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What’s Buzzing: Snapchat Stories, Pasta Brands Take a Stand & More

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This week was filled with real-time content, a potentially game-changing feature from Snapchat and more details around Twitter’s much-anticipated IPO. Yesterday, the microblogging site announced its plans to raise up to $1 billion in a public offering. In the company’s S-1, we learned more about its financials and gained insights into user behavior on the platform (e.g. 75 percent of users access Twitter via a mobile device). With continued growth, the social network is expected to role out additional features such as embedded content, which will likely usher even more partnerships and opportunities for brands on the platform.

Barilla Exec Inspires Real-Time Content

Barilla Pasta sparked an opportunity for real-time marketing last week after the chairman of the company made anti-gay remarks on the radio program La Zanzara. While the commentary led to an international call for a boycott of all Barilla products, and a great deal of Internet backlash for the brand, it also allowed for other pasta companies such as Buitoni and Bertolli to showcase their inclusive standpoint. Buitoni took to social with a Facebook post that included the caption #PastaforAll. This real-time response proved a great opportunity for them to show their support of the gay community and their standpoint on gay rights, while getting their name out there and gaining some new fans.  Brands faced a similar opportunity earlier this year when the Supreme Court discussed same-sex marriage cases.

Snapchat Unveils New “Stories” Feature

Up until now, what differentiated the video and photo-sharing app Snapchat from other platforms was the short-lived life span of the content shared. Historically, users were asked to limit their content to a few seconds of viewing time before it would disappear from the recipient’s inbox. However, the addition of “Stories”  means that a few seconds has now grown to 24 hours. Once a piece of content is added to a user’s “Story,” friends can tap to view the content whenever they’d like for the next 24 hours, allowing them to view a compilation of all content related to that user over the course of the day. This update marks a major change in the two-year-old app, as it gives fans the option to tell stories that do not instantly disappear while still allowing them to be candid, since unlike other platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), the content is not indexed nor made permanent by the platform.

Google & the Council of Fashion Designers for America bring E-Comm to Hangouts

Imagine getting a personal style consultation with fashion icons like Diane von Furstenberg, Rebecca Minkoff and Rachel Zoe as you are shopping online. Last night, some shoppers were able to do just that through a Google+ Hangout on Air with Diane von Furstenberg. Diane is the first of many designers to share her input and insights with customers who can now directly engage with designers while online shopping via a new platform that adds an e-commerce layer to the live chat application. The shopping hangouts, a result of Google teaming up with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, arrive just in time for the holiday season and are expected to play a larger role in the online holiday shopping of customers.


Facebook & Cisco Team Up to Bring Free Wi-Fi to Public Spaces

Facebook has partnered with Cisco Systems to provide free Wi-Fi  in public places for users who login with Facebook, incentivizing check-ins at places like hotels and retail stores. Once connected, users will be able to access special promotions, additional information about the retailer as well as targeted ads. This new feature represents a great opportunity for brands to stay relevant and merge social with in-store, while analyzing additional consumer behavior.

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Coverphoto via NYULocal