We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #29


Inside Gatorade’s Social Media Command Center
Mashable was given a behind the scenes look at the Gatorade Mission Control Center inside of its Chicago headquarters: “a room that sits in the middle of the marketing department and could best be thought of as a war room for monitoring the brand in real-time across social media.” Exciting. So exciting, in fact, that the war room comes armed with its own (music) video:

While mission control is visually stunning and certain to give geeks tech-envy, it does raise the question as to how the ‘war room’ is being used in practice – a point considered by NMA’s Vikki Chowney:

We see monitoring, yes. We see inspirational imagery, yes. But engagement? No. At no point in the entire video do we see the brand responding to any of the mentions they’ve tracked online. There’s typing, which suggests the team is doing something, but we can’t actually see what’s being said.

With the goal of becoming the largest participatory brand in the world, it will be interesting to watch how Gatorade puts its tools and processes to use.

Financial watchdog warns banks about social media promotions
A recent study conducted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has found that the use of social media channels lacked compliance with industry rules.

Companies posted Twitter updates or commented on discussion forum threads without the proper disclaimers and risk warnings, the FSA says, and engaged in promotional behaviour without complying with all the FSA’s rules.

The watchdog warned companies that all their communications will come under scrutiny, and that promotional and non-promotional communications must be “fair, clear and not misleading.”

AOL Unloads Social Networking Site Bebo

Bebo has just been sold. For a ridiculous price. Is this 2008?

So was the reaction from TechCrunch columnist Paul Carr to the news that Bebo was sold to Criterion Capital Partners, a private equity fund based in Los Angeles, for a reported $10 million. Of course, the ‘ridiculous price’ paid by AOL in 2008 to which Carr was referring was $850 million. In recent years, Bebo has fallen on difficult times as it was eclipsed by Facebook, and Criterion Capital Partners will attempt to engineer a turnaround to the social networks fortunes and return it to its glory days.

Habbo Hotel Turns 10
Meanwhile, Habbo Hotel, one of the world’s largest virtual communities, turned 10 last week. With 40 million monthly user hours and 15 million monthly unique visitors, it appears to still be going strong.

Twitter Launches “Places” Feature with Foursquare Integration
Twitter Places marks the microblogging services’ foray into geolocation, and will highlight tweets at a given location as its rolled out in 65 countries around the world:

Twitter.com desktop and mobile users can tag their tweets with existing Twitter Places and add new Twitter Places, too. Twitter Places can be explored and will reveal a list of recent, public tweets from that location. Twitter will also show you nearby locations and points of interest, including restaurants and shops.

Continuing its tradition of openness, Twitter plans to release an API that will allow developers to play with Twitter Places in their third-party apps. It will also integrated with Foursquare and Gowalla.

Disney/Pixar Buys The First Twitter Trending Topic Ad
Last week, Twitter began testing Promoted Trends, the second phase of their ad revenue model which follows on from the launch of Promoted Tweets back in April. Toy Story 3 was the first brand to try their hand at Twitter’s new ad slot:

Just as with Promoted Tweets, the functionality for these Promoted Trending Topics is the same as the regular Trending Topics — clicking on it takes you to a search results page to see what people are saying about Toy Story 3.

Users that might be worried about advertising messages muddying trending topics, should note that each promoted trend has a big yellow box beside it letting you know that it’s a ‘promoted’ Trending Topic. Moreover, “the Promoted Trending Topic has to resonate or it will disappear.”

Twitter a hit in Japan as millions ‘mumble’ online
Succeeding where other social networking imports like Facebook have failed, Twitter has become a hit in Japan.  The Japanese language, advanced mobile handsets and greater sense of individuality among younger people in Japan have contributed to the social network’s boom:

The proportion of Japanese Internet users who tweet is 16.3 percent and now surpasses the ratio among Americans at 9.8 percent. Twitter and Japan’s top social networking site, mixi, have been running neck-and-neck with monthly visitors between 9 million and 10 million but in April Twitter squeaked past mixi, according to ratings agency Nielsen Online.

Is it time to reconsider Google Buzz vs. Facebook or Twitter?
After launching last October to great fanfare and an almost immediate backlash, Google Buzz appears to have caught a second wind, according to Robert Scoble. He notes that he is starting to get more engagement on items in Buzz than he currently does on Twitter or Facebook, and cites 9 reasons for its apparent comeback (and another 6 areas for improvement).  The ease with which one can conduct conversations and Buzz’s early adopter community are seen reasons for “brands and geeks” to put Buzz into their media mix – though its in no way “a Twitter or Facebook killer yet.”

Flickr Releases “Request to License”; Anyone Can Easily Sell Their Photos
Flickr has made it “incredibly simple” for any user to make their images available for inclusion in the Getty Images catalogue.

Last year Flickr entered a partnership with Getty Images to allow Getty Images to contact Flickr users and ask them if they would like to include their photos in Getty’s massive stock photography database. Now they’ve introduced a feature where you can proactively tag your photos to alert the world and Getty Images you’re interested in selling them.

Meaning if anyone should wish to license your photo a Getty editor will contact you to help arrange things. So get snapping.

WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious” is launched
WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious” is the thirteenth major release from WordPress and is the result of half a year of work by 218 contributors. Since you’re wondering, it’s named after one of the giants of American jazz, Thelonious Monk, whose “improvisational wizardry inspired [them] to new heights of customization.”

With over 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements, the world’s most popular blog software will be welcome news to theme developers and network admins. It’s now available for download at wordpress.org.

David on Demand
And in closing, something a bit lighter. The Twitter bio for @DavidonDemand reads as follows:

Leo Burnett is sending me to Cannes on one condition – I have to do anything you tweet. 24 hours a day, all week long. David on Demand, starting June 21st.

And so begins what should be an entertaining week for David Perez, who has been shipped out to the Advertising Festival in Cannes to act as an online puppet. In true web form, his exploits are being chronicled online,  with a live Justin.TV feed, as well Foursquare and Facebook integration.  With evidence of David getting a tattoo of the FAIL Whale tattoo (along with two usernames), we expect this could be fun to watch.