Helen here, taking credit for Sam's work again as he's off to London for the weekend. Here's what you need to know from the world of social media.
Snapchat and its selfie drone
Now there is no chance of avoiding the inevitable selfie with Snap Inc. bringing out a drone, yes, a drone to take selfies.
Snapchat may not be growing their users at a crazy rate like their competitors, but with their strong following, they’re looking at new avenues to impress their current audience and to entice new users. Snap Inc. has already invested in Snapchat spectacles, and is now venturing into the use of drones for users to take selfies with.
Rumour has it, that Snap Inc. is talking to Zero Zero Robotics, a Beijing-based maker of selfie drones. If the deal goes down then this will be Snapchats second product release, however unlike the Spectacles the videos will take place in the point of view of the drone. Snap Inc. are willing to go all out to keep this project going forward, apparently offering to pay anything between $150 million and $200 million to secure the deal with Zero Zero Robotics. The Hover Camera drone retails at $500, and is sold exclusively by Apple both through online and physical retail stores.
This change to the way Snapchat works by building on the basic uses of Snapchat is smart, it’s struggling to compete with the giant that is Facebook, as it has lost its originality with Facebook and Instagram introducing their own versions of stories and face filters. It is Snap Inc.’s chance to build on product development and move away from its war against Facebook, becoming the leader in hardware launches from social platforms.
Converse and its new marketing
Converse has released a series of GIFs readily available for users to share.
Converse asked the question of why spend money pushing your ads and media when you can get users to do it for you? They are taking advantage of the current demand for GIFs by creating a Back to School campaign based solely on GIF reactions.
The campaign features the Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown as the actor in the 32 GIFs highlighting the “First Day Feels” for kids going back to school after a long summer break. Big Spaceship, the NYC based agency, clearly knows what we love to use and share on social media, especially with increase in use of GIF keyboards. I’m thinking this is going to be a big hit amongst a millennial audience.
It’s pretty genius when you think about it, they create the GIFs and we share it for free, no need for big flashy ad campaigns when you can get your audience to willingly do your advertising for you. GIFs are now the leading form of self-expression for the younger generation, with all social media platforms providing a way to post them and a growing number of new GIFs every day. My money is on these GIFs breaking the internet, after all stranger things have happened.
Facebook drags desktops into the 21st century
Six months ago, Facebook launched the stories feature for mobile app users, and now the company is testing ways to make them available for users on desktops too.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook is already rolling out stories on desktops to selected users. The stories will be found in the top right corner of Facebook pages, just under the notifications ribbon. The stories will work in the same way as they do with mobile users, stories will only be available to view for 24 hours, and after that the stories are gone forever.
Stories have been a phenomenon, both on Facebook and Instagram. Having been a feature for only about a year, brands have already picked up on their potential and have started using them to promote products. Stories on Instagram alone have over 250 million daily users, while Snapchat only has 166 million users overall. Following on from this success, Facebook have brought stories to its other platforms including WhatsApp statuses.
Facebook hasn’t made it clear whether users will be able to create stories using their desktop cameras which could jeopardise the unplanned on the go nature of the feature. But the ability to view stories at least will benefit users including brands allowing stories to reach more peoples friends and larger audiences for brands.
Reports are out, Facebook is developing an AI-powered video chat device.
Facebook has had a rocky road when it comes to developing hardware, who can forget the Facebook phone that was released four years ago, not the best outcome was it? But there’s always opportunities to improve and move on, and now they are developing a modular phone. Insiders told Bloomberg that the project was to create a video chat tablet, powered by AI.
Facebook has pumped a lot of money into AI recently and they have two options of what to do with their work, push it to their social platforms or push it to hardware. Not much has been released about the device as of yet, but its suggested that it will have a laptop-sized touchscreen, and will use smart camera technology.
Facebook already connects millions of people around the world, so building hardware that supports this could really take Facebook a step further above its competitors.