Copycat.

 

TWITTER

Has Facebook launched another TikTok copycat?

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It’s pretty clear at this point: Facebook wants to have its own version of TikTok. And though the company technically does already (it’s called Instagram Reels), it still isn’t seeing that TikTok-sized viral fame it’s been gunning for.

So when Facebook dropped a new app – called Collab – yesterday, it was only natural to assume this is yet another TikTok wannabe. But, Collab seems to be different, and could collect a quite unique audience.

Let’s chat about Collab, as well as a couple other bits of Facebook news that dropped yesterday:

  • Collab is a music app. It does what it says – Collab is an app for making music together, collaborating on projects in short-format videos. The app revolves around riffing on, improving, and adding to other people’s musical content in a never-ending content loop. You can check out the app’s page here for more.
  • Facebook’s added some new features for group admins. Another bit of news from Facebook yesterday was the addition of some new functionality for group admins. You’ll now be able to pause groups, use hashtags more efficiently, and more.
  • Slow-loading sites, beware! Matt Navarra reported on Twitter that Facebook is telling users when it detects a slow-loading site (likely to take the blame off of Facebook). Once users are shown this screen, it’s probably not likely they’ll keep waiting for your page to load.

The Crew’s take: Before you get too excited about Collab (or any of this other news), remember that Facebook’s new projects and tests don’t always last forever. But, if Collab does pick up steam, it could be yet another productive platform for marketers!


MARKETING

10 years, 10 lessons

If you frequent the marketing corner of Twitter, you’ll know that there’s always somebody spouting some sort of knowledge or thought leadership (helpful or not, we’ll let you be the judge).

But, it’s not too often we get a solid reflection from somebody who’s been in the business for a while. Yesterday, Andrea Bosoni (a reader, hey Andrea!) shared 10 short and sweet tips from his 10 years in marketing. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • If you build it, they won’t come. This goes against the traditional wisdom, but it’s a great point in today’s climate – you’ve got to market your products! And, make sure you’re doing it in the right channels.
  • Launches are overrated. It’s tough to hear, but those pretty launch day numbers aren’t quite as valuable if you don’t have a user acquisition strategy set in place for the long run.
  • Figure out one distribution channel at a time. It’s tempting to have your fingers in all the pies, but focus on one distribution channel before you start branching out!
  • Money really is in the list and email is still the channel with the highest ROI. And here are some figures to back up this statement.

Go check out the rest of the tips on Twitter here!


SPONSORED BY THE CREW

Let’s put one more present under the tree…

Looking to give yourself (or your business) a little gift this year?

It’s the season of giving, after all – and if you’ve got a product you want to put in front of 16k marketers, we can help out.

We’re ready to make it hassle-free for you:

  • We’ll do the copywriting for you in the same style we write the rest of the newsletter (and the style you’ve seen other products advertised here).
  • We’ll also make sure we create a supporting visual that complements the copy and seamlessly fits into the newsletter design.

You might be interested in some numbers. Did we read your mind?

We’ve put together an updated sponsorship kit that everyone can check out here.

You can learn about our reach, our engagement, see some past examples, a breakdown for the types of marketers who read our newsletter and, of course, the pricing.

Interested? Reply to this email and buy yourself the best gift of the year.


MARKETING

The story of a spectacular fail

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“What is Cyberpunk 2077 and why is there so much hype behind this game?”

It was 2018 when someone asked this question on Reddit.

Fast forward to December 2020, and it’s the second-most viral topic of the year (we don’t even need to mention the first).

Cyberpunk 2077 went live on December 10. But before then, there were already Cyberpunk 2077 branded smartphones (OnePlus 8T), a limited edition Cyberpunk 77 Xbox, sweaters, backpacks, masks and also energy drinks.

If you want something with Cyberpunk branding on it, you can probably find it out there somewhere.

And before the release date, the pre-order sales already exceeded the marketing and production costs. We’re talking about more than 8 million pre-orders that allowed CD Projekt Red, the video game parent company, to be profitable from day one.

Why all this hype, though?

  • A solid brand: CD Projekt Red is definitely one of the reasons behind all the hype. One of the company’s games, The Witcher 3, drove similar enthusiasm and is widely known as one of the greatest video games of all time.
  • A good story: The story takes place in the dystopian Night City, in the year 2077. You play as the first-person character V, who can be highly customized.
  • A huge build-up: Cyberpunk has been a work-in-progress video game for 8 years. All this time helped to build up the tension among the gaming community, until the tension exploded like water coming out of a dam earlier this week. Plus, people value things that take time to build.

However, despite being 8 years in the making, the Cyberpunk 2077 launch has been a nightmare.

Bugs and low-quality resolution experienced by some gamers turned the hype into an angry gamer grenade, with Sony offering refunds to PS4 and PS5 players. The score on Metacritic is 2.9 out of 5, with some users labeling it as the “biggest disappointment of the decade.” And, CD Projekt Red’s stock has tanked nearly 40% since the launch.

So what does this all mean? Product launches are never easy – Elon Musk knows all about that – but a disastrous one can have long-lasting impacts.

The Cyberpunk 2077 story is definitely a good lesson for brands. When you can, it’s much better to underpromise and overdeliver – don’t hype up a product only for it to fall short of expectations!


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

GOOGLE: There was a major, worldwide Google services outage yesterday. YouTube, Docs, Gmail, and more were down, although the issue is mostly resolved now.

MARKETING: James Clear just wrote a smart piece about why being just 1% better than your competition can reap serious rewards.

MICROSOFT: Microsoft’s new analytics tool, Clarity, is now being integrated with Bing Webmaster Tools!

REDDIT: The company announced the acquisition of video app Dubsmash, as part of its ongoing push to make video more available on the platform.

EMAIL MARKETING: Yesterday, some bittersweet news dropped for fans of The Office – it’ll be streaming exclusively on Peacock, starting in 2021. But, their email announcement (from David Wallace himself) was a clever one. Check it out!

BIG TECH: The FTC has ordered nine big tech companies to explain exactly what they do with users’ data, in another move to crack down on the prevalence of social platforms.

GOOGLE: Loren Brichter, a well-known software developer who’s credited with the pull-to-refresh feature you see on most modern tech, just launched a site explaining why Chrome might be slowing down your computer. Give it a read and see what you think!


BRAIN TEASER

You’re in a Formula 1 race with 20 cars. You start off slow, but by the end you’ve passed all 20 cars and are now in first place! Unfortunately, this isn’t actually possible. Why?

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Only in Brazil

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Were you thinking about buying one of the flashy new iPhone 12 models?

Forget about it – an iPhone 6S is all you need, at least if you watch a recent video that surfaced from a Brazilian filmmaker.

Here’s what happened: A filmmaker, Ernesto Galiotto, accidentally dropped his iPhone out of a plane window while he was recording. The phone fell for 300 meters before landing on Cabo Frio, a small town close to Rio de Janeiro.

iPhones have a tendency to break when they fall out of our pockets – so you’d assume Ernesto’s phone was in pieces when he found it.

Fortunately for Ernesto (and frustratingly for those of you who’ve broken iPhones on far less spectacular falls), the iPhone 6S was completely fine, other than a crack in the screen protector.

And what’s more, the phone recorded video all the way down. It’s pretty entertaining, and you can check it out in this article.

We don’t know what invincible iPhone factory Ernesto got that 6S from, but we do know that we want one.

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