May 12, 2016 Digital Trend Update

News of Note

Instagram has a new logo! The channel updated its iOS and Android app to display a new, multicolored app icon that replaced the Polaroid-inspired camera with a brighter look.  According to Ian Spalter, head of design for Instagram, “The Instagram logo and design was beginning to feel, well… not reflective of the community, and frankly we thought we could make it better.”  Instagram redesigned the icons for its owned apps, Hyperlapse and Boomerang, as well.  Finally, the platform updated the navigational icons— home, search, camera, activity and profile buttons— to make them feel more native to the platform.

pinterest new logo

Facebook rolled out a “911bot,” allowing users to alert emergency personnel of a dangerous situation by typing information and sharing photos directly on Facebook Messenger.  The bot immediately responds by asking if the issue is life-threatening before gathering information or asking for your location.  The bot then places a phone call to emergency services for the consumer, relaying the information via an automated voice.  The bot is designed to help people in situations where making noise on a phone call to 9-1-1 would be dangerous and if the phone’s microphone has been previously damaged.

facebook 911 bot

Amazon is rivaling YouTube. will allow consumers to post videos to the site and earn money from advertising and royalties.  While Amazon already offers movies and television programs (competing with Netflix), the new product “allows video producers to sell or rent their programs, make videos available to all Amazon customers in an advertising-supported format and provide videos specifically to Amazon Prime members in order to receive royalty payments.”  As of now, Amazon says the service is designed for professional video producers and requires that the videos be high definition and have closed-captioning for the hearing impaired.

Cultural News

Cannes Film Festival will launch a 2016 virtual reality lineup, consisting of 35 VR film screenings, roundtable discussions and workshops.  This change is part of Cannes’ digital program, Next, aimed to broaden the horizons of filmmakers and viewers.  Cannes has received thousands of international submissions, with a large volume stemming from French filmmakers.  The driving force behind these films aren’t directors, but rather 3D marketers and video game designers, who are now being credited as producers.  This is a large shift for the festival which has previously focused on screening content solely from indie filmmakers.  Cannes is yet to comment on how this shift will impact social media coverage at the event.


Just for fun…

Pay Your Selfie is an app that allows brands to gather insights from consumers’ selfies to better understand their behavior.  Consumers can download the app and select a “selfie task” from a variety of brands looking to see how their product is used.  Each selfie with a designated product is worth a certain dollar amount which Pay Your Selfie will pay out in $20 increments.  This is an interesting tool that brands and consumers are finding mutually beneficial.  For example, Crest learned that there is a spike in brushing teeth from 4-6pm, “probably tied to a desire for happy-hour fresh breath.”  This knowledge has since driven Crest to alter their paid social media targeting to better appeal to the audience.