Contact on Instagram

Contact on Instagram

Over the past year, Instagram has beefed up its ad offerings, spiraling into not just a social platform but a utilitarian marketing tool. With a new button, the platform could slowly turn into a customer service channel. 

  • The platform has rolled out a “contact” button for businesses, letting customers reach out with any questions
    • Customers with a question can tap the button and then are prompted with options to call, text, or email the brand

 

 

The Takeaway: As Instagram continues to roll out more business tools you can expect this feature to play a role in the holiday season, with the button perhaps creating a more frictionless experience between consumers and brands. 

Lifestage

Lifestage

In most instances in life people look forward to being over 21.  With Facebook’s new app, you might wish you were 21 and under.

  • The app is called Lifestage and is restricted to users who are 21 and under
  • Lifestage is a video app that allows users to share videos within their network
    • The app is essentially like Snapchat except you can’t message others
  • Why Lifestage?
    • More than 60% o U.S. smartphone users between the ages of 13-34 use Snapchat
    • To counter the statistic above, Facebook is targeting high school and college aged users to retain its competitive edge in the social sphere

 

The Takeaway: Facebook loves to create a walled garden – that is, create so much functionality within the app so that you never have to leave. As more and more younger users shift their time and attention away from Facebook towards Snapchat, one should wonder: is this Facebook’s second attempt at challenging the ephemeral-natured platform? 

 

Uber En Route To...

Uber En Route To...

…the driverless future! In the next few weeks the company that disrupted the taxi industry will begin deploying autonomous Volvos in Pittsburgh.  Here’s more:

  • Uber will purchase Volvos and then install its own driverless control system
    • The cars launched in Pittsburg this week on a trial basis
  • Uber customers can order a cab and might be randomly sent a self-driving car (not to worry, there will be a human in the driver seat supervising)
  • This will be the first car on the road used for commercial use
    • Google has been testing for years, but has yet to launch anything on the road
    • Tesla Motors offers Autopilot but it is essentially just a beefed-up cruise control
    • Ford has announced plans for a autonomous ride-sharing service

 

The Takeaway: Uber could be the company that puts us even closer to one of the greatest human technical innovations — all powered by a robot.

Here Comes Video...

Here Comes Video...

Like social platforms before it, Pinterest will allow marketers to leverage promoted video ads on the platform.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ads will appear in the main feed, but will only play short previews without sound
    • Once a user clicks on the ad it will play in its entirety complete with audio
  • Advertisers will be able to share pins related to their videos that relate to their products as well as give users a place to purchase the items that are featured in the videos
  • Advertisers will pay per impression for their ads

 

The Takeaway: Pinterest is essentially a mashup of a social platform with a digital mall. How might this new product shorten the gap in the purchasing cycle and encourage users to purchase more products on the platform? 

If You Care About Impressions...

If You Care About Impressions...

…you will appreciate Pinterest’s latest update:

  • Pinterest is changing its advertising model 
    • Up until this point, marketers could only bid on inventory based on how many people click on or engage with their ads
  • The platform is launching a new way for marketers to bid on ad inventory
    • Now, marketers have the option to buy ads through its auction based on how much they’re willing to pay for impressions

 

The Takeaway: The update underscores a trend in social – a model that is moving away from vanity metrics like likes and engagement, towards more performance based metrics.