Mar 11, 2016 Digital Trend Update

News of Note

Facebook is heating up competition with Snapchat with the purchase of Masquerade, which makes imaging software that jazzes up videos and selfies with fun filters, masks and other special effects. Last year, Snapchat rolled out “lenses,” animated effects for selfies such as vomiting rainbow or turning into a monster. Masquerade is part of Facebook’s push to capture the youth— incorporating features such as “face swap” and the ability to take selfies in celebrity masks. This week CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition by posting a video on his Facebook page.

Facebook Masquerade

Facebook Lite is officially the fastest growing version of Facebook by being the quickest to hit the 100-million monthly active users mark. Since its launch in 2015, the data-efficient version on the app has aimed to connect with global users in a 2G network by staying below the 1MB size limit and designing client-server interaction to minimize data usage, particularly in Asia. The app introduced several multimedia-efficient features such as pinch-to-zoom photos and emojis, as well as a shortened start-up time. According to Facebook Lite’s product manager, Vijay Shankar, “The goal is not to have all the features of the main app, because then both will merge. Facebook Lite needs to stay true to its core principles of working on any phone, any network and being data efficient.”

The Web’s right rail has turned into its third rail.” According to Digiday, the prevalence of mobile is making the right-hand sidebar for ads irrelevant on desktop. Outlets such as Google and Fusion are moving their ads to the top of the search results in order to “get better performance for advertisers.” Gawker and USA Today Sports have taken a different approach and removed the right-hand sidebar all together. As mobile takes over, the industry will need to push toward in-stream ad formats that break up content and make it harder for consumers to ignore.

Need help breaking your bad habits? There’s an app for that! Mashable discussed 7 apps to help consumers be more successful during the day. For example, “Tackle your mini-goals” with HabitList, an app that allows you to track weekly habits and hold yourself accountable when goals are not met. Want to “Discover Beyonce levels of confidence”? Try the Build Confidence app, which offers relaxing guided meditations aimed to release endorphins and make the consumer feel more comfortable with themselves.

Just for fun…

Sephora jumped on the new Facebook Reactions update in a very appropriate way. The brand married meme-inspired creative while utilizing the variety of reactions as a CTA. This is an interesting approach to proactively engage with the Reactions and can act as food for thought for other brands.