SO MOnday: 22nd February 2016
Abbey Torrance and Emma Saddleton round up the best social and mobile news from the past week, including Snapchat’s move into ecommerce, Pepsi’s emoji campaign, Facebook and the Samaritans’ suicide prevention tool, Three’s ad-blocking plans and more…
At the Re/code conference last week, a persistent rumour was seemingly confirmed that Snapchat is developing its own ecommerce platform.
The editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, Joanna Coles, and a member of Snapchat’s board of directors revealed: “Sweet is a channel on Snapchat that Hearst and Snapchat have done together, but at some point that will morph into a ecommerce platform so you will be able to buy from it… however the technology is not quite there yet for how we would like to do it.”
This is really exciting news from Snapchat Towers and shows that brands should consider the power of the platform to reach millennials, and the opportunity to drive conversion through the platform.
Come the summer, we won’t be looking for bottles with our names on – instead we’ll be spotting our favourite emojis. Having had success in the Canadian market, Pepsi will launch uniquely designed emojis across their cans, bottles and cups in 100 markets this summer.
The campaign will be supported with a wider digital campaign, which for Europe will include football-related content as the latest Euros tournament kicks off in June. A visual step on from Coke’s Share-a-coke naming campaign, Pepsi will try to generate conversation that will not have the traditional language barrier.
Samaritans, a voluntary organisation across UK and Ireland that provides emotional support to anyone struggling to cope, has teamed up with Facebook to create this important tool.
The Suicide Prevention tool is currently available in US and Australia and will be rolling out in the UK shortly.
This tool will allow other Facebook users to report posts they are worried about. People who see explicit threats of suicide are asked to call emergency services or a suicide hotline. Otherwise there is an option flag content to Facebook which gets sent to a team who ‘work around the clock reviewing posts’. Facebook can then send options for help which have been devised in conjunction with The Samaritans.
Anonymity remains a key feature of someone’s interaction with Samaritans workers - even if you contact the Samaritans via Facebook, your details are not passed on.
It is great to see Facebook working closely with a charity like Samaritans to provide measures to help people who are struggling.
Three have announced a partnership with ad-blocking company Shine to allow users in Italy and the UK the opportunity to block ads on mobile browsers and across apps.
An opt-in service in the UK, Three believe the goal will be to give users more control and transparency over what they are served and importantly, not incur data charges for ads – which could instead be absorbed by the likes of Google and Facebook. Operations are not yet clear but the step suggests that brands will need to revisit their mobile experience and ensure it is a streamlined and valuable service to users.
At the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance at Samsung’s keynote speech on the first day on Sunday.
Praising Samsung for their steps in VR, Zuckerberg took this opportunity to announce their Social VR team which will aim to create social apps for virtual reality which was followed by an official blog post. A successful ways of working already exists between the two companies (the tech software within Samsung’s Gear VR is provided by Oculus, owned by Facebook) so these next steps could help grow VR from a niche tech to a more widely accepted media.
Streaming 360 video could be the next step in engaging with friends and family when we are unable to be there, and connect at all hours of the day -0 and allow brands to connect with users in a even more immersive way. The ultimate question will be if consumers take it up -would you immerse yourself in VR to interact with a shared experience such as a family member’s birthday, or consider it anti-social to shut yourself away in a headset?