WEEKLY TECH COMMENTARY – SUNTECH EP.2

1. Shop directly from YouTube videos, sponsored snapfies and Insta ads.

Some have dreaded this day, others have foretold of it and the rest have Adblocker installed. It is the coming of age of social media’s commercialization and it is high time it justified its phenomenal growth with returns for stakeholders.

Google – From search to shop

If you are one of those who absolutely abhor the 15-30 sec, non-skippable video advertisements that show up before your video, I’m not really sure how you will take to this. Granted, from initial descriptions it seems to be quite non-invasive. Not quite widely available yet, Google will roll out the development in the coming months.

Previously, brands or channel owners could feature their own products as shopping ads on their videos. This is done through TrueView for Shopping, which is of course linked to the Merchant Center. The difference is that these shopping ads will now appear on other relevant videos. Examples touted included unboxing videos and makeup tutorials.

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Sponsored Snapchat Selfies

You know that snapchat logo thing at the home page where you are supposed to post a series of selfies and everybody does the 5 different expression change kind of thing? Well apparently that “thing” is called a lens and snapchat is planning on selling sponsored lenses to brands and marketers. Imagine plastering your face all over a lens featuring events like Halloween Horror Nights or upcoming products like video games etc. They believe that young consumers will take it up as a creative way to express themselves.

Snapchat has been known to experiment with various revenue models as it seeks to find the answer to Google’s Adwords and Facebook Ads. Before Discover (the panel of stories from ESPN, Nat Geo etc), there was Brand Stories which was quickly abandoned. The social media company considered charging $1 to replay snaps thrice instead of once per day, to advertising in the Discover space.

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Instagram – ads now available to all marketers 

This is quite old but since we are on the topic of social media advertising I figured the recent incorporation of ads in our regional update for Instagram would make this quite relevant. There was quite the talk and Mark Zuckerberg went on the record to say that Instagram would have no ads in 2013. I guess Insta is quite the big boy now judging by its user base (200m monthly active users) and it is indeed time we saw something done with that big a potential. This comes along with news that 53% of Instagram users follow brands, which is a strong indicator that many of the users are already brand-aware and potential converts in the purchase pathway.

If things are the way they are now, I would say that the ads are really not that bad and not as frequent as I’d imagine. This might bring up the issue of its effectiveness though. If I had wanted to revisit a sponsored ad but had to dig through all the posts that had popped up since, chances are I would just rather not.


2. Peeple – the app for rating humans (unreleased)

Well there’s always an app for everything. RIGHT? I’m not going to comment on the appropriateness of the app that has called itself the Yelp for people. But a basic explanation of what it does is to let users rank and review someone based on their perceptions regarding their personality, their professionalism and their romantic life. The interesting thing about Peeple is not about its novelty, its definitely not the first app out there to get people to thrash each other.

The real point at hand is the intensity of the backlash that Peeple is facing from the public, from privacy issues to concerns over cyber bullying. Despite the measures put in place to mitigate those concerns (Real identities verified by Facebook, negative reviews have to be reviewed by the user first), there has been an overwhelming wave of NO that seems as though the idea itself has made up the minds of all these people. Not that this is something that restores our faith in humanity, but on a more neutral note it is important to note that privacy is still one of the most important values that consumers look out for right now.


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