- The Scoop: In an attempt to reach more desktop users around the globe, Instagram will update its Instagram Story platform. According to Bloomberg, the number of people accessing Instagram through the web is growing, which is very relevant in developing parts of the world like India and Southeast Asia. More than 80% of Instagram users live outside of the United States, therefore adding more ways for these users to connect is simple by expanding the desktop capabilities so that users can access Instagram stories globally across devices.
- The Scoop: The original use of Snapchat’s Snap Map feature made people uncomfortable because it displayed the exact location of users and Snaps shared to the public Our Story stream. Adversely, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, this Snapchat feature is immensely useful as it helps people around the world empathize with victims of natural disasters. A heat map feature shows where Snaps are most concentrated, and users can pinch and zoom with their fingers to move around and focus on particular areas. It also allows people the ability to provide aid and attention to those who are being directly affected by the disaster. Snap Map has now become an ideal resource for politicians, news reporters, and civilians alike.
- The Scoop: Consumers will soon be able to reach their favorite businesses through the free messaging service, WhatsApp. The app has started a pilot program that features a green badge next to a business contact, indicating that the business was verified as an authentic account by the WhatsApp database. Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 and is now using the platform to further monetize its reach capability with more than a billion daily users.
- The Scoop: Facebook is now offering major record labels and music publishers hundreds of millions of dollars to allow users to legally include songs in uploaded videos. The posting and viewing of video on Facebook has become very popular in recent years, but majority of these videos feature music to which Facebook doesn’t own the rights. Under current law, rights holders can ask Facebook to take down videos with infringing material. Due to music owners negotiating with Facebook for months, Facebook promised to build a system to identify and tag music that infringes copyrights. The setup will take as long as two years to complete, but in the meantime Facebook wants an arrangement so that it doesn’t frustrate users, by taking down their videos; partners, by hosting infringing material; or advertisers, with the prospect of legal headaches.
- The Scoop: Both Facebook and Instagram are advancing security protocols after a hack released the contact information of over six million Instagram users. The hack even reached to celebrities like Drake, Christiano Ronaldo and the official POTUS Instagram. A searchable database called “Doxable” charged users $10 to use their search engine and in turn gained access to both verified and unverified accounts. Instagram’s Chief Technical Officer, Mike Krieger, advises users to be vigilant about the security of their account and exercise caution if they encounter any suspicious activity such as unrecognized incoming calls, texts and emails.
- The Scoop: Crayola has given its century-old product a contemporary relevance, most recently with Color Alive, which lets kids color cartoons, scan them, then watch as an app animates them. Crayola also led the adult coloring book craze with its Crayola Color Escapes. This technological advance has allowed Crayola to maintain its status in the arts and crafts world as a top seller of crayons that it has carried on since its inception in 1880.
- The Scoop: Converse is revamping its brand with the hopes of appealing to Generation Z by launching a Twitter series with celebrity hosts, including Miley Cyrus and Maisie Williams. Each episode, a celebrity host will bring along friends, a conglomerate of artists, and activists and innovators. The main idea is to find hosts who challenge the status quo and can be a voice for the youth. Although the focus is not on Converse sneakers, each person on set is wearing a pair of the shoes. Khobi Brooklyn, Converse’s global vp of communications, explains that the brand stands “for youth and giving youth a voice, and that’s exactly what this format will do.”
- The Scoop: The famous furniture empire, Ikea, has found a young woman who can memorize its yearly catalog in its entirety. Yanjaa Wintersoul has become the first ever human catalog as she can answer any questions about names or pictures on any page in Ikea’s 2018 catalog. The brand kicks off a plethora of promotions, including a social film that explains how Ikea found and auditioned Wintersoul. On September 6, 2017 at 5 a.m. EDT users will be able to watch and test Wintersoul on Ikea Singapore’s Facebook page.