Foursquare enthusiasts worldwide observed Foursquare Day on April 16, 2012. As part of the celebration, Foursquare announced it now has over 20 million users who have checked-in over 2 billion times.
Radian6 took a look at the social media conversations generated around Foursquare Day 2012 and provided some interesting stats on their blog this week.
On April 16, Foursquare Day was mentioned 322,274 times in social media channels, with conversation peaking between 7-8am EST at 25,226 mentions. The United States led the way with over 14,000 mentions, with Brazil coming in close behind, followed by Mexico, Indonesia, Chile, Turkey, Japan, the UK and Thailand. The 25-34 demographic led the conversation with 48.1% of Foursquare Day mentions.
For more insights on social media conversation around the 2012 Foursquare Day event, check out Radian6’s blog.
Klout Launches Brand Pages to Connect Companies with Influencers
Klout announced the launch of a new feature called Brand Squads, which is basically a brand page for companies to engage with users whom Klout has indicated as influential. They are kicking off this new feature with Red Bull as a launch partner. Take a look at the Red Bull ‘brand squad’ to see what they’re rolling out to their Klout influencers over the next few weeks. (Some influencers will get a trip the upcoming X Games.)
Google’s Cloud Service (Google Drive) Interface Leaked in Employee Presentation
It was rumored this week that Google will soon be launching Google Drive, its own cloud service. Yesterday Mashable posted an exclusive screen shot (shown below) of a Google employee’s screen during a presentation at a university in Brazil. It shows the presenter accessing the file IA Google Drive. A Google spokesperson responded by simply saying “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”
On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Timeline that Facebook bought popular photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion. This was a great acquisition for Facebook since photo sharing is such an important part of their user experience, so what better way to improve the user experience than to buy the best and most viral photo app?
“Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook” said Zuckerberg, “and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.” There has been mixed feelings from Instagram users. Take a look at this Mashable Poll:
What do you think about the acquisition, will it make Instagram for the better or worse?
Google+ launched their redesign this Wednesday in an effort to create a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing user experience. The redesign is said to resemble Facebook’s Timeline, including the addition of a cover photo that stretches across the top of the profile, a bigger photo and video displays. The redesign also features a new Hangouts page and a new Explore page.
Yammer Buys OneDrum
Yammer acquired OneDrum, a Scotland-based startup enabling users to co-author, file share and instant message within Microsoft Office documents in real-time. Adding this business functionality to Yammer will bring the enterprise social networking platform full circle to not only be a communications platform but to providing business functionality as well.
Pinvolve – Turning Facebook Pages into Pinterest Pinboards
Bazaart, a fashion catalog for the iPad, launched a Facebook app called “Pinvolve” to convert Facebook pages into Pinterest pinboards The app creates a new section on your Facebook Brand page to present all of your photo posts on a pinboard and it also allows you and the page’s fans to re-share on Pinterest. Bazaart’s co-founder Dror Yaffe says that the app has increased their re-pins by over 150% and that early adopters have seen the same. See Audrey Kitching’s Page below.
9-year old Caine Monroy builds an arcade from a big pile of cardboard. This video is worth the 10 minutes, it will melt your heart.
Michelle McCudden is a Manager on the Client Strategy & Innovation team at Social Media Group.Follow @mmccudden1
The Timeline Deadline is Here
Today Facebook will implement the mandatory switch to Timeline for Pages. If you’ve been reluctant to make the switch, here’s some good news to ease you through the transition: It looks like Timeline will actually benefit your page. A study from Wildfire this week showed that Pages with less than 1 million fans are seeing a big boost in engagement from switching over to Timeline, with sizeable increases to comments, likes and People Talking About This. Larger pages have seen a smaller boost, but are still benefitting. We’re looking forward to more data after the switch this weekend. In the meantime, it’s been interesting to see what somebrands are doing to take advantage of that Cover Photo real estate:
Another awesome use for Timeline? Tracing your brand or industry back hundreds or thousands of years. Two of the best examples are the New York Times, which begins its Timeline in 1851 with the paper’s first issue, and Spotify, which traces the history of popular music back to the year 1000.
Pinterest’s New Terms of Service
Last weekend, Pinterest rolled out their new policies, with updates to the Terms of Service taking effect on April 6 and updated versions of Acceptable Use and Privacy policies taking place on March 23. Among the changes are new tools for reporting alleged copyright or trademark infringements, the prohibition of pins or boards promoting self-harm (targeting “thinspo” boards, among others), and an update to the Terms of Service to remove the word “sell.” (Pinterest recently came under fire for their stated right to sell any content posted to Pinterest, with critics sighting concerns about copyright and ownership.) The new Terms also state that users aren’t to post any content that would infringe upon the rights of the creator, as a means of protecting Pinterest against charges of copyright infringement. How tightly this will be enforced remains to be seen. Check out John Herrman of Buzzfeed’s projection of what a board without copyrighted content might look like:
Understanding the Twitter Bug
A big story this week has been Twitter’s confirmation that there is, indeed, an “unfollow” bug, making it appear that you are not following someone that you had previously followed. Since Twitter’s redesign late last year, it’s much easier to see if someone is following you or not, thanks to the “FOLLOWS YOU” that appears next to their name.
While there’s some speculation that the bug is the result of the December redesign, others (myself included) seem to remember it starting earlier. Twitter reports that they’re working to fix the bug.
“For individuals, sharing is a choice; that is the essence of privacy. Today, we have the opportunity to create, share and connect, and 845m people choose to do so on Facebook alone.”
And from Keen’s opening statement:
“In today’s Web 3.0 world of real identities generating massive amounts of data, we are all living in the full digital glare of public opinion. In this world of Facebook’s Timeline and Open Graph, of millions and millions of daily tweets, Google+ circles and LinkedIn updates, “publicness” (to borrow a word from my friend Jeff Jarvis) replaces privacy as the core condition of life in our digital age.”
Vote, comment and weigh in through opening, rebuttal and closing as the debate continues over the next week.
Our very own Kirsten McNeill blogged earlier this week about how Brands can use Pinterest, a social network designed to visually showcase interesting links. Pinterest has captured the attention of millions (over 10 million unique monthly users in the US in eight months according to ComScore, the fastest any social network has researched this milestone). This week, Pinterest was accused of replacing user affiliate links with their own. Pinterest did not disclose this policy to users, which has raised the eyebrows of social media types and made some users feel kind of icky.
This week, GlobalWebIndex released new data about both new and continuing trends in the way consumers use all Internet platforms. On the benchmarks side, social networking is still the fastest growing social media behavior online, with 59% of global internet users managing their profile on a monthly basis. Turning to e-commerce, “just over 59% of global internet users had purchased a product online in the past month and 53% had reviewed a product.”
New trends identified in the research:
The rise of the Social Brand: nearly one-third of global internet consumers are engaging brands through social media
Death of digital: “digital can no longer be seen as a separate “media” as consumers globally are transitioning to media consumption across multiple internet platforms in record numbers”
Googopoly: “Google has evolved into the gatekeeper of the Internet, Google has massively improved its position as the world’s biggest controller of information and is starting to dominate all access points to the internet”
The report also details changes to existing trends — the Localised Web, the Post-PC era comes ever closer and Facebook Fatigue continues.
Kirsten McNeill is a Co-ordinator on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group. Follow @kirstenmcne.
McDonald’s Social Media Disaster
Last week McDonald’s launched a Twitter campaign to increase awareness around their use of fresh produce in their food, using the unique hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, which they used in paid-for tweets which were inserted into the streams of Twitter users. This campaign appeared to have a positive start but things took a turn when McDonald’s decided to change the hashtag to #McDStories. This new hashtag was meant to be used to tweet about positive stories customers had with the fast food chain but it was quickly hijacked with tweets of the opposite – very negative and unpleasant tales!
Check out the video below to see some more of these negative tales:
The brave McDonald’s decided to give it another go with another new hashtag campaign on Wednesday, #LittleThings. This change was meant to be used to tweet the little things that bring joy. They kicked it off by tweeting, “No line at the bank, a large tax refund, & those extra fries at the bottom of the bag. What are some #LittleThings that bring you joy?” Even though this seems to be a very open-ended hashtag for the campaign, so far it hasn’t been used to bad-mouth the brand. Let’s hope they have this one under control.
Timothy’s Social Media Backlash
Here we have another social media fail. Timothy’s Coffees of the World ran a promotion on Facebook in December. Just for “Liking” their Facebook Page, the company promised to send fans four free 24-pack boxes of single-serve coffee. Because boxes of these retail for about $17.95, the deal ended up on contest-aggregating websites and an overwhelming number of customers jumped on the promotion. The company underestimated how many people would sign up and their stock was depleted within three days, but they had already sent an email to all of the entrants letting them know that the coffee was on its way. Once they realized that they couldn’t fulfill their promise, they fell silent. At the beginning of January, Timothy’s tried to cover themselves by claiming that the promotion was “first come, first serve” and those that were unable to get samples would be sent a “great email offer.” Only now, a month later, has the company put out an apology video. This was one of their biggest mistakes because when it comes to social media, you need to respond as soon as possible; a month is far too long.
Increase Click-Through Rates for your Tweets
Dan Zarella, HubSpot’s social media scientist, has put together a really insightful infographic on how to get the highest number of click-throughs for you tweets. Some of the more obvious findings were that tweets between 120 and 130 characters get retweeted more than those that are longer or shorter than that. He also found that tweets on the weekend and later in the day have a higher click-through rate than those on weekdays and in the morning. But an interesting finding is that the phrase “daily is out,” indicating that the tweet is using online newspaper tool paper.li, had the greatest positive effect on click-through rates. Take a look at the rest of his findings:
Facebook Introduces Clicks to Action
We have already started seeing some of the new applications that Facebook’s Open Graph platform enables, such as seeing what your friends are reading or listening to. Coming soon, Facebook will be increasing these apps and going live with over 60 Timeline App partners. These apps will combine in-network sharing with your interaction on outside sites so that Facebook users can not only see what their friends are “Liking” on Facebook but also what actions they are taking on other sites. In order to share these external actions, a range of new buttons will be showing up on the partnered external sites. Recipe Box, one of Facebook’s partnering sites, will have “Cooked” and “Want” action buttons so that when you see a recipe that you have cooked or want to try, you can click the appropriate button, which then distributes that action to your Timeline, News Feed and Ticker.
The idea is to increase sharing, strengthen relationships through interests and foster conversations. What do you think? Will you be sharing some of your actions from outside sites onto your Timeline?
Google Services Unified
Google will be rolling out a major change on March 1 – unifying their privacy policies and creating a set of integrated products. The change will work towards integrating all of your Google uses and account such as search, Gmail, YouTube, social (Google+) and work so that users can have one continuous Google experience. In order to allow for this unified experience, Google is overhauling of all of its privacy policies into one aims to be a lot shorter and easier to read. The new policy will allow Google to gather information from one of their services and deliver it to you via another. This will make your experience more customized because Google will have more of your personal information – it can know your location, what’s on your calendar for the day, spelling suggestions based on words you’ve used before or names from your address book, etc. This additional information will also make it easier for marketers to reach their target market and provide personalized messaging.
Check out Google’s video explaining this change:
What do you think of this upcoming change? Do you think that this will be helpful or do you feel that Google is invading your privacy?
During the Facebook Launch Event this Wednesday in San Francisco, Carl Sjogreen, Facebook’s Director of Platform Products, announced the improvements to their new Open Graph and Gestures platforms it introduced during the f8 Developer Conference last September. With the new Open Graph, developers are able to create apps that allow users to add anything they want directly to their Timeline. Later on, they introduced 60 new now live apps that are tightly integrated to the new platform including some by well-known companies such as eBay, Foursquare, Airbnb, Foodily and LivingSocial.
Not familiar with the new Open Graph concept? Take a look at the video below:
SOPA and PIPA Outrage
Wikipedia, the most respected free encyclopedia website on the Internet, blocked their service for 24 hours on Wednesday to raise awareness, for those outside of the technology community they claimed, of two proposed legislations regarding Internet censorship – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Internet Property Act(PIPA).
For those of you who are not yet familiar with the proposed legislations, here are the descriptions, as described by Wikipedia:
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)is a law (bill) of the United States of America proposed in 2011 to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Proposals include barring advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with allegedly infringing websites, barring search engines from linking to the sites, and requiring Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to the sites. The bill would criminalize streaming of content, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The Protect IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA), also known as Senate Bill 968 or S. 968, is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods”, especially those registered outside the U.S. The bill was introduced on May 12, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation of the bill would cost the federal government $47 million through 2016, to cover enforcement costs and the hiring and training of 22 new special agents and 26 support staff. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) placed a hold on.
Many tech companies like Google, Wikipedia, etc. state that the two bills, if passed by the United States Congress, would fundamentally hurt the Internet Industry. For example, websites like Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr all seem likely to shut down if the bill becomes law, not to mention the developments of many emerging Internet and social media websites would be forced to stop, which would push technological innovations into the Dark Age according to one Mashable article published on Wednesday.
Content sharing website Reddit, as well as the famous tech blog Boing Boing, also joined forces and shut down their services for 24 hours. Many other websites added banner links, protest pages and published articles on the front page regarding the issue. One of the notable changes was Google covered its logo with a giant black ‘censor’ bar and wrote ‘Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” below with a link to its online petition.
Watch this infographic video (originally created by Fight for the Future and posted to their Vimeo Channel. Reddit put it up during the service shut down) regarding the SOPA and PIPA bills and the effect they would have on the Internet Industry.
The official SOPA protest website, sopastrike.com, called the protest ‘The Largest Online Protest in History’ with an infograph showing the overall effect to date, and listed all the participating companies and organizations.
Last year when Facebook announced their new Timeline Profile Page design during the F8 Developer Conference, it also opened up an opportunity for companies to further collaborate with the social network and to create new services around the new feature. Our first two entries into the Round Up this week will look at two of those collaborations.
Post Full Sized Instagram Photos on Facebook
The popular photo sharing app Instagram announced on their blog earlier today that the app is now allowing users to share full size Instagram photos to Facebook. If you choose to Share Instagram photos to Facebook, the images will be automatically added to a Facebook album called “Instagram Photos” and visible on your Timeline.
Instagram Photos Album on Facebook
Instagram Photos on Timeline
Ready to take some awesome new Instagram shots to include in your Facebook Timeline design?
MOO Brings Facebook’s New Profile Page to the Real World
MOO Cards, one of the most innovative business/greeting card design and production companies in the industry, recently introduced their latest collaboration with Facebook which translates the Facebook Timeline Cover Photo and profile details into business cards. The best thing about the service is that once you grant permission to the MOO App on Facebook, the system will access to your information, and pull all your photos and past updates to allow you to fully customize the content that you print.
This isn’t the first time MOO Cards has collaborated with social platforms to introduce this type of service. Last year, MOO Cards teamed up with About.me to develop a business card series featuring the social network user’s very own profile page.▼
Forrester Research’s Findings about Social Media in Asia
Forrester Research‘s recent study about Social Media in emerging markets reported some interesting results. After surveying about 100,000 consumers in Asia, Latin America and North America in the last two quarters of 2011, the study found that these consumers in emerging markets are often enthusiastic adopters of social media. Ninety-three per cent of respondents indicated that they use social networks once or more per month, significantly higher than the 49% of European respondents who said the same.
Consumers in emerging markets are also content creators, especially in China and India. The study reported that 76% of Chinese social network users also publish a blog or website/upload videos and music etc. The percentage is even higher in India with as much as 80%, while in the U.S and European countries the numbers are both below 25%. Another interesting finding showed that in some developing countries such as China, Brazil and Spain, people use social networks to communicate online more frequently than using email or IM.
Do you think there are big opportunities for companies leveraging social media to expand their business in Asia or other emerging markets?
The 2012 International Consumer Electronic Show (CES)
This year’s International Consumer Electronic Show is running next week between January 10 to 13 in Las Vegas! The big topics and announcements to expect at this year’s CES include Tablets, Smartphones, Windows 8 as well as Mobile Apps and the latest Social Media trends! Let’s wait and see!
Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is planning to roll out its long-waited IPO between April and June, 2012. The Journal also reported that the social network is planning to raise a total of $10 billion by selling roughly 10% of the company’s shares through the IPO. This means that Facebook could be worth $100 billion if the deal goes through next year! According to CBC News, this amount is more than four times the market cap that Google had when they released their IPO back in 2004. Take a look at their poll results that asked readers if they agree with Facebook’s valuation. What do you think?
Facebook has remained private for the past seven years, so why release an IPO now? According to Mashable, one of the major reasons that Facebook decided to do an IPO now is because they have to.
Under the U.S laws, once a company get 500 or more private shareholders, you have to publish detailed data about your company’s financial performance.
The Economist believes that as the social media industry continues to grow, Facebook will continually see more competition from other networks, such as Google+.
Facebook will want to seek a listing before rivals erodes its lead in the social-networking sphere.
Below is an infograghic, created by Namesake, that documents Facebook’s current status and its IPO path.
Looks like Facebook isn’t the only one that plans to hit the public sector. Today, the biggest social gaming company Zynga filed IPO documents with SEC (Securities & Exchange Commissions). Shares were priced between $8.50 and $10. If the deal goes through, Zynga could be vaulted to a valuation of $850 million to $1.15 billion (max $7 billion). According to Mashable, The company, which is famous for its popular social gaming series Ville (Farmville and CityVille), originally planned to IPO several months earlier but delayed due to volatility on the stock market. The company was originally valued at around $10 billion dollars.
If everything goes to plan – Zynga will be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker ZNGA in mid-december.
Google + hangout + Free Voice Calls
Google+ users can now make free conference calls within Hangouts. This was announced by Jarkko Oikarinen, the inventor of the first-ever Internet chat function-Internet Relay Chat, through his Google+ page on Dec 1. Anyone with a phone number can be invited to join the conversation, no Google account required! It looks like Google’s ambition isn’t just to attract more people to Google+, but to improve the way we communicate by integrating internet calling with party lines and conference calls. Oikarinen states:
“We are constantly listening to feedback so that we can make Hangouts even better for Google+ users, and we’re excited by the really cool ways people are using the product”
This feature currently support free calls to the U.S and Canada, and is available within Hangouts . Why not give it a try?
YouTube’s Biggest Web Redesign
Google bought YouTube and kept it running as a separate entity for many years. We’ve heard that YouTube has been planning on a site wide redesign for quite a while. Well, on December 1st the new YouTube design finally launched for everyone. Our first impression? The black and red side bar on the landing page looks a lot like Google’s new User Interface that rolled out couple of months ago. Pages also look and function a lot more like a social network.
Below is video demonstration of the new YouTube which will give you a thorough walk-through on the changes.
From the video, it is not hard to realize that the redesign is made for just one purpose – to get users to focus on Channels, whether through subscribing to other people’s channels or creating one by themselves.
This week the roundup covers changes to Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad unit, the shiny updated Facebook Insights (with handy infographic), Klout’s explanation of changes to their algorithm for influence and how it works by a couple of their executives. And we wrap it up with the news that through Facebook we’re only 3.74 degrees away from anyone (what does this mean for poor Kevin Bacon?).
Facebook Ads in the Ticker
This week Facebook began showing ads in the Ticker in the form of Sponsored Stories. When Sponsored Stories ad units were launched last year, they only to showed up in your News Feed and then this summer they expanded into the Games Ticker. Since Facebook didn’t receive significant complaints, they expanded even further to include them in the standard Ticker, which happened this week. These ads will be subtle — the only difference from the regular content is that they will be labeled “Sponsored”. Some people see this as a sneaky approach to getting people to click on ads. But as long as these ads aren’t flooding the Ticker, I think it could be a positive shift in advertisements because the ads will include some social content or context. It will be interesting to see what the further reactions to this roll out will be. What do you think of this change?
Facebook’s New Insights
Facebook also rolled out their new insights this week. All of the analytics are presented in a visual format, giving Page administrators a more organized and detailed look at the analytics about fan interaction and engagement on their Page. The insights tab is further broken down by “Likes,” “Reach,” and “Talking About This.” The “Likes” section will help you narrow in on your target market, making sure that your tone, voice of brand and content are resonating with the right people by providing detail about the demographics of your fans.
The “Reach” section shows you the number of people that have seen your content and then this information can be leveraged by looking into which days had the most reach and what you shared on those days. Lastly, the “Talking About This,” section shows you who have reacted to content on your Page so you can better target your content.
The new algorithm focuses on “People Talking About This” or the number of “stories” your Page is producing and in turn creating shared content. A story is: when someone “Likes” your Page, posts to your Wall, “Likes,” comments or shares one of your posts, answers a question, mentions your Page, tags your Page, checks in at your Place or recommends your Place. Admins can now obtain insights into what type of posts have greater chances of going viral (the number of people reached multiplied by the number that actually took action).
Take a look at this Infographic for a little cheat sheet:
Also check out this video of Klout’s VP of Platform, Matt Thomson at the WOMMA Summit in Las Vegas talking about their business and its mission. I found it interesting to hear that they consider themselves more consumer-focused than business-focused. They say that individuals can know whom they are influencing and then identify brands that they may want to connect with and reach out to. I like this angle, put the power in the influencer’s hands because they are the ones that have achieved their influence!
4 Degrees of Separation?
You’ve heard of the six degrees of separation right? Well it just got smaller, thanks to no other than the world’s largest social network, Facebook. New research shows that we are now only 3.74 people away from knowing someone. Facebook’s study looked to see if modern technology made it easier to connect with people worldwide and of course the answer is yes, resulting in cutting the six degree rule almost in half. It really is a small world after all!