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USES: Case studies and general user stories

Hangover cure ordered via text and InstagramYahoo Finance
Finally, drunk texting with a purpose. When you log in to make your first order of Dirty Lemon, a lemon-based drink laced with charcoal (which absorbs toxins), you must provide your cellphone number. From then on, order via text or Instagram.

PopSugar tries “screenshot commerce”Digiday
If a post on Snapchat or Instagram includes an emoticode (a URL with two emojis), and you have an Emoticode or ShopStyle app, take a screenshot of the post to send it to a “hub” inside the app. There you can see all of your screenshots, which link directly to the products in them. So much for paying for access with Like2Buy and the like.

Wimbledon commits to Snapchat for three yearsDigiday
During last year’s opening and closing days, Wimbledon snapped live stories. This year, they’re posting daily, adding curated viewer snaps and athlete features. Snapchat changes every week, so who knows what Wimbledon will be able to do in 2017–18. They chose the right platform for two reasons: (1) With more than 150 million daily active users, Snapchat officially surpassed Twitter, so it’s not going anywhere; and (2) the filters, stickers and doodling capabilities will help unstuff the brand’s slightly “stuffy” image.

Canon’s PowerShot Instagram campaign gets real closeDigital Trends
To show off the camera’s 65x optical zoom capability, Canon used 33 Instagram profiles, 297 photos and 330 captions to create 24 storylines that require the user to zoom in on a detail in a photo that begins as a cityscape. Those who make it through all 24 can win a free superzoom point-and-shoot. Nailed it.

Cellphone carrier Orange lights up the Eiffel Tower for Euro 2016Digital Trends
Talk about high brand visibility (ha!). Orange is tracking the volume of social conversation for each country’s team, and the team with the most buzz will have its color light up the tower. Tapping into a culturally important and socially active moment is a smart move if they successfully connect the effort to the brand. Too bad the Dutch aren’t playing.

SocialRank lets brands mass-message all their Twitter followers — Fast Co.
With “custom” messages, nonetheless. Not a bad way to share promotions, but unless you’re adding value, the message will be intrusive. Proceed with caution.

 

INFLUENCERS: Voices behind the hype

The Pope met with YouTube starsMashable
Francis is no stranger to social media, and his meeting with 11 influencers signals his understanding of both the platforms and the power that people who use them well wield. BTW, they talked about how to use YouTube to promote empathy, tolerance and understanding. He’s a good egg, that pope.

Curateurs.com curates and sells pieces from influencer postsPR Newswire
Instead of asking influencers to wear a certain brand’s clothing, footwear and accessories, Curateurs.com sells what their influencers choose to wear. Called “curateurs,” they are interviewed about the products they choose, which are then showcased in photos and videos on the website, where users can chat, save looks they like and purchase.

A blue book for influencersBusiness Wire
Called Social Bluebook, it’s the only free tool that measures influencers’ worth. As influencer marketing continues to grow — due to underperforming traditional ads, a growing popularity of ad-blocking and algorithms determining who sees what when — brands need a standard measure of performance and pricing more than ever. 

 

CHANGES: Updates to existing platforms

Periscopers asked to moderate commentsTechCrunch
Randomly chosen participants will be asked to vote on whether flagged comments on the live-streaming app are truly inappropriate. If so, repeat offenders will be blocked from commenting again. All in all, this is a good thing given the fire Periscope has been under lately for allowing users to stream disturbing content and leave harassing comments.

Instagram launched business profiles and moreInstagram blog
We knew this was coming, and here it is. Instagram business pages can include more contact info, owners can see better analytics and posts can be promoted. This is huge, so look into it.

Reddit hosts videos and imagesBBC
It’s the one social media platform that still relies heavily, nay, entirely, on its website, which had 8 billion page views in 2015 from just slightly more men than women, each spending an average of more than 11 minutes there. To keep users on it even longer (instead of clicking out to see what others are talking about), Reddit will start "hosting" the content being discussed. We’ll keep an eye on this — it makes sense, but it’s a big change for a very large and tight-knit community.

 

NEWBIE: Emerging platform

InstamuseumDigital Trends
This online viewer uses VR to make your Instagram posts appear to be hanging in a gallery. As VR tech continues to evolve, we’re likely to see more content made by average users. We’d love to know if this works with private accounts — as a stand-alone experience, it would be a cool way for a brand to share exclusive user-generated content or for a photographer to show off a set of related photos.

 

#protip

When using Facebook’s new 1,500 emojis, remember that they work best as commentary, not as part of your main message.