Quick Takes: Content Marketing and Media News for 10/10/17

  • Twitter is reportedly working on a “Save for Later” feature that would presumably compete with Pocket and other services. The goal seems to be to make the product more all-encompassing and therefore stickier to users.
  • An update from eMarketer reports that U.S. adults will spend 12 hours consuming media each day, with half of that time going to digital media.
  • Flipboard is opening up its system so any publisher can apply to create a new Flipboard Magazine, including taking advantage of RSS-powered delivery to ease the process.
  • “Happening Now” is a new Twitter feature collecting updates around a single topic, beginning with sporting events. This might be fine for casual users (which is important) but power users have largely been turned off by Twitter’s algorithm-powered efforts to date, preferring the old-fashioned firehose.
  • Snapchat is launching Context Cards, which will let people swipe on someone Snap to find out more information about that location, including tips and recommendations powered by Foursquare.
  • Medium is incentivizing the use of its platform by offering all writers the opportunity to put their posts behind a membership-exclusive wall and subsequently earn money for them.
  • Things got really weird when Mark Zuckerberg decided a VR tour of post-hurricane Puerto Rico was a great opportunity to promote Facebook Spaces.
  • Media monitoring firm Brandwatch is buying influencer campaign planning tool Buzzsumo to help flesh out analytics and other products.

Quick Takes: Content Marketing and Media News for 9/22/17

  • Hulu is committing $2.5 billion to the arms race it’s engaged in with other streaming companies who see original content as the key to success.
  • An analysis by Parse.ly shows Flipboard is second-only to Twitter in terms of sending referral traffic to publishers on mobile devices.
  • The pilot of the new supernatural comedy “Ghosted” will premiere on Twitter days before it airs on TV, part of a deal between Fox and Twitter.
  • Brands are adding social media influencers to their marketing rosters to harness and own their creativity and I will be over here never stopping hitting my head on my desk.
  • Interesting thinking here about the future of AI in the news industry, both as part of production and consumption.
  • Pinterest is finally rolling out “Sections,” allowing people to create sub-boards to more finely tune their saved and shared links.
  • No surprise that thanks in large part to the (largely) free nature of the platforms, social media is a big part of the marketing plans of small businesses.
  • Audience ad targeting on Pinterest just a lot more detailed.
  • The RIAA is out with a mid-2017 report showing just how much money it’s making from streaming services, a big change from the download model of not too long ago.
  • I’m actually quite shocked at the percentage of traffic to Nordstrom’s that’s reported to come from influencer marketing programs.
  • Medium continues to pivot, including plans to hire editors and curators as part of its next iteration, though Ev Williams still doesn’t have a clear answer to what the site/platform is.
  • Female influencers aren’t huge on Snapchat, preferring Instagram and even Pinterest.
  • Facebook is introducing a new way to target offline retail customers with ads and tie those ads to physical sales. This is super-creepy and not far off from what I predicted here.

Quick Takes: Content Marketing News for 9/1/17

  • Facebook has confirmed it won’t take a cut of the subscriptions it’s going to help publishers sell, though I feel like “yet” needs to be added to each one of these promises.
  • As my friend Jeremy Pepper pointed out, Snapchat’s sudden overtures to influencers seems driven by a tanking stock price and slowing user growth, both of which the company is trying to shore up.
  • Eventually we’re going to hit a point where so much of what’s posted on Facebook are based on memory prompts that nothing new will ever be shared, just an endless cycle of revisiting posts made between 2007 and 2016.
  • There are all sorts of options people can choose from but marketers still prefer email as a message delivery platform and people in general feel likewise, though they do have some suggestions for improvements.
  • Nice move by Giphy adding GIF view counts for its official Artist and Partner channels, giving managers of those programs some numbers to be used to prove program effectiveness.
  • Truly the end days are upon us as Buzzfeed finally casts aside its moral superiority and accepts banner ads because it wants to make more money.
  • WhatsApp is the latest to offer verified account badges to select business accounts, which comes with special features and functionality.
  • A bunch of new features have been added to Tumblr’s mobile app that increase the style people can apply to posts and weblogs.
  • A new logo and layout are just two of the changes YouTube has made to freshen up the look and functionality of the site.
  • Instagram has introduced new tools for branded content that ease disclosure by the creators and give sponsoring brands more insights in the performance of those posts.
  • Highly recommend this piece on how YouTube evolved from being simply a utility for hosting videos into a feed-centric discovery platform.
  • Founder Ev Williams talks about Medium’s recent business model shifts and how he sees the site in terms of supporting quality writing.
  • Anchor has introduced even more editing features and explains how the team worked to create the best possible product.
  • You can new view Instagram Stories on the web.
  • After some push back from users after a recent redesign, Flipboard is reinstating some key content navigation functionality
  • Facebook is rolling out its new Watch video hub to all U.S. users and of course there’s already a desire by publishers to sell advertisers on sponsored videos.
  • To combat and head-off the spread of fake or misleading news on the platform, Snapchat has a team of journalists that review stories it curates for accuracy.

Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Flipboard and Tumblr Make Big Updates

Everyone’s in the same race for the precious time that people spend on their smartphones, realizing that many of the apps and social networks are more or less mature in terms of growth and so have to compete on feature set. To that end, the last couple days have seen a flurry of activity from a number of the biggest social companies as they role out new tools and features to keep their audiences interested and create new advertising revenue opportunities.


What they’ve introduced is basically augmented reality, taking their popular “stickers” and making it more interactive. Called “World Lenses,” this new tool lets you drop animated digital animations and other items onto the world around you and then share that with your Snap buddies. This is pretty basic (if you can use that term with technology like this) but not only is it a new feature that extends an already popular concept into new areas, but it’s easy to see the sponsorship/advertising potential as companies vie to place their digital items into people’s Snaps.


The blog/social platform rolled out Cabana, a new stand-alone social video app. The gist is that you can watch videos and video chat with up to five of your friends. As Katie Notopoulos at Buzzfeed points out, this is the first stand-alone app from the Tumblr team and that while there’s no monetization play at the moment that’s not far down the road. Tumblr’s David Karp says it taps into the core Tumblr experience, which is to share key moments with your friends. That might be a bit of wishful thinking. It will be interesting to see how this works for content marketers. If people are watching a professionally produced video (e.g. a movie trailer, something from a convention etc) will there be any metrics available around that? There’s potential here for brands with big Tumblr followings to invite select fans in to a Cabana viewing/chat to give them a first look at something new and exclusive. It’s also easy to see being asked to pay for the ability to invite more people into a single chat session.


The company made a number of big announcements yesterday, including:

  • A “social VR” product called Spaces that seems to add a VR element to the same concept Second Life and Nintendo’s Miiverse have previously executed. The hardware issue remains a substantive one, but this shows the company is serious about this space, so to speak.
  • Lots of new Messenger updates, including better discovery involving QR codes and more that will take people directly to the bot they’re looking for. We can – and should – debate whether the bot experience is a good one for the consumer or not (it’s not) and how the bot experience can scale (it can’t), but Facebook clearly sees this as important, likely for revenue growth reasons.
  • It’s expanding Workplace, it’s professionally-minded chat tool that’s meant to compete with Slack and other existing tools. There are a lot of enterprise-level tools that are still missing that other services have, but it will be hard to compete against a free option that uses an infrastructure and setup that most of your workforce is already familiar with.


The new private collections introduced the other day allow people to save posts from anyone into a collection they’ve created. That seems like a play against Snapchat stories that anyone can contribute to but it’s a cool way to bring together themed collections around a night out or other event. It could also be used by brand publishers as an easy way to curate fan posts from a convention or other event and then share it themselves.


The bookmarking site is doubling-down on video with new video collections that are added to “Smart Magazines.” This isn’t a huge update but it shows the company is increasingly focused not just on helping people to build their own magazines and collections but also to being a destination to find news and other updates, particularly from the big publishers who are sharing stories there.

Flipboard looks to the past to guide the future

Interesting changes coming from Flipboard:

Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll said the new features — which launched today and will start rolling out to everyone gradually over the next few weeks — are designed to give users a way to scan the top headlines or items in the major content categories they might be interested in — whether that’s content on specific topics, or from specific sources they have chosen, or articles recommended by Flipboard’s human editors and algorithms.

via Flipboard wants to tame the unruly stream by becoming more like a traditional magazine — Tech News and Analysis.