The Weekly Download – September 21, 2018

Spodek & Co Weekly Download - September 21, 2018Happy Friday! Today’s agenda is full of exciting updates. Amazon’s Alexa becomes the new go-to for NFL updates, Instagram is helping U.S. citizens register to vote, Twitter introduces live streams and the return of their chronological timeline, and Facebook’s Dynamic Ads, Collection Ads and Video Creation Kits – with a splash of Friday Fun.

Ready to dive in?

Amazon’s Alexa Brushes Up on Sports News

Fantasy football is about to get a lot more interesting. Now, you’ll be placing bets between your friends, family and… Alexa.

That’s right, Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa, is your new go-to pal for sports updates. Amazon fed Alexa tons of sports-related data before the NFL season started. You can even request a prediction of odds on your upcoming games (in addition to the latest betting line) and access detailed player statistics.

Amazon recognized that their customers are extremely passionate about sports news and decided to “double-down in this area and see where else Alexa might be useful as it relates to sports.”
According to Business Insider, Alexa will offer the following:

  • Up-to-date information on player injuries.
  • Transactions concerning players or teams.
  • Recaps of completed games.

The popular AI assistant is able to deliver this information from approximately 50 sources like Stats and Sportradar in addition to their in-house efforts to pinpoint the language and phrasing.

Instagram is Helping U.S. Citizens Register to Vote

National Voter Registration Day is coming up quick, and Instagram is reaching out to users to help make their registration easier than ever!

“Instagram is partnering with Turbo to make voter registration as simple as possible. Using ads in Feed and Stories, our platform will provide a way for US voters to get up-to-date information on how to register, how to update their registration, how to look up their state’s voting rules and more.”

In addition, Instagram is adding voting-related features to encourage engagement and conversations around their voting experiences. They have developed “I voted” stickers that will link to polls “to help voters find their polling location on Election Day.” Hmm, makes you wonder if this initiative will make it into other countries too.

Twitter Introduces Live Streams and The Return of Their Chronological Timeline

According to Tech Crunch, Twitter is making more real-time efforts! Focusing on the accounts you love; your timeline will now showcase live streams and broadcasts to constantly keep you up to date. Broadcasts can be supported by video or with audio-only. This feature was announced in their most recent iOS and Android update. 
Additionally,Twitter announced on Monday that their beloved chronological timeline is making a comeback after more than two years. Twitter initially made the switch from chronological timelines to “best Tweets first” because many users often found it more useful. On the other hand, some users favoured most recent tweets.

Coming soon, Twitter is releasing a new toggle feature that allows users to go back and forth between a timeline with the latest tweets and another that presents the most relevant.

Facebook Dynamic Ads, Collection Ads and Video Creation Kits

Facebook offers dynamic ads which allow advertisers to retarget users who were previously on their website and highlight promotions and prices on their Facebook feeds. In other words, Facebook is watching you. Now, companies have more control in the customization of their ads with the option to create frames for events and holidays.

Collection ads are similar to a look book style making it easy for users to see multiple shoppable images at the same time. By clicking on the ad, it will open a product catalogue with a name and price for each item that correspond with the advertiser’s website. Collection ads will now feature “Suggested for You” or “Most Viewed” on collection ads to attract more clicks.

Video creation kits rolled out a couple of months ago and add motion to existing images or videos. According to marketingland.com the new tools include:

  • Video Creation Kit, making previous images and text into mobile friendly videos frames for feeds and stories on both Facebook and Instagram.
  • Video Cropping Tool, which recommends aspect ratios for feeds, in-stream and stories.
  • Animate Option creates videos out of still images or logos.

A video is almost always the best option for engagement of any time because they often receive the most clicks.

Friday Fun

This week’s Friday Fun is for the movie buffs and James Corden fans! Two much anticipated trailers were released this week. First, Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel. Second, Mary Poppins Returns. And finally, James Corden.

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site