Ten Things You Need to Know — 18/05/18


  • Use­ful New Tools For Face­book Lives: If you’re a large-scale publisher—say the BBC or similar—the inabil­i­ty to cross-post Face­book Live broad­casts to mul­ti­ple owned Pages simul­ta­ne­ous­ly has long been an annoy­ance. Now, though, own­ers of mul­ti­ple Pages will be able to eas­i­ly stream Live broad­casts to each Page, with aggre­gat­ed view­er fig­ures, which is help­ful.
  • FB Intro­duc­ing New Video Ad For­mats: Pre-roll, basi­cal­ly, which they’ve been tout­ing for months but which seems now to be A Thing (in the US, at least, and only through Face­book Watch rather than in News­feed), these excit­ing­ly “also includ­ed a new fea­ture called “pre­view trail­ers,” ads to pro­mote Watch shows and oth­er videos that can take view­ers to the full-length pro­gram. A use­ful new set of addi­tions to the Face­book video ads sta­ble, and anoth­er move bring­ing Face­book ads more in line with tra­di­tion­al TV for­mats.
  • Insta­gram Is Launch­ing Native Pay­ments: Well this is big—and snuck in some­what unan­nounced. Insta­gram users in the US and the UK—at least some of them—are being offered the oppor­tu­ni­ty to input their cred­it card details in order to allow native pay­ments through the plat­form. This is obvi­ous­ly HUGE from a retail point of view. No indi­ca­tion at all as to how the expe­ri­ence will work for users, and seem­ing­ly no retail­ers have yet been offered the oppor­tu­ni­ty to let users check out through Ins­ta, but this is sure­ly com­ing. Are you excit­ed? I’m excit­ed.
  • Bet­ter Mes­sag­ing For Busi­ness­es on Insta­gram: Busi­ness­es will now have a bet­ter way to man­age their mes­sages on Insta­gram, with impor­tant new cus­tomer mes­sages appear­ing in an account’s main Direct inbox, instead of in the pend­ing fold­er. Users will also be able to star and fil­ter con­ver­sa­tions to come back to mes­sages they want to fol­low up on, and a “quick replies” fea­ture is in devel­op­ment, so that you can eas­i­ly respond to com­mon ques­tions. Good, isn’t it? ISN’T IT???

  • Ins­ta Sto­ries Adds Emo­ji Slid­er Poll: I reck­on this is going to be HUGELY pop­u­lar and overused by brands, to the point of com­plete over­sat­u­ra­tion with­in a mat­ter of weeks. It’s a con­tent unit for Insta­gram Sto­ries that lets any­one insert a slid­ing scale poll, with SUPER HAPPY and SUPER NOT HAPPY emo­ji at either end, to let those watch­ing inform you whether they feel CRYING WITH LAUGHTER or you only mer­it a SCEPTICAL HAND ON CHIN about your post. A poten­tial­ly excel­lent way of boost­ing engage­ment with Sto­ries, and for poten­tial­ly adding a degree of inter­ac­tiv­i­ty to your con­tent.
  • Snapchat Launch­es Snap­pables: Snap­pables are a series of inter­ac­tive lens­es, allow­ing users to play a series of sim­ple games, con­trolled using the same AR inter­face that puts dog ears on your head to hilar­i­ous effect. You can bop your head up and down to do vir­tu­al keepy-ups, say, or con­tort your mouth to catch float­ing emo­ji, or what­ev­er. At the moment these are being built in-house and rolled out week­ly, but they would BITE YOUR HAND OFF if you are a brand that wants to spend 6 fig­ures on mak­ing a themed game where you have to, say, chomp as many Whop­pers as you can in a minute.
  • All Of The Snapchat Ad For­mats: A real­ly use­ful run­down by Busi­ness Insid­er, and exact­ly the sort of thing that all plat­forms should have read­i­ly acces­si­ble as an explain­er, yet weird­ly don’t seem to have in place at all.
  • Alexa Will Now Remem­ber: Well, soon—and in the US only, for now—but if you do stuff around recipes for Ama­zon Echo then you ought to be aware of the immi­nent intro­duc­tion of a degree of per­sis­tence in the device’s mem­o­ry. Users will be able to tell Alexa to “remem­ber” infor­ma­tion (in the exam­ple they sug­gest birth­days, but one could equal­ly use “my favourite Divinyls song” or “the pod­cast that makes the red mist recede”). The appli­ca­tions for this for Echo app devel­op­ers are obvi­ous­ly real­ly big, not least for the cre­ation of games. You could rea­son­ably imag­ine script­ing an audio-RPG which allowed for per­sis­tent and inter­ac­tive inven­to­ry man­age­ment, for exam­ple.
  • Google Sur­veys: Now any­one with a Google account can set up a rea­son­able (if, as pro­fes­sion­al data­wonks would scream, VERY unso­phis­ti­cat­ed and sta­tis­ti­cal­ly prob­lem­at­ic) series of sur­veys using all the ques­tion types you might expect, tar­get­ed (rough­ly) by region (broad geog­ra­phy-lev­el rather than any­thing so use­ful as post­code) and age (stan­dard demo­graph­ic brack­ets). You pay per response, with the cost depen­dant on all the usu­al fac­tors such as com­plex­i­ty and so on. Costs seem­ing­ly start at £0.08 per respon­dent, which looks like a pret­ty good deal as long as you don’t wor­ry about fan­cy stuff like weight­ing and the like.

News, Technology
Digital Europe

Posted on 05-18-2018

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