Facebook rolls out a personalized Olympics section in the News Feed, plus Olympic filters and frames (TechCrunch, 8/3/16)

OK, this is interesting and if you’re into the Olympics this will be cool. But it also shows the power Facebook has in shaping the news and how it can pull out any given topic at any given time. Yes, that’s just like a regular news outlet, which is what Facebook is, though without the editorial oversight.

With Hulu Stake, Time Warner Channels Will Be Added to New Livestreaming Service (Adweek, 8/3/16)

Every time Hulu succeeds at something I flash back to how, pre-launch, no one thought it was going to even make it off the ground. Time Warner getting on board is a nice addition to its offerings.

Machinima Inks Amazon SVOD Pact In Further Shift Away From YouTube (Variety, 8/3/16)

More and more producers are embracing multi-platform distribution as they realize going with a single outlet means not only limiting the audience reach but also being subject to the whims of just one company.


Snapchat Influencers Start Labeling Social Endorsements as Paid Ads (Adweek, 8/3/16)

It doesn’t shock me that Snapchat apparently didn’t have guidelines for this kind of thing. But that doesn’t mean the standard, well-known FTC guidelines shouldn’t have been utilized all along. Again, this is the responsibility of the marketers making the deal, not the platform.

Snapchat Used to Spook Advertisers. Not Anymore. (New York Times, 8/4/16)

Snapchat’s rise as an ad powerhouse is the most interesting example of how advertisers are willing to do literally anything to reach the target demographic. That’s not a value judgement as there have been lots of good executions here. The best ones, though, are those that make the ads part of and add value to the user experience, something traditional advertising has usually failed to do.

Official: Facebook launches new layout for Pages (MarketingLand, 8/4/16)

A couple good changes to how Pages are laid out. Nothing too immediate for program managers to act on right now but it will be good to 1) Note how these changes impact the design of the cover photo, which is no longer covered by a half-dozen other elements and 2) Track and see if the bigger Call To Action button leads to changes in those metrics.

Nike and Others Dive Into Instagram Stories: Why Marketers Already Like It Better Than Snapchat (AdAge, 8/4/16)

The two biggest takeaways here are that not only do brands already have significant Instagram audiences they’ve built up but that discovery and engagement are so much easier there than they are on Snapchat. Couple that with the better targeting tools and the fact that Snapchat is still a network that’s primarily one-to-one and you can see why Instagram Stories will be big.

Twitter Is Helping Brands Drive Conversations With ‘Instant Unlock Cards’ (Adweek, 8/4/16)

This is an interesting way to boost @ mentions and potentially gain followers, but the real value here will be in providing real exclusive or otherwise valuable content to the people who do so. Fail in that regard or keep reusing the same material over and over again and you’ll lose the trust and make the ads less desirable.

News Feed FYI: Further Reducing Clickbait in Feed (Facebook Newsroom, 8/4/16)

The kicker is at the end of the post, when it first says it doesn’t expect most pages to see an impact as a result of this change, just those who engage in misleading clickbait tactics. As if that isn’t 78% of Pages at this point.

Pinterest Sets Its Sights on Video (Fortune, 8/4/16)

I get what Pinterest is going for by selling this as something that will likely focus on “how to” videos, at least at first. But I’d expect that to expand quickly as companies see what works and what doesn’t. Plus, considering Pinterest’s role as a research-to-buy channel it’s easy to imagine “product showcase” quickly becomes a dominant content type.

Twitter’s latest test encourages users to Direct Message brands, not tweet at them (TechCrunch, 8/5/16)

This makes a lot of sense and hopefully helps brand managers handle customer service comments more efficiently. It’s just like what Facebook offers right now and maybe will help make DMs more widely used.

Facebook’s Testing A Main Screen That Looks A Whole Lot Like Snapchat’s (Buzzfeed, 8/5/16)

Yeah, Facebook is just stealing Snapchat features and functionality left and right. So are other networks (see Twitter’s Stickers feature) because they want to keep a hold on the users they already have, encouraging people to not abandon the networks they’ve built up by offering the latest flashy features.