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Archive for the ‘The week in social’ Category

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.

The week in social: Facebook mobile payment, Netropolitan, and Google+ polls

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

LinkedIn now shows users why someone viewed their profile

Earlier this week, LinkedIn announced a new feature that will allow users to see the reason that someone has viewed their profile, an addition to the feature that lets users see the person who viewed it. The “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature has also been added to mobile, where it was previously unavailable. With the new features, users will be able to tell if a particular action taken on their profile, such as adding a new skill, has resulted in an increase of profile viewership.


Read more on Social Times.


Twitter updates Mac app to allow multi-photo tweets

The Twitter application for Macs, which rarely ever sees an update, has received a large one in the form of the ability to share multi-photo tweets earlier this week. The new version, called 3.1, also provides support for photos in direct messages. An interesting point to note is that multi-photo tweet support is enabled on the new Mac app, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android, but it is not currently available on the web.

More information on Media Bistro.


Facebook to potentially release a mobile payment system

Code that has been discovered in the Facebook messenger app appears to leak the fact that Facebook will soon be coming out with its own mobile payment system for friends, similar to Venmo, PayPal and other payment systems. The former president of PayPal, David Marcus, is now leading the team behind Facebook Messenger, so it is likely that he drew inspiration from his previous work to help bring the rumored payment system to Facebook. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made several mentions at conferences that point to a new direction for Messenger, but there is no clear timeline on when or if the payment system will be rolled out.


Read more on Engadget.


Twitter challenges United States government about privacy

Twitter has sued the United States government for violation of the first amendment of the Constitution, citing that the government has prevented them from telling users about requests from intelligence agencies. The suit was filed this past Tuesday in California. Because Twitter’s information on users is largely public due to the nature of its service, there have not been as many requests from the government for information such as with companies like Google. However, Twitter still claims that it should have to right to share the number of requests it gets for information from intelligence agencies, no matter the number. Twitter’s coming battle with the government is on the heels of Yahoo winning a seven-year long battle to declassify documents that show the government planning to fine the web services company $250,000 each day unless requests for information were adhered to.

More information on AdWeek.


New social media site Netropolitan caters to the wealthy

The Netropolitan club is a brand new social media that promises a clean, ad-free experience. The catch? Users have to pay $9,000 to sign up, and $3,000 every year afterward to stay a member. The founder of the site, James Touchi-Peters, explained that people would be willing to pay for the site for the same reason that they would be willing to pay for a high-end country club; because of the access to people with a similar lifestyle, even though the service is not drastically different from any other social network online. It remains to be seen if the site will actually gain popularity among the wealthy, or if it is just an attempt to cash in “private” social-networking among a small group of people.

Read more on NBC News.


HTC creates smartphone focused on taking selfies

The new Desire Eye smartphone from HTC that was recently announced boasts a 13 megapixel camera not only on the back, but on the front, with the chief reason being to let owners take high-resolution selfies for posting on social networks, or sending to friends. Announced at the Double Exposure even, the cameras come with additional features, such as dual-LED flash. The software that accompanies the camera allows users to use voice command to take selfies, with the option to voice command either a photo or a video. Additional software features include a Live Makeup feature, that will smooth the skin on someone’s face in a photo. The phone will be available through AT&T in the United States starting this month.


Read more on The Next Web.


Snapchat ads coming soon to users everywhere

Earlier this week at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, the chief executive of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, revealed how ads on the ephemeral messaging service would work. They will be coming soon, appearing in the Our Story feature, and not be targeted on tastes, and also will not interrupt communications from one user to another. The Our Story feature, launched in June, serves as a tool to collect snaps of various events, such as a music festival, and has always been a likely place for sponsored content to sit. According to VentureBeat, a sales team for Snapchat ads is planned for New York, rather than the home base of the company in California. Snapchat is currently values at $10 billion, with rumored further investment on the way.

More information on VentureBeat.


Skype announces new application versions for Mac OS and Windows

This past Thursday, Skype announced updates to the Mac version of its application, Skype 7, and a preview version of 7 for the Windows operating system. This new desktop version has a high resemblance to the refreshed mobile applications, which is to say there is a larger focus on chat, and improved photo sharing capabilities. Additionally improved features include easier ways to run text chat and transfer files while on a video or audio call. When files are being shared, unique icons that display file type are also displayed so let users know what type of file they are downloading.


Read more on The Next Web.


Facebook introduces new ad targeting options

Facebook has released a new set of minor targeting options, further expanding the ability of users to leverage the information on a Facebook profile to hit target audiences. The new options added include friends of newly engaged users, newlyweds, and recently moved. Expats are a new targeting option as well, allowing users to target all, India, and/or Pakistan. It is likely that the Expat targeting option will expand, and that this is a functional test bed to see use and adoption of the targeting feature.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Google gets new features for polls and Hangouts

This past Thursday, Google announced several new features, firstly a poll feature for its social network Google+, and a new application for Hangouts, the popular video-chatting service, that will work on Google Chrome and Windows desktop computers, and allows users to run the service outside of a browser windows. The poll feature for Google+, something that has been available previously for Facebook, lets users poll their friends on a given question, and photos can be added to polls through Google+, image upload, or a Google image search. The new Hangouts app for Chrome and Windows lets users run a Hangout on top of other browser activities they are doing, with support for voice chat, SMS, and phone calls as well.

More information on CNet.


Facebook rumored to be launching anonymous social network

Reports have surfaced that note Facebook is preparing to launch a social network, or a derivative of Facebook, that will allow users to share content and updates anonymously. The report, from the New York Times, states the it will come in the form of a standalone app, following Facebook’s trend of splitting out specific features and functions into their own apps, such as Messenger, and the less popular Slingshot. The app is rumored to be coming out in several weeks, and will let users have pen names, so they can take part in discussions where they would otherwise feel uncomfortable releasing their real names.

Read more on Mashable.


Facebook gets revamped collage layout for photo views

This past Thursday, an update to Facebook mobile applications changed the way photos were viewed so that instead of a standard photo stream, a collage is created, with photos enlarged based on how much engagement they have received. The update currently is only available on Android and iOS versions of the application, and an additional feature is an introduction of the “uploads” tab in the photo viewer, that will let a user see every single photo someone has posted, without having to sort through various albums. According to initial tests run by Facebook, the new update has increased engagement for photos across the board.


Read more on TechCrunch.

The week in social: Atlas, mobile Like button, and Twitter’s Fabric

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Facebook lets mobile users control when videos play automatically

Facebook users who access the social network via mobile devices now have choices when it comes to auto-play videos. A new message can be found at the top of many newsfeeds titled “Control When Videos Play Automatically” that reads: “You can change your settings so that videos only play automatically when you’re using Wi-Fi. This will help to save your mobile data.” By clicking on “more information,” Facebook will outline how to turn off the auto-play feature specific to your device.


Read more on All Facebook.


LinkedIn looks to retain user trust with simpler Terms of Service

LinkedIn is streamlining its terms of service, and telling users how their content will be used. They stated in a press release: “You own your content that you post on our services. You always have, and that hasn’t changed.” The updated user agreement reads very clearly, with a left column for useful reference for users, and the legalese in a column to the right to keep the lawyers happy. LinkedIn even provides videos that lets users know, very plainly, how their content will be used, and that users always have ultimate control.

Read more on Social Times.


Everything you need to know about Facebook’s launch of its revamped Atlas ad platform

Last Monday, Facebook officially introduced Atlas at Advertising Week 2014 in New York, confirming reports earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal and Ad Age. Atlas is a re-engineered version of the Atlas Advertiser Suite that Atlas developed when it was still owned by Microsoft, prior to being acquired by Facebook in February 2013, and it will provide advertisers with a greater understanding of which Facebook users have seen, interacted with or acted upon ads, as well as offering an automated demand-side platform ad-buying bidding tool, targeting Facebook users elsewhere on the Internet.


Facebook plots first steps into healthcare

The company is exploring creating online “support communities” that would connect Facebook users suffering from various ailments. A small team is also considering new “preventative care” applications that would help people improve their lifestyles. The company been holding meetings with medical industry experts and entrepreneurs, and is setting up a research and development unit to test new health apps.

Find out more on Reuters.


Twitter wants to woo back third party developers with new ‘Fabric’ app platform

Twitter Fabric, a new app development platform that will contain tools that will assist third parties in creating Twitter-friendly apps more easily. Fabric could push Twitter into competition with Facebook, Amazon and Google, all of whom are working to better integrate their systems into mobile applications. One tool in Fabric that sounds very interesting is “Digits”, which will allow developers to sign up new users by telephone number. According to The Information, Twitter has been busy signing deals with wireless carriers around the world to tap into their (SMS) text messaging systems.

Read more on Media Bistro.


Page Performance from Cool Tabs lets Facebook Page admins size up the competition

Facebook application creator Cool Tabs in the form of Page Performance, which analyzes the last 50 posts on a page and contrasts them with their rivals’ efforts. The free feature allows page admins to analyze and monitor how their pages stack up when compared with those with similar like totals. Cool Tabs CEO said, “In our experience, social network strategy should not be static, but rather it should be constantly subject to change. We know that updating a Facebook page is very easy, yet getting it to be a productive tool for our company is not quite as easy.”


More creators share videos via email than YouTube

A recent survey asked 1,031 U.S. consumers who had recorded a video in the past six months their thoughts on the medium. Most people (54 percent) create videos for the purpose of sharing on social media. In fact, more people (52 percent) share videos via email than they do on YouTube (50 percent). 92 percent voted ease-of-use the most important feature of a video-creation tool.


More information on Social Times.


Facebook launches mobile Like button

Facebook’s Like button is now available to all Android and iOS mobile app developers. People using a mobile app can now directly Like the app’s Facebook Page, or any Open Graph object within the app, and share on Facebook. The mobile Like Button works seamlessly with the Facebook account the person is logged into on their device, allowing people to Like any piece of content, while in your native app. Facebook has encouraged all app developers to ensure their Pages are updated and relevant.


Read more on Inside Facebook.


Your embedded Instagrams will now appear much bigger and clearer

Embedded Instagram photos will now be bigger and cleaner than before, with a narrower bezel around the frame and a Follow button above the image. Existing embeds featured on webpages will continue to work, but Instagram warned there may be a small time period right after the launch when embeds could be glitchy. Publishers that embed photos on websites or articles, especially media outlets, will most likely be pleased with the refreshed design and thus more inclined to embed Instagram photos.


Find out more on Mashable.


Facebook makes changes to research policies

Facebook is putting into effect a new framework that governs both internal work and research that might be published. The platform has promised an “enhanced review process” before research can begin on groups, population or content that may be considered deeply personal. The guidelines require further review if the scope of research involves a collaboration with someone in the academic community. Facebook has also created a panel that will review projects falling within the guidelines. This panel will exist in addition to Facebook’s current privacy cross-functional review process for research.


LinkedIn seeks to improve Pulse by refreshing desktop and mobile reading

LinkedIn Pulse, the service that aggregates content from authors and sorts them into channels, is evolving as LinkedIn seeks to make it a focal point of its content consumption strategy. There is now a refreshed reading layout on both the desktop and mobile versions of the site, and users can easily scroll from one article to the next through a customized news feed. Additionally, mobile users will be able to see a set of articles from the author of the article they have just read, if they are interested in seeing more from that individual. The refreshed mobile experience is available on iOS and Android currently.


Read more on The Next Web.


Reddit raises $50m in funding, plans to give 10% back to the community

Reddit has raised a $50m USD round of outside funding led by Sam Altman of the Y Combinator, as the company looks to expand to introduce new product features requested by its users, and to bolster its community management team. An interesting side of this funding however, is that the investors want to give 10% of the funding dollars, or $5m USD, back to the community. The official blog post announcing the funding did not disclose how this would be done, but it is speculated through additional sources that this may come in the form of crypto-currency to top community contributors.

More information on Reddit Blog.

The week in social: Twitter polling, Selfielapse, and Sobo

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Google drops mandatory Google+ accounts for new users

Google is no longer forcing new Gmail users to connect their account to a Google+ profile. Now when someone signs up for a Gmail account, Google has inserted a ‘no thanks’ button for those not wishing to take the plunge with Google+, although the search giant claims it remains committed to the Facebook rival. Could this be the beginning of the end for the three year old social network?


More information on Marketing Land.


Yammer co-founder creates “social soundboard” Sobo

Yammer co-founder, Alan Braverman, has launched a new iPhone and iPad app called Sobo. It’s been described as a Vine for audio and allows user to record six-second voice messages using the microphone on their device to send to friends and followers. Braverman said: “We started at six [seconds], and figured maybe we’d change it later. But then we just never did. There was never anything scientific behind it, to tell you the truth. We just said, ‘Let’s see what people can do with it.’”


Read more on The Drum.


YouTube to invest in its biggest stars to combat media rivals

Google has announced a plan to invest in YouTube’s biggest creators in order to get new show formats off-the-ground and in an effort to fend off competing media-platforms. YouTube claimed it will experiment with new video formats in the coming months to diversify its offering from the short-form formats many of its creators currently use to create content.

More information on YouTube Blog.


Facebook extends reach with new advertising platform

Facebook is nearing the launch of a new advertising platform for marketers to more effectively connect with their target audiences across multiple devices. Facebook’s new advertising platform is said to be an overhauled version of the Atlas Advertiser Suite, an ad-serving platform that was purchased from Microsoft last year. The new version will be renamed just ‘Atlas’ and is expected to be a great help for marketers when it comes to targeting and measuring the effectiveness of their online advertisements.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal.


Selfie-lapse takes over

Instagram released an update for its Hyperlase app this week allowing users to use the phone’s front facing camera to take time lapse videos. An Instagram spokesperson described the update: ‘Creating a #selfielapse is as simple as tapping an icon on the app’s home screen, which toggles between the front- and rear-facing cameras. As before, a Hyperlapse video can be shared directly to your Instagram or Facebook account, or simply saved to your smartphone’s camera roll to access later.’

More information Inside Facebook.


Ello – The advert free social network

“Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers.” This is how the creators of Ello described the up and coming social network that they hope will become a rival to Facebook. The company also states that it won’t sell data about you to third parties and calls the collecting and selling of your data, “creepy.” Ello is currently in beta testing and only available to people that have an invitation to join, you can request yours here on their website.


Read more on Mashable.


KitKat #Bendgate tweet breaks Oreo’s ‘Dunk in the Dark’ Superbowl ad Twitter record

A KitKat ad has generated over 20,000 retweets and over 9,000 favourites in just 48 hours. The ad was released amid the social media frenzy mocking a bending flaw in the new iPhone 6 dubbed #Bendgate and has become the most retweeted advert of all time on Twitter trumping previous record holder Oreo Dunk in the Dark which received 15,700 retweets and 6,500 favourites.


Read more on The Drum.


YouTube prankster hit with sexual harassment claim over ‘ass pinch’ sketch

YouTube favourite Sam Pepper has been hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit after a victim failed to see the funny side of his ‘fake hand’ ass-pinch prank involving a prosthetic limb. The comedian outraged many of his 2.4m subscribers after approaching sex education activist Laci Green for his sketch, which elicited a slew of further allegations relating to Pepper’s off-screen behaviour. In response to the claims Collective Digital Studio has dropped Pepper from its multichannel network.

More information on Mashable.


Twitter working on native polling tool

Twitter is working on a new set of interactive Cards that would allow people to run polls natively across its social network. One key advantage this would offer is the ability for users to interact without being redirected away from Twitter, which would likely improve engagement rates with any polls.

Read more on The Next Web.


Hootsuite now valued at $1 billion

Hootsuite has raised $60 million in its latest round of venture capital funding, which now values the company upwards of $1 billion. Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes says that this latest funding round will likely be used for international expansion and possible acquisitions. Hootsuite are also working to bring Instagram and Snapchat into the dashboard, too.


Read more on Re/code.


You can now add items to your #AmazonWishList through Twitter

In a follow up to #AmazonCart (a hashtag-powered service that lets you put products into your Amazon shopping cart simply by replying to a tweet) Amazon are launching #AmazonWishList, a similar tool which lets you quickly add items to your Wish List.
Here’s how it works:

1. Connect your Twitter account to Amazon

2. Reply with #AmazonWishList to any tweet containing an Amazon product link (from anyone)

3. The item will be automatically added to your Amazon Wish List


Read more on Media Bistro.

The week in social: Bebo, Facebook Media, and Moments

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

YouTube stars heading to Facebook?

Facebook is looking to take on YouTube as a distribution network for online video, and has reportedly been courting some of YouTube’s top contributors and testing uploads of some of their shows directly to Facebook. Facebook is reported to have hired staff in Los Angeles to engage the YouTube stars, and are also reported to be working on new advertising units to compete with the revenues they would receive from YouTube.

More information on The Wall Street Journal.


Bebo set to make a comeback

Bebo look set to make a comeback after launching a re-brand teaser video on YouTube to showcase the service as a colorful mobile app – rather than the social network it once was. The video called ‘#Bebo – Probably not for boring people’ demonstrates how users will be able to create cartoon avatars which can be personalized to give their messages a creative flair. Additionally, the site’s whiteboard feature will make a return, with users able to send drawings to each other. However, the video has mysteriously been set to private over the last few days and is no longer available to view.


Read more on The Drum.


Facebook launches Facebook Media

Facebook has launched a new service called Facebook Media which aims to assist media companies and publishers in using its platform. The new site is geared specifically toward public figures, organizations and media companies in a similar way that Facebook for Business was set up to help advertisers. People can comb through success stories and learn how to best use products such as Facebook Mentions or videos.


Read more on Facebook Newsroom.


Facebook building new stand-alone app Moments

Facebook is building a new standalone app codenamed “Moments” that lets you share with smaller groups of people. The app reportedly lets you tap on a group of friends you’ve created to share with them. This is easier than creating Lists and is also easier than tapping the names of your family members in an ordinary Facebook post. Moments would share directly back to Facebook, but when the people you’ve shared with see a Moment in their feed, it would be called out rather than get lost in the sea of general posts. The new app is said to most resemble Cluster (pictured below), a social networking app that lets you create “spaces” for each of your family and friend groups, and then share photos or texts with them.


Read more on TechCrunch.


Topshop create social catwalk at LFW

TopShop created a new ‘Instagram/Facebook’ powered Social Catwalk especially for London Fashion Week which allowed people from around the world to be part of the event live. The Social Catwalk debuted the latest looks exclusively on Facebook, while 5 VIP Instagramers gave unique views to the world, and invited fans to feature in their #topshopwindow … All while the new range was live streamed online with ‘Click to Buy’ linked to each outfit.


More information, check out this video.


UK social media spending to increase by 50%

The UK’s social media ad spend will rise by half this year, growing to approximately 10.5% of the UK’s overall digital ad funding, according to an industry report from eMarketer. The study projected that ad spending on social networks will rise by half in the next year and that by 2016, the social networks will account for around 15% of the nation’s digital ad investment. Facebook is predicted to dominate the market and is expected to capture 75% of the total social media ad spend.

Read more on The Drum.


Facebook updates application for iOS 8

Apple’s newly launched iOS8 comes with an update to the location services settings meaning Facebook has had to change its settings too. Before, there were only two choices for the kind of permission you could give an app: on or off. Now, there are three choices: always, while using the app, or never. Facebook have been quick to reassure users that they will not be tracking any new data with the change and that users that have previously turned on location settings will be automatically set to ‘always’ but with the option to change.

More information on Facebook Newsroom.


Time spent in social media apps rises by 40%

New data from Localytics has revealed that time spent in social networking apps has risen by 49 percent year-on-year, largely due to very strong “snacking” like behavior. Overall, people are spending about 21 percent more time in apps this year than in 2013, with music apps seeing the biggest increase – up 79 percent. Health and fitness apps were up 51 percent, with social media apps third.


More information on AllTwitter.


Instagram has revealed that they’re set to start rolling out sponsored Instagram posts in the UK imminently. The ads were announced last year, and have already rolled out in the US. Adverts on Instagram will have a “Sponsored” label where the time stamp normally would be, with users able to click on the ‘…’ button on the bottom right to hide the ad. However, the ads will not be available to all advertisers just yet with only a ‘few businesses that are already great on Instagram’ being invited to take part. “Our aim is to make any advertisements people see as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos they enjoy from brands who are already using Instagram,” spokesman Will Guyatt told the BBC.


More information on BBC.


YouTube introduces real-time analytics

YouTube has announced a major upgrade to its analytics dashboard that will provide video publishers with a minute-by-minute look at how people are watching their videos. YouTube publishers have been asking for more immediate data as previously it was very hard to determine the number of people watching in the early hours after publishing. The new dashboard shows estimated real-time viewership data for a content owner or channel’s last five published videos in two charts, minute-by-minute for the last 60 minutes and hour-by-hour for a sliding window of the last 48 hours.

Read more on The Next Web.


Twitter updates profile design for iOS

Twitter has rolled out a new profile interface for iOS users. The biggest change? They no longer hide everyone’s bio line behind a swipe. Your profile will now lead with your background image, your avatar photo, and your bio. Beneath that are three buttons: one that shows your tweets; one that shows the photos you’ve shared; and one that shows everything you’ve favorited.


More information on Twitter Blog.


Facebook updates news feed algorithm

Facebook has announced two new changes to its News Feed algorithm that will take into account how timely a post from a friend or a Page is when deciding whether to show it. News Feed will now track the latest trends and display posts related to those topics more quickly. Facebook will also take into account how likes and shares of a post trail off when deciding whether to include in your News Feed. Rather than just counting the total number of likes a post has received, the algorithm will take note whether the likes happened in the first few hours after the post went up. If engagement has died down, Facebook will take it as a sign that the post is now less relevant. Facebook is rolling out the changes gradually. The company informed Page owners that it doesn’t expect “significant changes in distribution.” However, some publishers will find that time-sensitive posts will have greater reach earlier on in the lifecycle and reduced distribution later on.


More information on Facebook Newsroom.

The week in social: Applause, Discovery, and disappearing Facebook posts

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Facebook experiments with disappearing posts

Facebook has begun testing a new feature for its iPhone app that lets users schedule posts for deletion after a certain interval of time – anything from one hour to seven days. The feature is currently being piloted and it only available to a very small number of users. This is another of Facebook’s attempts at taking on rival Snapchat and follows the launch of their Slingshot app earlier this year.


Read more on The Next Web.


Snapchat will monetize with new Discovery service

Snapchat finally looks set to reveal how they plan to monetize their increasingly popular service. They’ve recently held talks with “at least a dozen media companies, including newspapers, magazines and television networks” about a new service called “Snapchat Discovery.” Scheduled for release in November, the platform will let users read daily editions of publications as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen.

More information on The Wall Street Journal.


Google launches Applause for Hangouts on the air

Google have unveiled Applause, a new Hangouts on Air feature that allows viewers to give a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ during broadcasts. This new feature also generates a real-time chart documenting the audience’s feedback as it happens giving broadcasters an easy way to monitor viewers’ feelings about their efforts. Applause follows two other features, Live Q&A and Showcase, that have evolved the Hangouts on Air experience for brands and businesses. The former gives hosts the chance to solicit, select and answer questions in real-time, while the latter allows artists and brands to promote tickets and other goods.


Read more on 9 to 5 Google.


Apple gets social with Live Hub for iPhone6 launch

For the first time ever, Apple chose to roll out a Pinterest-style social hub to accompany its live stream for its annual product announcement. In addition to the live stream, Apple published photos, behind-the-scenes footage, play-by-play commentary and real-time reactions from attendees and the web. The notoriously closed-off company even added share buttons to the page to allow easy posting to Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter, all under the hashtag #AppleLive.


See the full site here.


Millions of Google passwords leaked

Earlier this week, a list of almost 5 million Gmail addresses and passwords were posted on a Russian Bitcoin forum but the passwords seem to be old, and may not actually belong to Gmail accounts. Instead, it seems that many of the passwords were taken from websites where users used their Gmail addresses to register and may be completely different to the password for their actual Gmail account. The list was posted to the Bitcoin forum this past Tuesday, and started to be covered by media only on Wednesday.

More information on Mashable.


Twitter introduces ‘Buy Now’ button

Twitter has taken a step into the world of e-commerce and launched a ‘buy now’ button. The new feature allows users to make purchases directly through Twitter without needing to leave the site / app. The team at Twitter are taking a cautious approach with the button only available to a ‘small percentage of US users’ and only featuring a small handful of 28 test partners made up of artists, brands and non-profits.


Read more on Twitter Blog.


Facebook asks users for feedback on ads

Facebook has started asking users why they chose to hide a particular ad in order to determine if it was just annoying or if it was inappropriate. Ads that are marked as offensive will be pulled from Facebook while individuals that mark ads as annoying will see less of them. Facebook say this will lead to less ads being hidden overall as users will start to see ads that are more relevant to them.


Read more on Facebook Newsroom.


Facebook reaches 1 billion video views per day

To prove to advertisers that it’s not just YouTube that has massive video engagement online, Facebook announced that it now delivers 1 billion video views per day and will begin showing everyone view counts on publicly posted videos from users, Pages, and public figures. Whilst the figures sound promising, Facebook still has some way to go to catch up with YouTube who last said it racked up 4 billion views per day. Facebook also confirmed that it’s recommending additional videos to watch after you’ve seen one, and that video publishers can include a “call-to-action” link that viewers can click at the end of a video. Finally, it noted that video publishers and Pages now have access to previously announced deeper analytics about view counts and unique viewers, as well as how long people kept watching before moving on.

More information on TechCrunch.


Twitter announces first mobile developer conference

Earlier this week, Twitter announced Flight, their first mobile developer conference, that will take place this coming October. The company announced details over an official blog post, calling the conference “a gathering built by developers, for developers.” The conference is intended to help developers build better mobile applications using Twitter integration. At the same time, Twitter has updated its dev.twitter.com website, with new features to supposedly launch soon.


Read more on AllTwitter.


United States accounts for over 41% of all mentions on Twitter

Media monitoring company Mention released an infographic earlier this week, analyzing over two months worth of tweet data, and it shows that two out of every five tweets on average that are replies take place in the USA. The data went on to show that the most prolific posting time for replies in the US was around 3pm GMT (or 10am EST). In terms of reply sentiment however, the most positive ones come from Spain, New Zealand, and Mexico, although the English language is still the most popular in terms of tweets by language.

More information on AllTwitter.


DiGiorno Pizza becomes latest company to make a social media blunder

DiGiorno burned itself this week by joining a Twitter hashtag conversation about domestic violence – #WhyIStayed. The hashtag had become prominent following the release of a video showing Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancée Janay Rice and the news that Rice had been released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. The person running the DiGiorno account quickly realized their mistake deleted the tweet and minutes later tweeted an apology – “A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.”

Read more on Digital Trends.

The week in social: Brightkit, Facebook privacy checkup, and Twitpic

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Reddit creates stand-alone AMA app

The popular social news curating site Reddit has created a stand-alone application for its “Ask Me Anything” format of question and answer forums. The app is simply called “Ask Me Anything” and it retains all of the standard features of an AMA on the web, but the presentation has been changed for ease of browsing. Reddit AMAs currently have 6 million readers around the web and show no signs of slowing down. In the new app, users are able to browse by topic, filter out questions that have not been answered, and receive notifications on active AMAs or trending ones. The application is currently available on iPhone and Android devices.


Read more on Social Times.


Facebook goes down, causing loss of revenue

Facebook went down earlier this week on Wednesday for approximately 20 minutes across countries such as the United States, the UK, Germany, Portugal, Thailand, and more. With about $2.91 billion in earnings for the previous quarter, theoretically the social network could lose more than $22k for every minute that it is down. Facebook released a statement explaining the outage, saying, “Earlier today we encountered an error while making an infrastructure configuration change that briefly made it difficult for people to access Facebook.” The explanation went on to apologize to users and promise that they will investigate issues to prevent their recurrence.

More information on TechCrunch.


Digg adds Twitter integration to iPhone app

An addition to the Digg for iPhone app and the Digg reader RSS service, a new feature called Dig Deeper has been introduced. Although previously available on the News.me service, created by the new Digg team, this is the first time that it has seen wider availability. The feature links to a user’s Twitter account, to surface news stories that the user would likely be interested in, based on what their friends and accounts they are following are talking about. In addition, users can receive daily digest emails that take the best Twitter stories and send them to the inbox. There is currently no social support beyond Twitter so it remains to be seen how heavily the new service will be adopted.


Read more on Engadget.


NBC Nightly News hits 1 million likes on Facebook, teases Q&A

The NBC Nightly News Facebook page, for the show hosted by Brian Williams, has officially hit 1 million likes on Facebook. Brian Williams posted a video on the network to commemorate the occasion, and has also announced a Q&A session that will take place with fans. Williams went on to explain in the video some of the most highly engaged pieces of content the page has seen, including remembering Maya Angelou, the Happiest American cities, and a post about a child in Detroit feeding the hungry.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Study shows Kickstarter is more effective than Indiegogo for raising funds

The research and survey firm Shopify recently published a survey of 400,000 crowd-funded campaigns across Kickstarter and Indiegogo and it was found that Kickstarter is far superior when it comes to raising funds. Some of the insights gleaned include that setting a lower goal helps campaign owners raise more money, more quickly, and that small businesses have a much harder time raising funds than do users who want to fund a comic book, art, games, etc. In addition, several other pieces of information were revealed, including that 43% of all Kickstarter campaigns reach their funding goal, compared with Indiegogo at 9.8%, and that Indiegogo campaigns sometimes pay out to campaign owners even if the goals are not reached. The survey went on to highlight that women are largely more successful that venture capitalists when starting a campaign, with a 37% success rate compared to 5%.

More information on BetaBeat.


Hootsuite purchases Brightkit

The social media management and analytics tool Hootsuite has purchased Brightkit for an undisclosed amount of money. Brightkit features tools that let users enhance their social media campaigns with gamification elements like competitions and sweepstakes. Although the acquisition has just been announced, a new feature called Hootsuite Campaigns for Enterprise customers is being introduced that leverages Brightkit’s technology. Hootsuite currently offers three different tiers of service, a free version, a pro version, and an individually priced enterprise model. Along with the announcement, Hootsuite revealed that it had on-boarded several new enterprise clients, including Brooklyn Public Library, and Cambridge University Press.

Read more on TechCrunch.


Twitpic shutting down due to legal dispute with Twitter

Twitpic, the photo sharing service that sits on top of Twitter and utilizes the social network’s API, is shutting down later this month, due to legal pressure from Twitter to abandon its trademark application. Twitpic became famous for a photo shared using its service of a plane crash landing in the Hudson River in New York that instantly went viral in 2009, at a time when Twitter did not have its own native photo-sharing. Noah Everett, founder of Twitpic stated that this was the first instance of legal pressure from Twitter since its founding in 2008. Everett went on to cite that Twitter gave his company an ultimatum to either abandon its trademark filing, or lose access to the Twitter API. As Twitpic shuts down, Everett will focus on Pingly, a new messaging service currently being worked on.

More information on Mashable.


Facebook announces Privacy Checkup service for users

Facebook this past Thursday announced the launch of Privacy Checkup, a service that helps users more easily determine how their content is shared. The service was testing earlier this year and received an official introductory announcement this May. Privacy Checkup takes users through several steps, including choosing who they share content to, what applications have access to the user’s profile, and editing of the profile to ensure the right information is shared based on privacy preferences. The Privacy Checkup comes in response to user confusion about how to manage the ever-changing privacy settings on Facebook, and it remains to be seen if the new service will be highly adopted or if user complaints will continue.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Twitter introduces new web font, and color options to profiles

New changes to Twitter on the web have been made, in order to increase usability of the site. Several months ago, Twitter changed its web font to Gotham narrow, but now has changed fonts again, to feature Arial when viewing on Windows, and Helvetica when viewing on Mac. In addition to this change, Twitter has made it easier to tweet at an account on the web. When viewing any account’s profile page (so long as a user is logged in), they can click a button right beneath the profile picture to “tweet at” the user. In addition, users can click a similar button to send the account a direct message, provided they are being followed by that account. Finally, the last new feature lets users choose a color palette theme for items such as the background and button colors, which other users will be able to see when they visit that profile.


Read more on Media Bistro.


YouTube potentially worth $40 billion

YouTube, purchased by Google in 2006 for less than $2 billion, is potentially worth more than $40 billion currently, which is more that Twitter, valued at around $30 billion. The valuation is due to a report from Jeffries, which looked at the growth of digital video advertising, of which YouTube is one of the largest providers of. The Jeffries report made the following statement from analysts, “”With the most viewership by a wide margin (1 billion-plus people each month), the best ad-tech stack, improving content, ubiquity of service (including new extensions into the living room TV) and the skippable TrueView ad format, YouTube makes Google a top pick,”. While YouTube is the dominant player in the video advertising market as far as social networks, Facebook and Twitter have been ramping up their offerings recently with improved video analytics and new video advertising tools for marketers.

More information on Adweek.


ALS Ice Bucket challenge proves social media can be used to educate

The Ice Bucket Challenge, the social media phenomenon of the summer that sees individuals dumping buckets of ice water on their head to raise money and awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), has seen donations to organizations top 100 million dollars. In addition, it has caused an increase in visits to the ALS Wikipedia page by 18 fold. In August alone, the page was viewed 2.89 million times, compared with the recent month average of 163 thousand. Other language pages have also seen a massive increase in views, including the Chinese language page (59 fold increase), and the Spanish language page (14 fold increase).


Read more on Mashable.


Twitter CFO confirms that filtered news feeds are coming soon

Appearing at a financial conference this past week in New York, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto confirmed that filtered Twitter feeds would be coming to users, in the form of an algorithm driven curation. The move comes as Twitter is trying to increase the relevance of its content. The potential consequences of this move include users seeing more of the stories they would generally be interested in, but less breaking information. One example given was the civil unrest in Ferguson, MO, which users saw all over their news feeds on Twitter, but less so on Facebook where content is curated based on several different factors. Additional new features that are in planning for Twitter include improved search capabilities and group chat features.

More information on Gigaom.

The week in social: Hyperlapse, Picdeck, and Amazon buys Twitch

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Facebook aims at taking down click bait

Facebook is taking a more targeted approach to getting rid of click-bait, or content that is focused on generating clicks no matter the content, from users’ news feeds. Facebook has said that the changes to how that content is prioritized in the news feed will only affect a small amount of users, and it is emphasizing the use of links through the status update format, versus writing the link out in the written content, or photo captions, of a post. Facebook went on to imply through a statement that removal of click-baiting will help users make more informed decisions about the content that they click on, because content that describes links better in a status update will be prioritized more highly.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Tumblr beginning to scan for brand images

Tumblr is highly notable for the amount of photo content uploaded to its network, surpassing 130 million photo uploads per day. The service is beginning to track the content that is uploaded for branded imagery, in a partnership with Ditto labs potentially as a new way to monetize. Organizing or analyzing branded content uploaded to the network could help brands and advertisers understand the nature of the conversation that is happening around it, using that to their advantage in brand messaging. This also becomes especially helpful in cases where the uploaded imagery does not have any identifying text or hashtags, because it will let the same brands see the context of the image upload. Although this is the first of Tumblr’s plans to do this, Curulate, the visual analytics company, has been doing this since April.

More information on Social Times.


#EverySimpsonsEver becomes a trending topic on Twitter

The FXX network starting last week aired a continuous loop of every single episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons for what will be a full 12 day run once it has finished. The show was the most widely viewed block of programming for males 18-34 during the Thursday prime time slot. To go along with this, the network created a Twitter handle, @EverySimpsonsEver, that has been providing updates, show schedule, and giveaways. The handle has also encouraged users to submit pictures of themselves and other content, helping align its programming block (and the fact that the channel generally exists), with the marathon it is running.


Read more on Lost Remote.


Glassdoor rates Twitter top for Culture and Values

In a survey done of companies by Glassdoor, the employee-powered business review site, Twitter was found to have the best culture and values. Google placed 3rd, while Facebook landed 5th on the list of the top 25 companies. The remaining top companies comprised of popular brands such as Google and Nike, but companies such as Disney, and Progressive Insurance also made the list. One employee from Twitter anonymously posted about the company, saying, “the best place I have ever worked”.


Read more on Media Bistro.


Social media is a top destination for back to school shopping discovery

According to a study and infographic from Crowdtap, 64% of last minute shoppers for back to school supplies will discover or research the products they are interested in buying on social networks such as Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram, networks that are very visual in nature. Additionally, out of individuals surveyed, 45% said they would consider reviews by peers before making a purchasing decision, and within the same group only 33% would consider professional reviews. Within the total group, 60% also said they have made a purchase because of research on social networks, with Facebook being the leader.


Read more on Social Times.


Amazon agrees to purchase Twitch for $970 million

This past Monday, after rumors of acquisition by several different companies, Twitch, the increasingly popular computer and video game streaming service, agreed to be purchased by Amazon for $970 million in cash, although the acquisition will have to be approved by the government. Previously, it was rumored that Google was going to buy the game-streaming service to add to its YouTube portfolio of video services. The acquisition represents a major step for Amazon into the gaming space, although it did purchase gaming studio Double Helix, and hire additional staff members to start an Amazon Games Studio recently. It remains to be seen exactly how Amazon will integrate the service into what it already provides, but Twitch has a sizeable install base through game consoles and web users.

More information on Engadget.


Instagram debuts Hyperlapse

Earlier this week, Instagram unveiled and launched a new stand-alone app called Hyperlapse. Hyperlapse captures video at a slower than standard frame rate and then plays them at normal speed. What this allows users to do is capture an event or a video that takes a long time to play, such as a flower blooming or the sun rising and play it back it a short amount of time, giving users the ability to consume a video of an event they would otherwise need a lot more time to see. While this type of video capture is not brand new, the said advantage of Hyperlapse is the ease of use that it provides to users. The app also lets users choose one of 12 different playback speeds, and easily share to social networks such as Facebook and the core Instagram app.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Twitter releasing tweet activity dashboard for all users

Previously available only to advertisers, Twitter is rolling out the tweet activity dashsboard for all users. Through an update to the support article detailing the dashboard, the tool is currently available to English, French, Japanese, and Spanish users, provided they have had an account for over 14 days, or two weeks. The activity dashboard will show a full set of details about tweets, such as impressions, engagements, and clicks, previously only shown for paid tweets.


Read more on The Next Web.


The Emmy Awards generate over 1 million tweets

Leading up to, during, and after the show, The Emmy Awards generated approximately 1.1 million tweets on various subjects. The most popular topics of social conversation included popular AMC show Breaking Bad, and Seth Myers, the show’s host. The stars of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, also received a large amount of mentions. Overall, the Emmy Awards have generated fewer social mentions and conversations than other awards shows this past year, including the Oscars.

More information on Media Bistro.


Facebook introduces advertisements and insights for events

Along with introducing a new look for events pages for Page administrators, Facebook announced desktop and mobile news feed ads for events for all Facebook advertisers. Previously, it was possible to create right-hand side ads for events, but the extended options for events will become available in the coming weeks in the ads create tool, as well as power editor. Insights that advertisers and Page administrators will now be able to see on their events include how many people have seen a link to a given event, the number of people who view the event itself, and the number of joins, maybes, and declines an event receives.

Read more on AllFacebook.


Picdeck brings TweetDeck style interface to Instagram

A new tool for tracking content on Instagram, Picdeck brings a TweetDeck-type interface to the picture-sharing social network. The new tool allows users to track hashtags, and specific users in columned sections, creating a dashboard where they can see multiple lists at once. Geared more towards the social media power-user than the everyday “Instagrammer”, the tool will be especially helpful to social media managers and brands looking to easily track conversation that is organically occurring on the network.


Read more on The Next Web.


Google removes content author listings from search results

In a move that could potentially be seen as taking credit away from content authors, Google is no longer supporting authorship listing on its search results. The feature was originally launched in 2011, as a way of letting authors claim credit for the content that users searched for on Google. An author ranking was also created with the intent of scoring authors and creating a reputation for them. Google determined that after three years, the feature was not valuable to users, and could even be considered distracting. Furthermore, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller cited that traffic to sites had not been reduced as a consequence of removal of the feature. Google has continually moved in the direction of simplifying its search results, removing Google+ profile pictures and follower counts from results this past June.

More information on CNet.

The week in social: Mentions Box, SlideShare, and Twitter trolls

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Facebook testing using stickers in comments

A popular feature across many messaging applications and services, Facebook is now testing allowing certain users to place stickers in comments on status updates. Facebook has confirmed that the feature works the same way that it does in Messenger, the standalone app that lets users message their friends. Although there is no official word on a wider rollout, depending on how tests go, it is likely that the feature will be enabled for all Facebook users in the near future.


Read more on The Next Web.


Most organic social posts create no engagement

In a study conducted by SocialFlow, a social media optimization platform, 1.6 million organic social posts from networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ showed little to no engagement whatsoever. The study was conducted between the dates of April 1st and July 31st, and 99% of the posts analyzed showed almost no engagement. Total stats around the posts included 361 million users reached, and 1.5 billion social actions. The report goes on to imply that in most cases, the 1% rule applies whereby the top 1% of any given social community reacts to and creates the most content around it.


Read more on Venture Beat.


Snapchat Discovery to launch in November

A new service from the ephemeral messaging service Snapschat, Discovery is set to launch this coming November. Discovery will offer users advertisements from brands, content from news sites, TV networks, and more. Just like photo messages sent between users, the content from brands and networks will also disappear after a short time. There is no official word on whether the sponsored content will be part of a new application or whether it will live in the root Snapchat application. Snapchat is currently estimated to have 27 million users across iOS and Android devices.

More information on The Independent.


Facebook testing content tags for satire on the news feed

Facebook is testing a new feature that will tell users when a piece of content in the news feed is satire. Popular website “The Onion” is famous for taking current events and topics and making satirical articles out of them, but lately, many users have been confusing the stories for real news, and the new feature from Facebook aims to clarify the source and intent of this content, at least when they consume it on Facebook. The tag comes in the form of ‘[Satire]‘ text in front of the link. The feature is being tested within a small group, but it remains to be seen if it will eventually see wider adoption.

Read more on CNet.


New application identifies Twitter trolls

A new online tool helps users identify “trolls”, or users who conduct themselves in a purposefully inflammatory manner, by using nine key metrics, and the tool also helps identify bots and spammers, although those are much more easily spotted by the average user. The nine metrics include how many links a user posts, average amount of tweets per day, how old the account is, and more. The information is then broken down into graphs and users are assigned a color; green, yellow, or red, with red accounts most likely to be a troll or a bot. The aim of Trolldor overall is to improve the quality of users and conversation on Twitter by highlighting who these abusive users are.

More information on Social Times.


SlideShare becomes completely free and will offer Pro features to all users

SlideShare, the popular presentation and material sharing online service that is owned by LinkedIn is going totally free for users. Previously, there were additional Pro features, but over time these are going to become available to all users. These features include analytics, profile customization, and more. The features will not be immediately available, but will start rolling out once per month in September. Current Pro users will continue to have access to every feature from the start, but they will no longer be charged for the service, starting from the announcement earlier this week.

Read more on The Next Web.


Facebook doubles the amount of ads a user can see

In an email to ad agencies earlier this month, Facebook announced that users would now be seeing up to double to ads from Pages that they did not like. For brands that users like, advertisers would be able to show them up to four ads per day. The one important announcement that came along with this was that users would not be shown a higher total of ads that previously, just that the saturation on specific ads may become higher. It remains to be seen if a higher saturation of ad content will help engagement rates on sponsored content.

More information on AllFacebook.


Twitter used to help shut down dirty restaurants

The Chicago Department of Health is using social media to help determine what restaurants are causing food poisoning around the city. The Department created a Twitter bot that collects mentions of food poisoning and an online complaint form, and it helps the Department identify 133 restaurants that needed an inspection throughout a period of 10 months. 21 of the restaurants inspected failed. The bot, called @foodbornechi, mines for specific keywords, and then staff members for the Department manually read through to see if further action is needed. This one of the many continuing examples of how bots on Twitter and other social media can serve useful functions.

Read more on Media Bistro.


Facebook Mentions Box to debut at Emmy awards

At the 66th annual Emmy Awards, celebrities will be awarded the new Facebook Mentions Box, which lets them answer questions submitted by fans to the Access Hollywood Facebook page. According to Mashable, a randomly selected celebrity will be given the Facebook Mentions Box. The celebrity will respond to the questions via video response after “shaking the Facebook Mentions Box like a Magic 8-ball”. Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, and Kerry Washington are just a few of the stars selected for this experience.


Read more on AllFacebook.


Facebook is the top mobile application

A recent study by ComScore has tracked the top 25 most used apps by adults in the United States. ComScore used insights on both android ad iOS systems. The top three apps were Facebook with 115.4 users, YouTube with 83.4 users, and Google Play with 72.3 users. Instagram was number eight and Twitter was number 14. It is also notable that Facebook Messenger had its own listing and was 12th on the list, despite having received universally negative reviews from users since its launch.


Read more on Media Bistro.


Vine app updated to let users import videos

Vine now allows users to import existing videos from their phone and turn them into 15 second videos. The new features give Vine users more creative freedom and better access to creating the perfect video. The update provides grids, focus lock and ghost mode (where users can view their last frame when connecting clips). According to Vine’s blog, more than 10 million people watch Vines on the internet and 1 billion loops are created on a daily basis. Currently, the newest version of Vine is only available on iOS, but Vine says the Android version will be released soon.

More information on Mashable.


Twitter changes timeline to show users curated content

Twitter is testing a new code that will change its users’ timelines. According to Twitter’s new timeline definition, the social media platform will determine what users find relevant and will add those tweets to their timelines – regardless of if they follow the account or not. Twitter’s approach is similar to Facebook’s News Feed that shows relevant content, based on who the user follows, and what their social actions are. The new timeline is still being tested and the company has not mentioned when if or when it will be universally released.

Read more on Mashable.