Lego Launches Instagram-Like Social Network For Kids To Show Off Their Creations

What Happened
Aiming to stay engaged with its core customers even after they put down theor Lego pieces, Lego has created an Instagram-style social network for kids to show off their Lego creations. Dubbed “Lego Life,” the branded social platform lets kids aged 5-13 to share their creations in a kid-friendly, safe environment, and comment on others’ posts with custom Lego emojis.

What Brands Need To Do
This is the latest example of traditionally non-digital brands branching out into digital platforms and establishing mobile touch points in order to stay engaged with today’s connected consumers. A recent eMarketer study shows that 45% of kids 11 years old and younger in the U.S. are using a smartphone, and a 2016 survey shows that over half of children have created a social media account before the age of 12. Therefore, it makes sense for Lego to launch a social network so as to foster an online community of Lego-loving kids and keep them engaged with its products. With media time increasingly shifting to mobile devices, especially among the younger demographics, brands can greatly benefit from such mobile-native initiatives.


Source: The Next Web


Meet Ello, The Anti-Facebook That’s Blowing Up Right Now

Facebook has done a lot to aggravate its users this year, so it’s not surprising to see that someone has finally come up with another anti-Facebook social network. Ello promises a business model opposite of Facebook, i.e. ad-free and no user data-collection.

First launched in July with little splash, Ello has been reportedly doubling in size every 3-4 days in the past few weeks. Already being hailed as the “Facebook killer”, Ello’s latest growth spurt is partially due to Facebook’s recent suspension of accounts of drag performers. The jury is out on whether such rapid growth will be sustained, but it does seem to signify a critical moment where a segment of Facebook users are looking to jump ship.

Emoji-Only Messaging App Set To Launch

Yep, you read that right. Someone is making a messaging platform where its users are only allowed to communicate through those playful little icons known as emojis. The network, aptly named, has not officially launched, but it is currently accepting username reservations. The usernames, of course, have to be emoji-only as well, properly reflecting the diehard emoji-purist ideals of its creators.

Following the surprising success of the Yo app, where you could only send your contact a simple “Yo” and nothing else, comes off as a whimsical, almost parody-like creation, riding right on the recent tide of testing the limits of messaging apps. How far this trend, undoubtedly spearheaded by Gen Z, could push forward our cognition of mobile communication remains to be seen. Who knows, maybe brands will pay good money to be integrated into the emoji library if this platform ever blows up—just imagine the potential bidding war between Pepsi and Coca-Cola over the soft-drink icon. For now, however, we could only respond with an enigmatic winky-smiley face.

LinkedIn Acquires Newsle To Deliver Personalized News

LinkedIn has acquired news alert start-up Newsle in an effort to bring a Google-alert-like real-time news notification to millions of professionals networking on the social site. The major product of Newsle “scans the web to find blogs and articles that mention specific people and then return results that are relevant to those connections”. So expect to see all your former co-workers’ recent achievements blowing up your LinkedIn news feed. As LinkedIn expands it positioning from a mere professional social network to a sophisticated, multi-faceted digital career fair, it is a smart move for them to continue buffing up their news platform. Not only would it help retain users by establishing LinkedIn as a go-to site for daily consumption of professional news, it could also potentially function as a platform for some native advertising within targeted professional circles.

Twitter Effective For Driving App Downloads

Twitter may not have a wider reach than Facebook, more U.S mobile users than Instagram, or more social TV activity than Tumblr. But the blue bird reportedly excels in driving app downloads through its ad platform, especially lifestyle apps. Its ability to engage with users in real-time is evidently a contributing factor in this advantage over other social media platforms. In addition, Twitter is also really good at mobile retargeting, which enables marketers to retarget users who have already downloaded an app and may not have opened it in a while. With the vast capital pouring into social media marketing today, these two specialties will sure lend Twitter some advantage in this fierce competition.

Marriott & MIT Look At Hotels As Social Hub

As the emphasis of social networks continues to solidify, Marriott and MIT have begun to reinvent the hotel lobby as a social network. Called Six Degrees, the network matches up strangers in the hotel lobby, when business travelers would otherwise be eating or reading by themselves. The idea is to match people up via background, professional, and personal interests – and it notifies hotel staff, who might organize group activities around the particular mix of guests that week. It’s a socially and technologically forward-thinking method of connecting customers in a new, innovative fashion – and in a professional world built on connections, it’s hard to go wrong trying to facilitate that. 

Twitter Launches Visuals In Feed

Twitter’s feed has been living in the past in regard to visual content for years, but now it integrates previews of photos and Vines to bring something other than text and links to its primary means of presenting content.  No longer will users have to click through blind links to see photos on the service.  Certainly, this is a minor update that should have taken place long ago, but its effects could be felt in a big way as Twitter grows and begins to create a service closer in look and feel to more familiar social media formats.

Facebook Shuts Down Physical Gifts

The social network’s gifting service, Facebook Gifts, is officially pivoting away from physical gifts in the interest of providing entirely digital offerings. The service was initially introduced as a method of physically connecting people beyond the digital network, but of all users gifting on Facebook, only 20% chose physical gifts through partners like Magnolia Bakery, Dean & DeLuca, and Brookstone. The remaining users opted for digital gift cards through services like iTunes, which it plans to continue. For their plans to extend beyond the Internet, though, Facebook still offers the Facebook Card, which allows you to preload a single card with different amounts of money to spend at brick-and-mortar stores. Combined with its mobile payments feature, the social network still might have a compelling real-world payments strategy, even amidst this defeat. 

LinkedIn Announces Student Service

The business-oriented social network today announced a new effort to recruit younger students with its new program, LinkedIn for Students. Starting on September 12, the company will let anyone older than 13 sign up. It’s also allowing universities and colleges to establish “University Pages” that feature career oriented, college-based information that includes specializations, status updates, notable alumni, and other data. Of yet, 200 universities have signed up, and hope to influence future students, and help them build a digital profile from the ground up. 

Facebook Still #1 Social Network Among Teens

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, Facebook remains the post popular social network among teens, and its use increased from 93% to 94% over the last year. The second most popular social network was Twitter, used by 26% of teens. Myspace, however, saw a rapid drop from 24% to only 7%. Instagram officially became a player in the space as well, with now 11% reporting that they use the photo-sharing service, and it’s popular amongst older teens who are looking to get away from their parents and families’ prying eyes on Facebook.