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Friday recap: Snapchat and Viceland team up, Messenger Day rolls out and more ad space for Instant Articles

There’s a rather varied line-up of news stories this week, with some uncharacteristic (but intriguing) behaviour by the biggest names in social media.

With the updates announced this week, it would appear that an identity crisis of sorts is occurring… Snapchat thinks it’s YouTube, Facebook thinks it’s Snapchat, and LinkedIn thinks it’s Instagram.

Facebook has also introduced more ad space for Instant Articles, Pinterest Lens is available to all and there are concerns that app developers could be in trouble with the latest iOS update.


Snapchat original shows

In an effort to become a platform for consumption of content as well as sharing, Snapchat makes a deal with Vice to produce original shows for its users.

The news was shared by Techcrunch earlier this week, who said that “The deal is an expansion of an earlier partnership between the two companies”, referring to Vice’s involvement with Snapchat Discover.

Vice, the huge media site dedicated to news, culture and arts topics, also owns an online tv channel called Viceland which produces reality shows and documentaries. Viceland will produce the first ever Snapchat original show, which will be called ‘Hungry Hearts with Action Bronson’. The company also has plans for introducing a number of other shows that will be exclusive to Snapchat.

This kind of content is designed to encourage users to spend more time on the platform, and could potentially attract users away from YouTube or even Netflix. At this point, there is no information about release dates or how users will be able to access the shows but we will provide updates as they happen.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out! (Pun intended).

Messenger Day official roll out

Facebook has announced this week that it is rolling out Messenger Day globally to all users, although the feature has been accessible since October 2016 for some Australian users.

For those who don’t know about it already, Messenger Day allows users to take images and videos to add to their ‘Day’ which appears along the top of the Messenger window. You can add stickers and text to the images or just doodle across them. 24 hours later, they will disappear. Sound familiar? Yep, it seems to be strongly “inspired” by Snapchat, much like Instagram Stories that rolled out in August last year.

Messenger Day roll out

Facebook detailed some instructions in the blog post for how to use Messenger Day, but it’s pretty straightforward. Take your photo, add your effects and then add to your story… I mean, ‘Day’.

You can also customise the visibility settings so that only certain people from your Messenger contacts can see your Day.

Messenger day announcement

The feature is available for all iOS and Android users with the latest update to the Messenger app.

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More ads for Instant Articles

Facebook has now increased the ad space in Instant Articles, allowing for more monetary gain by publishers.

The change is part of Facebook’s journalism project introduced in January this year, which is also responsible for a number of changes to Facebook in regards to news and reporting. The project aims to improve Facebook’s ties with the news industry to provide more relevant, accurate and timely news to its users.

Since the roll out of Instant Articles in 2015, Facebook has used an ‘automatic ad placement’ mechanism that places ads wherever they are most suitable for the aesthetic of the Instant Article. Content is also prioritised over ads so that article content will load before ads do.

Rather than an ad being inserted every 350 words, which has been the rule until now, Facebook will increase the frequency and include an ad every 250 words instead. Facebook said that it recognises that monetisation solutions are not one size fits all, so publishers will also have the option to choose how frequently ads can appear in the page content – either every 250, 350 or 500 words.

To find out more, visit the Facebook for Developers page.

Pinterest Lens available for all

We’ve discussed Pinterest’s camera search technology a few times now, first, when the concept was initially announced, then, when Pinterest Lens became a reality. Now, it’s available to all users across the US.

Simply put, Pinterest Lens allows you to compare and search for what you see in real life with what’s inside the Pinterest platform. You just need to take a photo of the item you want to search for and Pinterest will display similar products. You can also use photos from your camera roll – just select them and drop them into the app.

Pinterest has warned users that Lens is still in beta, which means they are still refining it and improving its functionality. The company has encouraged users to provide feedback if they don’t find exactly what they are looking for, so they can work on making Lens better.

Let’s hope that as soon as Lens is out of its beta phase, Pinterest will make it available in Australia and New Zealand!

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LinkedIn photo editing features

Continuing its bid to increase the quality of professional networking, LinkedIn has introduced a range of photo editing features for users.

The features include six new filters, tools like cropping and rotating, and other adjustments like brightness, contrast and vignette. Sounds rather ‘Instagram-y’ doesn’t it?

LinkedIn claims that “having a profile photo results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests.”

The new photo editing features are available now on the mobile app.

Nearly 200,000 apps could be killed off with iOS 11

New research discussed by Mashable in an article this week indicated that 187,000 apps could die with the new iOS 11 update.

App developers that have not updated their older apps to be compatible with 64-bit processors could risk them becoming obsolete. The 64-bit processors were first implemented with the roll out of the iPhone 5S, which was quite a few iPhone models (and years) ago. Apple encouraged developers to make the necessary updates back then, but now it could be making the final move to stop supporting them on the newest iOS platform.

Developers would have started seeing warning messages earlier this year, notifying them that their app would not work with future versions of iOS. Whether that time has come with the iOS 11 is yet to be determined, but any apps that have not been updated are inevitably at risk of falling off the grid.

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Amber Denny About the author