We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #207
Something went wrong. Facebook failed and people had to talk to each other. Where were you when Facebook went down? Did you survive The Great Facebook Outage of 2015? Survivors shared their stories and memes via the hashtag#facebookdown
The story took over social media on Monday evening, except for on Facebook, which was down.
The moon went blood red during an eclipse, and many lousy photos were taken of the blurred red smudge in the sky. Those using the hashtag #SuperMoon or #SuperBloodMoon on Twitter received a little red blood moon emoji. Which was a better view of the lunar eclipse than most people got.
Our salty red neighbour
On Sunday, NASA was poised to make a big announcement about Mars, but held back their “major science finding”, probably to give the #SuperBloodMoon a bit of time in the err sun, …out of the sun. The news was embargoed until the live press conference on Monday at 11:30EDT. As #MarsAnnouncement trended, speculation ran rampant, from the discovery of life on Mars, to the announcement of a manned mission to the red planet. But today they revealed that they had discovered evidence of saltwater streams running over the red hills of our celestial neighbour. This is big news as flowing saltwater is one of the essential ingredients to generating and sustaining many forms of life. Some cynics wondered if NASA’s #MarsWater announcement was a tie in with Ridley Scott’s new film The Martian.
Bieber’s Snapchat rant
You can howl at the red moon (or the red planet), but just don’t yell at Justin Bieber. In a series of videos uploaded to his Snapchat, taken in the back of a limousine while being driven around Melbourne, The Bieb, The Biebster, The Biebmesiter General, J-Bieb… has asked fans to stop yelling and screaming at him as it’s not enjoyable for him. “I want to enjoy the moment like you’re enjoying the moment but I can’t really enjoy it if I’m not feeling there’s any respect given to me that moment. If you start screaming louder that’s not going to make me (want to) take a photo more,” Bieber continued. And no one enjoys having a horrible, repetitive noise stuck in their head all day.
The Government’s new Anti-Extremism Booklet, complete with ethically diverse photos of twenty year olds posing as teens, links environmental awareness and “alternative music” to radicalisation and terrorism. The helpful booklet includes a Case Study on a young girl named ‘Karen’ who fell victim to “the alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism”. Naturally the Internet, no slouch when it comes to snark, stepped up its game and along with sending the hashtag #FreeKaren into the top Twitter trends, they also released their own wry Case Studies on various Australian political figures. Good work, all.
Clean your tweets
Trevor Noah the next host of ‘The Daily Show’ has instructed staff to read all tweets by the show’s newly hired correspondents in order to avoid giving the Twitter Stasi any reason to tear them apart before they even begin. “I said, ‘This is a good exercise,'” Noah told The New York Times. “‘You go through every single tweet and tell me what you think we should get rid of.'” Noah received a backlash from the outrage brigade online when the sourpusses scoured his Tweet history looking for a reason to get offended and upset. “I tried to grow as a human being,” he told the newspaper. “Someone goes, ‘Yeah, but you wrote this in 2009.’ I go, ‘well, thank God I didn’t write it in 2015.’ That to me is progress.”
Facebook drives increased investment in social
Investment in social media is going up – and there’s a clear indication of whose pocket it’s ending up in. eMarketer stated last week that social media ad spend is accelerating even faster than expected, now predicted to hit $25.1 billion in 2015, over a billion dollars more than it initially projected in April. It won’t be a surprise to many that Facebook is the company responsible for this growth – Facebook and Instagram’s ad business is expected to grow 42 percent y-o-y to $16.3 billion, or 65 percent of brands’ social media budgets in 2015. The platform continues to out-perform poor old Twitter, which is expected to pull in $2 billion in ad revenue (roughly 8 percent of total social budgets). While this is a 62 percent increase over Twitter’s 2014’s revenue, eMarketer had previously expected growth of 67 percent for the platform.
Facebook lures in TV spend with new ad products
Facebook wants a slice of the ever-lucrative TV advertising pie and what Facebook wants, it gets. The platform has created a series of ad products to appeal to those launching big budget integrated campaigns, which includes target-rating points (TRP) buying, using Neilsen to verify how well ads on Facebook perform in conjunction with their TV equivalent. Facebook’s Director of Ads Product Marketing, Graham Mudd, told Adweek:
TV ad campaigns supplemented by Facebook advertising provide an ideal combination for marketers to both reach large audiences and build their brands. Now we’re making it even easier to extend and augment TV campaigns through the introduction of TRP Buying, so advertisers can plan, buy and measure Facebook ads using the same guarantees and Nielsen verification they’re used to with TV.
Facebook will be hoping that the data proves the value of investment in the platform, perhaps over and above that of traditional channels. Other new ad products include allowing videos in its carousel ad unit, which up to now only featured photos.
Facebook brings 360-degree videos to News Feeds
Next up – Facebook! Yes, this week’s mashup has a theme, folks. This time the platform is dabbling in a bit of virtual reality, with the introduction of 360-degree videos. Fittingly, the first 360 vid was made by Disney and Lucasfilm to promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and brands like GoPro, Mountain Dew and Discovery are already lined up to try it out. Facebook coughed up $2 billion for VR company Oculus Rift last year, so expect more updates like this in the future.
Notes gets a revamp
Pinterest has recently launched… only kidding, it’s Facebook again! The platform’s Notes function, which allows you to write longer posts, has historically been pretty dull – so it’s had a revamp. Notes users can add a cover photo, caption and resize images, and format their text into headers, quotes or bullets. Facebook suggests that you might like to recap your summer vacation or update people with an important life event. I for one can’t wait to read long form versions of Sarah’s crazy holiday to Greece, Tom’s first birthday party and Laura and Steve’s fabulous Caribbean wedding.
Facebook updates Instant Articles
Facebook’s Instant Articles – which allows readers to consume news stories in-app rather than being redirected to an external site – was a controversial announcement last year, with publishers concerned about the level of control it would give Facebook. But it seems that the function is still very much on the platform’s agenda, with Facebook announcing plans to ramp up Instant Articles by expanding the number of users who can see them and the number of publishers that can create them. One of the function’s biggest fans is the Washington Post, which says it will start running every single one of its stories on Facebook via Instant Articles.
Instagram community hits 400,000,000
Facebook-owned (yep, we had to get it in there somewhere) Instagram has hit a massive 400 million users. It’s also getting more and more global, with 75 percent of its community living outside the US and, among the last 100 million to join, more than half live in Europe and Asia. Très bien.
Twitter tests polls within tweets
The latest Twitter feature to be bubbling up to the social surface is polls. Perhaps in an attempt to keep up with the ever evolving Facebook and Instagram this new Twitter format has been sighted on staff and a few verified accounts so far but it is unconfirmed when or indeed if it will ever be fully rolled out. For the time being you can only pose two options for polls so that rules out ‘Will you be my boyfriend? Yes/No/Maybe’ for now. Damn.
Periscope creates its own version of a retweet using screenshots
A new version of Periscope has been released where users are now able to share screenshots of the streams they watch, creating the Periscope version of a retweet and making the whole experience a lot more social. It also makes everyone else watching that stream aware that a screenshot has been taken. The screenshot sharing aspect will help promotion of streams which currently appear as quite an uninspiring link in Twitter.
Pinterest blows its developer sandbox wide open
Pinterest has announced that it is giving developers access to its APIs for building new apps and third-party integrations. Now anyone can start building away, they just need Pinterest’s approval before going public. That’s my ‘suet puddings for swingers serving suggestions’ app idea out the window then isn’t it. Since May, developers have submitted more than 5,000 ideas for apps and Pinterest has already been working with IFTT, Polyvore and Topshop to launch integrations. Polyvore has already reported that it has increased traffic from Pinterest by 35%, while the number of pins saved from the company has jumped tenfold.
Maggi presents Singapore’s first ‘social’ cookbook on Instagram
Nestlé Singapore with We Are Social has launched a new Instagram campaign in an attempt to engage a new generation of aspiring chefs, with an aim to put the fun back into cooking. The activity takes advantage of Instagram’s rising popularity in Singapore, with Maggi releasing two new recipes each month in line with their brand belief that ‘Happiness is Homemade’. Clicking on specific photo tags will direct users to the corresponding recipe page and also in the direction of their YouTube page for longer ‘how-to’ videos.
Tweet-powered sculpture raises awareness of gay blood donor restrictions
As part of the London Design Festival, a rainbow comprised of liquid has been created which is missing one vital colour: red. Users who tweet #PutRedBack will trigger a single drop of red liquid to fall into the empty part of the rainbow. The installation has been made to raise awareness of the restrictions on gay men donating blood in the UK and coincides with a petition started by charity Freedom To Donate that will lead to a government debate on current blood donation guidelines.
Twitter creates Popemoji for Pope’s US tour
Papal ferula? Check! Papal mitre? Check! Papal emoji? CHECK! It’s every modern pope’s prerogative to have their own emoji these days and that’s just what Pope Francis got from Twitter as he embarked on his US tour last week.
With four different emoji attached to respective hashtags, users tweeted by their tens of thousands in anticipation of his arrival and according to Topsy, an hour after landing in Washington, there had been 42,000 tweets about his visit.
Of course some brands were quick to jump on this spike of social activity, especially those with legitimate ties; for instance Fiat, one of the official ‘Popemobile’ providers and papal bed supplier Loom & Leaf. Data also showed that many big brands stayed quiet with the majority of the top 300 brands on Twitter steering clear of the conversation.
— Loom and Leaf (@LoomAndLeaf) September 19, 2015