by David T on Sun 09 September 2018

Between development, marketing, and sales, sometimes writing these update posts can get lost in the weeds. I don't do these as often as I want nor should, but communicating with our users is something I find immensely valuable. And certainly, we chat with all our users on a 1-1 basis when the opportunity presents, but sadly we aren't able to do that with all of our users. So hopefully these types of post will help bridge the gap for those that love Spotlyte and want to find out about what we've been up to, what we're working on, and what we're planning.

Platform News for 2018

This has been a year of ups and one major down ( so far ).

We started off the year very excitedly signing up several large contracts which let us hit an important internal milestone. As a result, we updated our plans to reflect our new product and development plan to focus on digital marketing, signage, and live event displays as 3 distinct but related products. We've continued making minor tweaks to these plans since our initial announcement, but this has enabled us to really focus our product and marketing message to each type of user and their goals. It's enabled us to really speed up development as we can clearly organize and prioritize our roadmap based on product verticals and users to target. We'll get into some of those new developments in a bit.

However, in April a shockwave was sent through the social media tools industry with the Facebook privacy scandal and Cambridge Analytica. A lot of rumors started flying around about how these companies would react and how they would deal with their partners who were properly and legitimately using user data through their API. This ultimately led to some wholesale changes across Facebook and Instagram's API which severely limited certain use cases. The Instagram API deprecation was especially disruptive for our software as it eliminated one of the more common use cases: monitoring a public handle account without authentication. Twitter simultaneously launched their new API program with updated rules and terms, though luckily this was better announced and handled.

These massive changes to the companies that we partner with and depend on was an existential moment in our company's life. It caused a lot of internal debate and discussion about our path and roadmap.

After a lot of discussion, including with some of our users, we realized there still was, and will be, a strong need for Spotlyte's service and capabilities. The desire to reach and engage audiences through user generated content based marketing campaigns and live events will only continue to increase. So this event actually forced us to tighten up and solidify our partnerships with these companies and allow us closer access that we believe provides us a strong advantage going forward.

Just know that we are navigating this API turbulence so that you don't have to. We are dedicated to offering up the best platform for managing user generated content to reach your marketing goals.

With that said, let's look at some of exciting developments that were added to the Spotlyte platform this year, in no particular order.

  1. New content creation capabilities, including directly uploading media. Directly create new posts with images and videos directly in Spotlyte.
  2. Improved categorization capability so you can automatically organize and manage user generated content pulled in by our crawlers.
  3. New action tiles and call to action posts that enable you to quickly insert special action based tiles into your feed
  4. Enhanced search and multi-select capability for fast and simple organization of large collections of content
  5. Improved geofilters for Instagram. Simpler and easier to use location based filters for Instagram. Easily monitor any location for the best user generated content.
  6. New display customizations that apply to all themes, including one that allows you to truncate the text in posts to any defined length.
  7. Several new display themes to be used at your next conference display, or event wall. Here's a social wall we created in collaboration with the team behind the Tony Award's and shown on the CBS broadcast.
  8. Several new magazine and carousel themes for digital marketing. Magazine themes focused on news and media curation.
  9. Increase audience engagement with social media contests using the new variable scoring Leaderboard. Encourage audiences to post more media by assigning more points for posting content with images and even more for video!
  10. Powerful digital signage feature that enables you to schedule content onto your screens.

What you'll be seeing soon

The biggest thing you'll be seeing is a refresh of our product interface. For more than 4 years we've been focused on functionality and adding features to the Spotlyte platform. A lot of this was related to increasing our backend crawling capabilities and intelligence, and frontend tools to easily create, customize, and launch UGC marketing campaigns on all types of displays.

For the last month or so, the team has been working feverishly on a complete overhaul of our interface to make it more user friendly, responsive, and intuitive. And with a focus on the 3 different product segments I talked about earlier, so the tool is easy and intuitive for the particular use case you're needing. We want to provide you all the advanced capabilities but still keep it simple, easy, and even fun to use. Our goal is to help you realize your UGC marketing campaigns with a simple to use tool, that lets you focus on results and not the quirks of the tool you're using.

We don't have an exact date for the launch of the new refreshed interface, but we hope it will be soon. It's looking fresh and clean so far, and I'm really excited for you to see it!

What's coming down the road

Our backlog is surprisingly full considering how much we've worked on and completed throughout the years. It's really a testament to your continued trust and feedback that we've been able to keep innovating and developing new capabilities into Spotlyte.

Without getting too much into specifics, I'll say that we have exciting features planned around better content creation and organization tools. Better and smarter automation capabilities to remove some of the more mundane day to day tasks of curating a large UGC database. Some interesting features centered around encouraging and increasing engagement.

As it is with any software product, it's challenging figuring out the balance between features and usability, but we're committed and excited to deliver the best user generated content platform possible.

Stay tuned for a 'fresh' finish to 2018, and an exciting start into 2019.

Follow us on Twitter at @getspotlyte to find out all the news and developments as it happens. Tweet us and let us know what you want to see on Spotlyte

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