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Social Media Roundup: The Top Stories from July

For social media marketers, business moves fast. The industry is continuously changing– it’s the best and worst thing about working in the field! We want to share a few stories that caught our eye this month. Let us know what you think!

1. Facebook and Twitter Experiment with Click-to-buy:

In what we consider less of a bold move and more of a logical progression, both Twitter and Facebook are experimenting with in-app programs that will allow consumers to redeem an offer or even make a purchase without leaving the interface. Both networks have notably made many acquisitions (Vine, Instagram, Oculus…), but none of those acquisitions have been so directly linked to e-commerce. Now, Twitter has acquired CardSpring and may have reached an agreement with Stripe (a mobile payments company and a payment processing company, respectively). With this potential setup, consumers could link a credit card to Twitter, claim an offer they see on Twitter, and then have the offer applied automatically when they use that card for the eventual purchase. Facebook is taking an even more direct route. Earlier this month, Facebook announced plans to incorporate a “Buy Now” button which would allow Facebook users to buy a product directly from Facebook’s desktop or mobile app. The process is currently being tested with a few small retail companies, but while Facebook’s Buy Now button could introduce new opportunities for retailers, it could also be a Pandora’s box full of spam.

2. Snapchat Content Creators Cash in:

Originally pigeonholed as a platform for kids to send dirty pictures to one another, Snapchat is quickly emerging into the mainstream. So much in fact, that some users have begun to effectively monetize their Snapchat talents. This Forbes article highlights one Snapchat user whose creations can go for thousands of dollars. And don’t think that there aren’t a few niche startups ready to facilitate that process. In fact, a company called Niche as platform for influential social creators to be recognized and contacted by brands looking to boost their social presence. Of course, all of this exists to capture the attention of an influential-but-flighty demographic of young people. This means that marketers and content creators, must be agile in the media that they choose. Many influential users have made a name for themselves on Instagram, only to switch to Vine, then to Snapchat.

3. Brands use Pinterest to Expand their Horizons

While Pinterest demographics may predominantly skew female, gender neutral and even more guy-centric brands are finding it increasingly useful to have a strong presence there. While brands often have to worm their way into conversations on other social networks, Pinterest’s layout and use-case is tailor made for highlighting how brands can fit into consumers’ lifestyles. And these aren’t just men’s fashion brands… companies like GE, IBM, and ESPN are making great use of Pinterest. Viewing Pinterest’s layout is much more aesthetically pleasing for users than scanning through a list of blog titles. Companies that want people reading their content for longer periods of time should definitely take note of how Pinterest makes browsing such an immersive experience. Source.

4. French Girls app Quickly Reaches 1M Users

Even if the new app never becomes relevant to marketers, has proved an interesting and hilarious social experiment. For those of you who haven’t come across it yet, French Girls (named after the line from Titanic: “I want you to draw me like one of your French girls…”) allows users to upload a photo and submit it to other users to be drawn. Results range from impressive pop-art, to hilarious caricatures, to unrelated nonsense, to downright insults in stick-figure form. Some of the best humor comes from the reversal of expectations from users who post often-narcissistic pictures, sometimes even posing with a little handwritten sign with a request (“draw me as a princess”). Many of French Girls’ better submissions have made the rounds on Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram. Now it’s up to the user base to see if the novelty wears off, or if the app grows into something else entirely…

Following social media certainly feels like trying to hit a moving target. Driven by a robust community of startups, and gaining new users every day, it’s important to stay informed and engaged to keep up. If you’ve seen something you want to share, tweet @viralheat and let us know!

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