July 17, 2018: Instagram’s new question stickers, Snapchat’s visual search partnership with Amazon, Facebook’s new AR ad unit, Reddit introduces native video ads and Pinterest releases Group boards

Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:

Do You Like Instagram’s New Stickers?

Another day, another new Instagram feature. The latest? New Questions Stickers that allow users to prompt story-watchers to ask them questions, which can be answered publicly in another post. To request questions from followers, users can select the “questions” sticker located in the sticker library, type in their prompt and add the sticker to the photo or video being posted in their story. A word of advice from the wise – questions aren’t anonymous.

What it means, IRL: Today, it seems like every major social network has some sort of polling/interactive question functionality that gives fans and followers a voice – even brands like Target have developed specialized platforms to connect with influential customers and directly integrate their feedback into their products. Influencers, by definition, have such rich knowledge that marketers should be collaborating with them on research, idea sourcing and pre/post campaign feedback and now, with so many native tools, it’s even easier for marketers to do this.

Make it work: With the understanding that Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes those who use its newest features, both brands and influencers have the opportunity to explore this feature in a variety of different capacities. For instance, brands can use the sticker on their own accounts as a unique way to get consumers talking about their brand in new ways (e.g. how do you use xyz product?) and then can source that content and insight direct from users themselves. Additionally, brands can partner with influencers to give their fans and followers “behind the scenes” and “first-looks” at content that hasn’t been released to the general public yet. 

Snapchat’s Visual Search Eagle Has Landed, With Help From Amazon

According to a report from TechCrunch, Snap developers are building out a visual product search functionality, codenamed “Eagle,” that delivers users directly to Amazon’s listings. As noted in the leaked code below, the “Visual Search” feature would allow users to “Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to Amazon,  Shazam, and other partners.” Once an object or barcode has been scanned, users can “See all results at Amazon.”

From Pinterest Lens to Amazon’s image recognition app, leveraging visual search capabilities is key to reaching consumers and improving the customer experience. Image search is seen as a new, unbranded feature by some, and a unique, branded experience by others. For Snap, visual search brings influencer activity closer to the point-of-purchase, making it that much easier to tell an ROI story.

Additionally, while it’s unlikely that Amazon would partner with a sinking ship – especially as it struggles to get its own social and influencer programs off the ground –  the partnership could serve as a much-needed revenue stream for Snap. From Amazon’s POV, the partnership could serve as an an opportunity to connect with a younger demographic – untapped perhaps yet by Amazon Prime.


AR You Ready For Facebook’s New Ad Unit?

In direct response to Amazon’s AR capes, Facebook’s new AR ad unit lets users “try before they buy.” The AR ads appear the same way as in any other News Feed, with a new “Tap to try on “ option in the photo. The ads can also include calls-to-action directly within the camera experience, helping to bridge the gap between product discovery and purchase. As a first-mover, brands have the opportunity to leverage influencer relationships to seed the use and adoption of trying on products and using the ads, recording, and sharing their experience.  

Native Video Ads Meet Reddit

Reddit video hosting has become core to the Reddit experience, and now the platform will be looking to boost its revenue potential by introducing native video ads. User-uploaded videos already autoplay within the app, making the introduction of video ads a smooth platform change to the overall consumer experience within Reddit. Because of Reddit’s large community focus, marketers testing video ads should consult with community leaders for creative strategy & development, making sure messaging and creative is relevant to the community they’re targeting. With users watching an average of 5 million minutes of video per day, it is likely the addition of native video ads will be well received.

For The Avid Pinterest Planner

This week, Pinterest has introduced new ways for users to collaborate across boards, making planning events with multiple Pinners more efficient. Group boards will now have an activity feed where users will be be able to view all the changes within that group board, including when a member adds a Pin or creates a new section. Group members can also have conversations about a specific Pin – which is now easier than it’s ever been before. According to Pinterest, “you can weigh in with a quick “like” or comment, @-mention a collaborator or reply to start a new thread.”

Group Boards are a great way for brands to expand their reach reach and attract new followers. To start, partner with  a few key influencers and have each curate their own board. Another interesting way to utilize Pinterest’s boards is to create mood boards when in the strategic process. These can be shared with influencers or any other creative partner to get candid feedback and test content/images before they go live.


Reddit Launches Native Video Ads Which Will Autoplay In-Stream

Snapchat is making it easier to find lenses created by other users

Twitter purge wipes out a big chunk of Trump, Obama followers. Katy Perry’s, too.