stc-email-hi-resDec 12, 2017:  ….and we’re back (Insta was down for a hot sec) Now, back to the real news: Facebook integrates Pinterest into Messenger, Instagram tests standalone app for messaging & gets rid of expiration dates for Stories, Google adds celeb videos to search, and Unilever releases a new brand
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:

Pinning With Friends

Pinterest just pinned itself to Facebook Messenger. Last Tuesday, Pinterest added two new tools aimed at making it easier to share Pins with friends. The new feature, a chat extension, creates a more ‘Pinterest-like experience’ within Messenger, allowing users to share full-sized Pins directly on Messenger without having to leave the app. Pinterest is also debuting its first chatbot, enabling users to search and discover new Pins via Messenger.

What it means, IRL: With 1.3 billion people on Messenger sharing nearly 1 million Pins every week, the importance of Messenger continues to increase – for many platforms. Pinterest’s new features allow for increased reach for influencers on social and opens up opportunities to cross-pollinate audiences and content between the two networks. Now that you can learn what type of content from Pinterest is being shared via Messenger, it also indicates the types of content you should promote via FB’s new Messenger ad targeting capabilities.

Make it work: In order to make the most of Pinterest’s new feats, brands must first work to align their Pinterest and Facebook content strategies. Next, brands should tap and cross pollinate influencers to create and curate Pinterests boards and then amplify that content to their own FB groups and Pages. In turn, influencer-generated Pinterest content should be optimized for Pinterest’s most popular categories so that it’s discoverable via FB Messenger’s Pinterest bot.

Not Unrelated

If you don’t know, now you know – messaging is IN. Instagram began rolling out tests for Direct, a standalone messaging app for Instagram DMs that would replace Insta inbox. When users open Direct, the camera is the first thing they’ll see – swipe left and they’ll see a profile screen, swipe right and they’ll see their messages inbox. Sound like a familiar layout? We thought so too (we see you, Snapchat).

Since the days of AIM (#RIP), direct messaging has been ubiquitous – and people are choosing to spend more time in the messaging features of an app or network than the news feed. Time = money and in the battle for relevance, tech companies are creating new ways for users to communicate via messenger apps comprised of the most popular features of their own platforms – it’s why Facebook created Messenger and why Snapchat, essentially a standalone messenger app, rose so quickly. We’re calling it here, 2018 will be “return of the m-app.”

It Goes On, And On, And On, And On

This week, Instagram is welcoming two new features to their Stories. The first new feature, Stories Archive, automatically saves Stories to an Archive once they expire, giving Stories a longer shelf life.

The second feat, Story Highlights, allows users to group Stories they’ve shared into highlights and feature them on their profile. Where influencer-generated brand content has become complicated at best, Story Highlights provides brands with a new way to validate influencers and better understand who they are. If Story Highlights do encourage more people to spend time on an influencer’s bio page, it could mean the life of an influencer-created brand story could extend longer than the 72 hour max it has on the Stories feed.

For Your Coworker Who Watches Elf on Repeat

Curious if Will Ferrell can actually play the drums? Google now lets you ask him yourself, sort of. The company is testing a new feature that allows celebs and influencers to record video clips answering common search questions about themselves. Let’s be real, the Googs hasn’t quite been able to crack social – Google+ was a huge fail. The initiative could open the door to more innovative social search formats. While its only open to major celebrities now, Google plans to expand the feature to ‘lesser known’ celebrities in the coming months.

New Year, New U

Meet Unilever’s newest brand, Love Beauty and Planet. The personal care brand, due to hit stores next month, is centered around the notion of sustainability and consists of eco-friendly shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and hair and body treatments. Aiming specifically to target Millennials, Unilever’s move validates consumers’ desire for niche brands. Can Unilever successfully create a niche DNVB? Considering the recent success they’ve had launching eight global brands in the past year, we’d say success is likely.


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