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The Week in Social: Olympic Data, Trending Topics, and WhatsApp Privacy

Olympic Interactions

1.5 Billion. That’s the the new gold standard for event-driven interactions on Facebook. 1.5 Billion interactions from 277 Million unique users over 2 weeks. Add another 916 Million interactions on Instagram from 131 Million users, and you’ve got a new record for performance of non-commercial content. Highlights on the Social Times include most likes, most love reactions, athletes with the most follower growth, and most engaged countries.


Read more at Social Times

Facebook retools Trending Topics

Earlier this year, Facebook received backlash from both the media and their user population due to some observed bias that affected Facebook’s Trending Topics section. After working to repair their image and retool the feature, Facebook announced last week that Trending Topics will now be selected by an algorithm. The new process will have minimal human interaction, with less editorial input and more technical oversight. In the future, it will be notable on how this approach affects topics of perceived importance that don’t meet the standards of raw popularity.

Read more at AdAge

Stream any Blizzard game on Facebook

If you lived in Korea back in 1999, you could turn on the living room TV and watch competitive Starcraft (Blizzard) tournaments. What might be surprising is that this wildly popular content quickly developed into multiple professional leagues and viewership soared into the millions. Fast forward to today, as boasts more than 100M viewers per month while Facebook, YouTube and others are battling for dominance in live streaming. It then makes perfect sense that Blizzard and Facebook have just enabled the ability to stream any Blizzard game through Facebook Live.


Read more at TheVerge

The Chatbots are coming

Selling product/services, and providing customer support. These are two things that every growing company must scale – and two things that consumers demand become increasingly efficient. Chatbots (used properly) answer these demands for both the business and the consumer. The platforms that bring those bots to the public are going to quickly become channel leaders. Bots are already seeing tremendous impact in the East, and it remains to be seen if the West will enable a range of bots on systems, or if we’ll see another channel competition for who can provide the best features and experiences for consumers.

Read more at VentureBeat

VR ads, these early days

VR ad company Immersv is reporting tremendously high ad engagement rates (.12) vs. desktop & mobile rates (.2/.5). Some may run shouting into the night that you need to get your ads into VR, which could quite possibly be true. But with this landfall, it’s important to consider the age of the marketplace. It may be rational to consider whether a VR is actually getting more, or if the extreme impact is an artifact of the newness of the platform. The human brain is incredibly adept at filtering out unwanted data, and time will tell if VR ads hold this impact, or if users will learn look through them like so many banner ads and pop-ups.


Read more at VentureBeat

YouTube Backstage

While all social channels compete for video dominance, YouTube is taking steps to retain its hugely valuable broadcaster base with Backstage. Photos, text posts, polls and ephemeral videos are among the rumors about the update. The new features are aimed at diversifying the content that channel owners provide to their subscribers. Backstage will provide new features and technology to broadcasters, and new ways of responding and engaging from viewers. The update is expected to arrive prior to the end of the year.


Read more at VentureBeat

WhatsApp sharing info with Facebook

In 2014, the founders of WhatsApp wrote, “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA”. This week, the messaging giant has announced it will begin sharing some user data with parent company Facebook. The data shared will include your phone number and data about your usage, but the company notes that actual messages will remain encrypted. WhatsApp’s rationale behind the move is to connect consumers with businesses, but it may be easier to see how this will be much more about an initiative to connect businesses to consumers.


Read more at TheVerge.

TechCrunch guide for opting out.

Businesses on WhatsApp

WhatsApp connecting businesses to consumers, you say? WhatsApp will begin inviting certain businesses to create official accounts on their platform to help them connect to their consumers with relevant, timely information. An airline can use the app to send flight notifications, or an online retailer might send a shipping confirmation. These can easily fit into things that users may desire, but the new T&Cs leave room for, “special offers” and other messages that might not be as welcome on an otherwise private app.


Brands on Facebook Live

How is your brand using Facebook Live in a relevant, impactful, and intriguing way? Take a few cues from establishments like Arsenal, who have been using FB Live to broadcast practices and new player signings. Provide product insight, like Land Rover broadcasting live test drives of new models. Or deliver critical tips, like makeup brand Illamasqua’s live makeup tutorials. Relevant, Impactful, and Intriguing.


Read more at DigiDay