Tag Archives: snapchat

Divers use custom Snapchat Spectacles to explore deep underwater

With the exception of professional deep-sea divers and filmmakers, underwater scenery has largely remained unexplored territory on social media. But that could change with an unusual invention from Royal Caribbean, which plans to strap waterproof cameras on cruisegoers’ faces to help them get enviable vacation pics.

This week, the company is debuting a scuba mask with built-in Snapchat Spectacles, which could soon enable everyday divers to swim and shoot videos and photos of marine wildlife in places like Belize and Mexico. The “SeaSeekers” goggles were built by Sexton, an Oregon-based firm that specializes in custom underwater housing. (The concept was developed by Boston ad agency MullenLowe.)

To promote its #SeekDeeper campaign, Royal Caribbean equipped three well-known divers with their own SeaSeekers, which they wore while exploring water that tours often visit. The company dispatched marine wildlife photographer and conservationist Roberto Ochoa to Cozumel, Mexico, to provide a new look into the migration of whale sharks. It sent marine biologist Gabriela Nava to examine a coral reef restoration project. And in Belize, free diver Ashleigh Baird wore a pair while visiting the Great Blue Hole, one of the largest underwater sinkholes of its kind.

According to Royal Caribbean chief marketing officer Jim Berra, the goal is to receive a patent for the product and then equip ships with the goggles so guests can rent them by this fall. He said one purpose of the campaign is to remind people of the biological diversity of the Caribbean.

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“You can get off the beaten path and have these types of water-based adventures and then capture it in a really fun and unique way,” Berra said.

Royal Caribbean only made 10 prototypes of the product, but it gave Adweek an early preview. And while doing a demo in the Caribbean would have been ideal, the next best thing was a luxury hotel pool a little closer to home in New York.

During an early-morning swim on Thursday at the Marmara Park Avenue Hotel, I got a chance to try the SeaSeekers. To the untrained eye, it might look like a colorful scuba mask. However, to anyone who’s seen a pair of Spectacles in action, there’s no mistaking the yellow-ringed circular cameras on the polarized lenses, fastened safely behind the waterproof plastic. (This week Snap Inc. won three Cannes Lions for designing Spectacles, which one judged described as both “functional” and “beautiful.”)

While I’m a proficient swimmer, I’m far less proficient as a scuba diver, so the goggles felt foreign at first. And while the overall design was fairly comfortable, the nose had no padding (a minor inconvenience but one that proved a little painful over time). There was just one other problem: The suction around the eyes and nose was not 100 percent waterproof, which made it tough to stay underwater for too long without getting water in my eyes and nose. However, that in no way seemed to affect the function of the glasses themselves, which worked underwater perfectly.

Compared with the Caribbean there’s not a lot to document in terms of wildlife in a Manhattan pool. But I brought a friend along, who helped keep things interesting while we documented an improvised form of spontaneous synchronized swimming—underwater handstands and torpedoing through the blue like whatever fish might be floating off the coast of Belize. And the Specs worked each and every time, syncing to my water hazard of an iPhone 6 sitting safely on the side.

Viewing the underwater snaps afterward felt more immersive than a lot of other content, and it makes a lot of sense why a cruise line would want to have a way to show people on land what they’re missing. And, to be honest, the SeaSeekers were actually pretty fun to use—they even made me wish I could actually go out in the deep blue sea. (All that organic content cruisegoers will generate onboard could make for good social marketing just in time for the winter travel months.)

Source:

http://www.adweek.com/digital/royal-caribbean-built-waterproof-snapchat-spectacles-for-underwater-exploring-and-we-tried-them-out/

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New Snapchat feature pinpoints your location; how to turn it off

Millions of people post the details of their daily lives on Snapchat, but now there’s worry that the sharing app may be getting a tad too intrusive.

A new feature on the app, Snap Map, pinpoints a user’s location whenever and wherever the app is being used.

Called an Actionmoji, the small cartoons indicate on a map where the user is in real time, whether or not the photos they’ve shared intentionally specify their location.

A post on the Snapchat blog states that the feature will allow users to “see what’s happening, find your friends and get inspired to go on an adventure.”

While some adults may find the new feature fun, other parents believe the app has stepped over the line into potentially dangerous oversharing.

Parents concerned the new feature may put their children’s safety in jeopardy need to know safeguards that can be put in place. Parents can find an illustrated guide to erasing the GPS feature below.

Users must opt-in to “Snap Maps,” meaning your child’s location won’t be shared unless they’ve chosen to do so.

It’s possible to share location with only certain people. Additionally, users can use “Ghost Mode,” which blocks any other users, including friends, from viewing where a user is sharing their photos.

Snapchat will designate places where a glut of photos are being taken as “heat spots,” which the company believes should motivate other users to get out and take pictures of their own adventures.

A statement by the company outlined a user’s ability to maintain privacy. “Nothing happens without your consent,” they said. “You share what you want to share. You need to choose to add friends, you need to opt-in to make yourself visible on Snap Map, you need to select the friends you have first approved so they can see you on Snap Map, you need to opt in to post to Our Story and choose to make your Snaps visible.”

Snap Map’s product designer, Jack Brody, said in an interview with Refinery29 that the feature was intended to cater to an unmet need. “One of the habits we’ve seen with our users is that they’ll take a snap where they are, put on the geofilter, and post it to their story with a caption like ‘hit me up,’” he said. “They’re basically saying come hang out with me here.”

How to turn off Snap Maps

Called an Actionmoji, the small cartoons indicate on a map where the user is in real time, whether or not the photos they’ve shared intentionally specify their location.

Snapchat will designate places where a glut of photos are being taken as “heat spots,” which the company believes should motivate other users to get out and take pictures of their own adventures.

It’s possible to share location with only certain people. Open the app’s “settings” to manage your GPS privacy.

Users can turn on “Ghost Mode,” which blocks any other users, including friends, from viewing where a user is sharing their photos.

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New Snapchat feature pinpoints your location; how to turn it off

Time Warner Signs $100 Million, 10 Show Deal With Snap

Time Warner has struck a significant content deal with Snap, the company behind Snapchat, both companies announced Monday morning. Under the terms of the deal, which is valued at $100 million, Time Warner will produce up to ten original shows for Snapchat per year.

Time Warner also committed to buy ads for HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros. on Snapchat. The deal is set to last for two years.

“This is an exciting and natural move as we bring together some of our leading video properties and brands with Snapchat’s dynamic platform,” Time Warner marketing EVP Gary Ginsberg said in a statement. “We’re confident this partnership will help drive larger audiences to our shows and to the new direct to consumer platforms we continue to rollout.”

“This partnership is another exciting step as we continue to branch out into new genres, including scripted dramas, comedies, daily news Shows, documentaries, and beyond,” said Snap’s VP of content Nick Bell.

 

Episodes of the shows produced by Time Warner will last three to five minutes each. Some of the genres Time Warner is looking to produce in include comedy and drama.

This isn’t Snap’s first content deal with a major media company. In March, Snap inked a deal with MGM to produce original short-form video. The company also has deals with ABC, NBC, ESPN, the NFL, Turner, the BBC, Vice Media, A+E Networks, and Discovery Communications, among others.

By adding Time Warner to this roster, Snap is looking to significantly increase the number of originals on its platform. Currently, Snap and its content partners publish about one new original episode per day on the service. The company is aiming to have three new episodes per day by the end of the year.

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Time Warner Signs $100 Million, 10 Show Deal With Snap

Snapchat downloads are dropping off a cliff

Snapchat’s growth has slowed sharply during the past two months as Facebook and its Instagram app continue to knock off the disappearing-photo app’s features, according to an analyst report.

Downloads of the app operated by Venice, Calif.-based Snap Inc. are down 22 percent year-over-year through the first two months of this year’s second quarter, according to Instinet.

That’s a sharp about-face from the first quarter, when Snapchat downloads rose 6 percent. In the last two months, the slowdown has been steepest with iPhone users — down a drastic 40 percent, according to the report published Wednesday.

The analyst noted that Instagram has been copying Snap’s features, for example allowing users to create “stories,” or series of video clips grouped together in a single post.

On its first-ever quarterly earnings call last month, Snap management downplayed fears about Facebook copying Snapchat’s features. CEO Evan Spiegel also noted that the second and third quarters are slowest when it comes to advertising for Snapchat.

“We are surprised that a newly public company, supposedly early in its growth cycle, would see near-term results impacted by broader seasonal ad market trends,” Instinet’s DiClemente wrote Wednesday.

Earlier this year, a former Snapchat employee sued the company, claiming that Snapchat was inflating its user stats and growth metrics in marketing materials it distributed to advertisers.

In response, Snapchat’s lawyers called the claim a “musty, two-year-old allegation about a minor metrics deviation.”

Source:

http://nypost.com/2017/06/07/snapchat-downloads-are-dropping-off-a-cliff/

Microsoft’s new Skype redesign is a radical change that looks like Snapchat

Microsoft acquired Skype nearly six years ago, and ever since then it feels like the messaging service has been experiencing an existential crisis. Skype has been slowly transitioning from a peer-to-peer service to the cloud, and it’s been a bumpy ride with many design changesand issues. While Microsoft has managed to add features like free group video calling and Skype for Web, the software giant has struggled with the design and feature set of Skype as it attempts to compete with challengers like FaceTime, Messenger, WhatsApp, and more.

 

Microsoft is once again redesigning Skype today.

Described as “the next generation of Skype,” the new design focuses on messaging. Skype is well known and used widely for video and audio calls, but iMessage, WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat and other messaging services have taken the lead for today’s conversations. The new Skype messaging interface now includes three sections in a conversation: find, chat, and capture. Find lets you search through a conversation, or find images, restaurants, and even add-ins like YouTube or Giphy to add content into a message. Chat is the basic conversation view you’d expect with options for emoji or picture additions, but the newest section is capture.

Capture feels a lot like Snapchat within Skype, and it immediately launches into the camera to let you take pictures or hold down for video. As you hold down for video you’ll immediately recognize one of the more subtle design changes in this new version of Skype, a squiggly line that represents the amount of time for a recording. This line is also used for calling, or when contacts are typing. Once you’ve captured a video or picture you can then add stickers, text, or simply annotate it, all just like Snapchat.

Skype is also introducing a new Highlights feature that’s a lot like Snapchat stories. Highlights lets you post a stream of photos and videos that friends can view and react with emoticons. Even in text- or video-based conversations you’ll be able to react on Skype with emoticons. It seems the new Skype UI is really designed to make you use more and more of the new chat features available.

Even calling is getting redesigned for this new version of Skype. You can drag and drop people around in conversations, and react with emoticons during calls. During my limited testing it felt a lot smoother than regular group video chats, but I didn’t feel the need to blast emoticons at people.

 

Today’s Skype design is just the latest in a long line of changes over the years. Microsoft has been trying many different ways to get people to use Skype messaging instead of competitors. Skype Qik was an attempt to take over mobile video messaging that flopped, and Microsoft has been tweaking its Skype mobile interface for years to better improve messaging. Nothing has had a big impact, and Skype is still widely used for video and audio calls. Microsoft has the user base and brand recognition for the calling part of Skype, but it’s desperate for Skype to be considered a true messaging service.

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/1/15723594/microsoft-skype-redesign-features

Forget 10 seconds, Snapchat now lets you replay messages forever

Snapchat was built on the concept of ephemerality: once you see a message, it disappears forever.

Starting Tuesday, Snapchat is making its messages feel less fleeting by letting them replay indefinitely. A new infinity icon will allow a photo or video message to be replayed forever until the receiver exits the conversation thread. Snapchat messages, called “snaps,” could previously only be seen for up to 10 seconds before they disappeared.

“We’ve all felt the frustration of not being able to fully enjoy a Snap – even after replaying it – and we wanted to give you the option of allowing the recipient to enjoy your Snap as long as they’d like,” the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “After your friend finishes viewing the Snap and taps to close it, it will delete as usual.”

The change is a notable one for Snapchat, which in its early days earned a reputation for sexting because of how quickly its messages disappeared after being viewed. The app has since popularized the Stories format, which shows photo and video messages in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours. Facebook has aggressively copied Stories in its full suite of apps in recent months.

Snapchat’s change to one of its core features also comes a day ahead of the company’s first earnings report since it became a publicly traded company in February. Wall Street is looking for signs that Snapchat is still growing and that the competition from Facebook hasn’t taken too great of a toll.

Snapchat also added a few new creative tools on Tuesday, including the ability to draw with emojis and a “magic eraser.” A redesigned menu for the app’s editing tools will “provide a foundation for introducing even more creative tools for making fun Snaps,” the company said.

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Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-lets-messages-reply-forever-adds-magic-eraser-and-other-tools-2017-5

WhatsApp’s Status feature now has more daily users than Snapchat

Less than three months after its introduction, WhatsApp’s generic take on Snapchat stories now has 175 million users, Facebook said today. That’s a healthy number of users for the communication app, which has more than 1 billion users around the world. And it suggests Facebook’s strategy of cloning Snapchat across its entire suite of products is having its desired effect — halting Snapchat’s growth around the world, while also opening up valuable new surfaces for advertising.

The popularity of WhatsApp Status has been hard to gauge for US-based journalists, since the app is much more popular overseas. Given that relatively few international users had been exposed to the stories format before, it seemed reasonable that it could prove popular in WhatsApp. Facebook’s announcement today during an earnings call confirms that, for now at least, it appears to be working.

Snapchat faces a strong challenge from Facebook, and currently has 161 million daily users, the company said in February. The good news for Snapchat is they don’t appear to be going anywhere — more than half of users don’t visit Facebook daily, and nearly half don’t visit Instagram daily, according to App Annie research shared with Bloomberg.

Also, WhatsApp was down today.

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/3/15537000/whatsapp-stories-status-users-175-million

How to make money designing custom Snapchat geofilters

Snapchat is looking to geofilters as the next source of growth for its fledgling ad business.

Starting Monday, Snapchat maker Snap Inc. is allowing its ad partners in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada to sell and manage sponsored geofilters, which allow Snapchat users to place special filters over their photos and videos in certain locations.

Snap’s more than a dozen outside ad partners, like Amobee and VaynerMedia, will now be able to sell sponsored geofilters alongside fullscreen video ads, a Snap spokesperson told Business Insider. Sponsored geofilters could previously only be purchased directly through Snapchat’s own self-service tool, which launched in February 2016.

By giving outside partners the ability to buy, manage, and report analytics for sponsored geofilters alongside video ads, Snap is hoping that the geofilter format will catch on more widely with advertisers. The company has previously touted paid, on-demand geofilters as a more consumer-oriented feature by showing how people can create custom filters for events like weddings and birthday parties.

What advertisers will see in Amobee if they opt to buy a geofilter.Snap

Snap is also looking to make paid geofilters more available to marketers with other outside partners. In the coming weeks, the company will start selling on-demand geofilters through the wedding planning site WeddingWire, Hootsuite, Eventfarm, and MomentFeed.

Snap has yet to disclose how much money it makes off sponsored geofilters, and pricing for the format varies based on duration and location. Covering the size of about 17 football fields in downtown Los Angeles for five hours on a Friday evening would cost roughly $35, for example, while the same size and duration in midtown Manhattan would cost roughly $170.

Snapchat’s geofilters are another feature that’s been copied by Facebook, which recently started showing location-specific camera frames in Instagram and is currently testing them in its main app.

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Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-opens-up-paid-geofilters-to-outside-ad-partners-2017-4

Snapchat is embracing German publishers by expanding its Discover section

Snapchat maker Snap Inc. is saying ‘Hallo’ to media outlets in Germany with the launch of its Discover section in the country.

Bild, Spiegel Online, Sky Sport, and Vice will begin publishing content in German on Snapchat starting April 25, a Snap spokesperson told Business Insider. Like messages in the app, each publisher’s collection of stories will disappear after 24 hours.

“We want Snapchatters everywhere to have content that is relevant to them, in their own language, from trusted media brands,” Snap’s VP of content, Nick Bell, said in a statement. “Starting today, German Snapchatters will for the first time have local content in Germany, in German, from German publishers.”

Snapchat expansion into Germany marks the fourth international version of its Discover section to date. Discover began in English before a French version was launched in September 2016. A small Norwegian version with one participating publisher was made available in January — roughly half of all smartphone users in Norway are on Snapchat, according to eMarketer.

Creating language-specific versions of Discover in highly developed, monetizable countries falls in line with Snapchat’s overall business strategy. Snapchat is also gaining momentum in Germany; a study by UM from November 2016 found that 24.3% of Snapchat users in that country said they opened the app every day, marking a 207% increase from the year before.

With Discover, Snapchat initially took a cut of the revenue participating publishers gained from video ads next to their stories. Recode reported in October that Snapchat started prioritizing a licensing model, which would let it keep all ad revenues in exchange for paying publishers an upfront fee. A Snap spokesperson told BI that the company is sharing ad revenue with publishers in Germany, not paying upfront.

Snap has said it intends to focus its advertising efforts on the world’s top ad markets, which are primarily in North America and Europe. Total ad spend in Germany is expected to swell from $18 billion in 2016 to $21 billion by 2020, according to IDC.

Snap recently opened its first office in Germany and hired Marianne Bullwinkel as its manager for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. She previously held the same role at Facebook.

The additional focus on Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy, comes as Snapchat has faced criticism for a perceived bias favoring affluent markets. A recent lawsuit by a former Snap employee, alleging that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said Snap was “only for rich people” and not for countries like India, has caused a furor in India. Snap has denied that Spiegel made the comments.

Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-brings-discover-section-for-publishers-to-germany-2017-4

Scale matters: Advertisers are opting for Instagram over Snapchat

Instagram is mimicking Snapchat, and Snapchat is feeling the pain.

Eight months since Instagram rolled out its Stories feature and just over a month since it launched ads on it widely, it has already surpassed Snapchat. The feature not only has more people using it daily (200 million versus Snapchat’s last reported 156 million) but is also increasingly attracting more ad dollars. Agencies tend to drift where the action is, and, right or wrong, the general feeling is Instagram is on the upswing while the early buzz over Snapchat is fading.

“Many of our clients are deprioritizing Snapchat,” said Tom Buontempo, president at Attention, KBS’s social media arm, who declined to provide names of specific advertisers but whose clients include BMW, Carvel, Novartis and Spotify. “It’s no secret that Instagram has Snapchat in the crosshairs.”

Instagram Stories, like Snapchat, lets users create multiple ephemeral videos and string them together for a 24-hour period. Brands have increasingly been using Instagram Stories, both to post organic content as well as to run ads. A combination of Instagram’s pure reach, targeting and retargeting capabilities and a more interactive relationship with reps has made Stories an attractive bet for brands. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s growth has been a concern for the past few months, with Instagram Stories’ rapid rise coinciding with its slow-down. Since Instagram Stories launched in August, Snapchat’s growth has fallen 82 percent, according to TechCrunch.

While Capital One, Nike, Ben and Jerry’s, and Netflix were among 30 brands that tested out ads on Instagram Stories before they were widely rolled out in March, brands including Honda, Apartments.com, Chobani and Five Hour Energy have run ads on the platform more recently.

Honda, which ran an ad on Instagram Stories for its “Flipbook Series” campaign on April 10, to market the Honda Clarity, chose Instagram over Snapchat for the campaign, because it let the brand tap into the scale of its 1.4 million-plus existing Instagram fans, said Mike Dossett, associate director of digital strategy at RPA, Honda’s agency. Brands already have large audiences on Instagram and often have to do absolutely nothing to get instant engagement at scale on their Story posts. Plus, they can easily tap into Facebook’s underlying infrastructure.

“From buying and optimization to measurement and reporting, Instagram ads (including Stories) are embedded directly within the Facebook ads ecosystem that buyers know and understand,” he said. “That undoubtedly removes a barrier for advertisers with entrenched processes or less nimble buying protocols.”

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For Ben and Jerry’s, it was all about scale. The brand was a part of a beta test between January and March, and ran ads on Instagram Stories to promote its new Pint Slices. The ice-cream maker saw a higher CPM rate than its usual benchmark, according to Jay Curley, Ben and Jerry’s senior global marketing manager, and the brand plans to run more ads over the summer.

“In general, we want to serve up relevant stories to our fans wherever they are,” he said. “We have a robust following on Instagram, and people are not only spending more time there but also consuming Stories there.”

It’s also far easier to buy ads on the platform as opposed to Snapchat. Unlike Snapchat, which does not have self-serve advertising options outside of on-demand geofilters (although one for Snap ads is expected soon), Instagram provides marketers with a unified dashboard for buying and tracking ads, making it easier for clients to target and track analytics across a more unified dashboard, said Attention’s Buontempo.

The larger Facebook ecosystem also provides for more nuanced targeting, said Ben Kunz, svp of marketing and content at Mediassociates. Brands can reach people with specific interests in ice cream, for example, or match targeting to their own CRM lists, with all of Facebook’s data toys at their disposal. Instagram also has more flexible buying options, letting buyers buy ads on a performance-based cost-per-click basis apart from a cost-per-thousand impressions basis.

“Both Instagram and Snapchat stories are clever full-screen immersive mobile ad experiences, but taking over a mobile screen is no longer exactly rocket science,” said Kunz. “So it’s not the ‘billboard’ space that matters; it’s the quality of the data behind it. Better audience data always equals better advertising performance.”

Still, it’s not a zero-sum game. Clients have been increasing their Instagram budgets overall to tap into Instagram Stories, said Danielle Johnsen Kerr, director of social and editorial strategy at Deutsch, but they aren’t necessarily shifting already-allotted Snapchat dollars to Instagram. Snapchat’s young audience is still a draw for advertisers, and the platform has also been making efforts to ramp up on measurement and to roll out more self-serve options. Ben and Jerry’s, for example, will also advertise on Snapchat in the summer.

“But it is dependent on the audiences our clients are trying to grab,” she said.

Source:

https://digiday.com/marketing/scale-matters-advertisers-opting-instagram-snapchat/