The Scoop: LinkedIn has updated its sharing options with enhanced features. Users can now share drafts with friends before publishing content, disable comments on posts, and share content with anyone online (even if they are not logged into a LinkedIn account). In a blog post, group product manager Pete Davies writes about the update explaining, “sharing your expertise on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to drive great conversations and discover new opportunities. Whether it’s a new job or it’s to meet other professionals with similar interests that can help you get ahead, we want to make it even easier for you to share your experience and perspectives.”
The Scoop: Instagram rolled out the carousel feature (allowing multiple photos in one post) months ago, but now, brands and businesses can promote these organic multi-photo posts. By clicking on a promote button which appears just below the content, brands will be given two options: aim for more visits (either on profile or website), or to target users nearby or in a specific location. With this feature, brands can now promote up to 10 photos and videos into one carousel post.
The Scoop: Facebook has updated its mobile platform by dedicating a section to Trending News (originally called Trending Topics) in an effort to give users more access to a wider range of publications aggregated by Facebook. Currently only on iOS, Trending News now has its own dedicated link in Facebook’s navigation panel. When clicked, a list of stories will appear ordered by the engagements (whichever post has the most likes, comments, and shares will appear first). Facebook says it does not have any influence on which stories appear first, the only influence being “the engagement around the article on Facebook, the engagement around the publisher overall, and whether other articles are linking to it.” Facebook explains that this news algorithm will not show any bias towards liberal or conservative views to its 2 billion monthly users.
The Scoop: Youtube is testing a feature that will allow a concurrent view count — in other words, users will be able to see how many other people are viewing a video in real time. This could be helpful for producers who want to gauge when the most popular times for a video is, or for marketers to track when the next new viral video or trend is coming out and get ahead of the curve. Currently, this is only being tested on Android and will possibly be expanded to iOS users.
The Scoop: Buzzfeed has announced that its livestream Twitter morning news show “AM to DM”, will launch on September 25th. The show will run weekdays from 8am to 9am. Buzzfeed has explained that the main content will be based on “bringing headlines from BuzzFeed News reporters all over the world: everyday Twitter heroes who have blown up on social media, giants of the entertainment industry and what they mean for your can’t-miss TV shows and movies and what exactly our elected officials are up to in Washington.” AM to DM will be hosted by BuzzFeed Books editor, Isaac Fitzgerald and BuzzFeed News executive editor of culture, Saeed Jones. Viewers can find the livestream for free on the @BuzzFeedNews account, whether logged into Twitter or not.
The Scoop: Instagram has released a new feature that allows users to create comment threads, making it feasible to directly reply to a specific thread. In order to create a thread, a user clicks the “reply” button underneath a comment, and any response will be grouped underneath the original comment. This update makes it easier for users to track the flow of conversation around a post, instead of conversations being interrupted and unsequenced.
The Scoop: Amazon is venturing into the physical store arena by rolling out “Instant Pickup”. The first few will be located near college campuses, where Amazon users can buy an item online and immediately pick it up at a store near them. Amazon employees at these locations then take product from the back room and place orders into lockers within two minutes. To access these lockers, customers receive barcodes. This comes from a push to enter the fresh produce market and impulse buys. Amazon’s director of student programs Ripley MacDonald explains this angle with an anecdote: “I want to buy a can of coke because I’m thirsty…There’s no chance I’m going to order that on Amazon.com and wait however long it’s going to take for that to ship to me.”
The Scoop: In a creative activation, Heinz lets hungry users find and eat the food they see on their screens. With the “Irresistible Posts” campaign, Heinz, uses geolocation to target local users who are looking at Stories of food being made around lunch time. Users then have the ability to swipe up, order the food, get photo and video messages of the food being made, and have Heinz deliver it to the user in a personalized box. Of course, Heinz included some of its own products in the box as well. Heinz Marketing Director, Isabella Rizzo, explains the inspiration behind the activation: “we decided to turn people’s craving into reality…Irresistible Posts innovate in the way people consume content: by eating it with Heinz.”
The Scoop: Toyota has created a new app with the help of Saatchi & Saatchi London that acts as a second pair of (parental) eyes on the road. Named Safe and Sound, this app has various functions to monitor teens’ driving. When the driver drives faster than nine mph, the app will automatically switch into Do Not Disturb mode, where all notifications on the phone are shut off to eliminate distractions. Additionally, when the driver goes above the speed limit, the playlist switches over to play their parents’ music instead. Toyota’s main tagline is, “there’s nothing teenagers fear more than being seen as uncool.” This phrase is the inspiration behind this app that is aimed to encourage safer driving. In a statement, Dario Giustini, senior manager of brand and communication at Toyota Europe, explained: “We have a safety-first approach globally and it’s our mission to one day eliminate all road accidents. Because we truly believe in safety as a company, we decided to actually do something about it.”
The Scoop: As an addition to Google’s recent investment in healthcare technology, Google has bought the Senosis app. These apps are able to determine certain health levels, such as one’s lung conditions and hemoglobin counts. This is all done using regular smartphone functions like the microphone, flash and camera. Google is also using AI and machine learning for creating assets for medical providers, hoping to “dramatically improve the availability and accuracy of medical services.”
The Scoop: Hulu and Live Nation teamed up to provide a VR experience, in which viewers get a unique 360 look into artists’ stories and musical journeys. While VR creates its own challenges such as the filming aspect, Hulu’s VP of Design, John S. Couch feels that VR is a great way to stay in touch with the ever changing landscape of technology and gives fans a unique way to experience and interact with various artists. This concert series aims to capture the authenticity of where the artist’s’ music comes from and hones in on each artist’s personality. Hulu and Live Nation hope to provide cutting-edge content that is unique and impactful, while giving viewers new insight into each artist.