Snap’s Spectacles are now available in Europe

 Snap’s Spectacles are going on a summer tour across Europe. Starting today, anyone in Europe can buy a pair of sunglasses on Snap’s website or in a vending machine. With this launch, Spectacles are available outside of the U.S. for the first time. European Spectacles are exactly the same as the ones that launched in September 2016 in the U.S. While the excitement around Spectacles… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

LinkedIn’s ProFinder service to find freelancers now available to all in the U.S.

LinkedIn ProFinder

Last Fall, LinkedIn launched a pilot program in an effort to help connect members with independent contractors and freelancers. The company has been pleased with the program’s progress, and today LinkedIn is opening up its latest product — LinkedIn ProFinder — to everyone in the U.S. Through this marketplace, consumers and businesses are connected with those offering professional services such as design, writing and editing, accounting, real estate, and career coaching.

According to a study commissioned by the Freelancers Union and Upwork, nearly 54 million Americans were doing freelance work in 2015. On LinkedIn, there’s also an increasing number of these professionals — a nearly 50 percent increase over the past five years. Rather than let this opportunity slip away, LinkedIn ProFinder plays matchmaker, pairing you with qualified professionals in an experience that’s been described as “Thumbtack for white collar professionals.”

To hire a freelancer, search for the service you need — you can select from among 140 areas. Then fill in details about your specific needs, including location, timeframe, budget, and job requirements. You’ll receive up to 5 offers from freelancers with a message, price quote, and a link to their LinkedIn profile.

“ProFinder is built on top of LinkedIn’s network in order to be network-driven,” the company explained to VentureBeat. “As a consumer, when you submit a project request, we send it to professionals in your network or extended network first. You’ll also see common connections between you and the pro — something you can only get on LinkedIn.”

Some services force you to rely on reviews and ratings, but LinkedIn believes its social network and the technology behind its economic graph offer up a better measure of trustworthiness. The company is positioning ProFinder — powered by its 450 million members — as an important element in driving business to freelancers.

In honor of this wider release, LinkedIn’s data science team examined the current state of freelancers. The research indicates that Florida and Texas are among the states seeing the most growth in this type of workforce, but the East Coast and West Coast ranked as the places with the highest freelance population overall.

The new freelance marketplace gives members a dedicated place to hire subject experts, instead of asking them to parse through millions of listings to find the right candidates. It could also help attract more independent contractors to the social network, some of whom may even have used LinkedIn’s product to improve their capabilities. With this move, LinkedIn appears to be interested in further scaling its offerings beyond the traditional 9 to 5 workforce.

LinkedIn ProFinder is currently only available in the U.S., but it’s likely to expand overseas in the near future.

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Social – VentureBeat

Instagram Video Carousel Ads Now Available to All Advertisers

Instagram announced earlier this month that it was beta-testing the addition of video to carousel ads, and the feature was made available to all advertisers Friday.

Carousel ads on Instagram can contain up to five elements—videos and photos—with videos capped at 60 seconds.

Instagram said in an Instagram for Business blog post announcing the launch that video carousel ads can be run seamlessly across Instagram and Facebook, and they can be created in Facebook’s Ads Manager, Power Editor or marketing application-programming interface.

Taco Bell, ASOS, Macy’s and Airbnb were among the advertisers involved in the beta-test, and Instagram featured campaigns by Disney (pictured above) and Jeep (pictured below) in its blog post, saying:

There are many ways to tell your story on Instagram. And now, for the first time, you have the ability to share a combination of static photos and video with carousel ads. The swipeable ad format lets businesses showcase three to five videos or photos within the same ad unit. That means you can use any combination of videos or photos you’d like. Advertisers also have full control of the order of the content, so photos and videos will appear in a sequence you choose. For businesses wanting to tell a more sequenced story, placing creative in a specific order will work to your advantage.

As you can see, businesses are reaching customers with more immersive content through video carousel ads. Whether you run a full video carousel ad, or a mix of video and photo, adding video to your carousel ads gives customers a richer understanding of your business, product or app. Video carousel ads are also available on Facebook, so you can seamlessly run your ads across both platforms to reach a wider audience more efficiently.

Readers: What do you think of the addition of video to Instagram carousel ads?