Here are all of the posts in the ‘News’ category.
Tourism Australia’s VR experience DOESN’T include Chris Hemsworth
Yes, this is sad news. But the campaign itself is still great. Tourism Australia has just launched their new campaign embracing the latest in virtual reality and 360-degree mobile technology. 17 video content pieces focusing on Australia’s aquatic and coastal experiences have been created in an attempt to attract international visitors to Australia. Check them out on YouTube: click on the video and drag it around to see all the different viewpoints.
Alongside VR, the campaign also includes a TV spot with Aussie actor and TA ambassador Chris Hemsworth launched yesterday in New York (and shared more than 35,000 times on Facebook only in less than 24 hours), a refresh of the brand’s print and digital assets, a 116 page supplement with publication Australian Traveller, social media, and a heap of user-generated content.
Nike targets millennial women in new YouTube series
As part of the wider ‘Better for it‘ campaign, Nike has just announced an original YouTube series designed to appeal to young female consumers, tapping into the twin trends of fitness selfies, and engaging with YouTube celebs. The eight-episode series called Margot vs Lily will follow Lily, the fitness-obsessed YouTube celebrity, and her “exercise allergic” sister, Margot. Does it resonate with you too? The series will air on Nike Women’s YouTube channel weekly from the beginning of February, with Nike+ members given early access to the shows. Watch the trailer:
A Real Talk with Barbie
Model and social influencer Barbie Ferreira has teamed up with American Eagle‘s lingerie line Aerie for their Photoshop-free campaign #AerieREAL, in the new YouTube video “Real Talk With Barbie”. All of the images have celebrated women with varying physiques, without any digital manipulation, since the campaign debuted. Last year, Emma Roberts starred in the ads. “Not being retouched in the images is something that’s very important to me,” Ferreira says in the short video. “People knowing that that’s what I look like without anyone’s perception of what my body needs to look like.” Lots of support has been shared on social media, and according to Business Insider, the #aerieREAL campaign has helped the retailer’s recent quarter sales jump 21%.
Facebook launches Sports Stadium
Facebook has launched a new feature similar to Twitter Moments but purely for sports. Users will be able to find out the latest on their favourite game simply by searching for it within the app. They’ll see a live feed from that game, what friends are saying about the match, along with stats and commentary from experts. It’s centred around the NFL right now and only available in the U.S but I’m sure they’ll be covering the fly fishing championships soon.
New Snapchat features uncovered within current app’s code
Some very clever code crackers have spotted new features within Snapchat’s current app code which may indicate that it’s planning to roll out audio/video calling and stickers, which would make it more of a competitor to the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Pinterest to start video advertising
Pinterest has announced its intention to branch out into video advertising to bring it in line with the likes of Twitter and Facebook. The strategy at this stage is to get users used to seeing video on Pinterest organically so the behaviour is formed and then to monetise it by promoting content which Pinterest is most associated with e.g. ‘how-to create 57 different styles of hat with just one shoebox’ etc.
Barneys publishes Instagram lookbook for Paris Fashion Week
As part of Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Barneys New York partnered with artist Doug Abraham and published “Seeing Stars”, which is an Instagram-only look book that gave users a unique opportunity to shop a Givenchy menswear collection. A slight departure from the usual Barneys Instagram content, which mainly consists of quite tame product shots, the collection shows a series of male models bound with tape and rope looking a bit sad but also confusingly sexy.
SEEING STARS / Givenchy Spring 2016. A @barneysman lookbook collaboration with @bessnyc4. Click the link in our bio to shop the full collection. A photo posted by Barneys New York (@barneysman) on
Facebook messenger reaches 800M users – what’s next?
Facebook Messenger finishes 2015 as the second most-used app behind, you guessed it, the full Facebook app and it’s got some big plans for 2016. We’ll see the continuing development of M, its artificial intelligence bot, here to order all your late night pitch fuel (did you know that Mr.Crackles now delivers?!) flowers, dog bowties etc. It’s also predicted that Facebook Messenger is going to work harder to bring friends together offline and delight fans with a smattering of design treats (such as snowflakes falling in your chat window).
Facebook lets developers build Messenger bots
As part of its aforementioned big plans for Messenger, Facebook has given some developers access to a chat SDK (software development kit) to create their own versions of its official assistance bot ‘M’. The bots will allow people to use Messenger for more than just messaging, such as ordering things (like a cab for instance). By using Messenger in this way, businesses can avoid developing expensive stand alone apps and still connect easily with customers.
Experience the ‘Green Room’ with our immersive 360 Point Break video
For the local release of Point Break, we had professional big wave surfer Mark Mathews take on the big waves of South Australia. Shot using a GoPro rig, we stitched together a gnarly immersive 360 video that lives on both Facebook and YouTube. Working with Roadshow we also branded Google Cardboard which was rolled out in cinemas across the country for people to take their experience to the next level. Yeeeewwww!
Instagram’s Spotlight Compilations to change video watching habits?
Comparable to Snapchat’s Live Stories, Instagram has changed its Spotlight Compilations to collate more than just content around big events like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Now, users can see the best videos relating to all sorts of new themes, for instance: “Dynamic Duos – Odd Couple Animal Videos”. Video has not always been an easy sell for Instagram, as users will often scroll with their sound down, but these longer series of videos might be enough to get the volume ramped up. Making video higher up on users’ Instagram agendas means that Instagram can sell more video adverts (which make them more money) – geddit? So enjoy those animal videos…
Twitter launches new conversational ad format
Twitter is testing a new ad format which encourages people to join its advertisers’ conversations and therefore spread brand messages in a more authentic (looking) way than if the brand just tweeted it itself. Here’s how to spot if you’ve been targeted by a “Conversational Ad”. You’ll be presented with one or two buttons for branded hashtags (this will look sort of like a Twitter poll). After this a pre-populated message will appear (crafted by the brand), most probably accompanied by a picture or video. You can change any of these elements or leave them as they are and then tweet away. Of course, ideally brands would like to target people who have large amounts of followers and this is possible with Twitter’s Tailored Audiences ad-targeting tool – but whether they do anything with the content is up to them.
Twitter rumoured to be changing character count to 10,000
The end of an era seems to be nigh, as Twitter looks to be building a feature which allows users to go over the 140 character limit to match its current 10,000 character DM limit. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, also indirectly commented on the change by tweeting his views using an image (with lots of characters on it).
Snapchat steps up advertising with new API
Snapchat looks to be taking that next step into the big boy league by working on an API to let partners buy their own ads with more precision. It will increase the variety of ads they can offer to include call to actions, encouraging downloads or sign-ups. As brands lust after its young, mobile audience, this is seen as a natural development.
Snapchat shuts down lens store
It’s a sad day for rainbow vomit fans as Snapchat has announced that its lens store will be closing. It will be upping its free lens portfolio from seven to 10 to fill the void that no doubt will be left by this sudden departure. Sources close to the brand say that it’s more lucrative for them to focus on sponsored selfies like this one for Peanuts The Movie and the development of the aforementioned ad API.
What a year in Social.
2015 was the year that 26 million people changed their Facebook profile to a rainbow flag. It was the year Kim Kardashian “broke the app store”. And it was the year that Social rose to an estimated 16% of online ad spend.
I was debating whether to make this a global review, or an Australian review… but in 2015, that question almost doesn’t make sense. The walls of the internet are almost totally porous. Nevertheless, there have been quite a few Aussie developments worth calling out.Of course, any selection like this is bound to be subjective. But hey, that’s what the comments section is for, people.
Social Campaign Of The Year
So many great campaigns this year, I’m going to have to pick two joint winners.First, the launch PR stunt for Zoolander 2 – in which Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson crashed the Paris Fashion Week runway ‘in character’ as Derek Zoolander and Hansel – swept across the internet almost as fast as Kim Kardashian’s butt did in 2014.
My other favourite is an idea that came out of NZ – Burger King’s open letter to McDonald’s, suggesting they call a truce and join forces to create a McWhopper, to help promote the Peace One Day initiative.
The copywriting was truly exceptional (“Good morning McDonald’s. We come in peace”) and when the Golden Arches responded in a really lame way, that just affirmed BK’s status as the cooler, less corporate burger joint.
Hashtag Of The Year
The power of the hashtag has grown significantly in 2015, often being employed to express important themes such as racial disquiet, for example #BlackLivesMatter and #IStandWithAhmed, and terrorism (#JeSuisCharlie and #PrayForParis). On a lighter note, there was a huge and hugely trivial debate about #thedress.
But globally, this was the year the world finally engaged in lively conversation about marriage equality, a lot of which took place under the #LoveWins banner, so let’s call it a win for positivity.
Emerging Trend Of The Year
Only one possible answer here. They may turn out to be a fad, but 2015 will definitely be remembered as the year of the emoji. The use of acronyms to express emotion (e.g. ‘LOL’ or ‘LMFAO’) is declining rapidly, and being replaced by yellow pictograms. Numerous brands have got in on the act, with companies such as Coca-Cola, Ballantines Whisky and Domino’s creating their own unique emoji.
The most popular emoji globally? This one.
2015 was definitely the year that Live Social took off: Periscope launched to some fanfare, and promises great things for live events and news-streaming.
Snapchat exploded, and has become the social network to watch – with over 400m users and a valuation of US$19 billion already, it’s the platform of choice for hard-to-reach teens (50% of Aussie teens are using it) and its growth trajectory is steeper than both Facebook’s and Instagram’s at an equivalent stage.
Rumours are rife that they’ll open up the platform for advertising fully next year, so watch this ad-space.
Another contender is Twitch, emerging from nowhere like a special forces soldier behind enemy lines. Over 1.15m unique users watch the live-streaming gaming channel in Australia every month and 80% of viewers are 18-35.
But because of its continuing influence and relevance, I’m going to have to give it to Twitter.
Even though the platform’s biggest numbers were generated by the likes of One Direction and our very own 5 Seconds Of Summer, it was also the platform Caitlyn Jenner chose to introduce herself to the world, the platform that Kimye chose for the introduction of its latest spawn, and here in Australia, it has been the scene of lively debate under hashtags like #AusPol, #QandA and #LibSpill.
Social Media Fail Of The Year
Globally, you can’t go past Heinz producing a QR code that led to porn. Here in Australia, the #mytaxis fiasco would win in most years, but Woolworths’ horrendous ‘Fresh In Our Memories’ ANZAC Day social campaign is less forgivable. Vic Taxis was a case of an organisation not used to the limelight, learning the hard way. Woolworths should know better.
Search Term Of The Year
The arrival of Netflix was one of the biggest things to happen in Australia this year. Maybe I’m biased, since Netflix is a We Are Social client. But maybe I’m not.
‘Netflix’ was the top ranking search term of 2015, while the top ranking search question was ‘what is Netflix?’
Meme Of The Year
Netflix has another contender here, with the phrase NetflixAndChill truly penetrating popular culture. Other memes that tickled the internetz included David Cameron conference call, Katie Perry’s Left Shark, Pizza Rat and Drake’s dancing in his Hotline Bling video.
But since it managed to be both popular and commercially effective, I’m going to say the winner is Straight Outta Somewhere, the branded meme created to promote the movie Straight Outta Compton, which saw people from crappy towns all over the world proudly customising their own version of the poster.
Influencer Of The Year
Essena O’Neill, even though the Instafamous Queenslander actually quit social media in 2015. In case you didn’t see this story, the 19 year old model ‘resigned’ from Instagram, though not before going back over her profile and ‘outing’ all the images that were in reality paid endorsements. Her denouncing of social media’s ‘fakery’ was ironically itself denounced as a stunt in some quarters.
Whatever the truth of the episode, the story certainly raised a lot of interesting questions around the transparency of influencer endorsements, and the stresses of growing up in the social spotlight.
Innovation Of The Year
As ever in Social, it was a prolific year for innovation. 2015’s major new developments included YouTube Red, Facebook carousel ads, advertising on Instagram, Twitter Moments, Twitter polls and Twitter hearts, Facebook 360 and Facebook reactions.
However, although it’s not going to change the world, for sheer verve and inventiveness I’m giving the honour to Snapchat lenses (guaranteed to impress your nieces and nephews over the holidays, but do keep them on a short leash as many of these little moments of fun now cost $1.49 each).
Looking Forward… Most Significant Development In Social For 2016?
Could be Social VR, could be the rise of ‘buy buttons’ or even social currencies such as Snapcash. But until the invention of a functioning social crystal ball, no one knows for sure. And that’s what’s so exciting about working in this field. See you next year!
Marketers flock to Instagram
Facebook and Twitter are the top social networks currently used by marketers (84.7% and 65.8% of companies respectively) but Instagram will replace Twitter in the next two years according to a new report.
Already used by 32.3% of marketers, it is projected to increase to 48.8% in 2016 before overtaking Twitter in 2017, by when 70.7% of companies will be using it for marketing purposes. Very impressive considering how recently Instagram opened their platform for advertising. And as early reports suggest that Instagram’s product performs on par or better than Facebook, the future is looking very bright for Facebook’s attractive sister platform.
Facebook tests live video streaming
With Periscope being very much the poster child of the live social video trend, Facebook has predictably swooped in to claim its own piece of the action by beginning to test Live Video with a small percentage of iPhone users in the US. They will be able to share live streamed video content with their friends, during which users will see the number of live viewers, the names of friends who are tuning in as well as real-time comments (aka Periscope).
No sleep for brand customer services as Facebook add new tools
Facebook has introduced even more tools to assist marketers with customer service. According to Facebook, messages to pages run by businesses have doubled in the past year. Pages will be able to set their own responsiveness times to manage customer expectations but also set themselves to ‘away’ outside of business hours or when they need a big toilet for instance. Customer service personnel will also be able to leave notes on users’ messages, like: “a-hole alert!” but probably more professional.
Twitter is testing non-chronological timelines
Twitter has begun testing non-chronological timelines to an initial reaction of confusion. A Twitter spokesperson has said: “This is an experiment. We’re continuing to explore ways to surface the best content for people using Twitter.”
Twitter extends ads to logged-out users
Although 307 million people log in to Twitter monthly to check their updates, 500 million people visit who aren’t logged in. Until now, Twitter hasn’t been able to make any money from these logged-out users – that is until now. The platform has just started testing ads on people who aren’t logged in, who mainly come to the site through Google searches, e-mail links or tweets embedded on third-party sites.
Twitter changes image format
Twitter has made an update that means the end of unfortunate image crops when uploading your photo updates. Now photos will be uploaded in the size they were intended and this comes as part of its mission to move away from being a text-based service.
Pinterest acquisitions boost e-commerce and image recognition
Pinterest’s acquisitions rise to nine following an announcement that they’ve bought Pext and The Hunt. The former is a a meme generator, the latter helps users find fashion items by posting an image of it for The Hunt’s community to locate faster than a bunch of Beliebers can find Justin’s latest Instagram crush.
Whisper doubles its audience in six months
Anonymous social platform Whisper has reported that it now has 20 million monthly users, which is twice as many as it had in May. It cannot be denied that the closure of rival app Secret may have something to do with this; where else is one meant to air their filthy Gandalf fantasies? It has also been pulling in some top advertisers with Coca-Cola and Disney/Pixar using the platform.
Mobile messaging apps used by 1.4 billion worldwide
eMarketer has released its first ever worldwide forecast for mobile messaging apps and the number of users is rapidly growing. More than 1.4 billion consumers will use mobile messaging apps this year according to the report – that’s a massive 31.6% increase on last year. eMarketer’s money is on the trend continuing; it predicts that by 2018, the number of chat app users worldwide will reach 2 billion – that’s 80% of smartphone users… which is heaps.
OMG! One Direction in emoji form
We’ve all tweeted something and thought ‘This could’ve been better conveyed with a Harry Styles emoji’, right? Well now you can tweet the face of any of the 1D dreamboats with a simple hashtag. Take your pick from the hashtags below. One of which may not be quite as it seems…
Rainbow vomit has a price
Have you ever dreamt of having something that money can’t buy? Something, for example, such as magical rainbow vomit? Well your dreams might just be coming true as rainbow chunder is now for sale and it could be yours for the princely sum of $1.49. While this sales pitch might sound convincing, anyone who has been on Snapchat in the last month or so will know that the almighty Snapchat rainbow vomit lens was once free. A free distraction for students (and We Are Social employees) everywhere. A free costume inspiration for Halloween parties. A free gift to the world. But sadly the best things in life are no longer free and Snapchat has opened up the Lens Store for all to try (and buy).
Tumblr gets instant messaging
Tumblr has granted its users the most requested feature to date – instant messaging. Before this, the only way they could communicate was reblogging with comments or by using Fan Mail and that wasn’t the most popular. Now, they’ve opted for a viral launch with only 1,500 people getting access for now but if they message you, you’ll then have it. Keep an eye out for that message!
Pinterest introduces visual search tool
While we all wish our homes looked like a Pinterest board, the reality is often quite different. To help you get a little bit closer to achieving that dream, Pinterest has introduced a search tool which means users can highlight something within a pin and get taken to that exact product. So highlight away and start hoping that everything is affordable.
Facebook’s first virtual reality ads revealed
Last week we talked about virtual reality being kind of a big deal and oh how we were right. Facebook has now entered the fold big time, with its first virtual reality-style video ads. This follows on from the roll out of its video creation tool in September, where brands could post 360-degree clips organically to their pages. In order to attract more brands to use the 360 vids (and therefore, make more $$$), Facebook has created a dedicated site to help get the low-down on creating 360-degree videos. You can see all of the ads from the brands who used the new format here, including Mondelez’s Ritz with a wonderful 360-degree holiday party and a tour of the “the most magical place on Earth” from Walt Disney World.