1. Apple Business Chat
Apple Business Chat was announced last week, just one of many updates coming with the release of iOS11. Apple Business Chat allows users to launch iMessage chat directly with a brand via their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac’s Messages app.
Apple Business Chat integrates 3 handy sales and marketing features – Apple Pay, scheduling and product listings. Users can access Apple Business Chat via a Safari web browser, Apple Maps, Spotlight search and Siri. QR codes, where the iPhone camera scans a code to launch a conversation in iMessage, can also be integrated for offline access a well.
During their recent developer session, Apple presented the benefits of its new customer service feature by showing an example of an airline enabling a customer to select a seat from within iMessage.
Business Chat will be available to all users next year.
2. Instagram streamlines sponsored posts
Instagram has launched a new feature that will help users clearly communicate sponsored posts with their followers and help maintain authenticity across the board.
The new “paid partnership with” tags will replace the #spon or #ad hashtags that were fast becoming a popular way to disclose marketing partnerships within Instagram.
The tags will appear under the user’s name, where you would normally see a location. The posts not only make these kinds of partnerships more transparent they also offer creators and publishers the ability to track insights for each post to see just how well their sponsored posts are doing.
3. From Snap to Store
The thorn in the side of many digital marketers is being able to attribute an ad that a customer has seen, to in-store traffic which led to purchasing.
Although many attribution models already exist that successfully track a customer’s journey online from awareness through to purchase, the next step in attribution intelligence is being able to track who has seen an ad online, say within a social media site, and then walked into a store and purchased something. A US company, Neilson Catalina Solutions, has partnered with online platforms such as Snapchat, Spotify, Twitter and Pinterest to do just that. By matching data, they are working on being able to track and measure media exposure that resulted in an offline purchase. This is a huge win for platforms like Snapchat who are investing heavily in location-based marketing in the hope to carve out a niche for itself.
4. Twitter gets a makeover
If you are an iOS user, you may have noticed things look a little different on Twitter recently and hopefully if Twitter has been successful, it should feel ‘lighter, faster and easier to use’. A lot of the features were rolled out previously on Android and received such good feedback they are now coming to iOS.
Twitter’s blog lists the new features:
- Profile, additional accounts, settings, and privacy – all in one place! A new side navigation menu and fewer tabs at the bottom of our app = less clutter and easier browsing.
- Links to articles and websites now open in Safari’s viewer in the Twitter app so you can easily access accounts on websites you’re already signed into.*
- We’ve refined our typography to make it more consistent, and added bolder headlines to make it easier to focus on what’s happening. Also, rounded profile photos make it clearer to see what’s being said and who’s saying it.
- More intuitive icons make it easier to engage with Tweets – especially if you’re coming to Twitter for the first time. For example, people thought the reply icon, an arrow, meant delete or go back to a previous page. We switched to a speech bubble, a symbol most know and love. We also made the icons lighter for more seamless interaction.
- Tweets now update instantly with Reply, Retweet, and like counts, so you can see conversations as they’re happening – live.**
**Not available on twitter.com and Twitter Lite
5. Snapchat Custom Stories
Snapchat has launched custom stories, allowing users the ability to create Stories for specific events and locations. Custom stories allow the ability to decide who can add to the story and who can see the story.
The new feature will be great for holidays, special events, birthday parties or new babies – perfect for when you just want the family to see.
As with standard stories they disappear if no one has contributed in the past 24 hours.
Read More: //www.snap.com/en-US/news/
BONUS 6. Facebook celebrates 30 years of the GIF
Facebook has celebrated 30 years of the GIF by allowing users the option of replying to comments with GIFs. (can we insert a whoo woo gif?)