We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #136
Heartbleed Exposes a Problem With Open Source, But It’s Not What You Think..
A week after the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability wreaked havoc across the web, the conversation is shifting from reaction to reflection. The discussion is no longer about what to do now, but what can be done to prevent another Heartbleed from happening in the future. In other words, we’re entering the blame game chapter in this saga.So who is to blame for Heartbleed?
A Social Media Marketing Song Sounds Like an Awful Idea (But it’s Catchy)
Finally, a theme song for all the social media marketers to rally around.
Mary McCoy, an employee of Continuum Managed Services, recently performed a little ditty titled “Lets Get Social” at the Social Media Marketing World Conference in San Diego. (We’ll ignore the fact that this conference exists for the time being; there are more important things to get to.)
A few choice lyrics from the tune include: “So we shoot our viral video/And we post it to the Gram” and “We’re looking for the secret/Of Facebook’s Holy Grail/We try to keep from paying/That leads to hashtag #fail.” And just when things really get rocking, there’s a brief interlude for everyone to take a selfie with their neighbor.
The 2014 US Digital Future in Focus Report has been released, with interesting figures about the growth of mobile and social. Of major social networks, only two (Tumblr and LinkedIn) are predominantly desktop (among US users aged 18 and up).
Snapchat, Vine and Instagram are, as expected, the most ‘mobile-first’ social networks, each seeing almost all of their traffic from non-desktop devices. The three sites have grown their unique visitors figures significantly between February and December 2013 – Instagram by 43%, Vine by 515% and Snapchat by 234%.
Most social content is shared from mobile
It’s not just user growth where mobile is steaming ahead, but also the volume of shared content. Of everything shared to social networks in Q1 2014, 52% came from a mobile device, compared with 48% from desktop. This resulted from much stronger volume growth on mobile: 28% against desktop’s 11%.
Facebook passes 100m users in India
India is now Facebook’s second largest national market (after the US), as the network passed 100 million users there. It expects further rapid growth as it increases its mobile focus in a country where eight in 10 users are mobile.
Photos are most popular Facebook content for brands
Despite Facebook pushing brands to use links, it’s clear that photo posts remain the most popular content type for brands on the network. Analysis of over 30,000 brand posts found that 75% were photo posts, followed by just 10% including a link.
This is perhaps no wonder, when we look at the most engaging content types: photo posts make up 87% of the top 10% of branded content.
Facebook to allow users to transfer money?
It’s reported that Facebook is planning to become an ‘e-money’ institution, having applied to Ireland’s central bank for permission. The system will reportedly allow European users to store and transfer money through the social network.
The FTC approves Facebook’s WhatsApp purchase
The FTC has approved Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp, with a caveat regarding the handling of users’ private information. Jessica Rich, the FTC’s Head of Bureau of Consumer Protection, told both Facebook and WhatsApp that they must not break the privacy promises that they have made to users.
Facebook to remove messenger from mobile app
In an attempt to keep up with standalone messaging apps, Facebook is planning to remove the ‘Messenger’ function in its main mobile app, forcing users to either download the standalone app or lose the service entirely.
Facebook launches new ads as prices increase
As brand pages’ organic reach has dropped throughout Q1, Facebook ad prices have increased by 10%. This news comes as Facebook has announced a new format for ads in the right hand bar; the network has claimed that these will increase engagement and allow brands to use the same image for News Feed and right-hand bar ads.
Facebook looks to reduce News Feed spam
Facebook is making some changes to its News Feed algorithm that will decrease the reach of certain types of content, each of which is considered ‘spammy’. The initial targets of these changes are:
1. Pages that repeatedly post images asking for likes, comments and shares
2. Frequently-circulated content that users have already seen
3. Spammy links that bring users to pages full of ads
Facebook has looked to reassure pages that this is unlikely to negatively affect their reach; it states that most publishers are not posting ‘spam’ and should instead expect to see their reach increase slightly.
Facebook is updating privacy settings
Facebook is attempting to make its privacy options clearer to users with a series of tests. As can be seen below, the iOS app will include details of who can see any post above the publishing box (left), while desktop users will notice a change to the drop down menu (right).
There will also be pop-up messages for users who haven’t updated their preferences in a while, straight from the mouth of the privacy dinosaur.
Twitter renovates profiles
It’s all change in the world of Twitter this week, as the platform announced a complete overhaul of users’ profiles on desktop. Changes include a larger profile picture, customisable header, and the ability to pin a particular tweet to the top of your profile (though it’s worth noting that this will only be available for free to certain high-profile users or paying accounts). A user’s more engaging tweets will now appear larger on their profile, too. The new style, which is in the process of being rolled out, can be seen here:
Some brands have already begun using the new design. The below, for example, displays Skype’s videos – users can now filter tweets to see just photos or videos.
The move is being seen as part of a larger attempt to make the network more accessible for the less tech-savvy among us; technical ‘jargon’ like RT and @replies may be at threat, while the network looks to concentrate more on video/images and add emoji functionality. Users are beginning to get notifications on Twitter.com, too, which are fully customisable; anyone can choose what actions they get notified about. All of this, along with the design of the above profiles, has led to a number of comparisons with Facebook and rumours of a ‘land grab’. Watch this space.
Twitter adds 15 new ad types
Twitter will also be ramping up their ad offering, with news that they’re planning 15 new types of ad, such an ‘app-install unit’. This news comes at a similar time to figures that suggest Twitter’s ads receive a higher click-through rate than Facebook’s. Advertisers still spend a lot more on Facebook advertising, as we can see here:
Moreover, Facebook ads reach much further than their Twitter equivalents. Twitter may get higher click-through rates, but Facebook still earns a much higher volume of clicks and impressions.
LinkedIn removes ‘Products & Services’ tab
LinkedIn has today removed the ‘Products & Services’ tab from company pages. The network has proposed two different ways around this for brands: they can discuss their offerings in either company updates or the ‘showcase’ pages that LinkedIn has designed for this purpose.
Disqus introduces ‘Sponsored Comments’
Disqus, the commenting platform used by many popular blogs (including this one), has this week launched a native ad product, known as ‘Sponsored Comments’. It launched the new unit in a blog post, in which it looked to reassure users that it would maintain the quality of their experience. The adverts will appear as follows:
Unilever’s multi-brand YouTube channel
Unilever is launching a multi-brand YouTube channel, named ‘All Things Hair’. Brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5 will all host content on the channel, which is taking much of its content from famous video bloggers.
Oreo brings Snack Hacks to online video
Oreo has launched a series of web videos dubbed ‘Snack Hacks’, which showcase unusual ways of eating the snack. After asking Twitter followers to discuss their favourite #OreoSnackHacks, the brand has since taken the campaign to the next level and produced content of its own. One example, featuring celebrity chef Roy Choi, is presented in this video.
Nissan crowdsources FAQ for electric car
Car manufacturer Nissan has created a crowdsourced FAQ resource for owners of its electric LEAF model. Titled ‘Real Owners, Real Answers’, the system, hosted on NissanUSA.com, looks to replace bland, company FAQs with a set of different answers from real vehicle owners.
Peter Griffin is now on Instagram
American cartoon, ‘Family Guy’, has created an Instagram account for its protagonist, Peter Griffin, to drive downloads of a new mobile game based on the series.
Thomson crowdsources #YourBigDay
Holiday tour operator, Thomson, will offer one couple the chance to have their wedding paid for, one one condition. After a panel of judges has selected the winning pair, the remaining details, from music to the dress, will be down to a vote among Thomson’s Facebook fans.
WWF creates Snapchat campaign
The World Wildlife Fund is using a Snapchat campaign to raise awareness about endangered species. Dubbed #LastSelfie, the campaign plays on the trend for a constant stream of self-taken photographs on the platform.
CABCY video gets shorter as it’s shared
Singapore’s ‘Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth’ has created a social video with a real sharing incentive. The video, originally 100 seconds long, shows a child in distress. It gets shorter and shorter each time it is shared on Facebook, and is accompanied by the tagline ‘Share it to End it’.
Duane Reade being sued over tweet
Duane Reade, a US pharmacy, is being sued by the actress Katherine Heigl for tweeting a picture of her without permission. The law suit, in which Heigl is seeking $6m in damages, is likely to shed light on whether, by law, branded tweets will be considered part of a company’s advertising.
Wonga increases reach of a tweet by complaining
Payday loan company, Wonga, last week requested that Twitter take down an image, in which their character ‘Earl’ is superimposed over a Hogarth painting set in a debtors’ prison. Shockingly, their complaint meant that far more people saw the picture. Here it is, with the offending details removed.