Marketing in the Digital Age: News Round-Up (week ending May 3, 2019)


Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? No, but Waze can! Plus exciting Instagram changes rolling out this year, and voice enabled ads that could revolutionize an industry in this week’s Marketing in the Digital Age.

Instagram Changes Coming in 2019


  1. Launching a new camera for Stories: now users can easily scroll through a camera wheel to find features like boomerang, stickers, and zoom. This also includes a “create mode” which allows users to create Stories without having to upload a pic or video first.

  2. Donation sticker for Stories: 100% of the proceeds go to the nonprofit.

  3. Instagram will roll our Creator profiles: this has influencers wondering what the best fit if for them. The Creator profile status will be limited to those with a certain follower count and will allow for added access to data, like who followed and unfollowed you. But, scheduling tools won’t available to Creator profiles.

  4. Buy products from influencers: this feature was previously in beta for some brands. Now, according to Instagram, “public figures, creators, athletes, publishers, and artists”  will have access to sell directly on the platform.

  5. Starting this summer, anyone can create their own filters: Facebook’s Spark AR Studio (the software that brands and designers use to create Instagram Stories filters) will be available to everyone this summer.

  6. Hiding likes is an official test: this unofficially already started (see last week’s recap). Now, Instagram will be rolling this out in Canada to test starting next week.

  7. “Away Mode”: In an attempt to combat bullying and notifications during sensitive periods of one’s life, this mode gives users a chance to step away from Instagram activity and notifications without having to delete their account.

Opinion: These announcements came during Facebook’s annual F8 conference and are significant enhancements to the platform. As a company, it’s pretty smart given the recent turmoil it has faced and a way to continue to evolve with user needs to stay relevant.

Spotify to Enable Voice Enabled Ads

Summary: Spotify announced it will test out voice enabled ads within its free version that will allow a user to use verbal commands to interact with the ad. Initially, the ads will be for playlists within Spotify to “play now” or just continue by listening to the ad.

Opinion: This could be a revolution within the ad industry and could open the doors to a new form of advertising for apps and other voice enabled products (Alexa, etc.). Instead of having to recall an ad for a product, a person could interact instantly with the brand or product.

How Do You Get To Sesame Street? Waze Can Help

Summary: To celebrate Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary, 63rd Street street in between Broadway and Central Park West in New York City is officially being named “Sesame Street.” And Waze will help navigate you there. On Wednesday afternoon, Waze will start in-app messaging for people using the app in the area to get to Sesame Street.

Opinion: I love this brand integration! It’s a fun and relevant way to celebrate a brand milestone while also a boost to Waze over competitors like Google Maps. I hope the Street is filled with children and their parents/guardians who found Sesame Street next week. :)

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