In this week’s digital news, Pinterest reaches 250 million users, Apple releases new iPhone models, a Domino’s stunt backfires, and more.
Pinterest reaches 250 million monthly active users
The steadily-growing social network hit a major milestone this month when its user base officially reached 250 million. Pinterest, which allows users to browse thematic collections of images and videos, now hosts 175 billion pieces of content. That’s an increase of 75% from last year.
The platform also hosts 1.5 million business accounts, but that number will grow as the advertising functionality expands. And as more users flock to the site for inspiration and information, that demand will only increase. Data shows that the platform’s customized ads are 1.4 times more relevant and effective– and that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Apple unveils iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
Apple announced their annual batch of improved mobile devices this week. The upgrade from last year is the iPhone XS, alongside it’s larger sibling, the iPhone XS Max. The edge-to-edge display is now standard across the board, abandoning the home button that previously defined the iPhone. Interestingly enough, the company also released the iPhone XR, a cheaper and more colorful model. While this move may sound similar to the failed iPhone 5c, it’s actually a sound strategy. The phone is equipped with the same tech as the pricier new models, just not the same design. The $749 price point is more affordable than the jump to $999 for the XS, or $1099 for the XS Max.
Domino’s free pizza stunt backfires
A Domino’s franchise in Russia announced a gimmicky promotion to get more social media traffic: any customer who gets a Domino’s tattoo gets 100 free pizzas a year for 100 years. Intended to be a fun gag, the promotion stopped after 350 Russians followed through on the offer. While the stunt has certainly drawn attention, the company will likely take a hit as the 350 lucky patrons — who could cancel out the revenue from up to 35,000 pizzas per year for the next century — cash in on their rewards. The stunt is a good lesson for brands that are looking to engage in viral marketing campaigns, although it leans more towards “what not to do” territory.
Google rolls out new ad features for holiday season
In advance of the shopping surge that accompanies the holiday season, Google has released some new features for advertisers. The Showcase shopping ads, which allows retailers to display multiple products in a single ad, will now also feature video content. The initiative is geared towards making the ads more immersive and captivating as opposed to the more traditional approach. Google has also unveiled Shoppable images, which are ads that appear on curated, published content from various partners. These new tools are designed to assist shoppers in the narrowing down of products, and to help marketers better target their recommendations.
Amazon pages shows increase in sponsored ads
Amazon search results have become increasingly saturated with sponsored options. Searching the word “cereal,” for instance, yields a full page of Kellogg’s sponsored ads before any organic results appear. A study from Merkle reported that spending on sponsored products in Amazon search has increased 165% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to 2017, meaning that brands must outbid competitors in order to stay competitive and rank higher in search results.
Although consumers have been skeptical of sponsored ads in the past, the adoption of the practice by well-known companies is turning the tide. This trend will help big companies remain dominant, but it’ll also help small companies gain visibility in the marketplace.
Published on September 14, 2018