Twitter Lite launches for emerging markets
Our round up of this week's social media news and insights:
Twitter Lite launches for emerging markets
Twitter has unveiled a less data-intensive version of its app for emerging markets, where internet connections are limited, as it moves to attract a new user base. Twitter Lite works through a web browser and not a stand-alone phone app, but its appearance is almost the same as what app users experience. The launch comes after Facebook unveiled similar products and introduced its own Lite version in 2015. Twitter Lite is available through mobile websites and supports 42 languages. It is already available in India and will soon launch into Indonesia and other developing regions. The social network has revealed Vodafone as its ‘first global’ partner. Along with YouTube, Twitter is keen to target India’s 1.3 billion population and has timed the release of its Lite service to coincide with the start of this week’s major cricket event, the Indian Premier League’s Twenty20 tournament.
Twitter has struggled to grow its international user base. It had 319 million average monthly active users at the end of 2016, compared to Facebook’s 1.9 billion users. A large part of the problem is due to how much data its app and earlier web offering consumed, according to Twitter’s vice president of product, Keith Coleman. ‘We didn’t feel like we were reaching these other countries well enough, and this will allow us to do it, faster, cheaper and with a better experience than we’ve had before,’ he added.
PR and Marketing in Social Media
Jeep celebrates second 4x4 Day with Snapchat filter
Jeep celebrated its second annual 4x4 Day on April 4 with the launch of a Snapchat lens that lets fans put themselves in the driving seat of an open-air Jeep Wrangler. The interactive ‘Jeep Hair, Don’t Care’ interactive lens was available on the platform for 24 hours on 4x4 Day, and will remain active until October, where it will be exclusively accessed by scanning Snap codes provided to fans at Jeep events.
When Snapchatters raise their eyebrows the hair in the lens ‘blows wildly, giving them that ‘Jeep Hair, Don’t Care feeling that only Jeep Wrangler drivers understand,’ the brand said. Social media users were invited to post photos on Jeep’s other social channels, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #Jeep4x4Day. The brand’s social team also aggregated fan content to put together a promotional montage in its ‘Today Was Made For Adventure’ video.
Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer at Jeep parent FCA Global, revealed the brand has chosen to partner with Snapchat following the success of its Jeep filter last year. He added: ‘We saw the perfect opportunity to once again partner with Snapchat on ‘Jeep 4x4 Day’ to create a user experience that will make a significant impact with our millennial audience and across our global fan base’.
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Facebook tests free version of Workplace
Facebook is releasing a free version of Workplace, its social network for businesses, which was officially launched last October. The new product will look and feel the same to use as the paid version, but will not offer firms the administrative and analytic tools on offer to paid subscribers. It will be called ‘Workplace Standard’ while the paid version will be named ‘Workplace Premium.’ ‘Not every company wants to go through a full-scale enterprise deployment and not every company is in a position to pay for Workplace,’ Facebook product manager Simon Cross said.
The social network is hoping the free version will attract small businesses and firms in emerging markets onto the platform. Facebook faces competition from a number of rivals. Microsoft introduced the workplace chat tool Teams in November and is aiming to integrate LinkedIn into its services, while start up Slack has attracted 5 million daily active users and 1.5 million subscribers.
Snapchat rolls out new tools for advertisers
Snapchat is looking to win some of Facebook’s mobile ad revenue share with the launch of two new tools it hopes will make its platform more attractive and rewarding for brands. The first product is an in-house machine learning algorithm tool to help advertisers target users that are most likely to install their apps. ‘We’ve been listening closely to direct response advertisers and are excited to announce the ability to ‘bid for installs’ in our auction,’ revealed Snaps director of monetisation product Peter Sellis. The social network has also updated its overall ad targeting, allowing brands to re-target users who have previously engaged with one of their ads.
Developing smarter targeting abilities for advertisers will be essential for Snapchat to grow its fledgling ad business, which generated $404m in revenue last year. The social network, which recently passed the 100 million daily users milestone, also launched a search tool for its Stories platform at the end of last month.
Facebook’s mysterious rocket icon indicates ‘complementary’ second news feed
A number of Facebook users have reported a mysterious rocket ship icon has appeared under their news feeds. The social network has now revealed that when pressed, the button unveils a second complementary news feed, which features recommended articles, posts and pictures from sources not followed by the user, but which Facebook believes will be of interest. ‘We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore new content they haven’t connected with yet,’ a spokesperson from the social network revealed.
Some marketers have claimed Facebook is running out of space to host branded content on its news feed. While still at the testing stage, a potential second feed would offer more space for advertisers. The button is currently appearing to select iOS and Android users.