We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #28


New York Times bans the word “Tweet”
The New York Times has reportedly issued an internal ban on using the word “Tweet” outside of what it (quite elegantly) calls “ornithological contexts”. While this might get some mockery from social media quarters, in many respects the NY Times has been one of the leading newspapers in embracing social media, with its range of blogs and embracing of Twitter. However maybe in this case, those up top aren’t yet willing to relinquish control of the English language to neologisms just yet – but it can’t be too long before “Tweet” finds its way into the OED?

Twitter get into the URL shortening business
The rise of Twitter has led to an explosion of URL shorteners, and yet oddly Twitter themselves haven’t fully dived into the URL shortening market themselves. That might change soon, with the launch of a new Twitter URL shortener (t.co) and a promise to use it wrap all URLs sent on Twitter. One reason is to prevent phishing – something that can bedevil even the most seasoned of geeks, as Cory Doctorow found out earlier in the year. “Ultimately, every link on Twitter will be wrapped” comes the promise, so maybe this is the start of a Twitter landgrab on other URL shorteners’ turf – but will they offer the quality of insights and data of, say, bit.ly?

If rumours are to believed, Google is experimenting with importing Tweets into display ads. Twitter are also working more on the monetisation front with plans to start “Promoted Trends” just like “Promoted Tweets”. While they may well be an easy way to integrate social and traditional marketing, both will have to remain relevant and interesting to the community rather than just unresponsive and spammy, especially as news comes this week of just how untrusted advertising is in the contemporary environment.

Google launch Caffeine
Google have announced a shakeup of how they index the web. Traditionally their search engine operated on a layered model, treating all the web as the same kind of page; with the growing variety of content and types of information on the web comes closer and closer to realtime, the way they’ve developed a more parallel architecture that treats different different parts accordingly, updating some more quickly than others. We’ve already seen some aspects of it already, like Google Updates for search Twitter & other social network updates, and no doubt they’ll be rolling out more specialised features over time.

Facebook and how it grows value
Some interesting findings on the power of Facebook. Adding a Like button to Typepad blogs was found to increase Facebook referral traffic by up to 50%, as readers shared the sites with a whole new audience. And the value of a Facebook fan has been calculated at US$138 on average, according to Syncapse – but the big big caveat is that it’s a highly variable figure, depending on how engaged you are with the page and your community; as the report puts it: “for some very successful social marketers the value can be dramatically higher, while for some less successful companies it can be virtually zero”. It just as well then that Facebook has just rolled out improved analytics to help us all get our heads around it.

Spotify records social success
Spotify seem to be going from strength to strength – with the launch of their slick and featureful Spotify Social client, they have managed to double the Premium member subscription signup rate – even though you don’t need to be a Premium member to enjoy the social features. And they’re optimistic of even more growth with their intermediate Unlimited subscription that has been launched since their last set of figures.

Corporate social media use visualised
Here’s an excellent visualisation summarising how the world’s top 100 companies use social media – with some interesting trends pointed out – in the US & Europe it’s all about Twitter but in Asia they’re blogging instead. Twitter comes out as the top tool used by all, but surprisingly only 20% use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs in their corporate comms. What would be great however is some data on engagement versus brand perception and sales to paint a more three-dimensional picture.

Geolocation sites slated on security
Slightly scaremongering headline on a story about how geolocation services such as Foursquare are “riddled” with bugs – although actually the number of bugs found was no more than expected. Gowalla seems to have won out for accuracy and trustability, thanks to the extra checks it makes to make sure you are actually at the place you say you are. However, Foursquare makes up in the ease of use stakes – their much larger userbase (a million compared to Gowalla’s 200k) perhaps shows that users are less concerned about accuracy and more about the experience. Foursquare seem to be pouring their efforts into extra features, such as premium badges and World Cup tie-ins.

Speaking of which…
The football is well and truly on and there’s a rich variety of social media resources – like Twitter’s official World Cup centre, paper.li’s World Cup newspaper, and the Guardian’s awesome Twitter match replay app. Nike look like they have been the biggest winners so far in social media so far – their epic “Write The Future” TV spot doubled their number of Facebook fans. The biggest losers though might be the players themselves – there are quite a few on Twitter but many of them have been banned from using it by their managers. Never mind though, FIFA President SeppBlatter is now on Twitter and you can follow him instead. And remember, if you can’t get enough of those vuvuzelas (you might be in the minority) then you can even follow livevuvuzela on Twitter as well.

For those of you wanting their football stories a little more parochial, you could do worse than read Nick Emmel’s stirring tale of the social media savvy of Crystal Palace FC’s new owners.