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Facebook Announces Education and Insights Sessions as Part of Cannes LIONS 2021

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Facebook has announced a range of new initiatives tied into this year’s Cannes LIONS marketing and advertising summit, which, due to COVID-19, will be a virtual event, with sessions live-streamed over the next week.

Facebook’s team will take part in a range of events, providing insight into how brands are making best use of the platform’s ad tools and processes.

And for marketers, that could provide some valuable insight – here are the key sessions where Facebook staff will be taking part: 

  • Why Creativity Matters – Join Alvin Bowles, Vice President of Business Engineering and Partner Solutions, in conversation with Kirk McDonald, CEO of GroupM NA, to hear how Facebook and its partners are innovating in the creative space.
  • The Big Leap – Mark D’Arcy, Vice President of Global Business Marketing and Chief Creative Officer, shares his perspective on three key shifts — catalyzed over the last year — that are empowering people and that will shape the future of business and marketing.
  • The Future of the Creator Economy – Join Fidji Simo, Head of Facebook app and Axios Media Reporter, Sara Fischer, for a conversation about how businesses and creators are taking leaps into new revenue streams, reaching new audiences with tools that push creative boundaries, and the steps Facebook Inc. is taking to become the main destination for emerging and established creators. Then, hear first-hand from one of the industry’s top creators — actress, writer, and comedienne, Daphnique Springs.

It’s unclear if Facebook will be announcing any new initiatives at the event, but the last session in particular, with Fidji Simo, could reveal some new insights around creator monetization tools and growth plans.

The events will be streamed on the Cannes LIONS website, with select availability on Facebook’s on Facebook at Cannes LIONS event page

In addition to this, Facebook’s also sponsoring ‘The Good Track‘, a series of events during the summit which aim to ‘celebrate the businesses, brands and creators who are changing the world for good’.

Facebook Good Track

Facebook will also be presenting awards in two categories: ‘Glass: The Lion for Change’ and the ‘Sustainable Development Goals Lions’.

“Glass is a dedicated Lion celebrating culture-shifting creativity, and a place to commend ideas intended to change the world that address gender inequality or prejudice. The Sustainable Development Goals Lions celebrate creative problem solving, solutions or initiatives that harness creativity and seek to positively impact the world.”

Finally, Facebook will also provide 500 members from its Rise Program with complimentary Cannes LIONS Live virtual access passes as part of the initiative. The Rise Program, which Facebook first launched in Brazil last year, before expanding it further in March, aims to help agency staff upskill and re-skill to meet key demand, and provide support in light of the pandemic. 

The Cannes LIONS event is always full of valuable insights and insider notes, and while it does cost around $US300 per virtual ticket, it could be worth the expense for those looking to get a better understanding of emerging trends, and how they should be planning for the next evolution of marketing and advertising. 

As noted, Facebook will also share some content for free on its Cannes LIONS event page

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

Pinterest is taking a unique approach to Black History Month, with a new ‘Find Your Routes’ Black Travel Hub initiative, which aims to highlight places that have strong connections to Black history, while also showcasing Black-owned businesses.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Find Your Routes” is inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book aka “The Green Book”. The Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers during the Jim Crow era that provided a list of accessible hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the country that served Black Americans patrons.”

The Black Travel Hub, which you can find here, will present a range of travel options, along with their history, with creators from the US, Colombia, Jamaica, Brazil and more, all taking part in presenting their city.

It could be a good way to provide education alongside inspiration in the app, while also helping people to connect, and support highlighted communities.

Pinterest will also be showcasing Black-owned businesses on Pinterest TV, while internally, it’s also hosting a company-wide event ‘to help employees gain knowledge about the history, present, and future of Black travel through the lens of Black Pinployees’.

As noted, it could be a good way to both spark important conversations, and inspire new travel journeys, which include an extra level of cultural understanding and education, along with a leisure break.

It’s an interesting take on the celebration either way, and it’ll be worth noting what sort of reaction the initiative gets, and whether it inspires more travel as a result.

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

Snap shares plunged after missing analyst expectations in Q4, while forecasting a year-over-year revenue decline.

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

Snapchat added 12 million more active users in Q4 2022, and Snapchat+ subscriptions continue to rise, but company revenue missed market estimates, in another mixed result for the private social app.

First off, on users – as noted, Snap added 12 million more actives, taking it to 375 million DAU.

As you can see, North American user growth is still flat, while European users saw a slight uptick. But it’s the ‘Rest of the World’, specifically India, which is driving Snap growth.

Which is helping to boost the overall usage numbers, and expand opportunity. But on the revenue side, it’s not pushing things forward in a significant way.

Snap Q4 2022

As you can see in this chart, Snapchat’s revenue has increased, but a key problem here is that it’s still reliant on the US and Canada for the majority of that spend, with other markets trailing well behind on the revenue front.

Snap Q4 2022

In this chart, you can see that Snap’s Revenue Per User has actually declined year-on-year – so while it is growing, it’s not bringing in revenue at equivalent scale, and it’s even going backwards in some respects.

Which is why its stagnant growth in North America is a problem – though Snap has also seen take-up of its Snapchat+ subscription service increase.

“In Q4, our subscription service Snapchat+ reached over 2.0 million paying subscribers. Snapchat+ offers exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features, and in Q4 we launched new features such as Custom Story Expiration and Custom Notification Sounds, providing subscribers with over 12 exclusive features.”

That’s a handy additional revenue stream, but as with all social media subscription services (including Twitter Blue), take-up is generally limited, and at 2 million subscribers, that’s still only 0.5% of Snapchat’s active user base that’s been willing to pay extra for these add-on elements.

Snap has also faced challenges in rebuilding its ad business, in the wake of Apple’s iOS 14 update, which has impacted data collection, and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says they still have some way to go on this yet:

“We continue to face significant headwinds as we look to accelerate revenue growth, and we are making progress driving improved return on investment for advertisers and innovating to deepen the engagement of our community.”

Snap has seen improvement in its commerce integrations, which includes digital items for Bitmoji avatars which Snap is eventually looking to translate into real-world item sales as well. Snap also says that it’s facilitated over than 161 million product trials by over 35 million Snapchatters for Walmart, leveraging its Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses at-scale.

Snapchat AR shopping

Those point to bigger opportunities, but right now, amid the broader economic downturn, and restrictions on data collection and targeting, Snapchat is in a tough spot, and will be for some time yet.

Essentially, then, you’re banking on Snap’s future, and its advanced tools that could help it better align with expanded AR and VR use. And Snap is seemingly in a good position on this front – though again, the impacts of the last year, which also forced Snap into lay-offs, will also have some effect.

Really, then, the results here are relative to your perspective.

For advertisers, more Snap users means more potential reach – but most of Snap’s growth is coming from outside the US. More advanced AR activations could become a bigger deal in future, but it depends on how you’re looking to connect, and product fit.

Investors won’t be overly happy with the numbers, but there are positive signs on the horizon. It’s just that the horizon, in this respect, remains well in the distance at this stage.

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