- The Scoop: Instagram will now allow users to follow a specific hashtag. In addition to delivering content from niche communities right to users’ feeds, this update provides extended ad targeting data in the future. Instagram will identify trends, flag inappropriate posts and recommend related trends to users.
- The Scoop: Twitter’s latest update makes it easier for users to post threads. Identified as multiple Tweets connected to tell a longer story, thousands of threads are created each day. Updates include a “+” button that allows users to publish a thread at once, as well as an “Add Another Tweet” button to add to an existing thread at any time. A “Show this Thread” label has also been added to make it easier to identify and read threads. This update is now available on iOS, Android and desktop platforms.
- The Scoop: Twitter videos will now display the number of views on the thumbnail. The platform officially constitutes a view as two seconds of play time with at least 50 percent of the video on the screen. This public-facing “vanity metric” is mainly geared towards individual users, as brands already have access to this data.
- The Scoop: Instagram is currently testing a standalone app for private messaging called Direct. Aimed to replace messaging features within the core app, Instagram believes that an ideal private messaging experience cannot be achieved when it exists within an app that is focused on public posting. This app is currently only available in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.
- The Scoop: Vine has announced that the app will be revived as Vine 2, albeit independently from Twitter, which acquired the original app back in 2012. It’s been over a year since the video sharing platform shut down, and thus far the only confirmed details are that the new version will accomodate 6-second clips, may have a live feature, and will also include “new updated features.”
- The Scoop: YouTube plans to release a paid music streaming service in March known as “Remix.” This new service will reportedly be a combination of YouTube’s previous music platforms, including Google Play Music, YouTube Music Key and YouTube Red. With Warner Music Group already signed on, YouTube is readying Remix to function like Spotify and Apple Music to primarily stream music, with some supplemental video clips and more.
- The Scoop: For just 24 hours on December 13, Captain Morgan will have “Leg Up Lamps” for sale on its website. As a play on the infamous leg lamp from the A Christmas Story movie, this 40-pound lamp standing at 4’6” has legs posing in the same iconic fashion as the mascot in Captain Morgan’s logo. The brand has only manufactured five limited edition leg lamps that retail for $499.
- The Scoop: Dutch toilet startup Mr.Friendly has created a smart urinal that senses when it’s being used and features a built-in display screen for displaying ads. Waterless, cost-effective and “completely odorless,” the idea behind these urinals is that users have a built-in captive audience that has nothing else to pay attention to while using the product, therefore making it an ideal advertising medium. Mr. Friendly urinals are “guaranteed to capture 40 seconds of a gentleman’s attention” as the ads automatically play ads when in use.