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Archive for the ‘The week in social’ Category

The week in social: Periscope vs. Meerkat, Instagram Layout, F8 developer conference

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The battle between Meerkat and Periscope

Late February Meerkat was announced catching the attention of the media. However, just this week Twitter launched Periscope, its own living stream app. Periscope, with Twitter’s backing is able to show users which of their Twitter followers are also using the live-streaming app. Also, unlike Meerkat, Periscope allows users to save their videos so users can watch them late. Even though this is an incentive to use Periscope, it takes away from the “catch-it-if-you-can” appeal of Meerkat. The battle is on, and now it’s time to figure out which one you like the most!

 

Read more on TIME.

 

Report: Facebook page likes are down

Recently, Facebook removed page likes from users who had not logged into their count for at least six month. This number lowered page likes by an average of 3 – 4%. Social analytics provider, Quintly, created a report around this move and found that even though page likes had been lowered, analytics figures on Facebook became more accurate because deactivated users were no longer counted in engagement.

Read more on Social Times.

 

Facebook LiveRail update

During the F8 developer conference, Facebook announced that it will now support non-video mobile ads on LiveRail. Facebook acquired LiveRail last year, and with this announcement it allows advertisers to manage a variety of ad types. According to Elizabeth Closmore from Sprinklr, this change also gives advertisers more freedom to take their Facebook content and campaigns beyond the social platform.

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

Improved Facebook news feed

At the F8 Developer Conference, Facebook explained how it decides what shows up on a user’s news feed. This algorithm has evolved over years by asking users what they prefer to see on their news feed. Facebook said it created three major buckets for data: relationship with friends, content, and activity on the post. Advice from Facebook to marketers is to not push posts that your users will find annoying, because those posts are most likely to be pushed to the bottom of the news feed.

Read more on Forbes.

 

Facebook’s “On this Day”

Facebook launched “On this Day” an app almost identical to Timehop. Unlike Timehop which aggregates data from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, Dropbox, iPhoto or your camera roll, Facebook’s On This Day, only allows users to see what they posted a year ago on Facebook. Even though Facebook has not commented on the similarities between On This Day and Timehop, the similarities are oddly recognizable.

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

How social media profiles affect job recruitment

Jobvite, a recruiting software company, created an infographic highlighting insight onto what recruiters look for in potential hires’ social channels. Top social sites searched include LinkedIn (92%), Facebook (66%) and Twitter (52%). Recruiters were most interested in professional tenure, evidence of professional experience, specific skills, and industry related posts. They also considered illegal drug use, sexual posts, and poor spelling and grammar as negatives.

 

Read more on Social Times.

 

Twitter teams up with Foursquare

Through a partnership with Foursquare, Twitter is now able to place location based tweets. Twitter users will now be able to tap the location button and find a list of nearby places. This update can do a lot for Twitter advertising, by potentially allowing marketers to create location-relevant tweets.

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

Twitter helps bullied Teens

The story of #OdinBirthday begins with a mother posting a message on her Facebook support group’s page asking them to send messages to her son Odin, whose difficulties with Asperger’s led to none of his classmates RSVPing to his birthday. After the Toronto Raptors wished Odin happy birthday on Twitter, everything went viral. Odin received approximately 11,000+ tweets and 5,000+ texts on his birthday!

Read more on TIME.

 

Instagram brings hashtag pages to its platform

Unlike before, Instagram will now allow users to click on hashtags and be sent to a page that shows photos and videos from users who used the same hashtag. However, if a user has set their account to private, only approved followers will be able to see shared photos on hashtag pages. This update is available on both the web and app versions.

Read more on Instagram.

 

Instagram’s new standalone app: Layout

Instagram has rolled out Layout, a standalone app that creates a collage on Instagram. Users can pick up to nine images from their camera roll, and the app organizes the photos into three sections: “recent snaps, photos with people’s faces in them, and an area for all your shots.” Layout also has a “Photo Booth” feature that allows the smartphone’s front-facing camera to quickly take four snaps instantaneously.

 

Read more on Mashable.

 

Livestreaming app to watch people sleep

YouNow is a livestreaming app similar to Periscope and Meerkat, except this app has caught the attention of teens and tweens in a major way. The app has a popular hashtag called #SleepingSquad, which shows users sleeping throughout the night. Besides having teens broadcast themselves sleeping, popular YouTube stars have taken to this app where their main followers can comment and interact with their videos.

Read more on Buzzfeed.

 

Facebook expands tools for marketers

With two million active advertisers on Facebook, the social media company announced three new tools for advertisers. Blueprint is for large brands and includes online certification for purchasing, managing, and targeting ads. Learn How, which is offered in 14 different languages, is a set of courses for advertisers new to Facebook. The third, Ad Copy Cheatsheet, provides tips for writing ad copy.

Read more on The Hub.

The week in social: Facebook payments, mobile deep linking, and Conceirge

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Facebook Messenger debuts friend to friend payments

As speculated, Facebook recently announced that its Messenger app will allow users to conduct friend-to-friend payment. The app now features a “$” sign on the keyboard, to take users to the payments interface. Users will then be promoted to enter a debit card and send money to a friend. Facebook has a team of anti-fraud specialists to monitor for suspicious payments. The social networking site announced that the new feature will be rolled out for Android, iOs, and the Web in the United States in coming months.

FBpayments

 

Read more on The Next Web.

 

Facebook introduces new targeting to help marketers reach people abroad

Facebook has introduced expat targeting worldwide in all its ads interfaces and API. The new targeting option will allow advertisers to target those living with a specific country and expats originating from a specific country. The example given by Facebook is that expat targeting allows businesses to target expats living in Brazil and people born in Brazil but living abroad. The social networking site found success with Etihad Airways who used expat targeting and received a 50x return on investment.

expats

 

Read more on Facebook Business.

 

Sosh brings Concierge to New York

This past week, Sosh launched the app Concierge, an app similar to Uber but for dining in New York City. After San Francisco, New York City is the company’s second market. Concierge essentially creates a tasting menu inventory for the Sosh community, and allows users to reserve a table, pay for the prix fixe meal, and request an Uber for the end of the night all through the app. Concierge had a high success rate in San Francisco with zero cancellations and filled every reservation that Sosh partners put on the platform. The company is now focusing on data entry, so it can shorten the process of setting up Sosh in new locations.

concierge

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

Views behind the Internet in developing nations

The Pew Research Center recently released a study about internet usage in developing countries. The center surveyed more than 36,000 people in 32 emerging countries. Its study revealed that although 64% of people believe in the Internet’s positive influence on educating its citizens, 42% are wary of the negative affect on morality. The study also highlighted social networking usage in these countries. The Philippines had the most adults on social networking sites such as, Facebook and Twitter with 93% of its citizens, while China had the least social networking usage with 58%.

developing nations

 

Read more on Pew Research Center.

 

Kenshoo releases study of Android vs. iOS users

Facebook marketing partner, Kenshoo recently released a study about mobile app ads on iOS vs Android. Key results from the study included that specifically targeting English speaking countries led to more costly ads; that iOs as an operating system was more costly than Android; and iOs users were more likely to download an app after clicking on the ad. The study also revealed that click-through rates (CTR) had fallen at the end of the year, but Android systems had better CTRs than iOs. Kenshoo recommended that marketers should target by country rather than language and that advertises should target iOs and Android systems separately to maximize ad performance.

 

Read more on Social Times.

 

Facebook announces new plans for its Messenger App

During this coming week’s FB Developer Conference, Facebook is to announce new features to its Messenger App. This week the company announced Friend-to-Friend payment through the app, but now the company is hinting at opening Messenger to new features, similar to popular messaging apps like LINE and We-Chat. The company is possibly going back to its roots and updating parts of the platform that worked best, such as its gaming central. Facebook could also see potential for businesses to use the app to connect to their consumers and create richer content to be shared on its social network. The FB Developer Conference is set for March 25 -26, 2015.

Messenger

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

Introducing mobile deep linking to Bitly

On March 17th Bitly introduced mobile deep linking as part of its Bitly Brand tools and has expanded its business for advertisers to help increase app installs and re-engagements. When users click on the mobile Bitly, they will be asked to either download the app or use the mobile website. According to the launch, 86% of mobile users spend time on apps giving this feature a strong potential for success.

bitly

 

Read more on Bitly.

 

Kenshoo expands support for Facebook Audience Network

Facebook marketing partner, Kenshoo, expanded its Facebook Audience Network to include custom audiences and lookalike audiences. Creating a custom audience is easy and can be found in Facebook’s Ad Manager by clicking on “Audiences”. The company stated that since tracking cookies on mobile applications is more difficult, this expansion allows advertisers to better connect and convert across various devices and boost mobile advertising performance.

 

Read more on Social Times.
 

55% of Facebook users access the mobile app

GlobalWebIndex found that Facebook is the most popular social networking site for smartphone and tablet usage and leads the way with 55% of an active user base accessing its app. According to GWI, the reason Facebook is a leader in mobile app usage is because the platform has engrained itself in our normal routines and has become a daily networking behavior for its audience. YouTube and Instagram followed Facebook with 47% app usage and 46% app usage respectively.

GWI

 

Read more on Social News.

 

The value of video

Facebook commissioned a Nielsen study to find the value behind a video. The study created a test and control group and found that even before an ad was viewed (under 1 second) users were affected by the ad for ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase consideration. The data showed that the ad created up to 47% of total campaign value for those who watched three seconds or less. As expected, the effect of the ad increased as more of the video was watched.

video

 

Read more on Facebook.

 

Vine update for iOs

Twitter has implemented network caching and introduced a new, smaller video file with speed boost and offline support. The app now starts downloading the app’s data before it is opened. The improvements will allow users to view and browse Vines offline. However, users won’t be able to download new Vines until they are back online. The update is currently only available for iOs systems, but the Android update will be coming soon.

 

Read more on Venture Beat.
 

Twitter makes it easier to report threatening messages

In a continued effort to stop bullying and harassment on Twitter, the company released a new feature that compiles harassment reports and allows users the option of contacting law enforcement. To report a threatening tweet, users can click the “email report” button. However, the company isn’t going to send reports for its users, instead Twitter will recommend contacting local law enforcement if people are concerned about their safety.

twitter

 

Read more on Venture Beat.
 

LinkedIn acquires Careerify

LinkedIn acquired Toronto based Careerify with the goal of automating the referrals process. The acquisition will help LInkedIn develop a referral service to support companies with finding prospective clients through an employee’s existing contacts and networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The company has not released specific details around the deal.

 

Read more on The Next Web.

The week in social: Meerkat off Twitter, feeling fat, and Lasso

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Facebook introduces topic data app

Facebook has teamed up with DataSift to finally allow users to dissect what people are actually saying about brands, events, and various activities. Topic data will help further communicate the value of social media. Facebook user content such as status messages will be used for ad targeting, and the topical data will allow Facebook advertisers to learn more about their audience and create more relevant ads. In turn, advertisers will want to invest even more into Facebook ads. For now, data will primarily be limited to only partners of DataSift in the U.S. and U.K.

Read more on AdWeek.

 

VaporChat gives users full control of their texts

Last week VaporChat launched its mobile messaging app, which positions itself as the “first mobile platform to allow senders to be in total control over anything they send.” The app is said to be a departure from other messaging apps due to the amount of settings available for a user to control their content. One example of this is the ability to delete messages or even entire conversations from not only their own device but the recipient’s device as well. Users also have the option to chat in “vapor” mode, which provides a self-destructing conversation timer. Unlike many other “disappearing” messaging apps, users can also prevent a recipient from copying or saving anything they receive.

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

Apple Watch details released

Pricing and release details for the highly anticipated Apple Watch have been released. The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order online and in-store April 10, roughly two weeks before it goes on sale April 24. The ‘Watch’ edition will be available from $ $700 – $1400, depending on the size and band combination. It is said to endure small amounts of water submersion and will feature touch-screen navigation. The Apple Watch will also come equipped with Siri as well as heart rate and calorie measurements. For some, battery issues may be an immediate question for concern, however Apple CEO asserts that the watch will last 18 hours on average. Notifications are touted to be one of the major features of the app, allowing users to stay in touch via email and social apps.

 

 

Read more on The Inquirer.

 

Verizon Wireless named Facebook’s most socially devoted brand in February

According to a recent infographic by Socialbakers, Verizon Wireless has been named the most socially devoted brand on Facebook for February. A few metrics that factor into this title include response time, response rate and the difference of answered minus unanswered questions (AMUQ). Socialbakers also found that retail edged the food category as the industry with the most Facebook likes. Disney remained the top media brand while Walmart still holds its place as the top brand on Facebook with over 32 million likes. The top brand on Twitter was Starbucks while the e-marketplace Etsy came on top for Twitter interactions.

Read more on AdWeek.

 

WhatsApp hits 1 billion Android downloads

Last week, mobile messaging app WhatsApp became the second non-Google app in history (besides Facebook) to hit 1 billion installs on Android devices. This comes slightly over a year since Facebook bought Whatsapp for $16 billion. The milestone makes WhatsApp the most popular mobile messaging app on the market.

Read more on AndroidHeadlines.com.

 

YouTube now supports 360-degree video

YouTube has announced its support of 360-degree videos, a feature largely geared towards action-oriented content such as sports. One of the main features of these types of videos is the ability to show an entire scene, allowing content creators to capture even more within their videos. The amount of 360-degree clips is expected to grow with the popularity of 360-degree camera systems coming to market. One unique aspect of this feature is the ability to provide users with a “choose-your-own-adventure” video, where content is viewed based on where the viewer is looking.

Read more on The Verge.

 

Meerkat cut off from Twitter graph

The increasingly popular live video-streaming app, Meerkat, was abruptly cut off from Twitter’s social graph. This came merely hours before the SXSW interactive conference, where Meerkat was positioned to be the next big tech app featured. A few drawbacks come as a result of this decision, including the inability for users to immediately see their map of friends while streaming. Users will also receive fewer push notifications when friends begin streaming their videos via Meerkat. Despite the hitch, many see this as a evidence of Meerkat’s popularity and potential to dominate as a video streaming app.

Read more on The Verge.

 

Twitter to launch second screen TV experience

It comes as little surprise that one of the main portals of television conversations will soon launch a “second-screen” experience. This means that users who tweet show-related hashtags will be prompted with a message to try out Twitter TV Timelines. The timelines will present the viewer with an aggregation of all of that show’s related content, including photos, videos and more. This is Twitter’s solution to cutting through any non-TV noise and giving Twitter users more content relevant to their favorite shows.

 

Read more on Mashable.

 

“Feeling Fat” offends

Catherine Weingarten of international local-global initiative Endangered Bodies took offense to the “feeling fat” option on Facebook. After launching a petition on Change.org for the social network to remove that option, Facebook released a statement promising to remove this as an option for status updates, “which could reinforce negative body image.”

 

Read more on USA Today.

 

Photobucket buys Lasso

Photobucket recently announced the acquisition of Lasso, a private photo-sharing and chat app. The app was originally designed to simplify the process of requesting photos from family and friends. Along with this deal one of Photobucket’s original founders, Alex Welch, will return as a co-founder to serve as adviser to Photobucket. The deal also includes a combination of cash and stock. Specific terms are not being disclosed.

Read more on The Denver Post.

 

Snapchat wants to feature March Madness games

Snapchat is reportedly in talks to acquire the necessary rights to feature NCAA basketball games during the Final Four. With the launch of the “discover” media tab, the app has renewed its image as a valuable platform for both users and brands.

Read more on Fast Company.

 

Alibaba invests in Snapchat

Online shopping network Alibaba is preparing to invest $200 million into the infamous self-destructing messaging app Snapchat, with a valuation of $15 billion. Alibaba, second to Amazon as largest e-commerce company worldwide, looks to further expand into entertainment and social networks. According to Bloomberg, the investment in Snapchat would grow Alibaba’s total equity investments to $6.3 billion in the past 12 months.

Read more on The Next Web.

The week in social: Meerkat, BriefMe, and Tinder Plus

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Startup Meerkat brings live video broadcast to Twitter

Built on top of Twitter’s identity, distribution and communication systems, Meerkat is a real-time video broadcast app that automatically connects to your Twitter account, allowing for instantaneous contact lists and content pushes. Links to broadcasts are sent to your twitter stream with video comments and interactions delivered via Twitter @ replies. Broadcasts can be scheduled up to 24 hours in advance and once you’re done filming, the content disappears unless you save it to your phone. This is a key consideration given the auto-tweet links will live on forever in tweet form even if the content is no longer in existence. Meerkat’s primary challenge will be to keep its app filled with enough compelling content to ensure continual user engagement.

More information on TechCrunch.

 

Google overhauls Contacts app

Earlier this week, Google unveiled an update to its Contacts app that employs a new material design, and lets users integrate other Google app functions such as email and calendar appointments. The integration of these features lets users see emails and events exchanged between each other when a specific contact is viewed. In addition to these updates, contacts are auto-updated based on Google profiles to include information such as job titles and updated profile photos. The app is currently available for consumer GMail users, and a version for Google Apps users is currently being worked on.

 

Read more on The Next Web.

 

WWE takes title of most popular YouTube sports channel

Last week, World Wrestling Entertainment, otherwise known as the WWE, became the biggest sports channel on YouTube. With a total of 4.2 billion views in the last 12 months, the channel also has 5.2 million subscribers, more than the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL combined. In all of social media combined, the company has 450 million total likes/follows, an increase of 75% year over year. In addition to a strong company following, John Cena, the top billed performer, has over 36 million likes/follows, being the most followed active American athlete on social media.

More information on Lost Remote.

 

BriefMe application helps rank popular stories by social media activity

Powered by a propriety ranking algorithm that scores articles partially by how popular they are on social media, a new application for iOS, BriefMe, is changing how articles are served to users on mobile apps. The application will send users 3 articles per day via push notification using this algorithm. There is a home feed that will also show users the top ten articles of the moment, and has separate feeds for specific categories. Every article has a “BriefMe Score”, that uses the algorithm to show a user how popular it is. Lastly, there is a “stream” section that shows an endless scrolling list of news, and each article has to option to be shared on social, which ultimately increases the “BriefMe Score”.

 

Read more on Social Times.

 

Facebook Slingshot now lets users Explore

In attempt to add new functionality to their Slingshot app, Facebook has added an “Explore” option, that lets them discover new and exciting users. Facebook announced the new feature in a blog post this past Tuesday, saying that they are answering requests from users to find a way to discover “funny, inspiring and creative” people. The Explore feature is focused on popular users, and is the next attempt my Facebook to drive usage of one of its standalone apps. One of Slingshot’s last major app updates came in December with a major design overhaul.

More information on Venture Beat.

 

Tinder launches Tinder Plus

Tinder, the popular swiping social dating app, has launched a premium version that allows users to redo swipes to reject another user with a “rewind feature”, and gives them a larger total number of swipes. The catch for the service is that it will cost users who are above the age of 30 more money. For users between age 18-29, the service costs $9.99, and users over 30, it jumps to $19.99, with these prices being relative to the United States.

 

Read more on Huffington Post.

 

Instagram debuts carousel ads to help users learn more about brands

Facebook-owned Instagram earlier this week debuted a new ad format that lets marketers tell more sequenced stories about their products, services, or brands. Users can swipe to the left of an ad that they like, and get more imagery related to that ad, in a carousel-like function. The new format is available on a limited-basis, like much of Instagram advertising has been, and there is no official word yet on what advertisers are using it currently. Instagram advertising has seen a slow trickle since its inception, allaying user fears that ads would take over their photo-feed, but it remains to be seen if more ad partners will start using the service.

 

More information on Mashable.

 

Google+ splits offering into separate products

It’s been alluded to over recent weeks, but Google+ has officially confirmed a network split into three distinct products as a way to focus on independent, tailored development. With the company’s product VP heading up the offering, Google+ will shortly be split into photo management and streams. In addition, Google is also looking to distance Hangouts from the network. It is yet to be seen what changes or impact this split will have on the user experience.

More information on The Next Web.

 

Twitter purchases Vine content discovery company Niche

Twitter has recently announced the acquisition of Niche, a discovery platform of content creators on Vine. With a hefty price tag of $50M (in cash and stock), it is proof that Twitter is placing a premium on social influencers and the kind of reach they can bring for brands and advertisers. Several social influencers on Vine, such as “Princess Lauren”, earn around $2,000 per sponsored Vine, and many popular content creators earn a living off the of the deals they have made on Niche. Although Vine is not the only social media site where social influencers do partnerships with brands, it is one of the fastest growing, being a still relatively young network.

More information on Business Insider.

 

Imgur launches brand new iOS application

Imgur is taking a second stab at launching a mobile application, creating an experience that will let its users browse through images, photos, and GIFs. The experience on the mobile app is intentionally different than on the web, and users are presented cards in an endless row, that contain an image and caption. Users can tap on the card to share, like, or make a comment, or continue swiping to see more images. The initial stream of photos provided are the sites most currently popular or viral. There currently is no feature for uploading photos, and CEO Alan Schaaf notes that he wanted to start small and get the critical pieces right.

 

Read more on The Verge.

The week in social: Wayin, Google Helpouts, and Tweet your secrets

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Facebook launches product ads

Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled a new way for marketers to promote all of their ads. Called Product ads, the new units let advertisers promote their ad on any device and can follow a user through the entire buying process, from product discovery through purchase. The creation of this ad unit was based on marketer desire to showcase more than one type of product a company offers, and ads can showcase multiple different products, or focus on a high-selling one. Product ads can also be used with the conversion pixel to optimize what is shown based on each individual consumer. In a test completed by Brand Networks, the ads were shown to have a 360% yield on ad dollars spent.

 

Read more on Venture Beat.

 

Twitter releases Answers as stand-alone product

Twitter’s mobile analytics product Answers is now available as a stand-alone tool for all marketers. Previously a feature only available within the Crashlytics dashboard, Twitter has reacted to the growing demand for in-depth and real-time mobile analytics outside of the developer circle. The product makes understanding your user base easier with intelligent auto alerts and simple installation. Answers is still available as part of the Crashlytics dashboard, but marketers who are keen to learn more about app performance without the technical details within the developer suite can sign up for access at answers.io.

More information on Twitter Blog.

 

New social search engine Wayin is launched

Although it is common for the average consumer to search for general information through search enginges like Google and Bing, they have not been able to do so from specifically social media sources such as Facebook and Twitter until now. Announced earlier this week, the Wayin search engine will allow users to searches across specific terms, in depth, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Search results can be broken down by common demographic parameters, such as location and gender. Mainly focused as a brand tool, it function more as a common search engine, with usability at the core. Additional features of the searches allow users to see sentiment and causes of particular conversation.

 

Read more on Social Times.

 

New tool lets users tweet anonymously

A new tool is allowing users to tweet out to their followers and the general public, masking their handle, so they can what’s really on their minds, without fear of retribution. The service, called “Tweet Your Secrets”, lets users type their secret into a dialog box, and it is tweeted out via the @tweetursecrets handle to the over 14,000 followers the account has. Although the company promises to respect to privacy of its users, they are encouraged to still review the privacy policy before participating.

 

Read more on Social Times.

 

Snapchat seeks $19 billion valuation

Snapchat is hoping to raise as much as $500 million from investors to reach a new valuation of $19 billion, making the app the third-most valuable venture-backed company in the world. Snapchat’s move toward an entertainment destination could help with ad sales and wider audience engagement. The company’s founder turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook in 2013, leading the company to hit $10 billion in valuation last year. If Snapchat achieves its goal, they would be close behind Facebook’s $22 billion deal for What’sApp last year.

More information on Bloomberg.

 

Pinterest planning to disable affiliate linking

Although Pinterest was the no. 2 website in terms of driving referral traffic in 2014, a lot of this traffic was driven by affiliate linking from users who were trying to generate their own revenue. In an email to its user-base, the pin-sharing social network stated that all affiliate links, redirects, and trackers on pinned content would be deleted automatically. Pinterest is said to be cutting down on the practice because it has caused a large influx of irrelevant pins to be featured on feeds. Many fashion bloggers, users who most often utilize these practices, have complained that they were not given any advance warning and more still have threatened to leave the social network. It remains to be seen if general sentiment towards the user experience on Pinterest will improve as a result of the change.

More information on Wall Street Journal Blog.

 

96% of millenials in Mexico are on social media

Based on a survey conducted of 20-30 year olds in Mexico by the Competitive Intelligence Unit, it has been found that 96% of the demographic uses social media in one form or another, and that in addition, 95% of them use instant messaging. With only 57% of the demographic owning smartphones, the statistics show that desktop social networking is also extremely popular. The group makes up half of Internet users in the country, and a total of 63% of all social media users.

 

Read more on EMarketer.

 

Facebook takes stance on viewed impressions

Facebook took to its blog to share its position on impression measurement, stating that advertisers shouldn’t pay for an ad that hasn’t been seen. The two types of impressions, served and viewed, are differentiated by whether the ad format has appeared within the viewers screen and is not related to effectiveness or active viewing. Facebook uses viewed impressions to measure ad delivery across desktop and mobile and aims to apply this measurement standard to organic content from businesses in the coming months. Working with the Media Rating Council (MRC), Facebook has pledged its commitment alongside other advertisers to develop robust standards for viewable impressions, ensuring value and consistency are upheld.

More information on Facebook for Business.

 

Google Helpouts to shut down this April

Google Helpouts started in 2013 as a way of helping users learn new things or solve problems through video tutorials. However, the service has not grown as much as Google had hoped, and as such the service is being shut down in April of this year. The service was launched with corporate partners such as Weight Watchers and Sephora, and the service was free to use for consumers who wanted to view videos from volunteers, or there would be a $20 charge for users who wanted to view partner content. Google has let users know that they can export their Helpout history starting on April 20th until November 1st of this year.

More information on The Verge.

 

Facebook lets users add stickers to photos on mobile apps

With a new update to their app on iOS and Android, Facebook users can now add stickers to their photos before uploading them. Stickers have already been a part of different aspects of Facebook, with users being able to apply them to status updates, and to photos within the stand-alone Messenger app, but this marks the first time they will be usable with any photos on the social network. Users only have to update to the latest version of the app to try this, and it remains to be seen if the functionality will be added for desktop users after a period of testing.

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

New York Fashion Week generates almost 21m engagements on Instagram

New York Fashion Week has seen its most successful seasonal event in terms of Instagram engagements, with a total of 20.8 million during the week long event, with over 340 thousand photos shared. With over 20 million likes, and over 440 thousand comments, there was 193% more Instagram engagement for NYFW than the Spring/Summer event back in September. The top hashtag for photos of the event was #fashion, with 88,676 images shared, according to research from Curalate. The brand that generated the most engagement was Michael Kors, with the #AllAccessKors hashtag generating approximately 1 million engagements.

 

Read more on AdWeek.

 

TweetDeck gives teams secure account access

For the first time in 10 years, Twitter users can give teams access to Twitter accounts without having to share passwords. The Team tool, built into TweetDeck, is available in the latest update for web, Chrome and Windows, however the Mac app is yet to be released. Project leads with password access will be able to create team lists granting a range of permission levels without ever having to divulge a password. For the tool to work, all members must be using the TweetDeck client.

More information on Twitter Blog.

The week in social: Facebook relevance scores, Twitter Curator and Pinterest App Pins

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Facebook introduces relevance scores

This week Facebook introduced a relevance score for advertisements in an aim to ensure people see content that matters to them. The relevance score – a number between 1 and 10 – is calculated based on positive and negative feedback. While ads with guaranteed delivery like those bought through reach and frequency are not impacted by scores, the feature is said to help advertisers test ad creative, optimize campaigns in progress and lower the cost of reaching people. The tool is available globally via Ads Manager.

 

Read more on Facebook.

 

Curator: Twitter’s new tool for media outlets

Twitter has launched a new app that allows media organizations to create embeddable collections of tweets and Vines as a way to create rich stories. The Storify competitor, which builds on Twitter’s collection tool, allows you to filter content by user profile and post qualities like sentiment. Curator also gives broadcasters the ability to create on-air graphics with Twitter responses to shows. Twitter is accepting requests from journalists looking to be whitelisted.

Read more on The Next Web.

 

Pinterest releases App Pins

Pinterest’s latest addition to Rich Pins is the App Pin for iOS applications. The App Pin allows Pinners to install iOS apps without having to leave the platform. With more than 75% of traffic to Pinterest coming from mobile devices, it’s a natural evolution of the Rich Pin product. The feature is currently US-only and specifically for iOS apps.

 

Read more on Pinterest.

 

Snapchat experiments with localized Our Stories

Continuing to expand Snapchat’s use case from silly snaps with friends to full exploration channel, Snapchat is toying with a localized version of its Our Stories product. The feature allows users to see Snaps within a certain geographic range. The potential to connect users who are in a uniform location without knowing one another is a large opportunity for engagement at live events.

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

Pinterest kills monetization links

Pinterest has decided to end partnerships with affiliate networks in an effort to maintain a high bar of relevancy and quality of Pins. In its first total ban, the network will automatically remove all affiliate links, redirects and trackers on Pins without removing the original content. Pinterest has requested its power users look to monetize their fan base in approved ways, including paid social media marketing campaigns. The change won’t impact or be noticeable to a majority of Pinterest users.

Read more on VentureBeat.

 

Facebook formalizes legacy contact

Facebook has introduced legacy contacts, a feature that allows users to determine who will receive the rights to their Timelines when they pass on. A next step from Facebook’s memorializing of accounts, the update gives users more control over what happens to their profiles. Family members or friends can be identified to manage aspects of the profile from cover images to friend requests and pinned posts. The legacy contact will not be able to view the person’s private messages or log on as the user. It is also possible for users to have their profiles permanently deleted after death. This setting is currently available in the US and is completely optional.

Read more on Social Times.

 

Twitter updates navigation with swipe to dismiss for images

Twitter is changing the way users get out of viewing images in-stream. The change from tapping on an image to swiping up or down to return to the feed is an attempt to align more with current user’s natural navigation motions on mobile. This feature may have been inspired by third-party app Tweetbot, which has historically had a similar swipe-to-dismiss function.

Read more on The Next Web.

 

LinkedIn updates its developer program

LinkedIn is refocusing their Developer Program from primarily open APIs to partnerships in an effort to provide clarity and focus to preferred integrations. Building on their successful partnerships with the likes of Samsung and WeChat and their current Sponsored Update program, LinkedIn will now require developers to become a member of one of the partnership programs. From May 12, 2015, open APIs will be limited to enabling individual members to represent their professional identity, post certifications, share professional content and allow companies to share professional content to LinkedIn.

Read more on LinkedIn.

 

Millions say they use Facebook, but not the Internet

A recent report polling Facebook users in emerging markets revealed that the users of the social network don’t associate the platform with the Internet. Think tank LIRNEasia found that more respondents said they used Facebook than the Internet in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar. The disparity between the two has raised some concerns for businesses or organizations looking to engage with populations that are heavily reliant on Facebook with the potential for all communication to be streamlined through the platform in order to ensure reach of message.

 

Read more on CNBC.

 

Google acquires photo startup Odysee

In its latest acquisition play, Google has acquired Odysee, a photo back-up and sharing app. Although no terms have been disclosed, the move sees the Odysee team join Google+ and indicates the platform may be looking to boost its photo product offering.

Read more on Business Insider

The week in social: Tweets on Google, Multi-product ads, and Instagram loops

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

59% of Internet users in Canada are on Facebook

Nearly 6 out of every ten Internet users in Canada are on Facebook, and nearly half of that number is accessing the service on a daily basis, according to a report from Forum Research. Large percentages also use other social services based on the report from January 2015, including 30% on LinkedIn, 25% on Twitter, and 16% on Instagram. Percentage of daily usage cascades down in a similar fashion, with 47% of users accessing Facebook daily, and lower percentages for the other networks. The report goes on to estimate that nearly 20 million people in Canada will access a social network in 2015.

 

Read more on AdWeek.

 

Twitter opening research and design center in India

Starting in the key hub city of Bangalore, Twitter is opening a research and design facility aimed at expanding its presence in foreign markets. This is the first facility of its kind outside of the United States, and the announcement comes on the heels of acquisition of Indian mobile start-up ZipDial for $40m. Dick Costolo, CEO, is coming under increasing pressure to reserve the slow-down of active user growth on the network, and to position the company as an affective tool for brand advertisers to reach their audience, and expanding into international territory is part of the company’s overall strategy.

More information on Financial Times.

 

YouTube introduces camera angle choices

A new experimental feature that launched earlier this week from YouTube, the service is letting users choose from multiple camera angles when viewing content. It currently only works for a single piece of content, a musical performance, but it allows the user to choose what angle they are watching the performance from by selecting from a series of thumbnails on the right of the video feed. This potentially makes streaming events more dynamic for the viewers as they can focus on the part of the action they want to see, but it remains to be seen if it will see wider adoption.

 

Read more on The Next Web.

 

71% of people check social media sites during work meetings

In a recent poll of 1,000 office employes done by LondonOffices.com, it was found that 71% admitted to checking social media sites during work meetings, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, primarily on their mobile devices. 28% said that they catch up on live events using Twitter, and 10% said that they look at more than one social network during a meeting. Interesting, the vast majority, 99%, said it was not acceptable to play games on mobile devices during meetings. Out of all reasons for using mobile devices in these scenarios, boredom was cited as the number one reason.

More information on Social Times.

 

Tweets to start appearing in Google search results

Google and Twitter have reached a deal earlier this week to start showing tweets in real time as part of Google search results for the first time since 2011. The purpose of the move is to increase interest in Twitter and show results from the network that Internet users may not otherwise see. Google will now have access to the entire set of Twitter data and posts to serve as search results where relevant. Data licensing may potentially be part of the deal according to Bloomberg, but there is not said to be any revenue sharing from the tweets appearing in search results.

More information on BuzzFeed.

 

Facebook introduces new tools for advertisers

Facebook this past week has just introduced new tools for advertisers, specifically multi-product ads, and an enhanced Custom Audiences feature that integrates retargeting options. Multi-product ads is the biggest shift, as these now work similar to scrolling billboards, in that advertisers can show a number of different products in a single ad the rotates copy and visuals. The new custom audience features allow users to be targeted based on what websites they have visited or have not yet visited, within a specific timeframe. Previously, this option was only available on Facebook Exchange (FBX) and other third party services.

 

Read more on Marketing Land.

 

Twitter offers small businesses quick promote option

This past Wednesday, Twitter introduced a new feature to allow advertisers to promote their content more quickly than using the native ads platform and setting up a promoted tweet. Quick Promote allows advertisers to choose a tweet to highlight, and it will automatically be promoted to users who have similar interests to the account that is promoting the tweet. Users just have to open the analytics dashboard, choose a tweet, and set a budget, all other targeting information is optimized by Twitter. Twitter says that users who see promoted tweets are 32% more likely to engage with that brand.

 

Read more on Mashable.

 

Twitter releases Q4 earnings report and statistics

Twitter reported its Q4 earnings this past week, and its regular user growth has slowed down quite a bit, with users being reported at 288 million, and increase of only 4 million from the previous quarter. This is troubling news for the company as this is only about 20% of the total audience that visits Facebook on a monthly basis. The number is also less growth than the company has experienced in quarters of previous years, and even under the projections of analysts who expected 291 million regular users. In terms of earnings, Twitter has actually had a strong quarter, likely due to the large number of new tools available for advertisers, reporting $479 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 97% from a year ago in Q4.

More information on The New York Times.

 

Tumblr introduces new content filter

Tumblr has introduced a new content filter that allows users to search for content by type in order to make archived content easier to seek out. Filters include text, photos, quote, link, and more. Previously users had to search by the month of publishing. In order to access the feature, users have to hover over an Avatar for the account they are searching, and select “Archive”, where they will be given the filter menu.

 

Read more on The Next Web.

 

Facebook updates Mentions app for public figures

As a new feature to Facebook Mentions, public figures or celebrities are now able to share directly to Instagram and Twitter, as well as add topics to the Mention feed. The updates were announced via a Facebook Media blog post by Allison Swope, product manager. Currently there are over 2 billion interactions between public figures and fans every single week.

 

Read more on AdWeek.

 

Twitter tests syndication of promoted tweets

Building on the fact that tweets can be seamlessly integrated across different mediums, from website feeds to TV scrolls and mobile apps, Twitter has begun testing promoted tweets across these platforms. Flipboard and Yahoo! Japan are the first two engaged in the trial and the partnership opportunity enables promoted ads to reach a larger audience on third-party platforms. Twitter believes this product will enable marketers to produce large-scale, rich and well-targeted campaigns across multiple platforms.

More information on Twitter Blog.

 

Instagram video introduces loop feature

Taking a note from the competition, Instagram has introduced video looping across iOS and Android platforms to their list of capabilities. The update plays to advertisers – ensuring that content is viewed by users – but unlike Vine does not incorporate a counter to indicate views. Looping is not set to impact the app’s data usage and embedded forms of Instagram video are also said to incorporate the feature.

Read more on Mashable.

The week in social: Snapchat Discover, Twitshot, and Spur

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Snapchat grows the most in 2014

In a recent report from Global Web Index, Snapchat has claimed to have two records related to its growth in the social space. One, it is the application that over-indexes the most within the teenage demographic, and a second where it has claimed it is the fastest growing app in the social space for 2014. Between Q1 and Q4 of calendar year 2014, the app grew a staggering 57%. Again, the teenage demographic has contributed to this growth, with 15% of teens globally using the app, and the percentage rising in other markets, specifically the US and UK. It remains to be seen if the app will continue its meteoric rise in 2015.

More information on Global Web Index.

 

Music frontman launches photo-sharing app Spur

Atilla frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak, has launched a new application called Spur, a photo-sharing social network, that has potential for content created to be seen by users worldwide, and not be limited to connections or follow groups. One change from other popular apps such as Instagram is that users cannot comment on photos, in an attempt to create a “hate-free” environment. The app currently sits within a crowded marketplace, but amassed over 5,000 users in less than 12 hours from launch.

 

Read more on Artist Direct.

 

Snapchat introduces Discover for brands

Following Facebook’s lead in the quest to become a publishing hub, Snapchat has launched Discover, a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams. The collaboration between media players and Snapchat’s storytelling format allows editors and artists to control what content is influential, taking a step back toward one-way communication where – by contrast to other channels – the power is not with the people to determine what is visible. With ESPN, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan participating in the launch, Discover will allow brands to incorporate full screen photos and videos, long form layouts and ‘gorgeous advertising’ to engage their subscribers. Brands will also be able to sell ads and share revenue with Snapchat within their channels for ultra-targeted content.

More information on AdWeek.

 

Twitter expected to grow over 30% in 2015

India has become a new market of explosive growth for Twitter, and a report from eMarketer states that the network will grow to over 22 million users in 2015, an over 30% increase from last year. This is part of a continuing trend, as the network grew by 47% in 2012. The report goes on to say that usage will climb to just under 40 million users by 2018. Due to low internet usage country-wide however, only 1.8% of the total population is using the micro-blogging service.

 

Read more on Social Times.

 

Facebook launches Lift to enhance ad measurement

Facebook is looking to help marketers move beyond last-click attribution to determine the effectiveness of their advertisements with a new product called Lift. Aiming to determine which portion of ad budgets are impacting the bottom line, the tool is positioned as an avenue to limit misattribution, which can lead to a misallocation of dollars. Lift will measure a control group’s tendency to buy a product versus a group exposed to advertisements. Facebook believes this tool could ultimately impact the industry by assisting in the shift of dollars to digital ads overall by demonstrating efficacy.

More information on Adweek.

 

Mobile now accounts for majority of Facebook ad revenue

In a report recently issued from Facebook investor relations, highlighted showed that mobile is increasingly an important part of the company’s ad revenue generation system, now accounting for 69% of total ad revenue coming in. The report goes on to cite daily average users, with total DAU at 890 million in December 2014, a year over year increase of 18%, and mobile DAU were at 745 million, a larger increase 34% year over year. Monthly active usage was up by similar percentages year over year, and Facebook has shown it is still a dominant player in social networks.

 

Read more on Facebook Investor Relations.

 

Twitshot makes tweeting with images easy

On the heels of a 2014 study which shows that attaching an image to your tweet results in an average 35 percent increase in retweets, Twistshot – a website that automatically extracts images from pasted links to make tweets more visual – has released an iOS app to make adding imagery even easier. Twitshot currently has a Chrome extension that enables instant sharing with an extracted image from your browser. The new app moves these capabilities to your iPad or iPhone using iOS 8’s share sheet without the hassle of downloading images. No word on an Android version.

Read more on The Next Web.

 

Tumblr introduces long form content interface

Tumblr has recently introduced a series of new tools that will make long-form content creation much accessible for users, likely in a move to compete with user web services such as Squarespace and Medium. The new tools aim to make adding different pieces of content easier; a new photo or video can be added anywhere by clicking a plus button icon, that gives options for which item will be added. The new tools also add a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface, so however a post looks when it is being edited is how it will appear once it is published. The workflow of editing a post has also changed, and shows dynamic options surround content being edited in real-time as opposed to an options tool-bar.

More information on The Next Web.

 

Facebook introduces Place Tips in New York City

In an effort to provide a test bed of users new useful tips and tricks about where they currently are in the newsfeed while on a mobile device, Facebook has introduced Place Tips. Content will be served when a user is at a point of interest and will include posts relevant to the location, photos, and other relevant tips. Tips will appear at the top of the news feed, and show an expanded view of content if the user clicks on it. The feature is now starting off as a pilot for New Yorkers, and it remains to be seen if it will expand to other major cities in the near future.

 

Read more on The Verge.

 

Vine Kids application is launched by Vine

A new spin on the popular Vine 6-second video sharing app, Vine Kids has launched earlier this week. The first kid-focused app launched by parent company Twitter, Vine Kids uses animated characters to lead them through the experience of using the app, and the app itself is largely considered a filter for kids who may otherwise be exposed to mature or inappropriate content on the main application. The app is currently only available on iOS and there is no word on whether it will be brought to other platforms.

More information on The Next Web.

 

Facebook to dominate social conversation during the Super Bowl

In a survey conducted by Fluent, over 5,000 Americans weighed in on which social network they would use to interact with content about the Super Bowl or post about it. 44% percent of respondents said that they would follow along on Facebook, with a much smaller 18% planning to follow along on Twitter. Potentially more surprising, users were more likely to follow along with Instagram than Twitter, at roughly 26%. Based on platforms, of users who responded that they would be following along with the game on mobile, 47% were going to follow along on Android devices, and 40% planned to follow along on iOS.

 

Read more on AdWeek.

The week in social: Obama on YouTube, Creatr, and Twitter in Canada

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Twitter grows by nearly 30% in the past year

For calendar year of 2014, Twitter experiences 29.8% growth in Canada, one its top growing markets, and the trend is set to continue with predicted double-digit growth in 2015. In 2014, the network had 5.9 million users, compared with 4.5 million in 2013. According to a report from E-Marketer, growth is expected to reach 6.8 million users by the end of the year. My percentage of users, Twitter is more popular in Canada than it is in the US presently.

 

Read more on AdWeek.

 

Facebook allows users to report fake news

In the next chapter of Facebook’s mission to keep the News Feed relevant, Facebook has added the ability to flag a news story as a hoax. By reporting a post as a false news story, it will appear less frequently in the News Feed and will eventually come with a warning to other readers. Fans of The Onion need not worry, with Facebook tests revealing that users are not prone to flagging satirical content as misleading.

 

Read more on The Next Web.

 

Tumblr launches network for content creators

Announced earlier this week by head creative strategist David Hayes, announced a new network for content creators call “Creatrs”, where top users will create content for Tumblr initiative such as good causes and advertising. There will be a team at Tumblr assigned to the initiative, to help users license their work, make money, and get credit for their creations across the internet. According to Hayes, $250k have been paid to Tumblr content creators over the past year as Creatr was being tested. It remains to be seen if the model will follow other social content creation networks like YouTube, who have revenue share arrangements with top users.

More information on Business Insider.

 

Twitter releases Digits log-in system for the web

Digits, the log-in system created by Twitter for mobile app developers, has launched the service for web applications. Because Twitter wants Digits to be implemented into applications that feature a mobile-first experience, users would still have to sign up via a native application first, but then they could use their same phone number to log-in via the web, if the app creator has enabled a site for it. The goal for Twitter was to let developers provide a consistent experience across all platforms.

 

Read more on Twitter Blog.

 

Spotify adds new tweaks to music discovery on iOS

In an effort to help users discover new music, and find their favorite songs more easily, Spotify has introduced a new feature on iOS where users can tap to preview a song or an album instead of clicking through to the entire body of work. The previews last for up to 30 seconds while a user holds down a finger on a song or album. Additionally, within a playlist users can move their finger up or down to sample songs from that playlist. To set up a queue for songs to play, users can now swipe right on a particular song and it will be added into the play order. These updates are planned to roll out later on for other platforms.

 

Read more on CNet.

 

Twitter launches translator in partnership with Bing

Twitter announced earlier this week that it is adding translation services powered by Bing to its site and mobile applications. The service has been officially added, after being in testing for several years, and is available specifically on the web, iOS, Android, and TweetDeck. Users have to activate the service on their account, and they will then see a globe icon next to tweets in languages other than the native one set in the user’s account. Once clicked, a translated version of the tweet will be shown. The feature was added to Twitter’s mobile apps earlier last year, but was removed after stability issues. 77% of all Twitter users reside outside of the US.

More information on TechCrunch.

 

Twitter encourages active users to post photos directly on the network instead of Instagram

As a way of helping to promote its native photo sharing, Twitter has started providing visual prompts to users to user its native photo sharing, as opposed to other methods that will not show the full photo in-stream, such as Instagram. The prompts have only been sent to power users across different categories such as sports and entertainment, potentially as a method of getting influencers to pseudo-back the native feature. Instagram disabled support for showing its photos directly in tweets two years ago, and at the same time Twitter introduced enhanced native sharing features and filters.

 

Read more on Mashable.

 

Online video stars ask the President questions with #YouTubeAsksObamna

This past Thursday, President Obama, one of the most engaged on the Internet, interviewed with three top YouTube stars; Hank Green, GloZell Green and Bethany Mota. Questions from the interviewers ranged from complex international political issues, to more fun and lighthearted questions. Each interview focused on a different subject, ranging from North Korea and Cuba, to what the government can do to help younger citizens. So far, the video of the interviews has racked up over 2.6 million views.

More information on AdWeek.

 

WhatsApp launching for desktop platform

The increasingly popular messaging service WhatsApp introduced a web-based version this past Wednesday, letting users send messages from the web in addition to the already existing mobile applications. The service was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion last year, and currently has over 700 million users. Conversations can now be carried from the phone to the web, but it is not currently available on iOS, due to “Apple platform limitations”, according to a blog post from WhatsApp.

Read more on WhatsApp Blog.

 

Facebook Groups users asked to complete survey

This past November, Facebook released a standalone app Facebook Groups, and users who downloaded the app were asked to complete a survey, presumably to understand user behavior and preference for the app. Questions included; ‘On your phone, where do you keep the Facebook Groups app?’, and ‘What is the primary thing that would make the Facebook Groups app more valuable to you?’. It remains to be seen how the questions will be used, but Facebook has a reputation for launching apps that flounder, so this is potentially a proactive attempt to create a better experience for new users.

More information on Social Times.

 

Pinterest makes acquisition to boost ad targeting

Kosei, a recommendation engine, has been acquired by Pinterest in an effort to boost its ad targeting capabilities. This latest acquisition aims to bridge the gap between the channel’s Promoted Pins and Guided Search, making a statement around the strength of the channel’s targeting. Pinterest’s head of engineering is confident Kosei’s highly personalized recommendations and catalogue of more than 400 million relationships between products will perfectly marry their existing offering and paid opportunities.

Read more on Venture Beat.

 

Facebook messenger testing voice-to-text messages

Facebook’s VP of Messaging announced tests for a new feature that would allow Messenger app users to convert voice messages into text. The development aims to extend on the current ability to send voice clips by enabling users to read the contents instead of having to play them out loud. While only available on a small scale, if the feature proves popular it would be made readily available.

 

Read more on The Next Web.

The week in social: Hatch, FB at Work, and Firefox Hello

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Most marketers will increase social spending this year

In a recent report from Salesforce of 5,000 marketers regarding budgets for the 2015 calendar year, 70% of them stated that they would increase spending from their marketing budget on social media. The comes across two separate categories, as 70% plan to increase in terms of ad spend on social, and 70% also intend to increase spend on organic social. Out of the total grouped surveyed, two thirds of them (66%) also said that social media was essential to their business. 38% of those polled will also be moving additional dollars from traditional media to digital this year.

More information Social Times.

 

Facebook launching Amber alerts for news feed

In the United States, where Facebook has approximately 185 million users, AMber alerts will now be shown in the news feed through a partnership with National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The alerts will be shown to users who are in a geographically relevant area, and the alerts will include all available information on the missing child, including a photograph. Users do not have to sign up for the service, and it is estimated that they will see 1-2 alerts per year.

 

Read more on Facebook Newsroom.

 

UK teens losing interest in Twitter

A recent Ofcom poll found that while Facebook remains top platform of choice for UK teens, Twitter use is falling with a 9% decrease of share to 28% from the previous year. The poll shows teen attention shifting to newer, more visual platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, a trend seen globally, with Instagram’s share more than doubling in the last 12 months.

More information on AdWeek.

 

Blackberry sends Tweet from iPhone

The struggling Canada-based device and software manufacturer Blackberry, known for its formerly popular keyboard-based smartphone, made a blunder earlier this week while advertising the Twitter app for its device. Tweeting from an iPhone, the company sent an update about keeping up on the conversation with Twitter. Publication The Verge screen-shotted the tweet, and it has made round across the internet for being a major social media blunder. The post was deleted shortly after it was put online. Blackberry has recently been staging a comeback with their new device, the Blackberry Classic, and it remains to be seen if the retro-inspired smartphone with Blackberry’s new OS will be a hit.

 

Read more on Mashable.

 

Firefox Hello enables cross-browser chats

Mozilla released version 35 of their open-source desktop Firefox. The range of updated capabilities, including easy sharing across social networks and updated MP4 video, notably includes free access to their cross-browser chat app, Firefox Hello. Compatible with the likes of Google Chrome and other Web-RTC supported browsers, users are able to start a conversation with contacts directly from the toolbar. Sign-ups for the app are not required, but doing so allows users to import contacts directly.

More information on The Next Web.

 

LinkedIn planning to launch two new products

LinkedIn is a popular tool for job searching and identifying new career opportunities, but a source inside the company has told Mashable that two new tools are being developed in order to bridge the gap between coworkers and colleagues. The first product will be launching to a small set of users in the coming weeks and will allow them to send InMail to coworkers even if they are not connections. InMail allows users to reach out to those who are not a connection but is often times a paid service. The second tool would focus on sharing content among a group of coworkers more easily. It remains to be seen if either product will see an official launch and when the date of launch would be.

More information on Mashable.

 

Facebook launches Facebook at Work

The latest in a series of standalone apps from Facebook, the company earlier this week unveiled and launched Facebook at Work, an app that lets users have a social network that looks and functions just like Facebook, but limits the pool of interactions to coworkers. Currently as an app, the service is only available on iOS, but it can also be accessed via the web. Employers can make separate log-ins for employees, or users can link their work and personal profile to access everything in one place. The move makes Facebook an enterprise social competitor with other services, such as SocialCast, and Slack. Many details of the app remain to be seen, such as if it will support advertising, or have a paid subscription model.

 

Read more on TechCrunch.

 

Snapchat seeks $750,000 per day commitment from brands

Snapchat has reportedly been making the rounds to top advertisers in search for $750,000-a-day commitments for its new ad product. Having topped 100 million monthly users, the platform believes that while the ads are fleeting, the direct and intentional engagement from the coveted teenage audience warrants the price. For context, Snapchat is asking for rates that are higher than a masthead on YouTube, where a day will set you back $500,000. Many brands are wary of paying top dollar for an ad that will disappear, especially with the lack of reporting capabilities. Snapchat declined to comment stating they do not discuss ad prices.

More information on Adweek.

 

Royalty of Cambridge join Twitter

Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have finally joined Twitter and Instagram. William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, has also joined Twitter, and all three of the royalty joined Instagram at the same time. The first tweets, the accounts for which represent the royalty rather than be straight from them, welcomed fans to the account and encouraged them to stay tuned for news from the royal family. Both the Twitter and Instagram accounts from William and Kate will focus on work they are doing, including charities such as the Royal Foundation.

 

Read more on CBS News.

 

Google search directly provides brand social links

As an additional boon to users who want information about brands when they are searching on Google, the search giant is providing direct links to brand social pages on the information card that appears to the right of search results. Social pages for celebrities have been shown in the information card section since the end of last year, but this marks the first time the feature will be available for brands. Other information shown will include recent posts by brands on the Google-owned social network, Google+. The profiles will appear on both desktop and mobile.

 

Read more on The Next Web.

 

Facebook expands video features for Pages

Facebook page administrators are slowly gaining access to personalized video features. The additions will provide admins with the ability to organize their video sections, choose featured videos for their pages and create select playlists. When Page admins click a “Go To Videos” button or clicking the video tab, they will be brought to a menu where all of the new options are available to toggle. The new feature is not available for all Admins yet and it remains to be seen if this will see greater adoption.

Read more on AdWeek.

 

Twitter launches startup contest Hatch

Twitter is launching a global startup competition for business owners that have used the Twitter API, or Fabric, the company’s mobile SDK to build their solution. The grand prize of the competition is $25 thousand, and the contest takes places with judging starting on June 8th, 2015. Finalists for the competition will present their startup for the first annual Hatch Gala this upcoming July in San Francisco.

 

Read more on Hatch homepage.