What Happened: The social wars keep raging. Now, Facebook’s Instagram is going head-to-head with Snapchat with a new app called Bolt, which will allow users to turn their friends faces into shutter buttons. Instagram’s first standalone app, Bolt is only being released initially in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand, nations with high Instagram usage that speak English. The app faces lots of competition even beyond Snapchat, according to TechCrunch, including TapTalk and Mirage. And TechCrunch’s Josh Constine questions whether users will even bother with a whole new app just to save a few taps to share photos. But brands have been taking advantage of many of the new apps that Instagram has been rolling out. For instance, apparel company Hollister began uploading a video a day practically in recent weeks on Instagram after the service expanded its video capacity. The program pushed Hollister, part of Abercrombie & Fitch, to No. 7 on AdWeek’s list of top brands on Instagram.
What This Means for Brands: Wake up and look at what’s trending. Not only is social driving consumer engagement, platforms serving Millennials such as Instagram and Snapchat are starting to lead innovation. While these pose the most challenge for brands, they are clearly the ones where the smart brands will be doing the most experimenting,. At this point, only about 4 percent of the Fortune 500 is even uploading video so there’s plenty of room for expansion.
Contributing to current TRENDING items are Bram Berkowitz, Natalie Hensley, Caroline Michelman, Tom Pompei and Daniel J. Sheehan.