Influencer Digest: Oscar worthy VR, Snapchat Spectacles, and Instagram LIVE

Here is your weekly dose of the best content marketing news and content curated from the web with insights to apply to your business. 


The best content marketing blog posts I've dug up this week.

Live Video for Instagram Stories Going Global - Social Times

The US and other parts of the world have had this feature since last year but as of this week, Australia and the rest of the world now have access to the LIVE stories in Instagram. This is going to be a big engagement piece in 2017 and beyond. 

48 Hours with Snapchat Spectacles: Our Full Review and 5 Tips to Create Better Snaps - Buffer Blog
One of the best explainers of Snapchat Spectacles that I've seen is from the Buffer blog this week. Snapchat Spectacles are notoriously hard to get your hands on right now, but soon they'll be everywhere. This is a great glimpse into what's coming to Snapchat and some good tips to create better snap stories. 

Facebook News Feed Algorithm: Percent of a Video Watched By Users Given Weight - Social Times

Why: This week Facebook announced it will favour videos that have a higher percentage watched in the newsfeed. I've been expecting this, as it's been the norm for YouTube for ages and it places emphasis on engagement and quality and not just the number of eyeballs that start a video which is a better user experience.  

I think we can expect to see longer, higher quality videos being presented in the newsfeed more often. If long videos suit your content and audience, it now makes total sense to produce them. 


What: Facebook Virtual Reality

Why:  Facebook has been gearing up VR for a while and they've recently appointed a new head of VR, Hugo Barra (formerly Google, Xiaomi). Last year they published this amazing showcase of the upcoming VR technology. It feels like a sophisticated video conference with interactive Nintendo Wii like characters in a 360 degrees space!
I thought it worth noting again as we'll be seeing more Facebook / Oculus VR launches in 2017. Check out the video here.


360 Google Spotlight Story: Pearl

Why: Google developed this film last year and it's just become the first 360/VR film to be nominated for an Oscar in the animation category. It's a beautiful story of a musician and his daughter as they grow together following their passion of music. Watch the video here: 


What: Karen X. Cheng @snapkarenx

Karen X Cheng has developed some big viral hits for brands and she's been developing some very cool content with Spectacles. She's an influencer to keep an eye on as she explores the cutting edge of social video. Check out her great travel Spectacles compilation video here: 


What: Gerard Adams @gerardadams

Gerard is known for founding the millennial digital publisher and social startup incubator, Fownders. He's building his personal brand on Instagram very effectively. 
He combines highly produced interview videos, with impromptu stories, and now live Instagram stories to great effect. Check out his account here.