Mardi Gras, ZuckerVR and the resurrection of GIF

Welcome to SocialSelect. This week, it’s time to embrace virtual reality, celebrate the second coming of GIFs, never forget teens, and take a look at Mardis Gras — as well as a weekly update on what’s happening on the social channels that matter.

The rise of human-to-human VR

Virtual Reality is undeniably a hot topic — and from this great execution by Google & Star Wars, to this experience from Patrón, it’s being targeted as a cornerstone of innovation in marketing all over the world.

But the key to success for VR isn’t one or two fun case studies. Products like Oculus Rift and Samsung VR are starting to find acceptance in availability — but Facebook are betting the one thing missing is “other people”.

This week, at the 2016 Mobile World Conference, Mark Zuckerberg revealed at that Facebook would bring its dynamic streaming technology for 360 video to Samsung Gear VR. Gear VR costs ~$150 per unit, making it an affordable accessory to make virtual realty a “social platform”.
From Wired:

“What people care about,” Zuckerberg says, sitting just down the hall from Facebook’s VR room, “is interacting with another person.”

You can read more here:

Teens Again

Sorry to harp on about The Youth™, but this in depth look at teen culture on Tumblr is a fascinating read — and highlights the importance of “relatable” content — stories that are not just appealing, but revealing too. Vulnerability is key, perhaps.

And we love this quote from Danielle Strle, Tumblr’s head of culture and trends, even if we’re slightly threatened.

“These kids are so advanced — so, so advanced…They are the most brilliant digital strategists…These teens are better marketers than anyone in the game right now.”

Mardi-Gr8

ANZ have come out with another great activation ahead of Mardi Gras in Sydney, upping the ante from last years GAYTM to GAYNZ.

Many other brands are jumping on board with Mardi Gras — Qantas with #FlyingWithPride and #Gay380, and no doubt more in the next few days.

But on the other hand, messaging app LINE have removed all ‘Gay Friendly’ emojis due to pressure from the Indonesian government. And they’re not the last — WhatsApp is potentially next in line. A war played out in emojis, but an important one nontheless.

A note on responsibility

The Advertising Standards Board would like to remind everyone (especially Carlton Dry) that brands are responsible for any content they share on Facebook — including user generated content. Carlton Dry received a slap on the wrist from the ASB and were required to remove the image from their social channels, despite only receiving one complaint.

Channel Updates

And we’re back with all the updates that matter from all the platforms that matter this week.

First up, this great piece from Techcrunch dives into the rise of curated social. While similar functions have existed for while, 2016 has really ramped up the focus on some element of social tailored just for you:

Giphy has done great work in providing a massive library to fuel the GIF revival of the past twelve months — partnering with Facebook and Slack to provide direct integration, and continuing to improve the platform itself. The work continues to pay off, with a Series C funding round closing at $55 million — valuing the business at $300million. A third of the way to being a unicorn, right?

Giphy continue to experiment with monetisation, as well — you can read more at Techcrunch.

Instagram has been changing things up recently, having updated their app to support up to 5 individual accounts, and now, adding additional security.

As Instagram accounts become more and more valuable commodities for some brands and people, some profiles are worth stealing/hacking. The test roll-out of the two-factor authentication process will start soon and Instagram will monitor its feedback to keep it bug-free and simple to use.

Last week we (and a lot of people on Wall Street, apparently) were mean to Twitter, so Chelsea Peretti got her squad together to save the blue bird. All she’s asking for is $100 million. Easy, right?

On a more serious note, Twitter have been taking huge (and reportedly measurable) steps to take down ISIS propaganda accounts. Read all about it here.

In other news, Facebook have plans to put ads inside Messenger, perhaps a first step to capitalising on dark social, and Twitter are rolling out a “dedicated gif button”, which could be fun or not.

TRIPLE BONUS ROUND:

First up: what’s the best bus ride you’ve ever been on? As good as this? No way.

In with a flash at second is this Aldi fan account which keeps you updated on all the wonderful and/or weird things you can buy at Aldi — from washed salt to remote controlled Minions.

Ringing it out in third, there’s Kanye, future startup king:

SocialSelect is a weekly aggregation of the things that matter from the scariest parts of the internet, brought to you by Marcel Sydney.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated SocialSelect’s story.