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What’s Buzzing: Social-Informed DOOH, Tweet-Stamped Tacos & More

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Labor Day has unofficially marked the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season. Today, in our new “What’s Buzzing” series, we’re counting down the top social media stories that made headlines during this first week of the fall season – from social-by-design campaigns and businesses to new features in the Facebook News Feed and everything in between.

Downy #Softside campaign uses online data to inform offline creative

360i client Downy, a P&G brand, is softening the hard reality of everyday experiences (e.g. high heels, alarm clocks and politics) through its new #Softside campaign. The effort is social at its core, featuring vibrant content on Facebook and Twitter that depicts everyday objects and experiences as soft sculptures. As part of the campaign, Digital Out of Home billboards will be dynamically updated based on which content performs best in social media. You can read more about the campaign in Adweek.

Facebook takes another page from the Twitter playbook with ‘Trending’ test

Facebook rolled out hashtags in June 2013 and this week it seems to be testing yet another feature made famous by Twitter: Trending Topics. The social network – clearly evolving in a conversation-centric manner – is in early stages of developing the feature, which would in a section of the News Feed. Though Facebook hashtags haven’t seen as much traction and are not yet being used as a discovery tool, Trending Topics could help shift the way people use Facebook and influence whether they’re clicking on or incorporating hashtags in their updates.

Taco Bell invites impatient Canadian fans to ‘eat their words’

Taco Bell fanatics can passionately list off their menu favorites, but none thought eating their “own words” would ever be an option. The long-awaited arrival of the Doritos Locos Tacos in Canada
prompted angry tweets from fans, which were later printed on the first batch of taco shells. The impatient – yet impassioned – fans were then invited to come in and enjoy their first Doritos Loco Taco stamped with their own tweets.

Selfie-friendly hotels abroad are banking on social media to drive bookings

For some people, ‘vacation’ means shutting down your computer, disconnecting your phone and refusing to check email – but not for the guests staying at the 1888 Hotel in Australia, which has been dubbed the first ‘Instagram hotel.’ This social media-friendly hotel, along with a few others in Spain, caters to the social media-obsessed with incentives such as a designated “selfie spot” for guests to use when they check in. Just like platforms or websites that are mobile by design, companies who are shaping their product or service based on consumer social behavior will likely see increasing success.

Irate passenger ponies up $1,000 to ‘promote’ his airline complaint on Twitter

An angry British Airways customer made sure his complaints were heard by everyone through purchasing a Promoted Tweet that accused British Airways’ customer service of being ‘horrendous.’ The airline has since apologized and has been in contact with the customer to resolve the issue. The story serves as a reminder for brands that consumers are increasingly seeing social media as an empowerment tool that can be used to compel large corporations to listen to them.

Animated GIFs (sort of) make their way to the Facebook News Feed

Animated GIFs have finally made their way to Facebook with the help of the website Giphy – though the solution is more of a hack than it is a fronted effort from Facebook to offer this type of content in the News Feed. We’ve yet to see whether the Internet’s favorite art form will revolutionize the platform, but in the meantime, brands have already tested the water. Gap partnered with Giphy to pioneer brand usage and highlight their ongoing #BacktoBlue contest. The question not only lies in whether brands should be jumping in on this feature, but in whether they can do so without running into copyright issues.

In a week of mobile shake-ups, Microsoft buys Nokia and Android enters an unlikely co-branding partnership with KitKat

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced its purchase of Nokia’s Devices & Services business. The move could be a game changer for consumers as there are now three major options for smartphones (with the iPhone and Android). In other mobile news, Android announced a partnership with KitKat. The Android KitKat will appear on 50 million KitKat wrappers around the world. This no-cash, co-branding deal is the first of its kind and may spur future partnerships between unlikely participants across tech and consumer goods.

Check back next week for another edition of “What’s Buzzing.”