Facebook F8 – Key features that have got the Photospire team excited

Facebook’s annual developer conference is taking place this week and some of the announcements have got us excited. Below are some new features that are going to change the user experience and greatly enhance the social giants offering.


Augmented reality

Facebook have declared that the camera is the most important part of your phone.

Of course, its already key to sharing photos and videos with friends but the new augmented reality tools will enhance reality when viewing life through the camera. You will be able to place virtual objects and messages into the real world and add more information and detail to your pictures.

Facebook wants you to share photos of your run with your pace and time superimposed over the top and leave your reviews on the windows of restaurants. Pieces of art that can only be viewed through your phone will, in Zuckerbergs own words “have people standing around looking at blank walls”.

Camera Frames and Masks

The new camera effects platform will allow users to enhance their photos along the same lines as Snapchat but with more features.

The new ‘Frame Studio’ is an online creative editor that allows developers to make frames for pictures and images taken with the Facebook camera. In addition they are launching the ‘AR Studio’ to help content creators make their own masks, filters, animated frames and effects. These enhancements will respond to the environment, movement and interactions in live videos..

Messenger Bot Enhancements

Facebook is launching Facebook Messenger Platform 2.0 that uses even more artificial intelligence to connect users with businesses and visa versa.

For example, mentioning on a chat that you want to see a film will trigger messenger’s virtual assistant ‘M’ who will list the times and cinema locations in your area and then help everyone buy their tickets. Facebook want you to use messenger not only as a place to chat with friends but somewhere to organise your social life and more, differentiating it from What’s App.

These are just a few key developments that have come out of F8 so far, we can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeve.


Facebook Video Advertising – 5 Things Brands Need to Know

We all know by now that Facebook advertising is big business and brands are really starting to embrace the opportunity to reach out to customers through social platforms. Video has proven to be the most engaging form of content and its popularity is breaking through the stratosphere. In July this year alone 16 million videos were uploaded to Facebook directly generating over 232 billion views for around 3.5 million different creators (Tubular Insights).

So how do brands make the most of video on Facebook?

fbook 3Campaign Goals
Firstly you need to nail down your campaign goal whether that be to raise brand awareness, drive sales or promote a service or product. Once this has been established you need to decide
what success looks like to you and how you will measure it (for example with click through rates, number of views etc)

Target audience

The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can really target your audience and get an insight into behavioural patterns and demographics. The more you understand your audience the more you can target your content and really engage them. You can access information such as what pages people like who also like your page, what device they use to browse, their purchase behaviour and interests as well as location. In addition you can target people who share your current customers demographics and behavioural traits.

Creative Development
The key to advertising success is to connect with your audience. You need to engage your audience with the right message at the right time. Customers engage with personal moments and enjoy being part of the conversation, its important to spark interest and not give the hard sell.   Consistent visuals are also key to really emphasise your brands identity. Facebook suggest that adverts should be 80% visual and a max of 20% text. Its a ratio that works.

fbook 1Timing
After analysing millions of videos, Wistia data showed that on average, people watch more than 80% of a video shorter than 30 seconds. Its clear that the message needs to be concise and simple. You have to get through to your audience in the first 5 seconds if you want them to watch the entire video. The frequency is also important, its not about video overload its very much quality over quantity. For a series of adverts its important to keep consistent but offer fresh content each time.

To reach out to different segments you need to customise your videos to each target audience. There is no point posting a generic video for everybody. When you are targeting new or potential customers you need videos that build brand awareness and are informative, however existing customers may prefer to see new products and offers. You can take this one step further by personalising by location, demographics and interests to really offer a personalised experience to your audience.

Photospire is a personalised video platform that enables brands to tell their story in the most engaging way across all digital channels. For Facebook brands can use our technology to create multiple custom audiences and target them with the content that is relevant to them. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.


All Hail the Mighty GIF

GIFs today are a far cry from their humble clipart beginnings in 1987. Todays GIFs are the go to medium for anybody wanting to express something in a fast and engaging way. Somewhere between a collection of images and a mini video the GIF format adds something special. They are visually stimulating and can be consumed in a matter of seconds on continuous loop. They tick all the right boxes for today’s time poor consumer.


Social media sites are all on board now allowing users to upload GIFs, a platform on which they really come into their own. New online tools help even the most novice users find and create GIFs which they can then share. When scrolling through your news feed the number of GIFs displayed has massively increased in recent months both from followers and brands. Facebook finally rolled out proper GIF support to personal accounts and business accounts last year and Twitter has gone one step further by last month releasing a GIF button which allows users to search its catalogue of animated GIFs and then easily share them. It has also released a video sharing tool for direct messages.

Brands are now using this medium to engage with their customers in a new and fresh way. Although video is still incredibly powerful in marketing terms GIFs offer a different approach. They provide a more convenient, faster and silent way to engage. Brands can build hype and highlight key messages in as little as three seconds and GIFs frame-by-frame nature lets consumers stop and focus on a single moment or detail. Brands are seeing huge increases in click through and conversion rates when using this format in emails. They are also being used on product pages as how-to visuals, on social media to give customers a ‘sneak-peak’ look at new products and as follow up communications to keep the conversation going and continue to engage.

Whichever way you look at it GIFs are here to stay and are only going to get more advanced as technology progresses. Can your brand afford not to get on board? For information on how Photospire can reach out to your customers through visual content please get in touch today.

How Brands Can Shine on Instagram

As the fastest growing and most engaging social media network, Instagram offers a huge opportunity for brands to engage and gain visibility to its 300 million users.

InstagramA recent study by Iconosquare found that:

  • 62% follow a brand because they love it
  • 54% follow a brand to discover new things
  • 48% follow a brand because the content is entertaining

So we know that Instagram has great potential for your brand, but what is the best
way of maximising your presence so that you can engage with current fans, become more visible to potential customers and ultimately increase your sales?

What to Post?

It is important not to INSTAGRAM QUOTEsell sell sell, social media is a two way conversation between
you and your followers. They want to see your products and new seasonal lines but they are also interested in the inspiration behind them and the opinions shared by other people as well as the culture of the brand as a whole. Rallyverse have come up with a golden ratio for social marketing. They claim that the ideal content is 30%
owned, 60% curated and 10% promotional.

Your posts should be clear, active and engaging with a call to action which can be anything from ‘tag a friend’ to ‘click on the link’. Similarly competitions have proved to be very successful with followers, in fact according to Iconosquare’s report 41% of users follow brands for offers and 70% have taken part in a competition.

Video v Photo

While an Instagram photo is a quick and easy way to tell the story of your brand, Instagram videos provide another layer of storytelling and interaction with your followers.

Instagram videos can bring to life what behind-the-scenes photos can only glimpse. In 15 seconds, you can show how to style an outfit, perform an exercise move, style your hair, or pack hand luggage for a week’s holiday. The opportunities are endless.

Who is doing it right?

NIKE 2Two of the most popular brands on Instagram are Nike with 20.6 million followers and Victoria’s Secret with 20.8 million followers. Scanning through their posts you will see glossy photos of their products interlaced with videos of athletes working out, models backstage at fashion shows, inspirational quotes,
clips of interviews and events and more. Their
posts show variety and importantly offer their followers tips, discounts, special offers and event invitations. Who wouldn’t want to follow them?

Photospire is a platform that allows brands to automatically generate video for social, email and web channels. For more information please contact us