Twitter Unveils Ad Carousel Featuring User Tweets


THE SCOOP: Twitter is testing out a new ad scheme that would allow brands to leverage both user tweets and their own through a carousel format. One caveat, though, is brands will need explicit permission from users to promote their tweet as an ad.

Facebook’s director of product design on why websites may be a dying business


THE SCOOP: After the dominance of URLs, we’re entering the platform era where more design diversity online is not necessarily better, Jon Lax, director of product design at Facebook, suggested. Increasingly, companies, news outlets and many others are providing their services by building in and on top of outside mobile platforms and operating systems that dictate how they should look.

Facebook Is Teaching Its Computers to Understand Everything You Post


THE SCOOP: Facebook has announced a new, artificially intelligent language processing engine, called Deep Text. It applies a computer-science technique called deep learning to the old problem of teaching computers to understand human language. And it could mean big advances in Facebook’s most popular products, from Messenger to the Facebook news feed.

Instagram Introducing Business Profiles to Help Drive Ad Dollars


THE SCOOP: Instagram is unveiling tools to help businesses differentiate themselves from regular users in a bid to help drive advertising revenue. Instagram, which has been heralded by analysts as a key source of growth for Facebook, will now let businesses create special profiles that will allow customers to contact them directly rather than posting public comments. Instagram will also offer business users new data on which posts are getting the most engagement and give them the ability to turn posts into advertisements.

The Music Industry Takes on YouTube


THE SCOOP: YouTube content is protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which allows the site to stream any content that users upload until a copyright owner requests it to be taken down. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) brought forth the complaint to re-negotiate licensing deals. The big labels said that they made more money in record sales than they did for streaming music in 2015, despite the rise in streaming and they are pointing the finger at YouTube. Cary Sherman, chief executive of RIAA, says that what YouTube is doing is a new type of piracy. Even if a label requests for the copyrighted material to be taken down, it can easily be uploaded again by another user. So tackling copyright infringement on YouTube is a never-ending battle.

ICYMI: I Hope Mark Zuckerberg’s Dream Board Is Safe, Because His Pinterest Got Hacked


THE SCOOP: Over the weekend, Zuck’s Pinterest and Twitter accounts were hacked by the OurMine Team, a group that also is taking credit for a LinkedIn hack that compromised several million people back in May. The group was allegedly able to gain access to his accounts using a password mined from the LinkedIn hack. Which mean, yes, the founder of one of the world’s largest social media platforms likely got busted for using the same password across multiple websites.

Snapchat Has Reportedly Toppled Twitter In Terms Of Daily Active Users


THE SCOOP: In terms of daily usage, four-year-old ephemeral messaging app Snapchat has reportedly surpassed social network Twitter — which was founded over a decade ago. While Twitter is thought to have 136 million daily active users, Snapchat now counts 150 million, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. And Snapchat is growing at exponential rates, while Twitter’s user base seems to be stagnating. Last December, Snapchat had 110 million daily active users, Bloomberg reports, but has since grown to overtake Twitter, which was once the most popular social platform in the world after Facebook. Twitter has also been overtaken by other Facebook apps, including Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.


Ray Liotta and DJ Khaled Get Their Nails Done in Apple Music’s Latest Ad


THE SCOOP: The ad features Ray Liotta and DJ Khaled in a nail salon. Mr. Liotta is confounded by the Apple Music service, unable to believe that users can listen to thousands of songs for $9.99 per month. “There’s thousands and thousands and thousands of songs,” he says in the spot. DJ Khaled tell Mr. Liotta to challenge him to find a random song, and he asks for a Doobie Brothers song, which DJ Khaled then proceeds to play.

Sprint’s New Pitchman Is Verizon’s ‘Can You Hear Me Now’ Guy


THE SCOOP: If you watched TV at all in the 2000s, you’ve likely seen Verizon’s ubiquitous pitchman – the one who endlessly asked, “Can you hear me now?” And if you watched the second game of the NBA Finals on Sunday, you saw him shilling for rival Sprint. While he quit doing TV ads for Verizon around 2011, he’s now appearing in Sprint’s latest campaign. The actor, Paul Marcarelli, is appearing as himself in the new spot, called “Paul Switched.” In the ad he introduces himself, and notes that he’s now a Sprint customer because Sprint’s “reliability is now within 1% of Verizon. And Sprint saves you 50% on most Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile rates.”


Who Has the Most Influence Online? (Report)


THE SCOOP: Using data gleaned from the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, Kissmetrics highlights just how trusting consumers and prospects are. The most trusted sources of information (rated extremely/very credible) this year were technical experts, academic experts and peers, with all three falling between 63 percent and 67 percent. Respondents are also starting to trust CEOs a lot more this year, with trust increasing by 8 percent year over year; however, CEO trust remains below 50 percent.

Slaying Goliath: How Social Will Defeat Search for Ad Dollars


THE SCOOP: In the fourth quarter of 2015, Kenshoo found that marketers increased spend on search 8 percent year-over-year. Facebook ad spend was up 50 percent year-over-year. A look at click-through rates shows why marketers are more excited about social ads. CTRs for search ads rose 17 percent year-over-year—and 64 percent year-over-year on Facebook. It’s not just Facebook. In November, eMarketer released a study showing that users felt that sponsored social deliveries via Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram were the most effective marketing tactics. General search results ranked No. 15; search ads No. 18.