Snapchat moves from ad sharing to content licensing

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

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Snapchat moves from ad sharing to content licensing

Snapchat is overhauling its ad sales agreements with publishers, adopting the same method as TV networks in its transition from a social network to a media owner. Instead of sharing revenue with its content partners on Discover, the platform now has ambitions to pay publishers a flat licence fee upfront and keeping the ad money for itself. This method mimics the model TV broadcasters use when commissioning content. Ultimately it would give Snapchat full control of its ad inventory. For publishers there are positives and negatives. While it guarantees a payday without having to rely on ad sales, it also limits how much revenue they can generate and removes control of how their content is sold. It is unclear how much Snapchat is prepared to pay to licence entire Discover channels but its partners expect that, as with the TV industry, performance will be a key factor. Industry sources indicate Snapchat representatives have already started to inform publishers about the new terms and would like to have the new deals in place within the next month. The move is indicative of Snapchat’s ambition to feature more original content on its platform. It has previously instructed content companies to make ‘Snapchat Shows’, a new TV-style format, for which a licensing model could also apply. The shift in advertising strategy comes as Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc. prepares for an initial public offering that could value the business at $25bn.

PR and Marketing in Social Media

Twitter creates bespoke interactive campaign for British Heart Foundation

A new British Heart Foundation (BHF) campaign invites Twitter users to 'like this tweet to see what happens next.' They then find out their chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. The promotion is being run to coincide with the BHF’s 'Restart A Heart Day', which aims to train young people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The special BHF tweet urges users to imagine their heart has stopped and directs them to hit a custom heart design ‘like’ icon which triggers Twitter’s auto-reply functionality to serve up a response based on the statistic that less than one in ten people survive a cardiac arrest. This means more than 90% of those taking part get a bespoke response telling them they are unlucky, and explaining why. The social media campaign has people divided, because only a lucky few who favourite the #RestartAHeart tweet get the good news that they’d been saved, and most get the unfortunate update that they are, in fact, dead. This has seen the campaign met with both praise and criticism from Twitter users. Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This pioneering campaign with Twitter will help us to highlight just how shocking cardiac arrest survival rates are in the UK today. By telling nine in every ten people that they would not have survived, we hope people will be inspired to help us create a nation of lifesavers and learn vital CPR skills that could one day save a life.

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UKTV’s Alibi launches world’s first Facebook Live murder mystery

UKTV’s crime drama channel Alibi has launched a Facebook live stream of a murder mystery game to promote the new season of crime drama Crossing Lines. ‘Framed’ is a world-first Facebook Live interactive story, set in a locked-room. Users take on the role of a security guard trapped in the room with a dead body and must solve the mystery in one hour before being set up for the murder. The main character is fitted with a camera so viewers can get a first-person account of the dilemma and will be presented with a series of challenges and choices to solve the case. ‘It’s the world’s first interactive escape room murder mystery’, said Rachel Walker, head of production at Social Life, who created the project with Alibi. Moderators will guide the live event, picking out comments from the audience and Facebook’s reaction buttons will be used to carry out snap polls of what the character should do next. Framed writer David Varela noted that escape room challenges are normally designed for small groups, with the scale of the UKTV project bringing the game to ‘another level’. He added: ‘Allowing thousands of people to take part at once should produce some really exciting results and we’re looking forward to some heated arguments about the different choices our character can make’.

Red Bull launches speed reading social media tool

Red Bull has launched Shout/out, a new social media tool aimed at helping music and sports fans ‘reclaim’ their social media feeds by allowing them to communicate beyond Twitter’s 140-character limit. Shout/out utilises speed-reading techniques to help users communicate at live events without the need for brevity, and Red Bull says it is the first time such technology has been handed over to consumers. Fans can share posts through Red Bull’s website with the messages then rendered into an animated speed reading gif with the words appearing in rapid sequential order. Users also have options to customise the post with imagery. The tool will further be used by the brand’s athletes and artists to broadcast their experiences in real-time. Shout/out launched over the weekend at GLA x LDN in Glasgow, which is part of Red Bull’s Music Academy UK Tour. Chris Tyas, head of digital at The Marketing Store, warned that the ‘full power and emotion’ of the written word was slowly being diluted by Facebook and Twitter. ‘The Marketing Store and Red Bull decided to take a stand and reclaim social feeds for the consumers,’ he said. For the GIFs to really kick-on in popularity, he added, sites such as Twitter need to be ‘more progressive’ with their formats. ‘At the moment they haven’t found a display mechanic that matches the vast potential of fast mobile connection and hi resolution screens,’ he finished.

Instagram expands Stories to Explore tab

Instagram is hoping to encourage user browsing by bringing its Stories feature to the Explore tab. The social network sees 100m people visit the tab each day to find videos and images from accounts they don’t follow and they will now be able to access the Stories rolling series of posts that disappear 24 hours after they are sent. Instagram is hoping the addition of Stories will encourage users to share more photos and videos at a time when the rate of sharing has started to decline. It also aims to take the edge off the similar Snapchat feature, which has become the default location for the younger generation wishing to share content and socialise. However, Instagram’s Explore tab gives users the ability to browse popular accounts and sample them first, something Snapchat, which struggles with ‘discovery’ mechanisms, doesn’t offer. ‘The new suggested Stories section highlights the most interesting stories from across Instagram’s vast community – and like the rest of Explore, the Stories you’ll see are personalised to your interest’, the photo-sharing app revealed in a blog post.

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