April 28, 2014
@SummerBreak; reality TV aired exclusively on social media
Summer Break aired entirely on social media over 10 weeks across Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube. The show followed the lives of eight LA teens in their last summer together before leaving for college. While fans are used to following the daily lives of their favourite celebrities, releasing entire storylines and thickening plots exclusively on social media is a completely unique viewing experience and turns the idea of what a reality show can be on its head.
From an audience’s perspective, an online show is ideal. It’s non-committal, but there’s always something new when fans refresh their streams. From a production standpoint, this innovative format removes the traditional multi-month lag in most production and distribution cycles. The series can also be readjusted and calibrated in real time based on analytics of which characters and storylines are resonating the most with the audience.
@SummerBreak ditched conventional 30 and 60 minute TV formats, and instead played out a 24/7 stream of tweets, photos and video content. Additionally, 60-second daily YouTube webisodes were posted, with weekly longer form wrap-ups from 3 to 15 minutes.
Casting has begun for the second series of the show and is expanding onto both Snapchat & Vine. This is due to the first season generating 10 million “engagements,” which encompass viewers reacting in tangible fashion, such as an outreach on Twitter or a “share” of some sort. Data provided by AT&T last year said consumers viewed @SummerBreak content 644 million times by accessing Twitter feeds of the show, the sponsor, the cast, influencers affiliated with the show and sponsored hashtags; Tumblr; YouTube channels; AT&T’s Facebook page; advertising around the show; and social-media conversations.
Facebook has joined forces with News Corp-owned Storyful to launch FB Newswire, which aims to make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to “find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook” in their work. It’s clear that this development is to make Facebook not only become your digital newspaper but compete with Twitter in the realm of breaking news. Subscribing to the newswire is easy; simply like the FB Newswire Page, and those stories will appear in your News Feed.
Google+ updates ads
Google+ has made three updates to its ad offering. Firstly, +Post ads, which turn G+ content into display ads, are now available to all pages with 1,000 followers or more. Secondly, brands can now choose to automatically promote their most recent update and only pay once it receives engagement. Finally, it is possible to promote a Hangout to a +Post ad, allowing users to either RSVP, watch live or watch a recording.
Esquire premieres show on Facebook
Esquire TV has premiered the first episode of its new US programme ‘Lucky Bastards’ through Facebook. The series, which follows six rich entrepreneurs around New York City, was broken up into three parts for Facebook users to watch. Watch them here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. The actual content is questionable, but the strategic thought of premiering on Facebook has been tactically deployed for their target audience.
Netflix to become real TV and get its own ‘TV channel’
Netflix announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement with three cable TV companies to make watching Netflix as easy as changing the channel.
The deal will add Netflix as an app to certain set-top boxes giving subscribers of those companies the ability to watch the Netflix content they would otherwise be able to get only on their PCs, tablets, and phones, or with a third-party set-top box.
The agreement is part of a much larger trend in which traditional television is merging with internet video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Just this week, HBO unveiled an unprecedented partnership with Amazon to offer unlimited streaming of its older series on Prime Instant. Meanwhile, Amazon has just released its own set-top box, Fire TV, which allows users to stream shows onto their televisions from Netflix, Prime Instant, and other services.
Pinterest launches Guided Search to navigate you through its 30 billion pins
Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann claims that about 75% of Pinterest’s traffic now comes from mobile devices, so a truly mobile-first search tool is essential to the visual bookmarking site’s future. Pinterest is massive. The site now hosts some 30 billion pins, nearly half of which, it says, were created in the last six months alone. The feature is aimed at users who do not yet know exactly what they are searching for, but are rather exploring options. It’s incredible powerful and also very simple. Check out how it works here.
Guided search signposts a slow, gradual shift in Pinterest’s broader mission. Where it was once about collecting, Pinterest now focused is helping people discover, even when they can’t articulate what it is exactly they’re trying to find.