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Facebook Signs BuzzFeed, Vox, Others for Original Video Shows – Sources

Facebook Inc has signed deals with millennial-focused news and entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to make shows for its upcoming video service, which will feature long and short-form content with ad breaks, according to several sources familiar with the situation. Facebook is planning two tiers of video entertainment: scripted shows with episodes lasting 20 to 30 minutes, which it will own; and shorter scripted and unscripted shows with episodes lasting about 5 to 10 minutes, which Facebook will not own, according to the sources. Facebook’s move to acquire and license original content is the latest in its push to attract more advertising dollars, putting the company in head-to-head competition with Alphabet Inc’s YouTube Red, Snapchat’s Discover feature, and traditional television networks. – Reuters

Snapchat Introduces Custom Stories for Capturing Group Moments with Friends

This week, Snapchat rolled out custom Stories, a new form of Story designed to make sharing around big events easier. The new feature allows users to create global and geofenced stories with the friends of their choosing. It’s a natural evolution of Snap’s geofenced stickers, which let you create custom stickers for weddings, birthdays, and other events. And as competition with Instagram intensifies, it introduces a new sharing mechanic that could help rope in new users. – The Verge

Instagram Launches Story Search for Hashtag Locations

Instagram Stories wants to be your window into what’s going on around a topic or place right now, so it’s adding a way to search Stories two months after Snapchat did the same. Instagram users can now search for a location or hashtag and see a Story compiled from Story posts by other users that include that location sticker, hashtag sticker, or hashtag in the caption. Location Stories from nearby places will also appear featured in the Explore tab. Instagram Search could open new use cases on Instagram and add utility to the app, boosting usage time of Stories. – Tech Crunch

Pinterest Is Introducing Auto-Play Promoted Video in Its Feed and Search Results

Pinterest’s Promoted Video ad units, introduced last August, are going auto-play. The new type of Promoted Video begins playing as soon as users scroll across it in their feeds, and these ad units will also auto-play in Pinterest’s search results. This week, Pinterest announced that it has been testing auto-play Promoted Video with a number of brands, including Universal Pictures, Visa, Procter & Gamble, and Pillsbury, and added that it will be available to all advertisers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand “in coming months.” – AdWeek

Lindsay Motta
Lindsay Motta
Senior Social Media and PR Strategist

Lindsay is a digital marketer with over 5 years of experience in managing social strategy and campaigns for CPG, entertainment and e-retail clients. She comes to Smith Brothers from VaynerMedia in New York City, where she led insight-driven, integrated marketing campaigns with a focus on social for several clients, including Sour Patch Kids and HALLS Cough Drops. Highlights of her career include planning a real-time, hyper-targeted paid Facebook campaign using sickness-tracking data to drive purchase intent for HALLS, launching the first Mondelez brand on Snapchat, and executing an influencer marketing program live from the Teen Choice 2015 red carpet. Lindsay holds a M.S. in Communications from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Journalism, Advertising and PR from Duquesne University.