The Scoop: Snapchat is lowering the price of its ads from previous $700,000 per ad to now any price. The company is also planning to release a publishing tool so that brands can more easily create ads within the app. Marketers predict this will drive an upkick in the amount of ads seen on Snapchat and allow users to engage with the brands more easily through these ads.
The Scoop: Following the announcement that Facebook would be attempting to moderate extremist content on its platform, Google has also announced a similar initiative. Google will begin using artificial intelligence to monitor and block YouTube videos with extremist content. In a blog post, Google general counsel, Kent Walker, explains “we will now devote more engineering resources to apply our most advanced machine learning research to train new ‘content classifiers’ to help us more quickly identify and remove extremism and terrorism-related content.” In the face of these challenges, Google is also going to increase its human moderators, and pledges to work with anti-extremist groups to learn how to identify radical content.
The Scoop: Spotify is testing a Sponsored Song feature for music labels to promote music. Labels can pay to have a single appear in a playlist and then be available to be saved and played on an account. These songs will only appear for users with free accounts and can be targeted to show up on playlists that feature similar music. The idea is that Sponsored Songs will be integrated so well into playlists that users will subliminally love the song, share it with friends, and thus become fans of the artist. Spotify has not yet confirmed whether the labels will be charged based on impression, action, or listen per song. If proven successful, Sponsored Songs will be adapted as a permanent setting on the app.
The Scoop: Twitter has updated its iOS platform by re-arranging its design to make it more user-friendly to new users. There aren’t any major structural changes, but rather smaller tweaks, such as typography, the settings location, the design and shape of icons, configuring links to open in Safari reader view, and more. This change was tested on Android’s platform last summer, and following positive response, it is being rolled out to iOS. This shift is a sign of Twitter moving further away from its messaging service roots to a more group chat, social web.
The Scoop: In an effort to get Snapchat users to connect with friends in real life and not just through a screen, Snapchat has launched Snap Map. This new interface shows users a virtual map and pins to see exactly where friends are. When clicked on, these pins will play the stories of their respective users, so people can see what friends around them are doing. Users have the option to appear on the map for all of their friends, a select few, or no one at all (this is called Ghost Mode). People can also use the map to scan the world and see events, breaking news, and more from different locations. This development comes after Snapchat’s $250 million acquisition of Zenly, a social map app.
The Scoop: Chance the Rapper has paired with Twitter in a new ad campaign promoting Twitter as a means to discuss and connect over music and entertainment, in addition to news. In the video, Chance tweets out to his fans asking for song requests for his concert that night, and in return, fans are seen replying different responses with various tones and emotions. This is a part of its #SeeEverySide campaign, prompted by the sentiments from users when asked what they love about Twitter. According to Leslie Berland, Twitter’s CMO, the general response to #SeeEverySide has been “Twitter lets me see what’s happening from every point of view, all perspectives, every side.” This is all in an effort to increase its unique users and advertising potential.
The Scoop: Snapchat has installed a yellow branded ferris wheel at the Cannes Film Festival entrance in a unique marketing move. In addition to the ferris wheel, which can hold up to 84 people at a time, it has also placed QR codes that act as secret codes to unlock a Cannes-themed filter within Snapchat. Chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, plans to target and pitch marketers, stating that his ultimate goal is to “[educate] people on our ad product, our creative, our measurement system—all of those things will help our advertisers to get better performance.” Snapchat also has a Spectacles-branded vending machine nearby the festival site and is encouraging attendees to Snap all throughout the festival.
The Scoop: In an effort to compete with micro breweries, Heineken targeted males traveling to Amsterdam asking if they would like a personal beer brewed for them to be ready upon arrival at the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam. Those who opted into the activation received updates about the status of their beer, like when yeast was added in and more. In addition to updates (delivered through Facebook Messenger), they were also asked questions about what they would like to do in Amsterdam. These men not only received their personalized bottle of Heineken, they also received a personalized map with recommended activities to do in Amsterdam.
The Scoop: In order to promote its new Ken doll collection, Mattel has paired with Brooklyn Roasting Company to give away dolls for free – no purchase necessary. These dolls have a more millennial vibe, rocking trendy clothes and different hair styles. One even has a “man bun”, and is dressed in what Time Out describes as a “tribal shirt, jorts and white sneakers.” These dolls are available while supplies last at the company’s Dumbo, Brooklyn location.