October 2 2018: Amazon opens 4-Star store in NYC, 50 million accounts on Facebook get hacked, Snapchat releases 3 new e-commerce ad options, Pinterest’s ad revenue forecasted to exceed $1 billion in 2020  and YouTube introduces new extensions for TrueView ads

Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:


For All Your 4-Star Products on Amazon

The Story

On Thursday, Amazon expanded its physical presence, opening the first-of-its-kind Amazon 4-Star store in SoHo, where it features, you guessed it, items that have received an average customer review of four stars and above. Because having 5 stars is overrated.

Alexa, take me to SoHo

While the storefront may not be ‘Gram-worthy, the store’s aesthetic resembles Amazon’s homepage, with designated sections for new, trending and top-selling items. Shoppers will be able to see how many ratings an item has received, what the average rating is, along with certain reviews on display throughout the store. Currently, the store stocks 2,000 products across its top categories including devices, electronics, kitchen, home, toys, books, and games.


One of the reasons why Amazon has been so successful in adopting a brick and mortar model is because of the intense analytical rigor they adhere to, analyzing consumer behavior to create a frictionless customer experience – something that the majority of other retailers have yet to do. Additionally, Amazon’s ability to seamlessly integrate social proof into their physical stores has begun to set the stage for the phygital revolution that is undoubtedly among us. This new, phygital world presents an opportunity for retailers looking to expand the use and value of influencer- and user-generated content, specifically emphasizing the need for ratings & reviews in-store as well as online.


Raise Your Hand If You’ve Been Personally Victimized by Facebook

The Story

Cue the hand raising of 50 million people.

Last Friday, 50 million Facebook accounts were hacked through a vulnerability in the site’s “View As” feature. The feature, which lets users see what their profile looks like from someone else’s view, allowed a hacker(s) to steal access tokens that would provide entry into people’s personal accounts.

Another data breach…?

Yep. Not a good look for Zuck & Co.. And this breach is among the worst in Facebook’s history, though the company still hasn’t said who hacked into the system or the extent of the damage the hacker may have done. In the meantime, here’s how to see if your account was hacked.

So what has FB done?

Via its blog, FB notified users of the breach and the measures it had taken as of September 28, including fixing the “vulnerability,” informing  law enforcement, resetting the “access tokens” of affected accounts and disabling the “View As” feature, which the company believes was the hacking point.

Has anything else come of this?

Another class action lawsuit. Because security measures that are “grossly inadequate” aren’t gonna fly. That didn’t take long.


From one privacy scandal to the next, if Cambridge Analytica didn’t deter people from using Facebook, this data breach just may be enough get the job done. As a marketer, it’s important to re-evaluate how FB fits in your mix vs. other platforms as well as staying informed on the  latest from this data breach, among others.


Snap, Crackle, Shop

The Story

Tis’ the season for holiday shopping on Snapchat, thanks to the release of three new e-commerce ad options. Ho-ho-hooray.

Like What?

Shoppable Snap Ads…

Aka ‘Collection ads,’ which are now available to all advertisers via Snap’s self-serve ad buying platform. The ads are Like-It-To-Know-It-Esque, enabling brands to showcase relevant products, with tappable thumbnails along the bottom of the ad. When tapped, viewers are taken to a specific product page, with a link to purchase option. Previously, the format had been in testing and was only available to select advertisers.

Product Catalogs…

Retailers can important their product catalog feeds to automatically create Story Ads, Snap Ads and the new Shoppable Snap Ads featuring their products.

Expanded Pixel Targeting…

Advertisers can now track specific actions consumers take on their website (i.e., browsing specific product categories) versus simply monitoring what page of the site they visited. Using the tracking data, advertisers can create more customized audiences for their campaigns.  


Given that Snap takes the cake when it comes to the number of US teens on the platform (beating out all other social platforms), retailers looking to specifically target teens have the  opportunities to explore these features further. But given that teens hold little to no purchasing power, will the new features be enough for marketers jump on this opportunity? We’re not sure.


Pinning The Tail on Ad Revenue

The Story

A new forecast from eMarketer predicts Pinterest’s advertising revenue will hit $533.3 million this year (up 43.8% from last year), and will exceed $1 billion in 2020. The report also projects Pinterest’s ad revenue per user to rise dramatically – from $7.15 this year to  $11.99 in 2020.

What else?

It’s been a good week for our pals at Pinterest. In addition to the forecasted jump in revenue,  they’ve also opened up their first Canadian office and have announced two new measurement solutions: Oracle Data Cloud’s Moat for viewability, and NineDecimal for foot traffic.


Don’t sleep on Pinterest –  although it isn’t an immediate threat to advertising on Google or Facebook (yet), it’s well on its way to becoming a viable advertising channel. Unlike Facebook, Snap & Twitter, Pinterest’s audience is rapidly growing and is some of the most engaged among all social networks.

For more on influencer marketing on Pinterest, check out our latest webinars – 10 Reasons Why Marketers Should Be Prioritizing Pinterest and How to Optimize Influencer-Generated Content for Pinterest. Also, this guide may help too.


YouTube Gets Interactive

The Story

During Advertising Week in New York on Monday, YouTube introduced new features for their TrueView in-stream ads that borrow from search ads on Google. The new ad units will offer people ways to take actions around what they’re watching and searching for… because frictionless customer experiences are in.  

I’m listening…

While advertisers can already add location and form extensions to TrueView in-stream ads, YouTube is now testing additional use cases that encourage viewers to complete lower-funnel actions such as app downloads, travel bookings, or buying movie tickets. Chili’s is a big fan.


As the battle for advertising dollars continues to heat up, expect social media platforms to continue to cater to advertisers, providing them with more direct options to drive sales. Interactive, actionable ads are one way to  do this – it’s why we’ve seen so many platforms adopt some idderation of the ‘Story’ format, Facebook being the most recent to hop on the trend. It’s likely that YouTube’s new extensions will likely help brands & marketers see more immediate and significant effects from their campaigns on YouTube.



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