Each week our cross-channel marketing roundup recaps the biggest stories in mobile and beyond. This edition includes Facebook introducing a new video Watch tab, Google's apparent plan to make news more like Snapchat, and a look at Apple's search ads six months later.
YouTube's Sharing and Chat Function Goes Wide (VentureBeat): For many months it's been known that YouTube was testing a new function that would allow users to share videos and chat in real time. Now that feature has begun rolling out to the general popultion, reaching users on both the iOS and Android versions of the app. Speaking to VentureBeat a YouTube spokesperson shared what's changed with the feature since the company first began testing, explaining, "We’ve been improving the feature since our experiments began last year. For example, we’ve made changes to the chat visual; and we’ve made the video stick to the top of the chat when scrolling down, to allow replying and chatting while watching a video; and we’ll continue making improvements.” Users can reach the new feature via a "Shared" tab within YouTube's mobile app.
Facebook Debuts "Watch" Tab in Perceived Swipe at YouTube (TechCrunch): The fight between Facebook and YouTube in the battle for views heated up this week as the former introduced its new Watch tab. This tab now acts as Facebook's home for original programming and content, with a handful of shows even being directly funded by the social network. In essence, this development looks to shift Facebook's video views from "spontaneous" to "deliberate," as TechCrunch notes. In a post about the Watch section of the site, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, "We believe it’s possible to rethink a lot of experiences through the lens of building community — including watching video. Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive . . . You’ll be able to chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community.”
Instagram Testing Tag Team Live Streaming (VentureBeat): After months of being one of the least talked about live streaming platforms, Instagram is shaking things up with a new feature that enables broadcasters to share the screen with friends. This feature is currently being tested among selected users, allowing them to invite guests whose video will appear below them on the screen. A post by Instagram notes that, "You can remove your guest and add someone else at any time, or they can also choose to exit on their own.” While live streams featuring multiple video feeds aren't exactly new, popular apps like YouTube and Snapchat have yet to offer such functionality. Meanwhile Instagram's parent company Facebook introduced a similar capability in May.
Snapcodes Fade as Deep Linking Rules for Driving New Followers (Marketing Land): There was once a time when it seemed every major publisher was brandishing their Snapcodes on other social media networks in hopes of gaining new Snapchat followers. However it seems that, in the past year, deep links have come from way behind to make up the primary source of new followers. In fact, in Q1 2016, deep links only accounted for 7% of new followers compared to 78% for Snapcodes. Now the tables are turning as deep links make up 57% of new adds while Snapcodes have fallen to 26%. That equates to 1.10 million users finding brands via deep linking versus 205,707 for codes.
Google Reportedly Looking to Take a Page from Snapchat (Wall Street Journal): According to a new report, Google is considering an addition to their news section akin the Snapchat's Discover content. The web giant has apparently reached out to a number of publishers presenting an idea called Stamp — a word derived from combining both "stories" and AMP. Stamp features would be fast-loading but also utilize a swipeable format complete with photos, videos, and text. When asked about the possible new feature, a spokesperson for Google offered a vague statement, saying, “Ever since the beginning of AMP we’ve constantly collaborated with publishers, and are working on many new features."
Pricing Extensions Move to Card Format in Google Shopping Update (Search Engine Land): It seems that Google has updated its mobile shopping experience by changing the way price extensions display and by offering users filters. Previously, when a user searched for a given product, a list of prices and outlets appeared below. However this update takes those price listings and turns them into scrollable cards while also added a filtering function. These cards also offer additional information such as what model is available for the quoted price. At this time it's unclear how wide Google's test of this update is or when it will roll out to everyone.
Pinterest Opens Autoplay Video Ads to Everyone (Mobile Marketer): Following positive results for brands that participated in its test, Pinterest is now offering all advertisers the opportunity to utilize their promoted auto-play video spots. The format is notably similar to the one popularized by Facebook and has been a driving force of that company's ad revenue. While not all users may be thrilled about the addition of arguably intrusive auto-play ads, Pinterest says that participating advertisers have seen strong results including improved brand perception, saying of a recent Cheetos campaign, "The audience on our platform clearly liked what they saw, leading to a significant lift in brand favorability."
Opinions and Advice:
Checking In on Apple's Search Ads Six Months Later (Search Engine Land): Just a few short months ago, Apple rolled out their much-hyped search ads in the App Store. At the time it appeared as though the move would mark a big shift in how apps were discovered, ranked, and downloaded. So has that prediction come true? Anna Shirley takes a look back at the past six months of Apple search ads and notes what positive and negative changes she's observed as a result.
The Future of Mobile Attribution (Marketing Land): For a long time mobile attribution has been a challenge for marketers. Because of this more than two-thirds of mobile marketers report they do not or cannot properly calculate their mobile ROI. That's why Shani Rosenfelder reviews some current best-practices for mobile attribution and takes a look at what new technologies will affect attribution going forward.
Campaign of the Week:
Little Caesars Creates Heated Pizza Portals for Mobile Orders (Mobile Marketer): In recent months many fast food and fast casual chains have experimented with mobile ordering as a way to drive sales and offer an added convenience to customers. Now the discount pizza chain Little Caesars is looking to take that convenience to the next level by rolling out what they call their Pizza Portals. Essentially each portal is a like a heated locker that will keep customers' orders warm until they arrive for pick up. When users arrive to claim their order, they use a three-digit code or a QR code to open their Portal and grab their food. Little Caesars says it's currently employing this technology at select stores in the Tucson, Arizona area and plans to bring it to at least 100 more stores by the year's end. It's worth noting that online orders are a growing business with digital food order growing by 18% in March of this year. Additionally Starbucks recently announced that mobile orders now make up 9% of their total sales.