Friday Social: Snapstreak Distress, Brands Boycott Google, and Disney VR

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Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter – @Umpf/@RachClayton1

BRANDS BOYCOTT GOOGLE

It’s been a tricky week for Google as a host of large brands continue to boycott advertising on the platform.

Sparking what can only be described as a full-scale advertiser revolt, large firms such as The Guardian, L’Oreal and Marks & Spencer were amongst the first on the lengthening list of rebels. Some of America’s biggest advertisers have since joined their counterparts, with AT&T, Enterprise, and GSK amongst the big names.

Companies pay massive sums to place advertisements across Google’s network and on YouTube. However, it has come to light that brand ads are being shown alongside particularly unfavourable content. YouTube videos showing things like Islamic State extremism, the former KKK leader, and homophobic preachers, for example.

Understandably – backlash has ensued.

Google has apologised, more than once, and has already begun offering solutions.

As if tensions between marketers and social ad platforms weren’t rising enough, could this be the start of a wider digital marketing revolution?

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‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ IN VIRTUAL REALITY

The reimagined version of Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast has smashed box office records since hitting cinemas last week.

If you too just can’t get enough of the charming fantasy, don your Oculus Rift and experience the magic in virtual reality! Disney’s VR app transports you into “the wonderful world” of Lumiere’s Dress Rehearsal, a game where you score points for catching food and utensils in the grand dining room.

Don’t have a Rift? Check out the non-interactive 360-degree version via Facebook.

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ANNE FRANK BOT

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 11.18.57Anne Frank House has launched an AI-powered Messenger bot designed to inform users about the story of Anne Frank, along with information about the museum itself.

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the bot was launched on Facebook’s Messenger app.

Users are prompted to ask the bot questions to discover educational information. The Anne Frank House by Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands said: ”This bot is more than a fun gadget. It is a way to reach people all over the world and inform them about Anne Frank’s life, and warn them [about] the risks and effects of discrimination”.

 

To chat to the bot:

Launch the Messenger app from your mobile device

Search ‘Anne Frank House’

Click, and start chatting!

SNAPCHAT STREAKS DEVASTATING TEENAGERS

Snapchat users and the NSPCC are speaking out about a widespread heartbreak being caused by the app’s so-called ‘Snapstreaks’.

A streak is achieved when two people send Snaps back and forth for a consecutive number of days. To keep the streak going, they must respond within a 24-hour window. The length of the streak (the ‘streakcount’) is displayed next to their friend’s username.

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Sounds simple, but users are hooked.

Once the Snapstreak is broken, it’s gone for good. Some young users are not only struggling to come to terms with losing their hard work, but are also fearful that breaking the chain will cause tension or even bullying amongst friends.

“Honestly after losing a snapchat streak of 571 days, I felt heartbroken,” Mashable reports one user describing.

Another said: “There is a hole in my heart. I speak on behalf of the upset population of people who stood by my side as we lost our Snapchat streaks just yesterday. […] Every individual on this planet knows just how precious a streak can be”.

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GENDER INCLUSIVE EMOJI

You can currently choose from either male or female emojis, but that could be about to change. Unicode’s draft emoji list for new releases contains three gender inclusive emojis.

The three choices, a child, adult, and older person, are designed to be “open to interpretation in terms of gender without implying masculine or feminine gender”.

If approved, the new emojis could feature on most phones later this year.

Paul D. Hunt, a member of the consortium’s emoji committee, said: “Not everyone identifies as male or female. Some of us identify as a bit of both, or neither, or something else altogether. Regardless of your gender identity, I hope we can all find adequate ways to express ourselves in emoji”.

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