FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS WEEK
1. Twitter adds photo and video previews to its feed
Previously twitter users have had to click on a link to see a photo or video. Now, twitter will automatically display visual previews, turning the channel from all text to a multimedia, visually engaging platform.
This move by Twitter enables them to catch up with rivals like Facebook and crucially, increase its sales value ahead of imminent IPO. After all we all know consumers are more likely to click on a message if accompanied with an image.
For brands, this move further signifies the importance of telling a story visually. Engagement on social media can no longer rely solely on text.
2. Instagram launches first advert
A delicately placed Michael Kors watch next to a plate of pastel macarons marked a new advertising era for Instagram. Within three hours, the ad had more than 65,000 Likes and more than 540 comments. However not all users were impressed, with the post feed littered with loud criticisms.
Friday’s ad is the first of the roster of luxe brands, including Burberry and Lexus, signed up to ‘sponsor’ posts. However with the reach of the launch ad limited and the dates of the next ad TBC it’s clear the platform is in the process of ironing out backlash and tech issues.
3. Send a friend a cup of coffee – with a tweet
Tweet-a-coffee, launched in the US this week, is a new way to send a $5 Starbucks voucher to twitter friends. The great-name concept follows a simple three step mechanic: US coffee fans just connect their Starbucks and twitter accounts, post @tweetacoffee to a @namedrecipiant, and the friend receives a redeemable voucher, deducted from the gifter’s account.
A great way to entice you to spend, playing on the ‘little acts of kindness’ trend, it’s a great mechanic for charities to imitate. After all, what’s a fiver?
4. 38% of Children Under 2 Use Mobile Media
A report by non-for-profit Common Sense Media reveals nearly two in five children can use a mobile device before they can speak. The news heralds the arrival of a true Digital Generation: not only are more toddlers using tablets and smartphones (in 2011, the figure was only 10%), they are using them for longer.
For education brands – plus companies seeking to engage the post-pregnancy market – this offers a huge opportunity. However this comes with a caveat: the mini-me market needs to be targeted ethically. As Common Sense’s CEO comments, brands need to ensure apps are developed for education rather than addiction, and that the privacy of families is protected.
5. L’Oréal unveils “first-ever, intelligent vending experience” in NYC Subway
This week L’Oréal Paris revealed the ‘Intelligent Colour Experience’, a three-step vending machine which detects the colours in a woman’s outfit, picks out the most prominent related colour palettes, then recommends matching products to be bought on the spot.
The two-month trial marks a highly customised and convenient way to shop – in an area of high footfall previously unsuccessfully unexploited. It seems a clever tactic to us: ‘ ambush’ female commuters, ground down by a dismal commute, with a means to perk up their morning with instant gratification.