Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Foursquare’.
Sina Weibo and WeChat Compete in Online Banking
WeChat and China Merchants Bank (CMB) jointly launched the WeChat customer service for its credit card subscribers in late March this year. On July 1st, CMB announced the establishment of its first “WeChat Bank”, expanding its services to debit card, loan applications, and fee payment services among others. Hot on the heels of WeChat’s exploration into bank services, Sina Weibo has announced it will build a micro-banking system for users to easily open a bank account, conduct money transfers, and pay credit card fees – all without visiting the bank.
The move by WeChat and Sina Weibo is expected to revolutionise communication between customers and bank clerks, as these social media platforms present direct communication channels for both banks and users. Whether Sina Weibo’s micro-banking services are aimed at competing directly with WeChat’s banking strategy is still not clear. What is certain though is that micro-banking through social media is a heated trend in China, and will become a big theme in the coming years.
As WeChat Gets Disrupted, Sina Launches WeMeet
Numerous WeChat users reported disruptions to their WeChat accounts on July 22nd, which also extended to public accounts. There were issues logging in, and some users could not send or receive messages even when logged in. With an increasing number of Chinese Internet users getting addicted to WeChat, the disruptions were met with anxiety as users were unable to access their friends’ updates.
As reported by 36Kr, the disruptions not only affected users from Mainland China, but also Japan and Hong Kong. Many users turned to Sina Weibo to voice their unhappiness. WeChat announced and apologised for this incident right after its occurrence via their official Sina Weibo account. #WeChat is dead# becomes a hot topic on Sina Weibo, with 877,917 mentions by end of Monday. With the overwhelming popularity of WeChat, Sina on the same day launched a new platform called WeMeet (微米) to compete with WeChat. According to Sina, this is still a beta version, and they plan to have an official launch around the end of August 2013.
Line Launches a News App – Line News
In line with its global expansion objectives, Line is expanding more aggressively than competitor WeChat, with its series of individual apps such as Line camera, Line play, Line manga, and Line novel. Line makers NHN Japan recently launched another news app – Line News, which is a media integrated platform of NHN’s news website – Livedoor News and NAVER まとめ, and news from various Japanese media channels on topics such as politics, entertainment, and sports.
Four of the most important news will appear on the top of each channel, while the rest of news will appear in the format of timeline. The news on the Line News app are refined by Line’s editors, containing only 3 to 4 lines of summary, in order to provide an efficient reading model for mobile users. The most crucial part of Line News is that users can share news among each other, contributing to stronger connections between the Line users.
Fortune 500 companies taking to social media
Fortune 500 companies are continuing to grow their various social presences, with Twitter the most prevalent of these. 77% now have active Twitter accounts, compared to 70% in 2012; in terms of popularity, the microblogging platform is followed by Facebook in 2nd, and YouTube in 3rd. Surprisingly, Google+ comes in at 4th with 35%, ahead of company blogs with 34%.
Facebook’s mobile user base up by 20%
Facebook’s mobile user base has increased by 22% in the UK and 18% in the USA over the last year, according to figures released by the social network. On average, smartphone users check Facebook’s mobile app between 10-15 times a day, with 26 million of Facebook’s 33 million UK users (almost 80%) accessing the site via mobile.
Facebook roll out photo comments to pages
Facebook photo comments are now enabled for pages as well as individuals, meaning that people can post photos in response to page comments and page admins can make use of the system, too. The system has been available to personal users for around a month now – it will be interesting to see how quickly pages take advantage of the option.
QVC to create Pinterest-inspired social commerce channel
Bric-a-brac retailer QVC is creating a social-commerce channel called toGather, to be hosted on QVC.com. The service will allow consumers to create collections of products, which others can then ‘heart’ to show their approval, much like on image-sharing social network Pinterest. QVC personalities will also feature, interacting with users to add a further social element.
Trailers and ads on Instagram videos
A few weeks after the launch of video on Instagram, the network has seen its first movie trailer. The 15-second clip promotes ‘Jobs’, in which Ashton Kutcher plays the late Apple CEO, Steve.
Meanwhile, Carnival Cruises used the system to post 9 of their old 15-second ads, which they eventually removed from the platform for fear of violating Instagram terms. The videos, on whose compliance Instagram has not yet commented, were not filmed through the platform, so did not appear in the same style as natively-filmed content. It will be interesting to see if other brands go down this route.
American Express embed Basement Jaxx concert in a tweet
Amex UK last night streamed a live concert from London’s Somerset House, all embedded within a tweet. Fans could send shout-outs using the hashtag #BasementJaxxLive, 10 of which were read out during the set.
— American Express UK (@AmexUK) July 21, 2013
Honda outreaching with Rebecca Black Vines
Honda are responding to people who tweet using the hashtag #wantnewcar with humorous, personalised Vines, featuring ‘Friday’ singer Rebecca Black, as well asHonda’s own employees.
— Honda (@Honda) July 15, 2013
— Honda (@Honda) July 15, 2013
Captain Morgan targeting ads at Foursquare check ins
Rum brand Captain Morgan has started targeting ads at those who check in at certain locations on Foursquare, suggesting they order a drink containing the spirit. Now, when Foursquare users check in at certain bars or restaurants, they’ll receive something like the below:
This raises an interesting point about whether these ads were available to under-21s, on which Foursquare has yet to comment. Boldly, Captain Morgan have accepted the risks of underage users seeing the ads, in the knowledge that the percentage of Foursquare users who are over-21 exceeds the 71.6% bar set for an alcohol ad campaign.
My Nikon World makes everyone a photographer
Photography brand Nikon has produced a Facebook campaign that encourages users to create a photographer profile and upload photos to galleries in order to earn points and badges. Influencers will also be involved in ‘My Nikon World’, which looks to create an online community dedicated to sharing photographs, complete with a competitive element.
WWF buying up 404 pages on Russian social network
WWF is using 404 pages on the Russian social network Odnoklassniki to highlight the plight of various rare and endangered species, including the leopard, tiger, bison and snow leopard. Instead of receiving a standard message, users will be confronted by text stating that the animals in question are in danger of “not existing”.
Mastercard and Foursquare partner to fight cancer
Mastercard are offering to donate $0.01 to fighting cancer for every meal bought using their service worth over $10.00, up to a value of $4 million. They’ve partnered with Foursquare to spread awareness, with images like the below appearing on users’ smartphones.
ASDA helping mums to #savesummer
UK supermarket giant ASDA is helping mums to #savesummer, by suggesting things to make or cook with their children, including ice-cream burgers and Play-Doh dinosaurs, for which the components can all be bought via ASDA.com. Mums will be encouraged to share photos of their efforts on social media, using the hashtag #savesummer.
Buxton asks if Ashes fans have #gotthebottle
Water brand Buxton has created a campaign to celebrate its sponsorship of the Ashes, featuring large digital display boards at train stations across the UK on match days. These will feature tweets from fans and their own @GotTheBottle Twitter account, along with Ashes information and an image of Buxton brand ambassador, England captain Alastair Cook.
Vodafone’s holiday hashtag competition
UK mobile provider Vodafone has produced a Twitter competition that encourages followers to choose holiday destinations based on where certain hashtags are trending. Users choose a hashtag, such as #YOLO or #touristshit, then virtually book a holiday to the location where that hashtag is trending, in order to be in with the chance of winning a break.
Barbour’s 100 days of summer
Clothes brand Barbour, most famous for its wax country jackets popular in Chelsea, is running a summer-themed content stream on its Tumblr, with a new hashtag for each of the ’100 days of summer’. Fans are also being encouraged to share their own content to add to the brand’s, some of which appears as below:
Spotify’s super customer service
Spotify showed last week how good customer service can be. When a fan named Jelena Woehr sent in some positive feedback, she received the following playlist in return, complete with hidden message:
Fireball Whisky in trouble for Facebook posts
Fireball Whisky has had Facebook posts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, on the grounds that they implied alcohol is indispensible, encourage excessive drinking and are likely to exploit the young, immature and vulnerable. The updates included links to student blogs and references to falling over, plus dumping your boyfriend in exchange for more whisky, so it’s pretty unsurprising that they fell foul of ad standards. This goes to show how important it is for brands to realise that Facebook content is strictly regulated, just like TV or print.
The Vatican offers indulgences to Pope’s Twitter followers
The Vatican is offering time off purgatory for followers of Pope Francis’s tweets. The move, which has to have one of the best prizes on offer for a social media competition, sees the Church’s increased attempts to embrace modern technology and specifically the social web. With Twitter accounts in 8 languages, it’s not clear if you get bonus points for how many you follow. Especially if you can’t read Latin.
Facebook now has searchable hashtags to follow public conversation
Following the report in March, Facebook just recently launched the functionality to follow conversations through hashtags. As reported by Techcrunch, Facebook announced that its capabilities include clicking on hashtags from other services, searching for hashtags and writing posts directly from the hashtag feed. Here’s a look at what a quick search of #sghaze, trending topic about the haze in Singapore from Indonesia’s forest fires looks like:
When it comes to the privacy perspective, Facebook says that the hashtags will work similarly to Facebook Graph Search where you’ll only see the comments that you are authorised to see. Although AdAge suggests the move is intended by Facebook to help them compete with Twitter for real-time marketing spend, it’s hard to see them competing with Twitter as the prime social network for second-screen viewing.
Facebook would love to tap into the ‘real-time’ public conversation in the same way that Twitter does, but the challenge for Facebook is they have always been considered a private social network for people you actually know. This is in contrast to the very public nature of Twitter where you can more easily tap into the public consciousness through search and hashtags. Whether Facebook can credibly straddle the line between being a personal social network and a public platform is open for debate.
Twitter has successfully positioned itself as an important second screen platform, which makes it attractive for advertisers and agencies to integrate Twitter into campaign thinking, and therefore spending. Facebook may well be going after their ‘second screen’ dominance and the near ubiquity of using hashtags in advertising campaigns to drive conversations. Which is no doubt why they will allow advertisers to include hashtags in Facebook advertising as it’s rolled out.
WeChat joins Ramadan in Indonesia
Tencent is pushing hard for WeChat to grow in the Southeast Asian market. Recently, WeChat teamed up with the Indonesian creative network Kreavi for a Ramadan-themed contest to create the best holiday WeChat emoticons. As published in TechinAsia, contestants have to submit a set of custom-made WeChat stickers for 10 different emotes including prayer, homecoming, and new clothes—all traditional Ramadan customs. The first place will receive IDR 10 million (($1,020) while the rest of the top ten finalist will receive IDR 50 million ($5,100). The contest has started and runs until July 10. Through this, WeChat hopes to appeal to at least nine out of ten Indonesians.
Line is now the biggest social network in Japan
Are Facebook and Twitter users in Japan now losing their interest and moving to Line? A recent article from ClickZ.asia says that Facebook registered user base in Japan had dropped substantially from about 17 million to 13 million, while Line had increased its users to 41 million. According to Adage, most of the Twitter users in Japan have switched to Line as well.
Listening and responding in social media is vital to protect sales
According to McKinsey, an unnamed telecoms brand found that negative online buzz hurt signups by 8%, effectively off-setting any gains from their entire TV spend. It underscores a really important point: it is quite literally pointless to put money into TV advertising if you are not also listening and responding to consumer queries and complaints on social channels.
Fan-created content vital for brands on YouTube
Research from Cisco has found that by 2017, online video will be even more popular than social networking. Although brands have learnt from this somewhat by ensuring their content is top-notch, they also need to learn to appreciate their super-fans on YouTube – as much as 99% of video views featuring a brand can come from user-submitted content.
Facebook to eliminate Sponsored Search results
As parts of its push to simplify its ad product range, Facebook is eliminating Sponsored Search results. According to Inside Facebook:
The reason why the sponsored results will be nixed is because the most common marketers for them were app and game developers, and Facebook feels that the mobile app install ads and page post link ads are more efficient ways to reach this goal.
Twitter opens up its analytics platform
Twitter has opened up its analytics platform, giving casual users and brands an insight into the people that follow them, as well as the performance of their own tweets.
Myspace relaunches with $20 million ad campaign
Myspace has officially relaunched with a huge ad campaign, aimed less at re-recruiting former users and more as an attempt to re-position the site, aiming it at all creatives involved in the music industry. They’ve released a 90-second ad which they say represents what the new Myspace has to offer:
Google buys Waze for more than $1 billion
Google’s purchase of Waze for more than a billion dollars shows just how important maps and location data is to Google’s business model. Waze is a social map app with real-time traffic data provided by users, letting them flag bad road or weather conditions to other drivers. The acquisition of Waze is a sign that Google will be trying to make Google Maps even more social – with indicators that the next incarnation will include data from Google+ (such as restaurant recommendations) along your routes.
Google launches unified dashboard
In a move which will allow businesses and brands greater flexibility in managing their Google products, Google has launched a single dashboard that allows Google+ page owners to also manage their presence in Search, Maps and AdWords in one place.
For example, the new dashboard will allow businesses to update their info with their website URLs, store hours and phone numbers, across Google Maps, Search and on Google+ right from the tools Overview tab.
Path to raise new funding at $1 billion valuation
Mobile-only social network Path is raising a new round of funding of between $75 and $100 million, valuing the company at over a billion dollars. It’s particularly impressive as their last round of funding in 2012 valued the company at around $250 million.
Twitter and Everyday Health join up to provide public health alerts
Twitter is partnering with health news publisher Everyday Health to deliver health alerts and potentially to sell ads. The publisher will be able to scour the 2 million health-related tweets in the US every day to see if anything is over-indexing in such a way as to suggest a potential outbreak. They say the HealthBeat program developed with Twitter could warn users to be vaccinated through Promoted Tweets and Trends. Although they’re yet to seek any advertisers, in time they will for broader health issues such as hayfever or flu.
Random House launches book recommendation app
Random House has launched BookScout, an app which recommends books to users based on the things they like and discuss on Facebook, as well as their Facebook friends’ interests.
Foursquare rolls out Samsung-sponsored visualisation of users’ check-ins
Foursquare has partnered with Samsung for The Foursquare Time Machine, a new feature that provides users with an animated infographic based on their check-in history. Although the campaign includes a play-pause button and specially-generated heat maps, the campaign is more interesting as an insight into Foursquare’s business model going forward: it has been criticised for a lack of revenue, but Samsung reportedly paid $1 million for this campaign.
Despicable Me 2 characters take over Mumsnet
In the first site takeover in Mumsnet’s history, minions from upcoming film Despicable Me 2 will take over Mumsnet for one week from next Monday, renaming the site Minionsnet to help promote its release. The campaign also includes advance screenings of the film for 400 Mumsnet users in Manchester and London, online competitions and on-site advertising.
Heinz Salad Cream launches new campaign with We Are Social
Heinz Salad Cream is looking to promote the product to a younger audience with a new £2m ‘Bring on the Zing’ campaign, including a Facebook challenge (created by We Are Social) challenging fans to add some Zing to sandwiches to try and become a Zing Master.
We’re also working with Heinz on personalisation campaigns for HP Sauce and Five Beanz.
Kiss Me First’s Facebook Connect campaign
Lottie Mognach’s first book launch is being supported by a Facebook Connect campaign. Which you might be impressed by if you’d never seen a Facebook Connect campaign before.
Clever campaign for Tourette’s awareness
The Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada has launched ‘Surrender Your Say’, where consumers have their Twitter account taken over for a day by their app, and the consumer cannot control what is tweeted. It’s a great illustration of what life with Tourette’s must be like.
The ultimate anti-social app
Foursquare prides itself on giving you the location data of your friends – so that in theory it’s easy to meet up. But developer Scott Garner has re-used this data in his app ‘Hell is Other People’, which utilises the most recent check-ins of your friends to work out a position where you’re most likely to avoid them entirely. Scott has created a nice video about his experience using his own app:
How EE ended up embarrassed on Twitter
EE were left red-faced after a consumer’s complaint about them not upholding their T+Cs – and not giving him the Glastonbury tickets he had rightfully won – went viral. After an enormous amount of negative publicity, including O2 offering the consumer entry to all their events for a year, EE eventually caved in and offered Terry his Glastonbury tickets.
Line now has 160 million users worldwide
Line hit 150 million users earlier this month, and it has continued to grow at an incredible rate. TechInAsia recently reported that Line has now reached 160 million users worldwide. The biggest contributors to this growth are Asian markets, with Indonesia at the forefront of the Japan-based chat app’s continuing expansion. In a press conference this week, Line revealed that its entire suite of apps had exceeded 23 million downloads in Indonesia – apps that include Line messenger, as well as Line Games, Line Camera and others. Being well-aware of the potential in this market, the company has been vigorously targeting potential users in the market with TV commercials starring local celebrities. In particular, top celebrity Twitter user Agnes Monica has been featured in the ads; her own line of stickers will soon be launched on the messaging app as well. Line is also succeeding in other Asian markets as well, as Line has revealed a user base of 16 million in Taiwan.
Indian brands shift marketing spend to social media
According to a recent report by eMarketer, social is quickly coming into focus for marketers in India. Citing a survey by Ernst & Young, the findings suggested that 83 percent of Indian businesses with “robust social presences” were also advertising their brands on social media this year. Of these brands that advertised on social media, 42 percent were purchasing ads to promote contests or online campaigns. 34.2 percent were using these ads to strengthen brand awareness through social platforms. Advertising budgets for social media were also increasing according to the survey. Nearly 22 percent of the surveyed brands were allocating 10 percent or more of their marketing budgets to social media, while almost 59% had dedicated at least 6 percent.
eMarketer notes that Facebook and Twitter claimed the most focus amongst social platforms; more than two-thirds of these brands were regularly posting twice per day on Facebook, while Twitter came close with 62 percent of brands tweeting at the same frequency. It is interesting to note, however, that these brands are also paying attention to emerging social networks as well. Most notably, Pinterest, Google+ and Foursquare have come into the limelight for Indian marketers. Over 73 percent of brands are already using Pinterest or have plans to use the platform in the next year, while over 71 percent are using Google+ or have plans to do so within a year.
In UK, 56% of young adults recall mobile ads on social
A new study from March 2013 indicates that young adults in the UK are paying more attention to ads they encounter on their mobile devices. Citing a study by ComScore MobiLens, eMarketer reports that 38% of smartphone users in the 18 to 24 age bracket were more likely to recall an ad they had encountered if they were mobile. The findings of the study revealed that over 56 percent of the 18- to 24-year-old respondents recalled reading brand posts on social networks through mobile devices. By contrast, only 35.5 percent of the general population recalled the same. This disparity continued across all mobile advertising activities discussed in the survey, as indicated in the graph below:
eMarketer predicts that this trend will only continue to grow, as more and more UK consumers are adopting smartphones; this is particularly true of those in the young adult age bracket, as 84 percent of them are expected to use smartphones this year with an astonishing prediction of 98% smartphone penetration by 2017.
Two-thirds of Indian employees feel social boosts productivity
Zeenews India reports that over two-thirds of Indian employees believe social media increases productivity at work. Citing a March-April 2013 study conducted for Microsoft by research house Ipsos, the findings suggest a disparity between employee perception, employer restrictions and the results from the study, which found social media was a hinderance to workplace productivity. While 70 percent of employees cited security concerns for social media restrictions, 60 percent indicated that the restrictions themselves were leading to declines in productivity. Meanwhile, 71 percent of the respondents believed that social media was a beneficial to increasing productivity in the workplace. 7 out of 10 saw social media as a valuable resource for collaboration at work.
Social advertisers prefer branded pages over paid ads
eMarketer reports that 7 in 10 brands are marketing to customers through branded pages. Citing a Q1 2013 survey by Forrester Consulting, the results suggested that 73 percent of respondents were using brand pages on social platforms to communicate with their audience. Amongst the US brands surveyed (those that spent at least $100,000 on social advertising), this strategy proved to be the most popular method for reaching out to the brand’s audience. By contrast, only 56 percent of the respondents were using paid ads on a social media platform. Microblogs like Twitter had been used by 52 percent of the respondents in the survey. Professional networks were less popular, but still claimed a higher share of brands for company pages than it did for paid ad space.
Alibaba invests $294M in China’s top online mapping company AutoNavi
Two weeks after taking an 18 percent stake in Sina Weibo, China’s biggest e-commerce company has announced another investment of $294 million in AutoNavi. This investment will take up 28 percent shares of the company. AutoNavi is China’s top online mapping company, beating search giant Baidu and even Google Maps in terms of mobile maps market share in China. As an industry leader, AutoNavi seems to be a perfect partner for Alibaba in seeking opportunities to explore and develop new location-based e-commerce services. It is also clear that this deal will give Alibaba access to a huge pool of consumer behavior data based on location. With Alibaba’s acquisition of the social music service Xiami last year and their more recent stake in Sina Weibo and AutoNavi, Alibaba has quickly become equipped with big social data and strategic alliances to explore a new kind of e-commerce service—one that will integrate three big things: social, mobile and location. It will be interesting to see what kind of revolutionized services Alibaba will bring out to the market in the future.
In Japan, politicians leverage Line to deepen ties with supporters
The importance of mobile messaging apps is growing. Many brands already know it and try to leverage the increasing impact of mobile messaging app to engage with their consumers. Politicians in Japan are no exception to this recent trend. According to Japan-based mobile messaging app Line, ten political parties in Japan have opened official accounts on the app. This was after the ban on the use of internet-based mediums for election campaigns (including social networks and blogs) was lifted. Line provides politicians an opportunity to engage with their supporters more directly and actively, by allowing users to opt-in to receive message from political parties, as well as leave feedback and comments on their accounts. Will this impact on the way politicians in Japan communicate with public?
IGAWorks joins KakaoTalk to increase game releases and app traffic
Korea-based mobile messaging app Kakaotalk has announced a partnership with IGAWorks, the local in-Game advertisement provider. The partnership will involve integrating IGAWorks’ adPOPcorn into Kakaotalk that will provide “in-game and in-app incentivized offers, as well as pop-up adverts that link through to social and mobile media channels.” This collaboration is intended to strengthen Kakaotalk’s video game offerings—features that have contributed to distinguishing Kakaotalk from other mobile chat apps. By allowing all game developers on Kakaotalk to access adPOPcorn, Kakaotalk is looking to create a new channel of income for video game developers and publishers. The goal is to encourage more game releases which will drive more user traffic to the app. This also reflects KakaoTalk’s desire to attract more brands as well, to tap into Kakaotalk as a mobile advertising platform.
QQ gets makeover to look like WeChat; new look upsets users
Tencent’s drastic revamp on QQ has led the chat service to resemble China’s most popular mobile chat app, WeChat. This makeover has brought out a large number of angry users. According to Techinasia, nearly 95% of people who left reviews on the newly updated QQ app have given it the lowest star rating. By contrast, the previous version of the app mostly received five-star feedback. The new look of QQ app, ungracefully called “second hand WeChat” by disgruntled users, has taken on less of a traditional IM user interface, and this is the root of most of the discontent. An indicator light that used to appear beside user contacts’ names allowing users to indicate the online or offline status of users has been taken out of the app, despite the fact that most of users found the function to be useful. In addition, the new style of chat window inspired by WeChat seems a waste of space for those who prefer QQ app as a “fast-paced conversation in one window.” Users have already expressed their stance against the new look of QQ, requiring Tencent to bring previous IM-like features back. We will wait to see how Tencent will react.
Japan’s Quan-inc partner with AIS to roll out sticker maker app “AIS myStickerShop”
Japan based mobile application maker Quan-inc has partnered with AIS, Thailand’s top mobile network operator. Quan-inc is well known for developing Lounge - a mobile messaging app with unique features of collaborative drawing and message decoration. The partnership is intended to release an app called “AIS myStickerShop”. The app allows users to create their own stickers for their mobile messaging apps. Currently, only Android users can enjoy the service. iOS users will have to wait a while for an iOS version to come out later this month. Quan Inc’s partnership with AIS could be indicative of a desire to expand their presence in Southeast Asia, as the deal with AIS may open up an opportunity to launch future apps for Singtel, Singapore’s top mobile network operator and a stakeholder in AIS.
Research by Socialbakers has revealed that 50% of the reach of a Facebook page’s posts occurs in the first half hour, and 80% in the first 3 hours. The below chart, based on a sample of 1,000 posts, displays the real-time minute-by-minute increase in reach.
Time spent on Google+ far behind Facebook
Google+ users spent an average of 6 minutes 47 seconds on the network during March, a far cry from the 6 hour 44 minute average on rival platform Facebook. Whilst this does represent growth from the 3.3 minutes spent in February 2012, in contrast to Facebook’s dip from 7 hours 9 minutes in March 2012, the rate at which G+ is catching up can be, by these figures at least, dismissed as negligible. Figures reported by Nielsen also revealed 20 million unique US users of the G+ Android and iPhone apps, a 238% increase from March 2012 and 28 million desktop users, up 63% in the same period. However, there is likely to be some crossover between the two groups. In fact, accusations have come in that Google+ is essentially a ‘desolate wasteland’, based on the activity of the top 100 global brands. According to research by Millward Brown, 40% of these posted to Google+ either infrequently or not at all, with 17 (including Nike and Pepsi) not having posted anything for over a week. McDonald’s, as shown below, have never had a single post.
How many Vines are shared
Research has been produced into how many branded Vines are shared to celebrate the app turning 100 days old. They discovered that branded Vines are shared 4x as often as branded online videos and, of the top 100 most shared, 4% of Vines were branded, compared to 1% of online videos. In total, 5 Vines are shared per second; more of these come during the weekend than the rest of the week combined. Time-wise, Vine frequency peaks from 10am-11am Eastern Time.
75% of top US retailers and restaurants are on Foursquare
Three quarters of the US top 100 retailers and top 100 restaurants are now on Foursquare, of which a full list can be found here. As for smaller businesses, over 1 million businesses have been claimed, but this includes some chain stores; only 17% have ever tried a promotion with the network. Larger businesses are seeing a positive effect from their campaigns; Bloomin’ Brands had 678 users redeem an offer for Outback stores in Richmond, VA, which gave a free appetiser for every second check in. Karen Soots, VP of media services at Bloomin’ Brands, praised the campaign’s effect, saying that if they were to do that nationwide at many restaurants over three weeks, it’s “millions of dollars in incremental revenue”.
Littlewoods collection to be sold in Facebook Newsfeed
Fashion retailer Littlewoods will be selling their latest collection within the Facebook Newsfeed. Using a system called SeeitShopit, which allows full collections to appear within a single post, it will enable fans to browse, share and purchase items from Myleene Klass’s new swimwear collection. They have since posted further ‘SeeitShopits’ about their summer collection, as shown below:
Target launch deals with Facebook
Retailer Target has produced a set of offers, which will automatically generate Facebook posts when claimed, unless the user turns this feature off. Starting with around 700 discount offers and expected to grow to 1,000, the campaign is set to be hosted on a Target website called ‘Cartwheel’. Users can claim a deal at any point, producing a unique barcode that tracks every offer they claim. This barcode is then scanned at checkout. Cartwheel works seamlessly with mobile, meaning that a discount can be claimed at any point in the process, even as you’re walking towards the checkout.
AA’s first class lounge open to those with high Klout scores
American Airlines have decided to open their ‘Admirals Club’ lounges free of charge to those with high Klout scores, regardless of whether they’re due to fly with AA. Anyone with a score of over 55 will qualify for a free one-day pass in any one of 40 airports and can take advantage of the benefits including free WiFi and beer. The campaign hopes that these people will then tweet or post to Facebook expressing their gratitude, though this is not a requirement of claiming the offer.
This week, in weird app news… introducing ‘TweetPee’, a nappy sensor plus Twitter alert that tells parents when their baby needs changing. The campaign from Brazil also allows parents to keep track of the number of Huggies they’ve used and even order online when they’re running low. The campaign is certainly a fun and innovative one – we wonder how many parents will be hooking their children’s nappies up to Twitter.
Coke zero’s #motherpiece campaign for forgetful children
Yesterday marked Mother’s Day in many countries across the world, the day of the year that celebrates children forgetting to get their mums anything. Coke Zero to the rescue! They targeted absent-minded children (particularly boys, for some reason) and asked them to tweet their best excuses with the hashtag #motherpieces, pushing the campaign through a set of promoted tweets. The best entries were then selected to send in a personal photo, with 10 classically-trained painters on hand to create a ‘motherpiece’ of the winner. If they sent in their home address, they’d also receive a framed copy. Mother’s Day salvaged.
WhatsApp’s rumoured to launch a games platform
The sleeping giant stirs, if the buzz is anything to go by. Rumour has it that WhatsApp, one of the most popular chat apps worldwide, is in talks with WeMade, a US/Korean games maker for a possible tie-up. If this move materializes, WhatsApp would have effectively diversified its monetization approach while reaping increased revenues and possibly strengthen its dominance in the messaging market. Rival apps such as Japan’s Line and Korea’s KakaoTalk have been very successful with their gaming ventures, clocking in impressive download numbers and revenue. Line reported that its game platform has seen more than 100 million cumulative app downloads within 7 months, a significant number considering that there are 120 million registered users. Line Pop, one of the most popular games out of the 17 titles, had 1 million downloads on the first day and amassed US$1 million (about S$1.25 million) in revenue within the first 12 days of its launch. KakaoTalk’s less forthcoming with figures but data from the 3-month testing period showed that there were 82 million downloads from 23 million unique users out of its 80 million userbase. WhatsApp’s tie-up with WeMade will be a good arrangement as the games maker is strong in both western and Asian markets. In addition, this would give the company another source of revenue. Incidentally, WhatsApp has declared its disdain for advertising and felt that content was the most logical basis for a new revenue stream.
Fuubo, a new Android Sina Weibo app, is a breath of fresh air
Sina Weibo users on Android have had to contend with clunky apps but that might be changing with a new app in town, Fuubo. Fuubo offers users an aesthetically pleasing interface and intuitive features such as slide panels as well as commenting, reposting and notifications functions. The app’s drawback at the current moment is the lack of direct messaging features and an English interface. Perhaps these will be rolled out in the coming months.
Touchtalent offers creative people an interest-based social network
What ignites your passion? If you’re an artist, then check out Touchtalent, a social network for the creative community. The brainchild of Ankit Prasad, a student at IIT Delhi, the platform has been online since July 2012 and houses works from artists living in 152 countries. Segregating works into 19 categories that cover calligraphy, sculpting, comics, music and literature in addition to other art genres, the site is integrated with Facebook and has registered more than 8.6 million users. In addition to showcasing works from artists, the site incorporates features that allow artists to sell their work and/or get hired for creative projects. The site also invites users to express their opinion via emoticons and share their work on various social media networks.
IdBlogNetwork, a new social media advertising platform in Indonesia
New Indonesian blog advertising service, IdBlogNetwork, seeks to give Google Adsense a run for its money. They’ve joined forces with The Affiliate Gateway (TAG) Asia to offer Indonesian bloggers a wider range of affiliate marketing alternatives. The company also plans to launch a social media advertising platform named IdBuzzNetwork in April this year. The results aren’t great at the moment as affiliate marketing programs are still in its infancy in Indonesia. However this is expected to improve, as internet penetration and online shopping become more widely accepted within the country coupled with positive word of mouth by bloggers.
Singapore Telco tests real-time social media marketing
In a refreshing departure from its usual stoic image, Singapore Telecom (SingTel) handed the keys to its Twitter account for a day to local comedian, Hossan Leong.
Known for his flamboyance and witty sense of humour, followers were asked to tweet situations in which they would need fast 4G internet speeds with the campaign hashtag, #Need4GSpeed. Hossan would then provide sidesplitting responses in the form of tweet replies, pictures and short YouTube videos such as the one below.
Facebook ads on par with TV for FMCG
According to those FMCG brands using Facebook, advertising on the network is as effective as its TV equivalent and offers a better return on investment. Nestle and General Mills both claimed they could trace a high percentage of sales to Facebook advertising after recent cross-platform campaigns; the former attributed 11% of Kit Kat sales to the platform, the latter 27% of Old El Paso.
Gartner’s Digital Marketing Survey
Gartner has published its 2013 Digital Marketing Survey, showing that the top two digital marketing investments for the coming year will be in e-commerce and social media. Indeed, over 40% of the 200 US marketers surveyed stated that social networking, in combination with their corporate website and digital advertising, is key to marketing success.
Twitter’s popularity across EMEA areas
Twitter’s popularity varies across EMEA areas, according to a survey by GlobalWebIndex of over 152,000 internet users in 31 markets. It found that 51% of Saudi Arabian internet users are active Twitter users, where ‘active’ is defined as those who have used the service in the past month, followed by 39% in Turkey and 34% in the UAE. Meanwhile, the same study found that the number of global Twitter users has grown from 206 million in Q3 2012 to 288 million in Q4, an increase of 39.8%.
How people use Twitter
A report by Brandwatch has produced some interesting findings into how people are currently using Twitter. After compiling data from over 10,000 random tweets, they noted that 62% of these were engagement of some sort, compared to 38% broadcast, while brands were highly prevalent in discussions. 3.6% of all tweets mention brands, amounting to 12,600 tweets per minute. In terms of gender analysis, men were more likely to discuss sport, games and news or politics, while women on average spend more time discussing music, work and education. Women were also more likely to tweet about personal matters, or enter online competitions.
Twitter users forming ‘tribes’
Analysis of millions of tweets has concluded that Twitter users are forming ‘tribes’ online, each with their own unique vocabulary. The theory contradicts the idea that networks like Twitter facilitate global sharing, with the most insular groups sending up to 90% of tweets internally.
Social media subject to the same disclosure regulations as traditional media
The Federal Trade Commission has decided that adverts on social platforms must follow the same rules of disclosure as their offline counterparts. This means that, even in a 140-character tweet, space must be devoted to either “promoted” or “ad”. In an update to their 13-year-old “Dot Com Disclosures”, the FTC has argued that consumer protection laws should apply equally regardless of the medium and, as such, the format does not exempt marketers from providing clear and effective disclosure. Also provided is information on how to make effective disclosure, which involves the avoidance of hyperlinks for disclosure about cost and certain health & safety issues, plus the clear and accurate labelling of hyperlinks and consideration of how these will be affected on various platforms and devices. The full guidance can be found here – subtitled “How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising”.
Over 400 billion actions have been shared on Open Graph
Open Graph activity covers a lot of what we do on Facebook: following, liking, listening to music and so on. Ahead of last week’s SXSW, Facebook revealed that such actions have been shared over 400 billion times. Certain actions have seen a lot of activity: 110 million songs, albums and radio stations have been played 40 billion times and 1.47 million books have been shared.
Facebook updates Timeline
Hot on the heels of the previous week’s News feed changes, Facebook has announced a set of updates to Timeline. There is now a separate space for “things you care about”, which ranges from movies or books to apps like Instagram, depending on the user. The “movies” section, for example, looks like this:
Moreover, the profile is now more strictly delineated into two columns; applications like the above will appear on the left, whilst the right is occupied by a user’s posts. This leads to what Facebook hopes will be a clearer layout, as follows:
Simultaneous with these changes, the social network has written a blog post detailing the development of the updated News feed, in which a user experience researcher discusses the development from receiving complaints about “clutter” to identifying what was meant by the term and instigating change intended to combat the issue.
More ways to feature apps in new Facebook Timeline
One key difference in Facebook’s updated Timeline is the increased ability to feature apps. As users can now choose which apps to feature on their profiles, developers are able to create “collections” that showcase how their apps are being used. Foursquare, for example, can display the numerous places people have checked in.
Facebook to incorporate hashtags?
Long since a mainstay of communication via Twitter, now Facebook are looking into incorporating the hashtag. Whilst it is unclear how far along development is, rumour has it that the feature would be used to group conversations on the network. #intriguing.
More prompts from Facebook to ‘like’ pages, fewer to ‘unlike’
In a move seemingly aimed at encouraging users to interact further with brands, Facebook have introduced a couple of changes to the visibility of ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ options. The first of these two comes as a twofold alteration to ‘liking’ a page. Now, when users like one page via mobile, they will be confronted with the option of liking other, ‘similar’ pages. Moreover, when content from a news website is shared, a button appears below it, offering the option to ‘like’ the page for related stories. In terms of ‘unlikes’, the updated News feed has been designed for lower visbility. When previously choosing to hide a story from the News feed, users were given two options: hide all stories from the page, or unlike it. Now, the latter has been removed, leaving only the option to hide all stories from the same source.
Sir Martin Sorrell’s views on Twitter
Head of WPP Sir Martin Sorrell has claimed that Twitter is more of a PR medium than an advertising one. Considering as an example the London Olympics, he discussed how it acted as a hugely effective word of mouth platform, more so than the likes of Facebook. However, a number of industry professionals have come out to disagree with Sorrell, including We Are Social’s own media director, David Gilbert:
Advertising success on Twitter can be achieved with a carefully thought-out strategy and tight targeting. As marketers, it is our responsibility to adapt our strategies according to the platforms and technologies available.
Twitter to launch iOS music app
Twitter are poised to launch a music app before the end of the month, according to CNET. The app will make music suggestions based on both what you are currently listening to and the music accounts you follow on Twitter.
Twitter for Windows 8
Twitter have launched an app for Windows 8, including unique features intended at optimising the experience for specific devices. These include ‘Snap View’, which allows Twitter to be moved to one side of the screen and viewed simultaneously with other apps, as well as ‘search’ and ‘share’ charms to allow ease of access to the platform at any time. The launch video below provides further detail.
Twitter improves Analytics
Twitter stepped up their Analytics last week. On Wednesday, Twitter announced an improved ad insights platform, which will allow marketers to further track the effect of promoted tweets beyond their initial audience, allowing a fuller picture of how campaigns extend across the network.
Early stats on Vine usage
Early statistics on use of Twitter’s ‘Vine’ app have shown that it has gained traction already. By the end of February, it was used by 2.66% of all iOS devices, up 50% month-by-month. Notably, the figures for similar apps, including Cinemagram, Viddy and Socialcam all show decline over the same period.
Pinterest’s Web Analytics
Pinterest has gone in a similar direction to Twitter in terms of analytics, launching ‘Pinterest Web Analytics’, which will allow brands to discover information such as how many repins their content received, as well as who saw it as a result. This is now available for free to those with a verified website and will look as follows:
Pinterest have themselves released some information about what’s available and how to gain access.
New Pinterest layout
As well as its Analytics tool, Pinterest used last week to launch a redesign of its network. The ‘repin’ button has been replaced by a large, red ‘Pin it’ equivalent, price now comes as a bubble in the top right corner of a pin and there is an enhanced view surrounding each pin, allowing you to more easily view other pins from the same board & site. Finally, there is a new ‘people who pinned this also pinned’ feature. All in all, shown below. All in all, the changes seem set to make the network even more visually immersive.
LinkedIn to purchase Newsreader app Pulse
LinkedIn are in talks to purchase Alphonso Labs, makers of Newsreader app Pulse for a deal said to be worth between $50 million and $100 million. The app currently has around 20 million users, reading about 10 million stories per day.
LinkedIn produce B2B advertising banner
LinkedIn have announced SlideShare Content Ads, display units that will appear across the platform, designed at business-to-business advertising. Once a user scrolls over one of these, they will be faced with a presentation that they can scroll through either without leaving the page or in full-screen mode.
Foursquare in new round of funding
Foursquare is rumoured to be in the process of securing a new round of funding, amidst talk that the platform is running out of money. It is as of yet unclear how the network will fare, especially in comparison to the $600 million pre-money valuation received when they raised $50 million in June 2011. As other networks, including Facebook, have looked to eat into the locations market, Foursquare are seeking to fight their corner, with partnerships including e-commerce with Mastercard & Visa and a deal to come pre-installed on the Blackberry 10 device.
Netflix getting social
In what seems like a story that should have come about long ago, Netflix are finally launching social options for US users. Their previous Facebook offering in Canada, Latin America and the UK, which did not allow users to choose what they shared, has been replaced by a system whereby users who opt in will have rows added to their Netflix home page, detailing both “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by Your Friends”. Inside Facebook has highlighted this as an important move in Facebook’s growing video strategy, which includes increased integration on the new Timeline and structured status updates that include verbs like “watching”. The features are discussed in the below video.
Doritos’ SXSW vending machine stage powered by tweets
Yes, that reads ‘Doritos’ SXSW vending machine stage’. The snack brand hosted aninteractive concert at SXSW, in which tweets from the audience would affect in concert events from lighting and cues to the encore song. For more information, I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of rapper LL Cool J.
Meet WolfDog, Old Spice’s ‘Executive Director of Marketing’
In a development of their wildly successful brand TOV, Old Spice have introduced a new ‘Executive Director of Marketing’ across a number of social channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Google+. General public, meet WolfDog.
Ford reach out to automotive bloggers
To market the new 2013 Ford Fusion, the car giant behind the vehicle has reached out to bloggers discussing it on Jalopnik. Flying them to Los Angeles under the pretence of answering market research questions for Jalopnik, they put the influencers in the car alongside professional racer Tanner Foust and created four pieces of video content, the first of which is shown here:
Jaguar promote F-type launch with Facebook competition
We Are Social have produced a Facebook competition to celebrate the UK launch of the new Jaguar F-type. Incentivised by prizes chosen by Jaguar’s communities and a selection of bloggers, fans must post an update relevant to the prize, alongside a link to the ‘Desire’ app. The campaign, which runs across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, forms part of an overall ‘Desire’ campaign that also includes a branded film, featuring Homeland star Damian Lewis.
French Connection sourcing user-generated films
Fashion brand French connection is encouraging its consumers to create their own video content from a selection of clips on the company’s website. Starting with video snippets that depict models wearing French Connection clothing, users are asked to ‘make a scene’ by cutting them together and adding a soundtrack and special effects. There are prizes available for the most-shared videos.
Ted Baker’s social finishing school
Ted Baker is promoting its new Spring Summer collection with an online ‘finishing school’, asking users to ‘write lines’, in a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the schoolday punishment. Each day, users are shown a ‘line’; the first 500 to ‘write’ it via Twitter, Instagram or the Facebook app will receive a limited-edition tote bag featuring their quotation. The most creative students will be rewarded with exclusive Ted Baker leather satchels, too: sure to make even the biggest kid into the talk of the playground.
Nike celebrates 1 million Instagram followers
Nike have reached 1 million Instagram followers and amassed 6 million photos tagged #Nike. To celebrate, the sportswear brand hosted a 24-hour celebration of their followers, championing user-generated content and accompanying each update with an inspirational quotation.
Puma promote individuality with ‘Worn My Way’ campaign
Puma has produced a lifestyle campaign with the tagline ‘Worn My Way’, aimed at celebrating individuality. Using a new microsite as well as the hashtag #WornMyWay, consumers will be encouraged to answer the question ‘What does it mean to be yourself?’ The best answers will win prizes including limited edition Puma t-shirts. The campaign, which boasts involvement from musicians such as Professor Green and Mischa B, will also include experiential marketing throughout its course.
Sky Sports offers F1 tickets in Twitter quiz
In line with their Formula One coverage, Sky Sports have produced a competition to win tickets to next year’s Australian Grand Prix. In order to win the ‘virtual grand prix’, contestants must post a tweet containing a campaign hashtag, then answer a set of questions in a limited time.
Sharp’s real time marketing
Sharp has managed to pull off a real-time marketing stunt, poking its way successfully into a conversation between Kanye West and MTV host Sway. When the former reminded the latter of a small, remote-less Sharp TV he had purchased as a gift many years ago, the electronics brand decided to intervene, sending over their latest widescreen model, complete with remote control. Sway, who has almost 300,000 followers, then sent out the below tweet, easily repaying the investment made by Sharp.
— Sway Calloway (@RealSway) March 14, 2013
The Papal succession and social
With thousands waiting outside the Vatican, white smoke eventually signalled the announcement of a new Pope. While scenes like this are to be expected with any such event, the Twitter storm that accompanied was undoubtedly a new twist. Once the @Pontifex account announced: “HABEMUS PAPEM FRANCISCUM”, 7 million other tweets followed. The tweet has now been deleted, giving Francis I the chance to blaze his own social media trail. In fact, the Papal succession highlighted a great deal about the changing nature of human communications as parallels were drawn between 2013 and 2005, shown perhaps most aptly in this Instagram post by NBC news.
The event also showed the power of Twitter to amuse and confuse. As his succession became clear, a Spanish Twitter account was discovered, claiming to represent Jorge Bergoglio, aka the new Pope Francis I. However, a bit of research (or access to a Spanish dictionary) might have made it clear that this wasn’t the case, with tweets including: “If I’m the new pope, children will love me more than the Santa Claus”. Even after it’s doubtful origin was revealed, the account’s popularity continued to grow and extended from 3,000 to 150,000 followers within the hour, likely due to a combination of the naive and the amused.