Instagram Stories Introduced

A few days ago, Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.

You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.

To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.

Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you. When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.

Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too.

We think it's pretty cool, what do you think? 

Read the original article here.

Instagram Gets a Whole New Look!

Instagram's logo then and now.

Instagram's logo then and now.

#NewFilter. Instagram unveiled a total makeover with its latest update on Wednesday, May 11. If you haven’t hit update yet, the photo-sharing app switched to a mostly black-and-white design and changed its classic logo!

Say goodbye to the retro camera lens. The new logo is way more minimal and incorporates the tiny rainbow from the old logo into a full-on rainbow background. The tech company also updated — and color coordinated — the logos for its other apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse. 

"We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well,” the company's blog post announcement said. “The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.” 

The whole interface is mostly monochrome with a few touches of color. Now, instead of the orange notification for likes and comments, it’s a red bubble. But don’t worry, there's still a red heart when you double-tap that adorable puppy pic. While it looks totally toned down to make photos really pop, the features of the app appear unchanged.

Read the full article here

What Millennials Want to See (and Take Home) From Branded Events

Want to successfully target and grab the attention of the millennials? Here are some tips on what they want to see during sponsored events! 

Most millennial partygoers attend brand-sponsored events for the entertainment. Illustration: Carlos Monteiro

Most millennial partygoers attend brand-sponsored events for the entertainment. Illustration: Carlos Monteiro

 

Everyone loves a good party, and brands know that. As more events are sponsored, the ways that brands interact with partygoers before and after is becoming more important.

Splash, creator of experiential marketing software, mined its data for trends among millennial partiers who attend branded events.

"The brands winning over the millennial generation are delivering experiences, not just things," said Ben Hindman, co-founder, CEO of Splash. "The savviest marketers understand the crucial link between events and brand loyalty—particularly when it comes to millennials. If you're not creating experiences and memories, you're not building anything." 

We think this is pretty interesting!

Click here to read the full article. 

Instagram Rolls Out 60-Second Video Option for Advertisers

While most social-media platforms emphasize their commitment to brevity -- Vine’s six-second videos, Twitter’s 140-character per tweet limit and Snapchat’s vanishing messages -- one company is hoping to extend attention spans.

Instagram is rolling out a new feature for advertisers today: an option for minute-long ads. Previously, advertisers had a maximum time limit of 30 seconds to convey their messages, which is double the 15-second limit users have for their videos. Already two companies -- T-Mobile and Warner Bros. -- have taken advantage of this option. While the telecom company uploaded bonus footage of its Super Bowl commercial with Drake to Instagram, the movie studio is promoting the upcoming filmHow To Be Single with a minute-long trailer.

"Our research shows that it's important to capture people's attention in the first seconds. At the same time we want marketers to have the creative flexibility to drive their business goals,” said an Instagram spokesperson via email."

The rollout of the new ad format will continue over the next few weeks.

This is the latest step monetizing the app. Originally ad-free, Instagram has also been monetized by static photo ads, short videos and photos that potential customers could click on for more information. It makes sense that the company would continue down this path. Owned by Facebook, Instagram has more than 400 million users to date, offering companies a large, far-reaching, active audience to profit from. It also means that Instagram is offering YouTube competition for advertisers.

Reaction from users has yet to be seen.

We think this option is pretty awesome what do you think? 

Read the full article here. 


6 Predictions for Content Marketing in 2016

We found some pretty interesting predictions for 2016 especially in terms of content marketing. Have a good read! 

 

Prediction 1: Google+ Will Not Survive

Google+ has been something of a question mark since its hyped introduction over four years ago. A big ambitious project by a company completely qualified to be ambitious has clearly not panned out.

While Google+ certainly has its vocal advocates, its overall user base is vanishing quickly and shows no signs of rebounding.

Just a few weeks ago, the Google+ team announced a total redesign in an attempt to resuscitate the product. While this “pivot” might give aficionados hope, the new set of skin and pared down feature set is a Hail Mary on Google’s part and is too little too late.

The first sign of death for Google+ was flagging membership and activity. However, the biggest blow was the “dis-integration” of Google+ from Google’s other projects that occurred earlier this year.

Hangouts and Photos getting spun off as their own products is also telling of the future outcome of the platform’s demise.

Soon, the dismembered pieces of Google+ will be distributed throughout Google’s product line as their dream of a “fully integrated Google experience” dies a slow, painful death.

I simply don’t see the service lasting through the year. Quote me on that.

Prediction 2: Direct-to-Platform Publishing is Just Getting Started

This year already saw a clear trend emerge as platforms realized that they could disintermediate content and grab more attention and advertising dollars in the process.

Snapchat Discover, Facebook Instant Articles, Google AMP, Twitter Moments LinkedIn Pulse and Apple News are already making waves and disrupting the model of digital publishing.

Even though most of these programs are only in their pilot phases, there are many in the publishing world who are already seeing the writing on the wall (no pun intended!)

Underestimating just how much of a shift this groundswell constitutes will be the death of traditional publishers. As content creators have grown ever more reliant on platforms for traffic, they have relinquished control of their key resource: attention.

Platforms are just beginning to realize that they can take advantage of the readership they generate by integrating content directly instead of pushing people to other properties.

2016 will see this trend further disrupt the publisher/platform relationship and more power will be clearly given to the platforms. The only way for publishers to re-assert control will be to devise a way to build and engage an audience within a given platform and to foster loyalty that translates outside the properties where their content is living and being consumed.

Prediction 3: Facebook Will Player a Bigger Part in Dictating the Tone of the 2016 Elections

In both the primaries and global politics, Facebook’s trending topics have helped shape and define the discussion and the sentiment surrounding world affairs. Media outlets used to set the tone, but now the opposite is true.

A 61-million person study published in Nature in 2012 found that Facebook use and exposure to certain ideas could have a “significant influence” on voting behaviors.

Not only has Facebook’s core user-base increased dramatically in the years since 2012, but the amount of time spent on the site and the degree to which content users see has become polarized have increased as well. Outrage and strong opinions abound as “social subcultures” begin to reinforce the echo-chamber effect and help spread virulent messages quickly throughout the social media sphere of influence.

The media is complicit in helping to spread and leverage this outrage, all while riding the wave of the emotional response these flashpoint posts are almost guaranteed to garner.

Being able to harness such strong emotions is risky, but content that does so responsibly can achieve dramatic social lift. In the coming months, brands will not be able to stay relevant and stay neutral at the same time. Your brand will be forced to choose a point-of-view and embrace it, so make sure to choose carefully.

Prediction 4: Emerging Destinations of Content will Continue to Pull Viewers Away from Traditional Publishers and Channels

Mass-market, multi-media content is experiencing a precipitous decline

Certain networks have escaped this fall by doubling down on quality and tightening their appeal, but there is only so much room for established, traditional publishers like the Atlantic, the New Yorker, CBS, CNN and others, and the new economic realities of content distribution mean there is even less money to go around to support such programming.

At the other end of the spectrum, though, are the independent podcasters, YouTubers and bloggers that are eschewing large budgets and mass-appeal by narrowly defining their audience and catering directly to their needs.

The rise of social subcultures has facilitated this diffusion of attention across various channels.

This has led to the unique class of “superstars you’ve never heard of” who have outsized influence in small-sized communities. Although they might not be household names just yet, some of these high-profile social celebrities are beginning to have mainstream impact. In January of this year; YouTubers Bethany Mota, Hank Green, and GloZell Green were all invited to the White House to interview Obama, live and with questions sourced directly from their passionate fanbases.

The fact that a couple of young, non-connected, independent creatives were able to get the type of access once only open to the Barbra Walter’s and Walter Cronkite’s of the world should tell you more about this trend than any facts or figures can.

Although content creation has become decentralized and budgets are falling, there is still money to be made here. That’s because the value of this hyper-focused attention is so much more per-capita than the fraction-of-a-penny per eyeball that most mass media relies on.

Certain brands are focusing on creating strategic partnerships with independent creators that align with their unique audience. Just look at what Squarespace has done with their podcast sponsorships or how Audible has allied with relatively small YouTubers like Minute Physics and Veritasium.

Other brands are taking a different approach whereby they bring this type of small-scale, hyper-targeted content creation in-house. This lines up with the prediction I made last year regarding brands becoming publishing houses and the most notable example of this panning out in 2015 is the amazing work Marriot has done with their online publication Marriott Traveller and what Harry’s razors has done with their publication Five O’ Clock.

These established and emerging outlets by independent creators, brands and other players will continue to disperse the attention of consumers, limiting the reach and influence of traditional publishers.

Prediction 5: Content will Get Easier to Produce and Harder to Stand Out With

2015 has been a defining year for Snapchat and Instagram, but 2016 will be the year they truly mature.

On the one hand, you have the emergence of high-quality catered content that is being produced by relatively few individuals for their narrowly defined audiences (see previous prediction). On the other hand you have networks that encourage a very large percentage of users to create low-effort, fleeting content.

What this content lacks in polish it makes up for in spontaneity, relevance and timeliness. Images and short video are the perfect media for this type of content and having said content disappear (be it within an unsearchable ever-updating stream or in a self-destructing post) helps encourage sharing without overthinking.

Snapchat and Instagram are the perfect environments for such content, and both are just figuring out how to improve and monetize.

The challenge this presents to brands though is that it makes standing out with content difficult, and means that your content needs to be a constantly flowing stream just to stay on your customer’s radar.

Brands that will be the winners in this space will be those who can create processes that guarantee a consistent rhythm for delivering highly visual, impactful and spontaneous content. This will likely require that you forgo some degree of quality as you attempt to balance spontaneity with effective planning.

Prediction 6: Chat Apps will Catch on Stateside in a Bigger Way

In many other regions of the world, chat apps such as WhatsApp, Line, Telegram and WeChat are seeing massive user-bases and phenomenal growth. However, growth in the US has been strong but not as dramatic. 2016 is the year that all of this will change.

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have shown that there is mainstream appeal for instant messaging apps in the US, but they have not yet fully matured as their own distinct platforms.

One particularly compelling statistic was that the growth of mobile chat apps had doubled the average growth-rate of new mobile users.

This alone makes chat apps promising, but the most exciting opportunity for chat apps comes in solving the problem presented in the previous prediction.

As general, user-generated, short form visual content becomes ever more difficult to stand out in, one thing that could give brands a way to be noticed is a new delivery channel.

Instead of hoping to have your content delivered in-feed, you can use the chat features of these apps as direct lines to tailored audiences in specific groups. This is the general idea behind the wildly popular Snapchat Discover, and the addition of sponsored content will likely be the avenue towards monetization for many other chat apps.

Although the parameters for how to market in this emerging medium are still being drawn, savvy marketers will know to closely watch the chat app space and be waiting to jump on the opportunity to leverage this new channel once it presents itself more clearly.

These predictions sound pretty convincing to us. Stay tuned to what content Fotobox will be coming up with this year and also anticipate what Mobsta has in store for you. 

Read the original article here

Thinking Outside the Square: Support for Landscape and Portrait Formats on Instagram

Yes! It's finally here. We've got some good news from Instagram today! Read all about it below. Our Fotobox team is already working on the improvements on our solutions. Cool beans! Enjoy your read!

Today, we’re excited to announce that — in addition to square posts — you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on Instagram. Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to. It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end. Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way. To keep the clean feel of your profile grid, your post will appear there as a center-cropped square.

We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever. While we’ve historically had separate filters for photos and for videos, all filters will now work on all types of moments. You can also adjust the intensity of filters on videos, too.

We continue to be inspired by the creativity and diversity of the Instagram community, and we can’t wait to see what you create next.

To learn more about the changes in today’s update, check out the Instagram Help Center.

Instagram for iOS version 7.5 is available today in Apple’s App Store, and Instagram for Android version 7.5 is available today on Google Play.

Stay tune to Mobsta by Fotobox too!

Original Article here

Facebook Is Getting Ready to Roll Out New Events Features

In the latest Facebook earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook Events now has 450 million users, a big jump in numbers that he says is now of "global scale." Of course, any Facebook user can tell you that this momentum with Events has been building for a while now. After all, why use sites like Evite and Eventbrite to organize parties if you can do so on a site that your friends and family likely already use? But the company isn't stopping there. In the coming weeks and months, Facebook is about to add even more features to Events, with a big push toward creating a bigger separation between public and private occasions.

Aditya Koolwal, the product manager for Facebook's Events team, says that event listings is perhaps one of the few things that Facebook is uniquely positioned to do really well. Not only do most people use the social network to connect with their friends and family, but also artists and venues that frequently organize events are on Facebook too. Put the two together, and you've got the makings of an events juggernaut.

But it wasn't until a few years ago that Facebook realized this potential. For a while, the Events system on Facebook was just a simple web-invite product geared toward organizing private gatherings like birthday parties. Then Koolwal joined the team a year and a half ago and started looking into how it was actually used. It turns out that more than 50 percent of people used Events for public events, not parties. That includes examples like farmer's markets, concerts, music festivals, book readings -- basically the sort of thing that you would normally find in the calendar section of the local newspaper.

"We realized that we hadn't really built a product that was for public events," says Koolwal. "So we decided that we're going to really pursue private parties and public events as two separate paths." This means that Facebook is now starting to treat public and private events very differently, presenting and promoting them in distinct ways. You can already see the separation on how it's marketing the two paths in an events guide that Facebook launched a few weeks ago.

For one thing, public events now have larger header images. Going forward, they'll also have more context about what the place and event are about. Perhaps you'd see a profile of the artist if it's a concert, or photos of the venue if you're wondering what it looks like. Wall posts on public events will be less prominent, because you likely don't care too much about what strangers have to say about them.

Facebook has also started experimenting with adding events popular with friends or popular nearby in the left- and right-hand side columns of the site. As you might expect, Facebook is using the information it gleans about you -- the pages you like, the groups you're a part of -- to suss out what kinds of events you might be into. And if you seem interested in 'em, it'll surface even more related events for you. You might notice more suggested events in your newsfeed as a result.

Aside from spotlighting events in your newsfeed, Facebook wants to use notifications to keep you up-to-date on the latest goings-on as well. A few months ago, for example, it introduced the ability to subscribe to event calendars, which are sometimes published by performers or venues. So if you're subscribed to the SF Symphony and there's a concert coming up this weekend, you'll get an alert for it. There might be future plans for implementing notifications in events too, like recommendations for what to do this weekend if you're in town.

One other thing that the Facebook team is changing is this notion of what it means to "connect" to an event. Right now, if you're interested in an event, your only option of indicating enthusiasm is to select "Join." In normal parlance, that means that you're telling the organizer that you're going to attend. But Koolwal says that in most cases, people select Join not because they're actually going to attend, but because they're simply just flagging it for a follow-up. "A lot of what people are doing is collecting options," he says. "So at a given day, they'll look at their options and choose the best one." Right now the company is testing alternate options, like a "Follow" button, where you'll get event updates and so forth without committing to it, or a "Remind me" link to check out the event closer to the actual date.

Personally, what I really want out of an events site is to give me a tailored list of what's going on this evening or this weekend in any given city. It's what I miss the most about Upcoming.org, a social calendar site that was bought and then put out to pasture by Yahoo (although it's currently being rescued by founder Andy Baio). Koolwal tells me that this is actually Facebook's eventual goal, but it's implementing the other changes to first bring greater awareness about events in the first place.

As for private parties, Facebook's going to be mixing that up too. Starting today, it will start testing new cover art themes for prettying up your party invitation on the Facebook app. It's something that users have wanted for a while now, says Koolwal. To start, there'll be 36 themes to choose from, including categories like family, holiday and seasons. It'll roll out to Android users first and then iOS folks later on.

"We're the only Facebook team that's geared towards getting you off of Facebook," jokes Koolwal. "We're helping people get outside for a change."

Read the original article here

Engaging fans anywhere, anytime in events with Mobsta! Thanks for reading!

Infographics: Everything you need to know about marketing on Instagram!

All about photos, photos, photos! Here's a post to help you understand why and how brands should market on Instagram and some do's and don't to help you with it! Get pro on Instagram!

Instagram Strategy

Our Mobsta is designed to help brands achieve great traction on Instagram, Facebook, Line, WeChat or even Snapchat! Thanks for reading! For more on how Mobsta can help your brand achieve greater awareness. Drop us a line here. We help brands do wonders!

Have a great one!

Mobsta Fotobox Team

6 ways to make your customer service unforgettable

Below is an interesting article about customer service which our team at Fotobox believe it to be very useful for any businesses with customers! Funny thing, there is a motto written on one of our office wall says "Customer is god". Understanding customers' needs is the most important aspect of our work. Enjoy your read!

It’s hard to imagine that less than a decade ago, customer service was still perceived as an organizational support function. Today, it’s evolved into an important driver for growth, engagement, and retention. If your customers get frustrated, they’ll not only churn—they’ll publicize why they’re frustrated. Thanks to the Internet, consumers have instant access to social media, review websites, and competitors.

Mess up, and you’ll find yourself under a firestorm.

Luckily, stellar customer support comes from a simple formula:

(1) care about your customers

(2) understand their needs

(3) work tirelessly to help them succeed.

In the world of business, a little empathy goes a long way. Here are six tips for taking your customer service from basic and lackluster to over-the-top unforgettable.

1 – Get rid of your scripts

Human beings like to talk to other human beings—not robots. Especially when we’re angry. We want people to listen, care, and work with us to find a resolution.

While a script might seem ‘essential’ for troubleshooting a heated situation, it will actually hold us back.

As Courtney Duhring, client service manager at Eventbrite told OPEN Forum, “People have this image of a call center as robotic and scripted.”

“That’s not what they find when they contact us. We look to individual team members to solve problems, think of best-practice advice, and show support in whatever way they think is best. Listening in on phone conversations, it’s very clear that our team members are making connections.”

Without scripts, we’re more present and in-the-moment. We can feel what our customers are feeling, and even if we might not have immediate answers, we can figure out what we need to find them.

2 – Acknowledge your customer’s’ needs

People like to feel heard. One of the best ways for customer-facing teams to make an impact is to always reiterate their customers’ asks.

One sentence –  “let me repeat what you said to make sure that I understand” – is the ultimate sign that we’re listening and that we care. The best way to acknowledge that we’re on the same page as our customers is to take a step back and verbalize that we’re present.

 

It’s a simple way to make an impact with every conversation.

3 – Make customer service an organization-wide priority

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to isolate customer service to just one team or department. The fact is, however, every employee needs to be a customer champion.

At Adobe, for instance, engineering teams take turns commandeering the company’s live chat software. As Charlie Scheinost, engineering manager at Adobe, explains in this talk for the 2014 Lean Startup Conference, the opportunity to interface with customers is invaluable—by interfacing with customers through live chat conversations, product development teams can see common pain points first-hand.

The end result is that solutions are more closely tailored to their customers’ needs.

4 – Smile and stay confident

A positive attitude is a force of nature—especially during heated moments.

 

When we’re angry, we often forget to see the silver lining: that there are solutions and alternative options available. To ensure that conversations remain constructive, we need to redirect our energy.

Smiles are contagious, and we can lighten tough situations when we exude positive energy. Even when customers aren’t with us face-to-face, they can sense that positive energy.

When we’re confident, we’re better positioned to guide our customers and keep conversations constructive.

5 – Preempt problems

The best way to keep customers engaged, happy, and successful is to prevent problems before they have a chance to happen.

Through digital analytics, it’s possible to see where customers are having trouble – common points of friction and areas of drop-offs. Follow-up conversations can illuminate the reasons behind these trends, along with opportunities for potential solutions.

We can use technology to identify pain points before they have a chance to materialize. We can then reach out to our customers and reaffirm that we’re noticing, listening, and interested in their feedback.

By staying in tune and empathizing with their needs, we help our customers succeed before they have a chance to fail.

 

6 – Learn

With every failed moment comes an opportunity to learn. Even the most well-intentioned and empathetic organizations make mistakes—which is perfectly alright as long as we’re always learning and growing.

Never let a mistake crush your team’s morale. Instead, take a step back, analyze the reason behind the failed relationship, and make your next customer experience better.

Value-driven companies will always find more customers. That’s why we need to learn from our mistakes and always make the next experience better. Rather than dwelling on the past, our minds will be in-the-moment, to better support the customers in front of us now.

Final thoughts

The secret to stellar customer service is no secret at all. It’s a sense of empathy and empowerment that starts with positioning our customers at the center of our organizations.

Customer success is every team’s responsibility—not just the employees responsible for commanding call centers and phone lines.

Stay rational, have a heart, smile, and get everyone in your company working together to help your customers find the best path forward. When you’re genuine and always looking to improve, your brand will be unforgettable.

Article by: Ritika Puri, Read the original article here

TIPS: How to run a successful brand campaigns with Hashtags?

A brand can experience up to a 50 percent increase in engagement when they use a hashtag. For some networks, like Instagram, posts with upwards of 11 hashtags experience the highest number of interactions. Though it’s important not to go hog-wild with your hashtags on some other platforms—more than two hashtags on a tweet can actually decrease engagement. And on Facebook, posts without hashtags actually outperform those with them. Ready for more hashtag wisdom? Check out these tips for a successful hashtag campaign. 

Thanks for visiting our site! Check out how Mobsta auto-hashtagging with multiple or single tag feature can help boost interactions on your next event campaigns here

Read the original article here