So-Called Social: Week of July 16

Your weekly dose of social news.

So-Called Social: Week of July 16
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It’s (finally) Friday! WOO. HOO. So, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter are all coming together around a data project, Kit Kat turned a viral tweet into a branded proposal, and Kara Swisher conducted a seriously good interview with Mark Zuckerberg. Grab your cuppa and snuggle in. It’s time for this week’s social news.

Social nets update stuff

Twitter is ready to squeeze a lot more money out of its trending topics. After minimizing its mediocre Moments feature and burying it inside the renamed Explore tab, Twitter is now starting to test Promoted Trend Spotlight ads. These ads appear as visual banners at the top of Explore and can include images or GIFs.

Twitch is giving the people what they want: GIFs. The latest customization tool for the broadcasting service is a partnership with Giphy and allows users to search for the perfect reaction to the caster’s on-screen antics and drop it into the stream. Don’t worry, these GIFs are limited to a PG rating and above.

Snapchat and Nielsen are now offering marketers the ability to make targeted ad buys based on offline data (like other social media platforms). For example, a marketer can use Nielsen audience data to target someone on Snapchat who purchased lipstick at a retail store offline. Creepy or cool? A little of column A, a little of column B.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter are partnering on a new standards initiative called the Data Transfer Project. It’s designed as a new way to move data between platforms letting users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it.” I’m just surprised all these big tech companies are actually doing something together.

LinkedIn announced a slew of updates to its messaging feature, mostly aimed at improving the mobile experience. Users now have the ability to send attachments in the LinkedIn app (PDF, DOC, XLS, and PPT). The platform is also rolling out smart suggestions for group messages — so when users start to type a message, they’ll be prompted to find people from their company, university, or other past organizations to create a group message.

Other brands do stuff

Kit Kat managed to turn a viral tweet into a branded proposal, and it’s excellent. The brand built a relationship with a customer who arguably ate a Kit Kat the wrong way (no, he for sure ate it the wrong way) and then helped him out with his marriage proposal.

KFC live streamed four hours of cats climbing on Colonel Sanders and 700,000 people tuned in. Yeah, you read that right. KFC literally put together a Colonel Sanders-inspired cat tower, introduced it to a bunch of kitties, and streamed it on Facebook Live. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall of that brainstorm.

Interesting stuff

It seems as if brands, marketers, and agencies are all pretty stoked that millions of followers disappeared from Twitter accounts last week. After all, the change brings more transparency to how big someone’s community is based on who’s actually using Twitter (the accounts removed were flagged as potential spam or inactive).

Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode, had a chance to sit down with Mark Zuckerberg and reflect on Facebook’s rocky year. Everything was on the table — and after Facebook’s wildest year yet, that’s a really big table. Zuck stuck close to a list of talking points, but was pretty candid sharing his thoughts on the tumultuous year for the social network. Interviewer Kara concluded that, overall, Zuckerberg came across as “an earnest and canny tech leader who is also grappling with the darker side of his creation.” Def worth a read.

Fun stuff

This is totally how I’m going into the weekend.

A fence can’t stop this two-year-old from playing with his new best friend.

I don’t even play Fortnite but this rescue mission gone wrong had me LOLing.

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