We Are Social's Monday Mashup #136


Facebook reaches 1 billion users
What a milestone: Facebook announced that it hit 1 billion monthly active users, and it seems like now all of Facebook’s numbers will be in the millions and billions, as they released a whole host of mind-bending stats with the big announcement. The network says that 600 million of those 1 billion users are on mobile, and what’s more, most of these mobile users never use the desktop version of the site. And there’s more, much more. Facebook has seen 1.13 trillion Likes, 140.3 billion friend requests, 219 billion photos and 17 billion location-tagged posts. Facebook’s growth in active users has been a continuous march upward since 2009.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a celebratory status update that was quite modest for the occasion and lacked even one exclamation point. But Facebook did create a TV ad, the first in its history, to commemorate the event. The ad is getting prominent placement on the Facebook log in page, as well as through ads on the site. If nothing else, it’s already spawned a decent number of memes about chairs.


How long until Facebook hits its second billion?
Mark Zuckerberg seems humbled in achieving the 1-billion number that so few companies reach, and to celebrate, he says the company is starting to think about its next billion users. In a recent interview, he said Facebook will be hosting a hackathon to start thinking about how to reach that next level. And it sounds like Zuck already has some twitterings of ideas that he’d like to see implemented, such as easy ways to find trends and interesting content.

Indonesia tops the list of fastest growing countries on Facebook
Digging down to the country level, Indonesia added 7.6 million Facebook users last month, giving the country an impressive 19% jump, well above the average expected increase. But unfortunately, that could just mean more work for Facebook: Indonesia is one of the countries with the highest number of fake accounts. Rounding out the top 5 are India, the US, Brazil and Japan.

Facebook ads drive offline sales
A new study from Facebook and DataLogix has shown that brands that focus on maximizing reach see a 70% improvement in ROI and found that clicks are not the best measure of an ad’s success. Facebook says 99% of sales are driven by ad views, not necessarily by clicks or interaction with the ad, “just like in TV.” Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said, “We now know that not only do people see the ads, we know they ring the cash registers.”

‘Want’ and ‘Collect’ buttons spotted on new Facebook feature
Is Facebook finally getting back at Pinterest? Facebook appears to be testing a new feature called ‘Collections’, which allow retailers to add ‘want’ and ‘collect’ buttons to newsfeed posts about their products. These are them collected to form a wishlist on the user’s profile, and clicking through leads to the site’s purchase page. Facebook has seven retailer partners in this trial run, including Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret and Fab.com. So far, Facebook isn’t taking a cut of any sales, but this seems like a no-brainer for monetization.

Facebook tests personal promoted posts
If you’re tired of seeing all of your friends engagement posts, look away now: Facebook is testing a feature to allow users pay to promote personal posts at the top of their friends’ feeds, similar to the ad features available for brands. This was previously available for testing in New Zealand but has expanded to more countries. Users will be able to see basic analytics for their promoted posts for an as-yet-unknown price. Promoted personal posts seems like a strange path to monetization, or is Facebook just looking for some investment in making its algorithms a bit better?

Facebook confirms it’s scanning private messages to increase Like counters
When is a like more than a like? If you send a private message to a friend that contains a link to a webpage with a Facebook Like counter, that counter increases with each share, even when it’s not posted publicly. This does not increase the number of Likes on the actual Facebook page, just on the third-party site. Facebook confirmed that a bug made the counter go up by 2 instead of 1, which it has now fixed, but is the real bug that it goes up in the first place? Apparently the Like counter has always worked this way, and the number is a sum of the likes and shares of the URL, likes and comments on Facebook posts about this URL and inbox messages that have the URL as an attachment.

Facebook shuts down The Cool Hunter’s page
Facebook quietly closed the page for The Cool Hunter, a photo-heavy blog that’s a paradise for pretty images, for copyright infringement without telling founder of the site what he had done wrong. Or so he says. Facebook says it warned the site’s founder multiple times and then took down the page, along with its fanbase and five years of content. The closure is based on just two copyright infringements, but apparently that’s enough to get the page banned for good.

Most Twitter users follow brands
Twitter has just released new stats about how well brands are engaging their followers: 88% of users follow at least one brand, and more than half of users follow six or more brands. Most users said they wanted to get access to exclusive content, as well as freebies and discounts. Twitter admits that brands sometimes still struggle to understand how to tell a story and have a conversation about their products, but it seems like more and more are doing a better job.

Twitter partners with Nielsen to test user surveys
Twitter is trialing a paid-for product, but this time it’s for research rather than ads. Twitter and Nielsen have created the @TwitterSurveys handle to ask users how successful brand campaigns were. The surveys are launched inside the Twitter app on mobile so that it’s part of the native interface and easier to use. Twitter hopes to roll it out to more advertisers early next year, as it’s testing the feature out with a small group now.

Fashion magazine uses its Twitter background for ads
People StyleWatch swapped out its Twitter background for an ad promoting Jergens lotion, as part of a larger deal that included print, web and social ads. Twitter gave that move the green light, so it might not be long before we see more ads as Twitter wallpapers, if we even bother looking at that page in the first place.

LinkedIn introduces redesigned Company Pages for all businesses
LinkedIn debuted a new design for company pages, and it’s now finally released this update for everyone. In addition to this, LinkedIn also announced its new Featured Updates, which is similar to Facebook’s pinned posts and lets companies highlight an update at the top of their page. Econsultancy has put together a good roundup of all of the company page design changes and specs for giving your company page a makeover.

LinkedIn adds ‘follow’ option
LinkedIn has grown up quickly in just the last few months, and they’ve just announced yet another new feature. You can now follow 150 ‘thought leaders’ on LinkedIn, such as Richard Branson and Barack Obama to share their professional experiences and insights. The site promises to bring more industry-specific people on board over the next few months.

Tumblr tiptoes into the ad landscape, adds analytics
At Tumblr’s event during Advertising Week in New York, Aisling McCarthy, account lead for adidas at We Are Social, called Tumblr “visual storytelling” and explained how We Are Social used Tumblr’s ad potential to promote adidas. Tumblr works best to sell the belief or feeling behind the product, but not so much as a direct sales channel. Tumblr wants to get involved with brand advertising, and it recently announced a deal with a social analytics company to provide rudimentary stats for brands, such as post likes, number of reblogs and performance over time. This is a big step for Tumblr, and brands will begin to see the effectiveness of Tumblr’s ‘paid for’ features.

Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ campaign hits Times Square
Oreo’s reactive and viral 100-day Facebook campaign, which creatively used Oreos to tap into cultural events and holidays, has finished in Times Square. They set up a pop-up one-room office and used fans’ tweets and Facebook messages to create the final Daily Twist. After narrowing down the submissions, they finally decided to celebrate the anniversary of the first high five. This will certainly go down as one of the top campaigns of the year.

Mercedes asks Twitter followers to create their own adventure on TV
Mercedes is outsourcing its director duties to its Twitter followers to decide what happens next in their TV spot. When Twitter users tweet #hide or #evade along with the campaign’s #youdrive hashtag, it will change what happens in successive ads, which will run (or hide or evade) throughout the month.

Ben & Jerry’s send Cow Power through Twitter
Ben & Jerry’s powered up an eco-friendly milk float with tweets for its ‘Supporting Better Dairy’ campaign and took to the streets of London. Companies in London could direct the float in their direction by tweeting a message about happy cows, alongside a hashtag of their company name. Obviously, We Are Social was on top of it immediately, and we were the first to receive several tubs of Ben & Jerry’s Cow Power ice cream, which didn’t last long.

PG Tips launches scratch card app on Facebook
PG Tips and We Are Social have created a scratch card app for the tea brand’s Facebook fans. The app can be played once a day and offers the chance to win cash prizes or a six-month supply of PG Tips. We hear monkeys bring good luck.

Gucci becomes a pin-up
Gucci launched a Pinterest campaign last week based on banner ads running across a number of websites. A small ‘pin-it’ tag sits in the corner, and when it’s clicked, users will see multiple photos they can pin. The photos link back to Gucci’s eCommerce site, as the brand looks to drive sales.

Entertainment Weekly mixes print and digital
We’ve seen Twitter in print, but never like this. Entertainment Weekly published an ad with a mini LCD screen that shows a looping video and the six latest tweets from the CW Television Network. The screen has 3G connectivity to stay updated, but direct metrics can’t be tracked yet. Could this be the future of print advertising?

Channel 4 hosts live Twitter Q&A with ‘Fresh Meat’ actors
For the start of a new series, Channel 4 has partnered up with Twitter for a livestream of a question-and-answer session with the show’s actors. This is just the second time that Twitter has done a live stream of an event in the UK, and event organizers say that 80% of the questions asked at the event will come from Twitter followers.

First presidential debate breaks Twitter record
In just 90 minutes, 10.3 million tweets were sent about the presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, breaking the record for the most tweeted about political event. The peak during the debate saw 158,690 tweets per minute when moderator Jim Lehrer said, “Let’s not” as he tried to reign in the amount of time the contenders spent answering his questions.

KitchenAid USA’s community manager mixes business and personal
It’s the classic tale of posting a horrible update from the wrong account. During the US presidential debate, a (now former) KitchenAid employee posted an insensitive tweet about Barack Obama’s grandmother’s death. KitchenAid quickly apologized and seems to have survived the crisis.

Mars rover checks in on the red planet
NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has upped the mayorship ante by checking in on Foursquare from Mars. No word yet on any mayorship specials.