Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Facebook’.
Social media aiding in Typhoon Haiyan aftermath
In the wake of the disastrous Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, social media and online mapping tools have been useful in disaster response efforts. For example, the Standby Task Force, a volunteer organisation, has tapped more than one million tweets, text messages and other social media objects to track the unfolding disaster, and to map damage, infrastructure and user needs. Apps are available to enable volunteers to tag tweets or photos to indicate infrastructure damage or population displacements. Filipinos in Manila have also been using social media to rally relief efforts. These social media efforts are in some ways emblematic of the country’s population, just over half of whom are under 25.
WeChat the fasting growing app among teens
We may have read how Facebook is losing out on the teenage audience as baby boomers (their parents) join the platform. A study by Global Web Index suggests that teens are going to other platforms – revealing that Chinese messaging app WeChat is the fastest growing social app used by youths worldwide, followed by Vine and Flickr.
India’s answer to Snapchat: Candidly
Amidst the massively growing popularity of instant messaging apps, an Indian start-up has created an app Candidly, with similar features to Snapchat. Candidly lets users share photos, doodle on them, and send voice messages or brief video clips. There are options allowing the shared content to self-destruct after 10 seconds. Aside from Snapchat, Candidly is up against more conventional messaging apps that are popular in India, such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Nimbuzz, and Viber.
Worldwide social users reach 1.61 billion
According to eMarketer, there are now 1.61 billion monthly users of social networks worldwide – up 14.2% from 2012. This is set to increase to 2.33 billion by 2017, though growth will gradually slow to 7.6%. The highest penetration still exists in the West, with 63.5% in the Netherlands, but the highest growth is in India, with 37.4%.
Facebook trials autoplay videos
Facebook has been trialling new ways to display video in the newsfeed, with ‘autoplay’ features limited to native Facebook videos – other clips, from the likes of YouTube and Vimeo, will still appear as a thumbnail with a play button. Those selected for autoplay will do so when a user scrolls over them – if clicked, they will then expand and unmute.
Facebook simplifies scheduling, allows drag and drop photos for pages
Facebook has introduced two features to make life easier for page admins. First of all, post scheduling has been simplified, with a calendar appearing when the user needs to select a date, along with easier time selection. Additionally, admins can now add photos using the ‘drag and drop’ system already available to other Facebook users.
Instagram launches for Windows Phone, experiments with messaging
Instagram has launched a beta version of its app for Windows Phone – which can take photos, contrary to certain reports. You’ll need to use your native camera app, rather than the Instagram app itself, but it can be done. The app is still lacking video, however. This comes amidst news that the network is planning to expand its offering by introducing private messaging and even experimenting with group messages.
Five countries account for half Twitter’s MAUs
Half of Twitter’s monthly active users come from just five countries – the USA, Japan, Indonesia, UK and Brazil. 24.3% come from the USA, followed by 9.3% in Japan and 6.5% in Indonesia. The UK and Brazil follow with 5.6% and 4.3% respectively.
Twitter introduces TV conversation targeting
Twitter has introduced a new form of ad targeting, which allows brands to show ads to people tweeting about a particular programme. The system is available through Twitter’s self-serve ad tool, meaning it’s not limited to just big brands. The move seems to make sense, and the network produced two pieces of research last week to support it. One study showed that the cost per incremental acquisition is 36% lower for TV and Twitter advertising than in TV alone.
Moreover, TV ads and Twitter paid media produce 8-16% more sales than TV advertising alone, according to analysis of 30 US Consumer Package Good brands.
Vine adds 19 new languages
Vine is looking to expand into new markets with 19 additional languages. There’s Filipino and Polish for Android, while both Android and iOS receive (deep breath): Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai and Turkish. And exhale.
LinkedIn has two new features
LinkedIn has introduced two new features: Showcase Pages and Talent Updates. The former essentially allows brands to segment and display content for specific audiences in addition to their main brand pages. The latter is a recruitment tool; when brands share talent updates to their followers, these will appear in users’ feeds – those who engage can then be contacted by the company with a view to being hired.
Pinterest create ‘Place pins’
Pinterest has released a new feature: Place pins. These allow users to add a location to every item pinned, which allows for the production of maps that function as guides to cities or other locations. People have already started doing some interesting stuff with the feature, such as Time Out’s guide to Christmas in London or the below map of Hong Kong.
All go in the world of Snapchat
Snapchat is reportedly seeing more images uploaded each day than Facebook. The disposable photo-sharing app now sees 400 million ‘snaps’ a day, according to CEO Evan Spiegel, up from 350 million in September and 200 million in June – that in comparison to Facebook’s 350 million photos uploaded globally each day. Spiegel also revealed some demographic information on the network: 70% of its users are women. All this information could come in useful to those looking to invest, with chinese web giant Tencent rumoured to be interested; in fact, it has emerged in the last week that it has already got in there, as an unnamed minority participant in Snapchat’s last $60 million round of funding.
Foursquare opens ad space for brands without a location
Foursquare is welcoming advertising from brands without a location, with Mastercard set to become the first. The move sees the network look to expand its ad revenue and could well be successful, given the whole new realm of brands opened up to advertising on the platform.
Google updates Hangouts and iOS7 G+ app
Google has made some alterations to Hangouts, rendering them more suitable for the workplace. The feature now supports a global address list, as well as settings that allow privacy to be limited by country. Finally, there is 24/7 support available, just as with Google’s Talk product. Meanwhile, the new Google+ app for iOS7 has an interesting new feautre: the ability to upload Camera Roll photos and videos to the cloud, allowing the app to function as a cloud storage device.
KLM’s socially-inspired in-flight gift service
Dutch airline KLM has created a gift service named Wannagives, which allows people to select and purchase in flight gifts online. Nick Botter, KLM social technology manager, has stated that the system was inspired by a huge number of requests via social media for something of its ilk.
Birds Eye allow consumers to trace their food’s origin
Food manufacturer Birds Eye has created a Facebook app that allows users to trace the origin of their frozen peas. Traceable packs will include a unique code that allows users to see where their peas came from, along with video content about the process from farm to freezer.
Jaguar and We Are Social launch F-TYPE Coupé with #FromTheShadows
The new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé was unveiled last week in Los Angeles, with We Are Social providing a social media campaign to celebrate. In the build up to the event, a hidden code could be entered into the website to display exclusive content around the car; since its release, a Tumblr has been created to exploit the hashtag #FromTheShadows.
Lexus reveals two cars on Vine
Lexus has revealed two of its latest cars on Vine: the Lexus RC sports coupé and Lexus LF-NX turbo compact crossover SUV concept. After asking followers to tweet with the hashtag #LexusInTokyo, they chose two tweets to respond to with the images, becoming the first automotive brand to launch a model via Vine.
Pepsi Sweden get burnt by voodoo
Uh oh, Pepsi. When Sweden played Portugal last week for a place in the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo was highlighted as the latter’s danger man. As such, Pepsi Sweden created some posts showing a Ronaldo voodoo doll, which then had its head crushed by a can, amongst other things. There was an online backlash, particularly in (you guessed it) Portugal, with a Facebook page called Nunca mais vou beber Pepsi (never drink Pepsi again) receiving almost 200,000 likes. That’s all for this week, so I’ll leave you with one of the images that caused so much anger.
Pinterest to launch Japanese version
According to its company blog, Pinterest will launch a Japanese version of its pinboard-style photo-sharing site. Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten announced it would lead a $100 million funding round for Pinterest. The Japanese version will include exclusive localized features like a hair-styles sub-category, paper crafts, and more. According to Alexa, Pinterest is more popular in Canada and US, where it ranks 12th and 13th based on a combination of average daily visitors and page views, while it ranks 239th in Japan. Rakuten is likely to use Pinterest to drive traffic to its e-commerce site, which will be a new way for brand and consumer interaction. A study shows that Pinterest users have greater potential on spending money online than the average Facebook users. The official launch date of Pinterest’s Japanese version is announced, we will be keeping an eye on it.
Sina Weibo has 60.2 million daily active users
In Sina’s recent Q3 earnings report, Weibo has 60.2 million daily active users, up 11.2 percent. This is a larger jump than the 8.3 percent growth in Q2. Modelling itself after the huge popularity of chat apps, weibo is introducing its mobile-oriented subscriptions to brand/celebrity accounts, as reveal by Sina CEO, Charles Chao. According to Chao, it will be “an important experiment to convert Weibo from a social media platform to social media and a service platform.”
WeChat has over 2 million global official accounts
Chinese social media giant Tencent, has over 2 million official accounts and 272 million monthly active users on WeChat. WeChat’s monthly active users has jumped from 15.3 percent to 124.3 percent as compared to the previous year. Tencent states that its main user-base as Mainland China, but has 100 million overseas registered users. QQ had been the most popular instant messaging app in China before WeChat’s growth in popularity.
Here are some takeaway points from Tencent’s Q3 2013 earning report:
- QQ instant messenger has 815.6 million monthly active user accounts.
- Peak number of simultaneous QQ users: 178.2 million.
- Monthly active users on QZone – the Facebook-like network strongly inked to QQ – hit 623.3 million, up just 0.5 percent from Q2.
US women are social shoppers
Research into the shopping habits of 1,005 US women has found that 28% consult a social platform before making a fashion purchase. The figure was higher among 18-24 year olds, of whom 83% use social for inspiration and advice. Fashion blogs and message boards were most popular among the younger segment and used by 63%, followed by Pinterest (58%), Facebook (54%) and Instagram (49%).
Facebook brings ‘contact via phone number’ to Messenger for iOS
Facebook has brought its ‘contact via phone number’ feature to its latest iOS Messenger app, as well as all Android phones – previously it was available to just a few Android users. The move sees the network target communication beyond people’s Facebook friends, putting it into further direct competition with other chat apps and SMS.
Twitter releases self serve ads in UK, Ireland and Canada
Twitter has further rolled out its self serve ads by including availability for small and medium sized businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada. The system allows users to bid on keywords/hashtags, promoting either an account or an individual tweet and being billed only when a Promoted Account receives a new follow, or someone performs an action on a Promoted Tweet. In the UK, the system is in partnership with mobile provider O2, which is providing benefits for those using the tool including a monitoring tool and a £50 ad credit.
Twitter improves mobile ad targeting
There’s another update to Twitter advertising, too: the company is allowing advertisers to target mobile users based on device, operating system or WiFi connectivity. Considering 76% of Twitter users access via mobile, the tool could well be a very useful one.
GIFs on Twitter?
Huzzah, GIFs on Twitter! For the first time, GIFs can appear animated when embedded in tweets. You still can’t post them natively, but the network has partnered with Giphy, allowing you to share GIF files from Giphy’s website.
Twitter brings alerts to UK and Ireland
Twitter is rolling out ‘alerts’, the system whereby users can subscribe to directly receive important information from emergency services, throughout the UK and Ireland. There are 57 different accounts that will have access to the feature, including all 47 UK police forces.
Pulse integration replaces LinkedIn Today
After purchasing Pulse for $90m in April, LinkedIn has announced increased integration that will replace the ‘LinkedIn Today’ feature. The new system will provide personalised stories for any user who logs in, which they can then share with the rest of their network. There are also updates to the Pulse mobile app, including the ability to log in using your LinkedIn account. This allows Pulse to take a user’s professional interests/who they follow on LinkedIn into account and display more relevant content as a result.
Pinterest introduces APIs & new languages, each pin worth 78 cents
Pinterest introduced APIs last week, allowing a select number of partners to embed pins in their sites, which can then be pinned by users directly. Jason Costa, developer relations at Pinterest, said of the feature:
If someone’s looking for Thanksgiving recipes on AllRecipes.com, they’ll see the most Pinned recipes from the site on the homepage. Or, they could go to Zappos.com to see which shoes Pinners covet most. You could use these APIs to show popular products on your homepage or to curate your top articles and other content on Pinterest at any given time. The Pins will regularly update, so you can always see what’s trending.
Some pretty big names are already involved, including Nestle, Walmart and Disney. It could be good news for them, too, as research has come out that suggests each pin is worth on average 78 cents in sales, up 25% from Q4 2012. Each pin also produces two site visits, six page views and ten repins, making it more viral than Twitter. The network is looking to further capitalise by expanding into four new Scandinavian markets; it has introduced language compatibility for Danish, Swedish, Norwegian Bokmål and Finnish.
American Express and Foursquare offer $50 ads vouchers
American Express has partnered with Foursquare to offer $50 Foursquare ad vouchers to small businesses in the US. The offer is available to any small business running their first ad through the platform.
Can Snapchat bring in ad revenue?
There’s an interesting piece in AdAge this week, which discusses Snapchat’s ability to bring in ad revenue, having rejected a $3bn takeover bid from Facebook. It discusses the network’s reach, with 350m snaps sent daily, but also points to its lack of data, due to its inherent privacy element. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel mentions a couple of potential revenue streams, including in-app purchases and native advertising, while the article also looks at brands already using the platform, including Taco Bell and the New Orleans Saints.
Sony and Facebook making PlayStation social
Sony has announced a partnership with Facebook, which looks to make its latest PlayStation console, the PS4, more social. Users can log in to the system with their Facebook account, allowing use of profile pictures and real name, along with the ability to share achievements or records across Facebook’s network.
O2 reward fans who ‘refer a friend’
Mobile provider O2 is launching its ‘refer a friend’ scheme in the UK, having already done so in Germany. The system offers £20 Amazon or M&S vouchers to people who recommend or share the company’s products on social networks, with a view to one day providing cash rewards.
#UncoverPhilips new logo through social
Technology brand Philips is asking fans to uncover its new logo through social media. For each user who ‘claims’ a pixel, more of the image becomes visible, until the new logo is available for all to see.
Panasonic appoint We Are Social for campaign support
Tech firm Panasonic has appointed We Are Social for creative campaign ideas, including product launches and above-the-line support. We Are Social’s own Sarah Oliver said of the move:
Panasonic has a strong brand and huge social potential. It has big ambitions for its social media activity and we’re looking forward to working closely with their team to deliver some truly creative and effective campaigns.
Brands show how to do Twitter community management
A number of brands teamed up for a brilliant Twitter conversation last week, all kicked off by Tesco mobile. They received the following from a fan:
They responded with the following, starting off a conversation:
Yorkshire Tea then got involved:
It ended up with plenty of other brands, including Jaffa Cakes, Cadbury and Phileas Fogg. The whole thing received a fair amount of press coverage, and shows the power of good community management.
Sachin Tendulkar posts most ever RTed tweet in India
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar retired last week and ended up posting India’s most RTed tweet of all time. To date, it’s received over 16,000 RTs and 10,000 favourites.
I am really touched with #ThankYouSachin messages. Your support all these years have inspired me to give my best.
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) November 13, 2013
Twitter expands its reach in India by partnering with Airtel
With no extra charge, subscribers of Airtel Digital TV in India can soon start tweeting whilst enjoying their favorite TV show or viewing tweets related to it. The tie-ins of Twitter and TV providers around the world has been making headlines for quite some time, which is often referred to as an indication of the emerging second-screen phenomenon. With an user base of 15 Million people, the invasion of Twitter into the digital TV platform in India seems inevitable. In fact, it’s a win-win situation for both parties as Twitter can enrich its revenue stream through TV ad placement whilst Airtel can benefit from the promotion of its additional internet services. How are the Airtel subscribers taking this? Well, we would be keen to hear your thoughts on this.
2 in 3 e-shoppers in India are influenced by social media
In a consumer survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan recently, it’s revealed that over 67% of Indian online shoppers refer to social media before making their purchase. Moreover, 40% of web users aged 18 -35 who took part in the study admitted that they once acquired items after seeing them in a social networking site. In essence, the widespread adoption of smartphone and feature phones has significantly transformed the decision path of Indian consumers by allowing them to get online and stay connected more easily. Companies who embark on this journey and make social media work to their advantage are definitely reaping the benefits.
Line’s stickers turned into dramatic mini-soap operas in Taiwan
Last month, we wrote about how Line tried to compete with WeChat by offering the fun series of Wandoujia stickers in China. Perhaps it is hard to beat the giant that WeChat has grown to become, but the Japanese chat app’s popularity is hinted everywhere in Taiwan: on billboards, in subways, at night markets. Interestingly, Taiwanese fans have gone the extra mile to demonstrate their addiction to the cute stickers by creating funny mini-soap operas out of them. If you’re a huge fan of these animated characters who can read Chinese, check them out!
91 Million social media users in India by end of 2013
It’s estimated by IAMAI, the Internet & Mobile Association of India that the number of social media users in the country will touch the 91M hallmark by the end of this year, reflecting a growth rate of 17% from June. Facebook which enables users to stay in touch with friends, publish content, as well as search for contacts would remain as the most popular platform with a penetration rate of 96%. The promising outlook for social media can be attributed to the influx of affordable smartphones as well as mobile data plans in India. Interestingly, “non-working women” is predicted to be the next segment to be swept along by the social media stomp.
Berocca to make cool easy in Singapore
Berocca is looking to make it easier to be cool for teenagers in Singapore, by creating a desktop widget that compiles interesting content from around the web. Users can then be the first to share this on their own social presences, hopefully upping their own status.
The growth of mobile use for UK internet and shopping
The UK is becoming increasingly mobile as a market, after a study last week predicted that 57% of the country’s internet users will get online via a mobile in 2013, compared with 40% in 2012 and 20% in 2011.
Once online, m-commerce is key for segments of the UK mobile community. 10% of UK consumers use a smartphone as their main shopping method, while 22% make purchases on their phone. This makes Britain the European market leader, with 15% of Germans making mobile purchases, followed by 8% in the Netherlands and 4% in France.
Social referrals growing across the board
Shareaholic released its social media traffic report last week, with positive news for many social networks. Pinterest remains a surprisingly important source of traffic, second only to Facebook. The top three networks, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, increased their referrals by 55.81%, 66.52% and 54.12% respectively and now together account for 15.22% of all traffic to Shareaholic’s publishers. YouTube and LinkedIn also increased their share (by 52.86% and 34.51%), while Google+ remains a relatively unimportant source with a cumulative 0.04% figure.
47% of US advertisers to up social spend
A spring survey of US advertisers found that there are set to be increases in a large number of social budgets.
Facebook ads performing well
Facebook ads are up on all key performance indicators, according to global analysis of 85bn ad impressions. From Q2 to Q3 2013, click volume increased by 14.4%, conversion rate went up 2.36 times, revenue up 2.16 times and return on investment up 3.04 times.
Facebook allows retargeting through newsfeed ads
Facebook has released a new method of ad targeting, which allows advertisers to directly retarget people who have visited their site or app through native ad formats in the newsfeed. This means that retargeting can now take place not just on desktop but also mobile, where ads appear only in the newsfeed and not via the page sidebar – it’s the first time that such a system has been in place for mobile devices.
FBX adds Google, offers very cheap impressions
Facebook has added Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager to its ad exchange, FBX, which allows real time bidding and traditional display ad retargeting. This could well be big news, considering the huge number of advertisers using the system.
In other news, it has become apparent that ads can bought very cheaply through FBX. In fact, 50% of impressions cost less than or equal to US $0.50, as shown in the below graph.
Twitter ups US revenue, but slows on growth and may close #Music
Twitter has announced an increase in its US revenue, leaving it likely to hit $500mn for the year. The first nine months have seen revenue of $422.2mn, up 106% year on year – suggesting strong figures ahead of the platform’s mooted IPO. However, it’s not all good news for the platform, as its growth has slowed to 6.13% in Q3 2013, down from 10.6% for the same period in 2012, as shown in the below graph. It’s also planning to close its mobile #Music app after just six months, with its market share dropping month on month.
Twitter introduces scheduled tweets
Twitter is looking to emulate Facebook by introducing the ability to schedule updates. Previously, Twitter users could schedule tweets by using a client such as Hootsuite or Buddy Media, but the ability is now on offer to users of Twitter’s Ad products directly through the native platform, and applies to both promoted and organic tweets. For more details, see our blog post on the subject.
Receive Twitter DMs from any user
Another Twitter update, this time to its direct messages. Previously, you could only receive DMs from users you follow, but this has all changed with the ability to receive them from any user. The system could well be useful for brands, who can now receive such messages without having to follow each individual consumer.
Twitter’s new Android app and sketching
Twitter has also released a new app this week, its first for Android tablets. The most interesting development allows users to ‘sketch’ a tweet using their device, then upload it to the network. Announced, naturally, in a tweet, a particularly pleasant response came from Samsung.
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) October 10, 2013
It’s not yet clear whether this is to be rolled out across Twitter for other devices, but if so, it would be considered a major change in the platform’s functionality.
The social features of Microsoft’s XBOX One
One of the major releases planned for the next generation of consoles, Microsoft’sXBOX One is set to have a decent number of social features, including community achievements, a Twitter-esque ‘feed’ and the ability to follow professional gamers. More details are included in this video:
Vine-based TV ads by Mountain Dew
Drinks brand Mountain Dew is launching a set of Vine-based TV ads. These will show on NBC Sports and ESPN during Nascar, and can hardly be less interesting than watching cars go round in circles for hours on end.
Tide using Vine for Halloween
Detergent brand Tide has been using Vine this week, too. It is planning seven separate short videos for Halloween, each around a different spooky theme.
— Tide (@tide) October 18, 2013
Jose Cuervo’s #PartyAnimals ‘Howl’ app
Jose Cuervo has launched a ‘Howl’ app under its #PartyAnimals theme, which uses SMS technology to allow users to create a ‘pack’ of friends. When on a night out, users can then ‘howl’ to their entire ‘pack’, or ‘text’ all their ‘mates’. It sounds good to say ‘howl’ and ‘pack’ though, so go Jose Cuervo.
We Are Social create #MoetMoment
We Are Social has created a global social campaign for Moët & Chandon, under the hashtag #MoetMoment. Users upload images or memories of moments that they deem worthy of a bottle of the champagne to Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr using the hashtag, with the best each week receiving a golden Magnum of Moët Impérial.
ASOS send discount codes on Snapchat
Online fashion retailer ASOS used Snapchat to send customers 10 different discount codes, each of which disappeared after 10 seconds, requiring users to either screengrab or write them down quickly. They also tweeted the following to push people to the promotion:
Er, hello @Snapchat! Yeah, we’re totally on there… and we have some secrets to spill. Get following ‘ASOSFashion’
— ASOS (@ASOS) July 3, 2013
C&A Brazil promote partnership with Instagram campaign
C&A Brazil is launching an Instagram campaign to celebrate its partnership with Roberto Cavalli. Based on the idea of ‘Cavalli rules’, fans are asked to post a photo to the C&A account with the hashtag #loucasporcavalli (#prayforcavalli) explaining how they interpret said rules. The best will be selected to win an invitation for the Cavalli collection’s pre-sale event, a book about Cavalli and a C&A gift card.
Carphone Warehouse’s #OnceInABlueMoon
UK mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse is promoting the launch of the new HTC One Vivid Blue with a Twitter campaign called #OnceInABlueMoon. Users are asked to tweet moments in their own lives that fit the hashtag, for the opportunity to win one of the new phones.
Unicef’s #emptyplate campaign for World Food Day
Global charity Unicef created a campaign for World Food Day that aimed to highlight hunger by playing on the tendency for people to post images of their food online. It asked Instagram and Twitter users to instead post an image of an empty plate, hoping that this will raise awareness of those going hungry across the world.
British Gas and the art of the social fail
UK energy company British Gas hiked their prices by 9% last week. Now, this is something that Twitter might just have had something to say about, but the company meant and made it a whole lot worse by offering them a hashtag to use. Offering people the opportunity to #AskBG, they received a number of hugely negative comments, as discussed in our blog post from last week. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they then chose to promote Facebook updates just as the conversation was dying down, highlighting themselves to a whole new audience and bringing on fresh criticism. Like many of their customers may be driven to this winter, all they ended up doing was feeding a dying fire.
More companies are using social media for recruitment in 2013
How important is your social media presence on securing the job that you want? According to a survey that polled 592 human resource professionals worldwide, some 60% of companies were using or planned to use social media searches as a recruitment tool in 2013. Respondents revealed that they sought information related to candidates’ previous work history, education and recommendations when they reviewed them on social media sites. Yet, some business leaders remained sceptical about the reliability of online information on assessing the suitability of a candidate; only 30% of respondents believe that the data on social media is useful. You never know, what you share online may or may not come in useful for that next job opportunity!
Most free Internet landscapes in the world
Freedom House has published data on where the most free internet landscapes are across the world, based on criteria such as obstacles to internet access, limits on content, and violations of user rights.
According to a summary by Tech in Asia, Japan and the Philippines are the most free Internet landscapes, and Vietnam and China the least. Notably, India is experiencing the greatest decline in internet freedom. This is largely influenced by religious unrest and political conflict in 2012 which have also lead to censorship of content deemed offensive and potentially violent.
Two million microblog monitors in China
China state media revealed last week that the government employs more than two million people to monitor web activity. The monitors, described as internet opinion analysts, are on state and commercial payrolls to “gather and analyse public opinions on microblog sites and compile reports for decision-makers”, say state media. Monitors routinely scan through China’s overseas websites as well as microblogging sites such as Sina Weibo, which now has more than 500 million registered users with 100 million messages posted daily.
Social ad spending on the up
eMarketer has reported that marketers’ budgets for social are set to increase. In August 2013, social ad spending made up, on average, around 6.6% of marketers’ budgets – it’s set to increase to 9.1% in the next year, then zoom to 15.8% within five.
Play.com reaps the rewards from social discovery
Electronics website play.com has noticed a large increase in traffic from social sites in the last year. A study of 300 consumers noted that, year-on-year, the traffic driven from social discovery sites, such as Pinterest, was up 200%, while that from social networks such as Facebook was up 80%. Mobile had grown too, with 23% of sales taking place via a mobile device, up 53% in the same amount of time.
Companies respond faster in social media than offline
Two separate studies from last week, when taken together, show that companies respond faster to consumer queries in social media than they do offline. The first, a survey of Call Centre Association members (whatever they are), found that 59% of organisations take over eight hours to respond to email communication, with 26.5% extending that to 24 hours or more. Meanwhile, a study by Simply Measured concluded that the average response time on Twitter was 5.1 hours, while 10% of organisations got a reply out within an hour. So, if you want your question answered on line, Twitter is the place to be.
Spam on the increase in social media
Social media spam has grown by 355% in the first half of 2013, according to analysis of 60m pieces of content from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. The research has found that one in every 200 pieces of social content is now spam, which could start to become a real problem if it continues to grow at the same rate. For illustrative purposes, here is a picture of everyone’s favourite processed meat.
The rise and rise of tablet usage
This year, an estimated 20 million people in the UK will use a tablet, accounting for roughly 1/3 of the population. This is set to grow every year until at least 2017, when 34.8 million UK residents will make use of such a device. Over this period, though, the percentage growth is set to decrease, already down from 165.3% in 2012 to 41.5% this year, it will have fallen to 9.4% by 2017 as the market approaches saturation.
Facebook using free wifi to obtain location data
Facebook is set to offer the opportunity for business to attain free wifi for their customers through its partner, Cisco, in a bid to attain further location data. The system will be available to businesses of all sizes, as the network is using cloud-based wifi firm Meraki to connect with small and medium establishments. Facebook can then use the data to create more accurately targeted ads.
Facebook Home to add content from other social networks
Facebook Home, the homescreen created by the network for Android phones, will begin to pull in content from other social networks including Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in its latest version. The move sees Facebook adapting to a lukewarm user reception; if it genuinely intends to create a socially-led option for phones, allowing greater access to all platforms may well prove a necessary addition.
Post search now available in Facebook’s Graph Search
Graph Search, Facebook’s social search tool, now includes the ability to search for specific posts by what content they contain, when they were posted, where and by whom. In a blog post on the subject, Facebook said:
Starting today, Graph Search will include posts and status updates. Now you will be able to search for status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments to find things shared with you.
Search for the topics you’re interested in and see what your friends are saying, like “Dancing with the Stars” or “Posts about Dancing with the Stars by my friends.
Facebook introduces new mobile ad unit aimed at app engagement
Facebook has introduced a new ad unit for mobile, which aims ad increasing engagement with apps, once a user has already downloaded them. The ads will encourage people to head back to specific features of the app, which could well be very useful for marketers looking to maintain high levels of engagement with a particular part of an app. The video below gives more detail about the new feature.
Growth in users, ad revenue and losses at Twitter
Leading up to Twitter’s stock market IPO, there have been a fair few stories about it this week. The network has released figures on its huge international growth, as its US user growth begins to slow; in March 2010, US monthly active users amounted to 10 million, while their international equivalent were 20 million; these figures have grown at disparate rates to 49 million and 169 million respectively.
This international user base could prove important for Twitter’s advertising base, as they have seen an increase in both ad revenue and overall losses. In the first half of 2013, revenue was up 101% year-on-year to $253.6m, with 87% coming from adverts, but an increase in personnel had accounted for an increase in net losses by 41% to $69.3m in the same period. And after reports of up to 20% of the network’s users being fake, it has been forced to deny the claims, arguing that the figure is actually more like 5% and that there will be a purge of these before the IPO takes place. All hands on deck at Twitter HQ.
New Snapchat stories
Snapchat has introduced ‘stories’, their equivalent of the Facebook newsfeed. Taking a series of photos and videos, you add the various captions/graffiti and publish, at which point the ‘story’ appears to all your friends for 24 hours, before self-destructing in classic Snapchat style. You can get more information on the changes from the video below, or this in-depth analysis by We Are Social’s own Tom Ollerton.
Spotify introduces ‘follow’ button
Spotify, which has up until now been fairly self-contained as social networks go, has introduced a new ‘follow’ button that can appear on any desktop or mobile site, available in 39 countries. When users see the button, shown below, they can instantly follow them and receive updates in their Spotify activity stream, whether they be an artist, user, label, blog or magazine. The button aims to increase engagement on the network, as well as to introduce new people from external sources. Click below and you can even follow Avicii! (You can’t really, it’s a screenshot).
US government shutdown closes their social channels
It’s not just the national parks that have closed down because of the US government shutdown – their social channels have done so, too. Sign-off tweets, like the below, have been seen, but since then it’s been eerily quiet in some parts of social media.
Diane von Furstenberg’s shoppable Google+ hangout
Google+ had a first last week: designer Diane von Furstenberg hosted a shoppable hangout on the network. Those who took part watched the designer talk through various items from her catalogue, whilst simultaneously able to browse and shop the collection. The video below gives some more detail about what went on.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Features It’s Top Twitter Fans in New Ads
Dunkin’ Donuts has been on fire with social media recently, launching one of the first Vine-based TV spots in history last month. Now John Costello, the brand’s Marketing Chief, has given a sneak preview of two socially led video ads that will be released on 14th October at the Masters of Marketing Annual Conference. Two consumers were chosen to appear in each advert, based on their positive tweets about Dunkin’ Donuts. It is presumed that the adverts will run on ESPN, aligning with Dunkin’ Donuts sponsorship of the channel’s Monday Night Football pre-game show.
The 1.2 million faces of Facebook (including yours)
A new website designed by Natalia Rojas compiles the 1.2 billion profile pictures on Facebook, all in one place. ‘The Faces of Facebook’ depicts each user by a teeny tiny dot. Click anywhere amidst the multitude of dots, and the page filters down to reveal thumbnails of the faces of a handful of Facebook users. Click on any one, and their public profile pops up. Many people have privacy concerns surrounding Facebook, but Rojas claims that the site doesn’t store anyone’s private information, pictures, or names. The very first thumbnail? Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
In India Chat apps are up and SMS is down
With the growing popularity of online messaging apps, mobile users in India are becoming less dependent on SMS. According to Nielsen, Indians now only send average two SMS per day. It’s a big drop as compared to nine SMS sent per day in mid 2011. Whereas average time spent on chat apps like Nimbuzz, Viber and Whatsapp show an uprising trend. The average time spent increased by 4 times over the past 2 years. The popularity of chat apps will only be stronger with the fast growing number of smartphone users in India. Is this the death of SMS?
Vietnam Facebook users doubled over the past year to over 22 million
It’s been four years since Vietnam started restricting Facebook but most users are still able to access Facebook quite easily via DNS tweaks or using HotSpotShield. Thanks to the relatively casual block, Vietnam has now over 22 million users on Facebook . With 71% penetration of the total internet population, it’s the nation’s top social media overtaking Zing which has been dominating the social networks sphere in Vietnam for a last few years. The current Facebook number is more than double as compared to last year’s 8.5 million. This makes Vietnam the fastest growing Facebook country in the world. Global brands are definitely eyeing the Vietnamese Facebook market.
Mogujie to attract merchants from Taobao with the new open platform
China’s Pinterest like service Mogujie has launched an open platform for e-sellers with an attempt to attract merchants from Taobao marketplace. As a shopping oriented social platform targeting young females that are passionate about fashion and online shopping, Mogujie has strengthened integration with e-commerce sites like Taobao while still remaining true to its roots. Through the new open platform, it expects to have a fully fledged store on the site supporting both consumer-to-consumer and brand-based stores. It also allows integration between Mogujie store and a merchant’s Taobao shop. Will Mogujie’s venture into e-commerce impact on how giants like Taobao shape its way to service their consumers?
Facebook adds four times the purchase intent of TV alone
Confectionery giant Mondelez has discovered with its Creme Egg Facebook activity that the social network adds four times the purchase intent of marketing than through TV alone. As an FMCG brand that requires high reach within specific sectors, they used targeted advertising on posts to ensure that their campaign reached 15 million people in total, with 6 million of those from mobile. Via Facebook, they received 18% brand consideration and 21% unique reach beyond TV.
Marketers planning to increase social spending
A survey by Advertiser Perceptions has discovered that over half of the marketers they surveyed were planning to increase their digital budget, well above traditional channels. Social media came in at number one, with 47% planning to increase and just 7% to decrease, followed by video with 40% and 9% in those two categories.
Facebook changing News feed targeting
Facebook has announced that it will be making changes to how news feed advertising is targeted. Their announcement places its emphasis on the increased attention to consumer feedback, including when ads are hidden; this will manifest itself for marketers such that, when users hide posts about electronics, they receive less content about that subject.
Facebook allows edits to shared posts
Facebook is now allowing users to edit posts once they have shared them, much like the functionality already available for comments. Fears surrounding the possibility that users could ‘bait and switch’ each other (editing the content of a message to alter the sense of another’s reply) have been abated by the success of the comments system. Share editing is currently available on Android and web, with plans to expand to iOS imminently.
Autofill with Facebook for m-commerce
Facebook is set to launch an m-commerce service that allows users to ‘autofill’ their information from their Facebook profile when making transactions on their mobile, starting with partners Paypal, Strype and Braintree. Deb Liu, payments product manager at Facebook, said of the system:
Mobile is where the conversion gap is, where our customers are going in the future. It’s really important to make this an amazing mobile product. That said, we don’t rule out ever doing this on desktop some day.
Introducing Twitter alerts
Twitter is attempting to expand on the fact that it is a key source of news during times of crisis, by introducing a functionality called ‘Twitter alerts’. The feature will allow users to sign up for alerts from a particular account (so far including NGOs, law enforcement agencies and the like) so that, whenever that page labels something as an ‘alert’, the user in question receives a notifying SMS. The network highlights the way in which these should be used in a separate blog post, listing some instances that it might be appropriate, such as in a natural disaster or evacuation alert, taking inspiration from the ways in which the network has been used during these events in the past. One of the examples given for a potential alert is the FEMA tweet below:
#Isaac tip: Phone lines may be congested after a storm, so update your social networks or text family/friends to say you’re OK.
— FEMA (@fema) August 27, 2012
Twitter and the NFL to sell video ads together
Twitter has recently attained a string of partners in the search for high-quality video content for selling advertising, and their latest acquisition may be the biggest yet: the NFL. As fans are so keen for available video content, the fact that a number of promoted tweets will be run each day by the NFL, mentioning sponsors and containing video content with pre-roll ads, means the deal could prove lucrative for all involved.McDonalds has been announced alongside Verizon as one of the brands involved.
Google includes hashtags in search
Google has created a feature that will allow users to search hashtags within the main Google search engine and receive relevant Google+ content by doing so. Provided a post is public, it will appear in searches for any hashtag included, with a scrollable bar to look through results. Rival networks will have their hashtags appear too, though this will be at the bottom of a separate page, with G+ given priority.
YouTube comments are changing
YouTube comments are changing to appear more like their equivalents on Google+. Previously, comments have been ordered chronologically, which made it difficult to see the most engaging or relevant content, including the likes of comments by the video’s original creator. Now, an algorithm will rank comments in terms of their relevance, similar to how the system works on G+, and comments will tie into users Google+ profiles.
Pinterest updates article pins
Pinterest has updated its pins for articles, citing the fact that over 5 million articles are pinned on the site each day. Now, the pins will include more information, including the heading, author, description and link, plus there is a new ‘reading list board’, allowing users to save content to read at a later time or date.
Netflix making Twitter safe with Spoiler Foiler app
Netflix has produced Spoiler Foiler, an app that allows fans to block certain key words from appearing in their feed, preventing them from ruining the last season of Breaking Bad. For those wondering, the remainder of this week’s mash up is completely spoiler-free.
Heineken let football fans ‘share the sofa’
Walter White was dead all along. Not really! Anyway, Heineken has launched a ‘share the sofa’ Twitter campaign, in which European football fans can talk to ex-professionals throughout games using the hashtag #ShareTheSofa. The season-long campaign, which launched with one-time Dutch footballer Ruud Gullit, looks to play on the link between watching football and drinking beer.
— Ruud Gullit (@GullitR) September 18, 2013
Hooters celebrates 30th birthday with Instagram bash
Hooters is celebrating its 30th birthday by inviting 300,000 ex-waitresses to restaurants, and asking them to post Instagram photos with the hashtag #stepintoawesome. Given the, ahem, visual nature of the restaurant, the chosen network does seem to make sense.
Co-operative electrical asks fans to #FightThePrice
Co-operative electrical has created a Twitter campaign called #FightThePrice, which bases discounts depending on the number of users that tweet about certain products. Potential customers can view the available products on the ‘Fight The Price’ website, then tweet to attempt to increase the discounts, which will be revealed on the final Friday of the campaign.