Weekly Marketing News, 6th May 2022

May 7th, 2022 by

Insta goes full screen and pins posts, TikTok Pulses, Twitter launches Circles, and Alaska Airlines uses the Force. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram tests full-screen home feed 

Instagram tests full screen home feed

Instagram is testing an immersive full screen home feed that’s designed to bring video content front and centre. In the test of the full-screen home feed, you can still use the bottom navigation bar to access the discovery tab, Reels, shopping and your own page. Stories would remain at the top of the feed, and not be present within the home feed scrolling. (Via TechCrunch)

2. TikTok launches TikTok Pulse 

TikTok launches TikTok Pulse

TikTok announced the launch of TikTok Pulse, a new contextual advertising solution that ensures brands’ ads are placed next to the top 4% of all videos on TikTok. Creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers on TikTok will be eligible for the revenue share program during the initial stage of the TikTok Pulse program. There will be a 50/50 split of the ad revenue with creators. (Via TechCrunch)

3.Twitter launches Circles

Twitter has launched a public test of its new ‘Twitter Circle’ option, which will enable users to share tweets with a specific, custom group of connections in the app. Users will be able to add up to 150 people to their Circle, with any tweets in the group then only visible to the people in that listing. (Via Social Media Today)

4. Instagram tests Pinned posts 

Instagram tests Pinned posts

Instagram has launched a live test of a new option to pin images on your profile for selected users. Some Instagram users are able to select a ‘Pin to Your Profile’ option on their IG posts, which enables them to then dock their chosen updates to the top of their post grid on their profile display—exactly the same as TikTok’s pinned posts. (Via Social Media Today)

WORK WE LIKE

5. Alaska Airlines Star Wars plane

Alaska Airlines Star Wars plane

Alaska Airlines unveiled the ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ aircraft in celebration of Star Wars day, which was May the 4th (be with you…). The plane’s design was created in collaboration with Disneyland Resort and Lucasfilms. The plane itself features iconic characters and spaceships from the Star Wars franchise, such as the ‘Millenium Falcon’, several ‘Tie Fighters’ and the penguin-like ‘Porg’ characters around the plane. (Via TrendHunter)

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Posted in Marketing News, News

Weekly Marketing News, 29th April 2022

May 3rd, 2022 by

Amazon expands Prime, Woo gets wellness, EA wants creators, Degree hosts a metaverse marathon and Dove detoxes your feeds.

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Amazon expands Prime beyond Amazon.com 

Platform news

Amazon has introduced ‘Buy with Prime’, a new way merchants and shoppers can enjoy the benefits of Prime beyond Amazon’s store. Buy with Prime offers shopping benefits—including fast, free shipping, a seamless checkout experience, and free returns—to merchants’ own online stores, increasing selection for Prime members. (Via About Amazon)

 2. Woo: the culture brand for Gen Z

Platform news

The team behind VICE, i-D, Boiler Room and LADbible have created Woo—the new media culture brand on a mission to make wellness relatable and culturally relevant for Gen Z. Woo’s purpose is to redefine wellness for an entire generation, via social channels, podcasts, video, editorial and products. Woo’s content will explore the cultural touch-points Gen Z care about the most (fashion, art, music, film, sex and relationships, drugs and mental health) all through the lens of wellbeing. (Via ITV)

CREATOR NEWS

3. EA expands creator network

Creators news

FIFA publisher Electronic Arts aims to make more direct connections with YouTubers, streamers, podcasters and other influences through the expansion of its Creator Network. Soft-launched back in September, the initiative offers support and access to creators to enable them to produce more content around the publisher’s biggest brands. Accepting submissions from influencers worldwide, the network is not only open to YouTubers and streamers, but photographers, designers, artists, bloggers, cosplayers and more. (Via Games Industry)

WORK WE LIKE

4. Degree hosts metaverse marathon

Work we like

Deodorant brand Degree boosts inclusivity in the metaverse with a virtual marathon. The brand partnered Decentraland, rapper Fat Joe and paralympic athlete Blake Leeper to host the Degree Metathon. In an effort to improve inclusivity and representation in the metaverse, The Degree Metathon will cover 26.2 virtual miles of Decentraland’s largest district, the Vegas City Sports Quarter, and will incorporate accessible architecture like ramps for wheelchair users. (Via Marketing Dive)

5. Dove launches #DetoxYourFeed campaign

The Dove Self-Esteem Project announced the launch of the #DetoxYourFeed campaign, an initiative created in response to a survey that stated that “1 in 2 girls say toxic beauty advice on social media causes low self-esteem.” The new project encourages young women to choose their own beauty standards and unfollow accounts that lower their self-esteem. By raising awareness about toxic beauty advice through films, educational content, and partnerships with inspiring voices, the campaign aims to encourage important conversations between parents, caregivers, and teens. (Via Trend Hunter)

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Posted in Marketing News, News

Weekly Marketing News, 8th April 2022

April 11th, 2022 by

Twitter works on edits, Shopify launches Linkpop, there’s concerns over Meta’s metaverse, new rules on gambling ads and Minecraft takes over the classroom. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Twitter works on an edit button

Twitter works on an edit button

Twitter is working on its most-requested feature, an edit button. The platform confirmed it has been working on the feature since last year, and that it has nothing to do with Elon Musk’s position as a shareholder or his poll. Twitter will be testing the edit button with Twitter Blue users to learn what works, what doesn’t and what’s possible. While it is Twitter’s most-demanded feature, many users have concerns that the feature will be used by other users to retrospectively change conversations. (Via The Guardian

2. Shopify launches “link in bio” tool

Shopify launches “link in bio” tool

Linkpop by Shopify is a new tool aimed at creators, to help them sell products directly from their Linkpop page. Creators and merchants can include selected links on their Linkpop page and create storefronts to sell directly on social platforms. Consumers can browse a creator’s Shopify selection and make purchases directly through Linkpop, without leaving the app they were using. (Via TechCrunch

METAVERSE NEWS

3. The ethical concerns of Meta’s metaverse 

The ethical concerns of Meta’s metaverse

Facebook renamed and repositioned itself as a metaverse company last year, but many have criticised the company for its lack of planning, transparency and protection of its users and their data. This, paired with Facebook’s struggle to police, contain and halt hate speech on its platforms, has raised concerns for how Meta’s metaverse will be policed and whether Meta is capable of creating the ethical guidelines required for a true metaverse. (Via The Drum)

ADVERTISING NEWS 

4. New rules on gambling adverts

New rules on gambling adverts

New rules on gambling adverts dictate that social media influencers, celebrities and footballers will be banned from promoting gambling services to under-18s. The Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) said the “tough” new rules were part of its commitment to safeguarding young people and vulnerable audiences. The new rules state that gambling and lottery ads must not “be likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.” (Via BBC)

WORK WE LIKE

5. Minecraft educates on climate change

Minecraft educates on climate change

Minecraft: Education Edition has created Rivercraft, a new world dedicated to teaching young people about the disastrous effects climate change and flooding could have on Preston. The world also teaches users about the environment, STEM, digital skills and engineering and will be available globally in multiple languages. Rivercraft was created as part of a collaboration between Minecraft, the Environment Agency and BlockBuilders, an organisation that specialises in digital youth engagement. (Via Microsoft

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Posted in Marketing News, News, Social Media Marketing News

Weekly Marketing News, 18th March 2022

March 21st, 2022 by

TikTok expands Stories, Instagram confirms NFTs, Twitch creators demand action, the most complained-about tech products are revealed, Camp Nou becomes Spotify Camp Nou and Aston Martin gives the wheel to TikTok creators. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. TikTok expands its Stories feature

tiktok expands story

TikTok has expanded the pilot of its Stories feature. TikTok Stories last for 24 hours and can be viewed by navigating to a user’s profile and clicking their profile picture, but they also appear on the For You Page. Users can see how many people have viewed a story, but not the exact profiles of who. Contrary to Instagram Stories, users can leave a public comment on TikTok stories. To post a story, click the “post” button on the bottom centre navigation bar of the app. Then, you can scroll to a “quick” camera mode, which lets you post a photo or a video to your story. (Via TechCrunch)

2. NFTs are coming to Instagram

 

NFTs are coming to Instagram

Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that NFTs are “hopefully” coming to Instagram in the next few months. While Zuckerberg did not detail any specifics on how NFTs would be integrated into the platform, he did suggest that it would allow current NFT owners to show off artwork they had purchased and that the full vision for them on Instagram includes the ability to mint new NFTs in the app. (Via PetaPixel)

3. #TwitchDoBetter movement demands action from Twitch

#TwitchDoBetter movement demands action from Twitch

The Black Twitch streamers and supporters behind the #TwitchDoBetter movement are calling for the leading streaming site to take more action when tackling racism on its platform. In an open letter to Twitch’s leaders, the group noted that Twitch only responded to this issue after last year’s #TwitchDoBetter petition gathered close to 20,000 signatures. Will Twitch’s lack of action result in creators moving to other platforms? (Via GamesIndustry)

TECH NEWS

4. What are the most complained about tech products online?

What are the most complained about tech products online

Electronics Hub has revealed the most complained about tech products in each country—and you can expect some of the most popular brands to feature. Apple took up 8 of the 10 spots available for most-complained-about mobile phones, although the number one spot went to the Google Pixel 6. Apple also took 8 spots in the most-complained-about tablets. The worst earbuds went to RealMe, and HP took the top spot for worst laptop. (Via Electronics Hub)

WORK WE LIKE

5. Camp Nou will be rebranded as Spotify Camp Nou 

Camp Nou will be rebranded as Spotify Camp Nou

Camp Nou, one of the most iconic soccer stadiums in the world, is being rebranded as Spotify Camp Nou as part of a sponsorship agreement with Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona that gives Spotify naming rights to the stadium. Spotify’s name will also appear on the jerseys of both the men’s and women’s teams for the next four seasons starting in the 2022/23 season. (Via The Verge)

6. Aston Martin gives control of its brand to TikTok creators

Aston Martin gives control of its brand to TikTok creators

The 109-year-old heritage brand Aston Martin is a British icon, and to stay relevant to “customers of the future”, it is handing over control of its F1 brand story to TikTok creators. Aston Martin hopes to redefine the role of F1 fans by creating a marketing platform built by fans. TikTok will be the primary tool for his creator-led strategy and Aston Martin has already made some big steps in this space, appointing TikTok as its official creator partner for its Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 car launch. (Via The Drum)

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Posted in Marketing News

Weekly Marketing News, 11th March 2022

March 15th, 2022 by

Instagram updates creator tags, TikTok launches music distribution platform and gains on YouTube, NBCU and Anzu create in-game ads, the tech that gifted the drumming gorilla, Snoop joins the FaZe Clan and are Balenciaga and Apple working together?

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram launches updated creator tags

Instagram launches updated creator tags

Instagram has launched a new tag type which will enable creators to tag collaborators and influences within their images, based on their contribution, as opposed to a basic username or product, with their self-designated profile category displayed within the tag itself. (Via SocialMediaToday)

2, TikTok launches music distribution platform

TikTok launches music distribution platform

TikTok is launching its own music marketing and distribution platform, SoundOn, to help more artists get their music heard. The new platform allows artists to upload their music directly to TikTok and to parent company ByteDance’s own music streaming service Resso, in addition to global streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Tencent’s Joox. (Via TechCrunch)

3. TikTok adoption is gaining on YouTube

TikTok adoption is gaining on YouTube

YouTube has been the undisputed top dog in the online video industry for a decade and a half, but TikTok is cultivating an astonishing user base of its own. According to new data from eMarketer, TikTok’s market share is advancing at a faster rate than YouTube among Gen Z consumers. (Via TubeFilter)

ADVERTISING NEWS

4. NBCU partners with Anzu to add in-game ads

NBCU partners with Anzu to add in-game ads

In-game ads are a relatively untapped revenue source; while gamers play, brands can insert ads native to their experience. In-game ad tech company Anzu and NBCUniversal have collaborated to build the infrastructure needed to offer in-game ads using programmatic tech by solidifying the connection between brand on the demand side and game developers on the sell side. (Via AdExchanger)

5. The tech predicting if an ad will work

The tech predicting if an ad will work

We all know the Cadbury ad with the drumming gorilla. Shockingly, this ad nearly never saw the light of day until it was analysed by a London-based high-tech, ad-testing company called System1. Its online-based system didn’t ask participants whether they like a particular advertisement, but asked at least 150 people to view the ad and record their emotional responses to it—the drumming gorilla got an extremely positive score. (Via BBC

WORK WE LIKE

6. Is Balenciaga collabing with Apple? 

Is Balenciaga collabing with Apple?

Following Balenciaga’s FW22 Show invitations were engraved on the back of old iPhones, the question of whether the fashion and tech house are collaborating has been floating around. While the two haven’t officially announced a collaboration, it definitely looks that way, especially to fans of both powerhouse brands. Following the iPhone invites, the FW22 collection unveiled an almost-Apple hoodie, with an untouched apple motif and “Be Different”—a clear flip to Apple’s nipped fruit and “Think different” slogan. Coincidence? We think not. (Via HighSnobiety)

7. Snoop Dogg joins FaZe Clan

Snoop Dogg joins FaZe Clan

Rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg will join North American esports organisation FaZe Clan as a board member when the company goes public in the US later this year. Before this, Snoop will join as a content creator and a member of the FaZe clan talent network. The rapper will co-create content, participate in business initiatives and launch merchandise with FaZe Clan for the foreseeable future. Alongside joining the organisation’s Board of Directors, Snoop Dogg will work with FaZe Clan on a community outreach programme centred on activities that support youth. (Via Esports Insider

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Posted in Marketing News

Mobile World Congress 2022 Roundup

March 9th, 2022 by

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the biggest mobile event of the year. It sees some of the biggest tech names launch the year’s top smartphones, smartwatches and tablets, as well as seeing the emergence of the hottest new trends in mobile. 

Outside of the consumer sphere, it also draws in many of the industry heavyweights to talk about the future of mobile, including 5G, mobile hardware, VR and other associated tech. 

The mobile show took place in Barcelona last week—the first time a major tech show has been held in Europe since before you-know-what. We’ve rounded up the biggest releases and trends within tech you need to be aware of. 

Tech releases for 2022

Holoride

Holoride showed off its in-car VR entertainment platform which aims to reduce motion sickness, while providing immersive entertainment. The platform aims to be brand agnostic, but the demo was on the HTC Vive Flow headset.

holride

The platform will merge XR content with real-time motion, location and navigational data from the car and environment to create hyper-immersive experiences. With Holoride’s advanced cinema mode, users can enjoy 2D content on a virtual, motion-synchronised cinema screen. 

Lenovo

Lenovo, although not physically present at MWC this year, hosted a virtual event where it announced a brand new ThinkPad powered by an Arm-based chip. The new laptop offers a huge 28-hour battery life, courtesy of a few clever optimizations at the System on Chip level, and also benefits from 5G mmWave connectivity for rapid speeds when working on the move.

lenovo

Oppo 

Oppo announced the development of a new 5G hub—something incredibly useful for those living in areas where there is poor internet connectivity. The 5G CPE T2 is a small hub that can be used on the go to connect multiple devices to fast internet. As long as you have a single SIM card ready to get you 5G from whatever carrier is offering it, the OPPO 5G CPE T2 can take that 5G signal and use it to power what amounts to a small, mobile Wi-Fi router.

Supporting up to 256 devices, the 5G CPE T2 is also Wi-Fi 6-ready. 

oppo flash charger

Oppo also announced the release of a flash charge wall charger that can fully charge a smartphone in only 15 minutes. The new 150W SUPERVOOC charger for smartphones that, when used with a USB Type-C cable, can charge a smartphone with a 4,500 mAh battery to full in 15 minutes. Within the new charger, Oppo has used two charging pumps that can halve voltage to ensure speedy charging without the risk of overheating the charger or battery, preventing a fire risk. 

Tech trends for 2022

XR is reality 

At MWC 2022, one thing was absolutely certain: Extended Reality (XR) is no longer a thing of the future, it’s a thing of the NOW. The XR market is expected to generate $1.5 trillion in GDP by 2030, which is roughly equivalent to the current 5G market. 

As XR gadgets and gizmos become cheaper and more accessible to the masses, we will begin to see more brands consider the XR user experience. As we see smart glasses evolve, enhanced eye and hand tracking and improved audio functionality, it can be expected to see more brands adopt XR to engage with consumers and offer unique experiences. 

Metaverse 

It’s impossible to talk about tech trends without talking about the elephant in the room: the metaverse. As more companies develop their XR tech and metaverse platforms or hosting technology, the metaverse will become a go-to location to engage with audiences and customers. 

In addition, as 5G becomes readily available through mobile phones or 5G hubs, the ease of adapting to a metaverse environment will increase. Although the final metaverse will not arrive in 2022, we will see significant headway towards it. 

5G connections soar 

The GSMA has reported that 5G connections will surpass 1 billion by 2022, and 2 billion by 2025. This means that by the end of 2025, 5G will represent one in five of total mobile connections and around 40% of people will live in an area that has access to 5G. 

With this access, it has been suggested that mobile marketing will be put in the spotlight. From a marketing perspective, this opportunity can be used in various ways including: 

  1. Emphasis on social commerce
  2. Contactless payments for online and offline shopping 
  3. Driving in-store conversions with geotargeting
  4. Fast customer service—automated and human 
  5. AR experiences 

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Posted in Marketing News, News

Weekly Marketing News, 28th January 2022

January 31st, 2022 by

TikTok launches new ad displays, visit an art exhibition in the Metaverse, exchanged coats donated to the homeless, a Spice Girls 2.0, and M&Ms get a makeover. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. TikTok launches new ad display option

In a bid to boost business engagement and revenue opportunities, TikTok is rolling out a new ‘Instant Page’ shopping display option. The page will enable brands to connect their TikTok ads to a lightweight, native landing page that is built within TikTok itself, and can load up to 11 times faster than standard mobile pages. Within an Instant Page, users can view videos and images, swipe through carousels, and click on buttons to explore another destination, all within TikTok. (Via Social Media Today)

WORK WE LIKE

2. Fortnite and Kaws create Metaverse art exhibition

Fortnite and Kaws create Metaverse art exhibition

American artist Kaws has teamed up with London’s Serpentine Gallery and Fortnite to bring his renowned artwork to the metaverse. Kaws‘s exhibition, New Fiction, is currently on display at Serpentine North while simultaneously being shown within Fortnite Creative, making the work accessible to players and fans around the world. (Via The Drum)

3. Corteiz ‘BOLO Exchange’ shuts down London

 

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A post shared by LUNDUN. (@clint419)

London-based streetwear brand Corteiz sent social media into a frenzy over the weekend after shutting down the city with its ‘BOLO Exchange’. The event saw hundreds of followers of the rapidly rising imprint exchange their jackets from brands such as North Face, Stussy, C.P. Company, Moncler and Supreme for CRTZ’s new puffer jacket—the ‘Bolo’—in Wormwood Scrubs car park near White City, West London. Coats exchanged were donated to the homeless. (Via Complex)

4. Spice Girls 2.0? 

spice girls 2.0

Simon Fuller—the man behind the Spice Girls and S Club 7—has launched his latest pop group with the help of TikTok. Simon held auditions on the app over the last year to create a seven-piece band called The Future X. Despite the global search, all of the members hail from America and Canada. (Via BBC)

5. M&M characters receive makeover to promote inclusivity

M&M characters receive makeover to promote inclusivity

Mars is giving a makeover to its six M&M’s characters as a way to promote inclusivity. The company said that it will provide a modern take on the appearances of the characters and give them more nuanced personalities. The characters—called lentils—will also come in different shapes and sizes. The changes have also resulted in a change of footwear for both female-presenting lentils. (Via Brand Equity

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Posted in Marketing News

Weekly Marketing News, 21st January 2022

January 24th, 2022 by

Instagram tests paid subscriptions, synthetic media is on the rise, the ASA names and shames, Twitter manifests dreams and Netflix partners with CALM. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram is testing paid subscriptions

instagram test paid promotion

Instagram users in the US will be able to subscribe to a small number of creators to access exclusive content and features. Instagram has announced it is testing subscriptions, with more creators to be added in the coming weeks. Fans will pay a monthly fee to access subscriber-only content and will have a purple badge by their username that shows the creator their subscriber status. Price tiers will range from $0.99 to $99.99 per month, and creators can select the price point for their subscriptions. (Via The Verge)

INFLUENCER MARKETING NEWS

2. The rise of Synthetic Media 

The rise of Synthetic Media

Synthetic media is signalling a new chapter for influencer marketing. For brands and creators, AI generated avatars are bringing exciting new opportunities. From recreating famous footballers to speak nine languages, to creating a completely new virtual influencer that perfectly represents a brand’s personality, synthetic media allows brands to tap into the social currency of an established character or celebrity. (Via Facebook

3. Meta’s “ethical framework” for virtual influencers

Meta’s “ethical framework” for virtual influencers

Meta is home to hundreds of virtual influencers, many of whom boast huge follower counts and verification on Instagram. With the Metaverse shift on its way, Meta has begun pulling together an ethical framework for how brands can apply virtual influencers. While virtual influencers present brands with countless opportunities, there are potential threats. The framework will set clear guidelines to inform as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps. (Via Social Media Today

ADVERTISING NEWS

4. ASA targets rogue influencers on Instagram 

ASA targets rogue influencers on Instagram

Last year the ASA set up a dedicated webpage that listed influencers who, despite warnings either repeatedly failed to disclose when their social media posts were, in fact, ads or failed to provide assurances that they would do so in future. Now, the ASA is using Instagram ads to further name-and-shame influencers who are still failing to follow the rules. (Via Hashtagad)

WORK WE LIKE

5. Twitter’s manifesting ad campaign 

Twitter’s manifesting ad campaign

Twitter is celebrating dreams manifesting into reality by launching a campaign featuring 12 athletes and celebrities—including Patrick Mahomes, Bubba Wallace, Megan Thee Stallion, and Issa Rae—whose original tweets predicting greatness will be plastered on more than three dozen billboards in cities across the US and Canada. (Via Boardroom)

6. Netflix donates benches to local councils

Netflix donates benches to local councils

To mark the third season of After Life, Netflix has collaborated with mental health charity CALM to donate benches to local councils around the UK. The benches feature QR codes leading to online resources and a message of support and are inscribed with a quote from the third season: “Hope is everything”. (Via NME

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Weekly Marketing News, 14th January 2022

January 19th, 2022 by

Instagram lets users edit their grids, LinkedIn launches audio events, Discord is more popular than ever, eBay launches a football charity campaign, and Taco Bell offers daily tacos for just $10 a month. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram’s test an “Edit Grid” option

Instagram's test an “Edit Grid” option

Instagram is testing a new option that would allow users to re-arrange their profile photo grid, changing the positioning of previously posted images into any order of their choice. The new ‘Edit Grid’ option would be displayed in your profile settings, allowing users to edit their profile gallery as they choose, regardless of when each was posted. (Via SocialMediaToday)

2. LinkedIn to launch audio events

LinkedIn to launch audio events

LinkedIn will be launching its own audio events later this month. With LinkedIn Live broadcasts, the platform offers users new interactive event experiences that allow members to participate in live conversations. Users can join speakers “on stage” and make connections with others in virtually attending the event. Users will be able to continue making connections with others at the Live event even after the event ends. (Via TechCrunch)

3. How Discord became a social hub

How Discord became a social hub

Discord has evolved from an obscure game to become one of the most used social hubs amongst young people. Initially popular with gamers, the platform exploded in popularity during the pandemic. The platform has more than 150 million active users each month—up from 56 million in 2019—with nearly 80 percent logging in from outside North America. It has expanded from gamers to music aficionados, students and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. (Via NY Times)

WORK WE LIKE

4. eBay “Dream Transfer” campaign raises funds for football charity

eBay “Dream Transfer” campaign raises funds for football charity

eBay UK is supporting Football Beyond Borders this transfer season, giving any Sunday League team the chance to sign a football legend for £5 to play in one special match. The money will go to the charity, which will also feature at checkout for eBay customers until 30 January, to boost donations. With its Dream Transfer raffle, eBay is bringing retired legends Roberto Carlos and Eni Aluko back to the football field in support of the cause. (Via UKFundraising

5. $10 monthly Taco Bell subscription

$10 monthly Taco Bell subscription

Taco Bell is rolling out the tastiest subscription service yet: daily tacos. For $10 a month, Taco Bell customers can receive one taco per day for 30 consecutive days. The national program, called Taco Lover’s Pass, is available to purchase now for members of its rewards program and those who have downloaded the Taco Bell app. Once a customer subscribes to it, a special section within the app is unlocked and customers can add a taco to their cart during the checkout process. (Via Edition)

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CES 2022 Roundup

January 11th, 2022 by

The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) made its in-person comeback last week, with tech brands of all sizes showing up to show off their exciting new products. The show returned to Las Vegas following the digital-only show in 2021, although several tech giants and media outlets elected to not attend physically due to the spike of Omicron cases. However, that didn’t stop the show from going on with a bang. 

So, what are some of the most exciting consumer electronics we can expect to see in the coming year? 

Automotive Developments 

Sony Vision-S 02

At CES 2022, Sony revealed its plans for the automotive industry: an SUV. After years of prototype testing, and an original Vision-S (revealed at the 2020 CES), Sony announced it will be setting up Sony Mobility Inc. to explore how it can enter the EV market. 

Sony Vision-S 02

Called the Vision-S 02, the vehicle will be a seven-seater, with all sets having access to its infotainment systems. The Vision-S it’s powered by two 200kW motors, helping it reach 62mph in 4.8 seconds—its top speed is rated at 149mph.

While the vehicle seems to be complete in announcement videos, we will have to wait a couple of years before we see Sony EVs on the road. Sony is taking safety incredibly seriously, and expects the vehicle to be nearly ready for road use within 2 years. 

BMW Colour-Changing Vehicle

BMW has created a colour-changing car that works in real-life. The fully electric BMW iX has body panels made from E Ink displays—the same technology you find in the screen of a Kindle ereader—in a system called ‘iX Flow’.

The digital demo showed the vehicle switched from white, to black, and back to white. Although the demo only showed these colour switches, BMW said that other colours are possible, opening up a wide variety of colour possibilities for customers. 

The E Ink panels are flexible and can be cut into different shapes, making them ideal to cover the obscure angles of a car. The panels house transparent capsules with colour pigments in; when a current is passed through, colours can be called to the surface. Only a small amount of energy is required to switch colours, meaning the battery drainage one the EV is minimal. 

VR and AR Tech

PlayStation VR2 specs

The Japanese tech giant has confirmed its next-gen virtual reality headset is on the way, called PlayStation VR2. The headset, also called PSVR 2, will debut alongside the new PlayStation VR2 Sense controller. Similar to the PS5’s DualSense controller, the new VR2 Sense controller will have haptic feedback and adaptive trigger. 

PlayStation VR2 specs

Users can expect the PSVR2 to boast a resolution of 2000 x 2040 per eye, with the built-in headphones making the most of Sony’s 3D Audio technology. The headset will also feature built-in six-axis motion sensing and a proximity sensor. Controller tracking will be provided by four cameras on the headset, while an IR camera will track each eye. The PSVR 2 headset will also support vibration feedback.

Kura Gallium AR headset

The new Kura Gallium AR glasses are an impressive glasses-style design that is considerably less bulky than traditional AR headsets. The glasses offer a 150-degree field of view and a resolution up to 8K—both are well above the capabilities of rival headsets. 

Kura Gallium AR headset

The Kura Gallium glasses also offer display transparency, which is at 95%. This allows the displayed image to blend seamlessly into your immediate surroundings, offering a more immersive AR experience. 

Wireless Tech 

Noveto N1 Invisible Headphones

CES is the prime location to uncover unique tech items, which is an accurate description of the Noveto N1 “invisible” headphones. The Noveto N1 appears to be a soundbar speaker, but thanks to beamforming technology, the device creates a headphone experience, without headphones. 

Noveto N1 Invisible Headphones

The N1 transmits ultrasound through the air, allowing the audio to be heard by just the user. Others in the room will only be able to hear a whisper of a sound, while the user is immersed in three-dimensional audio. If the user turns their head, motion sensors use facial recognition to track your ears to ensure the sound hits the right spot. 

This technology could be a great alternative to wearing headphones in the office, reducing listening fatigue and headaches that are a result of wearing tightly-clamped headphones for a long period of time. 

Samsung SolarCell Remote

Samsung has announced a new remote control that can charge itself via a WiFi router. By using RF signals to power up, the remote doesn’t require contact with the router to charge—it can charge itself up to 40 metres away from the router. 

Samsung launches solar remote

The remote can consistently absorb RF rays, but if left face-down, the solar panel on the back will use solar power to charge the remote. Instead of a lithium-ion battery in the remote, there is a capacity that stores small amounts of energy. Where batteries store energy chemically, capacitors do it physically, similar to static electricity. Samsung will ship it with every 2022 Samsung QLED 4K and 8K TV.

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