The Scoop: Following April’s live video of the deadly shooting in Cleveland publicly aired on the Facebook app, the site is making efforts to make the network safer. The company will add an additional 3,000 people to the community operations team to manage the site as it is “working to make these videos easier to report so [it] can take the right action sooner – whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.” Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, explains that he hopes to change the network’s flagging process and make it easier for moderators to contact law enforcement regarding violent videos.
The Scoop: Facebook now offers “Instant Games” worldwide. First launched in the US in November, these games are solely played between friends in the Facebook Messenger app. The site announces that it will also feature game bots that communicate with players while in the game. Currently, there are no advertisements or in-game purchases for this feature and funding comes primarily from branded games – like The LEGO Batman Movie’s Bat Climb. Facebook encourages users to now play games with friends all across the globe.
The Scoop: Twitter announces a deal with the W.N.B.A. to stream 20 games per season for the next three years. This comes after Twitter’s recent efforts to offer 24/7 sports and entertainment programming. The W.N.B.A. serves as the first women’s professional sports league to sign a rights deal with Twitter. The first game airs May 14 and Twitter is hoping to further this collaboration to one day sign a deal with the NBA and other male and female sports leagues.
The Scoop: A recent study tracked 12 influencers for 30 days and compared their usage of Snapchat and Instagram stories. 8 out of the 12 influencers posted more stories on Instagram than Snapchat with more stories posted on Instagram overall for 25 out of the 30 days; resulting with 25% more Instagram usage per day. Google trends reports that Instagram stories has been twice as popular as Snapchat since launching as some users are neglecting snapchat for Instagram’s wider variety of features and larger audience. Particularly for influencers, a major appeal for Instagram stories is the ability to include internal URLs – which is great for advertising and partnerships. Despite Snapchat’s competitive efforts to partner with television networks and news outlets, Instagram still appears to be the public’s comprehensive favorite.
The Scoop: In Hulu’s efforts to keep up with other streaming services, the company will now offer a $39.99 per month option in which viewers can choose from 50 different channels, record programming, and stream on-demand content. Within the site’s programming, advertisers will now be able to air targeted messages geared toward specific audiences and demographics. Hulu will also begin offering in-app purchasing directly within a commercial – to buy movie tickets and quick-service-restaurant items. Lastly, the site will offer 360 degree advertising opportunities for marketers and opportunities beyond the usual 15 – 30 second advertising spots. Hulu is also working on several new original series and continuing it’s biggest original show yet – The Handmaid’s Tale.
The Scoop: YouTube announces its new show, Best. Cover. Ever., to find the next big thing. Best. Cover. Ever. features Demi Lovato, the Backstreet Boys, Jason Derulo and more; allowing contestants to enter by submitting themselves covering the songs of the said musicians. The winner gets to record a duet with the singer whose song was covered and, of course, the title of being YouTube’s next star. YouTube hopes that this contest will celebrate its early years in which singers like Justin Beiber were discovered by posting performances of song covers. This show will air on YouTube TV and will be hosted by Ludacris and Ryan Seacrest.
The Scoop: In honor of the popular 80’s show Baywatch being revitalized as a movie, Paramount recently held a Slow-Mo Marathon run. Fans, along with Zac Efron, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and the rest of the movie’s cast, gathered to appreciate one of the show’s most iconic scenes – lifeguards running in slow motion across the beach. While this run didn’t take place on a sandy beach, contestants dressed up in the signature red swimsuits and ran as slow as possible while making their sexiest facial expressions. Baywatch opens May 25 and is said to be hit for older fans of the original show and younger generations just now discovering it.