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Facebook AI turns your 2D pictures into 3D photos – it’s trippy

(MARKETING) Facebook offers a new way for you to market and capture attention, and it might be the move they need to retain younger users.

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Let’s face it, Facebook isn’t cool anymore. It hasn’t been for quite some time. Your aunt posts Minion memes about Mondays on Facebook, and Facebook knows that’s not cool. But their new technology could be their secret weapon to get renewed attention to their platform from all demographics.

Facebook has been in the virtual reality market ever since they bought Oculus in 2014. But while they have lofty goals concerning VR — founder Mark Zuckerburg states Facebook’s long-term goal is to boast over one billion VR users — there just aren’t that many physical headsets in homes yet. In the mean time, Facebook is taking the lessons learned from the virtual 3D space and applying them to your two-dimensional phones screens.

How does Facebook turn a normal image into a 3D photo? Let’s back up a bit first. Imagine your eyes are cameras. Most of you probably have two eyes. When you focus on a thing, both of your eyes are looking at the same thing, but from a slightly different vantage point as each eye is a couple inches from each other. Your brain puts these two images together and creates a three-dimensional picture of your surroundings. That’s why you can “see” in 3D.

iPhone hardware works in a similar manner. Your iPhone 7+ and newer all actually have two cameras on the back instead of one. Those two “eyes” give your iPhone the ability to create photos with depth. This is where Facebook’s new technology comes in.

If the iPhone’s two cameras are the eyes of this metaphor, then Facebook is the brain. Facebook’s proprietary AI software takes the data gathered from the two cameras and “guesses” what else is around. The result is more like a diorama than a photograph, giving users the ability to zoom, pan, and tilt as if they were looking through a window rather than at a photograph.

Facebook is rolling out the technology as we speak, and has included a list of tips and tricks to level up your multi-dimensional photography skills. “You’ll get the best results if your main subject is three or four feet away,” says Facebook in a press release, “and to really make it pop, try to capture scenes with multiple layers of depth, including something in the foreground and something in the background—like a shot of your family standing in a field of flowers.”

These new features will be viewable from your standard news feed, and with added functionality if accessed through Facebook’s headset VR platform, Facebook360.

Whether this turns out to be the Next Big Thing or just another neat tech niche thing, the ability to effortlessly create 3D still lifes out of standard photographs guarantees The Youths will be hanging around Facebook for at least a little while longer. And guarantees you have yet another way to market to capture attention. Neat!

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James M Lane, AINS was born into this world without his consent an ornery 60 year old man with a full beard. He has worked in the insurance industry for the last half decade, and was a foreign language preschool teacher for years before that. He writes horror in his spare time. Follow him on Instagram for deliberations on pro wrestling and beards.

Real Estate Marketing

FYI, influencer marketing dates back hundreds of years

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…

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Influencers is now one of those buzz words that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary this year.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

“One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today.”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to Vamp Brands, the influencer industry will be worth $5-10 billion by 2020. Where can I sign up?

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Real Estate Marketing

Google launches tool to help marketers on a budget

(MARKETING) Google Ads (formerly AdWords) has added a feature that helps you squeeze more out of your budget.

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Limited by budget? If you utilize Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), go ahead and make room for another tool – the Performance Planner. Google’s new planner, announced at this year’s Google Marketing Live, provides a safe space for advertisers to forecast performance without making adjustments to current campaigns.

Google claims this tool can drive 43% more conversions for advertisers by identifying ideal campaign spend. This is particularly useful for small or emerging brokerages that can’t always afford to compete at the same scale as larger brands when it comes to ad spend. Yes, the tool will probably advise advertisers to raise budgets. But the planner is accounting for billions of search queries, updated daily and uses machine learning to tweak its forecasts.

The planner can now be found in the “tools” menu of your Google Ads account. To use it, campaigns must have been running for at least 72 hours, received at least 3 clicks in the last 7 days or received at least one conversion. This forecasting tool only applies to search campaigns.

Using clicks or conversions as a key metric, the planner recommends how to distribute your monthly budget across campaigns to maximize conversions. The fun doesn’t stop there! The tool allows you to click around and see the number of conversions you could get if you raised your monthly budget even more. By selecting a date range, you can also compare your planned forecast with past performance.

And while using the keyword planner is essential during campaign set-up, you don’t need to turn to it for tweaks and adjustments. Within the planner is the ability to try out new keywords and see how they might affect conversions (don’t forget to try match types other than “broad”).

For those with limited budgets and/or manpower, this tool can save a lot of time and help eliminate a lot of guesswork. It provides deeper, data-driven insights to advertisers looking to optimize their campaigns. And at the very least, if you choose not to implement any changes based on the outcome of the forecast, you will have a concrete reason to blame a lackluster campaign on scarcity of funds.

Needless to say, Google doesn’t guarantee performance. A disclaimer at the bottom provides a friendly reminder that the responsibility of your campaign performance is of course, yours and yours alone.

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Real Estate Marketing

Simple weekly emailer curates your stats across social networks

(MARKETING) If you are overwhelmed or turned off by massively granular stats, getting a simple email weekly about your social media stats could be a meaningful tool for you.

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You already know that building a brand (for yourself OR a brokerage) is a lot of work. There’s not only fierce competition, but there’s a lot of ground to cover.

A huge portion of that ground is being present on social media. This doesn’t just mean consistently posting content that is important and relevant to your brand, but it also means keeping tabs on who is following you and engaging with said content.

That’s why Metrics Coffee is here to help. With this new tool, it helps you keep track of your social media metrics by sending you a detailed email to your inbox every Monday morning.

So, how does it work? First, you enter your email to register (the first month is free, woot woot!) and then you attach all of your social media handles to your account.

Then, every Monday morning, you’ll receive an email from Metrics Coffee with a detailed look at your personal metrics. It’ll show the number of followers on each specific platform, and how much your follower count has gone up (or down) within the last week.

Platforms that it currently tracks are: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, ConvertKit, and ButtonDown. If there’s a platform that isn’t included that you’d like them to track (we would suggest LinkedIn as it is overtly missing), you can request that they integrate said platforms.

“I recently become an independent developer (quit my job!) and started making courses and conducting workshops. I get most of my audience from my twitter and YouTube channel, so I’ve become more intentional about building an audience, said Metrics Coffee maker, Siddharth Kshetrapal. “[I] started tracking [the metrics] with pen and paper along with my morning coffee, but I would forget doing this all the time! Realized I need it to be a push not pull. And that’s why I built this product! It keeps a track of my social accounts and sends me an email every Monday; including my tiny newsletter.”

Much like one needs their Monday morning coffee, Metrics Coffee is designed to give you a rush of adrenaline and inspiration that will help you start your work week. It’s such a simple concept that we wonder why this hasn’t been around for a decade already.

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