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Digital Marketing News and Updates

by | Dec 6, 2016


Instagram finally followed in the footsteps of Facebook, Periscope, and Snapchat by launching their own version of a live video streaming feature. Unlike Facebook and Periscope, where live footage is later posted permanently, Instagram’s live videos disappear after they are done streaming. Users can also now send Snapchat-style disappearing photos to their friends via the direct messaging feature.  Another similarity is the screenshot notification. Just as Snapchat alerts users when their photos have been screenshotted by the recipient, Instagram will also notify users when their disappearing photos are screenshotted. Many users expressed concern that this meant friends would be notified after taking a screenshot, so Instagram made it possible to secretly screenshot photos on a user’s profile.


While Instagram is beginning to look more and more like Snapchat, Snapchat has been making their own updates to differentiate themselves. In continuing the relationship with Bitmoji, Snapchat’s new update allows users to add their personalized Bitmoji character to custom geofilters. Other pre-made filters that feature a user’s Bitmoji character have also become available on the app. In another update, Snapchat Spectacles were released nationwide last week. The glasses—which allow you to post first-person video footage to Snapchat—are being sold in vending machines called “Snapbots.” So far, the Snapbots have popped up in places like New York City, Venice Beach, and near the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee. If you’re looking to find one of these vending machines, the locations are announced on Twitter 24 hours before the bot is placed.


Facebook has been pretty controversial lately, and it’s not just because of the post-election debates filling user news feeds across the country. Facebook has found itself in serious hot water as it has been accused of promoting “fake news” and contributing to the election results that surprised many people. Because of the way Facebook’s algorithm works, the website promotes content that has been clicked on by friends which means it is easy for click-bait–or fake news–to make it’s way onto user timelines. While Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has publicly spoken about the company’s attempts to limit these stories from being promoted, many experts say this will be difficult for Facebook to do using its algorithm.

In other, less controversial, news from Facebook, the company announced that they will be shutting down part of their Atlas ad server that didn’t directly benefit ad sales. The server was acquired by Facebook in 2013, but has struggled to attract advertisers. With new updates, Facebook is hoping to provide a more streamlined process for advertisers deciding to utilize the Atlas platform.

Holiday Marketing

It’s finally December which means you can blast holiday music, spend more time with friends and family, and enjoy the abundance of holiday advertisements. This year Forbes predicted that Black Friday would be more popular than ever, and they were right. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 154 million people turned out the weekend after Thanksgiving to shop, and they spent an average of $289. Another takeaway from this Black Friday is that mobile is still growing. This year, Wal Mart reported that about 70 percent of their traffic came from mobile devices; and Adobe said that, in general, mobile devices accounted for 55 percent of all online shopping on Black Friday.

Though it is only the first week in December, holiday ads are already out in full force, and many of this year’s early holiday ads have been notable for various reasons. H&M was chosen as an Editor’s Pick by Advertising Age this year for their holiday ad. H&M employed Wes Anderson to direct the ad as well as London-based agency adam&eveDDB. Advertising Age’s editor said the ad, which is vintage in style, was “a smart move” and helped H&M to evoke emotion and stand out from the crowd. Another notable ad this year comes from Zales Jewelers for reasons you may not expect. Zales Jewelers produced what most would consider an average holiday advertisement from a jewelry store: an ad filled with rings, couples, and heartfelt messages. However, this year Zales included a same-sex couple in their advertisement for the first time which has caused people to flock to social media to either support it or speak out against it.

While Zales updated a traditional ad to reflect modern times, eBay took a completely new approach to advertising by utilizing an opportunity offered by the popular music streaming service, Pandora. On December 1st, Pandora began offering companies the ability to sponsor opportunities for users to skip and replay songs. eBay is one of the first companies to jump on to this new type of advertising by playing their 15-second holiday ads every time a user decides to skip a song on Pandora’s “Traditional Christmas” station.

(Provided by Carousel30, a Capitol Communicator sponsor.)




About the Author

Greg Kihlström

Greg is an award-winning digital strategist, creative director, author and speaker. He is currently SVP Digital at Yes& (a Capitol Communicator Sponsor) as of Fall 2017 when Carousel30, the agency he founded, was acquired.He has worked with brands such as AARP, AOL, Booz Allen Hamilton, Choice Hotels, GEICO, Howard University, Marriott, MTV, The Nature Conservancy, Porsche, Toyota, United Nations and others. His work has won awards from the ADDYs, Webbys and others, been featured in books by HarperCollins and Rockport Press, publications such as Advertising Age, Communication Arts, Web Designer and Website magazine.He currently serve as VP of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) District 2, and as a Board Member of the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Marketing Industry Mentoring Board (MIMB). He is Past President of AAF DC, and served on the National Board of AAF, Board of Trustees of the Trust for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the Board of AIGA DC, and the Trust for the National Mall's National Advisory Board.


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