Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Twitter to buy Flipboard?

According to reports, Twitter could be about purchase article-sharing app Flipboard. The all-stock deal, should it go ahead, could see Flipboard’s valuation soar to $1 billion.

Launched in 2010, Flipboard searches and aggregates thousands of topics, resulting in a ‘personal magazine’ based on a user’s particular interests. And, earlier this year, Flipboard launched ‘Promoted Items’, helping brands to publish their own content in Flipboard magazines.

While some social media commentators appear puzzled over the rationale behind the deal, the purchase could help Twitter to monetise partnerships with publishers. Something that is no doubt of particular interest to the micro-blogging site, with Facebook already making inroads in this space via its Instant Articles.

Flipboard, which at last count reported 100 activated million users (people who have used Flipboard at some point) was valued at $800 million in its last investment round. According to the latest reports, Twitter has been in talks to buy the digital magazine service since the beginning of 2015; although there are also rumours that the deal has since stalled.

Instagram attempts to win back users

Instagram has come under criticism this week for sending unsolicited emails to users. Imitating the re-engagement tactics used by Facebook and Twitter, the photo-sharing app is now sending regular ‘Highlights’ to users.

While Instagram boasts 300 million monthly users, the emails, which feature a selection of the best pics from a user’s followers, are design to lure back people who are no longer using the app to keep the service front of mind.

Snapchat invests in shopping app

Popular messaging app Snapchat is reportedly investing in shopping app Spring. Described as a “virtual mall” the Spring app allows consumers to browse hundreds of brands and make a purchase at a single swipe via a pre-uploaded credit card.

Less than a year old, Spring has raised more than $30 million to date and the additional investment, should it go ahead, will provide Snapchat with an easy way to test out opportunities in the e-commerce space.

As yet, neither company has confirmed or denied the investment.

Pinterest introduces Cinematic Pins

Earlier this year we revealed that image-sharing site Pinterest was to test animated pins in a bid to provide advertisers with more ways to deliver specialised content to users. Last week these ads became a reality with L’Oreal and Target among a number of large e-retailers to invest in promoted pins that become animated as users scroll down the page.

These ‘Cinematic Pins’ will operate on a cost-per-action basis, with the ad taking over a user’s screen should they tap on it. If the user stops scrolling, the ad will also stop moving. The ads will be rolled-out to all marketers this summer. In addition, to help businesses further, Pinterest is also launching the ‘Pin Factory’, a creative studio to help brands create the best pins possible.

With Pinterest already sending a significant number of people to e-commerce websites – coming second only to Facebook in the social media space – it is an ideal platform for brands to connect with their customers.

Commenting on the unique Pinterest advertising model, a spokesperson for the company said: “It’s really easy for us to put an ad in front of you that is congruent with that normal, organic experience. That’s just the nature of the product. We’re a discovery service. We can deliver ads that don’t feel like ads to you. They feel like an additive part of a service. And that’s the best kind of business model you could ask for”.

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