Top Story: Instagram Carousel Ads
Instagram is growing faster than ever—in 2014, the social network grew nearly 60%, surpassing Twitter as the second-largest social network. eMarketer predicts that by 2018, Instagram’s user base will top 100 million.
Marketers and communications professionals certainly want in on the fastest-growing social network and its user base of 20 million millennials. So how can brands get involved?
In 2013, Instagram introduce sponsored posts, which offer advertisers a way to reach users directly, yet unobtrusively. On Wednesday, the company announced the introduction of “carousel ads,” which expand on these sponsored posts.
“Carousel ads give brands more flexibility in telling their stories by allowing people who view their ads to swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brand’s choice,” the network wrote on its blog. The new ads will also feature a “learn more” button which will redirect users back to advertisers’ websites.
Instagram says the new carousel ads will be gradually introduced and in variations of the format, as the service learns what people are most interested in and what performs best.
Under the Radar: Tech Companies Team Up For Marriage Equality
379 of the world’s biggest companies, including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Google have teamed up to file a brief in the US Supreme Court in support of marriage equality.
The Morgan Lewis law firm filed the brief on Thursday, making c case to legalize same-sex marriage in the US. The brief states that the current legal standing on same-sex marriage is a burden on employers and employees and makes it “increasingly hard to conduct business.”
The justices will hear arguments for the case in April and a ruling will follow at a later date.
Tool of the Week: Google Bartender
If you’ve ever searched for a company’s headquarters or a celebrity’s birthday, then you’re probably familiar with Google’s Knowledge Graph. It’s a cool feature that picks out and displays the answers to questions, saving you time from clicking through links in your search results.
After recently equipping it with the ability to dispense health advice, Google helps you to refine your bartender skills, now displaying cocktail recipes within Google Search.
A simple “How do I make a …” search will list the main ingredients and recommended garnishes for your chosen cocktail, as well as the appropriate glass to serve it in. Although it can’t (yet) teach you all of the cocktail-making tips and tricks you might learn at bartending school, it will most certainly help improve the quality of homemade Happy Hour refreshments.
Around the Hub: Saint Patrick’s Day
The Saint Patrick’s Day parade will still go on, despite the fact that more than 100 inches of snow have accumulated this winter, threatening to reschedule the parade. The solution, determined by the city of Boston and organizers of the annual parade, is to alter the route for snow cleanup.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the March 15 parade will start at Broadway Station and end at Farragut Road, according to a report by NECN. The decision was made for the safety of thousands of spectators and participants. Parade organizers and the city will coordinate volunteers to clear the new route this weekend, and have asked unions, businesses and residents to help.