- The Scoop: Facebook is making drastic changes to its algorithms to prioritize posts shared and commented on by friends and family, while decreasing the visibility of content from brands and publishers. This change will have a drastically negative impact on groups that rely on the social network to reach people, and it will also serve to reinforce the ideologies of users by only exposing them to content that reflects the views of their inner circle. The ultimate goal is for users to have meaningful and “active” experiences on the platform, as opposed to “passive” interactions – an idea that aims to promote well-being and make them feel more positive when they use Facebook.
- The Scoop: In line with Facebook’s overarching goal to promote “active” user interactions, the platform is now testing “Watch Party” with a handful of groups and it intends to expand it in the future. Admins can post any public video in their Groups to initiate a Watch Party and a “shared viewing experience” is created with a live comment reel. Live videos on Facebook generate six times more discussion than other videos, and Watch Party aims to replicate this type of real-time interaction with the added intimacy of limiting participation to a specific group. Group members have the ability to view a queue of upcoming videos with this new feature, but admins are currently unable to schedule a Watch Party for future viewing.
- The Scoop: With brand safety concerns rising among brands, YouTube is making three major changes to the platform to address them. First, YouTube will begin manually screening each video on the Google Preferred channel. Google Preferred is the site’s top-program for the its most premium content, and this change aims to avoid its exclusive creators from posting unapproved videos that may be less than flattering for brands. The second change will be applied to YouTube’s Partner Program, which has allowed users to monetize their videos based on hitting a certain number of views in the past. Moving forward, beginning on February 20 for new and existing channels, each channel that wishes to run ads will need to amass 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in a one-year period. The third and final change will allow brands to choose from three tiered options that cater to the level of preferred ad visibility – whether they are super choosy about where their ads are shown, they want their ads to appear on as many videos as possible, or somewhere in between.
- The Scoop: Instagram’s new Type feature allows users to choose from several fonts for text overlays for videos and photos within Stories. While Instagram has declined to comment on this update, a number of users have noticed the change. This opportunity to create more text-focused Stories is just one addition of many that has been introduced to this part of the app; others include polls, the ability to resurface past Stories, and cross-posting with WhatsApp, etc.
- The Scoop: Diet Coke is getting a design reboot to boost declining sales. Coca-Cola Co. has announced that it’s making its 12-ounce Diet Coke can taller and slimmer, updating the logo and offering the beverage four new flavors: mango, cherry, ginger lime and blood orange. The company spent two years testing over 30 flavors and making over the brand to appeal to a new generation of consumers – namely, millennials. Original Diet Coke will remain the same in taste and will continue to be sold in its standard 12-oz can in addition to its revamped version, as well as other sizes such as bottles and mini-cans.
- The Scoop: The weight loss industry has a history of marketing to women by placing women at the center of their campaigns – but major weight loss brands are changing that in 2018. Artist-producer DJ Khaled has become Weight Watchers’ first social media ambassador. Khaled will document his journey with Weight Watchers for his 16 million social media followers to be part of his transformation – he has reportedly already lost 20 pounds and is motivated to get healthy for his son. Placing men at the forefront of these campaigns aims to “normalize and contemporize” the goal of a healthy lifestyle and show that it is important for both women and men.
- The Scoop: Apparel brand Life Is Good has created an “Optimism Machine” – wearing headsets that read their brain activity, subjects were asked to think happy thoughts or observe positive stimuli on a video monitor. Each time users reproduced that type of brain activity, the Optimism Machine used Ardunio and Bluetooth technology to turn on a tap that filled a glass with water. The device was designed to show that positive thoughts have the ability to make a change, but could actually be triggered by any repeating thought patterns (positive or otherwise).