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YouTube Launches New Process to Connect Your Mobile Device with Your TV Viewing Experience

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YouTube Launches New Process to Connect Your Mobile Device with Your TV Viewing Experience

For years, social platforms have been trying to work out how to maximize ‘second screening, or the use of mobile devices while watching content on your main TV screen at home.

Twitter tried to integrate tweets into the display, in order to capitalize on its leadership as a key destination for live event discussion, while Facebook has also sought to build new options that integrate live events and in-app usage.

Maybe, now, YouTube has actually worked out the best way to do it.

As you can see in the above example, YouTube’s rolling out a new feature that will enable users to connect their TV viewing experience to their mobile device, so that you can watch content on the big screen, while exploring video comments, recommendations and more from your mobile app.

As explained by YouTube:

“Now your phone will be synchronized to the TV, so you can directly interact with the video you are watching from the convenience of your phone. That means it’s easier than ever to read video descriptions, leave comments, share the video with a friend, or support your favorite creators by sending a Super Chat or becoming a member, all while you watch on the big screen.”

It’s an interesting, though again, not entirely new concept. You’ve been able to conduct similar on your mobile device for some time, though most people are generally looking to scan through other apps and platforms while viewing content on TV, as opposed to using their phone as an extension of their main screen experience.

But still, with over 135 million people now consuming YouTube content on their home TV screens, that does open up new opportunity, and it may well be that by essentially converting your phone into a YouTube specific remote control, and facilitating advanced engagement, that could drive more interaction with YouTube content.

And you can test it out yourself, right now:

“To try this, your phone and TV must be signed in to the same YouTube account. Open the YouTube app on TV, then open the YouTube app on your phone, and click “Connect” on the prompt that automatically pops up.”

Again, it may not be the ultimate solution that finally bridges the traditional and new forms of media consumption, and maximizes in-app engagement. But it’s an interesting shift, aligned with new viewing behaviors.

And that’s not all:

We’re already starting to test new designs for our video watch page to help fold in more uniquely YouTube features – such as browsing and shopping for products featured in videos – directly to the big screen to help you decide when to pick up your phone and engage.”

YouTube Second Screen

Streamlined eCommerce based on your TV viewing behavior could drive more purchase activity, and change the way that people use the YouTube app.

It still feels like most people won’t adopt this process, as again, they’re generally browsing in other apps to find out, say, what other things an actor has been in, what people are saying about it on Twitter, and what else is happening in other apps.

But it’s an interesting experiment either way, and if YouTube can improve its product display listings and ads, and make users want to engage more via the app, that could lead to new engagement behaviors.

It’s a worthy experiment either way, leaning into the increasing use of YouTube on home TV sets.

You can read more about YouTube’s new TV integration process here.

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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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