September 13, 2018 By Zak Mehan
We love seeing two trends in digital media work together to create interesting, potentially industry-shaping changes. This week we’re looking at the marriage of rich communication services messaging (“rich messaging”) and news bots.
Rich messaging is an upgraded form of texting that sees video, images, audio and text all seamlessly integrated into one community of communication. iMessage for example, with the integration of GIFs, games, photos and videos is one of the world’s most-used rich messaging services.
More and more companies are looking to enhance these offerings, as users move – with occasional goading – from open social platforms to encrypted messaging apps. As we’ve said, companies need to start thinking on the individual level to stay successful in reaching stakeholders in the future.
And some already are, using automation. The business publication Quartz saw much attention at the relaunch of its app in 2016, which simply features a one-to-one exchange with a news bot that feeds users stories. Quartz has since been building bots in its bot studio for numerous communications vehicles, including Amazon Alexa.
The latest announcement is that the publication will be partnering with Samsung to launch a news bot on AT&T Samsung phones, embedding the news bot in Samsung’s own rich messaging services.
Moving into rich messaging is a potential to capitalize on the growing ubiquity of these services by providing news in the easiest form possible – a short conversation with a bot that tells you exactly what you want to hear. What’s not to like about that?
While it’s clearly a hot button issue for policymakers and the media, how do everyday people feel about the news they consume on social media? A recently updated poll from Pew is here to provide some – slightly counter-intuitive – insight.
The ongoing investigations, hearings and general outrage over the past year have done some damage to how much people trust the information they see on social media – 57 percent expect the news they read on social media to be largely inaccurate.
But…almost two-thirds of Americans report that they still turn to social media platforms for news. That point is kind of a head-scratcher but may emphasize the importance of convenience in getting users to engage with content mentioned above, whether you are a news outlet or a brand. Users have become accustomed to seeing news mixed in with updates from friends – or in many cases, shared by friends – so still recognize social media as a platform for news consumption.
And as far as the prominence of these platforms for news goes, there are some changes afoot. Reddit, the forum and self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” unseated Twitter as the site where the highest portion of users is exposed to news.
This is surprising to us given Twitter is such a popular hangout for journalists and public figures but perhaps it indicates a growing sophistication among internet users. Reddit is seen by many as an “upstream” platform where digital media sites find viral content, so maybe users are just learning to head straight to the source.
OK, enough about the news! Let’s talk about something we all care about, online shopping!
Instagram is reportedly launching a standalone e-commerce app, building on the success of existing advertising efforts on the platform. Following on from the launch of standalone video app IGTV, IG Shopping would allow users to browse and purchase from the businesses they follow directly within the new app.
But what this new direction also revealed is that Instagram is a powerhouse for communications for many businesses.
As it stands, there are over 25 million businesses on the platform, and four out of five people on Instagram follow at least one business.
While we get that not every company is trying to sell stylish shoes or bespoke vacations, this relatively high level of brand engagement amongst users may still present a great opportunity for companies eager to show a more personable side.
ATTN: launches IGTV series with Joe Biden Axios
LinkedIn Dynamic Ads Are Now Available on a Self-Serve Basis via Campaign Manager Adweek
Facebook Positions Itself in Hurricane Path With Community Help Feature Bloomberg
I’m not sure anything we say here could improve on this headline: How Pedialyte got Pedialit.