  • In an effort to make it easier for users to pin their favourite items, Pinterest has launched a new ‘Pin it’ button, which only needs two clicks instead of four
  • Users are now also able to pin anything they see on the internet that they would like to save for later

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