Four hot topics for heated debate in the Cannes sunshine | M&M Global

Four hot topics for heated debate in the Cannes sunshine

Jez Jowett, global head of creative technology at Havas Media, predicts four hot topics for heated debate in the sunshine at next week’s Cannes Lions festival.

Jez Jowett

Google Glass 2

Google Glass is dead, long live Google Glass 2? Despite Google’s I/O conference coming and going in May with no mention of the next gen wearable, there’s been a flurry of recruitment at Glass HQ. So how will Google Glass 2 succeed where the original failed?

Well, for a start it needs to be more affordable and the battery life considerably improved. Google then needs to decide whether to focus on mass market or businesses. If Glass 2 was aimed at industry sectors such as healthcare and construction, it would stand a better chance of gaining cultural acceptance and then could spill over into lifestyle use.

Facebook Instant Articles

This is a big deal for publishers – the first Facebook Instant Articles are well designed, interactive pieces of mobile content, and Facebook is handing over all the ad revenue if publishers sell their own ads. That means publishers will need to get better at mobile ad sales or settle for 70% and rely on Facebook’s expertise and experience.

So far, nine publishers including the Times, National Geographic and BuzzFeed have access to Instant Articles. Brands should be licking their lips at the prospect of a powerful mobile branded content experience that reaches these targeted audiences in a unique way. Just imagine, what will happen when Facebook eventually caves in and offers Instant Articles direct to agencies and brands or even fans?

Evan Spiegel

The dynamic CEO of Snapchat is notoriously secretive about his plans for the platform that’s valued at around $15bn. At Cannes, he’ll be on stage talking about how millennials think creatively but you can guarantee he won’t talk about his long-term vision for the company.

But this is the year of the chat app right? So if we can’t ask him about the future, we’ll just need to speculate instead.

Earlier this year, Snapchat invited brands and publishers to get in on the action with the Discover channels, which provides curated news from partners like Sky News, National Geographic, MTV and Cosmopolitan. It surely won’t be long now before Snapchat is also producing its own content on Discover.

In terms of ad formats, Snapchat appears set on asking advertisers to produce ads in a vertical screen format, which will prevent them from taking ads off YouTube or Facebook and plugging them straight in on Snapchat.

By adopting this mobile-first stance, content will have to be specifically created for the platform and the user, which will, in theory, lead to a better mobile experience. Will we now start to see content factories, social newsrooms, or even mobile studio’s creating branded content, in near real time for smarter engagement?

Apple News

Ok, so if we’re talking about Facebook Instant Articles and Snapchat’’s Discover feature, we really need to drop in a word or two about Apple News. That’s right, in the face of stiff competition for the best mobile content experience, Apple is ditching its Newsstand app and introducing News, a sleek new reader app for iOS9.

In the US, Apple has already teamed up with Wired and Vanity Fair, along with some of the same publishers creating content for Facebook’s Instant Articles, namely Buzzfeed and The New York Times.

Each media outlet will have its own channel within the News app and users will be able to search and favourite different topics and publications. Users can also customise the layout of stories so that the reading experience is mobile optimised. The more you interact with News, the more it learns about you. As a result, the app will be able to create a personalised feed of curated articles based on your interests. Sounds a bit like Flipboard don’t you think?

To discuss these or any other topics during Cannes Lions across digital channels, use #HavasCafe to follow the news from the Havas Social Newsroom – Powered by Socialyse, content by Cake, in partnership with NewsCred – will be located outside the Havas Cafe, in the gardens of the Grand Hotel on the famous Croisette.

Jez Jowett, global head of creative technology, Havas Media

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