USES: Case studies and general user stories

Luxury travel looks best in blueLuxury Daily
A new Instagram report by Cortex shows that if you’re selling rooms in high-end hotels and resorts, fill your Instagram feed with fewer people and more aquamarine. #data

Sephora launched two new featuresAdweek
Both help shoppers quickly sort through products to find what they want, with one using Tinder-y swiping. Sephora’s promotion of the features on the dating app itself is a clever tie-in; its use of a polling feature to do so is a first. 

Justin Bieber shared “Cold Water" lyrics via DMTeen Vogue
He’s been tweeting about the new single for months now, but last week he started DMing lyrics to fans who tweet #ColdWater2Days. Not only is this a great product-reveal tactic, it’s also an engaging, personal way to make fans a part of the process. 

Warby Parker sold glasses to (only) Snapchat followersTechCrunch
Their story included a URL where followers could go to buy a pair of sunglasses not available anywhere else. Two things: (1) ROI tracking couldn’t be made easier and (2) exclusivity always works. Warby Parker’s foresight was 20/20. 

Macy's shoppers can choose AI over human helpFortune
Thanks to IBM Watson, “Ex Machina” has moved from the mall theater to the department store. Not really. Not even close: So-called “shopping assistants” via a web app can help Macy’s customers navigate the store and shop in-store. Though it’d be hard to disregard Ava’s wardrobe advice (for fear of imminent death), let's not underestimate the value of human customer service. 


INFLUENCERS: Voices behind the hype

Selena Gomez's posts are worth $550,000 eachAdweek
Sure, she’s an influencer, but she’s also a celebrity. Prepare to make a big investment to work with her, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Prepare also for big reach.

Facebook influencers paid $2.2M to host Live showsTubefilter
The social media platform itself hired a mix of YouTube creators, Vine stars and others to increase awareness and "encourage experimentation" with regular programming on Live. Even platforms need influencer strategies.


CHANGES: Updates to existing platforms

Facebook adds 24-hour “Quick Updates”TechCrunch
How Snapchatty of them. The updates will show up in a separate activity tab instead of in your News Feed or on your profile. Brands should plan for disappearing content across multiple platforms. So much for Facebook's reputation of "permanence."
Periscope is hanging on with new featuresPeriscope blog
Three big changes help users find content they're interested in watching:
1.    Highlights are “trailers” of each broadcast made automatically
2.    Broadcasts can be embedded just about anywhere on the web as a tweet (HUGE!)
3.    Live broadcasts autoplay on Android, soon on iOS

One of Periscope’s drawbacks was that users had to leave Twitter to watch streams. No more. This could help turn things around for the app.    
Snapchat users can draw lenses with face paint featureMashable
Go ahead, make it a good one, because the app will remember the last one you made so you can use it again. The drawback is that we can't share our filters, but brands — especially those with sports teams and master doodlers — could have some fun on their accounts. No master doodler? Try the Nissan Diehard Fan Faces app


NEWBIES: Emerging platforms

The app that turns your photos into fine art, à la Picasso or Mondrian, launched just one month ago and is already the No. 10 U.S. app overall and the No. 3 photo and video app. 

SwiftmojiThe Next Web
It suggests emojis to add to your message based on what you’re writing about. So, it may suggest a cake emoji instead of the words “happy birthday.” Even older kids (like, way older and not kids) are reportedly liking emojis. 
PokéDatesThe Verge 
Fill out basic information, like when you are free to hunt Pokémon, and the dating app sends you potential matches so that you can hunt together. Cut to a father tucking in his young son: "Son, did I ever tell you that your mom and I met while capturing Pikachu?"