May 20, 2016 Digital Trend Update

News of Note

Community managers rejoice! Twitter may stop counting photos and links in the 140-character limit. Currently, photos and links take up 22 and 23 characters, respectively— leaving users only 95 or 96 characters for tweet copy. While this shift may seem small, it’s the platform’s attempt to help users more effectively communicate—a main complaint against the platform. The change is slated to occur in the next two weeks.  According to Bloomberg, “Executives have spent the last few months emphasizing how Twitter is a destination for live events and discussion.  Removing the character requirement for links and photos may encourage users to add more media to their posts.”

Virtual Reality has entered the healthcare space.  Excedrin used VR in its new campaign to bring non-migrane sufferers into the experience of what a migraine feels like. Leveraging unique VR technology to help foster empathy and create emotional content, the commercial shows a mother who feels that she could better relate to her daughter after experiencing the symptoms of a migraine through VR.

360-degree photos are coming to Facebook’s News Feed. The social network will soon add support for 360-degree photos, which will function a lot like Facebook’s 360-degree videos— giving users the ability to change their view of the photo by dragging their finger around the screen or holding their phone at a different angle. The feature will support images shot with 360-degree camera as well as panoramic shots captured on smartphones.


New research from Twitter shows the incredible value of influencers on Twitter. Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer—specifically, those exposed to just brand tweets had a 2.7x lift in purchase intent while campaigns featuring both brand and influencer tweets saw a 5.2x lift. The data shows that influencers have a significant impact on driving purchase intent and impacting consumer attitudes.

Google releases Gboard, a new keyboard for iOS devices that directly integrates search functions.  The keyboard features a corner button that lets the consumers perform general web searches, as well as search for images, GIFs and emojis without leaving the keyboard.  According to The Verge, “Overall, it appears to be a blend of Google’s best feature: it’s keyboard and instant web results.”


Just for fun…

The Philadelphia 76ers is the first professional sports team to sell advertisements on their uniforms.  The league approved the advertising program last month after the 76ers pitched the idea of having StubHub’s logo on every uniform.  It is unclear how much StubHub paid for the ad.  


Fitness trackers have moved to earphones, socks and… basketballs?  The New York Times revealed the top technologies to help consumers stay in shape this season.  The list includes Under Armour’s HealthBox, a kit featuring a wristband, scale and heart rate monitor which collects data in the UA Record app and Fitness Smart Socks, designed to improve running techniques by tracking foot landing pace and speed. The Wilson X Connected Basketball is also included on the list, which features dozens of sensors designed to improve shooting skills by tracking shots in realtime.