Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Monday, June 22nd, 2015
Pinterest improves its search function
Earlier this week through a blog post, Pinterest announced several updates for its search function. Previously, when users searched for anything, the results were filtered beneath Pins, Pinners, and boards. Now when users post, they will immediately see relevant results for them as they are typing, similar to search functions on Google. The announcement also went on to confirm stipulating verified accounts, which will have a checkmark on them within the search results. Once results are tapped, users can filter within the aforementioned categories.
Read more on Pinterest Blog.
Study suggests brands rarely respond to fan comments on Facebook
In a study done by Locowise, a social reporting company, it was found that 87% of posts to brand Pages by consumers on Facebook go unanswered. The study was completed from 900 Pages that account for more than 3 million likes. Part of the reason for low response rates on Facebook is that only 51% of the Pages studied allowed users to add comments to the Page. Furthermore, 65% of Pages that allow users to post did not respond to a single user comment. Out of the roughly 10 percent of Brands that responded to every post, the majority of them had 3 or fewer posts to respond to per month.
Read more on Locowise.
Twitter unveils auto-play videos
Earlier this week, Twitter announced the arrival of auto-play videos, something that rivals like Facebook have been doing for awhile to increase the number of views that videos get. What makes this news even more interesting for advertisers is that if a user does not watch the video with the entire frame viewable for more than 3 seconds, there will be no charge for that ad engagement. There will be no sound on the videos that are auto-played until a user clicks on it, so the visual nature of the video will be a paramount consideration for advertisers.
Read more on Twitter Blog.
Majority of social network users are on messaging apps
In a new study from GlobalWebIndex, it was found that users of top social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google+, are also users of mobile messaging apps. 80% of active Facebook users also use messaging app, and the percentage increases for other networks, with 82% for Twitter and Google+, and 86% for Instagram. GlobalWebIndex said in a statement to Social Times that this is not indicative of users migrating away from top networks, but that people are using sites like Facebook less intensively, such as using it to only check their news feeds rather than posting and interacting.
Read more on Social Times.
Pinterest introduces Marketing Developer partners
Pinterest announced back in April its Marketing Developers Program, an organization based around building tools to help optimize Pinterest Marketing. On its business blog earlier this week, Pinterest introduced its first set of partners, diverse businesses each utilizing Pinterest’s ads API. According to the blog post, brand partners that are working with Pinterest MDP companies are seeing improvement in referral traffic and revenue.
More information on Pinterest Business Blog.
Facebook testing new ‘See First’ functionality for news feed
Facebook is expanding what users are able to do to help customize their news feed, an expansion of the tests it was doing in April. The new feature, called ‘See First’, allows users to specify what content they want to see from friends and Pages. This is in contrast to the previous set up of the news feed, which would automatically prioritize what content was shown to a user based on their behavior while logged into Facebook. As this test is going on with a larger group of users, it is likely that the feature will make it into wider distribution in the coming months.
Read more on Social Times.
7 in 10 Snapchat users are also on Facebook Messenger
In a study done by GlobalWebIndex to show what other messaging apps Snapchat users are on, Facebook Messenger is the leading app, with 72% of Snapchat users on the service. The next apps falls farther behind, with WhatsApp at 54%, and Skype at 51%. Other popular messaging applications such as Viber, LINE, and WeChat, all fall in between 22-24%. The findings of the report go on to say that the norm is to use multiple messaging services simultaneously, versus the previously understood behavior that each user would stick to a single favorite.
More information on GlobalWebIndex.
YouTube and Storyful team up to launch Newswire
Working in a partnership with Google, the social news agency Storyful has created the YouTube Newswire, with the intent of sourcing verified news clips to feature on a channel for user consumption. The genesis of the idea came from users watching online video on social from questionable sources, and the YouTube Newswire seeks to cut through clutter and spam content. Previous to starting YouTube NewsWire, Storyful started Facebook Newswire, and FB Techwire.
More information on The Next Web.
Twitter testing new icons for Favorites on Android
Some Twitter users on Android are seeing a heart icon now for Favoriting a tweet, as opposed to the star icon, which has been the standard since the inception of the feature. There are two visual variations of the heart icon, one that is contained within a circle, and one that is borderless. It is speculated that testing the heart icon is in response to a memo written by Twitter investor Chris Sacca, who said, “Bring on the hearts”, when talking about what Twitter could potentially achieve, going on to say, “If Twitter integrated a simple heart gesture into each Tweet, engagement across the entire service would explode”.
More information on Mashable.
Twitter debuts product pages and searchable collections
As part of moving into more e-commerce with its service, Twitter back in April debuted a Buy Now button for its advertisements, and now it has created specific product pages to help consumers learn more than they could through a single tweet which most often requires an off-site link click. The curated pages will include multiple related tweets, along with the ability to purchase the highlighted item. Twitter will also let specified partners create collection pages, focused around specific themes.
More information on TechCrunch.
Friday, April 24th, 2015
Pew Research Center recently performed a survey that examined the behavior trends and attitudes of US teenagers age 13 to 17 years old, as well as those of their parents, toward technology and social media. Here’s some stand-out stats.
The survey found that a nearly all (approximately 92%) are accessing the internet and social media sites daily using their mobile device with 24% of all teens accessing the internet ‘almost constantly’. On top of this, 70% of the teens surveyed have access to 4 or 5 connected devices (desktop or laptop computer, smartphone, tablet gaming console).
In both age groups surveyed (13-14 and 15-17 year olds), female teens access the internet via mobile at a higher rate than male teens. The demographic group most active among both genders were girls between 15 and 17 years of age.
The convenience of ‘always connected’ mobile devices allow teens to go online more frequently. The survey showed that 92% of all teens access the internet at least once daily with 56% connecting several times a day.
Looking at ethnicity, African-American teens were found to be considerably more likely than Hispanics or Caucasians to go online via mobile. The survey found that nearly all African-American teens use mobile to access the internet at least occasionally.
In terms of platform usage, Facebook is still by far the most popular social network while over half of American teens also now use Instagram. Most teens (71%) use more than one of the social networks listed above, which is in line with what Pew previously identified across all age groups (52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites up 10% from previous years according to another Pew Research Study).
Based on the survey results, teens’ social media usage by platform is impacted by gender. Girls were more likely to say they use Instagram most (6% more likely) and Tumblr (5% more likely) while boys were significantly more likely to state they use Facebook most (9% more likely). The largest variance in social platform use by gender, however, is on Pinterest where 33% of girls (led by the 15-17 year old age group) stated they use pinboards on Pinterest versus only 11% of teen males.
The survey also revealed that socioeconomic status impacts the use of specific social media channels. Wealthier teens showed less of a tendency to use Facebook and were more likely to use Instagram and Snapchat while lower income teens gravitated toward Facebook and were much less likely to use other channels as observed below. Similarly teens from families with somewhat lower levels of education reported being more likely to use Google+ at 35%. (Overall Google+ usage among the teens surveyed is surprisingly high with 33% of all teens surveyed stating they use the network.)
Besides the mainstream social media channels covered above, use of mobile messaging & use of messaging apps is growing rapidly. Texting was especially important to the teens surveyed with 90% of those with phones exchanging texts. The average teen was found to send/receive 30 texts per day. The study found that 73% of teens with smartphones use apps like Kik or WhatsApp and overall 33% of those with phones now have these apps. Anonymous apps and websites are reportedly used less often, with only 11% of teens with cell phones reporting they use apps such as Whisper, Yik Yak or Ask.FM.
The survey also reviewed respondents’ social footprint. The typical teen has 145 Facebook friends (the overall median is 200 friends) with girls reporting roughly 75 more connections than boys on average. Teen Instagram users report having 150 followers on the channel on average (194 is the overall median), again females lead the way with 200 followers reported compared to 100 on average for male teens. Twitter is the only channel where teens over index in terms of followers compared to the overall median of 61 followers. The average teen has 95 followers, with girls once again outpacing boys 116 followers to 61. For each channel the older age demographics reported significantly more connections than the younger teens age 13-14.
The study provides a wealth of additional information on the online behavior of American teens and we encourage you to read more at the Pew Research Center Survey.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015
#TheDress takes over social media
On Thursday of last week, conversation erupted around a filtered photo posted to Tumblr of a two-colored dress. The photo went viral and turned into a massive meme, as users tried to decipher whether the photo was white and gold, or blue and black. Several hashtags were in use, including #TheDress, #WhiteAndGold, and #BlackAndBlue. As of the end of last week, there were over 4 million conversations taking place in over 100 different countries, with social posts coming from celebrities, and articles being posted on popular sites such as BuzzFeed. While conversation surrounding the dress has slowed down over the weekend, the subject experienced a meteoric rise that very few memes have seen to date.
Reddit takes a stance on adult content
Approximately half a year after nude celebrity photo leaks online, Reddit has updated its digital privacy guidelines clearly stating that explicit photos cannot be uploaded without the individual express consent. The updates to the policy were made on Tuesday, and will go in effect on March 10th. Reddit was considered the main source of the nude celebrity photo leak, and many users are airing grievance that it has taken the company this long to come up with stronger privacy protection for users. The CEO at the time, Yishan Wong, resigned from the company shortly after the fiasco and was replaced with an interim CEO. Reddit currently features a user-base of approximately 200 million.
Read more on Mashable.
LinkedIn pays users due to lost passwords
LinkedIn Premium members who have had their passwords leaked will be receiving a $1 dollar payment as a result of a legal settlement where the professional social network will be paying $1.25 million dollars to users to rectify the leak. Passwords were “hashed”, but not “salted”, meaning that it was relatively easy for hackers to decrypt the passwords once they were stolen, a common, but costly mistake for services that store a user’s personal information. All passwords will be hashed and salted moving forward, and LinkedIn has issued a statement saying noting that it “continues to deny that it committed, or threatened, or attempted to commit any wrongful act or violation of law or duty alleged in the Action.”
More information on The Next Web.
25% of Twitter users retweet celebrities
It’s no secret that the content celebrities put out on Twitter is extremely popular, but a new study done by GlobalWebIndex shows that one in four active Twitter users retweets celebrity content. In addition, 31% of fans of celebrities on Twitter have retweeted their content. The same size for the study was based on Twitter users aged 16-64. Additional statistics include that 26% of users have visited a celebrity’s feed before, and that 21% have tweeted about a TV show while watching, a nod to the second screen experiences that are now common among smartphone and mobile device users.
Read more on Social Times.
Yo updates app to feature real time content updates
Yo was an app intended to show the eventual path of single-use applications, and more just to be plain fun, allowing users only to send each other the word “yo”, without any additional context. New updates this week however, will let users receive photo and link updates from approximately 150 news and information sources. Wrapped up in the form of a Yo store, users can choose what feeds they subscribe to, and sources include Buzzfeed, NBA, and more. At its peak, Yo had 3.5 million users, and during this past summer raised $1.5 million in funding.
Read more on TechCrunch.
Facebook updates its Origami design prototype tool
Earlier this week, Facebook updated its Origami prototyping design tool in a way that lets users test their designs on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. The Origami tool lets users create user interfaces without having to create full applications. Facebook announced the news in a blog post, citing that it was the exact tool used to create interfaces for Instagram, Slingshot, and other stand-alone Facebook apps. With a placement on Github, a resource site for developers, Facebook also updated the entry for Origami, featuring additional tutorials to help users get started.
More information on Venture Beat.
Over 17,000 bugs submitted to Facebook in 2014
In 2014, an exact total of 17,011 bugs were submitted to Facebook, with 61 of them being considered severe, a jump of 16% in total bugs, and 49% for severe bugs. At Facebook, there is a bounty on bugs, with users being paid for identifying them and submitting them. A total of $1.3 million was paid out to users who identified the bugs, and the average price of a payment was $1,788. The Facebook Bug Bounty program has paid over over $3 million since its inception in 2011, according to Facebook security engineer Collin Greene. The largest amount of bugs identified by country were in India, with a total of 196.
More information on Social Times.
Twitter debuts official plugin for WordPress
Although Twitter plugins for WordPress have existed for years, this week marks the first time Twitter threw its hat in the ring with an official solution. The plugin, for WordPress version 4.1, serves to help users showcase Twitter content on their WordPress powered sites, and it comes with a number of customization options for embedding tweets and videos, including choosing the color theme, link color, and border color. Other options of the official plugin package include a Tweet button and a Follow button. Conversions for Twitter Advertising can also be tracked based on users who interact with Twitter content through the WordPress site.
Read more on Twitter Blog.
Microsoft Outlook will no longer support GChat and Facebook Messenger
At the end of this past week, Microsoft issued a statement saying they would no longer be supporting Facebook Messenger and GChat, noting that they are ending the integration with Facebook, and that due to Google’s decision to discontinue the chat protocol used by Google Talk, that they can no longer support GChat. It is likely that Outlook users will continue to be encouraged to use Skype instant messaging for chat purposes, as the Microsoft owned service currently has an extremely large user base. Although Facebook chat functionality on Outlook will no longer be available, the larger integration with the social network will remain in tact, so that contacts on an Outlook account can still be synced with Facebook.
More information on Tech Times.
Twitter rolls out While You Were Away feature on Android
A new feature introduced back in January for the Twitter iOS app, While You Were Away has started rolling out for Android devices. The feature removes the well-known chronological order of tweets, and pushes specific content to the top of a user’s feed based on algorithms that decide what the user may be interested in, not completely unlike how Facebook serves content on the news feed. Frequent Twitter users will be served the updates less often, as they are likely to have kept up with what is going on with accounts they are following through the micro-blogging service.
Read more on Mashable.
Native sharing now enabled for Facebook Messenger on iOS
With the new updated version of the Facebook Messenger app for iOS, there is now native support through the mobile operating system that lets users send content straight to the app. Users can send photos, videos, and links to their contacts directly from the share sheet that pops up when a piece of content is tapped for sharing. The feature must be enabled before it can be used, and can be swapped on the menu of native sharing apps for quicker access.
Read more on iDownloadBlog.
Facebook adds feature to help prevent suicides
Facebook has partnered with Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, organizations aimed at the prevention of suicide to help users help others if they see content on the social network that may be a sign of impending suicide or self-harm. If a user sees a concerning post on their news feed, they can report the post, and a new option is get in touch with the friend, connect them to another friends, or connect them to a suicide prevention hotline. The service works on both mobile and desktop, and was announced this past Wednesday. Facebook will additionally review the reported post, and serve a notification to the user if they feel it indicates possible self-harm. Facebook has provided similar support since 2011, but this marks the first occasion of support being offered directly on the post-level.
Read more on Huffington Post.
Twitter updates features centered around user safety
Recently Twitter improved the ways users could report harassment on their service, and as a second step to this, they are improving the processes around reporting other content abuses, such as impersonation, self-harm, and sharing private information. According to a blog post from the company, these updates have started rolling out as of last week, and will continue in the coming weeks. Twitter explained that making these changes possible required significant work “behind the scenes”. Twitter has stated that the improved processes will also allow them to deal with reported content more efficiently, and deal with accounts that do not follow terms and conditions more easily.
More information on Twitter Blog.
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
It’s easy to forget just how precious your smartphone is, and not just because of the shiny hardware; if you’re using a full complement of apps, you’re carrying a lot of very private information in your pocket.
According to the BBC, over 300 smartphones were stolen every day on the streets of London in 2013. The idea of a stranger reading through your personal DMs and emails is bad enough, but if you use your mobile to manage social on behalf of a business, the results could mean a career catastrophe.
So if you aren’t already taking these six steps to keep your mobile social streams safe, you’d better start now.
1. Keep location settings enabled
Yes, it drains your battery, but the alternative is far worse than having to carry round a sleek little portable charger (we like Mophie). This will make sure you can see where all your social updates are coming from, but it will crucially also help you to recover your handset. IOS, Android and Windows Phone all have the functionality to locate your device, as well as ring it, lock it and erase it if needed.
2. Use a secure lock screen
It seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many people still don’t have a lock code on their phone. We you leave your bike leaning against a lamppost without a chain – and with your address book and wallet in the basket?
Pattern unlocks and pins are more secure than numerical codes, and change the code regularly – smudges on screens can indicate unlocking patterns, and 4 digit combinations are only so secure.
3. Double-bolt with app, vault and SIM locks
If your phone code is your house key, then a service such as AppLock puts the equivalent of a bolt onto each of your bedroom doors – ensuring that sensitive apps such as Gmail and Facebook can only be accessed with extra security. This is especially useful if you use your phone for work but have curious kids or playful friends.
Vault apps are also useful, storing all the files you wish to be secure to a dedicated area of your phone or SD card. They can also wipe your device if multiple unsuccessful logins are attempted.
A SIM lock asks for a code before you text, call or use apps dependent on the internet. Granted, this could become very annoying, but if you’re away on a shoot and want to maximise your security, this is great.
4. Update your software
Whatever software you are running, regular upgrades will ensure that security loopholes – which are often only discovered once criminals and hackers have exploited them – have been updated, on both your operating system and within your apps. Make sure automatic updates are enabled wherever possible on your device.
5. Keep social accounts separate
Are you using Twitter for personal and professional purposes? Rather than ‘switching accounts’ within one app, download a second, client version. This way you can always be sure to be on the correct account. For example – I use Instagram for my personal account, but 6Tag for a client account so I don’t ever get confused.
6. Talking of passwords…
Change your social passwords as frequently as possible, at least once a month – alphanumeric combinations are best. Do not store them in your emails, but create a shared doc on the company server.
Nowadays there are also a number of password manager apps. most of which generate super-strong, separate passwords for all your profiles but only require you to remember one master password to access them seamlessly.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
It’s time to stop creating content for the masses.
In an era where consumers expect everything to be personalised from their advertising to their trainers, the most successful businesses are moving away from a one size fits all approach and learning to tailor their content to hyper-targeted audiences.
They are also adjusting their approach on a campaign-by-campaign basis rather than sticking to a rigid brand look and feel.
How are they doing it? Persona marketing.
Quite simply, persona marketing helps you understand and connect with your audience. It tells you what motivates them and what their interests are, and helps you build a clearer picture of their needs. When brands initially start to think about their target audience, they’re often happy with broad demographic profiles (single, male, age 18-25), but these are rarely expanded down the line.
The reality is: they just don’t cut it.
Creating a basic persona involves sourcing information from several key areas: Demographic (age, income, gender), Geographic, Psychographic (lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs), Behavioural (usage, how they interact with your content). The beauty of our big data society is that you can build this information quite easily through social listening, site analytics and many other existing data points.
By creating personas and giving them a face, brands can relate to customers as human beings, and if you can better understand their needs and interests you can better serve them content.
Think of it like buying someone the perfect present. Come Mother’s Day, you visualise your mum in your head as you shop. You imagine the things she loves, the things she hates, what she already has, and what she needs and wants. The same concept, applied to marketing, allows you to produce personalised content that resonates with your audience.
We’re a big fan of personas here at 1000heads. Creating personas is a great exercise in understanding your audience, and it helps maintain focus when creating content, whether that’s blog posts, videos, or infographics.
One good way to have your team keep their personas at the forefront of campaign planning and content curation is to produce cut outs or wall-mounted mood boards so they have a real physical presence in the office.
Hungry for more? Check out the below.
Friday, January 9th, 2015
With 1000heads offices located in places as far flung as Sydney, New York, London – and indeed Dubai – we’re lucky to be able to cultivate a globally rounded view of social media marketing. Today we hear from Yazeed Khalaf, one of our team working with clients in the Middle East and North Africa, who takes a brief look at how social and digital marketing has developed in the region.
* * *
As with the rest of the world, the importance of social media in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has seen a steady rise to the point where it is a now a key factor in both people’s personal lives and the way businesses choose to engage with their audience. In 2014 however, it wasn’t just a growth in the social and digital marketing space that was notable, but a clear step change in how companies in the MENA region are approaching and investing in campaigns on social media representing a new level of maturity in the market.
To highlight this trend, I’ve outlined two examples of how companies and organisations in the MENA region positioned themselves using social and digital media to achieve improved results.
THE POWER OF THE COMMUNITY
At the end of 2013, Dubai was successful in its bid to host #Expo 2020 AKA The World Expo, and a direct descendant of 1851’s Great Exhibition. In looking to both secure the bid and kickstart interest in the lengthy run-up to the Expo, the Dubai bid team saw real value in social and digital media. Dubai dominated social channels, compared to competing cities and at the time of the bid, its Facebook page had an impressive 854K fans while its Twitter followers exceeded 94K (and has many more of both now) and among the four candidate cities, Dubai amassed 45% of the total number of Twitter mentions related to the Expo.
With an increasing number of locations seeking to host global events, the power of social media will become more and more important in which candidates receive those events, how the events are perceived by the wider public and indeed the overall success of the event when they actually happen. Dubai’s Expo 2020 campaign is a great case study as such and shows a sophistication of thinking that is a credit to the region.
After Egypt suffered a disappointing 6-1 loss to Ghana in qualifications for the 2014 World Cup, tournament sponsor Coca-Cola had to rethink their strategy to reaching football fans in Egypt. Their solution? To embrace the negative side of this situation and turn it into something positive. In doing so they ended up with this comic ‘EPIC FAIL’ ad starring Egypt international Wael Gomaa.
The ad resulted in over 2.5 million views on Youtube, but it didn’t stop there. Twitter also played an important role in the World Cup campaign by engaging with users on a daily basis to extend the tone of the campaign throughout the tournament and offer Egyptians a chance to go to the World Cup, even if the players weren’t…
The confidence to activate integrated campaigns like this in social and digital media is another shift in the region that has fully matured over 2014 and something we’ve long worked towards, and are excited to be part of.
Thursday, May 1st, 2014
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
A disputed quote from Thomas Edison, but none the less, a brilliant attitude.
I have an inclination to like anything Google. I admire their innovation, designs, services, aspirations and above all their approach to failure. Fast Company recently published an article about Google X after one of their writers, Jon Gertner was granted exclusive access. Google X can been described as ‘everything unimaginable that Google do’ and is the starting place for innovative designs and concepts such as Google Glass and Project Loon, the Google WiFi balloon.
Googlers (plus dog) at the Mountain View campus. Image: Google
Gertner includes details of ground-breaking Google projects such as hover boards, space elevators, GooleGlass and more. This all makes for fascinating reading, but I was most intrigues by Gertner’s comments about how the company openly encourages failure; how it hopes to create an environment where ‘moonshots’ (ideas/concepts) trump real-world feasibility. There is no intention to fail, but it’s widely understood to be a means to success.
We all approach our projects/briefs/goals, whatever they may be, with similar constraints. We envisage what an ideal success would be, whilst being very aware of what failure will look like, often with no appreciation for any outcome in between. Of course we want to set the highest standards for ourselves, but according to art historian and critic Sarah Lewis, there is something to be appreciated about the ‘near win’.
Lewis first embraced the idea of a ‘near win’ whilst working for the Museum of Modern Art. She was exhibiting work for an artist called Elizabeth Murray and was amazed to learn that the artist felt several pieces included in the exhibition were not good enough. She disliked one piece so strongly that she eventually threw it away, only for it to be rescued by an admiring neighbour. It was in that moment that Sarah Lewis, “realised that success is a moment, but what we’re always celebrating is creativity and mastery. We often want the moment of completion, but what really propels us is the unfinished…”
Not every success results in a masterpiece. Sometimes, we maybe don’t achieve what we believed to be our ideal goal, but this doesn’t necessarily mean we didn’t succeed in some form. The same can be said for failure. Without a clear idea of what failure is, and how we can quantify it, we sometimes forget to appreciate what we have learnt from the process. There may be elements that can be used in the future – successful failings, if you will.
It’s easy to be positively open to failure with the resources of a Google. But we can all analyse the results of our projects to better understand their outcomes, whether they are a success, a failure – or something in between.
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Creativity is at the heart of what we do at 1000heads, and we are always on the look-out for cutting-edge initiatives to fuel our inspiration. This week, we took a close look at two innovative platforms set to become the new go-to places to share creative ideas.
Creativ.com is a new social network specially designed for the creative community. It’s not just another generic platform; it’s a place where you can share your portfolio, build your professional network, get inspired by other people’s work and create a custom made online presence for your business. On first impressions, it is very easy to navigate and visually enticing.
You sign in with your Facebook, Google or email account then start building your creative profile, as well as exploring other talented people’s work worldwide. You can browse video, photography, audio and written content and mark your appreciation with a comment or by hitting the heart-shaped ‘embrace’ button.
The variety of media you can host and share on this platform offers a great scope of opportunities for brands. Whether it is sound, blog posts or photo albums, all content sits in one place and is easily accessible for users. Enabling different media streams to live on a same brand page gives a richer brand experience for followers to enjoy. This platform offers the possibility to fuse branded content as well as UGC, allowing a dialog between brands and their most loyal community of advocates.
Also designed for the creative-crowd, How.Do is a source of inspiration for craft and DIY enthusiasts. This new video platform lets you share “the beautiful things you make” in step-by-step video guides.
Short and sweet, these videos allow bloggers and brands to communicate with their fans on a more personal level. Rough, unedited videos such as the ones shared on How.Do are popular because they are genuine pieces of content with no, or very little, artificial effects and branding cover-ups.
The new breed of video-sharing platforms such as Vine and How.Do give the opportunity for brands to entertain, educate and inspire their fans. Educate with useful tutorials on how to use products in real-life situations, entertain with creative content and inspire with behind-the-scenes and exclusive content.
But a word of warning: Creativ, How.do and most creative platforms are not about brand-content, they are about brand-culture, culture brands share with their followers. In other words, to thrive on these emerging platforms, brands need to be creative, genuine and give a voice to the people behind the brand.
Monday, November 4th, 2013
Starbucks lets users purchase coffee with a tweet
Announced earlier this week, Starbucks now allows customers to purchase $5 gift cards for followers or connected users through Twitter. The program, currently in beta, allows customers to link their Starbucks account to Twitter, and then tweet to the user they want to send a gift card to along with a special handle that will track the user’s intent. Starbucks has also announced that the first 100,000 users to link their Starbucks and Twitter accounts will receive a free gift card. This new program comes as Starbucks is looking to increase its Twitter footprint and as social commerce is an increasing popular business option.
More information on Starbucks.com.
Twitter sued over planned private stock sale
Earlier this week, two financial firms filed suit against Twitter, citing that the micro-blogging social network attempted to sell private shares of its company in 2012 as a way of strengthening its financial position coming into the IPO that will take place later this year. The two firms, Precedo Capital Group, Inc., and Continental Advisors, are stating that Twitter has used the abandoned sale to bolster the said value of its company, to a valuation of $10 billion. Twitter’s IPO is planned to be valued at as much as $1.4 billion, which would bring the new total valuation of the company to $10.9 billion.
Read more on Bloomberg.
Google+ announces new Hangout updates
At a press conference earlier this week, Google announced a set of new features specific to Google Hangouts. These new updates are part of the rolling features that Google is constantly updating Google+ with, and have been long requested by frequent users. These updates include location sharing through Google Maps, animated GIF support, and the ability to integrate SMS messaging. Video calls will also now have HD support and a number of other options including visual filters. Additional planned features specific to Hangouts on Air include planning, promotion, and management capabilities, aimed at marketers.
More information on VentureBeat.
Social log-in increases exponentially while Facebook maintains majority
Social log-in, the process by which a user will provide their social networking site credentials and profiles to an online site, such as a retailer, to register, has increased year over year. According to data from Gigya, this trend has likely developed due to the user wanting a more convenient registering process, and also believing the the user experience of a site will improve as a result of providing profile information. Facebook holds the majority of social log-in registrations, but other players such as Yahoo and Google+ are begin to emerge and have increased their individual shares comparatively against previous years. Analyzing across different industries, Facebook has an even larger hold on those such as Hospitality and E-Commerce.
Read more on Gigya Blog.
Facebook updates Messenger app to function more like SMS
Earlier this week, Facebook announced changes to the way its messenger app works so that users can contact people who are not within their Facebook friends network. The recipient of the message has to have their phone number stored on the user’s address book, but this change overall marks a step towards Facebook integrating its application with all of a user’s contacts, and not limiting the Facebook experience to the platform itself. In order to activate the new feature, users will have to verify their phone number on Facebook, and it will also post that information on a user’s timeline (this can be set to be only visible to the user). After the phone number is uploaded, other users will be able to look up an individual by their phone number on the Messenger app.
More information on All Things D.
Facebook offers free data access in the Philippines
As of October 31st, Facebook is offering limited free access to their smartphone app to users in the Philippines. This is the first time specifically within Asian markets that Facebook has allowed access to its network. Users in the Philippines will be able to access Facebook through either a mobile browser or directly from the application for a three month trial period. In order to provide this service, Facebook has partnered with Globe Telecom, a top mobile provider in the region. Facebook has previously run similar programs, and is doing so again in order to solidify its footprint as internet and mobile usage is starting to increase in the Philippines.
Read more on All Facebook.
Pinterest releases related pins
As part of an update to users’ feeds released earlier this week, Pinterest is now showing users related pins, or pins that are relative to the things they are searching for, or that normally appear in their home feeds. Related pins will also be based on saved and liked pins. Pinterest will be at first rolling this feature out slowly and testing user response. This comes at a time when promoted pins have recently been announced as a method for Pinterest to generate revenue.
More information on Pinterest Blog.
Facebook testing cursor tracking technology
Facebook is testing technology that will allow it to track the movement patterns of its users cursors, according to its head of analytics, Ken Rudin. The data collected could be used for the purposes of product development all the way to advertising targeting. Facebook collects two types of data, demographic and behavioral, in total aimed at understanding a user’s profile, and then they things they do in real time within the Facebook network. Although there is no guarantee that this new method of data collection will roll out, this new initiative is part of Facebook’s larger overall strategy to continue to understand its audience further.
Read more on WSJ Blog.
Google+ begins offering custom URLs
As part of the updates announced by Google+ for Hangouts earlier this week, custom URLs will now be available for Google+ accounts that have been active for more than 30 days and have more than 10 followers. Google is said to be expanding availability throughout the remainder of the week. Google previously enabled this feature for brand and pages with a large amount of followers, individually notifying the users and managers of these pages, but largely halted it after an initial push.
More information on The Next Web.
Instagram shows first official ads
After several months of Instagram sharing its potential plans for advertising as well as an example promoted post from the photo sharing service itself, the first brand approved advertisement has appeared, an image of a watch from Michael Kors. The image is featured on the Michael Kors Instagram page but also appears to all users on their home feeds, whether or not they follow the brand. This is the start of an advertising plan that will bring revenue to the photo-sharing social app, and its parent company, Facebook.
Read more on Venture Beat.
Facebook increases per user revenue in all geographies
Earlier this week, Facebook reported its quarterly earnings, and they show an increase in revenue per user across geography where the social networking giant has an established presence. With an increase to 1.2 billion active monthly users, the number of monthly users who access Facebook via mobile has also jumped to over half a billion. The company recorded over $2 billion in profit overall, with the majority coming from the United States and Canada.
More information on Venture Beat.
Twitter update places photos directly in-feed
Twitter has released a new update that now shows photos directly within a home feed, without the need for a user to clink the link and open a separate window. The change is part of Twitter’s overall plan to make the platform more accessible, and for users to more easily be able to absorb content with fewer clicks. Other recent updates to the micro-blogging platform ahead of its IPO have included the new ability to geo-target tweets, and new products within the media and advertising spaces.
More information on Twitter Blog.
Monday, October 28th, 2013
Is Twitter #Music to shutdown?
Less than six months after a launch and heavy viral buzz, Twitter will most likely be closing its #Music mobile app for discovering new artists and songs. The company is currently changing its music department, and shuttering the app may be a part of the forward-going strategy. Although it had a strong showing when it first debuted in the App store, its ranking quickly slipped as users acquisition failed to stay consistent. According to analysts, Twitter’s music strategy has been unfocused over the course of the past year, and as the company moves towards its IPO, the micro-blogging service is looking to partner with other companies to bring in new capabilities for music related deals.
More information on All Things D.
Instagram launching for Windows Phone
Earlier this week, the CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, confirmed that Instagram will be arriving shortly on Windows Phone. Citing that the overarching goal is to bring the platform to everyone who wants to use it, the app will be available in the coming weeks. There are no details on the individual features that will be available at launch, but this will be the first time that an official Instagram client will be available on the new Windows mobile operating system.
Read more on The Verge.
YouTube potentially launching new streaming music service
To compete with the likes of streaming music services like Spotify, YouTube is said to be preparing to launch its own streaming music app that will feature video as its differentiator. The service will potentially include a free service as well as a paid premium component that will allow users to access a full library of music based on what is available from the Google All Access service. YouTube has not as of yet commented on the release of the product or the features that it will include, but it has said that it is hoping to release some form of product by the end of the year, and this is indicative based on the video social network amassing the necessary music licenses needed to offer a music subscription service.
More information on Billboard.
30% of US population gets news from Facebook
A survey released from the PEW research center has found that 47% of adults on Facebook in America, roughly 30% of the US population, gets news from the social networking giant. Further investigation shows that out of this percentage, only 22% of these users find Facebook to be an actually useful source for information. Only 4% of those who were surveyed say it is the main source of news information. Young adults in particular, who are across other news sources are less engaged, have the same increased levels of engagement in terms of news consumption on Facebook.
Read more on Journalism.org.
Vine announces Sessions and Time Travel
Announced earlier this week through its official blog, Vine has added new features – Sessions and Time Travel. Sessions allows users to save up to ten posts and come back and work on them any time before they get posted live to the feed. Time Travel allows users to replace any individual shot within a post before it is shared. The functionality is accessed by tapping on the edit button while previewing a post. The updates are currently live on the App Store and Google Play.
More information on Vine Blog.
Twitter becomes most popular social network for teens
According to new survey results that are taken on a biannual basis, Facebook no longer is the most popular social network among teenagers, a top honor that has been taken by Twitter, with 26% favoring the micro-blogging service. Due to current downward trends in engagement within Facebook for younger users and a growing number of newer social networks, engagement has spread across platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and others. Instagram, owned by Facebook, has also stood out as a favorite among the younger audience.
Read more on Statista.
Instagram begins showing in-stream sponsored photos
As part of Facebook’s strategy to increase mobile revenue, Instagram has started to roll out sponsored photos in-feed through partnerships with several key brands. The first ad that many users will see will be from Instagram itself, showing a photo with the sponsored tag, explaining how advertisements will work, and how users can provide feedback on them. Sponsored posts will not be limited to photos, as videos will begin to be fed to users as well. Instagram has also been careful to mention that all photos and videos that users upload are their own property, something they have been careful to continually mention after a negative PR fiasco where a change in the photo-sharing network’s terms of service would have made all photo submissions Instagram-owned.
More information on Instagram Blog.
Tumblr introduces upgrades to blog theme customization
As shown on the official Tumblr blog, users now have access to a variety of tweaks and customization options for their personal blogs. Chief among these updates is the ability to test out a new theme in real time, something that users have been asking for but has previously been unavailable. Additionally, users can now browse for themes users filters and search, and choose colors and fonts through a main Customize panel. Changes have also been made to the source code editor for programming savvy bloggers.
Read more on Tumblr Blog.
eBay introduces Pinterest-esque features
In an effort to make their marketplace more manageable and social, eBay is introducing new features for both buyers and sellers that will allow to curate collections, follow users and interests, and establish a more robust profile. Another new feature is a curated Ebay Today page, that shows collections chosen by eBay’s chief content curator. Many of these new features are comparable to the way content is organized on Pinterest and Etsy. Richelle Parham, eBay’s chief marketing officer, has noted that mobile will be a key component for driving sales coming into the Holiday season, and in general with the introduction of the aforementioned features.
More information on AdAge.
Man who confesses to drunk driving death on YouTube gets prison time
Matthew Cordle, the 22 year old who posted a video on YouTube confessing the drunk driving accident he caused resulting in the death of a 61 year old man has been sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison. Cordle stated that he had been advised to lie in court, but instead decided to take full responsibility and even post his admission of guilt on YouTube. At the time of this posting the video has accrued over 2.5 million views.
Read more on The Verge.
YouTube and Google+ now offer Communication Manager profiles for pages
In an effort to allow brands and pages with multiple responsible community managers to share responsibility, Google now offers the ability to assign communication managers for pages, a restricted permission to work with content on a brand page, on Google+ and YouTube. Specific actions they will be able to take will include posting and replying to followers, moderate comments, and use the Communities and Events features.
More information on YouTube Creator Blog.
Pinterest to start helping users identify source of photos
A big challenge for many users of Pinterest has been trying to find out the original source of a photo that they like or pin. The photo-pinning social network has partnered with Getty Images in order to access the site’s metadata and correlate pictures that are shared on Pinterest to the photo if it exists on Getty. This method will allow a user to determine the author, date, location, and descriptive information about the photo. It is likely that these are the first of many more features that will be added at a later date.
Read more on The Verge.
Twitter sets share price for pending IPO
This week Twitter finally revealing what its asking price will be per share when it finally launched its IPO later this year. The micro-blogging service is planning to offer 70 million shares of stock with a price of between 17-20 dollars per share. An internal evaluation of the company’s worth earlier this year resulted in an estimated worth of $21 per share. If the company achieves the higher end of its asking price, it could infuse $1.4 billion into the company, creating a total company valuation of around $11 billion. Twitter made this news public by adding an addendum to its S-1 filing, initially issued on October 3rd.
More information on Inc..