Welcome back to L.A. Connect’s monthly update on the most important news from the digital world.
Some of the biggest news to emerge this month came from the world of Twitter, where things have been up in the air as the social network’s once promising buyout future has wavered.
And Snapchat is at it again with a bunch of updates. While the Snap Spectacles were the biggest announcement to come from the Venice, CA social darling last month, the latest updates will have a bigger affect on publishers and marketers.
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The End of Vine
Toward the end of the month, Twitter announced in a blog post that it will be closing Vine. The standalone video app and website will remain up and running for some time, to give users the chance to download and save their videos. The blog post states that Twitter will keep the website online allowing people to continue to watch old videos.
While Twitter gave no reason for discontinuing Vine, though it appears it will be focusing on Periscope with the recent launch of Periscope Producer. The new feature, which allows streaming directly from cameras other than smartphones, aims to appeal to professional broadcasters, including those using GoPros and drones, broadening Periscope’s user base.
The announcement comes after weeks of questions around a potential buyout and a plummeting stock. The update was also coupled with news of another round of layoffs, possibly adding up to 9% of the company’s workforce. Previous speculation included Salesforce.com, Walt Disney and Google in the list of potential buyers.
Snapchat Changes Leave Partners Peeved
Snapchat has made quite a few updates in recent history. First, an app update moved individual user Stories to the top of the Stories tab, “above the fold.” This change directly impacts Snapchat’s Discover publishing partners who used to enjoy prime real estate at the top. Similar to Facebook’s recent shifts to prioritize friend and family content above all else in its algorithm, the Snapchat reordering signals a shift and focus to user content.
Additionally, Snapchat halted the auto play feature for Stories. That means, you will no longer automatically begin watching one Story after the other. Some marketers very quickly saw drastic declines in views, up to 40%. Though many are sticking with their current strategies citing many quality engagements despite drops in views.
But wait, there’s more! Snapchat wants to stop sharing ad revenue. The app now wants to switch to a model not unlike that TV networks use, in which the platform pays media companies upfront, flat licensing fees instead of sharing the ad revenue.
While the shift guarantees publishers a payout independent of ad deal specifics, it does limit the amount they could potentially make. Publishers are negotiating with the platform, and it looks as though, the platform seems to also be negotiating for its future with its 2017 IPO right around the corner.
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