We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #96
The science behind a successful meme
A Harvard scientist named Michele Coscia has produced research into what it is that makes memes ‘successful’. Quartz have an excellent article that details much of his method and findings, which look to make various statements about the behaviour of memes. The key points include the idea that memes with a consistent share rate are more likely to be successful, as are those whose rise in popularity correlates with the death of another. Coscia also highlights ‘meme clusters’: sets of memes that, for whatever reason, do particularly well together – including the below.
Finally, the research points to the fact that, while it is fairly easy to predict what one person will share based on their previous sharing habits, it’s much harder to ascertain what memes will be successful, or why.
Facebook Graph Search set to become public
Having been in Beta for the last six months, Facebook’s Graph Search has been rolled out to users on a wider basis as of yesterday. The social search tool, which allows queries such as “friends of mine who like rollerblading and ice cream” or “people who work at We Are Social and live in Sydney”, is being rolled out to users of the service in US English. It’s not yet clear how quickly the service will be extended to users of the network in other languages.
Facebook rescinds 20% text rule for cover photos
Last week, Facebook updated its cover photo guidelines, removing the restriction that prevented pages filling more than 20% of a cover photo with text. This follows on from deregulation in March that allowed cover photos to include contact and pricing information, as well as calls to action, though it’s worth noting that pages running that advertising that pulls in their cover photo will still be subject to the 20% rule.
Twitter allow ad targeting by browser history and email address
Twitter is for the first time allowing advertisers to target people who’ve visited a website or provided data as part of a purchase. This is intended to ensure that adverts are targeted at those who have previously expressed interest in a company. Unlike on Facebook, fans will be able to opt out of all adverts that use third-party data, simply by ticking a box in their account settings.
Twitter ban automated following, relax 3rd party curation restrictions
Twitter have updated their developer guidelines, with two major changes to the network. Firstly, they have banned automated and bulk following, preventing the likes of automated ‘follow back’ systems. Secondly, they have relaxed the restrictions on curating content from 3rd party sites; this is certainly good news for the likes of Storify.
Updates to Vine iOS app
Vine have released several new updates, all currently available for their iPhone/iPad app. These can roughly be divided into three categories: taking videos, discovering content and sharing your own Vines. In camp 1 are the changes to the camera, such as grid, focus and ghost tools, aimed at making it easier to film your own content. For discovering content, users are now able to explore 15 different channels, from comedy to nature, each with their own ‘Popular’ section, as well as an ‘On The Rise’ feature that shows people who are catching the attention of the Vine community. Finally, when it comes to sharing content, Vine now offer the ‘Revine’, the equivalent of a Retweet, and ‘Protected Posts’ that allow you to keep more personal content for the people you approve. Protected Posts are also available on Android, with the remaining features following this week.
LinkedIn looking to content to help increase ad revenue
Currently, LinkedIn make 57% of their revenue through tools for recruiters, with only 23% ($74.8 million) coming from advertising revenue. They are now trialling “sponsored updates”, their equivalent of native adverts appearing in a user’s news feed. Mike Gamson, LinkedIn’s senior VP-global solutions, said:
Now because people are reading articles and sharing updates, the [news] feed’s become very liquid. Into that liquidity, an advertiser has an opportunity to suggest a story that might be interesting.
As a result, it’s important for LinkedIn to have a high quality news feed, or at least one that people care about, for this to work. They’ve been attempting this, enrolling the help of influencers like Richard Branson and Bill Gates, to produce advice for those entering the world of business to follow. However, there is no conclusive evidence to show that users are actually reading these stories more; in fact, the average time users spent on the network in May 2013 was 20.6 minutes, compared with 20.9 a year before. It will be worth keeping an eye on LinkedIn’s ad revenue, to see how this move pans out for them.
Six percent of online US adults use Reddit
A survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that 6% of all online US adults are on Reddit, with young men the most prevalent group, as shown in this graph:
Geographically, those who live nearer to cities are more likely to use Reddit: 7% of urban online adults use the network, compared to 6% of those in the suburbs and only 2% in rural areas. Wealth, however, is not a significant factor, with between 6 and 7% usage in every strand for ‘household income’.
WeChat reaches 70 million users outside of China
Chinese messaging app WeChat now has 70 million users outside of its home country, just 6 weeks after surpassing the 50 million mark. This leaves their global usage figures at well over 300 million and approaching 400 and, with a Spanish language advertising campaign starring footballer Lionel Messi set to hit TV, billboards and the web, it’s expected that there will be further growth in key South American markets.
KakaoTalk now has 100 million users
WeChat wasn’t the only messaging app celebrating a milestone last week; Korean-born KakaoTalk has now surpassed 100 million users, a year after hitting 50 million. Its growth, fuelled largely by its social gaming platform that allows competition between chat buddies, has seen it surpass Facebook as Korea’s largest social network.
Bebo bought back by old owners for $1 million
The social network Bebo has been bought back by its inventors, Michael and Xochi Birch, for $1 million. The pair owned 70% of the business when it was sold to AOL for $850 million in 2008, making a huge $595 million between them. Now the pair are looking to breathe some life back into the platform, which has been as good as dead since 2010, as per the below tweet.
We just bought Bebo back for $1m. Can we actually re-invent it? Who knows, but it will be fun trying…
— Michael Birch (@mickbirch) July 1, 2013
Google Reader dwarfed G+ for traffic until its closure
Buzzfeed have produced some interesting research about the amount of respective traffic driven by Google Reader and G+, finding that the former dwarfed the latter right up to its closure. Indeed, traffic from Google Reader to any of the ‘Buzzfeed network’, a set of sites with over 300 million collective users, had in fact increased by 6% over the few months since its closure was announced.
Wimbledon on Twitter
Andy Murray’s triumph at Wimbledon captured hearts across the UK on Sunday night, so it’s no surprise that people were discussing it in their droves on Twitter. The 12 hours around the match saw a total of 3.4 million tweets on the topic, climaxing at 17.25 with the end of the match, at which point there were 120,000 Wimbledon tweets per minute, while 8 of the top 10 UK trends were related to the contest. Andy Murray’s own tweet about the final has already seen over 90,000 RTs and 70,000 favourites.
Can’t believe what’s just happened!!!!!!!
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) July 7, 2013
Naturally, many brands are keen to get involved and of the official Wimbledon sponsors, it was evian who performed best. The water brand received 70% of all tweets mentioning one of the official sponsors, far outdoing the runners-up: Slazenger and Robinson’s, each with 9%. We’d like to think this was at least in part due to the Wimbledon Wiggle campaign created by We Are Social UK, which asked fans to submit their own ‘wiggle’ for the chance to win tickets to the final. Based on the way in which players move when preparing to receive a serve, some examples can be seen in the video below.
adidas, Murray’s official sportswear sponsor, tweeted the following in celebration:
After the hurt, pain and tears. He came back. Stronger. Faster. Better. #allinformurray the 2013 Wimbledon Champion pic.twitter.com/88sHqXQqmW
— adidas UK (@adidasUK) July 7, 2013
News of Asiana plane crash broken on Twitter
It has become a common feature that social networks are the first place where large news stories break, so it’s no surprise that the same happened with last week’s Asiana plane crash. David Eun, a Samsung executive and the former president of AOL Media and Studios, tweeted the following:
I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal… (at @flySFO) [pic] — https://t.co/E6Ur1XEfa4
— David Eun (@Eunner) July 6, 2013
It’s quite a remarkable picture of the event and it’s understandable that it received over 32,000 RTs, plus that Eun’s follower count has increased more than tenfold from 2,000 to almost 25,000. Indeed, tweets like this are becoming increasingly common, suggesting that we should expect the overwhelming majority of future news stories to be broken, not by traditional media, but on social networks like Twitter.