Snapchat supports International Women’s Day with new animated lenses
Our round up of this week's social media news and insights:
Snapchat supports International Women’s Day with new animated lenses
Snapchat has launched three new animated lenses inspired by International Women’s Day. The new offerings featured Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo and Rosa Parks, and were live for 24 hours on 8 March. Each animated lens was designed to celebrate the woman they represent. The Kahlo lens transformed a user’s face into the artist’s iconic look, featuring red lipstick, a crown of flowers and her unibrow. The Frida Kahlo Corporation released a statement saying the lens aims to ‘capture the faces of all her followers around the world’. ‘In the age of the selfie, Frida is considered to the first selfie artist, she told a story of love, life, strength and passion through her self-portraits,’ the organisation added. Snapchat also collaborated with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development to create a lens for Parks based on her quote: ‘You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.’ The words appear on the lens, which also puts the civil rights leader’s recognisable hat and glasses on a user’s face. Snapchat has been criticised in the past for racially insensitive filters, but it worked with the not-for-profit institute, which was co-founded by Parks in 1987, to create the animation. Finally, the Marie Curie lens featured colourful test tubes which appear to explode on-screen in celebration of the scientist.
As well as the lenses, Snapchat also launched a special Our Story in support of International Women’s Day, which highlighted snaps from the event and user celebrations around the world. The social network has been using its augmented reality lenses to tap into the buzz around global events since last year, including designs themed on the Rio Olympic Games.
PR and Marketing in Social Media
Costa Coffee first UK brand to put on Snap Spectacles for social campaign
Costa Coffee is using Spectacles to take Snapchatters behind the counters of its cafes, showing them how baristas make coffee from a first-person perspective. Costa is the first brand in the UK to use Snap Inc's wearable camera glasses, and its new social marketing campaign gives punters a teaser of the hot product ahead of its UK launch. The content will air on the company’s Snapchat channel, Costacoffeeuk, and the brand hopes to see high levels of engagement, given that it will be the first time UK viewers get to see what Spectacles can do. ‘For our customers and followers, we know there is an appetite to experience new ways to enjoy coffee and they’ll be intrigued to watch their favourite coffee being made from the perspective of a Costa barista,’ said a spokesperson. Developed for Costa by AnalogFolk, the new promotion will complement existing Snapchat content. Costa launched on Snapchat last year as a way to tap into its core audience - workers in their 20s to 40s - on a platform where over half of new users are over the age of 25, and 43% of UK users are parents, according to 2016 Snapchat statistics.
‘Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social platforms outside of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,’ the spokesperson said. ‘It makes sense for us to take this step with Snapchat and broaden our content offering to this first-person Snap Spectacles perspective.’ While the coffee maker said it was keen to use Snap Spectacles again for relevant campaigns, it warned that brands need to be smart when it comes to new opportunities with social media and ‘only apply new formats that are relevant to their audience.’
Social Media Brands...
Yoox Net-a-Porter looks to sell luxury via WhatsApp
Yoox Net-a-Porter is developing technology to sell directly through WhatsApp, as the e-commerce market for Prada and Versace goods becomes ever more competitive. Federico Marchetti, CEO of the online luxury retailer, said its personal shoppers were already communicating with top clients via the text-messaging service, and the company is aiming to take a lead on competitors like Farfetch and the luxury brands’ own sites by expanding its use of the mobile app. About 40% of its higher-margin in-season revenue comes from just 2% of its users - the ‘Extremely Important People’, or EIPs. ‘We’ve made some of our biggest sales to EIPs by chatting to them through WhatsApp,’ Marchetti said. So far the fashion industry has been slow to capitalise on messaging. In China, the WeChat app has more than 700 million users, many with linked bank accounts, but while 92% of global luxury brands use WeChat for marketing, very few sell directly through the app. Wealthy UK shoppers could soon be offered Yoox Net-a-Porter’s 'butler service' where a courier delivers clothes, then waits while the customer tries them on and decides whether to keep them or send them back.
WhatsApp changed its privacy rules in August to allow companies to communicate directly with its 1 billion users, as Facebook looks to start recouping some of the $22bn it paid to buy the service.
Twitch launches Twitter-like social network for gamers
Game-focused live streaming video platform Twitch has launched an in-house social stream in a move to bolster engagement amongst its 45 million monthly users. ‘Pulse’ will offer members real-time updates of the gaming achievements of their followers, with built in support from platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, to link video and image content along with text. ‘Streamers can post and engage with all of their followers and the greater Twitch community right from the Twitch front page,’ revealed the platform’s product marketer Sheila Raju. The social network will go live on Twitch and its mobile app, with posts appearing to a user’s followers as well as their friends on the front page.
Twitch was bought by Amazon in 2014 for $970m and Pulse offers a new dimension in the social media space, that of a dedicated platform for specific genres. For Amazon, the acquisition of Twitch is a useful launch pad for its wider digital ambition with Pulse providing a testing ground for a range of its services, including TV streaming and home entertainment.
Facebook trials ‘dislike’ button in Messenger
The long requested ‘dislike’ button’ is being trialled in Facebook Messenger for the first time. The social network has proceeded cautiously despite high demand for the emoji, due to fears it could be used as a form of bullying, and will be unpopular with brands. To combat these concerns, Facebook is treating the new thumbs down button as more of a ‘no’ reaction, and is testing to see if it is helpful in situations such as quick logistics and voting in group conversations. ‘We’re always testing ways to make Messenger more fun and engaging,’ Facebook confirmed, adding the small trial will ‘enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message’.
The social network is also reported to be testing an alternative News Feed which is made up of photographs, videos and articles curated to users’ likes and dislikes. While the current version of the News Feed remains as the ‘Home’ tab, a new ‘Explore’ tab contains a secondary News Feed, in a similar style to Instagram’s Search and Explore tabs.