Social Media Report - Friday 8th April 2016

Hot Topic...

Facebook Live revamps with video hub and Snapchatty features

Facebook has overhauled its real-time video streaming service, Facebook Live, offering users a host of new features apparently to rival Snapchat. A dedicated tab to help users find streams takes pride of place in the redesign, as the popularity of live streaming continues to surge. "People don’t want to miss out on great broadcasts that are live right now," said product management director Fidji Simo. The video hub will allow viewers to search live and non-live videos, or choose to broadcast themselves. Desktop users get a Map product, which will let Live users in over 60 countries share and search for global broadcasts. Analysts continue to tip live streaming as the next big format in the digital video space, which is especially attractive to younger users. Periscope and Meerkat had early dominance of the space, but now, bigger players are getting in on the trend, and YouTube is reported to be creating a new live streaming app called YouTube Connect. With video ads now the hottest thing in marketing, brands will pay big bucks for what amount to online TV commercials. Social networks are increasingly investing in live sports broadcasting, something Facebook has also been slowly making inroads into, with Twitter revealing it has bought the rights to show a series of Thursday night NFL games. 

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Burberry first brand to use 'Snapcode'

Burberry’s new fragrance campaign has notched up two social media firsts. The promotion will mark the first time Snapcodes are being used to unlock fragrances and grooming products at retailers. It also marks the first Discover special for a luxury brand on Snapchat. The company is launching its latest men’s fragrance, Mr Burberry, with a capsule collection and grooming line to be promoted on Snapchat’s Discover channel, which will be active for 24 hours and will provide behind-the scenes footage as well as grooming and tailoring advice. After this time, users can scan the ‘Snapcode’ on Mr Burberry products at stores and retailers to continue unlocking content on the channel for the next two months.  Burberry has been one of the first brand’s to test the Snapchat feature, and last year streamed a fashion show to the app, which it claimed generated in excess of 100 million impressions.

Social Media Brands...

Twitter's shares surge following MasterCard link

MasterCard has expressed interest in working with social media giants Twitter and Facebook on payment services. The brand’s president of international markets Ann Cairns said the company regarded the two platforms as occupying a ‘really good space’ in social media, and revealed it has been communicating with Twitter and Facebook ‘over in Silicon Valley’. She said MasterCard is hoping to ‘figure out what we can do together, where our networks could play into their space and connect up’. Following the expression of interest, shares in Twitter jumped over 9%. Last year, Facebook launched a peer-to-peer money transfer service in the U.S. through Messenger. MasterCard has already partnered with a number of tech majors on mobile payment solutions, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. A push into social media would build upon payment systems already introduced by Facebook and Twitter.

WhatsApp turns on end-to-end encryption

WhatsApp is now encrypting all of its billion users' communications end-to-end, rendering messages unreadable if they are intercepted. In a blog post, the company said: "The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us." Amnesty International hailed the move as a "huge victory" for free speech. Encryption has been a hot topic since the FBI demanded Apple help it access data on an iPhone used by a suspected terrorist. WhatsApp’s move is thought likely to vex some law enforcement agencies, particularly the US Department of Justice. Facebook is itself reportedly looking into increasing encryption for Messenger. And in the wake of Apple's public battle with the FBI, Snapchat and Google are also said to be working on increasing the security of messages sent through their platforms. FBI attorney James Baker has reportedly criticised WhatsApp’s move, saying encryption threatens the work of law enforcement.

TV food show based on Yelp reviews

The Food Network is partnering with Yelp for a new show titled 12 Hungry Yelpers. Some of Yelp’s most acerbic and pithy reviews are expected to be deployed in order to help badly-rated restaurants fix their issues, which, as one observer points out, turns Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” segment into a full-fledged show. Each episode is expected to concentrate on a single restaurant, and Kathleen Finch of Food Network’s parent Scripps, says it is part of a plan to grow their Millennial audience, as they seek ways to tap into social media and take advantage of large social followings. The network hasn't released any details yet, but an executive from its parent company told Eater that it will be hosted by MasterChef season three finalist Monti Carlo.

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