The Scoop: Facebook has updated its platform to further accommodate desired features and functions within Facebook Groups. It has added a way for group administrators to monitor and track activity within the group, called Group Insights. Group Insights will be able to measure the growth of new members, popular times, top posts, top contributors, and the age and gender of those in the group. Group admins can now also schedule posts, and link suggested groups on the page for other members to check out. All of these new measurements can help with data, ad targeting, and communication.
The Scoop: Instagram will be giving its platform a refresh with a few organizational changes, attempting to simplify the way users interact with the app without altering its capabilities. It will also be rolling out a feature to allow users to share their stories (and feed posts) with a select group of followers, called “Favorites”, and those individuals can like and comment as they usually would. Users will know if he or she is on someone’s “Favorites” list if the post or story has a “Favorites” badge when viewed.
The Scoop: Advertisers who use Dynamic Ads on Facebook to retarget users now have the ability to add videos and prices to products in their ads. To gain access to these new features, advertisers need to go through Facebook’s advertising API or Business Manager implement. Advertisers can choose between displaying a product’s current price, or featuring a discounted price with the original price crossed out to emphasize the sale. Prices will be displayed as an overlay over the product, with advertisers having more leeway with the design of these overlays. They can choose the shape (circle, rectangle or triangle), font, text color, background color, and where the price appears on top of the ad.
The Scoop: Facebook will now allow advertisers to target individual families on the site. With this ad-targeting feature, marketers can use a Custom Audience list to select a targeted demographic, age, location, etc. and in turn, Facebook will aim ads at the people on this list and people who live with them (based on relationship and familial ties made in users’ profiles) . Facebook will allow marketers a deeper look into how these ads performed within the varied households. The network is positioning this feature to compete with TV advertising as it will have the same effect as a family watching TV and viewing a commercial together.
The Scoop: Snapchat is making it easier for its users to create personalized geo-filters for events and occasions – they’re now available on demand right on mobile phones. To utilize this feature, users will need to open the app, click “On-Demand Geofilters” in settings, and then use the creative studio within the app to personalize the provided templates. There are different pre-made themes for events like birthdays, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, and more. When finished, the user can choose where and for how long a filter will appear — for up to 90 days. According to Snapchat’s recent blog post, “Pricing starts at $5.99. You’ll hear from Snapchat when your geofilter is approved to confirm payment and details.”
The Scoop: AT&T’s Hello Lab, “a millennial and Gen Z-driven content studio”, is launching a program that will connect young filmmakers with celebrity mentors to help elevate their voices and hone their skills. Not only will the filmmakers have access to a celebrity for guidance and exposure, but they will also work with an entire team of advisers. Production executives, agents and lawyers, will help provide knowledge and access that the filmmakers may not have had before. The SVP of advertising and Creator Lab for AT&T, Valerie Vargas, explains that “nurturing the next generation of creative minds is crucial for the entertainment industry…The AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program gives voice to filmmakers that may otherwise be silenced, and we can’t wait to see the ideas this unique group of creators develop.”
The Scoop: In an unconventional move, San Francisco clothing store Betabrand put up a billboard in a typical “lost pet” format, but instead of a dog or a cat, the brand advertised that it was missing it’s beloved cobra snake Mr. Chips. Next to a large image of a cobra, Betabrand included the retail location of their store in the advertisement, with the full copy reading: “Our beloved Mr. Chips has gone missing. Please help this sweet boy get back to the Betabrand store before before the mongooses find him.” While the cobra does not actually exist, it drew many reactions on Twitter, as well as noticeably higher foot traffic into the store.
The Scoop: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series, Facebook reworked its desktop and mobile interface for an interactive campaign featuring “easter eggs.” When users posted any content with any of the four houses from Harry Potter, the text color would change to the color of the house, and when clicked on, a wand would appear in the corner and shoot confetti out onto the screen. Similarly, Twitter also introduced a Harry Potter emoji on its interface that day that would appear when users tweeted with the hashtag #HarryPotter20.
The Scoop: Taco Bell recently ran a Love and Taco Bell Contest, wherein the food chain giant invited couples to submit videos on Twitter explaining why they should be married in their Las Vegas Taco Bell location. This is the first couple Taco Bell has married. If someone is interested in following in this couple’s footsteps, they can go to the Las Vegas flagship and “order yourself a wedding”. For $600, couples will get a ceremony, marriage-themed Taco Bell swag, a Taco 12 Pack, and a Cinnabon Delights cake for dessert.
The Scoop: Developer and NYU grad student, Abhishek Singh, has brought Super Mario Bros to real life via augmented reality. Singh spent around a month of a program that allows people to use a VR headset to walk around outside and feel as if they are physically in a real-life Mario game. The developer explains it was surprisingly easy to make – “the most time was probably spent on tweaking the game to work in a large outdoor environment.”