Mar 17, 2016 Digital Trend Update

News of Note

Instagram is revising its algorithm to reflect the strategy of parent company, Facebook. Instagram would shift away from the strictly reverse chronological order that the service has used since it began in 2010. Instead, Instagram will place the photos and videos it thinks consumers will most want to see from the people they follow toward the top of the feed, regardless of the time those posts were originally shared. The algorithm will impact how a brand rolls out content on the platform as it will become a pay-to-play model and likely switch to a Facebook content creation mindset with hero content promoted and limiting organic content from brands. Instagram is still telling agencies that un-promoted posts will be shown to all followers, just out of order and optimized for relevancy.

Instagram will also begin to show the exact dates that images were shared as opposed to vague timelines, such as “6 weeks ago” or “3 days ago.” The lack of a post date was the top consumer complaint for the platform in 2015 leading executives to make this change. The update will roll-out to individuals slowly with a full upgrade available in the next month.

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According to AdAge, “The healthcare industry is last to be customer-first in the digital age.” The article discusses the ways in which consumer-facing brands have evolved to owning conversations with customers but the healthcare space is lagging behind. As the healthcare industry increases their social presence, “they must move from a purely transactional relationship to a selling relationship, with an emphasis on customer-first.” This open space in conversations with consumers presents an opportunity for our HWB practice to lead among other healthcare companies and reinforces the need for engaging content that connects and values every touch point.

Lord & Taylor is in hot water with the FTC after partnering with 50 fashion influencers and posting a photo on Instagram without providing disclosures that the influencers were paid to participate in this sponsored influencer marketing program. Lord & Taylor has agreed to abide by current guidelines and will be under close monitoring for 20 years, noting that any future violations will be met with much more serious repercussions/fines.

Kevin Plank, Under Amour’s CEO, shared advice for start-ups at SXSW. Plank shared insight for wearable tech start-ups, explaining the level of innovation required to shrink that level of electronic capability into such a small item. Plank explained that the hesitation when creating a start-up is the fear of losing money. “Losing money is cultural,” Plank said, “It’s a habit. If you get used to losing money, it’s really hard to stop. … If I have advice for an entrepreneur today, go out and find out if your product can sell.”

Just for fun…

Amazon may soon allow transactions to be authorized with a selfie. Amazon’s new patent describes using a camera to identify a user using facial recognition and verifying that the person is real by having them complete an action (ie. blinking, smiling, etc.). This patent was designed to eliminate fraud on the site stating, “The patent talks about the need for improved security around these electronic systems that allow you to purchase items with one click.”

Doritos is celebrating its 50th birthday with “Bold 50,” a year-long push that is encouraging consumers to break 50 world records while incorporating the brand’s chips in their efforts. “Doritos talks about bold flavors, so the idea of breaking records by doing crazy things is absolutely consistent with the brand.” The world records include the highest location from which to eat Doritos chips, building the tallest house of cards using Doritos chips and the longest distance to toss a Doritos chip into someone’s mouth. The remaining 46 world records will be announced over the course of the year.

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