Rumor has it that the Yahoo board will meet on Sunday night to decide on the purchase of blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Yahoo SEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to buy the popular blogging platform is part of a broader strategy focused on attracting a younger audience to Yahoo and increasing its user generated content portfolio. Ken Goldman, Yahoo CFO claims “One of our challenges is we have had an aging demographic“ and that Yahoo needs to be “cool again.”
As with all major acquisitions, things could fall apart at the 11th hour, however Yahoo has already publically stated that they have some big news to announce, so if all goes according to plan we can expect the high profile deal to be announced by Monday.
Blackberry takes BBM to Android & iOS
This week, Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins announced that they are introducing a free BBM app for Android and iOS. “It’s time to bring BBM to a greater audience, no matter what mobile device they carry.” Heins plans to create a independent messaging solution, starting with messaging and groups but then bringing on voice and screen sharing functionalities to make BBM a fully featured experience across all major smartphone operating systems, meaning that the “killer app wont be an exclusive anymore”.
Facebook employees have apparently regained their confidence in boss Mark Zuckerberg after a brief spell of doubt following backlash related to the company’s public offering. On Glassdoor, a job site that features anonymous staff reviews, his approval rating for the year following the IPO is higher than in the year leading up to it. Though the IPO and subsequent devaluation of Facebook’s stock drew criticism from investors unsure about the longevity of the company, Zuck looks like he’s definitely got the backing of his workforce—Facebook employees rate their satisfaction levels at an enviable 4.7 out of 5.
Google Picture Perfect
On Wednesday, Google unveiled a whopping 41 new features for its Goole Plus service. Senior VP of engineering Vic Gundotra wants to give people more reason to visit Google Plus and to make it an even more exciting place to be than Facebook. The focus has been around enhanced photo offerings—from auto editing photos to face recognition that can identify relationships between people—but expect changes across the board, aimed to make the user experience on Google+ a fully integrated and immersive experience.
On Monday, Microsoft announced some interesting new features that will be added to their SkyDrive cloud storage service, continuing their efforts to provide a holistic brand ecosystem for their users that will rival that of competitors like Google and Facebook. The biggest feature update is the new photo timeline view that allows users to see all of their SkyDrive photos based on when they were taken, an archival and chronological approach that is reminiscent of Facebook’s Timeline.
Have you been tempted by the idea of bidding farewell to your Facebook profile, but haven’t had the guts to pull the trigger? The makers of cheeky app Social Roulette want to help you take the leap—the app gives users the chance to click a button with a one-in-six chance of ‘committing social suicide’ by deleting ones Facebook account, posts, likes, photos, friend connections and all. Since launching on Saturday it has unsurprisingly been blocked by Facebook, on the grounds that it provides users a ‘negative’ experience.
Chris Hadfield Inspires from Outer Space, via the Social Web
During his time in space, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield racked up nearly a million Twitter followers and over 300,000 Facebook fans by posting regular photos and other content to the web, connecting the public with the wonders of outer space via online social communities. His charming personality came through in his posts, especially his latest amusing video of his rendition of the David Bowie classic ‘Space Oddity’. Chris’ loyal following celebrated his safe return to earth this Monday.
Every social platform has its star-profiles—those users who master the medium and eventually gain astronomical followings to show for it—and as the newest star in the social world, micro-video sharing platform Vine is no exception. On Monday, Mashable announced the 10 most creative users of Vine, all worth more than a 6-second glance. Check them out here.
Twitter teams with NBA
Twitter has teamed up with the NBA to stream replay video clips of the playoff highlights directly to their followers moments after the plays take place. The venture is being monetized though short ads running alongside the streams from big brand partners like Sony, Taco Bell and Sprint.
“People on Twitter are talking about what they’re watching on TV,” President of Global Revenue at Twitter Adam Bain said in an interview. “This is a great way to bring great content onto the platform and have marketers support it.”
Follow #NBARapidReplay to catch replays of the playoffs.
Facebook Introduces Rating System and Sections, Highlighting Users’ Tastes
Back in March, Facebook had a ‘soft launch’ of ‘sections’, a new system that displays users’ tastes and app activity in a new way on their profiles. On Tuesday, sections was rolled out to everyone, meaning friends will now be able to see what apps users have been using, and even friends’ ratings of media such as music, movies, and books.
Read up on the best practices for creating app sections here
iOS Bans Bang with Friends
Last week, we brought you the news of iOS and Android launching mobile apps to allow users to use controversial service Bang with Friends. Barely a week later, Apple has removed the application from its App Store altogether. “We’re working with Apple to figure out exactly why,” a Bang With Friends spokesperson and while Apple has not commented on the decision, they are well known for banning apps which violate their guidelines, especially those with content Apple deems ‘adult’ or amoral.
This week saw the end of a very busy few weeks of awards for 1000heads. After a fantastic week at the end of October in which we were lucky enough to pick up six gongs, we had further success at the WOMMYs and Dadis earlier this month. This week it was the turn of the Social Buzz Awards at (the Pride of) London’s hallowed Emirates Stadium.
It was a fantastic night, with top class entertainment coming from the excellent Doc Brown and from our own team’s dancefloor exploits - and, most importantly, we were delighted to receive recognition for some of the hard work we have put in over the past year or so.
We picked up two awards, the first in the Best Use of Insight/Measurement category for our work with Nokia on Agora. The project was the culmination of a huge amount of hard work from people across the agency, and we’re delighted for it to be recognised here. Of course it also required a fantastic working relationship with our client – and we certainly had this with Craig Hepburn, Nokia’s Global Director of Digital & Social Media, who had this to say about it:
“Agora is a physical manifestation of Nokia’s commitment to positioning insight and innovation through social media, right at the heart of the brand. Another world class social collaboration between 1000heads and Nokia Social”
Our trophy, safely back in the 1000heads office in front of Agora
The second award was for Best Retail/E-Commerce Social Media Strategy/Campaign, for Say it with Skype. We were delighted with the results of the campaign, and it’s great that the industry has given it the recognition we feel it deserves. Again, the project was a collaborative effort with the client – and Leanne Johnson, Senior Global Marketing Manager at Skype, said this:
“This was our most successful social marketing program to date – not only have we blitzed our engagement targets, we’ve also seen a measurable uplift in subscriptions and sales. We couldn’t have asked for more.”
All in all, a great end to the awards season in 2012. Thanks to the clients and partners who made these wins possible, and here’s to more success in 2013!
In July this year, the McKinsey Global Institute published their report, ‘The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies’, where they noted that the true opportunities of social for business were yet to be realised.
“While 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit. In fact, the most powerful applications of social technologies in the global economy are largely untapped.”
SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute
The key business opportunities for social are in improved communication and collaboration. Social technologies and real world interactions arising from social connections could improve productivity among interaction workers by 20-25% according to McKinsey – no minor process improvement.
So why are firms failing to embed social technologies and strategies into their business processes thus far? It’s not as if the technologies are immature, or there are literacy problems with their use in business contexts; these are some of the simplest communications systems available.
Part of the reason for this strategic oversight appears to be the way in which social strategies enter a firm. If social is ‘owned’ by marketing in a firm (usually customer-facing), then its use for intra- and inter-organisational communications can take a back seat. Indeed, the more separated a marketing division is from organisational strategy and operations, the less likely it will be for a firm to consider how it could adopt social for alternative purposes – even when there is obvious potential for improvements in productivity.
Of course there are the usual objections to social technology and strategy implementation for business communication in terms of commercial confidentiality and information security, but these matters are often overemphasised. It is perfectly reasonable to limit the implementation of social technolgies and strategies to contexts where private or confidential information is not at risk. Indeed it is likely that productivity improvements will be located in process contexts where confidential information is only obliquely referenced.
For instance, it makes sense for idea sharing about business process improvements to happen throughout a firm, and between a firm and its suppliers. Yet commonly, business processes are established and propogated from on high, limiting opportunities for innovation. Or for manufacturing, logistics management and distribution (still the most expensive layers of operations for tangible goods), social technologies could be used for improved collaboration. It is feasible to deploy social technologies to track conversations, improve demand forecasting, overcome bottlenecks in distribution and report on stock availability.
The skill, of course, is in thinking laterally about how social can be deployed for maximum return and more often than not community managers are not the best people to find those opportunities. It is a strategic process improvement that requires understanding of how an organisation is managed.
Skeptics might say that a report prepared by a global management consultancy would naturally conclude that social technologies are untapped for business process improvements, as it inevitably results in new consultancies for McKinsey, but their reasoning is sound. Social technologies and strategies present all businesses with an opportunity to facilitate conversations that were previously difficult to seed, as well as track conversations previously hidden from view. As such, the advantages of social technologies for business process improvement are obvious. Just as conversations with customers can generate insights about products and services, conversations with employees and suppliers can generate insights about processes.
The challenge for social agencies is to communicate this value effectively. Sometimes this will mean connecting beyond the marketing division in a firm, and engaging with people in roles that would not normally talk to agencies. And sometimes this will involve dragging marketers away from their performance metrics comfort zones of unit sales, brand awareness and brand sentiment to consider other opportunities. But whatever communication mechanism is employed, the key is to think about social strategies and technologies as investments in communication. Because in a social economy, failure to communicate is a fast track to bankruptcy.
Here’s our weekly update of news and views from around the social web.
Klout overhauls its scoring
Love it or hate it, Klout’s helped shape a growing industry around influencer measurement and identification. Unlike Kred, Klout has been criticised for being less open about the inputs that go into producing its single number influence score.
This week, Klout announced some updates to the service and has been more forthcoming about what those signals are. Founder Joe Fernandez’s post on the Klout blog outlines all updates to the platform – most interesting of which is the way Klout will show stand out updates and interactions (called ‘moments’) that go into defining your score. In his words;
“This feature displays the content and ideas that have been most influential across all of your networks, all in one place. Moments will also help you see interaction patterns emerge that can help you shape your influence and improve the quality of your ideas.”
Additionally, check out this video walkthrough from Chris Voss.
Airtime fails to take off. Adds new features
Fanning and Parker’s Airtime, the recently launched Facebook chat app has not exactly been doing loop the loops and is looking for other ways to gain traction. Candidly, 90,000 monthly users after a $33 million investment is not a great return.
In response, new features released this week will allow users to use the service even if friends aren’t on Airtime or online. These include creating video messages that can then be shared with friends via Twitter or Facebook.
Biz Stone and Evan Williams launched Medium this week to a select group of users. According to Stone, Medium is on a mission to redefine publishing and is organised around ‘collections’ like ‘This happened to me’ or ‘When I was a kid’. The service borrows heavily from other platforms like Pinterest and Digg but is a blogging tool at heart (both actually met at Blogger before founding Twitter).
Teens listen to more music on YouTube than on radio
So says Nielsen’s Music 360 Report released this week. 64% of teens are using YouTube to listen to music compared to 56% on radio, 53% on iTunes and 50% on CD. It’s not a platform that suits discovery with only 7% of users saying they find new artists on YouTube. Music recommendations from friends are also the most significant purchase trigger among this group followed by online conversations on blogs, forums etc.
Get Glue, the social TV platform, has released what they are calling a reimagined guide for shows, movies, and sports that changes the way people choose what to watch and aids discovery of the best related content through the second screen. Here’s a feature overview of their latest iPad release courtesy of the GetGlue blog.
New species discovered on Flickr
Entomologist Shaun Winterton was sitting at home browsing Flickr when he came across Guek “Kurt” Hock Ping’s uploaded pic of a yet-to-be classified derivative of the Malaysian Lacewing insect. Shortly after, it was confirmed by experts at the Natural History museum that a new species had indeed been discovered.
So the next time some ill informed prat asserts the social web is only good for lolcats and Justin Bieber tittle tattle, you’ll know the retort..
18 million Viggle live questions answered during Olympics
Viggle only launched in January but has recently jumped past one million users and signed up some heavyweight networks to its client roster. Viggle Live was used throughout the games to poll viewers who were watching the games in real time. Users who answered questions earned points that were turned in for rewards from companies like Groupon, Best Buy and Sephora. Earlier this week they released the below infographic to showcase some Viggle Live highlights.
Alexa Dell (daughter of Dell founder, Michael Dell) posted an Instagram photo, which she also shared to Twitter, of her brother Zach scoffing a buffet on a private jet on the way home from Fiji. It was then picked up by the Tumblr hit blog Rich Kids of Instagram.
Dell’s security team went to work wiping social media clean of the content, including binning her Twitter profile. Dell spends nearly $3 million per annum on family security and appears to have a zero tolerance policy on glimpses into the Dell inner sanctum – even if these come from the inside.
This week, Status People released a new tool that examines the authenticity of your Twitter followers. It also posts a regularly updated faker’s list, naming and shaming fake accounts. It’s unclear how they classify fake (red), inactive (yellow) and good (green) profiles, but it’s certainly worth a go.
Social retrospective on London 2012
No week in social update would be complete without a final look at social activity around the Olympics. The Wall Blog graciously obliges…
Here’s our round up of this week’s stories from the social web.
London landmark becomes a Twitter “mood ring” for Olympic conversation
Olympic sponsor EDF Energy have commissioned a social media-powered light show, to be displayed on the London Eye. Throughout the Olympics, the iconic Ferris wheel will light up nightly, with the color changing in real time based on the sentiment of Twitter conversation surrounding the games.
Keeping to the Olympic theme, our friends at Unruly Media have released this neat interactive infographic to show which official Olympic sponsor is creating most noise with their videos – all compiled using data from Twitter and Facebook’s APIs as well as blog embeds.
Apollo 11 mission gets Instagram treatment
Forty-three years ago, on Friday, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Ever wondered what it would look like if witnesses to historic events had used Instagram to document the experience? Wonder no more, courtesy of Mashable’s Amanda Wills.
Facebook takes a page out of Pinterest’s book
Facebook’s currently testing new features and designs for app stories, influenced by passion-based platform Pinterest, using a box layout that allow Likes, comments and other app-specific CTAs.
What Car and Mumsnet have announced a partnership that will see user generated car reviews aggregated on a Mumsnet microsite called Mumsnet Cars.
Justine Roberts, CEO of Mumsnet, said: “Eighty per cent of our users seek advice or read reviews on Mumsnet when they are planning to buy a child-related product, and, judging from the number of car discussions on the site, there’s a clear need for similar advice when it comes to cars.”
Charlie Sheen bids farewell to his record-breaking Twitter account
Controversial celeb Charlie Sheen announced that he will be quitting Twitter. His account, when launched, was the quickest in the history of the social network to reach one million followers. His final tweet read “Reach for the stars everyone. Dogspeed cadre. c out”. And that was that.
Facebook acquires bookmarking service Spool
When news broke recently that Facebook was buying Spool, many were left wondering what their endgame was. But as it turns out, the bookmarking service similar to Instapaper and Pocket houses tech that could prove really valuable to Facebook in the future.
What exactly is the difference between an influencer and a brand advocate? This week, Zuberance and Convince&Convert released a handy infographic to answer that question supported by data from Forrester and Nielsen. Although these groups are not exclusive, it outlines some sound general principles. Worth a look for sure.
Here’s a look at the stories that turned heads in social this week.
LinkedIn gears up for redesign
Given that it’s been years since the last major redesign, LinkedIn is probably just about due a facelift. The changes however, hint at far more than just a new aesthetic. The goal appears to be to make the site more sticky and branch out from ‘professional’ to ‘personal’.
Some startling statistics on Facebook’s expansion across the wider www. According to this recent study by Zyxt labs, 22% of all web pages link to Facebook and 8% of pages use Facebook open graph tags in some way.
Despite saying last year that ads turned his stomach, Karp’s Tumblr platform recently launched a range of new ad opportunities for brands. New York Times ran an interesting piece earlier in the week on Tumblr’s dilemma: How can it embrace ads without selling out?
Edible QR codes from Taco Bell
QR codes haven’t taken off in the way that some may have hoped. Taco Bell’s solution? Make them edible.
Facebook redesigns ‘events’
Have you offended friends by forgetting their birthdays lately? And are you missing those not-to-be-missed parties? Fear not, Facebook has launched a new events calendar so you can see what’s coming up weeks in advance. It provides a list view that highlights each day’s birthdays, RSVPs, and suggested events.
Wayback machine for Twitter
Love this! ‘Old Tweets’ is tool that allows you to search archived tweets from Twitter’s first year. The creators built an index using API calls in the range of IDs 1-20,000,000. The results are fun and nostalgic with many (unsurprisingly) coming from the founders themselves.
Gymkhana 5 hits YouTube
Another blinder from DC’s Gymkhana series sees Mr Block painting San Fransisco in rubber from the wheels of his 650hp Fiesta.
China leads in mobile social media usage
According to Emarketer’s latest stats, China now has the highest rates of mobile social connectivity in the world. 66% of Chinese accessed social media via their device on a daily basis during March 2012.
See how that compares with the rest of the world at Emarketer.
Spanish social network, Tuenti, opens up to users worldwide
In case you’re not familiar, Tuenti is a Telefonica owned social network in Spain with 13 million users. It finally launched globally on Wednesday, with worldwide users able to sign up by invite only.
NBC partners with Facebook for the Olympics
In a case of ‘you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours’, NBC and Facebook are set to announce an Olympics partnership. Users of Facebook will be reminded about NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games in London, while viewers of NBC’s coverage will be nudged to talk about the Games on Facebook.
I’m new to 1000heads, and have often been asked by family and friends what it is we do. Here’s just one example.
We recently supported the Nokia US launch of the Nokia Lumia 900. The brand and international rap superstar Nicki Minaj teamed up to host a launch of epic proportions, live from Times Square. Local New Yorkers and tourists from around the world witnessed an exclusive visual and musical takeover, using nine immense CGI screens, crowned by a show-stopping performance from Minaj.
She performed a medley of songs from her brand-new album and then introduced the exclusive Nokia remix of her latest single ‘Starships’, featuring London-based DJ Doorly. Lucky fans in the audience were also filmed to appear in the official video for the Nokia ‘Starships’ remix.
And what was our role in all of this?
Prior to the takeover we invited bloggers from the worlds of music and technology to join us for the event. The bloggers, as well as New Yorkers in and around Times Square, had no idea what was planned. Aside from a few hints, everything about the event was secret. The only real clue was a giant blue box that had been planted in the middle of Times Square the day before the launch. The box was unbranded but for a distinctive clock that was counting down.
To add even more intrigue and mystery, on launch day we gave each blogger a scaled-down version of the blue box; inside was a pair of Monster headphones and a miniature countdown timer, synced with the main box.
To support the activity online we created a Facebook tab on the Nokia US page called ‘Lumia 900 Live’. The tab mirrored all activity leading up to the event on the ground, still giving nothing away. Then, post-launch, we ran a Facebook competition giving fans the opportunity to win a Lumia 900 signed by Minaj herself. The tab was also the home for the official video for the Nokia ‘Starships’ remix.
The trip was a blast for lots of reasons, the main one being getting to meet our bloggers face to face, and giving them an experience they’d never forget.
Not many people have picked up on this study from US researcher Sarah Moore, but to me it’s much more interesting than ’5 ways to boost your Pinterest traffic’. Moore investigates how talking about our experiences affects the way we feel about them and how we act in the future. In summary, she has found that:
1) Talking about negative experiences is good, because it is cathartic and helps reduce our feelings of anger and frustration – the principle behind psychotherapy.
2) But talking about our positive experiences can actually have a negative effect on our advocacy, as analysing and rationalising those feelings takes away from their instinctive, emotional shine.
3) However, talking about utilitarian experiences – filing your tax return, say – reinforces whatever you’re feeling, amplifying that rational experience.
My favourite takeaway? Maybe brands should be focusing on listening to advocacy and then *recreating* great experiences rather than getting fans to talk about them. As Moore puts it:
“There’s a saying that you should never ask anyone why they love you. This is true — don’t do it. You shouldn’t be rationalizing or analyzing that feeling because the more you do, the more it fades. If you have a positive emotion that you’d like to preserve, don’t think about ‘why’. Just relive it.”
So should brands focus on amplifying positive feelings rather than words? What do you think?
Our cool things this week allow for more than just some titular alliteration.
First up, if this then that has the potential to revolutionise your online life, giving you the means to create actions based on pre-defined triggers. For example, set up a rule to automatically save every new Instagram photo you take in a specific Dropbox folder, without you having to do a thing.
The options are limitless, meaning a little time investment up front could dramatically change the way you use channels, services and devices together. And even better, you can export each rule ‘recipe’ to share with friends, letting them tap into your newfound efficiency.
The desktop robots mooted by the designers of reaDIYmate work on a similar premise, but this time the action that results from an online trigger happens in the real world.
Construct your robot, and set him any type of task. This could be to sound the alarm every time your boss sends you an email, but wolf-whistle when your beloved does. Sounds and movement can be combined, giving your robot friend the ability to be a physical manifestation of what’s happening in the virtual world.
Anything that builds a bridge between the online and offline worlds is a winner in our book, and colour it in right and it’s cute bot to boot.
And strictly for fun, Incredibox turns even the most musically challenged into an artist extraordinaire – a simple drag-an-drop interface, blending layer upon layer of melodies, beats and voices. The results are (arguably) as catchy as anything in the Top 40. Could this be the end of pop as we know it?