Snapchat’s Recent Update Unveils QR Codes, Linking to Websites

Source: Social Media Today

January 31, 2017 Jennifer Atanasoff

Remember when you couldn’t even buy a Dr. Pepper at McDonald’s without catching that little QR code on the side? Companies that weren’t really known for being “tech savvy” had QR codes just to be clever, get your attention, and make it look like they were “cool”. We haven’t seen them in a while

Anyway, they’re baaaack.

Snapchat’s latest update unveiled QR codes. QR Snapcodes direct users to websites that other users choose to share, a company or brand will benefit from this feature. The process seems to be simple. In the photo above, you can find the Snapcodes feature in the settings. (To get to your settings: click on your Bitmoji in the upper left corner, a new screen will pop up-then click on the little pinwheel-looking button)

After you’ve found your settings (and your Snapcode feature), you may create your personalized Snapcode. Just enter the URL to your website, even add an image if you want, and that’s it, you’ve got your QR Snapcode.

This update has been a feature that marketers have been wanting from Snapchat for a while. This update is actually really neat because you can develop your own QR code right through the app. This makes things for marketers a lot easier. It is also easy for people like you and I to use. Bloggers can use this to direct their friends to their work.

It’s probably important to note that these fancy QR codes are sort of similar to your Snapcode for your profile. Snapcodes for user’s profiles make it easier for friends to add each other. To add a friend through their profile Snapcode, have them get their Snapcode from the settings menu, and just focus your lens on their code to instantly become friends!

What website will you link to your QR Snapcode?

Sources: Social Media Today, Tech Crunch

 

Pintrest Update?

By: Abigail Hebert

pinterestlogo

Photo from myproductlaunch.com

That’s right you read that headline correctly. Pintrest has a new update! Recently Pintrest announced that they will be updating the popular pin board site in order to allow users to search for specific items inside a particular pin.

“Tomorrow we’re rolling out a visual search tool that lets you zoom in on a specific object in a Pin’s image and discover visually similar objects, colors, patterns and more.” Andew Zhai said on the Pintrest technical blog. 

pintrest update photo

Photo clipped from gif on Pintrest technical blog

The introduction of this update is a huge step for the company and could possibly change the way that we search things from now on. It is quite possible that in the future, with some development, this type of searching could lead us to being able to find an exact item online that appears in a photograph with only a few clicks.

The update is not only very useful for consumers but is useful for businesses as well. With the update opens many new doors and creates many more opportunities for businesses to showcase their products via social media. Businesses will now be able to use this feature to show how they, and other customers, style a particular product while also giving them access pins of products that are exactly the same or similar. There are so many endless possibilities for businesses to use this to their advantage. It will be very interesting to see how exactly companies will integrate this into their social media plans and operations.

When this new feature is up and running feel free to go to the Pintrest website and let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

Photo Links:

Visual search Photo: https://engineering.pinterest.com/blog/introducing-new-way-visually-search-pinterest

Pintrest logo: https://www.myproductlaunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/pinterestlogo.jpg 

Another Way Google Is Taking Over the World

By: Summer Reyes

Tired of typing? Tired of using your brain for simple communication tasks? Has moving your fingers to form a coherent sentence become a chore? Well welcome to the new age of laziness because now G mail will write your emails for you. Inbox, an app by Gmail, will now “read” your emails, write a response, and all you have to do is press send. The Smart Reply feature analyzes the contents of an email and then suggests short replies, but how does it work? Gmail software engineer Bálint Miklós says that Smart Reply “uses machine learning to recognize emails that need responses and to generate the natural language responses on the fly.”

The software is designed to improve over time as it learns from the reply suggestions you pick and those you ignore. The technology is similar to texing software autocorrect or auto-suggest, except its much more complex in that it is trying to read and understand the entire email and find the right response. According to Google’s Senior research scientist Greg Corrado, The Smart Reply system is built on a special neural network that encodes the incoming email one at a time, and produces a “thought vector” which captures the gist of what is being said without getting hung up on diction. Basically when someone says “Are you free tomorrow?” the software recognizes that its similar to the phrase “Does tomorrow work for you?”

One of the obstacles of the software was its propensity to respond to everything with “I love you”, and although we use that phrase a lot, it could be potentially awkward if you sent that out to your boss. Since it’s rollout to android and iOS, affectionate phrases like “I love you” have been filtered out of the feature to make the software a little more work appropriate.

Advertising Through Instagram

By: Emma Carlson

(Photo credit- http://thegatefilms.com/advertising-on-instagram/)

When talking about advertising on social media, instagram is an outlet that isn’t brought up much. That is, until recently. This past August, Instagram (owned by Facebook) changed it’s advertising API. This basically means that companies can now schedule advertising campaigns through third-party software. These kind of capabilities have been available for other social networks like twitter and facebook for some time, but now that instagram has jumped on the bandwagon, I’m sure you have noticed a lot more ads on your feed, and more of the same ad, as campaigns can be scheduled more effectively now. More detailed information on this API change can be found here.

This shift drastically changed the way companies can advertise using Instagram, a social media outlet that hadn’t been utilized much for advertising beforehand. Since this is still very new, users of this picture-based network are not sick of seeing ads yet. While ads on facebook, youtube, and twitter can be an annoyance, occasionally scrolling past on ad on my instagram feed doesn’t bother me at all, usually. On other social media, ads might be all over the page at any given time, but on instagram all you have to do is scroll past it, and it is out of sight. Some may think that this would make advertising campaigns less effective, but the statistics actually show the opposite. According to analytics done by Kenshoo, the average Click Through Rate for ad campaigns on instagram was 2.48% as opposed to the 1% average CTR for facebook ads. This makes instagram a very valuable medium for advertising now. People enjoy looking at pictures, that’s why they’re on instagram in the first place, seeing a cool pictorial ad for something they might be interested in, can capture their attention without being so in their face, like many other types of ads on the internet. For more analytics and information on meauring the success of advertising on instagram, click here.

As an advertising student and avid instagrammer, I am excited to see how advertising continues to evolve using this new outlet. I think there is a lot of potential in instagram campaigns and a huge audience to sell to. It will be interesting to see how it goes as these new capabilities continue to be utilized more by companies in the time to come.

Youtube Red The New Premium Version of Youtube

Picture taken from i.ytimg.com

Blog by Allison Hughes

     On October 28th Google is rolling out Youtube Red the new on-demand version of Youtube. It will cost $9.99 a month or $12.99 for iOS users. Youtube Red will have many new feature for the people who pay for it.

     The first feature of the new Youtube Red is there are no ads. Like Netflix and Hulu Google is giving users on Youtube an option to completely free themselves of ads on their site. David Ruddock seems to think that this will help content creators make more money because many people will get rid of ad blockers for Youtube Red. With the removal of ad blockers which hinder the amount of money Youtubers make they could very well make more money.

    Along with removing ads Google is also rolling out Youtube original series and movies featuring famous Youtubers such as Pewdiepie and The Fine Brothers. As well as content from these and many more top Youtubers that can only be viewed through Youtube Red.

    Then if you want to view this content or other videos offline Youtube red will have an offline option where you can save playlists of videos to watch offline. You can even have Youtube compile a list of videos you may like based on your tastes that you can then peruse offline at your leisure.

   Finally Youtube Red will have background play on mobiles. This means that while you are using Youtube Red you can just listen to the audio of the video while you use your phone. No more having to keep the tab open it seems or use one of those sketchy Youtube apps.

     Though right now Youtube Red sounds like it will be amazing for those that can afford it we will all have to wait and see if it lives up to expectations. This could herald a new age for Youtube.

How Facebook’s new universal search update will change social media for business.

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By: Abigail Hebert

Facebook is now giving Twitter and Google a run for their money with its new search engine update. This update will allow users to search the entire social media cite for almost anything you would want to see content about. . According to the verge.com results will come up in order “Starting with authoritative sources like news organizations, the search results will become more granular as you scroll down to what your friends are saying, liking and commenting on and then finally to strangers discussing the same topic”. Like Twitter, the user will be able to follow what people are saying and posting about trending topics on Facebook and like Google, search results will be tailored to the user based upon their previous search history and other activities on Facebook This opens up so many new opportunity for businesses. With this new development it is only a matter of time before someone comes up with a way to run analytics that will be able to let businesses know how often their business is being searched and how often they are getting hits on their page. The new search engine will also make it easier to monitor publicity about your company as well. The user will be able have a feed of trending topics related to their company. With this they will be able to address any customer complaint or questions more efficiently and more effectively. If all else the improvement of Facebook searches will make it easier for potential customers to find your Facebook and thus doings so will increase traffic to and engagement with your Facebook page itself. I am very interested to see not only how well this new update will be but to also see how companies will use this to their advantage and help create more business.

Sources: http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/22/9587122/new-facebook-search-all-public-posts

Photo: http://searchengineland.com/facebooks-hello-app-another-incremental-step-toward-local-search-219637

Social Skills and Social Media

By: Faith Hunt

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Often we think of Social Media as a source to communicate with friends, and family. It is a way to share important moments in life. Social Media is also a place where people “meet” for the first time. Fifty seven percent of teens across the world meet a new friend online. In many cases social media is a powerful and helpful tool, but it raises the question about social skills. Does a social medium decline a person’s ability to interact face to face? This is an issue that many are worried about. Teens are struggling with interpersonal skills due to the lack of interaction. They hide behind their computers and create a persona that is not necessarily who the individual really is. Important social skills develop from face-to-face conversations, says professional counselor Jared Pizzitola. “If used in excess, communicating via cyberspace can inhibit communication skills, but if used in moderation, can help young people become more comfortable communicating with their peers if they are too shy to do so in person,” Something many parenting blogs are posting is the importance of making sure your child knows how to be a part of society. Being able to communicate is a skill that must be learned and exercised in order to get jobs, and really fulfill normal responsibilities in life. When used properly social media causes huge successes for people, but when used socially it can become an issue. Parents should limit the amount of internet and video gaming a child interacts with. Teach them to introduce themselves and learn how to be nice and make friends with other children. Those are the relationships they know they made on their own and is great practice for this world we live in where having your own voice and the ability to use it is extremely necessary.