Lego launches 'safe' social network for under-13s

Our round up of this week's social media news and insights:

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Lego launches 'safe' social network for under-13s

Lego has launched a "safe" social network for under-13s on a new app, called LEGO Life, which resembles a child-friendly Lego-themed Instagram. Children will be able to post photos of their creations and comment on other people's - but with strict restrictions on what they can say. Text comments will not be allowed, but prewritten responses and custom Lego emoji and stickers are available instead. Lego says it was inspired by watching how kids shared their creations in the LEGO Club Magazine’s “Cool Creations” section, and how they interacted on the company’s message boards. LEGO Life includes its own custom emoji keyboard to replace text when commenting on user-generated content. This leaves little room for online bullying to take place. The company says it worked with UNICEF on its set of safety features. Unveiling of the Lego app comes following news that veteran online environment Club Penguin is to close. Although Lego Life is aimed at children, there are no restrictions on adults joining the network. The company says the app is heavily moderated through automated filters and employees filtering content. The app also offers building challenges to try to encourage creativity. All the adverts on the network are for Lego products. Lego hopes in future the app will expand to become a central hub for all its services, including games and instructions.

PR and Marketing in Social Media

Gucci campaign offers questionable salve for fashion’s diversity problem

Gucci’s publicising of 'audition videos’ of the nine models who appear in its Pre-Fall 2017 campaign on Instagram and Twitter last Thursday created significant coverage, due to the casting of all black models. The Gucci videos feature young women and men prompted to talk about their ‘spirit animals,’ with no mention of the Gucci brand or its products. Casting director Jahn Hall commented that larger, more traditional brands have been slow to follow the lead of younger, more progressive designers who have always championed diversity. But with social media driving the agenda, Hall says newer designers “are carving out their own customer and speaking to them in a way that big box brands were far too afraid of doing, until they saw the young ‘cool kids’ pulling it off successfully.” However, the backstory of Gucci’s campaign remains as yet unclear. Casting director James Scully praised the new campaign. “It has the potential to be an amazing game changer,” he said.

Social Media Brands...

Facebook creates app for TV set-top boxes

Facebook is reported to be branching out from mobile and desktop, with plans to develop an app for television set-top boxes, including Apple TV. The social network is also believed to be holding discussions with media companies to develop TV-quality long-form programming, in exchange for a licensing fee. The content will be up to 10 minutes long and is understood to cover both sports and scripted shows. Incentivising advertisers to buy more video ads is crucial for Facebook’s continued revenue growth, as they attract higher rates than text or photo-based promotions. An app for set-top boxes would bring the social network closer to the lucrative video ads. The live video format has become a highly competitive feature on social platforms, which are competing to stream sports and major events such as the Oscars. However, Google’s YouTube, Twitter’s live shows, and Snapchat’s Discover, have so far struggled to attract advertising spend away from TV. YouTube also has its own set-top app but this is focused on search rather than discovery. By bringing the platform to its users’ TV sets, Facebook’s new app may find a way to tap into the television market’s ad revenue.

Amnesty launches live social campaign #TakeAction

Amnesty International is looking to harness the outrage on social media prompted by Donald Trump’s recent travel ban into something more positive. The charity will share a series of short films on social platforms as part of its global #TakeAction campaign, which aims to raise support for the refugee crisis, and adds to the Outrage Is Not Enough push. Refugees in Kenya and Lebanon will be filmed responding to tweets sent by social media users sympathetic to their plight. The aim is to create a connection between empathetic supporters and those suffering issues of displacement from their homeland, giving refugees a voice that is currently denied them. The videos are being filmed in real-time to help forge an emotional connection, with responses sent almost immediately tweets are received. Each refugee featured will thank the tweeter and urge them to sign a global petition calling on governments around the world and the UN to come together and tackle the global refugee crisis.

Beyoncé breaks Instagram record

Beyoncé's surprise pregnancy news has broken Instagram records to become the most-liked picture ever on the social network. The superstar made the revelation she is carrying twins in a post accompanied by a stylised photo in which she reveals her baby bump while dressed in lingerie and draped in a veil. The Instagram post notched up 6.33 million likes in less than eight hours from being unveiled, and also generated over 334,000 comments, with numbers still rising. The reaction already beats previous record holder Selena Gomez, who has amassed 6.3 million likes to date and 250,000 comments for an Instagram-sponsored post of her drinking a Coke. However, Gomez is still the Queen of Instagram with 108.4 million followers compared to Beyoncé's 92.9 million. The Grammy Award-winning singer’s announcement also set Twitter ablaze, as 500,000 tweets were sent about the twin news in the 45 minutes after her post to Instagram, peaking at 17,000 tweets per minute.



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