We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #64


Facebook tests ranked comments, updates mobile sharing and more
Facebook has been toying around with some new features that could be rolled out to all pages soon. The platform might introduce a new comments system to pages that gives priority to more engaging comments by pushing them to the top of the stream. This would bring Pages more in line with Facebook’s comments plugin for external sites, which have had these ranked conversations since early 2011. Facebook is also looking to implement a new option to reply directly to comments, as users currently can’t mention other commenters if they aren’t friends. In addition to increasing engagement, ranked comments and a direct response feature therefore keeping the conversation with a single user in one place, instead of being scattered throughout the thread.

Facebook has started to roll out a ‘Share’ button to its mobile apps and on the mobile site. Just as on the desktop site, ‘Share’ finally appears exactly where it should on the right side at the bottom of updates.

Facebook has unveiled a new feature in beta for apps that makes it possible for them to create Facebook groups through the API. Groups of users can post updates and create events based on their involvement in a game, with the app acting as the admin. Facebook says it hopes that these groups will make games more social, but the feature could also extend to reading apps to make book clubs and fitness apps to make training teams, for example.

The site has also updated its WordPress plugin to offer more customisation. The plugin is used to cross-post content from WordPress blogs to Facebook, but now the interface, which incorporates Open Graph, looks much cleaner and less like a spammy, automatic update.

Facebook is creating Pages-only newsfeeds that contain content from Pages that a user has liked. The Pages-only feed will still be filtered, so not all posts will be seen by all of a page’s fans, and this option won’t affect how many brand updates appear in users’ normal newsfeeds. This will be similar to the Close Friends list, and it seems unlikely that anyone will bother using it.

Facebook introduces conversion measurement tool for ads
Just in time for the Christmas holidays, Facebook has announced that it’s giving marketers access to the bigger picture of how Facebook ads can lead to online sales. By embedding a piece of code on external site pages, marketers will now be able to trace a fan’s journey from Facebook ad to product page to check out. That will mean better targeting for future Facebook ads as well because the site can pull in demographics and interests from the people who have clicked through. Marketers will pay for the ads through new ‘optimized’ bidding that lets them set goals for the campaign, and then Facebook’s system automatically serves ads to meet those goals.

Also perfectly timed for Christmas! Facebook Rolls Out Gifts
One feature Facebook has been beta testing for the past couple of months is Gifts. Released as one way for Facebook to forge a stronger e-commerce product offering (in addition to Facebook Offers), the feature is currently being rolled out in the USA just in time for Christmas, and then globally. The feature gives users the opportunity to purchase a gift for a friend, and also then to be delivered to them within a couple of days. Facebook has over 100 retailers confirmed to offer the Gift feature and the timing of the roll-out during the busy Christmas period is critical towards proving the success and longevity of the feature amongst all Facebook users.

Tumblr announces its A-List partners
Tumblr has unveiled its A-List partners program, made up initially of only 12 agencies and tech vendors, which will get more support and training from Tumblr, as well as more access to the site’s API and data. We’re thrilled that We Are Social is included in this group of 12, and we’re ready to help more brands stake their claim on the platform.

Australia Leading APAC in Digital Marketing
A recently released Adobe/CMO Council study has found that Australian brands are investing approximately 25% of their total marketing budget on digital investments compared to 20% in India and South Korea, whilst Hong Kong is slightly ahead of Australia with 28%. All brands surveyed from the whole region were noted as being very optimistic about the overall benefits of digital marketing with 93% believing that it creates a competitive advantage for their brand. In addition 50% of brands mentioned one key priority for the next year is social media optimisation.

MySpace plans for 2013
Since relaunching in late 2011 MySpace has received positive reviews for the most part of their re-designed platform and traffic is up by approximately 36%. Plans leaked and published in the past few days have now revealed 2013 plans including that the parent company Interactive Media Holdings is working on raising an estimated $50 million in order to re-launch MySpace as a direct competitor to Spotify and Pandora. Furthermore the plans mentioned the launch of a subscription service for mobile to be launched in the second quarter of 2013.

PayPal launch InstaKringle
Last week PayPal launched a Christmas campaign called InstaKringle which helps with the often perplexing office Kris Kringle gift purchase decision. We Are Social and Dynamix developed a site profiling different personality types and then offering gift recommendations to the user. The We Are Social team supported PayPal with the majority of the site build and early results are extremely positive. The campaign is being promoted through multiple online and offline channels here in Australia.

Facebook Denies Search Partnership discussions
Speculation yesterday that Facebook was in early discussions with Yahoo on a search partnership were quickly denied by them instead stating that they are focusing on improving the user search experience. It will be interesting to see what upgrades are launched in 2013 specifically to improve the search capabilities and results offered on Facebook, and if features include any that potentially rival the big search engines themselves.

What’s the lifespan of Facebook posts and tweets?
New research from Socialbakers has found that a brand’s post on Facebook will see half of its reach in the 30 minutes after it’s published, so it’s more important than ever to choose your time wisely, in light of the recent decrease in Page reach highlighted above. But the first 10 minutes in a post’s life might be even more key, with one-third of the post’s total reach seen in this short time frame.

What about tweets? Using retweets as a pulse check, SEOMoz discovered that half of RTs occur in 18 minutes or less from the time the tweet is originally posted. Twitter has some extra variables to consider: More followers generally means a longer tweet life, and tweeting more often means a shorter life for each one sent. But RTs might not be the best indicator of engagement, and in a recent study of almost 3 million tweets, about 15% of tweets that contained links got more RTs than clicks of the link, meaning that there are lots of people who RT without reading. Do certain topics lend themselves to being more engaging? Bit.ly, the link shortening site, has found that most topics have the same halflife, except for sports, which has a halflife of about 200 minutes compared to 500 minutes for other topics.

Are a brand’s Twitter followers actually talking about it?
Without any sort of platform-provided insights, it’s not easy to tell how many people are engaging with brands on Twitter. But a new analysis of 19 million tweets about 31 Fortune 100 companies shows that about 9% of a brand’s followers talk about or engage with the account on Twitter. Similarly to Facebook, as an account increases in followers, the percentage of followers talking about the brand decreases.

Copy/paste still dominates online sharing
More than 80% of all link sharing still comes from the age-old copy/paste and much less often from share buttons. Of this type of sharing for Business Insider, e-mail takes the biggest slice at nearly 70%, and Facebook takes up the lion’s share of social media sharing, with Twitter and Pinterest far behind.

New Foursquare connected app reminds you of loyalty card deals
A new app that runs on Foursquare’s platform will let you know about deals and discounts where you check in, so you don’t forget where you have loyalty cards (if you can remember to get your phone out). The app is being developed in Silicon Valley, so most of the deals are focused there now, but we hope to see them expand farther soon.

Ben & Jerry’s crowdsources print ads through Instagram
Ben & Jerry’s is asking its fans to post photos to Instagram with the hashtag #CaptureEuphoria, and the brand will select 20 of the photos to be featured in print, billboard and bus station ads near the fan’s hometown. The first winner had her photo published on the back page of a local magazine that was given out a scoop of ice cream in her community.