USES: Case studies and general user stories

eSports tournament streamed on TwitterEngadget
The semifinals and championship game of “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” aired on Twitter over the weekend, which seems a more natural fit than streaming ball-and-stick games. Speaking of, here’s a recap of NFL, NBA and NHL games airing there. We, and Twitter investors, await ad revenue numbers.

Lowe's made how-to videos for Facebook 360Adweek
The home improvement retailer is quick to adapt instructional content to new platforms. Basically, they’re slaying. Last week, they launched "Made in a Minute," a series of Facebook 360 videos that show eight steps of a project, each as its own GIF seamlessly connected to each other. 

H&M, Sephora and Vine built Kik botsTechCrunch
Why Kik? Because it reportedly reaches 40% of American teenagers, who have been very receptive to the whole bot thing on that platform. Like, over-1-billion-bot-messages receptive. In this article, Sephora calls sales via bot “conversational commerce,” which sounds a little 1890s. We call sales via bots the most scaled, personalized form of salesmanship. 

NFL launched a Snapchat Discover platformFortune
Grab your glasses, take out your phone and open Snapchat, because you can watch live Discover stories during NFL games this fall. Then toggle to Twitter to watch the games themselves. People will watch content on small screens if the storytelling is good, and we’re waiting to see if NFL games (with even tinier players) qualify.


INFLUENCERS: Voices behind the hype

Snapchat influencers started clearly labeling ads as adsAdweek
Even if your content disappears in 24 hours, if you posted it because a brand is paying you to do it, you must make that clear. The FTC is cracking down on Instagram, too — targeting companies, not the influencers they work with.

High-profile LinkedIn members posted videosDigital Trends
This is a popular and apparently effective new-feature rollout strategy. In 2013, LinkedIn used its own influencers to promote long-form blog posts. Facebook did the same to promote Live. Instagram is doing it now with comment controls. Long story short, we’ll all be able to post 30-second videos to LinkedIn soon enough.


CHANGES: Updates to existing platforms

Twitter ads unlock secret contentMashable
But only if retweeted or replied to. A few questions: Is required engagement really engagement? Will users undo the interaction once they've seen the content? Haven’t Twitter ads been prompting this response for years? Is it too late now to say sorry? What do you mean? (Those last two are Bieber references.)

Instagram Stories mimic SnapchatNew York Times
Well, everyone is mimicking Snapchat (and Snapchat’s mimicking everyone else). In this case, Instagram users can share photos or videos with their followers for 24 hours in a separate “story” without posting the content to their feed. Brands are immediately embracing the feature, hoping to gain back the attention they might have lost after the app changed its algorithm. This is the best breakdown we’ve seen so far. 

Instagram comments can be turned offInternational Business Times
Right now, only influencers and celebrities can choose to do so post-by-post or per account. Soon, everyone will be able to. It may mean less monitoring for offensive messages, but it also means less engagement, making it less social and more promotional.


NEWBIES: Emerging platforms

Junior Gunners appSportTechie        
Arsenal’s new app is aimed at its 4- to 11-year-old fans. Two games can be played on it: “Pocket Player” (lasts minutes) and “Squad Boss” (lasts a season). With avatar players needing training and meals, we wonder if the app is an opportunity for brands who sponsor Arsenal to promote their products.

ArtistoThe Next Web
It’s like Prisma, but for video. See McKinney on Tap below for a link to an in-depth article comparing Waterlogue, Prisma and Brushstroke. Not only is it technically helpful, it also spells out privacy concerns. 


MCKINNEY ON TAP: Cold, frothy ideas

Our Macintosh Administrator Tess Panfil is an excellent photographer and has been using Waterlogue since it launched. We asked for her opinion on the new photo-to-painting apps available. She over-delivered.