5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Start Making Vertical Video for Social Media

Does your business record vertical videos for social media?

In years gone by, recording and uploading video with the camera held vertically was looked upon with ridicule, producing big black bars either side of the picture and a narrow viewing angle, guaranteed to turn viewers off.

But times are changing. 

In this post, I’m going to lay out five reasons why your business should be experimenting with vertical video for social media marketing in 2017, and the potential benefits it can bring.

1. People naturally hold their phones vertically 

Obvious, but important.

vertical-vs-horiztonal.png

If we strip smartphones back to their most basic function – giving users the ability to make and receive phone calls – the design of modern smarphones simply follows the tradition of “dumb” phones from decades past; that the device should be held vertically so that the user can speak and listen with minimal fuss. TV and cinema, meanwhile – the dominant visual media for so long – have demanded that the picture is viewed horizontally for the best experience. And so, despite all the things smartphones can now do, we’re historically conditioned to hold phones vertically and view video horizontally.

We’ve been stuck between two competing worlds, but times are changing.

For some hard facts, look to the MOVR Mobile Overview Report from December 2014, which found, unsuprisingly, that smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94% of the time.

Read the rest of the article here. 

Google’s first phone is first-rate

20161017-google-pixel-explodedAt long last — almost eight years to the day from when the first Android phone went on sale — Google is launching a smartphone for which it designed the hardware, software and cloud ecosystem: The Pixel. No longer will the tech giant be entirely dependent on other companies to present Android in its best light, or on hardware that varied wildly but was never built from the ground up to be the best physical instantiation of pure Google Android.

See the full review from ReCode Here.

12 hidden features in iOS 10

https-%2f%2fblueprint-api-production-s3-amazonaws-com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f208990%2funtitled-157After months of beta testing, Apple has finally released the first official version of iOS 10.

The update brings Siri to third-party apps and supercharges Messages with a lot of new superpowers. Siri and Messages may be the stars of iOS 10, but there are still plenty of new features to get excited about — even if they aren’t immediately obvious.

See the full list of hidden features HERE.

Snapchat Just Revealed a New Feature Called ‘Memories’ That Saves Snaps

Snapchat has been hinting for some time that it doesn’t want to be known as an “ephemeral app” anymore, even taking a bit of umbrage with the notion lately.

Now, the company’s pivot from 10-second disappearing messages appears to be complete: The app today revealed a feature called Memories that lets users save posts—still photos or videos—and edit them to create a story collage. According to Snapchat’s blog post, folks will be able to repost the narratives as “flashbacks” or store them in a passcode-protected channel called My Eyes Only.

The Venice, Calif.-based company’s 150 million daily users can swipe up from the app’s camera to open the feature. They can search for particular snaps or stories by typing in keywords such as “dog” or “Hawaii,” Snapchat stated in its post.

“We’ll be rolling out Memories selectively over the next month or so—it’s a big change for our service so we want to make sure everything is running smoothly,” the company stated on its blog. “You’ll receive a chat from Team Snapchat when Memories is ready for you to use.”

It may be a bid to attract more Gen X and older consumers who are used to maintaining collections of photos and other multimedia on platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. At the same time, The Wall Street Journal earlier this week reported that Snapchat is gaining traction with older users.

Check out the video Snapchat put together for today’s announcement:

musical.ly is Dominating the Social World of Teens

musicaly2.jpgStep aside Instagram and Snapchat, there’s a new service quietly taking the teen social world by storm. musical.ly is the hot new place where today’s youth gather online to create, listen to, and share music-based videos with each other. The social platform launched two years ago and already boasts around 60 million users, and climbing. The Shanghai-based company is raising $100 million in funding and is currently valued at a whopping $500 million.

Whether through clothing, art, or music, up and coming generations always look for new and inventive ways to express themselves. musical.ly taps into the age old love teens have for singing into a hairbrush or playing enthusiastic air drums and kicks it up a notch.

Read full article here. 

Snapchat’s Redesign Is Aimed at Attracting More Eyeballs for Publishers and Brands

snapchat-redesign-hed-2016

Snapchat’s got a brand-new look today. The red-hot messaging app is revamping its feed with a new design that mashes up Discover with Live Stories—the strings of photos and videos that users collect at events—with subscribe buttons, creative headlines and new placements geared at helping publishers amass big audiences.

Roughly 20 publishers—including CNN, Hearst, IGN and Vox Media—produce daily custom content for Discover with Snapchat-exclusive resources and teams. IGN, for example, has a dedicated team of four staffers that put together the video game publishers’ content, while MTV has an 11-person Snapchat crew.

In exchange for reaching millions of daily views, Snapchat requires media brands to sell ads against their content as part of a revenue-sharing program. But some publishers have complained that they only receive a fraction of Snapchat’s traffic from 100 million users since people primarily use the app to communicate.

The goal of the redesign, of course, is to get people to view more content from publishers alongside user-generated content from their friends. Discover and Live Story content now sits at the top of the page in a scrollable section (see how it works below). While publishers are unclear if the changes will boost their viewers, some say switching up the user experience is a step in the right direction.

“With the product change, it takes things to the next level in really allowing us to showcase a little bit of a teaser of the look and feel of what’s to come in that edition,” Oren Katzeff, head of programming at Tastemade, told Adweek.

“Everything [up until now] has been behind a wall—you have to press the logo to then get taken to the experience,” he said. “What’s exciting about the redesign is that it allows you to take some of the content that’s performed well and showcase it more.”

Since Discover launched in January 2015, publishers have relied on small, circle icons to drive readership. Now, media brands can create miniheadlines and custom images to get people interested in clicking through on content. In theory, the move should help publishers experiment more with content and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

“Let’s face it, if you don’t know the IGN brand, you don’t know what it means,” said Peer Schneider, gm and co-founder of IGN. “You may be able to infer that it’s related to gaming from the logo—it looks a little bit like a controller—but you don’t really know what the edition is about.”

For example, Schneider said, IGN can now more easily promote its Games of Thrones coverage in its Sunday editions when the HBO show airs.

Another example from Tastemade shows a picture of food next to the headline “This is the most perfect breakfast.”

“That’s a video where one of our tastemakers is making this amazing dish, and you wouldn’t know that [yesterday] on Discover,” Katzeff said. “On that headline and new design, you have to be very quick hitting with your messaging because there’s not a lot of room to work with.”

Publishers’ content will also continue to live in a separate section of the app as well as the homepage, but the page features a new tilelike design.

And to drive more traffic to publishers’ channels, Snapchat is also adding a “subscribe” button for media partners to grow audiences, similar to how it already uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with followers and subscribers.

To subscribe, users will be prompted to press down a finger at the end of a story or daily edition. That will trigger future content to automatically be added under the Recent Updates section.

“You get the traditional media homepage where discovery is driven by popular topics or clever headlines, and then you also have this new feature that makes it more subscription driven—so more akin to a social feed,” Schneider said.

The combination new features is aimed at helping improve completion rates on Discover stories, but both Tastemade and IGN declined to discuss their completion rates.

The redesign should also help advertisers who pay to run interstitial ads between publishers’ photos and videos. Discover makes up the bulk of Snapchat’s ad inventory with a format Snapchat calls 3V. In recent months, Snapchat has expanded the vertical ads to include new calls to action like longer video lengths, e-commerce and app installs.

“If more of an audience is driven to just Discover in general, it becomes more desirable for advertisers,” Katzeff said.

Here’s a look at the new app experience:Untitled-2