Snapchat's massively popular virtual dancing hot dog, created using its 3D World Lens technology, is the latest example of the platform's pioneering work with augmented reality, leaving other platforms -- such as Apple, Facebook and Google -- rushing to catch up. Facebook's AR studio is working with brands on augmented-reality experiences on the platform and on Instagram, and although it's still exclusive, it could democratize the technology and devalue Snapchat's offering, DDB Chicago's Azher Ahmed says.
About one-third of world's population, or 2.46 billion people, will view a social site at least once monthly this year, according to an eMarketer forecast. Social media use has increased 8.2% since last year, boosted by smartphone usage.
An estimated 243 million more people will begin using instant messaging apps this year, a 15.5% increase from last year that will bring the total to 1.82 billion globally, eMarketer predicted. Just five countries -- Brazil, China, the US, India and Indonesia -- will account for the majority of new users.
Entertainment and a friendly appeal are the way to reach Gen Z consumers, experts say. So-called advertainment is considered especially effective in an environment where attention is scattered across numerous channels.
YouTube is retiring its Photo slideshows and Video Editor on Sept. 20, with video editing available using Video Manager's Enhancements tool. A YouTube employee wrote that the company is working on developing new tools.
Facebook has acquired content rights management startup Source3 to further the social network's bid to attract independent content creators for art sharing through News Feed. It's a way for Facebook to ensure that creators' content is safe from pirates.
Google parent Alphabet rakes in about a third of digital ad revenue globally, making it the world leader with a projected $73.8 billion in sales this year, two-thirds of which will come from mobile. Trailing well behind is Facebook, with less than half of Alphabet's digital total.
Platforms and brands such as YouTube, Facebook, Verizon's go90 and AT&T are battling to win over the latest digital stars, offering more support, financial incentives and the latest production technology. Attitudes toward online content creators have changed, says AT&T Creator Lab's Karyn Spencer, who explains that advertisers have "stopped trying to be prescriptive -- they're giving creators the freedom to express themselves."
Connelly Partners' #WorkNotWork campaign touts Samsonite's business bags with help from influencers such as NFL player Julian Edelman and fitness guru Shaun T. The campaign will air on sites such as TED, Vox and Mashable.
Apple's video starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson having a jampacked day with help from Siri has attracted more than 6.5 million YouTube views since its release Sunday.
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