Instagram is testing a new black-and-white design: Of all the major social platforms, Instagram has evolved the slowest. (Insiders might say “the most thoughtfully.”) Long after the rest of the world has moved away from skeuomorphism, Instagram continues to use a realistic camera as its icon. But there are signs that the app is modernizing: new screenshots show Instagram moving away from its blue-and-orange aesthetic into plain old black and white.
Twitter says its ‘enhanced timeline’ is working: About 2% of users opt out: Despite the momentary backlash, Twitter says its recent timeline algorithm changes have boosted “Tweets, Retweets, replies, and likes” on the service, and hardly anyone’s opted out — “less than 2 percent” of users, said CEO Jack Dorsey.
Apple Music now has 13 million subscribers: Apple Music has reached 13 million subscribers, CEO Tim Cook announced during an earnings call today. The music streaming service has picked up around 2 million subscribers since February when the company announced it had reached 11 million subscribers.
The Sun launches on Snapchat Discover, plans a dozen pieces of content daily: The U.K.’s favorite tabloid is launching on Snapchat Discover today as it adds another notch to its post-paywall platform strategy. While much of the engagement on Snapchat is outside of Discover, that is where the ad dollars are, so it’s where media brands are setting up shop.
Twitter video proves more lucrative than Facebook for some publishers: There is one area where some top publishers and premium media companies say Twitter is beating Facebook: Video revenue sharing. To be sure, Facebook promises jaw-dropping audiences. But despite Twitter’s smaller reach it has an easy solution for them to make money by splitting pre-roll video ad revenue.
Unilever’s Knorr links flavour and love in campaign to target foodie millennials: Knorr brand has launched a global campaign to tap in to the millennial appetite for sharing recipes on social media and learning cooking tips from bloggers and vloggers. The film, which marks a new direction from the Unilever-owned brand, pairs 14 single people based on their flavour preferences to see if a shared passion for certain tastes would ignite chemistry between the two.
Twitter makes it easier to report multiple abusive tweets: Over the last year, Twitter has been making more robust efforts to help users deal with harassment on its platform. From this week, recipients of abusive tweets can report multiple messages at once to the company’s so-called “safety team.”
‘Burn the boats’: About.com begins unbundling, starting with health: About.com came of age — and thrived — in the time of portals. But as big one-stop-shop sites lose relevance, it’s embracing the power of focus in verticals in categories like health, home and finance. It’s begun unbundling the About portal, starting with a health vertical site called Verywell, with plans to roll out a couple more new verticals by the end of the year.
YouTube updates mobile home page layout & recommended video feature: YouTube is rolling out a newly designed mobile home page for Android and iPhone users and has updated its recommended videos system. According to the announcement, recommended videos are now based on Google’s “neural network technology,” which finds patterns and improves upon itself as it analyzes new data.
HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ is planting fake news stories in Google search results: “Silicon Valley” is a scripted HBO comedy that so brilliantly satirizes the real-life tech industry it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s a joke. Now it’s blurring the lines between fact and fiction online as well.
Apple posts revenue miss of $50.6 billion but sells more iPhones than expected: Apple’s fiscal second quarter earnings are out. As expected, Apple posted its first year-over-year revenue decline in 13 years. Apple stock is down in after-hours trading. Revenues were $50.6 billion; net income came in at $10.5 billion. Revenues were off 13 percent year-over-year and 33 percent sequentially. Revenues a year ago were $58 billion and net income was $13.6 billion.
Pepsi Plugs New Emoji Bottles With Five-Second TV Ads: For Pepsi, short is sweet when it comes to ads, which is why the brand is taking the unusual step of running five-second TV ads to support the cola’s new emoji-designed bottles.
The Times and Sunday Times Cut Through: The Times and The Sunday Times have partnered to create their first joint brand campaign, bringing to life the quality and focus of their journalism. A 30 second TV and cinema commercial features a montage of significant headline moments from around the world.
YouTube to offer unskippable, 6 second ‘Bumper ads’ to reflect the success of shortform video: YouTube has introduced a new six-second ad format on the basis that “snackable videos” of such a duration perform well on the site. Google announced the changes on its AdWords blog claiming that the Bumper ads are best suited to serialised content. Sitting at the same length as a Vine, they will offer an alternative to the 30-second skippable slots that pre-roll much of the site’s content.
Twitter’s woes continue on Q1 sales of $595M, a sluggish 310M MAUs and weak guidance: Twitter reported its Q1 earnings today, and they’re not great. On the back of 310 monthly active users, the company posted revenues of $595 million, with Q1 GAAP diluted earnings per share of ($0.12) and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.15. This is a big miss on revenues but a beat on EPS.