Screenshot 2018-03-08 at 5.15.29 PMSOCIAL

Instagram code reveals unreleased voice and video calling

  • The Scoop: While Instagram doesn’t currently allow users to make calls, there are hidden clues in its most recent update that suggest this feature may be on the horizon. Image files with titles such as “call.png” and “video_call.png” have been found in the app’s package, indicating that the platform is preparing to add calling capabilities somewhere down the line. The hidden image files are a strong sign of of calling features as a probable step in the platform’s evolution  to offer a complete range of social capabilities on the single platform.

Facebook ad costs spiked higher after a big change to its News Feed algorithm

  • The Scoop: It’s been eight weeks with Facebook’s updated News Feed algorithm, which shifted the focus away from posts from brands and publishers to those from family and friends. As predicted by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, this algorithm change has resulted in people spending less time on the platform – an outcome that has led to fewer ad impressions, which has caused a spike in ad prices.

Micropodcasting? Facebook tries Voice Clip status updates

  • The Scoop: As part of an ongoing effort to encourage users to share unique personal content, Facebook is currently testing Voice Clips as a status update option. The platform hopes that Voice Notes will be particularly appealing for international users that are inhibited by non-native language keyboards, older users and those that may be self-conscious about uploading a video. Voice Clips can also be paired with a photo, location updates and more. Voice Notes are currently only available to users in India and do not have a time-limit, so users can speak for as long as their device storage allows.

Facebook adds video chat to Messenger Lite, its pared-down Android app

  • The Scoop: Facebook’s Messenger Lite, a pared down Android app launched in 2015, is now adding video chat to its capabilities. The app originally focused on Messenger’s core features, including text messaging, photo and link sharing and stickers. The new live video feature can be accessed by tapping the video icon in the corner of a new or existing conversation, or in the center of the screen during an audio call to switch to video mode. 

MARKETING

McDonald’s crops the Golden Arches to direct you to the closest restaurant

  • The Scoop: McDonald’s has released a billboard campaign in Canada called “Follow the Arches” that utilizes the trademark Golden Arches logo in minimalist form. Each billboard in the series features a cropped version of the iconic yellow logo on a solid red background to represent the visual path to get to the nearest McDonald’s location. For example, one of the billboards includes nothing but a portion of the arches that curves to the left with white text reading “on your left.” There are currently just four of these billboards in the greater Toronto area, but it is likely that this campaign will expand to billboards worldwide.

ABC turns a New York subway train into Roseanne’s iconic TV living room, afghan included

  • The Scoop: Leading up to the Roseanne reboot premiering on Tuesday, March 27, one of New York City’s subway trains running between Grand Central Station and Times Square will be designed to replicate the sitcom family’s living room. ABC has wrapped the interior of the train with decals including the iconic couch afghan, fireplaces and photos of the Conner family, and the exterior of the train with an advertisement featuring the premiere date and leading cast members.

Apple’s HomePod gives FKA Twigs psychedelic dance powers in Spike Jonze ad

  • The Scoop: Apple has released “Welcome Home,” a four-minute short film directed by Spike Jonze to promote the brand’s HomePod. The video features singer/songwriter/dancer, FKA Twigs, who asks the smart speaker to play a song it thinks she’d like, which she proceeds to dance to. Her apartment then transforms into a colorful and interactive space as she dances, inspiring her to have a dance-off with her own reflection. This playful music video is a captivating representation of HomePod’s ability to transform a user’s state of mind.

CREATIVE

Logic flexed and got ‘Rick and Morty’ to Announce ‘Bobby Tarantino II’ release date

  • The Scoop: Maryland rapper Logic has announced his highly-anticipated mixtape Bobby Tarantino II with the help of Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty. Logic, a long-time fan of the animated series, who even had a cameo on the show in 2017, personally wrote the script for the promotion video. Rick and his grandson Morty are shown in a spaceship discussing Logic’s discography, and even poking fun at the rapper when Rick asks “Which Logic are we talking about here? Are we talking about mixtape Logic or album Logic?” Bobby Tarantino II will be released on March 9.