I know February is supposed to be a short month, but it’s lasting a bit too long for me. Still another 10 days to go before March will miraculously start to warm things up for us all again (at least that’s what I tell myself every year – and I’m always let down by my own optimism).
So, what have we got in the meantime to keep our cockles warm?
Let’s take a look…
Expanded Mobile Live Streaming on YouTube
Long, long before Periscope surfaced (geddit?), YouTube was doing live streaming. In fact, the feature was introduced way back in 2011, would you believe.
But, these days it’s all about Facebook Live, isn’t it? I’m not even sure if Periscope will last, to be honest – it’s not enough to be a one-trick pony in a world increasingly dominated by the Big F (and of course it’s Twitter-owned, which almost invariably portends doom in some form or another).
But, this week YouTube has proved that it’s one company that’s not out of the running yet (and I’m sure it never will be) as it expands its mobile live streaming to every content creator with over 10,000 subscribers (becoming available for everyone “soon”, we are told). Of course there’s a YouTube video about this YouTube video update – here it is:
That guy’s got a million subscribers? I must be doing something wrong…
Anyway, as marketers, we are relieved to know that we don’t have to do anything fancy to start mobile live streaming, as the feature has been conveniently integrated into the existing YouTube mobile app, as the YouTube blog explains:
“All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the capture button, and you’re live! Streamed videos will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos. They can be searched for, found via recommendations or playlists, and protected from unauthorized use. Our mobile live streaming uses YouTube’s rock-solid infrastructure, meaning it’ll be fast and reliable, just the YouTube you know and love.”
If you can ignore the chocolate sauce shower in the above video, seasoned YouTube creator Alex Wassabi does in fact have some good advice for how to make the most out of this new feature – namely in the way that he uses his regular vlog postings to create a buzz about his upcoming live streams. I like that idea – connect the two audiences and drive interest about what’s coming soon. That’s a decent strategy – and one that would also work in reverse. Nice one, Alex, nice one – but, no, my ice cream is fine without sauce, thank you.
YouTube Super Chat
YouTube also announces a second live mobile streaming update – they really are spoiling us.
Super Chat, as the YouTube blog explains, is “a new live stream monetization tool… [that] lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd and get a creator’s attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colours and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours.”
A new way to make money! Not too shabby, you might think – but it will depend on your business model, I suspect. B2B companies are almost certainly out of the running, and I doubt if many large B2Cs will do much better.
If, however, you’re essentially a self-employed vlogger/blogger, then you may well find that you get a few tips from your most dedicated followers. And that, of course, will come down to how you engage with them. The likes of Wassabi, I’m sure, will make a few extra bucks out of the feature – and if you fit into his entertainment category then you might, too. The rest of us, however, will just have to keep using YouTube to plug our businesses.
New Visual Discovery Tools on Pinterest
Pinterest. It’s the social network that can be extremely useful and indeed lucrative for B2C companies with a solid product catalogue, but rarely much good for B2Bs. It can be a half-decent traffic-driver, but you have to put in the hours to make this work for you.
Nonetheless, if you are in the realms of B2C, then you’ll be welcoming the three new visual discovery tools from Pinterest with open arms.
So, let’s take a look them…
This, for me, is the coolest feature – from a consumer perspective, at least.
“Lens is a new way to discover ideas with your phone’s camera inspired by what you see in the world around you. Just take a photo of anything that interests you – a pair of shoes, seasonal produce, a chair you’d like to see in your home – and Lens will give you recommendations for similar objects or ways to bring the idea, recipe or style to life.”
Wow – love it. Totally futuristic. And, in true Pinterest style, the search returns are creative. Snapping food will bring up recipe ideas, clothing will deliver fashion styles, and “you can even point Lens at the night sky to find ideas related to constellations, galaxies and UFOs.” I wonder what other uses there could be for chocolate sauce?
Shop the Look
“Shop the Look is a new way to shop and buy products you see inside Pins. It combines our computer vision technology with human curation to recommend a variety of related products and styles you can buy on Pinterest or from a brand in just a tap. For Buyable Pins results, we’ll also show you ideas for bringing a look to life.”
This update is more marketing focussed. The Pinterest blog gives the example of a user finding a scarf he/she likes, and Pinterest returning different ways to style from the search. Essentially this means that marketers of the scarf (or whatever product it may be) are going to have to make sure that they are uploading plenty of usage ideas in order that Pinterest doesn’t direct the user to a rival merchant with more content. So, just bear that in mind.
Instant Ideas is accessed via a button that can be found on Pins in the home feed, and presents users with additional personalized Pin recommendations based off the original Pin. “So as you’re browsing through your home feed and find something interesting, now you can get more ideas like it by tapping the circle in the bottom right corner of any Pin. We then use these signals to personalize your home feed in real-time, making recommendations instantly more relevant to your tastes and interest as you scroll through your feed.”
Again, this is another update aimed at users rather than marketers – and so, the only advice to give is to make sure that you’ve got lots of Pinteresing content on the network to make sure that you’re getting discovered.
Three new updates, though. Well done, Pinterest – can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
That’s it! Time to put the fire on and start ironing my shorts ready for the 1st of March. See you all next week!