Social Media Innovations

By Alex Jeater

The 5 Key Platform Updates from November 2018

Facebook Watch Party

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 We start with news that Facebook is to introduce Watch Party – a functionality that allows all pages and users to schedule a time to view any video, and invite people along to watch and comment throughout its duration. Due to the fact that Pages can host a Watch Party and users can comment live on the video, this announcement enables businesses to market products, seek feedback and answer customer questions in real time, which is pretty useful.

Facebook Usage Monitoring

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At the same time as encouraging people to watch and engage more on its platform, Facebook has also launched a new dashboard that monitors how much time individual users spend on the App, and sets prompts when that pre-defined time is reached. The move is part of the digital wellbeing trend increasingly championed by many leading tech firms, including Apple.   

Instagram Business Profiles

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Instagram is currently live testing various profile features for business profiles. The test includes the placement of additional buttons at the top of the profile, such as Message, Call, Email, Start Order and Directions. For businesses, additional CTA buttons will help customers take faster actions on the page, and could ultimately lead to a higher number of enquiries, leads and sales.

LinkedIn Stories

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LinkedIn is reportedly looking to introduce a version of Stories. While not confirmed, rumours are Stories will be used as part of its education tool. Regardless, with Stories going from strength to strength on other platforms, notably Instagram, such a move would undoubtedly help LinkedIn keep users on its platform for a longer period. 

WhatsApp Ads

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Finally, while not technically a new launch, it is increasingly apparent that Ads will be introduced into WhatsApp in the coming year. Indeed, one of the messaging aps senior executives admitted as much last month, stating “We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’”. Queue talk of users leaving the App in droves…but in reality due to the size of its user base, Ads in the Status section (the part of the App that’s like Stories…and no one uses) is unlikely to have much of an impact (unless of course Ads start appearing in-message).

Facebook on Trial

By Alex Jeater

The international grand committee on fake news

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Last week, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore joined forces to set up an international grand committee to examine Facebook’s connection into the spreading of misinformation online. Chaired by the UK and held in London, the committee is designed to try and understand more about Facebook’s practices and intentions.

 

However, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, yet again rejected an invite to appear in the UK to discuss his organisation’s role in various scandals. In response, the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee tweeted a humorous picture of an empty chair with the question “where is Mark Zuckerberg?”. 

 

Instead of attending in person, Zuckerberg sent Richard Allan, Facebook’s Vice President of Policy Solutions. Queue an amusing opening question from the grand committee’s chair, Damian Collins MP “We were still rather hoping your boss might make a surprise appearance”.

 

Zuckerberg’s decision not to attend the multi country committee is seen by many as another indication that the tech giant views itself as above the law, even in the face of several scandals, such as allegations of Russian interference during the U.S. election, the Cambridge Analytica affair, a data breach involving 87 million users and a PR firm linked to the Trump campaign – issues that have seen Facebook’s share price drop 40% since March.

 

The motivation of each country taking part in the grand committee is varied. As reported by The Guardian, while the UK is primarily focused on better understanding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Ireland is concerned about the spreading of harmful content, Canada is looking into the exposure of 600,000 users personal data on the social networking site, while Australia (which didn’t attend last week’s grand committee) is examining whether the company breaks competition law. 

 

With so many countries holding grievances with Facebook, it’s becoming clear that the social media platform needs to tread carefully and properly engage with lawmakers from across the globe (and Zuckerberg begin to show his face at such enquiries). Looking at history (Microsoft, banking post-2008), Facebook needs to act fast or find itself subjected to massive fines, over-regulation, or in the worst case scenario for Facebook, break up of its business - unless it begins to clean up its act and impose better self-governance. 

TSC Inspiration: November 2018

By Sophia Littledale

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“Sorry For Your Loss”

This month we’ve tuned into the fantastic “Sorry For Your Loss”, starring Elizabeth Olsen (yes, the twin’s sister) as a young woman dealing with the sudden death of her husband. The show is aired on Facebook Watch - the platform’s original content channel. 

 

Not only does the programme deal with emotional turmoil and loss in a meticulously observed fashion, but with the show produced, funded and distributed by Facebook, it’s fascinating to see Facebook making waves in online streaming. 

 

If you didn’t know, Facebook Watch has been around for a while but has focused thus far on millennial-friendly reality shows. In comparison, “Sorry For Your Loss” is something more suitable for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. However, unlike the aforementioned, Facebook Watch is free. Expect to see more quality content from Facebook in the future. 

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Having a #BadHairDay?

Pantene hears you. In fact, they already knew it. 

 

In response to the 1.2m people who posted about their #BadHairDay on Instagram (17 times more than a #GreatHairDay) the haircare brand launched a “14-Day Challenge”, inviting Instagram and Twitter users to post pictures using the #BadHairDay hashtag. In response, each engaged user received a personalised consultation from a Pantene Hair Advisor.

 

Due to the thousands of entrants, Pantene enlisted a team of community managers to engage with each and every mention (which in itself is no small feat). Product was also delivered to those who engaged. 

 

The end result was an army of women equipped with hair care tips, and two 30-second ads featuring real women who had engaged with the campaign. 

 

By providing a personalised consultation the brand incentivised both new and existing followers to participate and engaged with the campaign. Pantene also aligned themselves with solving a persistent challenge; a marketing strategy which continues to prove popular on social media in terms of building engagement and positive customer sentiment. 

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‘Cause We Are Living in a Material World

eCommerce continues to be one of the most dynamic areas of growth on social. We’ve recently seen Snapchat team up with Amazon to offer users the opportunity to shop for products using their own smartphone camera.

 

Now Pinterest has rolled out new shopping options to develop their already burgeoning eCommerce offering. These options include:

1.     Product pins - with up-to-date pricing and stock information and links to a retailer’s checkout page.

2.     Shopping Recommendations – like recommended videos on YouTube.

3.     Shopping feed shortcut – enabling users to shop direct from the Pinterest feed.

 

This is yet more evidence the platform is moving away from being a social media channel – and becoming a fully-fledged e-retailer.

So long, Google+

By Alex Jeater

The tech-giant is finally shutting its flagging social media platform

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Following the discovery of a bug in its API that had the potential to expose as many as half-a-million users' private details, Google has decided to shut the consumer version of its Google+ social media platform.

 

According to the tech giant, users private data had been accessible from 2015, but the company only found out in March 2018 about the flaw – which it patched immediately. 

 

While the company stated that no one had exploited the flaw, it has been criticised for keeping quiet on the issue until October – a good six months after the initial issue had been first found. 

 

With Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal still fresh in everyone’s mind the closure of Google+ due to a potential security breach is very much a newsworthy story. 

 

However, in reality the number of users and engagement rate for Google+ has been comparatively low versus other social media platforms ever since its launch in 2011. Indeed,  the company admitted that “The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds”. Consequently, its closure should come as no surprise. 

 

Google intends to wind down the consumer version of its Google+ platform over the next 10 months, although an enterprise version of the product will still remain, for now. 

WTF is WeChat?

By Alex Jeater

Imagine combining Facebook, Skype, Deliveroo and Apple Pay into one app.  

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 With an active user base of just over 1 billion (making it bigger than Instagram), WeChat is the largest social media platform you’ve probably never heard of. However, in China and some other Asian countries, the Apps popularity is huge. 

 

Primarily based around messaging, the basic functions of WeChat are not too dissimilar from WhatsApp. However, WeChat users can also post Moments – like an updated on a newsfeed – which friends connected on WeChat can see. Furthermore, users can group friends, so that only certain connections can see an update. 

 

Another interesting feature is Shake. This involves hitting the WeChat Shake button and physically shaking your phone. A message is then sent to another random WeChat user that you are not connected with, which if accepted, allows you to instantly start chatting. 

 

WeChat Pay allows users to transfer money, pay bills and make retail payments all from with inside the App. In major urban areas street vendors, taxis and even high-end restaurants all accept WeChat Pay (and also AliPay – the Alibaba equivalent). 

 

In terms of marketing opportunities, brands can place adverts to appear in WeChat’s Moments feed, but can also have their own Service Account – for customer service queries. Also, if a user is following a business account, the company can contact the user with a message (like a direct message on Facebook) – with discounts or special offers frequently shared. Many small businesses (a personal fitness group, for example) also have closed WeChat groups containing customers. 

 

While an App with a predominantly Chinese user base is unlikely to break into the mainstream in Western countries, it’s very likely that in the next few years Facebook-owned WhatsApp will begin to roll out WeChat-style features, particularly when it comes to payment and customer service. Indeed, WhatsApp has already introduced a Business App to enable customers to communicate with brands, and vice versa. However, it may be a few years until we in the Western world become familiar with using one central app to conduct our entire life. 

Schwimmer: Off the Hook

By Sophia Littledale

Blackpool Police hunt for “Ross from Friends” lookalike

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This week, Blackpool Police confirmed via a Facebook post that officers were looking for a suspected thief, who ‘looks like Ross from Friends’. 

 

Understandably, the post went viral after people noticed that the suspected thief, who was captured on CCTV buying a crate of beer, bore an uncanny resemblance to Friendsstar David Schwimmer.

 

After posting the CCTV image on Facebook, users were quick to respond with references to the 90s sitcom. 

 

Once the witty replies came rolling in, the Blackpool Police answered with the following:

“Thank you to everyone for your speedy responses. We have investigated this matter thoroughly and have confirmed that David Schwimmer was in America on this date. We're so sorry it has to be this way.”  

 

The Dumfries Galloway Police Division even got in on the act by sharing this post: “If you see him keep away, he is known to have studied Karate and we believe he has mastered the art of Unagi, the state of total awareness,”- in reference to an episode from Friends where Ross proclaims he is an expert in self-defence.

 

Reminiscent of the Jeremy ‘hot convict’ Meeks’ mugshot, the Facebook post has performed phenomenally well, receiving over 65,000 likes and reactions, and 113,000 shares in total. 

 

However, the jewel in the crown came from Schwim-Schwimmer himself. The actor recreated the now infamous beer-clutching CCTV shot with his own post on Twitter with the following caption “Officers, I swear it wasn't me. As you can see, I was in New York. To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation. #itwasntme”.

Sponsored Instagram Stories

By Alex Jeater 

A closer look at their use and how they compare versus Feed Ads

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Since Instagram launched its 15-second Stories feature back in 2016, users of the Facebook-owned photo-sharing App have flocked to upload pictures and videos of their cats, #smashedavo pictures and coffee art, over-laid with brightly coloured, “witty” text, stickers and emojis. As such, Stories are forecast to overtake news feed as the leading Instagram placement for sharing, potentially as early as 2019.

 

However, advertisers have been slightly slow to catch on to the use of Stories for sponsored Ads. We have a few hypotheses on why brands have been slow on the uptake. 

 

Firstly, as users scroll through Stories, it’s super easy to skip any sponsored posts before 3 seconds – the standard point at which Instagram records an engagement. Secondly, as users scroll they often don’t want to “swipe up” or “learn more” and be directed to the advertisers page – as this interrupts their flow (also, if you don’t have 4G, or like us you are on the Three network, the website typically takes an age to load). Finally, the different optimal video size resolution for Stories versus news feed means that for smaller businesses especially, it does take a bit of extra effort to get right. 

 

A recent study by AdEspresso found that regular Instagram Feed Ads outperformed Stories in terms of cost per conversion. However, the study also found that the cost per click was marginally better for Stories versus Feed Ads, which kind-of disproves our theory that users don’t want to swipe up. 

 

For recent client campaigns we have dedicated around 10% to 20% of overall spend to Stories, and have seen some really good results, especially for engagement. As such, we concur with AdEspresso’s recommendation to reserve at least 5% to testing Stories. We have also come to view Stories primarily as being a really effective brand awareness placement, rather than a conversion tool, as its often difficult to convey enough information in 15 seconds to convert customers. 

 

The key game-changer for sponsored Stories will be when Instagram introduces un-skippable Stories, which will potentially drive up the click through rate, or really annoy users, or both.

 

In the meantime, if you want to give sponsored, or even organic Stories a try and are not sure how to approach them, feel free to get in contact – we are more than happy to help create a plan or manage your campaign (and don’t worry, we will stay away from coffee art). 

Snapchat Launches E-Commerce Partnership With Amazon

By Sophia Littledale

Users will be able to take a picture of an item and search Amazon for the product.

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Snapchat has become the latest social media app to turn its hand to e-Commerce. The image-sharing platform has partnered with Amazon to offer users the opportunity to shop for products using their camera.

 

The new in-app shopping feature can be found in Snapchat’s Explore feed. The technology is easy-to-use; users simply need to point their camera at a physical product or barcode while simultaneously pressing the photo button, and the App searches Amazon for the item.

 

The product then pops up on screen, along with the price (see image above). Users then have the option to view more similar items or click-to-buy.

 

The move follows in the footsteps of Instagram who has recently expanded its shopping tags to Stories and are rumoured to be launching a dedicated shopping app.

 

Snapchat’s shopping feature is very similar to Pinterest’s Lens tool, which enables users to scan objects and search for visually comparable items. The main difference is that Snapchat refers to Amazon’s products rather than utilising an in-built library, like Pinterest. 

 

The move into e-Commerce by Snapchat and partnership with a market leading online pureplay like Amazon - which is also well-used by Snapchat’s younger demographic – is a fundamentally savvy decision by the photo-sharing platform. Indeed, if the success of Pinterest’s Lens is anything to go by (600 million searches per month) and Snapchat’s visual identification tool is accurate, then the partnership should prove highly successful.

Burberry Launches Social Media Shopping

By Sophia Littledale

The brand’s runway-to-retail model allows shoppers to purchase via Instagram.

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Universally renowned for its innovative and tech-savvy approach to fashion, Burberry has reinforced its digital-first reputation with its instantly-shoppable B Series line which it launched during last month’s London Fashion Week.

The line was unveiled via the brand’s Instagram account just half an hour after Creative Director Riccardo Tisci’s first London Fashion Week show, and shoppers had just 24 hours to purchase their favourite items via Instagram and WeChat.

 

The Instagrammable collection, B Series, is the British heritage brand’s streetwear line of clothing, footwear and accessories. Many of the items, including nylon trench coats, patterned trainers and bi-colour logo t-shirts, are also emblazoned with the iconic Burberry check, which the brand has adopted again in line with the resurgence for bold  90s logos and streetwear. 

 

Burberry is one of the first designers to adopt the runway-to-retail model which allows customers to buy items from the catwalk immediately after they are shown. However, this is the first time that the 162 year-old brand has exclusively sold products on social media. 

 

With over 12.3m Instagram followers, and an innate understanding of how to use the power of social media and celebrity to engage the masses, it’ll be interesting to see what else Riccardo Tisci has in store when it comes to integrating digital into this heritage brand.  

 

TSC Inspiration: September 2018

By Sophia Littledale

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“Polling Station, Please”

Lyft has recently announced that it is to offer reduced fares for customers who wish to travel to US polling stations on upcoming election day (Tuesday 6th November).

The ride-hailing app has teamed up with Vote.org, Nonprofit VOTE and TurboVote to distribute 50% off promotional codes to encourage voter turnout. On election day, Lyft will also roll out an in-app product integration that helps voters find their nearest polling station.

Lyft’s campaign comes off the back of recent data that shows that approximately 15 million Americans didn’t vote in the 2016 election because they were unable to get to the polls. 

Seeing as the last Presidential Election was decided by just 80,000 votes, this political-fuelled initiative could have a major impact on the results. 

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Love is Love

The next generation of emojis is set to include couples in 55 various gender and skin tone combinations.  

At present, the couple emoji only features a white skin tone. 

However, this is being updated to include a variety of skin tones as well as male:male, male:female and female:female options each in a variety of different skin tones.

Emoji equality, at last!

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Hot Brains

Lingerie campaigns traditionally focus on the body. However, the LA-based brand, Reformation, has made it their mission to enlist intelligent and forward-thinking women to feature in their revolutionary new underwear campaign.

Reformation’s aim is to celebrate qualities outside of a woman’s physical appearance, such as brains and accomplishments - because that’s what they deem as being hot. 

The campaign, which will go live across the brand’s social media channels, will feature a host of savvy, high-flying women, including Rachel, founder of Swipe Out Hunger; Daisy, a postdoctoral research fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and Jamie, an entertainment attorney. 

Facebook Launches its First Influencer Platform

By Sophia Littledale

Photo credit: Adweek

Photo credit: Adweek

Facebook recently launched “Brand Collabs Manager”; a platform that enables brands to easily search for potential influencers (which it calls “Creators”) with a follower count of 25k to 8 million, based on audience characteristics, such as interests, gender, age, education and relationship status.  

The tool also allows brands to see which businesses influencers have worked with in the past (including their performance data) to ensure they’re a good fit with their own values and target audience. 

Brand Collabs Manager also gives influencers the functionality to showcase their best original content, so that brands can get an understanding of their creative strengths.  

The launch of the platform, which comes off the back of a similar announcement from Snapchat, has caused a stir within the industry, as despite Facebook having the largest user base, it has historically been seen as the least influencer-friendly channel. Indeed, Facebook has been late to the sponsored-content party in comparison with influencer-heavy YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.

While Brand Collabs Manager is only available in the US at present, it will be interesting to see how it is used across the pond, whether it enables Facebook to compete in the influencer space with other social media channels, and if it provides a superior experience versus existing influencer-matching platforms such as Klear and the myriad of other players. 

Snapchat Launches Influencer Platform

By Sophia Littledale

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With Instagram continuing to dominate the field in image sharing through their new product releases, including shareable moments (Instagram Stories) and extended-length videos (IGTV), arch-rival Snapchat is increasingly looking at new ways in which to differentiate in order to build its follower base and revenue.  

As part of this process, Snapchat has developed an influencer platform, ‘Snapchat Storytellers’, which helps to connect brands and Snapchat influencers.

The pilot programme will introduce brands to a selection of the app’s most influential content makers. Influencers will then feature in ads for Stories and Discover and provide creative knowledge and direction to brands.

Influencer marketing has become central to social platforms, as algorithms are weighted towards post engagement, which is typically high for influencers. Therefore, the use of influencers has become essential for brands looking to increase awareness and campaign performance. 

By tapping into influencers, brands can reach out to a new audience that they may not have access or exposure to otherwise, and also capitalise on influencer’s knowledge and original creative content. 

In addition to Snapchat Storyteller, the platform has also made moves to showcase influencer content in a more prominent position. For instance, as of last year, Snap opened up its ‘Official Stories’ to include creators, as well as celebrities. It has also championed the work of influencers by highlighting their content in the ‘Discover’ feed. Since February, selected creators have also had access to in-depth audience analytics. 

Ultimately, Snapchat Storytellers is a fantastic platform to bring together influencers and brands. By tapping into the skill-set and knowledge of influencers, brands are able to create content that resonates with a younger audience and we expect Facebook-owned Instagram to follow in the near future. 

 

TSC Inspiration: August 2018

By Sophia Littledale

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If Your Name’s Not on the List

Instagram has announced that they are testing a new functionality to give owners of public accounts more control over who can view their content by allowing them to remove followers. 

The benefit of this for brands and influencers is that in an age where engagement rates are king, the feature will allow businesses to get rid of unengaged followers, potentially boosting the engagement rate. Indeed, removing unengaged followers should lead to preferential treatment by Instagram’s algorithm and a more position on follower’s home feeds. Apart from all the manual labour…what’s not to love?

Photo Credit: Wired UK

Photo Credit: Wired UK

To All the Voicenote Addicts Out There

Professional-focused LinkedIn has added an audio clip functionality to its InMail messaging allowing users to record and send audio clips to their contacts. 

While voicenotes may seem a little out of place for the platform, it does give a personal touch to interactions. It’s also great for those who are far more comfortable speaking a language than writing in it. 

The largest area of growth for LinkedIn is India. So, it only makes sense that in a country with 22 major languages and over 720 dialects, the new feature is being trialled there. 

Audio clips will be rolled out globally on both Android and iPhone in the next few weeks. Whatever you do, just avoid it during after-work drinks. A Brandon Truaxe, Deciem-style meltdown, is never a good idea…  

Photo Credit: The Guardian

Photo Credit: The Guardian

When You Want to Reference UKG, Crumpets or Eastenders on Insta Stories

Instagram is rolling out a new feature to limit Stories by location.  This will allow brands with a multi-country audience to create country-specific content. The feature will also allow location-restricted businesses, such as retailers, café and restaurants to only broadcast Stories to followers in a specific area.  

Location based Stories opens up a number of opportunities to use content specific to each area, from language to local influencers, cultural reference points to colloquialisms; worth bearing in mind the next time you’re planning on discussing Danny Dyer’s latest antics on Good Evening Britain.

 

 

It’s now possible to view your competitors Facebook Ads

By Alex Jeater

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Following the recent revelation that Russian trolls were able to purchase political Ads in the run up to 2016 US election, and news in the UK that Vote Leave broke electoral law in the months preceding the EU Referendum, Facebook has released a raft of new measures to improve the transparency of advertising on its platform.

The major change is that any user can now easily see any advert placed by any political or business Page. In addition, users can now access information on political Ads placed on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, such as how much the ad cost, who was behind the ad, and the demographics of its target audience. 

For businesses using Facebook to advertise, the changes mean that their own Ads will now be available for all to see under a separate area of their business page. However, this change also means that businesses can now see what their competitors are posting.

While it’s not possible to see what the overall campaign send is, the end of dark Ads means businesses can react to what their competitors are doing, which actually has the potential to drive up Facebook Ad revenue.  

If you are interested in seeing what Ads your competitor is currently running, head to their Page and hit the new “Info and Ads” button on the bottom left hand side (desktop version). You may be surprised by their level of activity.  

Apple Announces New Emojis

By Sophia Littledale

Image credit: TechCrunch

Image credit: TechCrunch

Curly haired, redheads, silver foxes and bald-headed kids of the world unite; the latest emojis have just been announced and at long last, you’ve been accepted to the club. Now you have an emoji to accompany all your Justin Timberlake (circa 2000), Sinead O’Connor and Karl Lagerfeld-themed social media conversations.

In honour of World Emoji Day (yes, it exists), Apple launched a wider batch of emojis, including a peacock, mango, lobster, kangaroo, cupcake and green cabbage as well as updated human-themed figures.

The latest release follows criticism that the emojis designed by major tech players are not representative of society and side-line certain hair colours and demographic groups.

There are rightly still calls to make emojis more inclusive so that they represent people with disabilities, for example. However, Apple are making steps to better represent the global population, with another new emoji roll out planned for early 2019. 

 

TSC Inspiration: July 2018

By Sophia Littledale

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IGTV Best-in-Class

June saw the release of Instagram’s latest offering, IGTV, and a heap of brands and influencers are already producing some stand-out content. 

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The Queen of Insta beauty, Alex Steinherr, has unsurprisingly taken to IGTV like a millennial to sheet masks. Her channel features morning routines, highlighter tips, make-up prep and more. One to watch for all your beauty needs.

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Gucci is another global brand quick to react to Instagram’s latest offering. The iconic Italian label has uploaded footage from all of their shows since 2015; making it a go-to destination for anyone looking to delve into the Gucci archive. 

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The prescription eyewear brand, Warby Parker, is showing strong signs of becoming an IGTV powerhouse. So far, the brand has uploaded a handful of videos showcasing people of interest who wear their designs, such as Parker Kit Hill (dancer), Sophia Chang (illustrator) and Samantha Irby (writer and ‘internet joke person’ – her words, not ours).

Anderson Paak

Anderson Paak

It’s no over-statement to say that Anderson Paak has one of the most creative, original and jaw-droppingly beautiful Instagram accounts in the game. 

The California-native’s profile has been created so that each image stylistically runs into the next. Whether it’s a Jimmy Kimmel attendance feeding into Surrealist-inspired beach shots, or Paak flying a UFO merging into a kitsch Christmas skiing scene, the profile never fails to impress.  

The rapper doesn’t let a good image come in the way of promotion either. Behind each stylised post sits a video or a carousel of images, featuring song releases, behind-the-scenes content, tour dates and more. Check it out. 

Image credit: TechCrunch

Image credit: TechCrunch

Instagram Launch Four-Way Calls

Just when we thought Instagram couldn’t get much better, the Facebook-owned platform has announced that it will support video calls between users. In what is seen as a direct threat to Snapchat (which already supports 16-way calls), Instagram’s video call function allows up to four friends to engage in a group call through Instagram Direct.

Just in case staying present isn’t your thing, Instagram video calls can also be undertaken while browsing, swiping and liking. 

World Cup 2018 - Social Media Highlights

By Sophia Littledale

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The Panini Cheapskates – The Alternative Collector’s Item

For football fans of a certain generation (basically, pre social media), the World Cup is synonymous with the Panini sticker collection. The Panini Cheapskates have tapped into this nostalgic and timely phenomenon and plan to draw each and every player selected for the World Cup in the style of a Panini sticker. That’s 680 players in 32 days. 

The only complicating issue is that they are, by their own admission, terrible at drawing.  

Check out their latest creations on their Twitter feed. Our highlights include Jordi Albá with a disproportionately large mouth and a sleep-deprived Marcos Rojo. Enjoy. 

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Paddy Power Promotes LGBT+ Rights in Russia

“From Russia with Equal Love” is the latest hard-hitting social media campaign from perennial provokers, Paddy Power.

The betting company has decided to tackle homophobia in Russia head on by teaming up with the LGBT+ community - and it’s not just because Ireland haven’t made it into this year’s tournament. 

For every goal Russia score, Paddy Power will donate £10,000 to causes making LGBT+ more inclusive in the host country.

We’ve never been so keen to see Russia replicate their 5-0 defeat over Saudi Arabia. C’mon, Россия! 

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‘This is Naija’: A Nigerian Football Story

Unsurprisingly, Nike Football has nailed its World Cup 2018 campaigns on social. Nike’s IGTV channel is full of World Cup videos, including interviews, highlights and trailers of Nike football documentaries, such as their ‘This is Naija’ series, which explores themes such as ‘Confidence’ and ‘Empowerment’ within Nigerian football, the culture and its people. 

According to Nike, Naija is the ‘unbridled, optimistic, confident approach to football that sets Nigeria apart… It’s the connective tissue that unifies this land.’ The full-length documentary can also be found on YouTube. 

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Burger King #fail

Finally, here’s how not to run a social media campaign. 

To coincide with the World Cup, the Russian arm of Burger King has created a campaign offering women a reward of 3m roubles (£36k) and free Whopper burgers for life if they manage to get pregnant by a World Cup player. 

The advert read, “Women who manage to get the best football genes will promote the Russian team’s success for generations to come.” 

Thankfully, the public outrage was such that Burger King was forced to delete all social media activity. Power to the people.