Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Snapchat helps to launch ad content agency

Global advertising and marketing group WPP has joined forces with the Daily Mail and Snapchat to launch a new content marketing agency.

Designed to create and distribute brand content across digital media platforms, ‘Truffle Pig’ is the latest example of how agencies plan to cash in on the growth of native advertising. Native advertising – the process of creating quality advertising content cleverly disguised as editorial – is proving to be far more effective than banner advertisements.

Truffle Pig has said that it will use the DailyMail.com, Elite Daily and Snapchat as “test beds for original concepts in story-driven marketing”. However, it will also extend its offer to “any digital properties the client brands wish to market on”.

In other Snapchat news, last week founder Evan Spiegel reiterated the company’s commitment to becoming “competent” at covering news, with reports that the messaging app continues to hire journalists to report newsworthy events.

Facebook enters Wall Street top ten for the first time

This week, Facebook knocked out Walmart to become one of the top 10 biggest S&P 500 companies by market cap index.

Valued at $242.7 billion, Facebook’s share price has soared to an all-time high of $86.59, overtaking the world’s largest retailer, which had not been out of the top 10 since 1997.The social media giant has surpassed expectations with shares up approximately 32% in the past year.

Facebook can recognise people without seeing their whole face

Facebook has developed a way to identify users in photos, even if their faces are obscured. According to reports, Facebook is teaching software to recognise images as quickly and easily as the human brain.

The latest Facebook algorithm inspects more than 100 different body parts as it attempts to distinguish the same person, in different poses, in various photos. Facebook’s artificial intelligence team claims that the software can identify individuals with 83% accuracy.

There are not thought to be any immediate plans by Facebook to implement this technology, with the capabilities sure to draw scrutiny from regulators and privacy advocates. Only last week, concerns over the use of facial recognition saw Facebook cancelling the launch of their new photo sharing app ‘Moments’ in Europe. Moments has the same facial recognition capabilities as Facebook tagging, grouping photos on phones based on the date they were taken and the people in them.

Facebook challenges YouTube to become the video advertising platform of choice

According to reports, Facebook is becoming a real alternative to YouTube when it comes to video advertising; with auto-play ads proving to be a tremendous success for the social media giant. A survey of over 10,000 European and North American consumers has revealed that a sixth of Facebook video viewers have not watched YouTube in the last month.

With video views on Facebook expected to surpass a whopping two trillion this year, the growing popularity of Facebook in this space is sure to be causing concern at YouTube HQ.

Instagram’s new features set to challenge Twitter

Photo-sharing app Instagram has announced a range of new features designed to make it easier for users to follow events, trends and conversations in real-time.

Boasting trending topics and places, the latest version of Instagram’s ‘Explore’ (currently available in the U.S) helps users tune into hot topics as they emerge.

The changes made by the Facebook owned platform, are set to challenge Twitter’s dominance as the source for real-time events.

While, historically, the two platforms delivered a different user experience – with Twitter primarily text led – Twitter’s move towards providing more visual content could result in further competition between the two platforms.

The challenge comes as Twitter urgently looks for a new chief executive following the news that current CEO Dick Costolo is to step down. According to a statement released earlier this week: “The search is proceeding with a sense of urgency but the committee will take the time necessary to find the right CEO to lead the next phase of Twitter’s growth”.

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