We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #224


Global social users pass two billion
After Facebook released their latest active user figures, it seems that global social media users have passed the two billion mark, out of a total global population of 7.18 billion, and 2.95 billion worldwide internet users. Mobile is increasingly big, too – 1.56 billion are considered ‘active mobile social users’. Facebook is the largest network, with over 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide, while Tencent QQ is the largest messenger app with 848 million. For more information, you can read our blog post on the subject.


Internet users are almost always online
Recent research reported by eMarketer has found that US internet users are almost always connected. A total of 60% of those surveyed claimed either to never disconnect, or to do so at most a few times a year. In contrast, 20% managed to disconnect altogether at least once daily.

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Ofcom report shows omnipresence of online media
Ofcom has released its Communications Market Report on the media habits of UK residents. It found that the average amount of time spent with ‘media’ devices is now 8 hours 41 minutes, making it higher than the 8 hours 21 minutes spent sleeping. Indeed, in the evening, the average adult is more likely to be using media/communications than doing anything else.


There’s a clear divide by age, too. TV remains strong among older groups, but is falling among 16-24 year olds, who are spending more and more time on other, online media.


Finally, social media continues its mobile growth. Every network analysed (except, errrr, Friends Reunited) has grown its mobile user base between April 2013 and April 2014.


Brits complain about customer service on social media
A May 2014 poll has found that 15% of Brits will complain about poor customer service on social media. While it’s less popular than talking to a supervisor, or even quitting the brand entirely, it’s a significant minority, which shows the importance of keeping track of what people are saying online about your business.

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Snapchat is growing its smartphone penetration
Snapchat is now the third largest social app on US millenials’ smartphones, according to the comScore Mobile Metrix for June 2014. The app is present on 32.9% of smartphones owned by 18-34 year olds in the US; only Facebook (75.6%) and Instagram (43.1%) are higher.

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Facebook is removing like gates
Facebook is scrapping the ‘like gate’, the system by which developers can require users to ‘like’ a page in order to enter a competition or use an app. The network appears to be keen that when people ‘like’ a page, it’s because they actually like it. A Facebook blog post said:

To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Twitter updates ad pricing model
Twitter has announced new tools for ‘objective-based campaigns’, including four new ways to buy ads on the network. Previously, the only option was ‘cost per action’ (RTs, replies, favourites), but the following are now all viable payment options: new followers, conversions to external websites, app installs or user email addresses.

Twitter launches ‘flock to unlock’
Twitter is testing a new feature called ‘flock to unlock’, in which a certain number of users must retweet a message in order to unlock a deal, or exclusive piece of content. The first brand to trial the system is Puma – the sportswear giant will be offering access to a set of TV ads two days before their full release.

Twitter tests showing tweets from accounts your friends follow
Twitter is reportedly showing some users tweets from accounts they don’t follow, but which are followed by those that they do. The below tweets by @aleefbaypay display what it looks like.

Twitter adds ‘payment and shipping’ option
Some Twitter users have noticed a new ‘payments and shipping’ option in the settings section of the Android app. It’s not currently functional, but has fuelled speculation about a native shopping service on the platform in future.

Pinterest updates messaging on the platform
Pinterest has released a new messaging feature, which allows users to further discussion about their favourite pins. Previously, users could share pins with one another, but the feature has been expanded to include proper conversation. The video below details how it works.

Foursquare launches its new app
Foursquare has launched the latest version of its app, minus the check-in. Since all its social features have been moved to Swarm, the main app is now intended as a rival to the likes of Yelp, and hopes to provide personalised recommendations. These will be based on a combination of location data and specific ‘tastes’, which users can enter into the app.

This is bound to have an impact for advertisers. Naturally, there are challenges with moving from two apps to one; Foursquare now requires people to download Swarm before it can continue obtaining their valuable check-in data. In theory, though, there are also huge potential benefits. With access to location and taste data, Foursquare could become a destination for highly targeted marketing – it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.

Sprint sends the Frobinsons on holiday
Telecom company, Sprint, has been using a fictional family, named the Frobinsons, to promote its friends and family plan. It is now extending the campaign on social, by sending them on a road trip, in a brand tie-in with Roadtrippers. Content will be released from @Sprint, @TomFrobinson and @Roadtrippers on Twitter, as well as on Facebook.

Levi’s incorporates social elements in new microsite
Levi’s has launched a new ‘Live in Levi’s’ microsite, on which it is featuring several films telling the stories of young creatives and their jeans. At the heart of the site is a shoppable video, while users can also submit their own content across social networks using #LiveinLevis.


McDonald’s gets backlash from Instagram ads
McDonald’s has been running a series of ads on Instagram in the last few weeks. However, user feedback hasn’t always been great – in fact, there’s a significant amount of negative feedback on each post. This may be the case as Instagram users get used to ads on the network, but it’s a worthwhile warning to brands using ads on social media.


UK FCA sets out rules for financial social media
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has set out its approach to financial promotions on social media in the country. The organisation has laid out a number of specific rules, which you can read here, but these include: promotions for investment products must be clearly recognisable as such, each post needs to provide ‘standalone compliance’ to the rules and risk warnings should be included in certain cases.