Instagram direct messages now support web links and different photo orientations

The Scoop: Instagram now allows users to upload external weblinks and insert photos or videos in their original orientation, without having to crop them, via Direct Message. The app will also allow inline previews for the website of the URL sent. Instagram hopes this will open up more possibilities for its 375 million monthly active users to continue to enjoy the Direct Message feature.



Ads on Instagram Stories Are Now Available With Objectives Besides Reach

The Scoop: The full screen ads for Instagram Stories now offer even more opportunities for brands. With this update, instead of just focusing on reach, brands can purchase ads with four new objectives: views, traffic, conversions, and mobile app installs. In its blog post, Instagram explains that “as a result [of these new options], Stories has become a full-funnel solution for a growing spectrum of business objectives.”


Facebook’s Instant Articles platform to support Google AMP, Apple News

The Scoop: Facebook has created an extension that will support the different versions of publishing content across the three major platforms: Facebook’s Instant Articles, Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), and Apple News. The network plans to “offer ways for publishers to apply the custom styling templates for the competing services – including the application of things like custom fonts, colors, and captions, which will be mirrored as closely as possible in the other formats.” Facebook is hoping that Instant Articles centralizes and simplifies news for both publishers and readers.



Facebook Expands the Features of its Fundraising Tool

The Scoop: Facebook has launched a feature that allows any users to raise money for education, medical, crisis relief, funeral and loss, sports, community needs. The site is hoping this feature keeps users on the Facebook platform instead of using crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe or Indiegogo. Now, users can see which friends are starting a fundraiser and which of fundraisers friends have donated. Facebook explains that this development to “create a platform for good that’s sustainable over the long-term, and not to make a profit from our charitable giving tools.” This feature is open to all Facebook users ages 18 and up.



Google launches ads measurement system for cross-device campaigns on YouTube, DoubleClick, GDN

The Scoop: Google has expanded its original ads measurement system (primarily for analyzing YouTube campaigns) to now source data from Google Display Network and DoubleClick. This development shies away from using cookies to track, measure, and report ad performance, and instead pushes towards user/device IDs. While the Ads Data Hub currently only supports analysis, Google hopes they can soon help advertisers to “act on the insights they get from Ads Data Hub and buy media with greater precision.”



Major Lazer Give Fans ‘An Entryway to Caribbean Life’ With Bacardi Connect

The Scoop: Over Memorial Day Weekend, the musical trio, Major Lazer, paired up with Bacardi to throw a giant party celebrating Caribbean culture, food, dance, music, and more. Bacardi x Major Lazer Spirit Up! centered around the launch of Major Lazer’s limited edition Bacardi flavor, which mixologists served to partygoers all night long. The group strived to bring the Caribbean culture that is important to the group to the masses in Miami. Group member, Walshy Fire, explains that this event was a “great way to have a conversation with people that aren’t [familiar with us] and introduce them to exactly what we’re drinking and doing in our scene. We give them an entryway to Caribbean life.” This event introduced Bacardi drinkers to Major Lazer, and vice versa, to crossbreed the two brands for an ultimate fan base.


Why KFC Paid to Put Colonel Sanders in an Obscure California High School Yearbook

The Scoop: KFC placed Colonel Sanders’ headshot in a high school yearbook, for a new take on hyper targeted media buys. A California high school student reached out to the company for a paid post in the portrait section of her year book, and found marketing success as the picture gathered everyone’s attention. Eric Baldwin, Executive Creative Director from the agency who organized the deal with KFC, explains they “were impressed by the idea and her tenacity, and were happy to help her make it happen.” Among Colonel Sanders, this yearbook also featured pictures of Lady Gaga, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, and a non-paid picture of the GEICO Gecko.  



Esports Revenues in Europe to Reach $346 Million in 2018

The Scoop: Recent research finds that the Esports marketplace in Europe produced $301 million of revenue in 2016, and is projected to produce $346 million of revenue in 2018. Researches also found the same trends arise for millennials, male involvement, with female viewership on the rise as well. A research director at IHS Markit, noted that “the rapid growth of esports audiences has attracted some of the industry’s largest media and technology companies to the genre.”  



Scan This Interactive Kids’ Wallpaper to Find a Bedtime Story

The Scoop: Castorama, a French home improvement retailer, has just designed and created interactive “Magic Wallpaper.” Using an accompanying app, users can scan the characters on the wallpaper to download a story about these characters. The app is available for smartphones and tablets and can even work in airplane and night modes. These stories are available in text and audio versions and will make telling bedtime stories a fun, interactive activity.