Mobile social networking on the increase
Unsurprisingly, mobile social networking is continuing to account for a larger and larger percentage of social networking as a whole. In fact, between 2013 and 2017 in the UK this is expected to increase from 65.0% to 84.6%.
Children lie about their age to access social networks
According to a survey of children in the UK and their online habits, 83% said that they had lied about their age in order to register for a social network and 40% claimed to have been over 18. Examining 427 adverts seen by the entire group, 98% adhered to advertising rules, though of 218 ads shown to those who lied about their age, 11% were for products that should not be targeted at under 18s. Facebook has responded to the news, highlighting the importance of parental restrictions in managing access to the network and drawing attention to their own tools, whereby users can report under 13s or the presence of inappropriate ads.
Facebook post best fiscal quarter to date, increase MAUs
Facebook has announced its best fiscal quarter to date, with $1.813 billion in revenue, amounting to net gain of $333 million. This has come as a result of an increase of revenue across the world, with each major sector up compared to both Q1 2013 and Q2 2012, while monthly active users have increased to 1.15 billion (up 21% year on year) and mobile MAUs up to 819 million (51% year on year).
Nevertheless, Facebook continues to face questions about whether it is retaining younger users and Mark Zuckerberg has come out to argue that they can. He claims that engagement remains constant among younger users, however noting that it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how long teens are spending on the site, as a result of many lying about their age, mentioned above.
Facebook testing 'Find Customers' ad tool
Facebook is testing an addition to its Ads manager that will allow page managers to import contacts lists from the likes of Constant Contact, MailChimp and Excel. They can then create custom audiences based on these, in order to target Facebook ads. Facebook has said that the feature is just being tested at the moment, though they will keep users informed of any changes.
Facebook hashtags haven't increased engagement
A study of the 'Interbrand 100' - a list of the world's top 100 brands - has shown that, while 20% have experimented with hashtags on Facebook, this has not led to any increase in engagement. The graph below depicts usage across the month of June:
Twitter introducing "report abuse" button
Last week saw Caroline Criado-Perez successfully campaign for Jane Austen to appear on the new £10 note, sadly followed by a torrent of abuse, including rape and death threats. After her complaint about the inadequacy of Twitter's abuse reporting facility, a spokeswoman for the network replied:
The ability to report individual Tweets for abuse is currently available on Twitter for iPhone, and we plan to bring this functionality to other platforms, including Android and the web.
YouTube's embeddable 'Subscribe' button
YouTube has launched an embeddable 'Subscribe' button, aimed at allowing creators to gather more followers from across the web. The button will be customisable for paid and normal accounts, but comes with three conditions: users should not be eligible for a prize for clicking on it, it must be "fully and clearly visible" and creators may not track any data about a user who has clicked on the button.
Updates to LinkedIn and Slideshare
Linkedin has announced a few updates this week, starting with the ability to post sponsored updates. The system, which they've been testing since January, is available on desktop and mobile in 20 different languages, and can be paid either by cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impressions.
LinkedIn page managers now also have the option to comment and like as the brand they represent. This may seem archaic compared to the likes of Facebook, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
Finally, LinkedIn owned Slideshare has launched a new player, specifically designed to allow people to easily scroll through Infographics, as shown in the below example:
Pinterest starts collecting user data
Pinterest has started collecting data about which websites its users have visited, based on any website with a "Pin it" button. Currently, the system is being used purely for recommending other content that users may like, but the move has led to increased suspicion that Pinterest is readying an advertising play.
Foursquare's promoted posts go self serve
Foursquare has announced that its promoted posts are going self-serve, available to a few thousand businesses as of last week. They will be based on a cost-per-action pricing scheme, with the company saying:
The idea behind these new ads is simple – connect people looking for somewhere to go with businesses that want to drive traffic to their stores. Foursquare is the best way for those businesses to reach nearby customers. In our ad pilots over the past year, we’ve been honing our targeting technology, using the same algorithm that powers our Explore recommendation engine.
Line reaches 200 million users
Line, the chat app originating in Japan, now has 200 million users, just six months after hitting 100 million. For the less mathematically-minded, that's, you know, double. Good news for Line.
ASB bank's #LikeLoan
New Zealand-based ASB bank is reducing the cost of a home loan based on the number of Facebook likes it receives. Every like it receives on its #LikeLoan app will reduce the rate of the loan, of a value up to $500,000, which will then be given away to one lucky winner.
LIDL's 'Live Social Grill'
To promote its meat products, European supermarket chain LIDL has produced a "Live Social Grill". This takes the form of a Facebook app, which sees meat added to a grill every 45 minutes. Fans need just grab a piece of meat and it's delivered straight to their house.
Lexus create Instagram video
Lexus last week created an Instagram video unlike anything else on the platform. The automotive asked fans to submit a particular shot of the car from within a sequence, each submitted with an individual hashtag, then organised these into a stop-motion video through Instagram. The result is impressive, as you can see below:
Nissan's personalised test drive
Lexus wasn't the only automotive brand making waves on social in the last week. To launch the new 'Note' car, Nissan has produced an online test drive video, personalised according to the user's Facebook profile and photos. A car chase, intended to promote the car's various safety features (just like in the movies!) will contain different dialogue depending on gender, name, relationship status and photos.
A Twitter-powered NASCAR race
NASCAR has hosted its shortest ever race, a 60-second event powered by tweets. Users simply tweeted their favourite driver's number, along with the hashtag #Sprint60, with each tweet increasing the driver's speed. The race was broadcast live on TV, allowing fans to see the progress of their chosen driver.
Fiat 500 'You Wear' Facebook app
Fiat UK has created a Facebook app called 'You Wear', which analyses your last 25 photos to see what colours you wear most often and automatically match you to your perfect Fiat 500. Users can share their results with friends and are automatically entered in a prize draw, to win either 1 of 50 high street shopping vouchers or a VIP experience at London Fashion Weekend.
Mentos "Fresh News"
As part of a wider "Stay Fresh" campaign, Mentos have created a personalised "news bulletin" based on your Facebook data. The video takes your name, photos and personal information into account to produce a video that's tailored to you.
Oscar de la Renta launch fall range on Instagram
Fashion brand Oscar de la Renta has become the first to launch its fall range on Instagram. Shunning the typical glossy magazines, the brand has used its oscarprgirl account to premiere 7 different photos, each of which received over 1,000 likes within an hour of posting.
We Are Social create Tumblr recruitment for Siemens
We Are Social is helping Siemens with its recruitment through a Tumblr campaign. As a result of the network's popularity with a younger audience, the campaign looks to engage this audience through challenges such as writing posts or commenting on other content, with the opportunity to win tickets to Q&A sessions or even personal career coaching. We Are Social's own Thomas Hirschmann told Campaign:
This campaign generates interest in the Siemens Graduate Programme by tapping into social behaviour that already exists. Tumblr is increasingly popular with a young audience, and people are already sharing and commenting on content on the platform, so it was the natural choice for this campaign.
The Royal Baby on Facebook and Twitter
In case you hadn't heard, a lady had a child last week. Lots of people were very excited about this and decided to tell other people, talking about the event across a range of social networks. Facebook announced a total figure of 19 million likes, posts and comments related to the birth on July 22nd alone, while Twitter saw 2 million mentions on the same day. Conversation on the microblogging site peaked at 8.37pm BST, just after the announcement of the birth, with a total of 25,300 tweets per minute.
The best and worst of the Royal Baby by brands
Unsurprisingly, brands were also quite keen to talk about the birth. In turn, marketing magazines were quite keen to show which brands did well and which ones were slightly less successful. AdAge compiled a list of the "best and worst", while Buzzfeed produced an article detailing 13 of the worst offenders. Interestingly, the below Oreo tweet features as a good example in the first, but is criticised in the second. The tweet, by the media darlings of real-time marketing, actually led to a great deal of debate about whether it was a brilliant, timely tweet, or a ridiculous outrage that implied newborn babies should be snacking on biscuits. We'll let you make your own mind up about the below.
Prepare the royal bottle service! pic.twitter.com/Nlks2kT7Sw
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) July 22, 2013
Chipotle faked its own Twitter hack
Fast food chain Chipotle has admitted to being the latest in a line of brands, including MTV and BET, to fake its own Twitter hack. Last Sunday, the @ChipotleTweets account posted a number of strange updates, including "Mittens13 password leave" and "end twitter", leading to an increase in retweets on the day to 12,000 from a normal daily average of around 75. Interestingly, the brand has said that the reception has been hugely positive; they also increased their fan count by 4,000 on the day, well above their average growth of 250 and are even considering making T-shirts of the most popular tweets.