Instagram in the News
Regarded by some as being quite a surprise, Instagram has in the last couple of days disabled photo integration with Twitter. With rumours galore that Twitter will soon launch their own photo filter App and questions about whether ultimately the decision came from Facebook; the change means Twitter users will no longer be able to see Instagram photos in their Twitter feeds or photo galleries. Users will still be able to share photos to Twitter from Instagram, and then to view them, however they will now need to click through to Instagram to see the photos and in the end actually also increase their time spent on Instagram. With over 100 million global users, Instagram also recently launched a web version and today released their biggest update in over 12 months including a new filter called Willow, redesigned camera, improved image selecting, better tilt-shift and Foursquare integration.
Snapseed for iOS, Android and Google+
Instead, some not great news for Instagram. Soon after their acquisition by Google, photo editing/sharing app Snapseed has now launched on Android, at the same time as making their iOS version free. Throw in Google+ integration and it we could be looking at a potential rival to Instagram. Whilst the two are currently worlds apart in terms of size, Snapseed’s functionality is certainly impressive and this is seems like one to watch.
Expedia searching for Aussie & NZ Bloggers!
Last week Expedia launched their search for the best bloggers from Australia and New Zealand. The entire program created by We Are Social is being run via a Facebook App asking bloggers to create their own profile, then to campaign for votes to be one of five selected to win their ultimate dream trip and to be an official Expedia Blogger for 2013. Bloggers from five different categories have been invited to enter the competition and the winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges. We Are Social worked with the brand on the overall concept, design, development and execution of the whole program. Entries are open till December 17th and winners will be announced in early January.
The NAB in Australia reveal their Social Media Command Centre
The National Australia Bank has just revealed their new Social Media Command Centre, housed in their Melbourne head office and consisting of a team of seven. The role of each team member is regarded as being part social CRM, customer service and social media manager. The NAB says the number of customer service interactions coming from social media is growing on average 10% per month including an average of 5,000 comments and the social media team resolve approximately 600 customer service queries per month. The NAB was an early social media pioneer in Australia, launching their YouTube account in 2005, and now has over 135,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.
The majority of social media roles at brands are part time
Meanwhile, a US study entitled “Structuring a Social Media Team” has found that 65% of those working in social media for brands and charities do so on top of other duties. The research, also found that social media budgets have not increased across most companies in 2012, displays the reluctance of many organisations to re-assign resources from traditional communications to emerging media.
Australian Police call iOS Maps "Life Threatening"
The Victorian Police has issued a statement calling the iOS Map App "life threatening". This follows a spate of distress calls received from Apple iPhone and iPad users lost and searching for Mildura in Victoria. When following the App's directions to Mildura, motorists have been ending up lost in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, whilst the actual town of Mildura is situated 70km's away on the north eastern border of the park. The Victorian Police have suggested motorists use another Map App whilst the problem is being fixed and that they have lodged the issue with Apple.
Twitter enhanced profiles rolling out to all users
This Wednesday, 12th December will see Twitter enhanced profiles being rolled out to all users. The key feature for users to add is a header photo and to make the profile more visually appealing overall. Users who don't decide to upload a header photo will instead have a plain grey image in the place of the picture.
Facebook Changes Subscribe to Follow
The Facebook Subscribe feature has had a name change, and is now called Follow. The function of the feature is essentially the same as what Twitter or Tumblr offers users, to follow others and receive all of their updates. The Facebook Follow function will mean social media users instantly understand what they are undertaking with the streamlining of the terminology.
SongPop is the 2012 top rated game on Facebook
Facebook has announced that SongPop is 2012's top rating game by engagement levels and user ratings. The music trivia game was created by Romain and Mathieu Nouzareth and is able to integrate the social network across Facebook, iPhone and Android. The developer Zynga had the most titles in the top 10 list, with six in total including FarmVille 2, Scramble with Friends and Draw Something.
Facebook Messenger now available for non-users
Currently just available for Android users, and shortly also for iOS users, Facebook Messenger is now open for non-users of the platform. The feature has initially been rolled out in India, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and Venezuela. The reasons why Facebook have made this change seem to be a desire to re-appeal to those users who have deleted accounts, also to those who have never joined Facebook, to provide a rival SMS platform to Apps such as WhatsApp or Tango and to initially target countries with high overall mobile phone usage.
Facebook rumoured to be in talks to purchase ad serving platform Atlas
The social network is reportedly in talks to purchase ad server Atlas Solutions from Microsoft, potentially allowing them to close in on Google’s dominance over online advertising. The move would provide further access to user data and greater publisher connections, which could prove formidable. Most importantly, this would give Facebook a massive head start in creating an advertising network outside of their own social platform, targeted based on Facebook profile information. This comes at the same time as the news that over 2.5 million Facebook posts have been promoted, by over 300,000 Facebook pages, since the option to promote posts launched in June.
200,000 mobile apps now connected to Facebook
Facebook have released figures that display the strength of its Open Graph platform, which is now in use by 200k Android and iPhone apps. David Fisch, Director of Platform Partnerships at Facebook, discussed the numerous possibilities: “An iOS app can be a Facebook app. A mobile website can be a Facebook app. A console game can be a Facebook app. Your car, your shoes, your credit card or your toothbrush can be Facebook apps.” Whilst Facebook isn’t currently able to monetize these third-party apps, these provide a base on which the network may later look to build advertising revenue.
Some big brands are using Facebook’s global pages
Playstation, Burger King, Swatch and Clarins have all begun using Facebook’s global pages. Users are automatically directed to the regional version of the page, often providing relevant content in their own language. However, users can access any page through a drop down menu and all are linked by their ‘like’ and ‘people talking about this’ figures.
Google+ growing as fast as Facebook?
Google+ made an announcement this week about two things: growth and communities. The first includes some intriguing figures. More than 500 million people have upgraded to Google+, 235 million are active across Google and 135 million in just the stream. This last statistic means growth of 35 million in the last 2.5 months, figures that rival Facebook at a similar size. This comes as exciting news for the often ridiculed site and may start to restore some faith in its potential as a network. The second part of the announcement refers to ‘Google+ Communities’, a new feature that allows like minded individuals to create a network wherein they can discuss their mutual interests.
Foursquare is the third most used Mobile social app
A Nielsen report has stated that Foursquare has 10.4 million monthly users, putting it third behind Facebook and Twitter in terms of monthly mobile users. Adweek have reported the news, stating that this means 42% of the 25 million of those who have downloaded the app are using it regularly. This statistic may go some way to addressing questions about Foursquare’s performance.
Foursquare makes custom events available to Venue Managers
A big new benefit for venue managers on Foursquare: they can create their own custom events. Previously, the only event availability was to do with concerts, films and sport – all only available to a limited set of partners. This increased functionality could provide a great deal of opportunity for businesses, marketers and users and it will be worth watching how this develops.
A new look for YouTube
YouTube have redesigned their user interface, introducing a ‘Guide’ that users can fill with subscriptions, allowing them to easier organise their favourite content. Other changes include the video layout, integrating “the subscribe button, social actions and video information”, plus re-positioning playlists to allow easier scrolling whilst watching a video. They are looking for feedback and will be hosting both a Google+ hangout and a Reddit IAmA in the coming weeks.
Spotify is going social
Spotify is rolling out a whole set of new features, aimed at making the musical experience completely social. The principal changes are two new tabs: Follow and Discover. The former allows you to connect with other Spotify users, from friends to artists, allowing you to obtain content you want from where you want. This will also allow artists to share new releases and tour information with their fans quickly and easily. The Discover tab will display relevant content, be that artists or playlists, based on what is already in a user’s library.
SoundCloud’s new design available to all users
The new version of SoundCloud, the music sharing site that reaches 180m people per month, with 10 hours of audio uploaded every minute, has been slowly rolled out to users over the past year. Now, the new version is becoming the norm, with new features including updated search, discovery and recommendation features and increased connectivity with other social sites, such as Facebook.
Microsoft expanding image-sharing network Socl
Microsoft’s Pinterest-style social network is now available to anyone with a Microsoft or Facebook account, having been available only to a small audience since May. They claim that the network is not intended to compete with larger platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but may be linked to future Microsoft product launches; it will be interesting to see how this aim develops.
Nokia release ‘Tweetsender’ tool
Nokia have come up with a reason for their users to follow them on Twitter: Tweetsender. The new app allows Nokia users to receive direct messages via Twitter whenever new updates are released for their phone. Simply follow Nokia and you will receive a DM with instructions of how to set up the feature. Authorise the app and give it details of what phone you have and you’ll start receiving up to date product news that is relevant to you.
Heineken’s ‘Bottle of the Future’
To celebrate its 40th birthday, Heineken have launched a campaign that allows fans to produce the beer’s next limited edition bottle through a Facebook app. The idea looks to celebrate the company’s past, by offering the opportunity to view and remix old designs.
Microsoft’s #DroidRage Fail
We’ve seen plenty of examples of Twitter Fails over the last year. Now, Microsoft seem to be the latest in a long list. Encouraging users to share their tales of frustration with Android phones via #DroidRage, they seem to have caused a backlash, as Android users have come to the defence of their phones, while #WindowsRage has gained some traction.
Your friendly neighbourhood social network
In the USA, a markedly different use of Pinterest: law enforcement. ‘The Mercury’, a newspaper in the borough of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, has started pinning mugshots of those wanted for crimes throughout the local area. As a result, the police have seen a 50% increase in arrests.
Mercedes-Benz use social video to thank 9 million fans
Mercedes-Benz have reached the milestone of 9 million Facebook fans. How to celebrate? Well, they’ve produced a social video as a thank you, which displays a set of lights painting over a CLS-class car, then spelling out “9,000,000″, “FANS” and “THANK YOU”. Aw, you’re welcome.
Diesel heading back to the 90s
It’s no secret that a lot of people hark back to the days before the Internet. Diesel are taking advantage of this, relaunching a 1993 shoe with a ‘Pre-Internet’ campaign. They’re challenging people to win a pair of YUKs by giving up Facebook for 3 days, or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for 2. The activity is supported by a set of humorous videos intended to point out how little these shoes care about tracking or wall posting.