- The Scoop: Instagram has integrated GIPHY into its Stories feature, providing access to hundreds of thousands of GIF stickers that can be added to photos and videos. The app has also announced an upcoming feature that will allow photos and videos of any size to be added to Stories, without forcing users to crop them to a 9:16 portrait ratio. These updates are available to both Android and iOS users.
- The Scoop: Snapchat is adding a new share option to Story tiles within its Discover section, allowing Snapchat users and non-users alike to view Stories on the web. The platform will also launch a desktop web viewer accessible at Snapchat.com, which is currently available in Canada and Australia. These changes are being rolled out alongside a redesigned mobile app in an effort to boost slowing growth by exposing Stories to a new audience.
- The Scoop: Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to view how many times their page has been visited. Currently available to select users, people can only measure the number of views gathered per week and cannot see who specifically has viewed their profile.
- The Scoop: In an attempt to improve the quality of news that makes it to Facebook users’ feeds, the platform has launched a two-question survey that will help identify trustworthy news sources. The questions (i.e., Do you recognize the following websites and How much do you trust each of these domains?) can be answered with one of five options ranging from “entirely” to “not at all.” This survey will effectively crowdsource the community’s assessment of a website’s reliability to ensure that news on the site can be trusted. The site has also acquired Confirm.io, a startup company that may be integrated into the platform to have Facebook users confirm their identities. A statement has not been released on the intentions for the acquisition, but the startup could plausibly provide a feature that would require users to use forms of ID or facial recognition to unlock their accounts.
- The Scoop: Gatorade’s new live series centered around high school basketball recruits is now running until February 23. #TheDebut, hosted by YouTube personality Rachel Demita, will air high school basketball games and feature NBA players Nate Robinson and Baron Davis. Gatorade products on display during the games and Twitter will promote #TheDebut with tweets targeting basketball fans. This live series serves as “an experiment for Gatorade, and as such, the goal is to improve brand awareness and consumer engagement, not drive revenue.”
- The Scoop: In Burger King’s latest stunt, “Whopper Neutrality,” a restaurant location was set up with hidden cameras to record confused customers forced to deal with intentionally slowed down service. This social experiment served as a metaphor to help explain the often-confusing concept of Net Neutrality, which the FCC repealed in December 2017. The campaign used the acronym MBPS (usually referring to megabytes per second) to stand for “making burgers per second.” Patrons were presented with a menu featuring different pricing options for the signature Whopper sandwich ranging from Slow MBPS for $4.99, Fast MBPS for $12.99 and Hyperfast MBPS for $25.99 to determine how fast they would like their food served. Customers were initially confused and frustrated, but later reported having gained a better understanding of the importance of net neutrality after being filled in on the experiment.
- The Scoop: This article features a five-part meditation video series recently released by KFC called “Comfort Zone.” These trippy videos ranging from about four to nine minutes each feature a soothing voiceover and focus on different aspects of personal meditation, mindfulness and affirmation. The far-out campaign is designed to “take listeners on a journey” with relaxing audio and bizarre imagery, including a rotating KFC Pot Pie, a man with sporks for fingers, swirling colors and serene nature scenes. All six videos can be viewed on KFC’s YouTube channel.