The Scoop: Google has launched a new app called “feed” for personalized news. Google will combine important, breaking news with other news related to terms and topics previously searched. Feed does not rely on users to interact with publishers or like content in order to source tailored news — instead, feed gets its data from its various integrated apps (i.e. Google search history), as well as a location-based feature to find content that is trending and important locally. As a user’s interests change, the algorithm changes with the user as well – in order to source the most relevant information. The creation of this platform comes in response to Google’s failure of Google Plus, which focused almost entirely on friends, much to the dismay of users.
The Scoop: Snapchat is making videos or pictures taken on its platform even more customizable with two new features: a tint brush and the ability to extend the time length of snaps. Users can now circle an aspect on photos or videos and tint the area that is within the circle. The second feature allows for users to take multiple 10 second snaps in a seamless fashion, so that users can post a total of six of these 10 second snap videos, without having to start over. Users can also choose to edit certain videos within the collection, or delete one altogether. This has elevated Snapchat to a beginner-friendly (albeit bare-bones) video editing platform.
The Scoop: Amazon has launched a new social network, geared towards shopping. With many similarities to Pinterest, Amazon Spark is geared towards image-driven posts. Through this app, users can click on an image to see which products are featured and can then click through to Amazon links to purchase the said item. Bob Hetu, research director at Gartner, explained the ultimate goal of this platform is “to learn more, to sell more and to connect to customers.” Currently, this app is only made available to Amazon Prime members and iOS users on the Amazon app.
The Scoop: In an effort to fight against users sharing pirated content on its platform, Facebook has purchased content rights startup, Source3. Due to this merger, Source3 will cease operating as an independent company as Facebook is planning to integrate their programming (and some of their team) into the platform.
The Scoop: Facebook has begun working with news publishers to allow them to offer subscriptions, via the Facebook platform – Journalism Project. In a blog post, Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, discusses the new Journalism Project saying “we are beginning to build a tool to support subscriptions within Instant Articles and plan to start testing with a small group of partners later this year…We are in early talks with several news publishers about how we might better support subscription business models on Facebook.” Facebook hopes to entice news publishers to keep their content on Facebook’s platform by offering subscription services.
The Scoop: Sprinklr has announced plans to update the Instagram API on its platform. Sprinklr users will now be able to track more comprehensive Instagram metrics, hide or disable comments, and communicate via Instagram without having to leave the Sprinklr site. Users can also view demographic and audience data about Instagram followers and track impressions, reach, comments, saves, and views for Instagram pictures and videos. Sprinklr is one of the first third party sites to offer such expanded metrics with Instagram’s API and hopes that this will establish the site as a one stop shop for companies to manage social accounts.
The Scoop: Sephora is striving to adapt to changes in consumer habits when it comes to shopping. Consumers are leaning more towards online shopping and visiting stores that are more intimate and closer to home, rather than shopping centers. In response to this change of pace, Sephora has created “Sephora Studios” to offer smaller, more intimate Sephora experiences in residential neighborhoods. So far Sephora has opened one store on Newbury Street in Boston, Mass, and plans to expand to other areas such as Hoboken, N.J. and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y. Aspects of a typical Sephora store, like cash registers, have been left out of the Sephora Studio design to save space. For example, employees will be using portable technology to ring up customers and will feature smaller assortments of products for purchase. Sephora Studio will also provide a more personalized experience for shoppers through consultations that are followed up with an e-mail list of products tested in store. It is expected that eventually there will be about 80 Sephora Studios across the country.
The Scoop: Quilted Northern recently sponsored the 13th annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress competition to show just how high-quality their product is. Of the 1,517 people who submitted dresses made completely out of Quilted Northern toilet paper, 10 finalists were selected and flown to New York for a fashion show event to showcase the gowns. As a whole, 250 rolls of toilet paper were used between the 10 finalists and the winner was awarded $10,000. This event gave participants a way to show their creative skills, while giving Quilted Northern a promote the durability of their toilet paper products.
The Scoop: In honor of National Tequila Day, Jose Cuervo turned three LA water fountains into an ample supply of Jose Cuervo Silver Tequila. These three fountains were located at the Hollywood & Highland shopping center, The Abbey and on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Visitors were carded at each fountain to verify age and by 2 p.m., over 300 visitors sipped from the Hollywood & Highlands fountain.This pop-up marketing tactic was a part of Jose Cuervo’s mission to encourage consumers to, “bring back a historic disregard for anything but celebrating the moment.”
The Scoop: To counter any body image issues and insecurities, Cinta Tort Catro, an artist from Brazil, decided to turn any visible “flaws” on her body into meaningful artwork. One of her featured artistic demonstrations on her body was painting stretch marks and transforming them into whimsical, colorful designs and patterns. Through “artivism”(a connection between art and activism), she wants to be able to help others and a send a message that “all bodies are equally valuable.” Catro has used her Instagram account to spread awareness and display how to turn what may be viewed as a “flaw” into art.
The Scoop: Taco bell and Lyft have partnered to bring Lyft riders to the nearest Taco Bell. “Taco Mode”, turns the typical visual of the closest cars to the user into tacos for an interactive taco-themed Lyft experience. This partnership is the first time that Lyft has partnered with another corporation. Currently, this promotion is only at one Taco Bell located in Orange County, CA as a test. Eventually, this promotion is planned to spread all across the country.