Brands try to fool; Periscope Up; Facebook and Media Outlets | Social You Should Know

April Fool’s Day Social is Mostly Predictable Brand Work

A quick review of what brands did on April Fool’s Day quickly shows that fake product announcements were the joke of choice. These were mostly safe, like Nerf announcing new Nerf darts you can eat, and Samsung announcing the first smart kitchen knife. Very few, however, were interesting. Shout-out to Google for turning any Google Map into a Pac Man game. That was cool. And Amazon’s announcement of buttons, called Amazon Dash Buttons, which allow people to push a button to reorder their necessities, was believed by some to be an April Fool’s joke. It was not. Rather, an interesting play for Amazon to get into the Internet of Things (and sell more stuff).

Periscope Spots, Takes Out Meerkat, But Who Will Use It?

If you believe the tech media, the hot new social apps (Meerkat first, now Periscope) are all the rage. (In fact, we used Meerkat to livestream our launch of Carusele during SXSW.) But since Twitter launched Periscope, Meerkat downloads have plunged, and Periscope is “hot.” While both apps make livestreaming easier than anything that’s come before it, I’m curious if either will catch on. The use cases are ok, but questions remain about if people want to watch these streams, if the content will be any good, and how people will find good content. As of this writing, Periscope is not in the Top 100 ITunes apps.

Facebook Glitch May Damage Efforts to “Grab” Media Content

Anyone who has tried to read a news article on their phone from a Facebook link knows how bad the user experience can be. Facebook has been trying to solve that by encouraging media companies to allow Facebook to display the articles for them (and share ad revenue). Media folks are skeptical about giving up their content when Facebook can turn down their reach at any time (sound familiar brands?). These discussions were not helped when news orgs saw their Facebook traffic drop suddenly starting in late February. Folks freaked out. Facebook said this week it was simply a reporting mistake. Coincidentally, Facebook said the same thing about the decline in brand reach in 2013, before they really did shut it down 6 months later.

Lastly, major props to the Staples team (client) for being named Social Media Mavens.

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