Vimeo announced the launch of Vimeo Create for small business owners, it’s a new suite of tools that SMBs can use to make their social videos. 

Vimeo Create is a tool for SMBs to intended to help make high-impact social videos anytime, anywhere. The beta was launched early this year and now it’s available for Android, iOs, and for desktop. 

Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo shared that the app was created to address the needs of businesses. The platform was created so businesses can reach more customers and increase brand awareness. Videos made via Vimeo Create will be able to compete against professionally produced ones and essentially levels the playing field between businesses regardless of size. For SMBs that don’t want to invest in hiring a team to create their video ads, they can now use Vimeo Create. 

Key features of Vimeo Create

Vimeo is becoming a to-go tool for many companies especially those that publish their videos online. While it is not as huge as YouTube, it has its advantages. 

  • Faster and easier video creation – Users have the option of either taking one of the templates from the app or creating their videos from the beginning. You can upload personal clips and incorporate them into the app’s high-quality curated stills and clips. It also has an unlimited song list for your background music. 
  • Uses smart technology for auto-editing – The Ai does all the editing for you. There’s no need to spend time learning how to edit, it’s been taken care of. 
  • Ability to customize your brand – Personalize your brand with text captions, logos, and more. 
  • One-stop-shop for video marketing – share your social videos to several other platforms and see your video ads are faring in the social sphere. 

What does this mean for you?

Videos play a huge role in advertising and marketing your products and services. In fact, most advertising campaigns use videos as it’s more enticing and more impactful. However, many SMBs do not have the resources to produce high-quality video ads. According to Vimeo’s survey, there are only 22% among the 1,000 SMB’s they’ve surveyed that use videos in their marketing strategy. 

Producing videos is said to require time, effort, and money – things that small businesses usually don’t have. Aside from that, there’s the difficulty and complexities in creating even a single video. Many would veer away from taking advantage of videos. 

Vimeo Create is designed to take out all those barriers and help small businesses to make video ads for their products and services. It’s now out for free trial and for marketers, they can subscribe for the Vimeo Pro for $20 per month. 

Swipe Up to Call made its debut in the Middle East December of last year. This time, it’s going to be released for US businesses too. 

Snapchat added a new feature to its Swipe Up ad tools last December. Advertisers have been using the Swipe Up option to drive website visits. However, with the Swipe up to Call options, advertisers have been given even more power. Snapchat explained that this new option can help businesses close purchases quicker and enable their sales associates to have direct control over their consumers’ experience. Through this tool, companies can talk to customers directly.

The feature shows how invested and considerate companies are, which is something that brands can’t do when people just click the links directing them to the official sites. 
The option was made available late last year for businesses in the Middle East.

Swipe Up to Call coming to the US

Phone calls and text messaging are a part of the business. As of this week, the new Swipe Uo to Call/Text is made available for US businesses. This tool is Snapchat’s new ad format that is expected to increase leads, conversions, and sales. Snapchat users can now Swipe Up to be directed to the brand’s website, make a direct call or send a text to a business established via their phone devices. 

Improving sales using direct calls

Other forms of business such as real estate firms can increase their reach using this new tool. Consumers can just call their sales representatives immediately for faster response. Consumers won’t have to wait for a long time to get their response concerning a question or reservations. 

What does this mean for you?

US businesses can now use the tool for driving website visits, adding a prompt for extended video views, driving app installs, and directing users to call and text your business. 
Millennials and Gen z consumers aren’t much for making phone calls, however, there are situations that just call for direct conversation with real people. This is where you can capitalize on the new tool. Advertisers who wish to try the new tool can create their campaigns now via the Instant Create in Ads Manager. Tap the Calls & Texts option for your advertising goal. 

Your WhatsApp Chats Aren’t As Private As You Thought

Vice released an article Friday, February 21st stating that links to WhatsApp chats had been found on Google. Users who invite people into private chats over public platforms can find their chat links online, available to everyone. This breach of privacy comes as a surprise to many sharing personal or private content.

WhatsApp’s Security

The app is intended to provide a private chat space. WhatsApp states that the safety and security of their users and their messages are important. In a page detailing the online security, WhatsApp lists tools and practices that help keep users safe, along with behaviors to avoid. What this page does not include is a list of situations in which private information will become public. The only mention is the reminder that messages and content shared in chats can be shared by anyone in them.

So What’s Safe?

The big question that remains here, is where can these links be shared so that the chats are safe from being available to the public? There is no mention or specification of what is considered a “public platform.” If these links are shared between users on WhatsApp alone, one could assume they would be safe. What about sharing links through less secure platforms such as Facebook Messenger or direct messages on Instagram and Twitter?

If social media content can be dug up regardless of settings, then are the messages safe? There needs to be a clarification of what platforms are safe and secure for users to use when sharing links. 

Search Engine Journal reports that this has been an issue for months, but those chats have been public for much longer if there has been no change in WhatsApp structurally. Danny Sulivan from Google says there are settings to disable or hide these links from their search engine, but they are still available through engines such as Bing and DuckDuckGo. 

Google removes 600+ apps for using disruptive ads

BuzzFeed News reported yesterday that Google has banned over 600 apps and their developers due to disruptive ads. Google just posted an article giving details about the ban. The company explained the situation but did not list or specify the ads or developers.

Disruptive Ads Policy

Google’s disruptive ad policy is meant to prevent apps from displaying ads when the app is not. It’s also intended to prevent inadvertent ad clicks. According to Per Bjorke, Google’s senior product manager of ad traffic quality, Google defines disruptive ads as those that display in unexpected ways or interfere with the device functions. Out-of-context ads have been used most recently. In this case, ads are showing up when users are not using the app. It could come in the form of a full-screen ad when making a phone call, or in several other pop-up forms.

Google’s Actions

The Company created technology that identifies when ads are being used out-of-context or contrary to their policies. Android Authority reports that Google has acknowledged that malicious users are continuing to find ways to mask disruptive ads. In response to this, Google intends to continue investing in technology that will help detect and prevent threats that would generate such disruptive ads.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

While Google is continuing to crack down on developers who have used disruptive ads, they are also finding brands that have fallen victim to these tactics. When a full-screen ad pops up, users end up clicking simply to get rid of the ad. It’s great to see a massive company reprimand those who aren’t following advertising guides. Developers using this tactic then charge brands for ad clicks that are not generating any leads, wasting their ad spend. Google is addressing this by refunding brands who have been scammed by these developers. It’s great to see a massive company reprimand those who aren’t following advertising guides.

Samsung picks Netflix to be its new entertainment partner with hopes of improving product integration. 

Tech giant company, Samsung, launched its new mobile phone family of Galaxy S20 smartphones. Netflix also announced the partnership on the same event saying that it is teaming up with Samsung for exclusive content. 

Netflix’s CMO, Jackie Lee-Joe said that the partnership is to improve the viewing experience of Samsung mobile phone users. This means that Samsung phone users can automatically command its virtual assistant to search and play any Netflix content right off the bat. The company also has a bonus for Samsung users but we still know nothing about it. 

According to Samsung, its users can search and discover content with ease due to improved integration and content discovery and accessibility using Samsung Daily, Finder, and Bixby. This is the beginning of deeper content integration between Netflix and Samsung devices. 

Streaming battle continues 

Netflix hopes that this partnership will help them fight the heating battle in the TV streaming space. This partnership allows Samsung to launch its content via Bixby, the device’s voice assistant. Netflix can also recommend videos, movies, series, and other content to Samsung users.

This feature will help Samsung’s own features including Samsung Daily to enhance the viewing experience of its users. Another interesting thing about this partnership is that Netflix now can provide exclusive content to Samsung media platforms. 

Netflix Original shows will have behind-the-scenes shoot using the pro cameras in Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 phones. The video footage will be uploaded on its official site, Samsung.com. The Content will also be added to Samsung Daily’s content discovery platform, and its social media accounts. Some behind-the-scenes content is already available for Narcos: Mexico as well as some others. More bonus content is in the future for the streaming company.

Struggling to fight

The streaming space is now full of various streaming companies. The subscriber count of Netflix suffered quite a bit due to the other platforms coming out into the streaming space. Despite its popularity internationally, Netflix’s US subscriber count fell flat. 

Samsung and Netflix team-up came at a good time. Other competitors including Apple TV+, Disney+, and other companies already integrated their content with mobile devices. These companies have also partnered with companies that would allow them to distribute their content to audiences using mobile devices. 

Netflix has just joined the integration strategy, but this partnership is expected to boost revenue and the subscriber count. 

To the dismay of Insta users, the chronological feed hasn’t been available for some time, but here’s hope for a return to form.

Instagram’s reverse-chronological feed has been gone for years and users have been vocal about its absence. With the possibility of a Latest Posts feature coming to Instagram. Users could soon be able to enjoy the app with classic functionality. The feature is a pop-up that appears on the users’ main feed. Once tapped, users are brought to a special area where the newest content from the people they follow are could be seen. 

Jane Manchun Wong discovered the prototype and tweeted about the feature in her Twitter account.

Facebook-owned Instagram didn’t comment on the said feature. However, the photo-sharing app has already confirmed the existence of Wong’s findings via a reply tweet. According to Instagram, the feature was from a recent hackathon which is a Facebook tradition.

In a reply to the tweet, Facebook EMEA communications manager, Alexandru Voica explained that the feature isn’t out for public use yet and Instagram has no plans of launching it at this time. 

Changes in Instagram’s feed

Instagram has explored many ways of presenting content to its users. In 2016, the company veered away from the reverse-chronological feed. Instead, Instagram opted for the automated that feed we’re now accustomed to. The content is now based on who and what users interact with. The switch to an algorithmic feed increased the engagement.

As of March 22, 2018, Instagram posted a blog explaining it is giving the users more control over their feed and see to it that they are seeing relevant and timely posts. The decision was due to the feedback from the users on the usage of the feedback algorithm. 

What does this mean for you? 

Instagram is a great platform for marketers and brands to increase their brand awareness and further expand their reach. Instagram works well for brands and other entrepreneurs when you create a cohesive Instagram feed. Users’ feed must be logical including its visual concept, captions, and hashtags. 

Posts on Instagram could reach a wider audience using the new feature if it goes live. Your posts will be visible according to the latest posts. Your new products will be seen by your target audience and will not be run over by older posts in their feeds. 

After a failed acquisition, HQ Trivia decided to just shut down. 

The company laid off its employees last week and stopped the operation of the trivia games. Why did the once successful app fizzle? The company was putting its faith in the acquisition, but the investors pulled their investments. Without financial support, it was impossible for HQ Trivia to keep its company going. Thus, the shutdown. 

The company was launched in 2017 by two Vine founders. It was a platform where users could win money if they answer the questions correctly. During daily games, and without being eliminated, users could win a portion of a cash prize. The company was able to raise $15 million and had a peak of 2.3 million players. 

CEO and co-founder Rus Yusupov said in a statement that the investor’s decision to pull back their investment also came as a surprise to them. With all the legalities and paper works filed, it was supposedly a done deal, however, they were unable to reach an agreement the day before the projected closing date. The termination of employment came immediately and all the other information regarding benefits, their checks, and more will be given in the next days. 

What happened to HQ Trivia 

Players, eventually, learned to cheat the system. This sharply influenced the prize amounts and the game stopped being inciting and exciting. Added to the issues was the death of its co-founder Colin Kroll. New games came into the picture and new apps were created that followed the same concept. Sadly, HQ Trivia just lost its touch and downloads just went down.

Gaming is a huge industry, in fact, it’s also one of the fastest moving industries there is. Creators, like HQ Trivia, can’t trust their initial traction to last. 

While this wasn’t part of their plan, they were instrumental in providing a fresh perspective on older mediums. Though, there could still be hope for the Trivia game show. Variety reported Tuesday that the game might still live on! Yusupov tweeted-

Looking forward

Yusupov added, while this deal hasn’t come through just yet, he has hope for HQ Trivia. In the future, there will be changes to the platform. Yusupov concluded by saying he wants feedback from the fans to help improve the app moving forward.

While HQ Trivia isn’t The Price is Right, it has helped to usher in a new era, and the game show might not be over just yet!

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been given five years to complete a report on competition in the digital platform. 

Australia’s federal government required the ACCC to do an 18-month inquiry to the advertising technology. The inquiries will be focused on the technologies that manage the supply of online advertising to consumers. The ACCC will also research what data is being used to create personalized advertising campaigns.

The Australian writes, “These inquiries are in response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s final report into digital platforms handed down in December 2019, which found their market power had grown substantially.”

The inquiry will include the availability and transparency of information about digital and advertising markets. The research will include internet search engines, social media, online private messaging, electronic marketplaces, ad tech services, digital content aggregation, and other related entities. The concentrations of power and the effects of mergers and acquisitions will also be explored. 

Inquiries on large tech companies 

Companies like Facebook, Apple, Google will be required to explain how they use user data when personalizing marketing campaigns. These companies will be forced to hand in their ad revenue data. Additionally, information regarding pricing for promotion and services in the platforms will be required. Using this government-issued inquiry, the ACCC now has the authority to examine how tech companies give ad opportunities to specific businesses. 

Other scopes include: 

  • Distribution of digital display advertising expenditure between publishers
  • The competition in the market for the supply of digital advertising services 
  • Auction and the bidding process
  • Behaviors of the suppliers in the digital marketing space
  • Competitiveness and efficiency of digital marketing pertaining to the supply of digital advertising technology

The federal government of Australia gave the ACCC approval to conduct the inquiry on digital platforms starting this year. The first report is due on September 30th and will carry on every six months into 2025. 

What can an Inquiry do?

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that with the huge role that digital technologies play, it is important to ensure that there is balance in the digital economy. The regulatory inquiry will help digital platforms, consumers, and small businesses as it ensures grave issues are always in check. 

For social media giants, this inquiry will aid them and free them from the burden of public concerns. This will keep them in check and help them avoid getting fined billions of dollars from antitrust issues, breaches of privacy, competition laws, and so on.

Acquisitions, cost of advertising, advertising opportunities, are among other things that will be explored. These things are big issues for smaller businesses. 

Adidas finds a new lucrative way to reach their audience

Adidas is making the move away from social media ads and towards more one-to-one communication by using WhatsApp for direct marketing. Despite Facebook’s decision to halt plans for advertising on WhatsApp, Adidas is still gaining traction through the messaging platform. 

Halts Facebook Video Ads

In 2018, Adidas stopped purchasing video ads on Facebook due to questioning their visibility. Along with several other brands, Adidas noted a lack of transparency when advertising through Facebook. This caused the company to withdraw ad spend on Facebook and invest in other digital platforms.

Growing Influence Through Direct Messaging

Since their withdrawal from ads on Facebook, the brand has utilized WhatsApp. This has led to relationships with influential people in smaller groups. It has created a sense of growing influence rather than needing to buy it. 

The influence groups have given the brand the ability to build a community with users across the world. It has impacted the way Adidas communicates and the strategies they use. In the recent campaign “100% Unfair Predator,” Adidas sponsored football players to play for teams who needed substitutes for unreliable teammates. Through a Whatsapp hotline, teams can submit details about their games directly to Adidas.

By the time the team was given a player, Adidas had already had a direct conversation and gathered information. These people would later have the possibility of being added to groups for exclusive events or gear. According to Digiday, the use of direct messaging has resulted in relationships with influencers that have even become salespeople for Adidas.

Messaging apps as a Marketing Channel

James Whatley, of Digitas, explained the power of direct messaging. Whatley cited that DM will have higher open rates than email. Stats show that messaging platforms are becoming the dominant way individuals are communicating on mobile devices. 

In fact, the number of messaging app users grew by 12.1% in 2019. Marketers have the opportunity to optimize relationships and grow their influence through new forms of direct marketing. Doing so successfully can create a new wave of brand recognition and increased ROI.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp reached another milestone by reaching over 2 billion users worldwide. 

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, it was by far the largest buy-out that Facebook ever had. Facebook has 2.5 billion users. Instagram has more than 1 billion. Facebook surely is on a roll. The app is easy to use, reliable, and private and because of this WhatsApp’s now has 2 billion users.

WhatsApp capitalizes on end-to-end encryption 

In terms of the number of users and its system, WhatsApp is the messaging app to beat. Famous for enabling people from around the globe to connect to their families, loved ones, employees, and more. It allows for personal and face-to-face communication with people who are from great distances. 

While there are other messaging apps available, an appeal to WhatsApp is its end-to-end encryption. This acts like a secure digital lock that ensures your messages and attachments sent over WhatsApp are safe from hacking and other cybercrimes. Users are assured that the messages sent using WhatsApp stay between the sender and the recipient. Not even the creators of the app have access to the messages and calls.

With privacy being such an issue, lawmakers are imposing the importance of digital security.

The call to remove encryption 

WhatsApp’s tagline is to promote security using encryption. Though many are against the idea and want to exploit the said system. The Indian government is trying to create regulations that would give them access to the encrypted messages in the app. The same is true for Australia and the UK.

Citing reasons that subjects relating to sex trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism, and others can be hidden via encrypted means. Many lawmakers are strongly suggesting for encryption to be taken down. 

WhatsApp, on the other hand, is adamant in its position on its end-to-end encryption. Facebook, wrote a response explaining that giving the backdoor access could create more issues. Opening that door would give criminals and hackers the chance to enter the system and exploit peoples’ privacy who are using the platform. 

What does this mean for you?

Just recently, WhatsApp recently launched a new feature that allows brands and businesses to create product catalogs in their WhatsApp profiles. Having more users would mean that brands now have over 2 billion people to market to and target. Depending on what your target audience is, WhatsApp is a great platform to increase brand awareness and increase revenue.