Friday Download: A Snapchat Acquisition, Whatsapp Payments and #SocialDAX…

Our lead story this week concerns the recently-IPOed darling of Silicon Valley, Snapchat. The photo-sharing and messaging app that has come to embody most millennial and Gen-Z clichés (instant gratification, digital nativism, an almost pathological fascination with front-facing cameras), but more importantly has also demonstrated remarkable forward-thinking in terms of digital innovation.

The latest development came last week (and our US colleagues touched on it on Wednesday), when Snapchat announced Snap Map. The function allows users to track friends’ snaps on a map (couldn’t have guessed that from the title could you), and allows Gen-Z to meet up in person (which is something they like to do almost twice as much as Millennials).

Sceptics among us might point to the fact that Snapchat recently acquired Placed – an advertising tech company that tries to prove whether online ads lead to offline sales. The $125m deal could potentially lead the way for location-based adverts, and increasing the value of Snapchat advertising by proving ROI. In the meantime, however, just keep stalking your chums (and even drop yourself off the grid, courtesy of Buzzfeed).

AN INDIAN SUMMER FOR MOBILE PAYMENTS

What happens when the government removes currency
from the street overnight? For a large swathe of Indians the screamingly-obvious answer is “mobile payments”.

In January 2017, only shortly after November’s demonetisation occurred, there were 262m transactions using digital wallets – a more than 400% increase from January 2016; this trend is only going to develop further.

Well Facebook-owned messenger Whatsapp is keen to get their slice of this mobile pie. This week it confirmed what has been rumoured for a few months now, that they are in talks with a number of national Indian banks to integrate their payment offering with their messaging app. With rival mobile payments company Hike (a Tencent-backed Indian messenger startup) already established in the space, one increasingly sees the prevalence of digital infrastructure solutions to everyday challenges, and with this, changing habits and practices from the public.

As “dark social” platforms like Whatsapp gain increasing prominence, this has real implications for where audiences spend their time, and by extension how governments, organisations, and corporations reach those audiences. If the increasing WeChat-isation (it’s a word, we checked) of Whatsapp is anything to go by, we’re in for an interesting few years ahead…

FROM DRINKS TO BADGERS

Bear with us, it makes sense…

Earlier this year we published the latest version of The Social Divide, a review of FTSE 100 social media performance around results reporting.

2017’s top of the charts was Diageo (hence the rather tasteful cocktail and drink-themed presentation for this year’s iteration of the report), which drove almost 2,800 engagements around their results.

But what, I hear you clamour, were the results for German-listed companies? Well, we reply, your wait is over: please see some excellent work put together by our colleagues in Germany, who have put together #SocialDAX, a review of how the DAX 30 companies use social media to communicate their financial results.

28 companies out of 30 used social media to communicate their annual results, publishing 510 times across four different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn rather ubiquitously involved, but the German-language professional networking platform XING was used by over one third of companies). For those wishing to brush up on their German, the report is linked here for your delectation.

ALSO THIS WEEK

  • Germany votes for 50m euro social media fines [BBC]
  • Who are the most influential social media accounts in British politics? [Lissted]
  • China bans livestreaming instead of censoring [Mashable]
  • Facebook in talks to produce original TV-quality shows [Wall St Journal]
  • Google unveils Advr, an experimental Area 120 project for advertising in VR [Tech Crunch]
  • Twitter to livestream Wimbledon [The Drum]

AND FINALLY

A GIF of a dog catching a Frisbee in slow-motion. Nuff said.

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