Facebook Adds Virtual Dates

Facebook is helping users find their love during quarantine by boosting their dating service. They plan to enable virtual dates so users can do video chats on Messenger without having to add one another. Essentially, users can video chat with strangers to try and find a connection.

Facebook is trying to allow users to go on virtual dates because in-person dates are not an option during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook said in a blog post that the purpose is to, “help people find meaningful relationships even when they can’t meet in person.”

The process is as soon as the virtual dating option is active, users can invite matches to video chat. If the recipient agrees, Facebook Messenger will connect them with each other. Facebook hopes their users can find love this quarantine.



Coronavirus Changing The Movie Industry Permanantly

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused change in a lot of industries, especially the movie industry. Films are being available at home, and may never return to the theaters.

Disney recently announced their movie “Onward,” will become available digitally for $19.99, then will soon be available on Disney+. Typically, a movie recently released in theaters would not be available to watch at home for some time. The closure of theaters is convincing studios to break what’s known as the “window,” which is the three-month period between when a movie hits theaters, and when it’s offered as an on demand purchase or rental, and then later on streaming devices. 

Universal announced on Monday that they are going to make movies available at home on the same day as their theater release, starting with “Trolls World Tour.” Universal starting this may cause other companies to follow in their footsteps.


Twitter Shares Key Video Best Practices to Maximize Engagement

Twitter has published its latest findings on video engagement within user’s tweets. They partnered with GroupM to study how Twitter users are responding to videos posted in the app. They outlined how brands can maximize their videos on Twitter and generate more engagement.

Tip #1 is to keep it short and simple. They said, “When a message is conveyed in the first 3 seconds of a video ad, there’s a 13% increase in overall breakthrough metrics.” This means they advise you to include the key message of your video in the beginning, to make people want to continue watching.

Tip #2 is to include product and people. In addition to your key message in the beginning, Twitter says to open the video with a product in focus. They said, “When a video starts on a product, there’s a 24% increase in positive interest and 34% increase in click intent.”

Tip #3 is to use visual cues. They advise that brands position their logo in the video frame to make users even more aware. Twitter says, “We recommend a permanent placement in the upper-left or upper-right corner of the frame. When videos contain clear logo placement, there is a 30% increase in unaided brand recall. Also, consider using a dynamic logo to draw attention to your brand or product as it can lead to a 14% increase in unaided brand recall.”


TikTok Teams Up With Brand Partners on Small Gestures

In an effort to test eCommerce, TikTok users can now send up to three gifts to friends free-of-charge. ‘Small Gestures’ enables users to send free, virtual gifts from a range of brand partners within the app.

TikTok explained, “By collaborating with our brand partners on this new program, we’re able to give users a platform to feel connected with their friends and family through the small gesture of sending a gift to someone who might need it most. And thanks to our generous partners, these ‘Small Gestures’ are offered free for all TikTok users to send gifts up to three separate times.”

Among the gifts available in the app are a two month premium membership for Skillshare, a 90-day subscription to Adobe Premiere Rush, 1-month free DashPass subscription, and a 90-day trial subscription for Pandora.

The small gestures are not physical products, instead, they are promotional offers that many of these businesses use to get more users.

Drew Brees Joining NBC Upon Retirement

Drew Brees is going to NBC once he is finished with the New Orleans Saints. The 41-year-old will be groomed as the potential replacement for Cris Collinsworth. Brees will serve as a Notre Dame game analyst and be on the Football Night in America studio show. NBC spokesman says, “Like all NFL fans, we look forward to watching Drew continue his Hall of Fame career this fall, and we’re confident his post-playing career will be just as successful.”

ESPN had been pursuing Brees in the hopes of moving him to its Monday Night Football booth, however ESPN declined a financial offer from Brees that could have landed him the position. ESPN felt it was too expensive and would rather proceed with a more immediate plan.

The player plans to play the 2020 season after signing a two-year, $50 million contract extension with the Saints last month, so it will be some time until we see Drew on NBC.


ESPN Apologizes for Tee Higgins Graphic Detailing Mother’s ‘Drug Addiction’

During the 2020 NFL Draft, ESPN got personal with all of the draftees in their “Get to Know” graphics. However, they may have gotten too personal with Tee Higgins.

Higgins was being drafted 33rd overall by the Cincinnati Bengals when the graphic was shown. Underneath his hometown, info about his basketball history and noting that his sister plays college basketball was a fact about his mother. It highlights his mother, Camillia’s 16-year drug addiction.

Viewers took to social media to question why ESPN would include something so personal on national television. However, Higgins himself did not mind. The player responded on Twitter saying, “I’m proud of my mom for turning her life around for me and my sister! I have no problem with them showing the world that my mom is a true fighter.”

ESPN still decided to apologize to The Washington Post and say the comment “should not have aired.”


ESPN Asks Commentators to Take a 15% Pay Cut

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the sports world to be put on hold, so ESPN has asked their commentators to take a pay cut over the next three months. This cut would affect around 100 of the network’s highest-paid commentators.

The network had not disclosed which of its commentators have agreed to take the 15% pay cut. These measures are made to prevent further furloughs at the network.

The network has experienced a large hit due to the suspension of the NBA, the NCAA men and women’s college basketball tournament — better known as March Madness, and MLB opening day. However, the 2020 NFL Draft brought a large crowd to the network. Also, they decided to air the highly anticipated Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance,” that was originally set to air in June.


HBO Max Launching Next Month

HBO Max now has an official launch date of May 27, 2020. The service will join the streaming world with a large variety of choices to watch from. HBO Max will contain around 10,000 hours of content from WarnerMedia brands including HBO and Warner Bros. films. It will also have shows like “Rick and Morty,” “Friends,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and “Pretty Little Liars.” HBO Max will also have a variety of TNT and TBS series.

A new series, “Max Originals” which will feature a scripted comedy starring Anna Kendrick called, “Love Life” and “The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.”

The service will cost $14.99 a month, which is more expensive than its competitors. HBO Max will cost twice as much as Disney+ and a few dollars more than Netflix’s standard plan. It will be arriving during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it has the potential to be the next service to experience a surge of users.


Why Disney Is Furloughing Workers but Other Media Companies Are Not

This week Disney furloughed as many as 100,000 workers due to COVID-19. Many of these furloughs are from the parks, however some are from the movie studio and TV division. They plan on paying 100% of health insurance costs for their workers that are currently covered for as long as 12 months.

Several other large media companies face similar goals and challenges as Disney, such as Comcast and AT&T. AT&T’s market cap is $222 billion, Comcast’s is $169 billion and Disney’s is $185 billion. The situations they share are that they all have movie studios that are suffering from the closure of theaters because of COVID-19 and they are all working towards the cord-cutting trend.

However, parks and resorts are Disney’s largest division, bringing in 35% of their revenue last year. AT&T has no affiliations with a park and Comcast only derives 5.4% of their revenue from parks. These companies are not forced to furlough the drastic amount of employees as Disney does because of the parks closures.


Facebook Sees Weakening Ads Business in Countries With COVID-19

While Facebook may have increased engagement, the company is seeing a decrease in their advertisement business, especially in countries that are taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In a blog post titled, “Keeping Our Services Stable and Reliable During the COVID-19 Outbreak,” Facebook said, “As the pandemic expands and more people practice physically distancing themselves from one another, this has also meant that many more people are using our apps.” While the company is experiencing a growth of usage and engagement, they cannot say the same about their advertisement revenue. The company added, “We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

After this news was revealed, Facebook’s stock took a slight drop after a recent 8% increase.