Double the Tweeting, Double the Fun
Select brands and users are now allowed to tweet up to 280 characters, doubling Twitter's previous limit of 140. It's unclear how they are doling out access to the 280, but as for the why, one Twitter rep stated, "Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people."
"Tweet storms" with multi-part tweets—typically prefaced with a "(1/3)"—have become increasingly popular among users, and perhaps this is an attempt to give that behavior a cleaner look.
IKEA Gets Augmented
Over the past few years, IKEA has made headlines for its experiments with an AR-infused catalog and a VR kitchen tour. Now, they've evolved these concepts with a new AR kit app that allows you to place over 500,000 products in your home with the touch of your finger. This game-changing concept takes the best of in-store and online shopping, putting innovative technology right in the palm of your hand. It makes sense for the brand and it was executed really, really well.
And not only is it a smart concept, it is apparently incredibly detailed—"textures will be evident" and "ambient room lighting will be accounted for" in the renderings.
The article predicts that "design and commerce" are the two industries likely to find the biggest opportunities from this emerging tech, though we’re sure others will find innovative ways to harness it as well, especially as tools like AR Kit lower the barrier for entry.
Apple Upsets Marketers
Animojis and edge-to-edge screens stole the headlines after Apple's iPhone X announcement, but a lot of marketers were more concerned with a less flashy development that is set to roll out with the next iOS update: limited tracking capabilities. Per Digiday, this new development "will make it harder for ad buyers to target niche audiences. Although this move protects users’ data privacy, it’s likely to hurt advertiser conversions and reduce CPMs for publishers that rely heavily on third-party data."
The update doesn't come as a huge surprise—Apple CEO Tim Cook has been critical of ad-supported business models (like Facebook) for some time—but it has ruffled some feathers in the industry:
"Apple’s restrictions on retargeting data could hurt conversions and reduce reach by making it harder for advertisers to find users who fit specific demographics... [it] will make it harder... to drive sales and... publishers will ultimately suffer since their CPMs will drop due to a reduction in demand."
World Lenses Are Coming Your Way
To the surprise of no one, but the delight of social media marketers everywhere, Snapchat is opening up its 3-D world lenses to advertisers. Remember that dancing AR hot dog that was viewed 1.5 billion times? Well, for the right price, you can have your brand's mascot bopping around joyfully. Or doing whatever else.
Bud Light and Blade Runner: 2049 are the first brands to have access, but we expect other huge-budget brands will be splurging to get in on it before long. While it is sure to be wildly expensive, it represents the first time Augmented Reality is available as a mainstream marketing opportunity for brands, which is pretty exciting. AR has been popping up in more and more headlines lately—a testament to its potential. If you haven't been keeping up with what AR can do for brands, it's becoming increasingly clear that this trend is sure to have some stickiness.
One for the Kids
YouGov released its brand Index for 2017, noting which brands were viewed most favorably by millennials. The top 10 featured a lot of predictable digital giants—Facebook (1), Netflix (2), YouTube (5), Snapchat (7), Amazon (8)—but it also had some interesting surprises with H.E.B. (a southern grocer?), Walmart, and Victoria's Secret all making the top cut.
YouGov's CEO Ted Marzilli observed that, despite their immediate differences, the top 10 share some commonality. They: 1. facilitate lives, or 2. put value first.
According to Marzilli, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, etc., are brands that are "making life easier; some would say better," while Walmart and H.E.B. are seeing success with millennials because they are "living more thriftily" and "don’t have the same prospects as a generation 15 or 20 years ago."
Rising brands that have shown the largest positive growth in perception over the past year include: Lane Bryant, Beats by Dre, Nintendo Wii, Tesla, and GE.
And, a bit surprisingly, brands like Uber and Airbnb, which ranked in the top 10 last year, dropped out of the list this year.