Participation inequality: 1/9/90 rule no longer applies?
After carrying out an in-depth investigation into how the UK online population uses digital media, the BBC has developed a new model of digital participation: The Participation Choice. Going against accepted models, specifically the 1/9/90 rule, it suggests that participation is now the norm, claiming that 77% of the online population in the UK is now active ‘in some way’. For those wanting to know more (as well as those who remain unconvinced) a presentation on the research should be available later this week on the BBC Internet blog.
The impact of Twitter (it’s bigger than you think)
Some research from Edison suggests that Twitter is managing to reach beyond the one in ten Americans who actively use the service. The research reveals that more than four or ten Americans hear or read about tweets almost everyday in the media. With numbers that large the importance of Twitter as a broadcast network is evident, both for brands seeking to get their message out there as well as those seeking to combat any potential social media crises.
Poor social media customer service? You just lost a sale!
A new report from American Express exploring consumer attitudes and preferences towards consumer services confirms the value of social media as a customer service tool. It found that of those who use social media to make customer service queries, 83% had chosen not to make a purchase because of a poor customer service experience. The report also found that while consumers who use social media for customer service are the most vocal in both their praise and criticism, like their offline counterparts they are much more likely to share a negative experience, telling an average of 53 other people about it.
Brazil now 2nd largest country on Facebook
Brazil has overtaken India to gain the position of Facebook’s second largest country. With over 46 million users and penetration of around 23%, now would be a good time to think about your social media strategy in Brazil – our São Paulo office is here to help.
Facebook popular with mobile users
While most already expect mobile will play an important part in Facebook’s future fortunes, research from comScore underscores how important it is in Facebook’s present: in March, US mobile visitors spent an average of 7.35 hours on their mobile site and/or app, putting Facebook way ahead of Twitter and Foursquare.
|Social Networking Properties (Mobile Browser and App Audience Combined
March 2012 Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM
|Total Unique Visitors (000)||% Reach||Average Minutes per Visitor|
Global social media report reveals top industries on Facebook
Socialbakers has published a report on the top 10 performing industries on Facebook and brands within each. Auto and alcohol brands came out on top for both engagement and fan growth.
Facebook finally sets a date for its IPO
Facebook shares will float on the US stock market on Friday the 18th of May, according to sources in Silicon Valley, following a Zuckerberg-helmed roadshow that kicked off yesterday in New York. It had been expected that the founder would not attend the roadshow, instead being led by COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Ebersman, but he did and initial reports suggest he came across as ‘likeable and affable’.
Another milestone for Facebook’s Instagram: 50 million users
CNet claim that Intstagram has now reached 50 million users and is adding 5 million users per week. Growth doesn’t look like it will slowing down any time soon either, with news that since allowing users to post to Sina Weibo, 100,000 Instagram photos have been shared on the network.
Facebook adds Instagam-lite functionality for feature phones
Facebook hasn’t forgotten about those of you without a smartphone, updating their Facebook for Every Phone app to provide simple photo filter options so everyone can join in the vintage-feel-fun.
Facebook makes another mobile acquisition: Glancee
In what’s arguably a blow for Foursquare, and definitely one for direct competitor and SXSW darling Highlight, Facebook has acquired location app Glancee. While Facebook has been typically quiet on its plans for the app, it fits in well with the company’s location strategy of going beyond simple check-ins toward allowing users to share their past, present and future locations.
Facebook releases mobile app data
The Facebook developer blog last week revealed the traffic it drives to mobile apps, sending 160 million visitors to mobile apps just last month (an increase of 100m since late February). The impact of integrating Facebook functionality is revealed further by looking at the top grossing apps for mobile, 7 of the top ten iOS and 6 of the top 10 Android apps are integrated with the platform. Facebook suggest that features like Single Sign On and Open Graph have been responsible for the phenomenal growth of apps such as iOS video sharing app Viddy, which now has more than 16 million users.
Open Graph is ‘steroids for start-ups’. Or is it?
More evidence of the impact of Facebook’s Open Graph, with the latest study looking at how Facebook helped accelerate growth for apps such as Pinterest, Viddy and Socialcam. Inside Facebook has also delved further into Viddy and Socialcam’s techniques, which seem to be pretty successful.
The risks associated with this kind of super-speed growth, and dependence on the Facebook platform, are becoming evident too, with Pinterest’s recent sharp drop in active users being put down to Facebook disabling the auto-publish function and today’s furore over the Washington Post’s and the Guardian’s decline in traffic from their social reader apps, which Martin Belam has expertly dissected.
Facebook’s new ‘action links’
Also of interest to brands, Facebook has reintroduced ‘action links’, the customisable links which provide a way for users to engage with apps more easily, increasing the viral potential of each story. Foursquare is one of the first to take advantage of the new functionality, adding a “save this place” link to check-in stories. Clicking on an action link will share a story on users Timelines. Previously, users could Like or comment on an activity or click to visit the app, but there weren’t app-specific calls to action that functioned this way.
The social (engineering) network?
Facebook’s desire to get users to share their organ donor status has come under the spotlight this week. Although some are clearly happy to sign-up (by the end of it’s first day 100,000 users had registered) it does raise questions over Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Facebook and if it will continue as a platform that connects individuals or becomes one that seeks to influence them.
Twitter personalises discovering stories
Twitter will roll out a redesign with increased personalisation of the Discover tab in the coming weeks. It will use additional signals, such as tweets that are popular among people you follow, to select stories to display. The new design will also show who tweeted about particular stories, adding a social context to them.
Google+ Hangouts On Air now available to users worldwide
Originally only available to selected broadcasters Google+ has now made its Hangouts On Air feature available to all users. If you have something to say to the world you will be able to broadcast live publicly from Google+, YouTube or a website, see viewing figures, and record and share your broadcast.
Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook
On the other hand, Pinterest’s reputation as a driver of sales continues to grow. According to jewelry retailer Bottica, Pinterest drives 10% of its sales compared to 7% from Facebook. More importantly, those customers spend twice that of Facebook users. It goes to show that people perhaps really do use Pinterest to discover new products.
Foursquare partners with OpenTable to offer dinner reservations
Foursquare have launched a function to actually make a dinner reservation through their app using OpenTable. OpenTable, an online reservations service is currently available in over 15,000 places across the US, handy for users and another incentive for restaurant owners to maintain their Foursquare presence.
LinkedIn claims B2B top-spot, acquires SlideShare
In the wake of research from HubSpot indicating that LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B conversions. In 2011, LinkedIn generated a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.60%, on average four times higher than Twitter (0.67%) and seven times higher than Facebook (0.39%). It’s also growing faster than these two rivals but recently fell behind in monthly user activity
More importantly, LinkedIn confirmed last week that it had acquired professional content sharing community SlideShare for around $120 million. In March, SlideShare had 29 million unique visitors and the site currently has 7.4 million presentations uploaded. SlideShare CEO Rashmi Sinha made an important point: he perceives LinkedIn as a genuine social network, rather than just a collection of online CVs.
Man City vs Man Utd scores a million tweets
The popularity of sporting events on Twitter continues: after the record-breaking tweet total generated by the Barcelona-Chelsea game, data from Sysomos suggests that the Manchester City vs Manchester United football match received over 1 million mentions on Twitter.
Budweiser run Zeebox dual-screen campaign for FA Cup Final
In more football news, Budweiser ran a dual-screen campaign together with Zeebox to allow users to interact with Saturday’s FA Cup Final. Most interestingly, viewers could also play a Be The Ref social game within the app, which let them enact the part of the referee or dispute decisions, and share their decisions with other friends via the app’s Facebook integration.
Nutella go nuts over Facebook
Nutella claims that it’s Facebook ads outperformed TV in a recent campaign. Ferrero attributed 15% of sales from their Christmas campaign to Facebook, and it was also the channel that gave the highest return on investment. It’s fair to say that social media helped them spread their story.
Der Big Mäc: McDonalds Germany crowdsource burger
In celebration of it’s 40th anniversary in Germany McDonalds will create its first crowdsourced burger. Part of the ‘Mein Burger’ campaign fans were asked to create their own burger using an online burger-builder, name it and put it to the public vote. After 5 million votes were cast on over 100,000 burgers, the winner emerged as the ‘Pretzelnator’. According to McDonalds (and somewhat implausibly, considering the number of votes), 1 in 4 Germans took part in the campaign:
Baskin Robbins launches Foursquare promotion for Men In Black 3
Despite the first Men In Black movie being released over 10 years ago, marketers are hoping to cash in on the franchises success a third time around. One of the more interesting promotions comes in the form of a Foursquare check-in competition from Baskin Robbins, which is supported by a mobile site where consumers can register and also add Facebook check-ins or share their entries. Check-ins on either platform enter the user into a sweepstakes as well as earning them achievement badges they can share across Facebook and Twitter.
National Trust: a great British day out
The National Trust are launching a campaign that asks Facebook users to design a ‘Great British Day Out’. Aimed at targeting a younger audience, the Facebook app allows users to select a National Trust destination, choose a theme for their trip and invite friends. Facebook users can vote for the top 20 days out with the winner eventually being decided by the National Trust.
Republicans expand social media efforts with ‘Social Victory Centre’
The Republican National Committee digital team has created the ‘Social Victory Centre’ app, the first of its kind in the political sector. Working on the principle that politics is inherently social, they hope that the app will amplify natural sharing activities such as recommending articles. The app also features a ‘phone from home’ ability that allows those in non-contentious states to make calls on behalf of the RNC to attempt to persuade voters in battleground states.