Facebook report Q1 earnings & increase in monthly active users
Facebook has reported its earnings for Q1 2013, announcing revenue of $1.45bn, up 38% from Q1 2012. 85% of total revenue came from advertising, amounting to $1.25bn, up 43% from Q1 2012.
The network simultaneously noted an increase in Monthly Active Users (MAUs). While growth slowed down in markets like the US, Canada and Europe, MAUs were up from 901 million in Q1 2012 to 1.1bn a year later, while Daily Active Users (DAUs) increased from 526 million to 665 million in the same period.
A great deal of this growth was down to mobile. Q1 2013 saw 751 million mobile MAUs compared to 488 million the year before, while there are now 189 million Mobile Only MAUs.
Twitter appoints Cynthia Gaylor as head of corporate development
Twitter has fuelled rumours of plans for an IPO with the appointment of ex-Morgan Stanley investment banker Cynthia Gaylor, who worked on the public offerings of Facebook, LinkedIn and Zynga. In what was her first ever tweet, she said:
— cynthia gaylor (@cynthiag) May 2, 2013
Twitter was valued at $9bn after an offer to staff in January and is set to hit global ad revenue of $1bn by 2014. This, along with the above appointment, has led to speculation by The New York Times that "next big step is to go public on the stock market, and insiders say the current goal is to have an initial public offering in 2014".
Twitter ads now available to all US users
Twitter's self-serve ads interface, launched in March 2012, is now available to all US users. Previously accessible only by invite, Twitter has used the period to improve on a number of features, from targeting to reporting, and decided to open the self-serve platform to everyone in the US. All you need to do to gain access is visit the page at business.twitter.com and answer a few questions. There has been concern that the increased demand will lead to either a boost in the number of ads appearing in users' streams, or the price of ads. Russ Laraway, senior director of small- and medium-sized business at Twitter, has stated that "There will be no change in the frequency with which ads show up in timelines", though it is not clear how price will be affected.
'Photos of You' on Instagram
Instagram has launched 'Photos of You', which essentially allows Facebook-style tagging of people and brands in photos. Previously, users would @-mention one another, as if on Twitter, to perform a similar function. This form of tagging comes with another key feature: it makes a full archive of all photos someone has been tagged in that appear on that user's profile, assuming they have given permission. To prevent privacy complaints, Instagram has built controls that allow manual selection of which photos are visible to others. The feature looks to foster increased communication between individuals, but may also be beneficial for brands to interact with each other, as well as influencers with high follower counts and normal users.
Twitter updates Vine for iOS
Twitter has produced a couple of updates for the Vine iOS app, including the ability to shoot with the front-facing camera and tag others in posts. Where it was previously only possible to shoot with the camera on the back of the phone, the screenshot below displays a small button in the bottom left of the screen that allows switching between cameras. You can also see that @-mentioning is set to work much like on Twitter, Vine's parent platform.
Path exceeds 10 million users
Path, the social network that limits you to 150 friends, has exceeded 10 million users for the first time. After reaching 2 million in Feb 2012 and 3 million in June 2012, the figure sees a large milestone for the platform. They've since added a search feature in December and released version 3.0 in March this year, which supported messaging. While the number of registered users is an impressive start for Path, it will be interesting to examine how many active users they manage to retain.
Where does brands' Pinterest engagement come from?
According to a study by Digitas and Curalate, 30% of engagement on Pinterest comes from brand accounts. The remaining 70% comes from users pinning content from outside of brands' Pinterest accounts.
J.C. Penney asks fans to come back on social media
Last year, J.C. Penney decided to get rid of sales and coupons, focussing instead on regular, low prices. The move was a disaster and they've recently taken to social media in an attempt to remedy it. They took to Twitter with the hashtag #jcplistens, whereby fans were asked which changes should be kept and which reversed. The move is a nice example of a brand using social media honestly, in an attempt to connect with fans. It will be interesting to see if it helps their ailing figures.
Mountain Dew purchases promoted tweets for apology
Another example of a big brand mistake was Mountain Dew's 'Felicia the Goat' advert, which was criticised as both racist and misogynistic. Last week, they purchased promoted tweets to expand the reach of their apology, letting users know that they had pulled the advert. It's an interesting idea: on the one hand, it allows the apology to be seen by as many people as possible. However, it also provides potentially unnecessary promotion to the original issue.
Lowe's post six-second tips on Vine
Lots of brands are using Vine. Some are doing it well, some aren't. Hardware store Lowe's has strongly entered the former camp with their latest campaign, using Vine to post six-second home improvement tips. The medium brings to life content that is relevant but not necessarily exciting, while the tips themselves are useful, not an unnecessary experiment with a new medium. As such, the form and content compliment one another perfectly.
— Lowe's (@Lowes) April 21, 2013
— Lowe's (@Lowes) April 24, 2013
Red Bull's 'Imaginate' Pinterest puzzles
Red Bull is asking fans to solve Pinterest puzzles based on stunts performed by trials cyclist Danny MacAskill. Six videos will be released, each showing a different trick, which fans must watch in order to solve a puzzle on Pinterest. This involves pinning content in the correct order to create an image of MacAskill. Those who do so correctly will be entered into a draw to win signed photos of the cyclist.
Hugh Jackman answers Wolverine questions
To promote the upcoming release of 'The Wolverine', in which he plays the title character, Hugh Jackman answered the Twitter questions of 11 fans in a series of YouTube videos. He also tweeted the answers and posted links to the videos from his official @RealHughJackman account. This is the latest in a series of social stunts around the film, including a 6-second 'Tweaser' released through Twitter's Vine app.