AI Takes Centre Stage at Cannes: the big buzz at this year’s Festival of Creativity was all around AI and its multifarious applications. The most exciting discussions Adobe took part in were all focused on the transformative potential of AI and machine learning, from design to medicine to urban planning. We take a look at those conversations, and examine some of the most exciting AI applications identified by Chris Duffey, head of AI innovation and strategy at Adobe.
Insta TV: LOOK! IT’S YOUTUBE ON INSTAGRAM!!!! There’s a reasonable writeup of the new video offering here, but the precis is basically: a) you can now post video that’s up to an hour long on Insta (and there are rumblings that they may go even longer, eventually); b) it’s all vertical; c) you can now skip through the videos à la YT; d) it has its own app in InstaTV, but can also be viewed through trad Insta; e) it’s firmly focused on single “creators” and as such, is pitched right at YouTube from a competitive point of view; and f) it’s ad-free at the moment, but the nature of the IGTV app (you open it, video starts playing immediately, there’s a feed of STUFF from the people you follow on IG, etc) suggests that “pay to discover my stuff” is likely to be one of the first monetisation options the platform explores. If you were wondering whether it’s worth investing in training around shooting vertical, this is probably the thing that tips you toward actually doing it.
Insta Adds Shopping Tags To Stories: You can now sell things—actual things! — to people using Instagram stories. It’s slightly unclear whether this is a feature available to everyone or only to select retail partners. Either way, this will be everywhere in six months so DON’T FRET KIDS.
Facebook Launching Paid Tier to Groups: This is a really interesting move IMHO. FB is launching a paid tier to Groups, meaning that ad ins can effectively create a tiered membership scheme, with access to premium content restricted to Group members who pony up some cash. This effectively becomes a rather neat crowd subscription service with inbuilt reach and promo capabilities—a pretty strong lure. Facebook cite the following use case as an example: “One such community leader looking to support her work, Sarah Mueller, started a group called Declutter My Home as a way to inspire and motivate others to tidy up their apartment or house. The group quickly became an active community for helping tens of thousands of people across the world to reduce clutter in their spaces. With her new subscription group, Organize My Home, members will be able to work together on bite-sized projects, and have access to easily actionable checklists, tutorials, live videos and more to help with home organization.” While this is interesting, it does make one wonder about the inner lives of those paying for home tidying tips.
LinkedIn Adds Carousel Ads: LinkedIn continues to improve and diversify its ad product offering with the introduction of carousel ads, which are familiar to you from Facebook, Instagram and other platforms.
Amazon Launches Alexa for Hospitality: Jeff Bezos’ mission to ensure that one of his spy microphones is installed in every single human-occupied space in the world continues apace. Now Amazon’s actively courting hoteliers to include its tech in their rooms. This is a huge opportunity for brands to create content at very specific points in the customer journey: for example, if you were Time Out, the idea of a “What’s on in XX city today, Alexa?” recipe is too obvious to ignore, right?
Snap Kit Launches: Snapchat launched its developer kit which allows, er, developers to leverage the app in EXCITING WAYS! From logging in via Snap, to allowing users to use Snap functionality within third party apps, to—bafflingly—letting you do things like use Bitmoji in Tinder chats, this presents a whole host of fascinating opportunities. The article in the link is very good on possible applications, not least the integration of Snaps and Stories into third-party apps. Seriously, read this one; it’s useful and potentially important.
Snapchat Adding Sales Tracking To Ad Impact Metrics: I saw quite a few articles this week touting this stuff with a strapline along the lines of, “Snap wants to show advertisers its products are as good as Facebook’s.” That made me laugh quite a lot. Still, this initiative (launching with a UK supermarket “imminently”) is a useful step in the right direction toward being able to prove exactly how little a Custom Filter will actually affect your bottom line. Oh, and “Snapchat has also launched its marketing mix modelling (MMM) partner programme, which includes tie-ups with Neustar Marketshare, Analytics Partners, Kantar and Nielsen, to Europe. In coming this side of the ponds it’s also adding new collaborations with the likes of D2D (Dentsu Aegis), Ninah (Publicis) and independent MMM providers Ebiquity, Ekimetrics and Nepa. Skewed towards helping marketers justify their spend on Snapchat, the MMM scheme will see advertisers being given access to third-party data to better understand Snap’s impact on actions like sales and sign-ups.”
Reuters Digital News Report 2018: A whole report on how the world is consuming news in 2018, with country-by-country breakdowns of media trust, popular sources, and the like. The main takeaways are that Twitter is surprisingly popular as a news source, suggesting that they may well be right in their decision to go hard on this in their latest update, that people are sharing less news via Facebook and more via messaging platforms, that embedded video on publisher sites is hugely unpopular, and that Whatsapp is absolutely dominating news distribution in the developing / second world. You can read some topline analysis by Rob Blackie here, but it’s really worth looking at the whole thing (no, really, I promise it is)