Your weekly dose of digital, social, and content marketing news. This week …
1. YouTube ditches unskippable ads
YouTube has announced that it will be getting rid of 30-second ads you can’t skip. The bad news? It’ll only happen next year: 9 more months of annoying ads to endure. It’s possible that YouTube is feeling the heat of social giants Facebook and Snapchat, whose focus are shifting heavily towards video. While this move challenges advertisers to take on different ad formats, it’s the risk YouTube is willing to take to keep people using the video platform.
2. McDonald’s goes tech
Although mainly known for Big Macs, McFlurries and clogged arteries, McDonald’s announced a new, remarkable product last week: re-engineered straws. The chain’s new STRAW, which stands for Suction Tube for Reversal Axial Withdrawal is meant to suck the ideal flavour ratio of 50 percent chocolate and 50 percent mint in each sip of the new milkshake. The fast food chain restaurant presented a tongue-in-cheek ad which mimics an Apple commercial. April fool’s come early?
3. Instagram introduces showreel for public
We’ve mentioned it in one of our earlier weekly wrap-ups – a couple of weeks ago – Instagram tested sharing multiple pictures at once. This new feature has now rolled out to a wider audience and was even officially announced on their blog. Our thoughts: what is this going to mean for Instagram stories? Up until now, this was the only way to show multiple pictures at once. Will it shift the attention away?
4. Swear for cash
Although Storm Doris is raging over the UK and causing trouble, there’s one comforting thought: we’ll never have to deal with a harsh, Canadian winter. Apparently, even Canadians don’t like it, which Hotels.com turned into a fun opportunity – the Winter Swear Jar. “Canadians really like to gripe about the damn cold. So for every profanity-laden, anti-winter tweet we find on Twitter, we’ll add a quarter to our #WinterSwearJar. Each time the Jar reaches $1,000, we’ll turn it into a Hotels.com Gift Card and give it to one lucky Canadian. They can use it to book a room somewhere warm with Hotels.com.”
5. Customer service on Twitter gets a human face
Twitter customer-service product lead Ian Cairns recently announced that the network will be adding a human element to its private conversations, as well as making it clearer when users are interacting with chat bots or actual people. The feature is currently trialling with T-mobile US. As a community manager, I can see both sides: yes, it is nice to put a face on the person you’re having a conversation with. But I’ve also dealt with those angry customers who will go above and beyond to vent their frustration – in one of my previous jobs I even had someone chasing me on LinkedIn. For now, the feature is optionable – which might be for the best.