ICYMI: This Week in Social Media and Marketing
New year, new news! As we are all back to work post-holidays and get back into the swing of things, it is important to stay up-to-date on what the largest news outlets, social media accounts, and blogs are talking about. Here are this week’s top trending social media and marketing headlines.
Snapchat won’t let you buy lenses anymore via Mashable
Soon you’ll no longer be able to pay for extra Snapchat lenses. The company plans to close its Lens Store, which allowed the app’s users to purchase additional animated lenses for $0.99 each. The update will go into effect Friday, Jan. 8. To be clear, Snapchat is not doing away with the lenses entirely. The company says it plans to continue offering users about 10 free lenses a day, including sponsored ones. Those who previously purchased lenses will continue to be able to use them.
‘This has never happened before.’ Powerball jackpot swells to $700 million via Los Angeles Times
Describing the odds of winning Saturday’s Powerball drawing as “slim” would be an understatement — but it would also be an understatement to call the jackpot “big.” For the 18th consecutive time, no one matched all six numbers to the Powerball lottery jackpot Wednesday night. As a result, the estimated prize for Saturday’s drawing has ballooned to an unprecedented $700 million. Just to put that jackpot in global perspective, it’s larger than the gross domestic product for nine of the world’s island nations, according to the World Bank: Comoros, Dominica, Tonga, São Tomé and Príncipe, Micronesia, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and Tuvalu.
Trump’s First TV Ad Recaps His Greatest Hits via The Atlantic
This is Trump’s long-awaited entry into the big-time advertising game. He says he’s spending $2 million per week in Iowa and New Hampshire—although his campaign has promised to spend heavily before, and failed to deliver. Trump says he hasn’t bought any ads until now because he hasn’t needed them: He likes to brag that his campaign is $35 million under budget and that his poll numbers show he doesn’t need the ads. But there’s been a nagging undercurrent of naysayers who point out that Trump has fallen behind Ted Cruz in Iowa and that there’s still no evidence that he has built a ground game capable of turning good polling into actual voters.
Twitter Considering 10,000-Character Limit for Tweets via Re/code
Longer tweets are coming soon to Twitter. Twitter is building a new feature that will allow users to tweet things longer than the traditional 140-character limit, and the company is targeting a launch date toward the end of Q1, according to multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. Twitter is currently considering a 10,000 character limit, according to these sources. That’s the same character limit the company uses for its Direct Messages product, so it isn’t a complete surprise.
Univision isn’t giving up on second-screen apps via Digiday
The fight for the second screen was definitively won by Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter, leaving network-created apps in the dust. But Univision isn’t ready to give up the fight, at least when it comes to live events. The Spanish-language broadcaster is seeing if it can appeal to hard-core fans of live events with a dedicated second-screen app that goes beyond the chatter on Facebook and Twitter. Univision’s “La Banda” music competition last month wrapped up its second season — and its first with a mobile companion app, called Conecta, which let viewers vote on contestants, request songs and play a fantasy-style game. The app was sponsored by Verizon.
Preorders began Wednesday, crashing the site. The tweet announcing that Oculus Rift was finally taking preorders for its virtual-reality headset is barely four hours old, but the clamoring — and the complaining — is already deafening. Soon after the headset went on sale for preorders at 11 AM ET Wednesday, some Twitter users complained about the $599 price of the VR headset (which comes with two games, Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie), or the $1,499-and-up price tag on Rift and PC bundles, especially international buyers upset at the taxes they were charged for the device. Oculus Rift said initially the first shipments would go out before the end of March, but even with a limit of one per customer, that had already been pushed back to May by early afternoon.
How Will 2016 Tech Policy Impact the Digital World? via SocialTimes
The legislation never seems quite able to keep up with technological development. However, it seems that issues like Net Neutrality, encryption, and commercial drone usage are starting to mature and get the regulatory framework they need. A post from BuzzFeed outlines how tech policy issues are being addressed this coming year. Cybersecurity, particularly as it related to encryption, was a big topic of discussion last year. Since none of the government proposed initiatives appeared to eliminate backdoors, all were met with strong resistance.
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