In a week that saw social media again prove valuable in the Australian tourism effort, we've been busy dipping our toes in shark-infested waters to bring you a round up of the week's biggest social-centric stories.
So without further adieu, here are the Top 10 stories in social media this week;
1. Australian Christmas shoppers go mobile
According to a Christmas-shopping related post on the Google Australia Blog, year over year, shopping-related searches are up 29%, while the number of shopping queries coming from mobile devices increased 220% year on year.
In fact, a staggering 25% of all Christmas shopping-related Google searches this year now come from mobile devices.
More motivation, if it was needed that Australian businesses need to be optimising their sites for mobile. After all, the proof is in the Christmas pudding...
2. US guidelines on Facebook ‘Like-gating’
Facebook’s ad revenue is projected to hit $7 billion in 2012, but this figure might be hit by the recent guidelines put in place by the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD). Marketers need to be careful when requesting users ‘Like’ a page in order to receive some sort of reward in order to ensure they are not utilising “misleading or artificial means to inflate the number of Facebook ‘likes’.”
This move has come about after a case was made against eyewear supplier Coastal Contacts for deceptively offering free and discounted products to Facebook users who ‘liked’ the company’s page, and that the number of ‘likes’ presented to investors had been fraudulently obtained.
The NAD cannot itself enforce decisions, but it can refer cases to the Federal Trade Commission if a marketer does not comply with one of its decisions.
3. Commonwealth Bank stages Facebook heist
Comm Bank are celebrating their centenery by giving fans the chance to score $2000 a day with a treasure hunt app.
Players have 23 hours each day to uncover the correct answers to a series of questions and enter them into the time vault tab on the Commonwealth Bank Facebook page. Cracking stuff.
4. Facebook gives up on China, Spotify gains 4m Facebook users
It might have the most faces out of any country in the world, but China will still not have Facebook for a while yet. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Sandberg revealed how government policies were the main reason why expansion into China was not yet possible for Facebook; “it’s not really our choice. It’s the government’s choice, you know. We’re not available because they’ve chosen to make us not available.”
In other Facebook news, since f8 and the evolution the Open Graph, people have shared their listening activity more than 1.5 billion times, with Spotify alone gaining more than 4 million new users.
5. Read and Listen from the Ticker
Another Facebook baby birthed at f8, the Ticker has undergone a few changesrecently. Now news articles and songs in the Ticker include buttons that allow users to begin reading or listening as soon as they click on them.
Also announced by Facebook is the decision to turn off automatic RSS feed syndicationwithin Facebook Notes from 22 November onwards.
6. LinkedIn announce Group Statistics and improve Events
Taking a leaf out of Facebook’s success with Insights, LinkedIn have launched statistics for Groups through an easy-to-use dashboard, focusing on three areas: demographics, growth, and activity.
In the past year there have been over a million RSVPs to hundreds of thousands of professional events on LinkedIn. LinkedIn are now taking Events a step further, making it easier to find the right events to attend and connect with others attending those events.
7. When a bird leaves the nest, can it take the flock with it?
As a court picks over PhoneDog’s complaint that one of its former journalists, Noah Kravitz, failed to surrender the password and thus the fans to a Twitter account originally tied to the company name, it’s left everyone debating the rights to digital possessions.
In an era where journalists are encouraged to brand themselves, these type of disputes are becoming more frequent. Is leaving a job becoming more like a social media divorce?
8. Buzzword alert! The proliferation of ‘social television’
From X Factor to Glee, TV programmes are utilising social networks to improve engagement with and among fans.
A number of studies have discovered that up to 80% of television viewers now incorporate a ‘second screen’ into their viewing habits, and apps such as Zeebox – of which the UK's Channel 4 have become the first broadcaster to trial – are facilitating this new intersected experience.
Media analysts believe that this development will continue to grow. Why? As our very own Robin Grant points out, stories are social:
We’ve moved on from a temporary aberration where, through the invention of the printing press all the way through to the invention of TV, communication became one-way for a few hundred years. That’s not the natural human state. Social media has brought us all back around the campfire and allowed us to talk to each other and to take part in the stories people are telling.
9. Chinese location-based app Jiepang, partners with Starbucks
Jiepang users who visit one or more than 200 Starbucks locations in Shanghai and other eastern China cities can check in with near-field communication enabled mobiles in store or via an app.
When 20,000 users have checked in by 17 December, those users will receive a free size upgrade on a drink during the following week.
With nearly 1.50 million users and over 300 brand partnerships in China since its launch in May 2010, Jiepang is a location-based app to watch.
10. Two-thirds support silencing social media during periods of social unrest
A poll has revealed that two-thirds of adults believe that shutting down social networks such as Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger during times of social unrest would help prevent it spreading and worsening.
Unsurprisingly, support for action against social networks was strongest among over-65s and weakest among 18 to 24-year-olds, who are the heaviest users these services.
But as news editor of Index of Censorship, Padraig Reidy, argues:
It’s very worrying that people would believe shutting down social networks would be in any way desirable. The vast majority of social network use during the unrest was people sreading information and helping each other get home safely.
The Week According To The Internet