We’re already making headway into April, but hold fire, let’s journey back and take stock of some March madness. 

With highlights from Facebook, Tinder and the BBC, here’s a recap of the month in social. For more detail, subscribers can download the Econsultancy Q1 Social Quarterly.

Facebook introduces Stories

Another month, another Snapchat-style steal from Facebook. This time, it’s in the form of Stories, a feature that allows users to overlay special effects onto photos and videos. 

Users can then share them in the News Feed or as a disappearing private message through the new Facebook Direct.

While the feature is pretty much identical to Instagram Stories, the main difference is that you can control exactly who sees the posts by using the privacy feature (much like you can with any other post on Facebook). 

Ted Baker releases 360 degree shoppable video

It was a big month for retail brands, with Ted Baker’s Spring/Summer marketing campaign being one of the most notable.

‘Meet the Bakers’ was a multichannel effort, centring around an episodic sitcom about a fictional (and rather secretive) suburban family.

It included activity on Instagram Stories as well as in physical stores, however its shoppable film was the best part, with VR technology and 360-degree technology allowing consumers to become fully immersed in the Bakers’ story. 

YouTube to remove 30 second unskippable ads

There was some good news for impatient souls last month, as YouTube announced that it will be removing 30-second unskippable ads from its platform. The only catch is, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer, as it’s not actually happening until 2018.

The move is part of YouTube’s effort to create a better user experience for viewers, and while a shorter time-frame might prove tricky for advertisers, there will still be the option for 20 second unskippable ads. Read why it could prove to be a good thing all-round here.

Heinz resurrects Don Draper’s ad pitch

TV fans might recognise the slogan, ‘Pass the Heinz’, which was originally featured in a season six episode of Mad Men. Now, more than 50 years after Don Draper’s Heinz pitch was rejected, the ketchup brand has decided to make it a modern reality.

Heinz’ campaign will involve three print ads which show close-ups of burgers, fries and steaks looking ‘tantalisingly incomplete’ without everyone’s favourite condiment. It will also run on social media, with fans of the show already showing support on Twitter.

Fusing popular culture and creative copywriting, the campaign is particularly clever as it still works even if you’ve never seen an episode of Mad Men in your life (Editor's note: it's possibly the best of the big four box sets).

LinkedIn wants to become a news platform

With the introduction of Trending Storylines, LinkedIn has taken steps to become a news platform as well as a networking channel.

Designed to help you ‘discover and discuss news, ideas and diverse perspectives’ – the feature will use an algorithm as well as an editorial team to deliver relevant stories to users' news feeds.

Currently only available in the US, Trending Storylines is set to roll out to other markets in the very near future.

Apple announces Clips

Last month also saw Apple announce its new mobile video app, Clips.

While it will have some features similar to Instagram and Snapchat, mainly in the form of overlays, emojis and music - there’s far more to it than that.

As well as allowing you to share video creations on other platforms, the tool will include facial recognition to identify people in videos and ‘Live Titles’, which will turn spoken words into on-screen text.

The Body Shop celebrates quirky Mums

March also saw Mother’s Day in the UK, with a whole host of retailers rolling out campaigns to target gift-buying consumers.

The Body Shop’s ‘Rock it like a Mother’ example was one of the best of the bunch, with the brand rolling out a multi-channel campaign encouraging users to share photos of the women that have passed on quirky and empowering traits. It also held events in-stores, with free makeovers being offered to mums. 

With most brands relying on standard gift guides, its emotion-lead campaign made a refreshing change.

More Mother's Day campaigns

Facebook launches Town Hall feature in the US

The end of March saw Facebook launch ‘Town Hall’, a feature that lets US mobile and desktop users contact their local, state and federal government representatives.

If you like or comment on a post by a local representative, you’ll then be invited to email, call or message them – the idea being that users will have a greater opportunity to voice their concerns, which conveniently for Facebook, will happen away from the News Feed.

It comes on the back of accusations that the platform did little to prevent the spread of fake news in the run up to Trump’s presidential victory.

Tinder invites the most desirable to use Select 

It was revealed that Tinder has been running a secret version of its app solely for the most desirable users.

Members-only Tinder Select is said to be made up of elite personalities, including models, actors, CEO’s and other affluent types.

While it’s not exactly clear how Tinder decides who is invited, the platform’s ELO algorithm is likely to be a factor in helping to determine the most popular and desirable candidates. 

The internet falls in love with four-year old Marion Kelly

Finally, if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, why not take a little inspiration from the star of last month’s biggest viral video – Marion Kelly.

The now famous four-year-old made waves when she hilariously crashed her father’s live BBC interview, just as he was in the middle of talking about the impeachment of South Korean president, Park Geun-hye.

It didn’t stop there, as Marion equally impressed during the family’s subsequent press conference, where she appeared as nonchalant as ever.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 5 April, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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