We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #180
Facebook tests autoplay videos
Facbeook has begun testing videos that play automatically in the newsfeed when a user scrolls past them. The system, which will be available to a small number of US Android users, does not include automatic audio; sound is enabled by clicking on the clip. It’s believed that the update is in preparation for the network’s new video ads, whose launch has recently been delayed from October, as we reported last week. However, according to AdAge, the ads will not follow the same format – they’ll still implement a click-to-play mechanism.
Facebook increases size of desktop and mobile ads
Facebook has increased the size of its page post link ads and page like ads in the newsfeed for both desktop and mobile. The changes, which look to make ads more visually engaging to users, and thus better for advertisers, can be seen below:
Twitter’s confidential IPO and overall changes
Twitter last week announced on their own network that they would be following in Facebook’s footsteps from 2012 and undergoing an IPO.
We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.
— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013
Interestingly, the offering will be confidential, unlike Facebook’s in May 2012, which has led to questions and comparisons between the two. Despite the initial dip in share prices when Facebook launched on the public market, it last week hit its highest ever share price of $45, with suggestions that Twitter has chosen this time to follow suit as a point for buyer confidence. There are, nonetheless, huge differences between the networks in size and scope and it will be interesting to see how the move pans out.
Meanwhile, there have been discussions about the potential future of Twitter as a platform going through changes as radical as those in its financial makeup. According to an article in the New Yorker, the microblogging network plans to further its transformation from a text-based service to a graphically intense one, with more immersive experiences based on individual platforms, particularly after the launch of Apple’s iOS7. Changes discussed include the removal of the ‘discover’ tab, with its format being applied more and more to the regular timeline, rendering it more similar to Facebook’s newsfeed. If these changes go ahead, it will mean that, in the coming years, Twitter will be a far cry from the network we know at the moment.
Google+ launches embeddable posts
Google+ has launched the ability for certain media outlets to embed posts, two months after Facebook did the same. The posts are available to the likes of Business Insider, Financial Times, TechCrunch and Elle and will be fully interactive, allowing users to +1, comment and follow a page from within the article. If they continue to follow Facebook’s lead, expect the functionality to be rolled out to all websites soon.
350 million Snapchat messages sent a day
Image-sharing network Snapchat now sees 350 million messages sent every day, up from 200 million in June. The network are also reportedly looking at how to monetise, with initial plans including in-app purchases, according to chief executive and founder Evan Spiegel. Spiegel has also admitted to speaking with Mark Zuckerberg, though the reasons behind their conversation are as yet unknown. Watch this space.
Social media and London/New York fashion weeks
As with any major event, London Fashion Week saw a great number of social media campaigns. Mulberry won the race to dominate online conversations, as their innovative teacup invitations helped them become the most talked-about #LFW brand, followed by Topshop Unique in second; the high street brand discussed backstreet preparations on Twitter and offered style appointments at its flagship Oxford Circus store. As for topics, 11% of posts talked about innovative invites and desire for a ticket to to shows, while 8% talked about competitions by designers.
Real-time social media campaigns were a feature of the week, as started by Tommy Hilfiger during its New York Fashion Week offering; the clothing brand received 200 million impressions on Twitter and Instagram after installing a 90 foot digital board behind the catwalk, featuring real-time social reaction to the collection. Topshop had something similar for its #LFW show, a live Twitter gallery that displayed the various outfits before and during the event. Moreover, fans could ‘Customise the catwalk’ through an app that allowed them to change the colours of various clothes as they appeared.
It was not just clothes brands that got involved, though. Nivea asked fans to share their ‘Outfit of the Day’ using the hashtags #OOTD and #NIVEASOFT on Twitter or Instagram. They then shortlisted 15 finalists, who were subject to a public vote; the winner received a beauty consultation with expert Giles Deacon. With all this buzz, it’s little wonder that Pinterest created a social hub for the event, especially considering its highly visual nature. A number of key influencers, including Burberry, British Fashion Council, Mulberry, Selfridges and Ted Baker all created content specifically-designed for the application.
Specsavers and Penguin produce crowdsourced crime thriller
Eyewear brand Specsavers and publishers Penguin have teamed up to produce a crowdsourced crime thriller, by asking fans to submit a framework using the hashtag #youdunnit. Three stories will then be written up by novelists Alistair Gunn, Nicci French and Tim Weaver and released for free on ebook.
Australians asked to post about citizenship on Instagram
The Australian government is asking its populace to celebrate Australian Citizenship Day by posting affirmations of citizenship on Instagram. A statement attributed to a government official said:
The citizenship affirmation is a way for Australians to publicly affirm their commitment and loyalty to this wonderful country. What we’re asking Aussies to do this Australian Citizenship Day is to create their own affirmation, starting with the words ‘As an Australian citizen, I affirm …’ and then explain a way they demonstrate what it means to be an Australian.