Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Open Graph’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #70

by Karen Wee in News

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.

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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.

Fuubo-app-for-Weibo

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.

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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.

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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.

ST

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.

Gartner

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%.

Twitter in the Middle East

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.

Twitter tribes

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:

Facebook Timeline Movies

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:

Facebook New Timeline

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.

Foursquare on new timeline

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 Music

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.

Vine usage

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 Analytics

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.

People who pinned this

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.

Nike Instagram milestone

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.

 

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 Vatican photos

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.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #68

by Karen Wee in News

WeChat app to be available on Blackberry 10 soon
China’s WeChat has made a pledge on its Malaysian Facebook page to launch a Blackberry 10 version soon.

WeChat-Blackberry10-version-coming

This move to support Blackberry’s latest model, a few months after WeChat launched its Blackberry app, will help WeChat’s expansion plans in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. WeChat’s 300 million strong userbase is largely from China but the company is setting its sights on the international arena. The heatmap below shows WeChat’s global penetration as of January 2013.

WeChat-heatmap-worldwide-users-680x392

Tencent WeChat to open office in America
China’s Tencent has confirmed that it will be opening an office in America in 2013 as part of its move to take its successful chat app, WeChat, global.

Tencent-WeChat-America-office

Originally launched as Weixin in China, the chat app has seen exponential growth following the creation of its English brand, WeChat in April 2012. Though a precise date or location for WeChat’s US office hasn’t been revealed, the company says that the office serve as a customer relations department. WeChat will face fierce competition from other Asian rivals such as Line while working to convert entrenched WhatsApp users. Tencent already has offices in San Francisco for its online gaming operations and has seen a growing ratio of overseas WeChat users though the company declined to reveal numbers.

WeChat-app-growth-to-300-million-users

Google+ woos Indian users with government linked initiatives
With more than 60 million Facebook users, India is the third largest country market after US and Brazil for the social network. This makes it a natural target for Google which is seeking to get a foot in the door through the use of Google+ Hangouts to get the nation talking about the 2013 Budget. On February 28, Google streamed a live feed of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s presentation on YouTube’s IN conversation channel. To make the conversation more interactive, a Google+ hangout was held yesterday. A panel of economists joined the Finance Minister in fielding questions from Indian citizens who were selected after submitting questions using the #askthefm hashtag on Google+. Users were also encouraged to upload video questions using the same hashtag via the IN Conversation YouTube channel or via the google.com/+GoogleIndia page. Hangouts enable ordinary citizens to get closer to key events thus demonstrating the power of social media in helping the man in the street get involved in events that matter. What’s the upside for Google? Any new users who sign up or  existing users who rediscover Google+ through these initiatives may help to contribute to the network’s daily active userbase.

Automobile companies engage Indian social media influencers
Social media influencers are being pursued by automobile companies to test drive their vehicles for a day or two and to talk about it via social media channels. India is no exception with automobile companies such as Ford, Mercedes and Tata engaging with influential social media users, running contests and offering free cars at their disposal for a few days. The intent is to allow the influencers the opportunity to enjoy the comfort and luxury of the cars and to share their experience on their social media channels.  The payoff? The influencers posted pictures and wrote about their experience on their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds creating buzz and reach as their fans jumped into the conversation.

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Twitter partners with Japan’s DoCoMo to launch a Yellow Pages-like index 
DoCoMo and Twitter’s partnership has seen the launch of the Twitter Yellow Pages Japan site. Created for mobile users though accessible via PCs, the site contains lists of recommended Twitter accounts based on categories such as food, shopping, sightseeing, local news, celebrities and sport teams.

twitter-japan-645x250

In addition to Twitter’s list of recommended accounts, users can filter each category by location to discover other accounts that may be relevant to them. This tie-up is a win-win solution for both companies as Twitter garners more users making it more attractive to advertisers and DoCoMo chalks up increased mobile data usage with the potential to sell more smartphones.

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Viber has 3.5 million users in Vietnam
The mobile messaging app battle in Vietnam seems to have a clear winner with Viber registering a userbase of 3.5 million. Competitors, Line and KakaoTalk, have a million users each while WhatsApp has not confirmed any user numbers. This growth is impressive considering Viber has not been actively promoting the app in Vietnam or anywhere else in the world. With a userbase of 175 million worldwide, of which a third are from Asia, Viber is a source of concern for rival apps such as Line, KakaoTalk and Zalo.

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Marketers set to more than double social media spend
Over the next five years, CMOs will more than double the percentage of their marketing budget that is spent on social media, according to 500 surveyed. Currently, social media makes up 8.4% of that total; this is set to increase to 11.5% in 2013 and reach 21.6% in the next five years. Consumer goods companies are set to lead the way, seeing an increase from 9.6% to 24.6% in the same period.

How Twitter affects UK mobile and tech shoppers
A study of 6,000 UK Twitter users has looked to establish the network’s effect on mobile and tech shoppers. From the  graph below, it can be seen that exposure to a brand’s tweet increases the percentage of users visiting a brand’s website, up to 62.7% in comparison with 45.6% of Internet users or 50.5% of those on Twitter not exposed to the tweet.
Tweets drive in-market shopper traffic
A key point to be taken from the research is that the likelihood of a user visiting a brand’s website increases with higher frequency of exposure to branded tweets.

How to gain Twitter followers?
The Georgia Institute of Technology have had their two cents on how to gain Twitter followers, analysing a selection of 500,000 tweets based on a number of factors including sentiment, engagement and readability. They concluded that those who posted shorter, happier tweets & engaged with their followers using RTs and mentions exhibited a higher rate of follower growth. Also effective was retweeting interesting pieces of news; those who did so gained more followers than those posting about themselves.

Facebook’s Insights fix will definitely affect reach
After the fixes to Facebook bugs affecting reach that we reported last week, tests by Edgerank Checker on 1,000 pages have shown an increase of over 30% across different types of Facebook reach:

ERC Facebook reach

It is worth reading the full post for its detailed analysis, including a breakdown of the effects by page size.

Facebook acquires Microsoft’s Atlas
The result of a long-mooted deal, Facebook has announced its acquisition of Microsoft’s ad-serving platform Atlas at a price thought to be under $100m, based on former bids in the $30-50m region. Facebook have claimed that their intention is not the construction of an external advertising network based on their social data, but instead that their interest lies in improving measurement tools, citing Atlas’s new tool for richer measurement of ad impressions. In light of the deal, Adweek conducted an interview with Facebook’s director of product marketing, Brian Boland and Dave O’Hara, CFO of Microsoft’s online services division, in which they discussed their plans to build a stronger relationship between the two companies. Boland said:

When we look at Atlas, it is a full acquisition where we are acquiring the technology, the people, the expertise and the client relationships. So this is a great accelerator for our aspirations around measurement.

Facebook working on redesigning Newsfeed
Last week, the Verge, amongst others, announced that Facebook had invited press to ‘come see a new look for News Feed’. The event will be held at its Menlo Park, CA headquarters this Thursday, 7th March at 10am PST. As for the expected changes,Business Insider claim to have a source close to Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP of products, with whom Mark Zuckerberg has entrusted the product. From this source, they have ascertained two important differences: firstly, News feed will know more information about you and use this to tailor what content you receive based on your likes, what you’ve viewed and even items you’ve bought. Secondly, News feed will look to pull content from a wider range of sources, as Facebook hopes to integrate sharing tools directly into company websites, allowing them to work more like pages. Rumour also has it that a radical redesign is coming to the mobile News feed, with a more vivid text-overlay and full width images taking over from the current format. A (sort of) artist’s impression below gives the gist of how the layout will work.

next-facebook-news-feed

Facebook testing new actions in Open Graph apps
Facebook are testing a new set of actions in Open Graph apps, including ‘rate’ and ‘quote’ for books, as well as ‘want to read’ or ‘want to watch’. The below example displays how the ‘Goodreads’ app is already using the ‘rate’ system, though it is worth noting that no announcement has been forthcoming from Facebook.

Facebook rate

Had good news? Facebook will suggest your friends send you gifts
For a while now, Facebook have been suggesting gifts for occasions like birthdays or engagements. However, they have now decided to add the ‘Give A Gift’ button to posts containing good news. Interestingly, it seems the feature is now using natural language processing, rather than just specific events, in order to make suggestions.

Facebook gifts

Instagram now has 100m active monthly users
The image-sharing platform Instagram has announced that it now has 100m active monthly users, up from 90m just a month ago. This displays incredibly fast growth; it took Facebook four-and-a-half years to reach such a level. According to AppData, Instagram is now the third-highest rank Android app and the 17th top free iOS app.

Google+ launches ‘Sign In’ and ventures into e-commerce
Google have launched an attempt to rival Facebook ‘Connect’, with their own ‘Sign In’ feature, along with an impressive list of partners that includes Banjo, Fancy, Fitbit, OpenTable, and Shazam. The below video explains the feature, along with some of its key elements, including the importance of privacy, control over sharing and easy mobile integration. In many ways, it mirrors and attempts to improve on Facebook’s concept of frictionless sharing from open graph actions.

It is then left up to the various partners to decide how they use the feature. From the Shazam example, you can see full extent of interactive sharing available:

Shazam G+ example

The Fancy have chosen to integrate a buy button into shared content, providing another example of how brands can use ‘Sign In’. The following example displays how such posts will look.

Google+ Fancy

Foursquare partners with Mastercard and Visa
In a bid at further monetisation, Foursquare have partnered with card giants Mastercard and Visa for providing discounts. Having enjoyed success from a similar deal with American Express, the social network has launched a new deal for all three cards, offering a saving of $1 for every ten spent with a check in at Burger King.

four-square-special-burger-king

Vimeo ‘Looks’ to add Instagram-style filters to video
Video-sharing network Vimeo has further expanded its appeal to filmmakers by offering filters, known as ‘looks’, through a partnership with GenArts and use of their ‘Vivoom’ app. Each filter, or ‘look’, applies a different effect to video content, offering a straightforward method to alter a film’s appearance.

Vimeo looks

The feature, which marks Vimeo’s first external partnership, is set to be free for users for the first 90 days, after which a charge will be applied. Pricing structure is as yet undecided.

Pheed becomes number one social app for iOS
Last week, Pheed overtook the likes of Facebook and Twitter as the top social app for iOS. The network, which allows sharing of all sorts of content from text, photos, video and audio to voice or live broadcast, is believed to owe its expansion to positive reviews by high-profile teens on Twitter and Instagram. It also includes a number of interesting features, including the ability to watermark images, or put certain content behind a paywall. With such impressive growth, Pheed is definitely one to watch in the coming months.

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Breakfast Bites 16 Jan 2013

by Simon Kemp in News

Facebook Graph Search
Facebook has launched a ‘social search’ function that allows its users to make more specific searches for the content and information that has been shared within their ‘social graph. The service does not index the social web in the way that Google does, but instead references the things that have been shared with each individual by their connections. Read more at The Next Web and the BBC.

New MySpace Opens to Public
The completely redesigned MySpace opened to the broader public a few hours ago, coinciding with the release of key partner Justin Timberlake’s new single. Read more at The Next Web and Mashable.

240 Billion Photos
Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s 1 billion users have shared more than 240 billion photos on the site to date, meaning users have shared an average of more than 73 million photos every day – or 849 photos every single second – since the site launched in February 2004. Read more at The Next Web.

 

 

 

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #16

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Japanese airline ANA shows how Japan is ‘cool’
All Nippon Airways (ANA) is turning to social media to promote tourism to Japan. Its Is Japan Cool? website allows users to share and explore interesting and fun aspects of the country, as well as rate them ‘cool’ or ‘not so cool’. The site itself is simple in functionality and easy to use, even though it could have better integrated social functionalities like the Facebook ‘Like’ to rate items, which would then increase its visibility through Facebook rather than having all the action constrained within the site. ANA is also offering a pair of round-trip tickets to Japan as part of this Cool Campaign, so you might as well try your luck too.

Burberry’s takes London Fashion Week by storm on social media
In addition to our previous post on Burberry’s excellent use of social media to livestream its Autumn/Winter 2012 collection during London Fashion Week, Burberry will be posting looks to its newly launched Pinterest page, and releasing images of its handbags to styling site Polyvore for fans to use in their own fashion collages. It will also make its show soundtrack available for download on iTunes. Before the show, Burberry shared looks from the runway in the form of animated GIF images on Twitter, which is truly novel and refreshing. It’s proven to not only be fashion-forward, but social media-forward as well.

Chupa Chups goes into social gaming
Chupa Chups is leveraging the interactivity and stickiness that social networks afford, and has forayed into social gaming to ensure staying top-of-mind for its target audience. Its first game from Chuck Studios is called Chupa Chucker, in which the brand mascot shoots “brain spam” with lollipops, and was launched yesterday on Facebook. It remains to be seen whether the costs of developing games (there are more in the pipeline) will translate into brand loyalty earned.

Indian Music Service Saavn’s growth from Facebook’s Open Graph
Following the launch of partner apps for Facebook’s Open Graph, India-based Saavn, a service that allows users to share music with friends through their timeline, ticker and news feed on Facebook, has garnered more than 700,000 new users in a month, taking it to a total user base of 1.3 million. It has seen increased usage as a result of Open Graph, with its daily use up by more than 40 times, and content-sharing having increased four-fold. The number of monthly active users have also increased dramatically from 35,000 to 785,000, generating a total of 750 million Facebook impressions along the way. Although based in India, Saavn is available across 200 countries, where its music can be accessed worldwide. No matter how many detractors there are against seamless sharing of Facebook apps, the results sure have been impressive, and show that Facebook users are interested in using these apps.

Microblogs take over China
According to research, micro-blogging (users of Weibo) grew hugely in 2011 in China. Weibo is now slightly more popular than other social networking sites, after growing 296% year-on-year.

It’s unlikely the numbers will increase as much during 2012, due to regulators trying to introduce procedures that would require users to reveal real names while registering.

Asia’s first social media research center
Asia now has its very first dedicated social media research center ’Social Media Laboratory’, which the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) launched last week. The new facility will study social media culture and technology across Asia, in particular focusing on the research and design of next-generation social media systems, networks, and applications in emerging cyber-physical societies. Professor Tony F Chan, President of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology said,

“At HKUST, we believe that innovation should play a strong role in the globalized world. We are proud to establish the first social media laboratory in Asia. With this laboratory, our faculty and researchers are taking an active part in nurturing research and development talents in the blooming new arena of social media, and building Hong Kong as a leading hub of creative media and IT technologies in the region.”

A new social network for coffee lovers
Mass niche networks are becoming the next social networks of interest, and Over Coffee is a new social network that is about “coffee, people, travels, and about the shared experiences that take place over a cup of coffee.” After creating their own profile page by registering their details or logging in via their Facebook account, users can upload photos, chat about coffee, use the interactive map to locate cafes in their area, or upload details about their favourite cafes. Users can also blog about their experiences under the ‘Coffee Stories’ section, and submit them to be published as ‘featured stories’. The social element features in ‘Connections’, where users can make connections and meet people, over a coffee perhaps. It’ll be interesting to see how big this ‘social nichework’ can become, given its focus on people’s universal love for coffee.

The ROI of social media
Much has been debated about the ROI of social media. Well, this video addresses most queries that marketers usually have. Most notably, it mentions that

“Because every business has different objectives, ROI will be different for everyone. Before adding social media to any marketing campaign, companies should clearly define their objectives.”

Social media engagement is ‘the top priority for the digital marketer’
Recent research about digital marketing trends shows that social media engagement is rated as the top priority for companies:

New Belgium says “Cheers” to its Fans
According to a study of the No.3 Craft brewer’s annual sales, the average fan spends $260 on beer each year.

Facebook fans really “like” New Belgium beer so much that the amount they spend constitutes to half of the brewery’s annual sales. While it is difficult for brands to measure the impact and value of its customer base, No.3 Craft brewery have a pretty good idea. It estimates that its Facebook fans are responsible for $50.7 million in yearly sales.

Facebook Brand Page growth speeds up – but doesn’t match Google +
Based on figures from Socialbakers, this month alone, the growth of Facebook fans among the top 10 pages has increased to 4.3%.

Nonetheless, Google+ brand pages have grown by an astronomical 1,400% since December. Pages were only introduced a few months ago and at first struggled with limited interaction. The report states that the number of people following the top one hundred brands on Google+ grew from 22,000 to 3.1 million, with the majority of the growth happening in the top ten brands.

Google+ brands have also grown faster than those on Twitter recently in terms of pure numbers, although it’s unclear whether this is really sustainable.

The ciphers of social media
Some really interesting research from Kevin Kelly, with one pertinent take-away: you can’t measure by follower/circle numbers alone, because many of these people are ciphers – they don’t post, and they’re not adding anything ‘social’ to the conversation. In other words, they’re like a newspaper reader, rather than a social networker.

Retailers shutting down F-Commerce sites
Last April, Gamestop opened a Facebook store to generate sales among the 3.5million customers who declared that they were fans of the brand, but less than a year later, the store was quietly shut down. It’s a trend noticeable among other F-Commerce sites, which haven’t performed as expected – with Gap, J.C Penney and Nordstrom all also closing their stores.

Facebook to release timeline for Brands and other new features
Facebook will introduce its Timeline feature to brands this month on a stage-by-stage basis.

In addition, Facebook has also launched verified account status for certain users – you cannot choose to be verified, Facebook will choose you. Once verified, users can show a pseudonym – say, WhatleyDude – instead of their real name.

Facebook is still testing new types of Sponsored Stories based on Open Graph actions like ‘read’, ‘watch’, or ‘listen’. In the test version, people other than those who created the app can buy ads – but it still begs the question as to why they would want to.

Twitter introduces advertising platform for small businesses
Twitter has announced an advertising solution that allows small businesses to set up an advertising account on their own and amplify messages on Twitter. Twitter has teamed up with American Express, to give AmEx cardholders first dabs at this new ad product – the first 10,000 users will receive $100 of free advertising.

Google+ faces demographic problems, releases updates
According to a study, Google+ is overwhelmingly young, male and single – with many students amongst its userbase, and only 30% of users female.

To try and change this, Google have released some new features. First, they’ve added volume bars to the main stream, so users can control how many ‘hot’ posts appear in their stream. Second, they’ve launched a new iOS app with instant upload.

Finally, they’ve added Google+ channel buttons to YouTube, to breed cross-channel promotion. With a Google Latitude leaderboard added to Google Maps, which will reward users for checking in, one can’t help but think that the audience on Google+ will continue to be young, single and male.

YouTube’s new channel rollout helping super-users
YouTube launched 96 new channels in December – but rather than it being brands who’ve grown a userbase quickly, it’s been the old YouTube superusers. In other words, people who’ve done it all before.

Luluvise: a case study in who owns Facebook data?
Luluvise, a female-orientated social network has come under the spotlight for one of its features – WikiDate – where users can rate the men they’ve dated, after linking up with their Facebook profile. After reading The Guardian’s piece, there are serious privacy concerns for us.

Ford’s Fiestagram campaign on Instagram
Ford ran a simple campaign, asking people to upload pictures to Instagram around different topics – but with impressive results. Over seven weeks, they drove over 16,000 photo uploads – and this on a smaller social network like Instagram. Impressive stuff.

Facebook helps Celebrity Big Brother drive more votes
A Facebook app launched by Channel 5 to accompany the latest series of Big Brother saw a large series-on-series increase in votes: according to 5, the app drove around 30% of votes in the series, almost 200,000 in total.

adidas Originals launch Facebook Cover picture app
adidas Originals have launched an app, where users can design their own Cover Photo for their Facebook Timeline. Nice.

Hotels.com launch social booking app on Facebook
Hotels.com have created a clever Facebook app which encourages bookings with friends. The app helps users come to a consensus on which hotel they want to stay in – perfect for anyone booking a group holiday.

Wall Street Journal links up with Instagram and Pinterest for Fashion Week
US newspaper the Wall Street Journal did some good work around New York Fashion Week: with reporters taking pictures anyway as a form of note-taking, they encourage them to upload them to Instagram. The best were then posted on the paper’s main Instagram account, and added to a Pinboard which generated 900 followers during the week.

While this is clearly an innovative use of up-and-coming social networks, it underlines the limited appeal of Pinterest: a platform which is filled with older women should be perfect for a campaign hooked around Fashion Week – and yet even a big newspaper could only drive 900 followers. Be careful of the hype around Pinterest.

Diesel’s ‘Fit Your Attitude’ campaign
Diesel have launched a new app for their female consumers – they answer some attitude-based questions, the app then tells them which jeans to buy, based on social recommendations. There reaches a point where people are making apps for the sake of it. This is that point.

Sainsbury’s seek support from bloggers
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s sought support from blogger Steven Dresser – a massive Morrisons fan – by inviting him to tour a new megastore. He then wrote about his experience, driving positive word of mouth for Sainsbury’s. Old-school, but effective.

Obama uses hashtags as part of his re-election campaign
These days, you very rarely see a really successful hashtag-centric campaign – butPresident Obama’s #40Dollars campaign has shown that it can work.

Nicolas Sarkozy signs up for Twitter, immediately gets parodied
French President Nicolas Sarkozy created a Twitter account last week around the launch of his campaign for re-election. Shortly after, a bunch of accounts were shut for parodying him – like David Cameron was by the ‘My David Cameron’ viral poster site in 2010. That Twitter was willing to shut down accounts which were clearly a parody is deeply worrying. One to watch.

How Whitney’s death broke on Twitter
The Wall Blog pointed out that Twitter broke the news of Whitney Houston’s death before the press, a point underscored by this graph from Twitter:

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #13

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Starbucks and Jiepang team up again for Valentine’s Day
Starbucks and Chinese location-based service Jiepang will play matchmaker this coming Valentine’s Day with Starbucks’ new social marketing campaign. All check-ins on Jiepang in some parts of China will earn users a blue or pink Valentine’s badge, which will entitle them to two free cups of Starbucks coffee with every purchase of a Starbucks reward card. 520 lucky users stand to win Nokia N9 phones, while those who fill out the matchmaking in-store postcards might win themselves a special Starbucks mug – or a date for Valentine’s Day.

Air China’s Facebook check-in campaign
Although Facebook is banned in China, that did not prevent Air China from promoting its services in Sweden using Facebook. It partnered up with a number of popular Asian restaurants in Sweden and encouraged guests to check-in on Facebook as they sat down to eat. Those with the highest number of check-ins (and calories, we assume) at the end of the week won a pair of free tickets to Asia. Although it may seem simple, this was a highly successful campaign, reaching over a million people.

Can the caged bird still tweet? Not in Thailand
Twitter has announced that it is now able to censoring tweets in certain countries, in order to comply with local laws. The announcement was met with some scepticism from commentators, not least because of the role Twitter played in many of the uprisings that took place last Spring, although Twitter have deflected some of the criticism by opting for full transparency when censoring tweets. In order to qualify for censorship, an ‘authorised entity’ would have to report the tweet or account, which would then be censored in that country, and in its place would be left a notice informing users that the tweet or account in question had been censored for legal reasons. The Thai government have been one of the first to welcome the decision.

The Indian Army bans use of social networks
The Indian Army is reported to be introducing a ban on social networking amongst its servicemen and women due to fears of crucial information being leaked. All 36,000 officers and 1.3 million other personnel of the Indian Army will have to immediately cease using and even delete their profiles from their various social networks. The alleged reason for this strict ban is due to the increasing number of photos of officers in uniform, with weapons or amongst their units that are posted to the Web, which has led to concerns that important information may risk being leaked on sites like Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and others, or that individuals may put themselves at risk, having disclosed their professional identities.

Emergency alerts on Google Maps
Google Maps will now add emergency alerts for natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and blizzards to locations. Google’s Public Alerts will integrate warnings from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) into Maps. Users can search for a type of alert near a location, which will bring up any warnings from the source, as well as a chart illustrating the likelihood, severity, and how soon the emergency might occur. Although limited to the US at the moment, the implications should Public Alerts roll out worldwide would be momentous. Considering that Google Maps has been integrated into Google+, users will be able to share emergency alerts from Maps with their social network, and the spread of information and updates about potential disasters through individual networks could reach a great number of people quicker.

In other Google Maps news, Google and online train ticketing website thetrainline.com have collaborated to make planning for train travel across Britain much easier. Information and timetables for train services in Britain have been launched on Google Maps at maps.google.co.uk, and more than 2,500 stations, 170,000 trips nationwide, 8,000 bus stops and over 250 tube stations have been added onto Maps. Users are also provided walking directions and some bus timetables for connections, and can directly click through to thetrainline.com to search for and book tickets for their journey. This will no doubt greatly benefit the throng of visitors flocking to London for the Olympics later this year, as tourists will be able to combine walking and transit directions on Google Maps for mobile to help them navigate about.

Only 1% of Facebook fans engage with brands
According to a study from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, only a little more than 1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook are engaging with brands on their Facebook pages. Researchers for the institute looked at the ‘People Talking About This’ metric, which is a running count of likes, posts, comments, tags, shares and other activity, as a proportion of overall fan growth of the top 200 brands on Facebook. Across a six-week period, they discovered that the percentage of People Talking About This to overall fans was 1.3%. If page and post ‘Likes’ are taken out of the equation to narrow the scope of engagement, since it requires only a click and does not involve as much motivation to interact as compared to a comment, the percentage shrinks to 0.45%. What this illustrates is less than half a percent of people who publicly show that they ‘Like’ the brand are interested in interacting with or creating any kind of content around it. This shows again that the absolute number of Facebook fans is not the best metric brands should strive towards, but rather, engagement with their fans is what will most likely convert into loyal and paying customers.

Consumers respond better to shared content than paid advertising
General Electric teamed up with Buzzfeed to prove once and for all that shared content results in a better response from consumers than paid advertising placement. Digital advertising measurement firm, Vizu, exposed subjects to the ‘The GE Show’ video through both paid display ads and sharing from friends and found that, overall, those who watched the video via sharing “had a significantly bigger lift in positive attitudes toward GE – associating the brand with such things as creativity and innovation – than people exposed via paid placements.” Paul Marcum, director of global marketing and programming at GE, said that the study was a lesson on “the value of advocacy, and that absolutely will inform marketing decisions”.

Teens opting for Twitter as older generations ruin Facebook
Since the days of yore parents have been warning their kids about privacy and not sharing too much information online. And kids, characteristically, have not listened and have shared whatever they please with their friends and the friends of their friends. But now a funny thing has begun to happen. As parents begin to disregard their own advice and tentatively setup Facebook profiles of their own, the kids start to fear for their privacy, not from ‘pirates’ or fraudsters, but from their parents. As a result, a lot of teens are now migrating to Twitter in an effort to escape the prying eyes of the older generations. Of course, what is happening here is nothing new, as Alice Marwick, a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research points out, “They just want someplace they can express themselves and talk with their friends without everyone watching”.

When it comes to Facebook brand pages: Local is better than Global
Socialbakers have done a bit of social media sleuthing and determined, once and for all, that local pages consistently result in higher levels of engagement than global pages. Citing both Xbox and BMW as examples, they show that the top local pages result in far higher (10 times higher in Xbox’s case!) levels of engagement than a centralised global page. The benefits of ‘going local’ include content and conversation being more relevant, fans sharing a common language and fans having more in common.

Timeline and Open Graph are coming to brand pages
Social marketers are readying themselves for the changes that are to come to Facebook brand pages in 2012, most notably, the introduction of Timeline and Open Graph. Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions at Facebook:

There’s a lot of speculation [about Timeline]. The goal has always been to have your personal experience on Facebook not be so different than the brand or page experience. And right now, it is different. You have Timeline and you have a page-brand profile. So we are absolutely moving in the direction to sync those up. We believe that brands want to be able to curate how they’re represented in a more visually pleasing way, and we’re in the midst of trying to figure out how best to do that.

and on Open Graph:

We don’t want a mad rush to have every brand suddenly think that the next thing we have to do is an Open Graph implementation. Because then you put stuff out there that people don’t care about, and that they don’t really share, and they turn it off. We’re working brand by brand, and frankly, industry by industry.

Timeline supported by just one in ten Facebook users
When it comes to users rather than brands, a survey of 4,000 of them has found that just 8% of users endorse Facebook’s Timeline feature. The survey also found that 51% of those asked were worried by the changes and just 8% said they would get used to them. Of course time will tell whether the changes are accepted in the long run. It tends to be the case that redesigns of this sort are met with uproar at first, then quiet consternation and finally accepted as the status quo and the whole cycle repeats itself ad infinitum. Unless, of course, you happen to be Digg.

Facebook’s ‘Subscribe’ feature proves a hit with journalists and page owners
Since November 2011, journalists have seen a 320% increase in Facebook subscribers. Twitter proved an early hit with journalists and they seem to be using Facebook’s ‘Subscribe’ feature in more or less the same way; keeping their readers informed and up to speed by sharing articles, photos, videos and asking questions of their subscribers. Facebook has also introduced the option for Facebook users to subscribe to page owners, opening up new communication channels between consumers, brand pages and the people that manage them.

Facebook beta new social plugin, ‘The Recommendation Bar’
Facebook have debuted a new social plugin that incorporates some of Facebook’s Open Graph features. Essentially, it boils down to a ‘Recommendation Bar’ that gives readers ‘Social Recommendations’ on similar content they are likely to enjoy or that their friends enjoyed, an ‘Omnipresent Like’ button to ensure that user’s ability to Like a page isn’t hampered by poor site design and the ability to switch on ‘Frictionless Sharing’.

Over 5 billion songs have been shared on Facebook since the f8 conference
Since September, over 5 billion songs have been shared as a result of Facebook’s ‘frictionless sharing’ feature, although the jury’s still out on whether or not frictionless sharing is a hit with users. Some critics say that it has reduced the sharing of content to a passive activity, others say it is intrusive. Even so, it is hard to argue with the numbers.

Twitter to roll out more of their fan-dangled brand pages to big spenders
The roll out of Twitter brand pages will continue from February 1st onwards, although only to brands that have already committed to spending at least $25,000 on its ad products. Twitter declined to comment on the ongoing roll out of the new brand pages or the advertising spend required to qualify for one, although they did say they are partnering with some individuals and charities for the roll out of its brand pages, one of which will be the American Red Cross.

Twitter analytics to be introduced in the coming months
Erica Anderson, Twitter’s manager for news and journalism, also announced that one of the new features that will be released in the coming months is an analytics service to help content creators track how their content is spreading across the Twitterverse.

Twitter to add right-to-left languages
Twitter have announced that hashtags and Tweets now work properly for users that write in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu, and it should be only a matter of months before the Twitter interface is available in those languages.

Facebook, Twitter and Myspace engineers fix Google’s social search results
“Don’t be Evil” was Google’s first unofficial motto. It referred to, among other things, objectivity and parity in the results it returned to users. But since the launch of Google’s social search features, a number of their competitors claim Google has been hoisted on its own petard, with Google’s new results seemingly favouring Google+ results over other networks, such as Twitter. As a result, a group of engineers fromFacebook, Twitter and Myspace have launched the “Don’t be Evil” bookmarklet, which let’s users view the new social search results without this bias. The results are quite impressive.

The G+ name saga continues
It seems like people have been whining about Google+’s policy on nicknames and pseudonyms since before the platform was even launched, and last week they offered a tiny, if impractical concession. You can now add a nickname to appear between your existing names ie. George “The Destroyer” Terry, or to have your name appear in another script, ie., to use their examnple, “सौरभ शर्मा (Saurabh Sharma)”. They also let you set up profiles under other ‘established’ identities, but the process to have these alternate identities verified seems a little impractical. Something tells me they haven’t quite hit the nail on the head with this one.

Just when O2 thought it couldn’t get any worse…
O2 got in a bit of hot water last week after it came to light that they had been sending copies of their customer’s numbers to every website that the user visited on their handset. As you’d expect, the Twitterverse flew totally off the handle and set upon the mobile service provider with all the rage it could muster. O2 fought valiantly, and seemed to be weathering the storm as best as could be expected – until they hit their daily tweet limit, which, if you didn’t know, is 250 direct messages and 1000 tweets/retweets/@messages. As more and more brands attempt to salvage their reputation from the jaws of ignominy in the midst of epic #fails through social media, this could become a serious issue, and one that Twitter might want to address.

Time Out to launch social TV guide
Time Out will launch an interactive TV guide that will feature listings, links to more information about the shows, relevant Twitter and Facebook activity, ‘Watch now’ links to services such as 4OD, ITV Player and BBC iPlayer and the option to record listed programmes on their Sky+ or TiVo box.

FIFA Street to feature in-game social ‘Street Network’
EA have announced their plans to bring social to the FIFA Street series with new features that will allow users to create profiles, capture videos of their best tricks and goals. “The Street Network brings that real-world swagger into the game by enabling players to capture video of those moments and share them with everyone in their street network to see,” said producer, Sid Misra, “and providing friends with a way to compare each other throughout the game.”

Lego launch social media platform for fan
Called ReBrick, the Lego platform is essentially a content platform that allows fans to bookmark content elsewhere on the web and aggregate it on the site, creating a hub for all Lego-related user generated content on the web. A bookmark widget can be installed for easy bookmarking and links can be shared through social platforms. The cool thing about ReBrick is that rather than clearing out all of the existing fan-sites dedicated to Lego creations the world over, ReBrick works in tandem with them. The creators consulted fans throughout the development process and the site also provides links to other sites and forums online where fans can further indulge their love of Lego.

Kermit the Frog takes to Twitter to promote upcoming film
Disney made their way into the trending topics on Thursday when Kermit took over the @DisneyMoviesUK account and fielded questions from his fans as part of Disney’s marketing efforts around the premiere of the new Muppet movie. This isn’t the first time that a fictional character has cropped up on Twitter in order to promote the release of a new film or series, but come on, this is Kermit the Frog. Loads of people got in line to #AskKermit their question, including one Mr @StephenFry.

Orange launch film site based on the wisdom of crowds
Orange have launched an aggregator called Orange Film Pulse which collates opinions from different online sources – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, online review sites, etc – in one place. You can also tweet directly from the site. It will be worth watching whether the site achieves any pick-up, considering Orange’s wider involvement in film.

House of Fraser targets students
This time, some of We Are Social’s own work – House of Fraser is embarking on a major marketing push to target students – people who might not have considered the brand before. It has partnered with the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Extra Card, to launch a vouchering app on the House of Fraser Facebook page (concepted and built by us) . The app enables students who “like” the brand on Facebook to receive a 10% discount when shopping on its site. It is also offering “flash discounts” via the social network to students.

Manchester City launch City Fan Cam
During last Sunday’s match with Spurs, Man City captured a 360 degree ultra HD picture inside the Etihad Stadium, which after the match fans could access online – and then tag themselves before posting to Facebook or Twitter. This was impressive, if unoriginal. But what made it clever, was that they hid players like Balotelli and Nasri around the stadium with the fans, and challenged fans to find them. This meant the picture was interesting for more people than just those who were at the match. It also explains why Nasri went missing on the pitch.

Bayern Munich’s spectacular own goal
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich promised fans a new signing on Thursday – with the announcement via their Facebook Page. When Bayern revealed the signing ‘the new FCB star’ was actually just a marketing stunt designed to show how important fans are to the club. 5,000 angry comments later, Bayern were forced to apologise. Oh dear.

LA Fitness shamed by Twitter
LA Fitness faced their own crisis last week – after a Guardian story about them trying to extract £360 from a pregnant woman who’s husband had lost his job went viral. In the end LA Fitness agreed to waive the fees, but it’s fair to say this marketing blunder will cost them far more than £360. Oh dear.

Snickers investigated by the ASA
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into Snickers’ Twitter campaign where they recruited celebrities to post some very out-of-character tweets. The campaign is being investigated against two possible breaches of the Advertising Code: whether it should have been stated in the ‘teaser’ tweets that they were marketing communications; and whether the hashtag “#spon” in the final ‘reveal’ tweet made it clear enough that that tweets were sponsored.

Twitter users deported for joking about ‘destroying’ America
In a shocking but amusing story, two British tourists were deported from America before even getting out of the airport, after one tweeted that he planned to ‘destroy’ America. The police refused to believe that it was slang, and he didn’t actually plan to destroy either the nation, its people or its government. A story that seems funny now, but one that could become a common occurrence if the FBI’s plans to monitor social media come to fruition.

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