My Five #437

New Google shopping features, updates to Twitter’s verification process, Facebook moves into PPV sports events, and a helpful woof, time for My Five.

You are reading: My Five #437

Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Will.

1. Twitter verification for everyone

Twitter’s coveted blue tick could soon be within the reach of the general public. Earlier this week, Twitter announced that they would be relaunching their verification application system, allowing public figures and accounts of public interest to apply for the sought after checkmark. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean everyone is eligible for the blue tick, you must fit one of the below criteria: 

  • Government
  • Companies, brands and organisations
  • News organisations and journalists
  • Entertainment
  • Sports and gaming
  • Activists, organisers, and other influential individuals

In addition to the roll out of the new platform, Twitter will also be removing the verification badge from accounts that no longer meet the requirements. For example, accounts that are inactive or accounts that are incomplete. 

By updating the application process Twitter is hoping to give users more transparency, credibility and clarity about the verification process. Additionally, Twitter believes that by updating their verification guidelines they will encourage healthy conversations and allow users to determine who is ‘trustworthy’ on the platform. Although by allowing members of the government to apply, ‘trustworthiness’ could be questioned. 

The update is expected to be rolled out over the next few weeks. 

2. Reddit announces new creative strategy agency

So I’m slightly cheating on this one as it technically happened last week, but it was announced after last week’s My Five so I’m going to squeeze it in this week. 

In an attempt to expand its ads business, Reddit has recently announced the launch of its own in-house creative strategy agency, KarmaLabs. The main aim of the agency is to help ensure that brands using the platform are set up for long term success, which will probably include spending more on advertising through the platform.  

Reddit explains:

“KarmaLab is a team of best-in-class creative and strategic minds – those who know the ins and outs of Reddit and are backed by media, marketing and ad industry experience that make them uniquely positioned to guide and collaborate with brands as they find their home on Reddit and in culture.” 

The team will be led by Reddit’s former Head of Creative Strategy, Will Cady, and will provide an offering that includes social listening and trend reports, community management, works and general campaign development. 

Reddit is often a social media platform that is overlooked by many marketers, potentially due to the smaller user base, although it still attracts 52 million daily active users. However, due to the nature of the platform, these users are often part of highly active communities based on specific niches. Something that could be very beneficial to brands who are looking to reach users based on specific interests. 

3. Facebook looks to expand into PPV sports

Facebook is looking to take a step into the world of sports broadcasting by offering live sports through its online live events platform. Facebook currently allows users to host paid for online events in 44 markets across the world, and is looking to expand this offer by providing opportunities for sporting organisations to broadcast on the platform. The paid events platform was launched in August 2020 as a way to help artists generate income during the COVID-19 lockdowns.  

Facebook believes this will provide lower level teams and even some high school sports teams an opportunity to generate an income through virtual tickets. There has already been a couple of test events, most notably Challenge Miami, a professional triathlon event in the US that attracted over 17,000 viewers at $2.99 each. 

Personally, I think this could be a huge step in the right direction for lower league grassroots teams who simply wouldn’t be able to get the funding elsewhere. Of course, the team or sport needs to already have a reasonable following, however, this opens up the possibility to attract visitors from all over the world. Furthermore, the creators using the paid for events get 100% of all revenue. Will it stay this way if it proves to be a success? Who knows, but it’s certainly an interesting new avenue from the social media giant.  

4. Start shopping with a screenshot

During Google I/O which took place this week Google shared a number of shopping related announcements, one of the most notable being a new way for users to find products online. 

We’ve all been there, scrolling through social media when you come across something you love, whether that be a new pair of trainers or a handbag. You then take a screenshot of the photo to help you remember the products. However, trying to find something from a photo can be tough, especially when you don’t know where you can buy it from – that’s where this new feature comes in. 

Users will be able to search for a product within a screenshot that is saved in Google Photos. Simply open the photo and take a look for the new option ‘search inside screenshot’. Once selected, Google Lens will analyse the photo and return search results for any products that it can identify in the photo. 

This is a great feature for both consumer and retailer, the purchase process has been simplified and more customers are being pointed towards the store. If you own an ecommerce store it’s definitely worth checking whether your product images are optimised for Google Lens searches. Simply take a screenshot of a photo featuring one of your products and test if Google Photos can identify the product and display the appropriate page to purchase from. 

5. Barking sensors

If there’s one positive to come from the lockdowns over the last year it’s the fact that there are a lot more dogs around. I am one of those who was suckered into getting a puppy because we are spending more time at home (it wasn’t an impulse decision, I have been wanting one for ages).

With everyone spending more time at home with their four legged friends, it’s provided more opportunities to train your puppy, ready for when the real world starts back up. While getting them to sit and lay down is great, this good boy has definitely won the award for learning the most useful trick. 

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