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Archive for the ‘The week in social’ Category

The week in social: Twitter API, Netflix sharing, and Instagram filters

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Netflix app updated to include social sharing

The Netflix app on Android devices has been updated to include social sharing features, and is now compatible with Android Wear as well. The social sharing features make it more seamless to offer recommendations of a movie or TV show with friends on Facebook, and all of the sharing is done privately. The Android Wear integrations for the app go so far as to let users control playing or pausing media, receiving alerts when a recommendation is sent to them, and thanking friends for recommendations.


Read more on Venture Beat.


Twitter and Foursquare will partner to offer location-based info in tweets

Starting in 2015, Twitter and Foursquare will be partnering in order for Twitter to show more relevant, location based data to users. According to a story from Business Insider, new features could start appearing as soon as the first quarter in 2015. Twitter currently only has limited location abilities, such as telling where a user is when they sign up for the service, and when they send a tweet if they have enabled geo-tagging of tweets. There is no official word from the company on their partnership with Foursquare, but they did announce some plans for location-based features, including testing that showed users who were provided location based content tied to the location where they signed up for Twitter were more likely to open up the app within the next 30 days. It remains to be seen if this is the latest in attempts to improve the usability of the service in light of other competing social networks.

More information on Business Insider.


Instagram introduces brand new filters in app update

For the first time since 2012 with the release of Mayfair and Willow, Instagram has introduced 5 five brand new filters to the service. The new filters, called Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua are said to be inspired by the Instagram community of artists, according to an official blog post from the company. In the latest update, the way filters are chosen also changes, and a blurred thumbnail of the photo to be edited is shown with the filter applied when a user is making a choice. The new update is available for both iOS and Android.


Read more on Instagram Blog.


Facebook auto-enhances uploaded photos

As a tool aimed at improving the quality of the photos uploaded to the network, Facebook is now automatically enhancing every picture that a user uploads. The feature has been available since earlier this week, and although it is not part of a new overall app update, users have to option to disable via app settings on iOS, or they can tap the wand icon when they upload a photo to prevent the automatic changes from being applied. Enhancements to photos include increased brightness and clarity. There is no word yet on if this change will be widespread across devices and platforms.

More information on The Next Web.


New right-hand ad format breeds success for Facebook advertising

Back in June, Facebook redesigned the look of right-hand side advertisements, to be larger overall, and feature large format pictures, not unlike how news feed ads have been appearing for several years. Millward Brown, the market research agency, conducted a study, the results of which were posted in a Facebook for Business post highlighting performance of this new format. Among others, key stats included the new ad format increasing time spend viewing them by 29%, increasing dwell time by 50%, and increasing user behavior related to the ad by 46%.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Snapchat secretly makes acquisition deals

Based on the Sony Entertainment information and media leak over the past week, it has been reveled through company emails that Snapchat secretly acquired smart glass technology company Vergence Labs for $11 million in cash and $4 million in company stock. Vergence Labs produces Epiphany Eyewear, fashionable glasses that allow for single touch video recording. Through the leaked emails it was also revealed that Snapchat purchased AddLive in a deal that could be worth 30 million dollars. The acquisitions seem to imply that Snapchat intends on bolstering its video capabilities in the near future.

More information on The Verge.


Pinterest users can now edit several pins at once

A feature that users have been requesting for a long time, Pinterest is now allowing the ability to edit multiple pins simultaneously. In order to do this, users just have to go to the board, click on “move pins”, and select the pins that they want to shift around. Pins can be moved to a different board, and up to 50 can be selected at once. Other options include deleting all of the selected pins entirely. As the new feature is being rolled out over time, not all users will have access to it immediately.


Read more on Social Times.


Twitter introduces custom themes for its sign-in API

Digits, the social sign-in API offered by Twitter, has now started offering different design themes for developers, most likely in an attempt to have the sign-in screens match the theme or branding of the app or service. Developers only have to add a few additional lines of code to make these changes to the service that has been available since October. Digits works by having users register for an app by giving their phone number to receive a confirmation code, rather than by providing personal information such as full name and address.

More information on Venture Beat.


Foursquare releases new official app on iPad

Earlier this week, Foursquare released their official updated app on iPad, a change from the old Foursquare app that existed before the company was split into a Yelp-like service for discovery, and Swarm, specifically for check-ins. Features of the new app include a Top Picks section, which can be used newly for discovering events and popular travel destinations around the world. The new features have been added presumably to compete with travel destination planning services in addition to researching local places to eat or see, one of the main original purposes of the Foursquare app split.


Read more on The Next Web.


Facebook Rooms app gets Explore button to help make adoption easier

Rooms, the latest of standalone applications launched by Facebook, has just received an update in the form of an Explore option, that makes it easier for users to find popular or unique rooms. User adoption has been low for the application, much like other attempts to make standalone apps by the social networking giant, such as Poke, and Slingshot. In an interview with Kurt Wagner on Re/code, Josh Miller, product manager at Facebook said, “Because we’re at Facebook, people will question if we’re not blowing up after two months. I have to constantly remind myself that we can’t rush communities: We have to be patient.”.

More information on AllFacebook.


Twitter provides new mobile ad targeting options

Twitter has recently been exploring with offering new ad targeting options, and this past week it expanded these options even further. The two options include being able to target users by mobile carrier, and also targeting users with brand new mobile devices. 80% of Twitter users access via mobile, so this is likely a play to provide marketers more options to hit the majority of users by tightly segmented groups. The mobile carrier targeting is likely to benefit carriers and complimentary industries the most, whereas targeting to users with new mobile devices could be a smart option for marketers of mobile accessories or applications. These new options are available in 35 countries presently.


Read more on Media Bistro.


Engagement on Instagram for brands is 50x higher than on Twitter

After just having passed the user milestone against Twitter (Instagram has 300 million users, and Twitter has 284 million), Instagram looks to have a strong lead agains the micro-blogging service when it comes to engagement for brand content as well. In a comparison done by Socialbakers, the top 25 brands using Twitter and Instagram were compared and it was found that Instagram content had a 50x higher engagement rate than Twitter content. In addition, interactions with brand profiles were 38x greater on Instagram than on Twitter.


Read more on Media Bistro.

The week in social: Twitter app targeting, Best Buy, and Facebook search

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Google updates Hangouts with new features

Earlier this week, Google updated its Hangouts app for Android mobile devices with several new features, including letting users see when a contact was “last seen” on the network, letting users share their location, and new sticker sets for messages. Although stickers are not a new feature, Google is trying to expand their use case, by making the new stickers have hidden Easter eggs, with some stickers only being revealed by specific keywords. In terms of location sharing, when a contact asks “where are you?” in a message, users will now be prompted to share a location pin. Lastly, for videos in hangouts, new visual filters have been added, reminiscent of Instagram filters, such as sepia and black and white.


Read more on Venture Beat.


Twitter offers ad targeting based on app installs

As a new method of ad targeting on the heels of Twitter announcing that it would track user app downloads, Twitter is now allowing marketers and advertisers to target ads based on this data. In addition to looking at what apps a user has installed, actions taken with an app can be targeted to, such as whether as a user has registered with the application, or made an actual purchase within in. Because this potentially causes privacy concerns, users are able to turn off this tracking straight within their Twitter applications so their data is not added to these pools. This includes refraining from collecting information when users have enabled “limit ad tracking” on iOS and “opt out of interest based advertising” on Android.


Read more on The Next Web.


Instagram now boasts more users than Twitter

Instagram has just this week passed the 300m user mark, which puts it past Twitter, coming in at around 284 million users. In addition to the user announcement, the Facebook-owned company also announced that users are posting nearly 70 million photos each day. The company is soon planning to launch verified user badges, similar to what Facebook and Twitter currently do for celebrities and other high-visibility users, and will be used as a play to increase the authenticity of the network. Instagram is also in process of deactivating spam accounts as part of its continued improvement of the app experience.

More information on Social Times.


Facebook announces new story-targeting options

Facebook is notorious for showing users only a small bit of content from the people and Pages they follow in an effort to reduce clutter on the News Feed, but now the social network is providing Pages an opportunity to more effectively target users with their content and ensure they are seeing the right messages. Pages can now target a subset of their total fan following based on specific interests, so that stories have a higher proportion of reaching these fans. In addition, expiration dates can now be applied to content so that stories that are no longer timely will not show up in a user’s feed, and encourage them to “unlike” a page. The last new feature is called “Smart Publishing”, and for a story than many users are linking to on Facebook, it will show that story on the News Feed of users who have liked the Page that has opted into this option.

Read more on AdAge.


YouTube offering bonuses to Creators for exclusive contracts

Many top content creators on YouTube are a large source of traffic for the largest streaming video service, and YouTube is beginning to offer monetary bonuses if these creators sign multi-year exclusive contracts. One large threat to talent staying at YouTube is a content creator community called Vessel, and while still in the development phase, it is backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ investment company. Other companies have attempted to poach YouTube talent as well, but the largest driver to their decisions on where to make content is the size of the audience, and for now, YouTube is still dominant.

More information on Social Times.


Facebook trending topics are launched on mobile

Facebook has just launched trending topics on mobile devices for Android in the United States, with updates to the service, including availability in other countries and iOS support to be coming soon, according to the social networking giant. Trending topics on Facebook have been available since January 2014 on desktop, but this week marks the first time they are showing up on mobile. Trending topics, when clicked on, are separated into five sections, Articles, In the Story, Friends and Groups, Near the Scene, and Live Feed, each offering a different perspective on the subject. Each one of these sections functions as a pre-defined filter depending on how a user wants to consume a subject.


Read more on Venture Beat.


LinkedIn begins to roll out new Homepage

Starting earlier this week, LinkedIn started rolling out a brand new homepage design, one that focuses on metrics of the individual user, such as how many people have viewed the user’s profile, and engaged with posts that a user has made. Users can click on either statistic to get deeper insights, such as how someone found the user’s profile, a new feature that was recently introduced across the board. While some users are seeing the new homepage now, the update will not finish rolling out until the the beginning of 2015.


Read more on LinkedIn Blog.


Facebook launches CTA buttons for Pages

Facebook has just launched call-to-action buttons for Pages in the United States, and while currently on a few Page administrators have access to the feature, it is planned to become available for administrators across the country over the next few weeks, and then available globally in the coming year. The new CTA buttons, similar to, but not exactly the same as the ones available for Facebook ads, include seven options; Book now, Contact us, Use app, Play game, Shop now, Sign up, and Watch video. Administrators can choose the outbound link that users are directed to when the button is clicked. It remains to be seen if these will see widespread adoption among Pages.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Vine adds double-tap to like feature

Taking a cue from Instagram, Vine has added a new feature that allows users to double-tap a Vine to like it. This is likely in response to the paradigm of user behavior that allows someone to like or interact with a piece of social content by double-tapping on it, and it is also something that users have very vocally asked for. A smile-face appears when the Vine is liked, and it does not seem as though any other new features or fixes have been added to this latest update.

More information on The Next Web.


Best Buy posts tweet about ‘Serial’ and removes it with apologies

The incredibly popular podcast ‘Serial’, following the true story of a murder of a high school student in the late 90′s has stirred large amounts of social conversation, from users and brands alike. Best Best sought to take advantage of this by posting a tweet poking fun at the case, but it was quickly removed after backlash from the social community. The tweet referenced a lack of a working payphone at the site of a Maryland Best Buy, near where the murder was supposed to take place. Best Buy posted an apology to its Twitter account after the tweet was removed, citing it was in poor taste.


Read more on Mashable.


Facebook plans to introduce its own search tool

Previously having partnered with Bing to power its search, Facebook will no longer be using the Microsoft-powered service, and instead be introducing its own search tool next week. As part of the features of the new tool, users will be able to search through old posts and comments for information. Although Facebook has been working on its own search technology for a long time, Bing was used to provide results that reach beyond the interest Graph. Both companies have commented that they are continuing to work together in other ways.

More information on TechCrunch.

The week in social: Fresco, Slingshot, and Toyota

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Fresco seeks to be the Instagram of news

A new application, founded by John Meyer, seeks to be the Instagram of news, discovering stories by flipping through cover photos. Each photo on the mobile application features a caption and then a link to more information on the story. The largest challenge for the app team was finding a way to provide captivating images for each story, as licensing can get expensive, but there is said to be a highly engaged set of initial users. It remains to be seen if the visual way of attracting people to read news will take off in an app form. The app is currently available on iOS.


Read more on Social Times.


Snapchat geo-filters now available to all users

This year Snapchat introduced geo-filters, giving developers the ability to create snaps that would only show up in specific locations rather than for all global users to see. The past week the company opened up the option to all users. In order to use this feature, a user pick an image they want to upload and chooses an area for it to show up in, and then posts it to the community site. Images are subject to review however, and they must be original art and approved by the review team at Snapchat.

Read more on The Verge.


Twitter introduces update for photo editing to mimic Instagram

Earlier this past week, Twitter introduced updated photo-editing capabilities on its iOS and Android apps, providing new filters Photos can be edited by the users when they upload a photo into a tweet and then click on it, bringing up all the editing options. In addition to new filters being introduced, the strength of each filter can be selected, and the filters themselves are chosen through a slider thumbnail bar at the bottom of where the photo to be edited is shown. Photo filters have been available on Twitter since Instagram cards stopped being supported in 2012.


Read more on Social Times.


Facebook enhances mobile app ads during Holiday season

For the Holiday season, Facebook has offered up some new options to entice advertisers to use their mobile app install ads. New features include the ability to buy ads with “highly predictable” reach and frequency, so they know how many times an advertisement will be seen when they are paying for it to be shown. Additional new features include videos that will auto-play in the news feed if one is featured in the ad, and providing device targeting for Amazon Fire tablets, previously unavailable. The post from Facebook’s business page announcing the new features went on to highlight ways to optimize mobile app ads, including testing multiple creative and getting specific about device-targeting.


Read more on AllFacebook.


The Walking Dead tops Twitter conversation

The mid-season finale of the popular cable network AMC show The Walking Dead achieved record viewership numbers this past Sunday night with 14.8 million total viewers, but almost more impressive were the Twitter conversation metrics around the same episode. With nearly 750 thousand tweets, 37 million tweet impressions were served to over 5 million users. Other shows that exhibited high amounts of Twitter conversation for that evening included Dancing with the Stars and the 2014 Soul Train Awards.

More information on Media Bistro.


Eric Garner case stirs high Twitter and online conversation

This past Wednesday, social conversation erupted around the case of Eric Garner, a 43 year old who died while being placed in a choke-hold by police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, after Pantaleo was acquitted on all charges levied against him. After the verdict of the case broke, the hashtag #blacklivesmatter was featured on over 13,000 tweets in the first hour. Controversy surrounds the case because the choke-hold used was not a police-authorized take-down maneuver and because Garner was unarmed.

Read more on USA Today.


Toyota donates child car seats for photo posts on social media

For the Holiday season, Toyota is donating 10 child car seats to the organization Buckle Up for Life if a user posts a photo on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #BuckleUpForLife. The campaign by Toyota is part of a larger partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and is run during the company’s “Toyotathon” national promotion. In order to promote the campaign further, Toyota is buying social advertisements on Facebook and Twitter. As an additional strategy to spread the word through earned channels, Toyota is partnering with GrapeStory to have social influencers post about the campaign.

More information on AdWeek.


Google+ introduces pinning posts on profiles and pages

A feature that has long been available on other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, Google+ has introduced letting users pin posts to their profiles, or to pages they are managing. Pinned posts operate on Google+ similarly to on other networks, users can choose a single post they want to highlight, and it appears at the top of the feed on their page, even if they post other content. This is used by marketers for many purposes, such as to highlight an ongoing campaign, or for users on their personal pages, to keep a favorite story or status update featured for longer than normal.


Read more on VentureBeat.


#GivingTuesday generates over 800 tweets per minute

Giving Tuesday, the third annual charity holiday taking place the Tuesday after Cyber Monday in the UK, generated record participation. Clocking over 800 tweets per minute, reaching over 180 million people, and being a trending topic on Twitter for over 11 hours. For various charities, over $46 million was raised during the day.


Read more on Social Times.


Facebook releases Slingshot version 2.0

Facebook’s standalone Slingshot app, which had launched back in June and fizzled out quickly for being compared to Snapchat except more complicated, has received a major overhaul in order to make it more like the core Snapchat experience. In the new version of the app, 2.0, users can follow friends and images shared are put in a central feed, and other users can “react” to these by posting a photo of their own. This new version of Slingshot is comparable to the Snapchat Stories feature of the app. It remains to be seen if this new update will resonate more with users.

More information on The Next Web.


LinkedIn used more by Inc. 500 CEO’s than Twitter or Facebook

Out of the Inc. 500 CEO list, a majority of them use different social networks, but none more so than LinkedIn. With 87% of these CEOs on the professional social network, it beats out Facebook at 85% and Twitter at 75%. In addition, 63% of the CEOs keep a paid social media expect within their company. In terms of other technology, 46% percent of CEOs feel that cloud computing will have an impact of their business, and 43% feel that 3D printing will have an impact.


Read more on Inc.com.

The week in social: Ferguson, Hiero, and Yik Yak

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Snapchat debuts new ad format with Samsung during AMAs

During the American Music Awards this past Sunday, Snapchat debuted its newest ad product only one month after launching its first sponsored post. Its partner for the new ad, a streaming sponsored story, is Samsung, doing an “Our Story” stream. Users could follow hashtags associated with the AMAs and interjected at the beginning of their stream and at key points, Samsung content would be shown. The new product is essentially a way for a brand to own a hashtag of an ongoing event, curated by Snapchat. It remains to be seen what other new formats Snapchat will release for ad its upcoming months as its user base grows and the company continues to try different revenue generating activities.


Read more on AdAge.


Yik Yak raises $62 million in new round of funding

The anonymous messaing app that launched a year ago, Yik Yak, has raised $62 million in a round of funding led by Sequoia Capital, giving it a valuation in the low hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Wall Street Journal. The app is most popular for college age users, and is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Yik Yak is used for anonymous messaging within a given amount of space, and is meant to be for local messaging only. Users can send broadcast messages of up to 200 characters. The service drew criticism on launch for being a source of cyber-bulling within high schools. In order to combat this criticism, the service built geo-fenced “walls” around high schools to keep use of the app for more appropriate reasons only.

More information on Wall Street Journal.


YouTube brings more monthly visits than Facebook or Twitter

Based on a survey by GlobalWebIndex of web users aged 16-64, although Facebook has high membership than both Twitter and YouTube, most respondents had visited YouTube at least once in the last month compared with the other networks. Outside of China, 85% of users visited YouTube regularly, compared with 76% on Facebook, and only 40% for Twitter. The survey goes on to point out that while many users do not consider themselves active users of YouTube, it is still driving visits in the hundreds of millions every month.


Read more on Media Bistro.


Social Media reacts to grand jury decision in Michael Brown case

This past Monday night, a grand jury in the case of the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Mo, made the decision not to indict the officer for murder. A hashtag associated with the online discussion, #FergusonDecision, has proliferated all major social networks since the decision was made and has been a top trending topic in the United States on Twitter. Protesters from all around the country have staged peaceful demonstrations, but there has also been a fair share of riots, traffic stoppages, and varied crimes. It remains to be seen if the national conversation will have any affect on the future course of events.


Read more on Social Times.


Twitter introduces Twitter Offers

Earlier this week, Twitter posted a blog post announcing a new commerce service, Twitter Offers, available only in the United States for now, that allows advertisers to create commerce offers that are linked to Twitter Cards. Users can add a credit or debit card to Twitter and associate it with an offer from a business, and when the purchase is made with that card, the user receives a credit for whatever the value of the offer was. The benefits for marketers include being able to attribute sales and redemptions directly to the Twitter promotion, and being able to use their currently existing payment system to enable purchasers for their customers. Offers can be targeted to users by utilizing the existing targeting options from promoted Twitter campaigns.


Read more on Twitter Blog.


LinkedIn most popular social network among ANA members

Among members of the Association of National Advertisers, LinkedIn is the most used social network for professional purposes. Personal use among members is tied for LinkedIn and Facebook with 92% each, and users were more connected on LinkedIn, with an average of 507 connections, versus having an average of 385 friends on Facebook. Twitter came in third, with 71% use rate, and an average of 232 followers. Although users were more connected on LinkedIn for obvious reasons, Facebook still was cited as the favorite social network, more than likely due to its nature of recreational use. LinkedIn use among AMA users is nearly four times as high as the average for total internet users, at only 22%.

More information on Media Post.


Twitter testing in-Tweet analytics

A new feature for measuring the analytics of tweets, some Twitter users are reporting being able to see stats on individual tweets directly from their timeline, by tapping a button to view analytics right below the tweet itself on mobile versions of the app. Stats that the user can see include impressions, total engagements, and engagement rate. The data is pulled from the Twitter Analytics platform, and is seemingly just a way to show individual tweet stats more quickly. It remains to be seen this feature will see widespread adoption, as Twitter has a reputation for quickly testing and often time killing niche features.


Read more on The Next Web.


Nearly half of all Cyber Monday sharing related to Walmart

Based on a report issued by AddThis from data measured November 1-19th, Walmart gained the most impressions and engagement online for content related to Cyber Monday with 48%. It also earned high engagement for Black Friday content sharing, at 40%. Additional social data revealed that Twitter sharing of Cyber Monday deals actually decreased by 19% from last year, but that Pinterest deal sharing increased by 40% for Black Friday, and 33% for Cyber Monday.

More information on Technica.ly.


New messaging app lets users send GIFs to each other

Hiero, a brand new messaging app for mobile devices, seeks to help users create their own style of communication using a combination of provided emoji GIFs, images, and text. The idea is that users create “glyphs”, which is a message made of the aforementioned elements, as the founders of Hiero, TJ Nevis and Cass Baltz, believe that more emotion and storytelling can be portrayed through this rather than a simple text message, and that the format allows for additional personal expression. The app is currently in a pre-launch state, and user input on the app’s website will determine how the app evolves moving forward.


Read more on Social Times.


The week in social: Facebook Groups, Twitter search, and Snapcash

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Twitter Buy button being used for Holiday promotions

As the holidays approach, Twitter has partnered with AMC Theaters to promote its “Buy” button. AMC started offering a $30 gift card on its Twitter page this past Thursday. Theater goers interested in the gift card can click the “buy” button and will be sent to a landing site to enter their credit card information. After a slow year for follower growth, the company is now focusing on providing more insights and e-commerce opportunities for advertisers.


Read more on Mashable.


Google project adds captions to images

Since September, Google has been working on a new methodology to classify images. According to Google’s Research Paper, it developed a system that teaches itself to caption a photograph. The system scores between 27 – 59 according to BLEU score, a company that compares the quality of machine translations. Although this is lower than humans, who score around 69, this is a major step forward when comparing to other captioning systems.


Read more on TechCrunch.


Hotel uses brand new method to connect users to Facebook

U Coral Beach Club Eilat is taking social to a whole other level. The hotel, located in Israel, is sharing videos, photos, and allowing guests to check in using their personal RFID (radio-frequency identification) bracelets. The hotel’s parent company Fattal Hotels partnered with digital ad agency Ecaliptoos to create this real-time social experience by connecting to the guest’s Facebook. Now guests don’t need to worry about finding time to post pictures from their vacation at a later date.

More information on AllFacebook.


WhatsApp partners with WhisperSystem to provide encrypted messages

WhatsApp, the wildly popular messaging app, has partnered with the crypto gurus at Open WhisperSystems to implement strong end-to-end encryption on all WhatsApp text messages. WhatsApp has hundreds of millions of daily users worldwide, and was purchased by Facebook earlier this year for an eye-popping $19 billion. Open WhisperSystems creates state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption systems such as Signal, for voice, and TextSecure, for text.

Read more on TechCrunch.


Facebook releases standalone application Groups

Facebook announced the launch of its Facebook Groups app in a Newsroom post Tuesday, saying that the app is available in all countries, for iOS and Android. When users open the app, they will see all of theiur Facebook groups in one place. Groups used most frequently are at the top, and users can quickly move between each group. Users can track notifications and easily control which notifications they want to see. In the new discover tab, groups are suggested based on pages liked, groups friends are in, and where a user lives.


Read more on AllFacebook.


The most shared ads of 2014 on social media

With more than 405 million views and 5,819,822 social media shares since May, the number one ad of 2014 was Shakira’s “La La La” World Cup promotion. This World Cup ad had approximately 3x more shares than the second most popular video, Devil’s Due “Devil Baby Prank” ad with 2,151,148 shares. Other top ads for this past year include, Nike’s “The Last Game”, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”, and Cardstore’s “World Toughest Job”.


Read more on Mashable.


Target creates new app to help steer Black Friday traffic

Target unveiled an app that uses location-based technology, powered by Point Inside, to link products with store maps. The user builds a shopping list or uses a search bar to find products, then the aisle where a product is located is revealed. On Black Friday, the app will serve up information on door-buster deals at individual Target locations. The app is the retailer’s latest attempt to blur the line between online and physical stores.

More information on Adweek.


Twitter search allows users to see every tweet ever

Twitter announced last Tuesday that you can search through every tweet sent on the service since 2006. The new search engine means that you’ll be able to search for that tweet from ’08 where your friend DM-failed and never noticed, or that link someone tweeted at you two years ago. But it also means you’ll be able to read back through tweets during the epic World Cup Final. For now, it’s a fairly simple engine: you search through words and hashtags to find what you’re looking for.

Read more on The Verge.


Snapchat introduces Snapcash for peer to peer payment

Users can add a debit card, type a dollar amount into Snapchat’s text-chat feature, and hit the green pay button to instantly send a friend money. The feature is on Android now and is coming to iOS soon. Beyond p2p payments, the trademarks could prime Snapchat for e-commerce and payments to merchants as well. For example, the app could one day send you a Snap or show a Story ad from a merchant, and let you buy the product shown instantly through Snapchat.


Read more on TechCrunch.


BuzzFeed partners with WeChat to increase brand presence

BuzzFeed teamed up with Tencent to become a media partner on the Chinese firm’s WeChat app, which counts 468 million monthly active users across the world. BuzzFeed will now have its own official account on WeChat. Readers are encouraged to follow the account, which will send out a number of messages per day, based on the top viral content or news that is deemed interesting. WeChat is a media-centric platform built for content dissemination.


Read more on TechCrunch.


Facebook to build secure, workspace version of its service

Facebook is building a workplace version of its service to rival the likes of Microsoft, Google and LinkedIn for interoffice communication. Facebook employees have been using the service internally for years to manage projects and work-related correspondence. Facebook will need to convince businesses it can be trusted with sensitive information that’s passed around company discussion boards.

Read more on ReCode.

The week in social: Instagram captions, YouTube Music Key and Facebook Say Thanks

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Stunning images turn astronauts into social media stars

166 days in orbit were enough to turn US astronaut Reid Wiseman, Germany’s Alexander Gerst, and Russian commander Maxim Suraev into must follow users in social media. During their five months aboard International Space Station the astronauts were in constant touch with a global online audience, sharing beautiful pictures of the Milky Way, images documenting pollution and environmental devastation around the world and a Vine time-lapse of sunset seen from the space. Back to Earth on November 9th, the trio grew its audience on Twitter to more than half a million followers. The achievement underlines the importance of social media as a crucial component for space programs like ISS, helping to renew interest for initiatives that have been struggling to obtain funds.


Read more on Quartz.


Instagram allows users to edit captions

Bowing to pressure from their users, Instagram now allows users to edit captions of their pictures. Unlike Facebook, your edit history is not recorded, and followers can’t see when you make a change. A new feature was also added to the explore page. Instagrammers can use the new ‘People’ tab o find new accounts to follow.


Read more on All Facebook.


Microsoft joins Instagram

The giant tech company just launched its Instagram profile. Microsoft hired the photographer Justin Bastien to document stories and show on @microsoft how many different people, with all sort of careers, use their products daily. The first featured professional was a barista from Seattle, that uses Skype to communicate with baristas and coffee lovers around the globe. The Instagram account comes to embody Microsoft’s “mission to reinvent productivity” by using the hashtag #DoMore.

Read more on Mashable.


Social TV: Real Housewives launches Emoji App

To enhance fans experience while watching its new season, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is back on Sunday night with an extra shot of fun: Bravo has launched ‘The Official Real Housewives Stickermojis App,’ giving fans the ability to send show-themes emojis through email, text, Facebook and Twitter. The app features more than 100 exclusive emojis of avatars and sayings of Housewives from Atlanta, New York City, Beverly Hills, Orange County, and New Jersey.


Read more on Lost Remote.


Vimeo releases first three episodes of its original content series

The first three episodes of Vimeo’s original content series High Maintenance have been released. This is the first production sponsored by the video-sharing website, and will cost the users $ 1.99 to watch. Fans also have the option to pay $ 7.99 to watch six episodes (three more chapters of this second season will be online in January). In both plans, users are not paying to buy the content — the money allows them to “rent” the videos for one year.

Read more on Social Times.

Facebook launches personalized “Say Thanks” video cards

With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, Facebook launched a new feature that allows its users to express gratitude using video cards. The tool, “Say Thanks”, allows people to record personalized videos and forward it to friends over the social network. It was rolled out globally on desktop and mobile, in eight languages: English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. To say thanks, you can visit facebook.com/thanks, choose a friend, select different themes, edit and add photos and posts to illustrate your friendship. Once done, the clip is published on your timeline, and your friend will be tagged in it.


Read more on All Facebook.


YouTube maintains 1st position as most popular brand on Twitter

A ranking stating the 20 most popular brands on Twitter brings YouTube holding its 1st position, followed by Instagram and Twitter itself. Social media networks still dominate the rankings – out of the top ten, two other positions are held by Twitter en Español (6th) and Facebook (7th). News brands like CNN, The New York Times and BBC, and sports channels such as soccer teams Real Madrid and Barcelona also feature prominently.

Read more on Media Bistro.


Pinterest says it doubled its male user base

Historically, highly populated by women and subjects like DIY, cook recipes, fashion and décor inspirational boards, Pinterest just reported that its male user base has doubled over the past year. With evaluation of $ 5 billion, the social network says about one-third of its new signups are men – a result of its international expansion. In emerging markets, the platform’s demographics are close to a 50/50 split. As an effort to diversify its audience and appeal to men, the site has introduced gender targeting for pins and also partnered with companies focused on masculine target.

Read more on GigaOM.


YouTube Music streaming service launches in beta

Google has finally announced details of its attempt to take on Spotify and Pandora in the music streaming market. YouTube Music Key will be rolled out in invitation-only beta, and will allow users to stream ad-free music without connection to the Internet. The service costs $ 9.99 a month and includes a subscription to Google Play Music, Google’s first and unsuccessful shot to beat Spotify. Both services will be integrated, with a single user’s profile drawing data from both platforms. Users will be able to watch YouTube music videos inside Google Play app.


Read more on Social Times.

Facebook reveals 500 million people use Messenger each month

According to Facebook, half-a-billion people have already downloaded and use Messenger, since the company unbundled it from its main app just a few months ago. The social networking giant justified the move, at that time questioned by its users and the market, as a necessary procedure to improve users’ messaging experience. It seems to be, though, a strategy to ease people’s access to the service. Instead of hidden inside Zuckerberg’s main application, the Messenger is now just two clicks away from the user – just like Viber and Whatsapp.

Read more on The Next Web.


Ocho video app secures funding

Ocho, the new video app launched last Tuesday, have secured $1.65 million in funding from Mark Cuban, Bill Lohse’s Social Starts and General Assembly co-founder Matt Brimer. Presented as a version for what YouTube would look like if it was initially designed for mobile, the app caps videos at 8 seconds and shows videos in a continuous stream. Ocho allows users to insert links in captions and display clips in a 16:9 format. Vice Sports has signed on as their partner, and plans to post exclusive content daily on the new platform, only available for Ios. Android version is expected in 2015.


Read more on Variety.


Uber will stream users Spotify’s playlists

Uber and Spotify might be about to launch a collaboration. As TechCrunch reports, the ride-sharing company’s iPhone and Android apps would have an integration to the music streaming service, which would allow the passenger to select and blast playlists through an Uber car’s speakers. The integration shall be announced this Monday, when Uber hosts an event to launch a new partnership – the clue is a musical notes graphic included on the invitation.

Read more on TechCrunch.


Flickr launches its Wall Art printing service globally

Anyone, anywhere in the world can order wall prints directly from their Flickr account. A month after launching Walls Art, the Yahoo-owned company has opened up the service globally. Users can select between wood-mounted and gallery-style canvas prints, in five sizes ranging from 8″ x 10″ to 20″ x 30″. The shipping of the products, however, are still limited to US addresses.

Read more on The Next Web.


The week in social: Tor, Disqus ads, and Instagram engagements

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Twitter no longer a top destination for Holiday shoppers

During the last Holiday season, Twitter released a report stating that it was a top destination for discovery around Holiday shopping. For this year, a new report from PunchTab has shown that US shoppers are not particular about using any social network to aid their shopping, and Twitter came in fourth on a list of six out of sources they would be likely to use. The report issued by Twitter last year was based on a survey of 2,000 Holiday shoppers, half of which were already Twitter users, causing the results to be arguably skewed. The recent PunchTab report showed that 67% of those users surveyed would choose “none of the above” for social network of choice when Holiday shopping.

More information on AllTwitter.


Facebook removing old school-related info from user profiles

In a move to help keep profiles of Facebook users current, the service is removing outdated information that has to do with a user’s education, such as their school residence and mailbox info if they are no longer in college. This has not been widely announced by Facebook, but it being seen by users as a notification on their timeline, as well as no longer having the information show in their profile.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Taylor Swift pulls music off of Spotify

With timing that coincided with her release of the new album “1989″, Taylor Swift and her music label have removed all of her music from the Spotify. The move comes as Swift is trying to push sales of her new album, as it is on track to have the best first week sales of an album by a female artist since 2002. Although it appears to a strategy that will work, artists are paid a small sum every time a Spotify user listens to an album, and due to the social nature of Spotify, it is easy to share music with user users, and on Facebook, with which the service is tightly integrated. It remains to be seen if this will be a strategy that other artists take up when they are releasing new albums.

More information on The Verge.


Facebook adds functionality for Tor

Earlier this week, Facebook announced the ability for users to access the service through the Tor Network, which is said to provide increased security of access to the service. As a side consequence this move may also allow users to access Facebook from countries where it is banned, because it makes anonymous user location data. There are critics of this move however, as many are saying that even though the service can now be accessed anonymously, it is still obvious that a single user is taking actions on a particular profile. Tor is a service that preserves cryptographic protections through the cloud.

Read more on Social Times.


Disqus makes sponsored comment service globally available

Following the ad product launch by Disqus this past April for sponsored comments, the company is making the product globally available, as announced earlier this week. The service allows advertisers to place an ad on the top of a comments section of an article, forum post, or other piece of online content, and is targeted by one of over 1,000 topic types. Currently there are over three million websites that will be able to support the ad system, and the product is offered through Disqus from a partnership with Xaxis.


Read more on The Next Web.


Facebook seeing increased requests for user information from the Government

Facebook has revealed new data about Government requests for user data, stating that requests have increased by 24% in the first 6 months of 2014, as opposed to the half-year ending in December 2013. Total requests for data were 34,946. Facebook has stated that they are seeking to appeal the requests for information, through a blog post issued this past Tuesday. On top of requests from social networks, other online services have also seen in increase. Government requests for user data from Google have risen 150% over the past five years, with an increase of 15% specifically for the past year.

More information on The Guardian.


Ad Grader helps advertisers optimize their Facebook ads

A new tool that will help advertisers rate and optimize the ads they are running across Facebook, Ad Grader focuses on helping improve the performance of News Feed ads. Using data such as ad budget, targeting, bids, and other info, the Grader will provide a rating from A to F, as well as tips to help improve the performance of the ad. It remains to be seen if the functionality of the rater will extend to other types of Facebook ad units, or to other social networks.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Vimeo launches new features available globally

Vimeo has just launched a new set of features to help bolster its international reputation. New features include the ability to self-edit subtitles and captions into videos, or to work through a translation service that is a part of Vimeo to add subtitles, which also includes the option for full audio translation. Creators on Vimeo also now have the option to access an expanded Video on Demand service which allows them to sell films digitally on a Vimeo-powered marketplace, which payment being allowed in US dollars, and Euros.


Read more on The Next Web.


WhatsApp lets users see when their messages are read

An already widely used feature in text messages and other messaging services, WhatsApp has just introduced the ability to let users send “read” receipts when they have seen a message sent to them. Previously, the famous double check mark symbol only meant that a message had been sent and then successfully delivered to a recipient’s device. The division between this and the message having been seen is now indicated by grey check marks, and blue ones for once the message is read. Users can also now hold down on the check marks to see time stamps for delivery and reading.


Read more on Mashable.


1/5th of American’s share religious views on social media

According to a report from Pew Research, 20% of adults in the United States post something about religion in a typical week. The report was based on a survey that was conducted during the months of May and June in 2014, with approximately 3,200 respondents. The same research shows that 40% of respondents shared religious views offline, so it is still less common in the social space to talk about religion. Specific groups were also shown to share more, with Evangelical Christians sharing at a 34% rate, versus unaffiliated individuals sharing at a 7% rate.

More information on Social Times.


Instagram becomes a top source of brand engagement for fans

Based on a new infographic from Simply Measured, a social tools provider, engagement with brand content on Instagram has increased by 416%. Company engagements measured were part of the Interbrand 100, and each company averaged 18,882 likes in Q3 2014, which relates to the percentage increase over the past two years. Of the Interbrand 100 companies, 86 of them have Instagram accounts, and 73% of them post at minimum once per week. 50% of engagement on Interbrand 100 company posts happen within the first 6 hours of posting.


Read more on Simply Measured.

The week in social: Tumblr autoplay, Redditmade, and Taco Bell

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Tumblr launches auto-play video ads

As a way of helping to monetize the platform further, Yahoo has introduced auto-play video ads onto the Tumblr. Video ads started playing for users this past Tuesday, and brands included for the ads are JCPenny, Hulu, Universal Pictures, Axe, and more. CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, stated that Tumblr is expected to produce $100 million in revenue in 2015. The format of the auto-play ads is different than pre-roll, as Tumblr wants to show ads to users who are interested in that content, rather than before watching the content they are searching for. In addition, Tumblr’s video player recently began to support Instagram and Vine videos, although marketers are not able to cross-post that content as ads as of yet.

More information on AdAge.


Taco Bell clears out social media pages to launch new application

In a marketing stunt aimed at getting the attention of all its fans, Taco Bell appeared to clear out the followings of its Twitter and Facebook pages, and darken its profile and cover photos to provide users with one message: that Taco Bell could be ordered through the company’s brand new mobile application. The new application lets users order food, find locations of nearby Taco Bell restaurants, and make payments by credit card. It remains to be seen if and how Taco Bell will rebuild its followings, however the company locked its main Twitter account which retains all of its 1.4 million followers, and its Facebook page still retains its 10 million likes, so it has not truly wiped its social presences clean.


Read more on AdWeek.


YouTube application now available on PlayStation 4

Google has released the YouTube app for PlayStation 4, which can be directly downloaded from the PlayStation 4. The app, which was previously available on PS3 and other gaming systems, makes its debut nearly a year after the console itself launched. Users can directly upload game-play clips to YouTube from their console using the system controller’s share button. The app also allows users to watch videos in 1080p format, and supports all of the common service’s functionality such as liking, commenting, and sharing videos.


Read more on VentureBeat.


Twitter removes Google Glass app

Twitter originally launched a Google Glass app back in May of 2013, but as of earlier this week it has been removed from the official Glass store. Prior to its removal, it was one of the featured apps in the store. There is no official cause or statement regarding its removal, but it has been speculated via Reddit that Twitter is no longer developing the app. Users on Reddit are also saying that if the Twitter app is removed, it cannot be re-installed. It remains to be seen if Twitter will issue an official statement on the matter.

More information on AllTwitter.


Reddit launches crowd-funding platform

A service made to compete with sites such as KickStarter and IndieGoGo, Reddit has created Redditmade, a crowd-funding platform with the intent of helping users fund, and manufacture designed products. The service will serve as an additional revenue stream for the company, and is an attempt to do so without angering its outspoken, vocal community. Redditmade has a focus on physical goods production, and the company takes a small cut of all the funds raised. Other revenue streams Reddit has include Gold memberships, an e-commerce site called Reddit Gifts, and advertising on its main site.


Read more on New York Times.


Facebook tweaks Build Audience buttons on Pages

Facebook has tweaked the “Build Audience” button on Pages for admins, and replaced it with “Advertise Businesses”, to be more all-encompassing. When clicking the new button, users will have options to boost their latest post, promote their page, manage all of their ads, and more. All of these options have been previously available to Page admins, so this is more of a cosmetic and user experience change. Other options including the invite friends and import contacts options have been moved to other sections of a page.

More information on AllFacebook.


Twitter appoints new head of product

In the span of 2014, Twitter has lost many key employees, including its CCO, CFO, the head of engineering, and more. But in an attempt to stabilize turnover and promote from within, the company has promoted its head of revenue products, Kevin Weil, to the head of products overall, what would be a demotion for the person in the position currently, Daniel Graf, who was hired away from Google. Part of Twitter since 2009, Weil has implemented big changes for Twitter, including the introduction of the password-killing Digits, changes to the ad platform MoPub, and new features for its various other developer tools. It remains to be seen if large changes are in the works with a new individual at the helm of product.

Read more on The Verge.


Instagram launches auto-play videos

Shortly after the announcement of auto-play video ads from Tumblr, Instagram has announced a similar feature, testing auto-play video ads with a number of specific sponsors, including Banana Republic, Lancome, and Disney. Advertisers have been keen to participate in these new ad models, but these practices have also been known to alienate users from services, and migrate to social networks such as Ello, which promise no advertising. The auto-play video ads on Instagram are 15 seconds long and feature sound, much like the standard videos posted by regular users. A specific ad from Banana Republic features use of the Hyperlapse feature.


Read more on Social Times.


Facebook updates audience menu in ads manager

Facebook has changed the way audiences are managed and organized in the ads manager. Audiences can now be filtered by criteria including Quick Look, Recently Used, In Active Ads, and more. There is additionally a new audience called Event Audience, and although there are no specific instructions on how to use it, it is highly likely that this has to do with the new ability to promote events. Lastly, a new option to simplify custom audiences now exists, that lets users copy and paste customer data, rather than download a .CSV or .XLS file.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Pinterest redesigns profile pages

Earlier this week, Pinterest changed the look of its profile pages with some minor design modifications. Profile photos are now round, instead of square, and content of the user bio is centered along the top, where before it was left aligned. Under settings, users can now share their profile. Along with the same update, Pinterest improved its “internationalization” to better support the 32 languages it provides content in.


Read more on The Next Web.


Facebook drives majority of social referral traffic

A new report from Shareaholic, for Q3 social traffic, states that Facebook drives 25% of social referral traffic across the web. The dominant social network has nearly five times more social referral traffic than its nearest competitor, Pinterest, which comes in at 5.52%. Google+ and LinkedIn saw growth quarter over quarter, but they only account for only .07 and .04 percent of traffic. Facebook referrals have grown over 115% in the past 12 months, and Pinterest referrals have grown over 50%. Facebook remains the clear leader quarter after quarter, and Twitter is losing out in the race, with decreases quarter over quarter, this quarter at .88%.


Read more on Shareaholic.


60% of social log-ins come from Facebook

According to a new report issued this week from Gigya, provider of social management tools, 60% of social log-ins are shown to be done through Facebook. Yahoo and Google have both shown a decline where they were once more dominant, and Victor White, director of marketing communications Gigya stated of Facebook, “Facebook’s continued climb as an identity provider is likely a result of many factors but its efforts to give users more control over their data is playing a significant role”. Facebook also accounts for more than 75% of social log-ins for the non-profit and education sectors.


Read more on Social Times.

The week in social: Tsu, Facebook Rooms, and Monica Lewinsky

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Snapchat features first sponsored campaign for Ouija Movie

Snapchat has just posted its first promoted campaign, on the heels of announcements that it would start showing advertisements on its app. The first campaign, a promotion for the Ouija movie launching October 24th, is not however the first instance of brands using the ephemeral messaging service, just the first official paid placement of brand content. The ad appears as part of “recent updates” in the app, and has a sponsored icon next to it. The ad will disappear after it has been viewed, just like the majority of Snapchat content.

More information on Variety.


Spotify planning to offer family plans for up to five users

A much requested feature from users for the music streaming service, Spotify has announced plans to debut family plans for groups of us to five users. If two users are trying to listen to the music on the same account, when the second user plays a song, music that the first user is streaming stops playing, causing complaints by groups. With the new plan, families can save 50% of the normal subscription rate per person. The new plans for the popular social-sharing music service will be rolling out worldwide in the coming weeks. Other services such as Rdio already offer similar options.

Read more on The Next Web.


Monica Lewinsky officially joints Twitter

Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, famous for leading an affair with former President of the United States Bill Clinton, has just opened a Twitter account as of earlier this week. Starting her account with a simple tweet stating “#HereWeGo”, the famous public speaker has a verified account, and thousands of followers. A contributor to Vanity Fair, the brand handle for the company also welcomed her to Twitter. It remains to be seen what kind of content she will push on the network or if her involvement is closely tied to Vanity Fair.


More information on Media Bistro.


Yahoo CEO details future plans for Tumblr

When announcing third-quarter results for Yahoo in an official release earlier this week, Marissa Mayer, company CEO, stated that Tumblr would be a big part of their revenue generation strategy. Forecasting $100 million of ad sales specifically for Tumblr in 2015, it shows that Yahoo is planning to lean on the social blogging network to keep the company making money. Mayer continued onto to say in a statement that over 260 of the world’s top brands have a presence on Tumblr. Overall however, quarterly ad revenue for Yahoo has been down in the past year, to $447 million, a 5% decrease.

Read more on AdWeek.


Users can now make hotel reservations on Yelp

The popular social review site for restaurants and other businesses, Yelp, now lets users make hotel reservations. The new service comes through a partnership with Hipmunk, a travel search site, and this comes on the heels of several other partnerships on the platform. These new partnerships allow users to take additional actions outside of just reviews such as making restaurant and other event reservations. The likely strategy for Yelp is to keep users on its site when they are making any sort of plans, rather than to have a user move to another site to make their reservation.


More information on The Next Web.


New social network Tsu promises revenue shares with its content creators

New social network startup company Tsu promises to be different from other social networks, in that it will allow users to “own” their audiences and the content they are creating, as well as share the revenue that is made from that content. Core features of the social network include peer to peer merchant services and fair content ownership, among others. Due to the increasing popularity of content creators on social networks, content ownership could be a key feature in determining which creators put their content on which networks. Founder of Tsu, Sebastian Sobczack, said in a statement about the network, ” With tsu, users can now maintain real ownership of the content they create and are rewarded proportionally.”


Read more on Social Times.


Mark Zuckerberg addresses Chinese students in Mandarin

Showing off an impressive skill that no one knew he had, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg addressed students at a Q&A at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China in Mandarin Chinese. As part of his own self-imposed annual self-improvement challenges, Zuckerberg identifies a new skill he wants to learn and will pursue it for an entire year. In 2010, that skill was being able to speak Mandarin, Chinese. This year it has been to write one thank you note to a person each day. Currently, Facebook is still banned in China.

More information on Wired.


Twitter attracts more mobile app developers with phone numbers

A new service being offered to mobile developers through Twitter, “Digits” allows users to log into an app by submitting their phone number instead of having to enter their email address or do a social log-in with Facebook or Twitter. This new service is part of Twitter’s development tools, and among these are included ad server technology and app testing technology. This entire suite of services from Twitter is called “Fabric”, and was re-branded to this name earlier this week. Offering these new and improved tools its Twitter’s way of attracting app developers to integrate its service more, and as part of its overall strategy to expand out of just social networking into becoming a crucial app development partner.

Read more on CNet.


Facebook testing letting Page admins save draft posts

Certain Page admins on Facebook are reporting seeing a new option when creating a post directly on their page to save it as a draft for publishing later. This is not a feature that is available to all Page admins, and not one that Facebook has publicly announced either. Often times, Facebook will quietly test a new feature among a handful of users, and that is likely happening with this new feature as well. Options that are currently available for Page admins on posts include backdating, and boosting the post to show it to a wider audience.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Over half of all mothers consider quitting social media

Although moms are highly active and social media and a very effective medium for brands who want to focus their messaging on this demographic, according to new research the majority of this group has at least considered taking a break from social media. According to a report by Current Lifestyle Marketing, 53% of mothers aged 18 to 64 with at least one child have considered taking a break from, or quitting social media all together. The report goes on to say that this is the result of feeling the need to create the perfect image on social media all of the time. An additional stat from eMarketer shows that approximately 1 in 5 social media users are mothers.


Read more on AllTwitter.


Facebook launches Rooms app

A new standalone application from Facebook, the Rooms app lets users create an account without using their real name, for an increased level of privacy when discussing any topic. Users can set up a forum-like discussion thread with its own appearance and moderation settings. Inside each Room, users can share text, images, and video inside a vertical content feed. To join a Room, a user does not have to enter their email address, or even have a Facebook account, but they have to take a screenshot or have a photo of a Room’s unique QR code to enter. The Room application was built by Josh Miller and his team from Branch, a company acquired by Facebook earlier this year. Currently there is no function for discovering Rooms, and users can only enter through the aforementioned QR-code style invite system.


Read more on TechCrunch.


Buffer updates iOS app to introduce new features and native sharing

The popular social media scheduling tool Buffer has just updated its app for iOS with a host of new features, including native sharing, which makes it easier to post updates directly, using Apple devices. Users can now access the Buffer dashboard from the iPad app, allowing them to post to buffer during other activities such as browsing on Safari. Additionally, users can now send retweets through Buffer via other apps, such as Tweetbot.

More information on Marketing Land.

The week in social: Qik, Vine on Xbox, and the Walking Dead

Monday, October 20th, 2014

YouTube builds production space in Manhattan

Following up to facilities built in Tokyo and London in the last two years, YouTube has built a new production facility that resides in New York City. Slated to open on November 6th, the purpose of the studio will be to help YouTube creators bring a higher level of quality to their content, among other things. Also included will be a BrandLab, which will let brands interact with top content creators on the video sharing platform, as a way to build new partnerships. In order to gain access to the space, Creators need to have at least 5,000 subscribers and be part of YouTube’s Partner Program.

More information on New York Times.


Twitter begins offers money transfers through tweets

Through a partnership with Group BPCE, France’s second largest bank, French Twitter users will be able to send each other money, managed by the bank’s S-Money mobile payment service. The same service already allows payment through SMS. The service had an official announcement at a press conference in Paris earlier this week. The is the next move by a major social network to integrate payment and purchase options to their services.

Read more on Media Bistro.


Skype launches Skype Qik video messaging service

Aimed at keeping users connected between Skype calls, Skype has launched Skype Qik, an ephemeral video messaging service, where users can send each other short videos 1 to 1, or within groups. Each video sent lasts for two weeks, and users can erase a message earlier than that if they choose, and it will be deleted both from their record, and the inbox of the user it was sent to. Users also have the ability to block contacts if they do not want to receive messages from someone. Another feature, Qik Fliks, lets users send 5 second long GIFs as responses to longer Qik messages. Qik is currently available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.


More information on Skype Blog.


Facebook and Apple to offer egg freezing for women employees

A new perk for female employees at two of the most well known tech companies, Facebook and Apple will begin offering a perk that allows women to freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons. They are two of the first companies to offer this benefit, with Facebook starting the coverage recently, and Apple planning to start in January. Costs for this type of coverage can be in excess of $10,000 for every round of egg-freezing, and $500 to store the eggs annually. These two companies offering this benefit has been seen as the next phase in the “perks arms race” in Silicon Valley. Facebook even reportedly offers new parents $4,000 to do whatever they want with.

Read more on NBC News.


First lady Michelle Obama makes viral Vine

Earlier last week, wife of the President, Michelle Obama participated in a Twitter Q&A, and during that, she answered a satirical Vine from Iman Crossan impersonating the President by posting a response that was a play on the song “Turn Down for What” on Vine. Her Vine showed her promoting her healthy eating campaign by dancing with a Turnip, and the video instantly went viral. The post has currently amassed over 25 million loops and is still going.


More information on Wall Street Journal Blog.


Mark Zuckerberg donates $25 million to help fight Ebola

In a move to help the fight against Ebola in the United States, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have donated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation. In a statement issued in a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said, “We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long-term global health crisis…”. The post continued on to link to the CDC Foundation site with more information about Ebola.

More information on All Facebook.


Vine launches for Xbox One in 34 countries

On the heels of an announcement back in June that many more apps would soon become available for the Xbox One, Vine is now officially available for the gaming and entertainment system. The app is currently only available to Xbox Live subscribers. This is the first Vine app that has been designed specifically for the TV. Users can upload standard Vines just like on the mobile applications, but they also have the option to upload gameplay videos, an addition over the already integrated Twitch experience. The app works with Kinect, so users can make common commands using their voice to play, pause, and search.


More information on Venture Beat.


GoToMeeting comes to Android smart watches

GoToMeetings’ app is now available on Android smartwatches. The app allows you to join a meeting, mute a call, or leave a meeting. GoToMeetings created this app as a way for people to always be connected to their meetings. Although it has not been created to replace the desktop version, the added convenience will help people stay connected while they are traveling, or when they do not have access to use another device such as their computer. Smartwatches currently supported include Samsung Gear Live, Moto 360, and the LG G Watch.

Read more on TechCrunch.


New infographic shows performance of the average Facebook page

Created by Quintly, a new Facebook infographic shows the average performance of all Facebook Pages by different metrics. Items measured include total number of fans, average number of posts, distribution of engagements such as likes and shares, and more. Many stats are compared year over year from 2013 to 2014, and on average, stats tend to show little to no growth. One stat of particular interest shows that with growth of fans on a Page, interaction rate lessens.


More information on Inside Facebook.


The Walking Dead tops Twitter conversation

Last week the season premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC had 17 million total viewers, beating ratings for the Sunday Night football game, and had 11 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic. Even more impressive is the Twitter conversation surrounding it, with 1.3 million tweets during the course of the episode, making it the number one drama season premiere in terms of Twitter conversation. The show also was featured as all ten of the top trending topics in the United States at one point. With reference to Facebook, over 32.1 million interactions were caused by almost 8 million users.

Read more on Media Bistro.


BBC uses Whatsapp to create an Ebola alerts system in West Africa

International news organization, BBC, is using Whatsapp in West Africa to provide up to date information on Ebola. BBC has worked with other messaging apps in the past, such as, BBM, LINE, and WeChat to report on other events. It is using Whatsapp currently so it can reach a larger number of people in affected areas who do not need to have a high-tech phone or data plan. BBC is not advertising on the platform, instead it created a free profile. As Facebook & Whatsapp have stated in the past, they have no plans on adding advertising on the messaging app; however this use of Whatsapp does highlight a potential for new marketing ventures for the app.

More information on TechCrunch.