We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #48


Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2010
Technorati has released their yearly State of the Blogosphere report, looking at worldwide growth and trends in the blogosphere. The entire report was released across 3 days last week, and this year covers topics such as “brands embracing social media, traditional media vs. social media, brands working with bloggers, monetization, importance of twitter & Facebook, niche blogging, and changes within the blogosphere over 2010.” Also of note, is that the report has a special focus on female bloggers.

The role of customer product reviews
Customer product reviews were described as ‘undeniably influential’ in a recent report released by eMarketer.  Jeffrey Grau, the report’s author notes that “for many purchases, shoppers find the best advice comes not from family and close friends but from strangers who have similar interests or who embody a lifestyle the shopper aspires to achieve.” Overall, it finds that customer reviews are a bigger part of the pre-purchase decision making process, with customers reading more reviews, and spending more time doing so.

Few Asian firms dabble in social media
A new study paints a fairly bleak picture of corporate social media use in Asia, finding that only “around 40 percent of Asian companies listed on The Wall Street Journal’s Asia 200 Index have a branded social media presence, with 55 percent of them reported as being inactive.” By contrast, a similar look at social media usage for the Fortune Global 100 in February this year found 79 percent were using social media as part of the marketing communications mix.

Indonesia Eclipses the UK as Facebook’s Second Largest Market
Indonesia surpassed the UK last week to become the second largest country on Facebook, behind the United States.  Inside Facebook notes: “its growth underpins Facebook’s emerging strength in Southeast Asia”. Indonesia has almost tripled the number of users in the last year, and as the world’s fourth most populous country, there’s little sign of any slowing down just yet.

Introducing Facebook deals

Facebook last week launched Facebook Deals, the much-anticipated new service which allows “stores, restaurants and businesses to offer promotions and discounts to users of Facebook’s location tool, Places.” Using Places, users can see what offers are nearby and share them with their friends, and can claim deals by simply checking-in to a business on Places and showing the business a voucher.

Facebook was keen to emphasise that users privacy is being protected and they will not be identified to businesses:

Brands/venues/Place owners will only see how many people claimed deals and how many people checked in – similar to the way Ads works. They know how many people the ad will be shown to but not who it was shown to. [They] will not get any other information about individual people that check in on Facebook.

Deals is only available in the US at this stage, but is likely to roll out in the UK next year.  Businesses looking to get started would do well to consult this guide from the good people at All Facebook, which lays out how deals can help their business, and step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

Gap gives away 10,000 pairs of jeans on Facebook Places
The Gap has succeeded in being the first major brand to capture headlines with its give-away of 10,000 pairs of jeans to users who checked-in to any US Gap store using Facebook Deals. Not everyone won a pair, but those that didn’t got 40% off instead.

Facebook adds “Like this xxx” button to Open Graph activity stories
Facebook has announced another update as to how users interact with Open Graph objects, this time by adding the option to instantly Like an Open Graph object such as a website or news article that has been published by a friend:

Now when a friend finds and Likes an interesting piece of content somewhere outside of Facebook, users can join them in connecting to the object by clicking the “Like this page” or “Like this link” button.

The implications? Close friends often have similar tastes and interests, and as such are reliable ways to find appealing content. Therefore, this change allows users to quickly connect to “more Open Graph objects without leaving Facebook.”

Facebook makes it easier to unlike pages
Facebook giveth (as is the case above), and Facebook taketh away. Or in this case, Facebook maketh a ‘subtle change’ that could result in an increased number of fans unsubscribing from pages. By simply “clicking on an ‘X’ and then selecting ‘Unlike Page’” in the Facebook feed, fans can now more easily unlike fan pages.

Facebook dominates resurgent UK online ad market: study
“Fueled by Britons’ love affair with online shopping and Facebook,” Britain’s digital ad market shows signs of increasing, according to comScore.  Facebook’s performance is noteworthy:

Facebook was the number 1 online publisher, carrying more display ads than any other site or collection of sites. In fact, Facebook (in terms of display ad impressions served) is larger than its next nine competitors…

That’s larger than Microsoft sites, eBay, Google sites, Yahoo! Sites, Glam Media, Trader Media Group, AOL, Inc., Bebo.com and Amazon sites. Wow.

Promoted tweets in your timeline
In April, Twitter launched Promoted Tweets, where brands would pay for a certain tweet to appear at the top of search results. They moved that on one step further with Promoted Trends, but now they’ve moved for greater monetization by teaming up with Hootsuite to push ads into people’s timelines, regardless of whether you want them there.

They say that they’re going to be very careful to provide ad content which is relevant to users. We say that considering how closely people guard their Twitter experience, forcing something on users without any opt-out at all, may well create something of a backlash.

Twitter’s growth puts Facebook at threat?
Twitter has added 30 million users in the last two months.  Twitter, in month 56 of its existence, has 175 million users. By contrast, Facebook had about 100 million users after 56 months. It remains to be seen whether Twitter can catch Facebook – particularly as MySpace hit 100 million users much quicker than either of them – but nonetheless, it will certainly provide food for thought for Facebook executives.

Kik’s astonishing growth
It’s on a smaller scale, but it’s still incredibly impressive: Kik, the new mobile instant messaging service, has broken 1.1 million users within two weeks of launch. What’s more, according to Kik CEO Ted Livingston, is that “it’s still accelerating”.

Kik seems to have put together the best aspects of BBM, as well as adding its own features such as being able to see when your contact is typing. It seems impossible that they’ll maintain this huge growth, but right now, the sky’s the limit for Kik.

LinkedIn’s new company pages
For a long time, LinkedIn have allowed companies to showcase their products and services through their own page. They’ve taken this a step further now though, by letting individuals recommend their favourite products and services. It will also allow companies to collate recommendations.

Hyves’ owners sell to media group
After last week’s story that Nasza Klasa was up for sale, the news this week that Dutch social networking site Hyves has been sold is a particularly interesting piece of news. It suggests that the European ‘niche’ social networking sites are unable to hold back Facebook’s growth – and that’s why the owners (who are usually also the creators) are selling up.

The other issue, is selling the site to a media group. As Mike Butcher puts it:

But the question is not if media companies can run social networks, they clearly can if they want. It’s whether they can innovate those networks fast enough in the face of the monster that is Facebook and often that issue is to do with developer talent.

His tacit message is clearly that media organisations are there to provide media – and that if social networks were struggling to hold back Facebook already, moves such as these will only make things easier for Facebook.

Facebook used to predict mid-term results
Facebook has compared the number of Facebook fans a candidate had with their chance of getting elected. Those who had more fans than their opponent won 74% of the time in 98 of the key House races. And though it’s a smaller sample, 82% of the Senate races could have been predicted by Facebook. Who knows, one day we may not need exit polls anymore.

Twitter used to create a bogus political message
Still on US politics, researchers from Indiana University have found that Twitter is being used by political campaigns to create the (fake) impression of support among grass-roots supporters. John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives (elect) is particularly guilty.  We probably shouldn’t be surprised: as Filipo Mensczer put it, “wherever there are lots of eyes looking at screens, spammers will be there; so why not with politics?”

How to get branded blogs right?
The Wall Blog have created a list of ten effective branded blogs. Their criteria for what was an effective branded blog particularly focused on bringing all the social media content of a brand together. They particularly liked sites such as Sage which worked as a community hub. And they also liked Tesco – which we’re dead chuffed about, seeing as it’s our work for Tesco they’re talking about.

A horse race through ‘likes’
The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s premier horse race and it’s no surprise that brands want to tie in with that on social media platforms. Nevertheless, we’re seriously impressed by Boag Draught’s campaign on this occasion: they’ve created ‘The Greatest Cup Never Run’ where all the most famous horses from the race have had a Facebook page created on their behalf – the winner of the ‘race’ will be the one with the most likes. On the 150th anniversary of the cup first being run, this is a really quirky but cool way to mark it.

Gillette UK’s campaign runs far from smoothly
Gillette UK kicked off a campaign in early October designed to gauge whether the public prefer bearded or clean-shaven men. According to some, it was a complete failure. Each of the six YouTube videos they produced received no more than 200 views. The failure of the campaign may partly be attributed to the main vehicle for the campaign being the Gillette UK Twitter page, which has just 1000 followers. But after releasing a video in July which went viral and received 7.4 million views, whoever was behind this campaign will be far from popular at Gillette.

The Queen is now on Facebook
After several false dawns, The Guardian brought us the news late last night that the British Royal Family was to launch it’s own Facebook page – and it has done so, calling itself ‘The British Monarchy’. Next step: activate the Queen!