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APRIL 26, 2017 //  

Instagram’s growth speeds up as it hits 700 million users

TechCrunch

Instagram has doubled its user base, to 700 million monthly actives in two years, fueled by Stories, web signups and better onboarding on low-end Android phones. Instagram’s growth rate is actually speeding up. It took just four months to add the last 100 million users since hitting 600 million in December, while it took six months to go from 500 million to 600 million.

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APRIL 26, 2017 //  

Twitter Surprises by Adding New Users, but Now It's Got Another Problem

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Twitter Inc. finally showed signs of addressing its biggest challenge: attracting new users.

Ever since the company went public in 2013, it has been battling the perception that its growth is limited. But Twitter showed signs of new life in the first quarter, reporting that average monthly active users rose 6% from last year to 328 million. The number of daily users has been increasing at a faster pace each quarter for the past year, Twitter said, even benefiting this year from "new and resurrected users following more news and political accounts," especially in the U.S.

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APRIL 26, 2017 //  

How three surf lovers are building 'Africa's first great global brand'

Campaign

It’s not often brands take their cue from a mythical spirit, but surf company Mami Wata is doing just that as it sets out to build a global creative business rooted in African culture. 

Mami Wata, which means "Mother Water" in West African pidgin English, was dreamt up two years ago by an ad man and a journalist on a Cape Town beach, with a big ambition: to be "Africa’s first great global brand," says the chief executive Nick Dutton. The company launched this month, designing surf apparel, surfboards and accessories inspired by Africa and sold internationally.

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APRIL 25, 2017 //  

Brands are testing shoppable videos on Instagram Stories and Snap Ads

DigiDay

Brands posting ephemeral content on Snapchat and Instagram Stories can now expect to not just drive engagement but also sales.

Brands including Birchbox, Dr. Brandt Skincare, GoPro, Beautyblender and SheaMoisture are testing a new shoppable video layer offered by video company MikMak that lets users purchase branded products on Instagram Stories and Snap Ads with a single URL. Called MikMak Attach, the new feature allows brands to turn social video views into direct sales, without users ever having to leave Instagram or Snapchat.

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APRIL 25, 2017 //  

You can help save the northern white rhino just by swiping right on Tinder

Brittany Herbert/ Mashable; Tinder

The world's most eligible bachelor is coming to Tinder — and he may not be who you expect. In a new campaign launched Tuesday, Tinder has partnered with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya to introduce users to Sudan, the last known male northern white rhino in existence. The platform hopes to save Sudan's species from extinction.


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APRIL 24, 2017 //  

LinkedIn Says It Now Has 500 Million Users

LinkedIn

More than 500 million people are now connected on LinkedIn’s professional network.

Today, the platform announced that half a billion people are now on the professional networking site—providing the latest set of numbers since it was acquired by Microsoft last year for $26.2 billion. The news comes as Microsoft debuts its updated sales software, which integrates some of LinkedIn’s data, Reuters reported on Monday.

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AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 24, 2017 //  

Global Top 250 PR Agency Ranking 2017

Global PR agency ranking: Revenue numbers for many agencies include subsidiaries—including research, advertising, and specialist PR firms—many of which operate under separate brands but nevertheless report into the listed PR agency. Full methodology here. For firms that submitted numbers in pounds sterling, euros or other non-USD currencies, conversions were made using exchange rates as of 12/31/2016. In some cases, where last year’s submitted numbers were used for comparison purposes, growth numbers may be lower because of exchange rate fluctuations than they would have been in constant currency terms. Accordingly, we also include a constant currency growth metric. Aside from large PR networks above $100m in fee income, the Rankings are totally dependent on submitted fee income; many agencies, often well-known, choose not to submit their numbers

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AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 21, 2017 //  

Auntie Anne's unveils Snapchat filter- inspired logo, because millennials

Auntie Anne's InstagramWhat would happen if Auntie Anne’s executives locked themselves in an escape room with millennials and Gen Zers for two years to come up with a new logo?

Of course the end-result would be heavily inspired by a popular Snapchat filter. 

This is the fake rebrand scenario imagined by the pretzel brand for April Fools’ Day as a way to garner attention and, more specifically, get down with the kids

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APRIL 20, 2017 //  

If Your Truth isn’t Mine, Can We Still Connect?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLvcMj3U4gA

By: Kevin Nabipour

My Super Bowl moment isn’t over quite yet.

In my last post, I wrote about the overt political and cultural narratives conspicuously woven into every aspect of this year’s Super Bowl – from the ads, to the halftime show, to what occurred within the game itself. The ads in particular were a lightening rod both during and after the game, picked apart by viewers and critics alike, who felt some were unjustifiably political even though most had positive messages –  inclusion, acceptance, equality – that under a different and arguably more civil sociopolitical climate would scarcely register as controversial.

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It’s certainly fair to criticize companies that wait for a moment like a Super Bowl ad to form this type of conscience, but opportunism is besides the point. What has lingered for me long after is the troubling nonlinear response to these types of stories, which seem to show a leaning toward confirmation bias over a shared human experience.      

As a storyteller, your goal is to render an experience to the viewer in hopes that you make them feel something they can’t easily dismiss or won’t quickly forget. We tap into sturdy archetypes like tales of renewal, a mission, an underdog, comedy and, in the curvature of the events and characters that occupy that space, a value system is built that is recognizable and undeniably human. When an underlying dilemma occurs, empathy and connection are released; the audience is fused into the story. The experience of the characters can be related to because they connect with our audience’s experiences. The same emotions are triggered.

So what happens when we no longer share the same set of values and don’t occupy the same objective reality? When the stories we develop fail before they can move us because we simply don’t exist in the same intellectual and emotional dimension?

The recent political events across the world have undoubtedly divided us. When powerful leaders make false equivalences and casual lies, it’s clear we live in a challenged relationship with veracity. Technology has exacerbated our sense of unease: bots and Reddit armies stoke fear, negativity and fakery; live video makes crime an intimate experience for digital bystanders; social media amplifies neuroses and biases.

What we can forget in challenging moments like this, however, is that it is still a privilege to be alive. That we still have so much to learn from each other. That the speed of innovation and progress is staggering and unprecedented. The will of humankind can still be a force of powerful good. And that the shapes of stories still give us our best chance to understand and connect, to measure failure and hope against a greater context.

So let’s be aware of confirmation bias and of bad actors. Let’s calculate the influence of propaganda and disinformation, and justly criticize a brand’s miscalculation of current events. Let’s seek to understand our audience, not take their interest or attention for granted and not generalize. Let’s assume the burden of proof for brands is higher than it’s ever been, and let’s relish that.  

And let’s not forget that values still indeed matter, even if it seems harder than ever to make them something everyone can believe.

Kevin Nabipour is the head of Content Strategies for Allison+Partners.

APRIL 19, 2017 //  

Watch Out, Snap: Mark Zuckerberg Outlines Facebook's AR Ambitions

Facebook

Facebook was late to the whole phone-and-camera thing but it's been making up for ground it ceded to Apple and even Snapchat lately. Today Mark Zuckerberg announced he is confident his social network will take the lead in augmented reality.

"You may have noticed that we rolled out some cameras across our apps," Mr. Zuckerberg said, addressing Facebook's F8 developers conference on Tuesday. "That was Act 1."

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APRIL 19, 2017 //  

How Dove Is ‘Hacking’ Photography to Change the Way Advertising Depicts Women

In college, we were charged with digging through magazines to find ads that depicted either minorities or women in a non-stereotypical (read: not sexy or homemaking) way. It was hard. For every 20 ads with an impossibly contorted white woman, we found maybe one with a minority—never mind a woman looking empowered, or even doing something normal like reading a newspaper … or welding, Flashdance-style.

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NATESILVER538 // DEC 1, 2016
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ALEXIA // DEC 1, 2016
We're calling Nazis alt right and propaganda fake news can't wait to explain this period in time to grandkids.
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JACKMARSHALL // DEC 1, 2016
i will no longer tweet
ERICTTUNG // DEC 1, 2016
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ANNIEMAL // DEC 1, 2016
I'm bored. That usually means something is about to happen.