Preloader image ALOHA

The Daily Brief: 3.2

Facebook wants to pay celebrities to use Facebook Live. Sandberg allegedly wants to find a number of “test subjects” who will agree to stream regularly in exchange for money. The statement suggests Facebook could follow the YouTube model and share ad revenue with celebrities who create live content. Right now there is no ad revenue. The only ad revenue that makes sense for Live is Facebook acting as a mediary between brands and celebrities to use Live for promotions. So is Facebook looking to use Live as an influencer networkLINK

BBC is using messenging apps Viber and WhatsApp to tell stories congruently with its linear TV programmingLINK

Is the future of AI actually bots?Scan a chat code, and you get taken instantly to a familiar conversational interface. This is an instant interaction, and it is something that only becomes possible with bots. There’s no new app to download, no new account to create, and, perhaps most importantly, no new user interface to learn. You just scan and chat. A Forbes reporter recently described using Kik to scan a code on the wall at a restaurant in Waterloo, Kik’s hometown. The scan brought up a bot, which asked her what she wanted to order. She asked for a Diet Coke, and minutes later it was brought to her table.” Perhaps. Perhaps that’s the closest interaction of bots and AI. But that’s still too much UI, because the best UI is no UI, and no UI is speech. It’s chatting with AI. Chatting with Cortana, or Siri, or Hound. Telling Siri. “Siri, I want a large Diet Coke.” And Siri knowing you’re in a restaurant. That restaurant knowing you’re inside. Siri knows your credit card and communicating that data and your name to the register (for lack of a better term) and ordering your soda. Take that model and put it anywhere. Like a stadium or your living room. LINK

The Washington Post said that the newspaper’s growing investment in vertical video is one of the many ways it’s thinking more critically about how it creates video for specific form factors and platforms. “We’re trying to tell stories that are platform specific rather than creating one video and expecting it to work everywhere. User behavior has changed, so we have to be more adaptable to that.” It has adopted a video strategy built on news explainers, aggregation and live coverage. LINK

Facebook is letting some publishers test newsletter sign-up messages at the bottom of their Instant Articles. The hope for many publishers is that the more they bump into the publisher’s articles on Facebook, the more likely they are to start coming directly to the publisher’s own site. There, publishers can not only keep all the ad revenue they generate but can sell the readers on subscriptions and newsletters and other products as well as collect data on their reading habits that can be used to improve the site experience. So the chance to directly engage with readers is a way to get people to sign up for a newsletter or another product. And for subscription-based publishers like the Times and the Post, the need to deepen their relationship with readers is all the more important because it’s only the most loyal who will subscribe. So the newsletter signups are an important avenue to get readers down the funnel. LINK

Apple Pay as 12 million AMU; Samsung Pay and Android Pay: 5 million AMU. Samsung Pay, however,  theoretically works at every payment terminal in the world, where Apple Pay only works at NFC terminals. LINK

Is Facebook Messenger about a month away from exploding? LINK

Instagram video is slowly gaining traction among brands. My take? 1) User behavior on the platform is hard to change. Video need to be silent, and watching video is a less immersive experience than, say, YouTube. Videos are much smaller and don’t take up the screen. 2) Videos suck. They do. Remember when Instagram was about the perfect smile, the perfect lighting, the perfect shot? Most brands are sharing commercials. They’re not taking to the the inherent nature of the platform. And nobody wants to watch a crappy commercial in their feed. LINK

“I’ll pay with Google.” Google today released an experimental payments app called Hands Free, a service that lets you pay for items in stores without taking your phone out. The iOS and Android app relies on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location services to determine when you’re nearby a participating retailer or restaurant. When you get to the cashier, all you have to say is, “I’ll pay with Google.” Creepy photo recognition software at play here too. LINK

Facebook is helping small businesses tell their story with 15-second shorts. “As part of the tool, businesses are able to upload their photos from their pages, overlay with music and share “what they are in the business of” doing.” The 15-second timeframe fits perfectly with the length of an organic Instagram video. Hmmmm… LINK

Ace Hardware’s new jingle is playful and cute. LINK