We Are Social's Monday Mashup #26


It’s Monday, so as usual, have some Monday Mashup goodness, fresh from We Are Social towers.

Twitter to ban third-party ads
Breaking news from Twitter’s blog – they will be blocking any third-party paid Tweets service from using their API. Services such as ad.ly and Magpie are nascent attempts at direct advertising in Twitter – something we largely regard as unconversational and spammy. Twitter’s recent launch of promoted Tweets hopes to maintain the balance between revenue and conversation, and third-party ad services are an obvious threat. Is this heavy-handed monopolism or an attempt to keep the platform clean and spam-free? My view is towards the latter but no doubt detractors will say this is an unwanted restriction on third-party developers and will harm the Twitter ecosystem.

Zuckerberg responds to privacy concerns
Today Mark Zuckerberg made his first public comment in the ongoing controversy around Facebook’s privacy controls. In an email to Robert Scoble, he acknowledges that Facebook has “made a bunch of mistakes” but stops short of making an apology. However he promises “an improved product” which they might preview this week. We wait avidly to see what they will be.

Meanwhile, the continuing controversy isn’t distracting Facebook from pushing for expansion, especially in growing markets. Not happy with laying waste to competitors like StudiVZ in Germany, this week also saw the launch of Facebook Zero, a stripped-down version of the mobile site built for pay-as-you-go customers, which is free for users of more than 50 mobile providers in 45 countries – an attempt no doubt to push mobile access to Facebook beyond the iPhone and Blackberry markets, which are increasingly saturated these days. One place however where Facebook may have trouble expanding is Pakistan, which has recently blocked the site after groups encouraging drawing depictions of the Prophet Muhammad proliferated.

Diesel Cam brings social media into the store
A nice campaign from Diesel, providing Facebook Connect-enabled booths in stores to allow people to share photos of themselves wearing Diesel’s clothes with their friends on Facebook. Some of the most innovative campaigns are now blurring people’s “real” and “virtual” lives:

Lifehacks galore
Lots of useful tools received an update this week – Tweetdeck gained some powerful features, including that to filter out certain keywords (so no more being envious of people at #sxsw, hurrah!). Google Wave came out of beta to public use, although I’ve still not yet found a use for it that doesn’t just replicate existing apps’ functionality. And Twitter finally released an official app for iPhone, an upgrade to Tweetie, which they bought out last month (and by far the best and most stable iPhone app for Twitter I’ve used).

Maturing behaviours on social networks
As social networking takes a firm hold in our collective consciousness, perhaps it’s no surprise that people have grown more conscientious of placing too much sensitive information online or being too liberal with friend requests. A new survey out shows 74% of people are now careful about what pictures they upload, although 87% still believe their online and offline identities correspond with each other. There’s some nice detail on differences internationally – Brazilians have on average 360 friends on their profile (no doubt thanks to Orkut’s dominance there), while Brits have just 173. 1 in 3 Facebook users don’t trust the service, while 55% of users are blocked from using social networks at work – perhaps no surprise that personal social networks rather than professional ones such as LinkedIn enjoy more popularity. The full deck is worth a read.

Real-time influencing traditional media
An interesting report from warc on how television advertisers are increasingly becoming more flexible and innovative in producing their spots around live events. After major live events such as the Winter Olympics and Superbowl, American advertisers commissioned and adapted advertisements with the starring athletes – with feedback from social media playing a key part in which adverts got the heaviest rotation. Our friend Chris Stephenson has some further thoughts which are well worth picking through. While we might not have quite that level of responsiveness in the UK yet (although Simon Pegg got a reply to one of his Tweets by an eagle-eyed continuity announcer), with the World Cup coming up who knows what might come up?

Maybe it was a digital election after all
The new government’s boxes might have only just been unpacked but there’s already some studies on the effect of online on the UK election. A third of respondents to a survey said that online content had influenced their voting decision, although perhaps disappointingly for those arguing it was a ‘Twitter election’, only 5% of voters said they read political content on the site. A lack of comparative stats for the TV debates or newspapers makes this survey a little hard to place in the wider context, though.

Twitter reworks trending topic algorithms
And finally… Justin Bieber no longer features in the top ten trending topics on Twitter – something we should all be thankful for.