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Instagram Carousel Ads in the Wild

While I’m stoked that I got served this ad from Amazon, sadly it was a bit of a wasted impression – I’m already a Prime member. Might want to get some do-not-serve list info in there.

A couple thoughts on the unit itself:

  • Pretty slick. The swipe functionality is intuitive.
  • The content beyond the ‘Learn More” is good. Looks to be fairly customizable.
  • This might be a bug, but the ‘Learn More’ shows on the first image when you first see it in the feed, then when you swipe to the second image, it goes away. Then if you swipe back to the first its gone. It always shows up on the third image, though. Could have some impact on clicks to the ‘Learn More’ content.

On the Amazon ad:

  • Really great imagery
  • Great info
  • Great CTA
  • This should be the standard other advertisers strive to hit
  • One weird thing: Whatever is on the screen is barely visible. Is this on purpose? What is that even? Photo storage?

   
     

NYT, BuzzFeed Going Native on Facebook

Facebook’s new Instant Articles have arrived. After being a major driver of traffic for publishers the world over, Facebook now has a way to make a little money out of that relationship, while also creating a more seamless user experience. 

  

 The program, which began today with the New York Times, also includes BuzzFeedNational Geographic, NBCthe Atlanticthe Guardian, and BBC News.

The experience is great, from a user perspective. There’s a nearly-instant transition from the enhanced content in the News Feed to the article, which goes full-screen and includes high-res imagery and in-line video. 

 
Sharing directly from the content is easy as well and actually includes Twitter!?!

In my mind, this is a great move for Facebook on a number of fronts:

  1. Better user experience through inclusion: Users have a smooth transition that doesn’t rely on kicking them to another site.
  2. Repurposing some work: It’s hard to look at the full-size articles and not see a bit of Facebook’s Paper app in them. Facebook has done a great job of solving small problems and then bringing those learnings into other aspects of their apps.
  3. Keeping users in the app: The less friction users feel when navigating content in and out of the News Feed, the more likely they are to stay in the app. This ultimately means more cumulative time on Facebook and more opportunities for ad serves, which means more ad revenues.

I’m excited to see how implementations from BuzzFeed and others roll out as the NYT, style wise, isn’t a big leap.

Stay tuned.

Facebook Just Built an Airplane

Facebook’s F8 is a news-packed event that used to really focus on how developers could work with Facebook’s ever-expanding platform. When they announce Internet.org a few years ago, F8 also started to take on this future vision role that continued today as Mark Zuckerberg announced their latest endeavor. Click the image to go to the full post:

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Meerkat Just Ruined my Sunday… and I’m Not Even Mad

I woke up this morning with the intention of getting a lot of stuff done… then I heard about  Meerkat.

The live-streaming app seemingly exploded this morning and I’ve seen more tweets about Meerkat in the past couple hours as more and more tech/digital people are jumping on.

I’ve admittedly been lurking a bit and watching people experiment with the app for the most part.

One of my favorite marketers, Apple’s Musa Tariq , just hopped on and was taking about how he’d love to see DJs (the radio kind, but sure, others could join in) use Meerkat as they’re used to sort of rambling and not having any audience feedback. I added that reporters could use Meerkat to keep people engaged as stories are developing or between live pieces.

Edit

You can bet the next few days/weeks will be filled with brands jumping in and I’m sure the executions will range from meh to bleh to awesome – let’s hope there are some good use cases.

I was a Qik user and checked out a number of streams from people on there back in the day, but the combo of bad data speeds and poor cameras definitely didn’t make for a great experience. Today, now that tech has progressed and people’s familiarity with live streaming, web personalities, and the idea of “lifecasting” (ugh… Did I just say that?) is fairly advanced, it could mean a whole new way of engaging and interacting.

I’ll definitely be watching to see how this goes.

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Pinterest Goes All In on New Ad Messaging

Pinterest’s opportunity for paid media has been apparent ever since numbers of sales originating from pins on the site started to circulate.

Why is Pinterest so good at conversion compared to the more mature, larger networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram?

Pinterest’s head of operations, Don Faul, gives his two cents to the WSJ (and they’re good ones):

“Pinterest is not a traditional user-generated content platform, it’s a place where people are coming to discover new businesses, new brands and new products… Our users are expressing their future intent. It’s not the shoes they bought last week, or where they went on vacation six months ago.”

It’s that last part that really shows you the “why” in the explanation of Pinterest’s paid media opportunity – relevancy not just to users’ interests, but actually being at the right point in a user’s purchase journey.

Think about it – how often do you go to Twitter with the intent to buy something? You might be thinking about buying something and head to Twitter to ask friends (and complete strangers) for their input. Likewise with Facebook, you’re not going on Facebook to buy something – or to make a final decision.

However, with Pinterest, users are often collecting and narrowing choices between products (via their pins or those of others) they actually intend to buy (or want to at least).

Additionally, the fact that you can actually see an pin, click it, and be adding that item to your shopping card within seconds puts Pinterest ahead of the other image-laden social network out there vying for ad dollars – Instagram.

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#SOTU2015

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The embargo has been lifted and we can all preview President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address before he’s even done. I’m taking a little bit of an analytical look at his speech – as it was written (not necessarily delivered). The word cloud above represents the text of the address. Here are the numbers:

6,503 words

36,355 characters

340 sentences

20 words per sentence (avg.)

104 paragraphs

11th-12th grade reading level

Top Words (by keyword density):

America (35)

Years (25)

Time (21)

People (20)

Work (20)

Need (19)

Americans (19)

Jobs (19)

Country (19)

Tools used:

Word cloud – wordle.net

Text analysis – http://wordcounttools.com/ and http://www.wordcounter.net/

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Why Taco Bell’s 1 Million App Downloads Could Be More Important Than Their 10 Million Facebook Fans

I’ll admit it, I might be out of Snapchats target demo. I don’t use the app that much, but whenever I do open it I check out the latest snap from Taco Bell.

Today’s was especially interesting:

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That means Taco Bell now has a direct line between their marketing efforts and the thing people have in their hands most during the day.

Yes, they have had great success pushing messaging out via Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and every other channel, but those instances are a bit removed from purchase when you realize people can actually ORDER freaking tacos from Taco Bell using their new app.

Not only that, the engagement (I’m talking more than just likes, comments, and shares here) Taco Bell gets via their mobile app is directly tied to end actions (or lack thereof).

The media guy in me is salivating at the possibilities provided by the combo of App, Social (you can register with Facebook), location, and POS data. It’s a digital media dude’s dream.

BRB, ordering a customized Crunchwrap Supreme…