Digital Down Low: November 11th
Dream It. Search It. Pin It. Try It.
- According to Tech Crunch, Pinterest has historically been more of an idea board – a place to dream about ideas you want to try or products you want to buy. Today, however, the company is rolling out a new feature aimed at encouraging people to track and share the things they’ve actually done, too. With a new “tried it” checkmark on Pins, Pinterest users can share the ideas they’ve tried and would recommend to others. The service will also allow you to track the Pins others have tried in a new feed.
- The company says the feature will make it easier for people to find tips about things like recipes and vacation spots, or learn shortcuts for accomplishing projects, for example. It could also help to surface post-purchase product reviews – something that’s important to Pinterest as it has been attempting to move into a more actionable space over the years. For some time, the company has been offering Buyable Pins – those that, when clicked, lead to product pages on e-commerce sites.
- With “tried it” tied to products and other items across Pinterest, though, the company could have a better means of tracking Pins throughout the shopping cycle – from dreaming to doing, so to speak – outside of direct conversions from Buyable Pins. Using the new “tried it” checkmark is as simple as clicking the checkmark above the Pin. Pinterest also prompts you to offer feedback by asking “How’d it go?” You can then click on a happy-faced “Love It” button or a sad-faced “Not for Me,” as well as optionally write in your own note or tip.
Facebook Messenger Rolls Out Ads
- According to Marketing Land, Facebook officially made it possible for marketers to turn their Messenger bots into ad bots. After testing sponsored messages since April 2016, Facebook Messenger is opening up the messaging app’s inaugural ad format to all brands who use Messenger’s developer tools to manage their Messenger conversations. Facebook Messenger’s sponsored messages are pretty straightforward and don’t seem to stray from the version it had been testing. The ads can only be shown to people who “have an open, existing conversation with” a brand.
- There are other limitations. Sponsored messages can contain one link and one photo, and sponsored message campaigns can’t be automatically modified to simultaneously run on Facebook or Instagram, unlike a typical Facebook or Instagram ad. Coinciding with that latter limitation and with the sponsored messages roll-out, Facebook is officially opening up the ability for any advertiser to run an ad on Facebook that links to the advertiser’s Messenger account in order to get people to start conversations with the brand.
- Facebook will charge advertisers for their sponsored messages anytime the ad appears on a Messenger user’s screen in their Messenger inbox, and brands will have to pay for the ad impression even if the person on the other end never opens the sponsored message.
The Indian Government Eliminates Currency Notes
- According to Mashable, Indians woke up to the surprise announcement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the withdrawal of bigger denomination currency notes. As they begin to come to term with the adjustment, things are not looking easy for many. In an address to the nation late evening yesterday, Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes won’t be a legal tender starting Wednesday. The two denotations amount for more than two-thirds by value of all cash circulation in India (it amounted for over 80 percent in 2014-15, according to Reserve Bank of India). Modi’s announcement comes as India bolsters its actions to fight corruption, money laundering, counterfeit, and terrorism activities, all of which typically see unreported stash of cashes used for transactions. Though Modi’s steps have been welcomed whole-heartedly by many, it has become apparent that lives of hundreds of millions of people will be affected for the next few weeks.
- In the aftermath of the announcement, many queued outside ATMs to withdraw Rs 100 (the biggest denomination available now) notes before midnight struck. The government has also closed the banks today while ATMs will remain closed tomorrow as well, which has caused a panic among millions in India as they struggle to function in India’s cash-dependent markets. People are flocking to petrol pumps to tank up their cars, for which they can still pay with the old currency. Government owned petrol pumps have been mandated to accept the older currency for the next couple of days.
- Mobile payment, wallet and shopping app Paytm, food ordering app Zomato have also made similar changes to their service. Online businesses are however seeing growth in sales and are projecting positive changes from this announcement. Paytm said it has seen a staggering 200 percent growth in the download of its mobile wallet app, and 250 percent growth in transactions and transaction value. Considering the low penetration of bank accounts, and by extension, credit and debit cards, this is an impressive milestone.