We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #208

News
nick.mulligan

Twitter is struggling to keep users tweeting
Twopcharts, a site that measures account activity on Twitter, has produced reports that display the platform’s retention issue. Almost 40% of the 20m accounts registered every month send at least one tweet in the first month, but this is likely to decrease to one quarter after a year. It may be the case that Twitter users are logging in but not tweeting. The table below shows the extent of the issue.

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Instagram hits 200 million users
Instagram produced a blog post last week to celebrate passing the 200 million user milestone. The network, which has added 50 million users in the last six months, has now seen over 20bn photos shared. Its growth in the US is particularly impressive, where there are now 50.6 million users in total, of whom 35 million access Instagram at least once a month. These figures mean Instagram and Twitter are now very similar in size – the former has more mobile users, but the latter’s desktop usage leaves it slightly larger overall.

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Twitter and TV
There were two pieces of research released by Twitter today about Twitter’s relationship with TV. The first discussed the importance of hashtags: 75% of those surveyed believed hashtags were used because they were seen on TV, while 76% thought other users made sure tweets about TV were funny in order to get retweets. Finally, 69% liked seeing celebrities talk about TV on Twitter. The second looked at the way in which people discuss TV on the network, making a distinction between ‘relaxed’ and ‘engaged’ types of behaviour. Analysis of two BBC programmes, Line of Duty and The Voice UK, display the difference between drama and live events. For drama, conversation peaks before and after the show, while talent shows tend to produce sustained chat throughout.

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How marketers use Twitter
Twitter’s use for marketers is primarily in increasing brand awareness, as 72% of respondents made clear in a recent survey of more than 1,000 marketing professionals.

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Perhaps oddly, considering the above goal, Socialbakers found that only 23% of marketers are using Twitter advertising at the moment. This falls in fourth place among social networks, after Facebook (92%), YouTube (35%) and LinkedIn (24%).

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Wisemetrics produce research on Facebook reach
Wisemetrics has produced an article about the extent of the decrease in post reach on Facebook. They display that it has been a two-step process, with dips in both August and November, followed by a plateau since roughly January. The larger the page, the bigger the decrease: pages with over one million fans have suffered a 40% decrease, compared with 20% for pages with one thousand.

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Facebook is number one for social commerce
Facebook drives by far the most online commerce of all social sites, according to online store operator, Shopify, and accounts for almost two-thirds of referrals to sites operated by the company. In total, 85% of all social orders were driven by Facebook, which amounts to a 129% year-on-year increase. It wasn’t the highest in terms of order value, though, coming in fourth behind Polyvore, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Facebook purchases Oculus-VR
Facebook has announced its intention to purchase Oculus VR, known best for the ‘Oculus Rift’, a 3d virtual reality headset. The move is worth $2bn in cash and stocks and is described by Mark Zuckerberg as a “long-term bet on the future of computing.” Nick Hearne, senior creative at We Are Social, spoke to the Drum about constrasting senses of “admiration and trepidation” about the move:

I’d certainly question whether this is even the right move for Facebook right now. For me, Google’s move into robotics with the purchase of Boston Dynamics has more credibility than Facebook moving into virtual reality. We’ll have to wait and see whether this acquisition is an admirable ‘moonshot’, or a case of joining the scramble to snap up any hot new tech companies for Zuckerberg and co.

Other online users were even more sceptical, to the extent that Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, had to take to Reddit to quell fears about the future of his company. He assured users that a Facebook account wouldn’t be needed to use Rift, but didn’t rule out either Facebook branding or in-game advertising.

Facebook expands Lookalike Audiences
Facebook has extended the capability of Lookalike Audiences. Now, advertisers can create audiences based on people who visit their website, use their mobile apps or are connected to their Facebook pages, where previously only information like email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs could be used.

Twitter makes photos ‘more social’
Twitter introduced two major changes to photographs last week: users can now tag up to ten others in a photo and post four separate photos in one tweet. Naturally, certain brands were quick to react, as shown in the below examples.

Twitter partners with Billboard and ITV
Twitter announced two partnerships this week. First of all, the network will be working with Billboard to create social music charts, based on online chatter, which will include a section for ‘new and upcoming’ artists. Secondly, the UK’s ITV has announced that it will start using Twitter’s Amplify service, which will allow brands to purchase pre or post-roll adverts on ITV content across the network.

LinkedIn introduces Insights for published content
LinkedIn has announced a free set of Insights, aimed at showing brands how effectively their content is performing on the site. Not only can companies see which stories are trending on the platform, but each will be assigned a performance score based on the effectiveness of their posts, as well as those of related influencers and employees.

It is this last group that could be key to brands’ success on the platform. Last week, Adweek published a piece on the importance of employees on LinkedIn, discussing how their cumulative reach can be higher than that of the brand itself.

Pinterest is preparing to launch ad business
Pinterest is getting ready to roll out the ad business it has been testing since last September, with a soft launch planned for April. Digiday showed some examples of how the ads will look, which reportedly came from a pitch deck sent by Pinterest to an unnamed agency. Other takeouts from the deck include the main target audience (women on mobile), the cost ($30 per 1,000 impressions) and the plans for targeting, which will occur on both a national and regional basis.

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Foursquare launches ‘Tap to Tweet’ ad product
Foursquare has added a new element to its ad offering. Entitled ‘Tap to Tweet’, the system encourages users to tweet pre-written marketing messages on checking into certain locations.

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BlackBerry looking to monetise BBM
BlackBerry has updated its BBM instant messenger with two new features, each aimed at raising revenue. The platform will now feature sponsored content, alongside a virtual goods store that allows users to purchase stickers.

The Sun adds hashtags to print stories
British newspaper The Sun has become the first of its national rivals to include hashtags in print stories. A postscript titled “What Do You Think?” appears at the bottom of certain articles, encouraging readers to take to Twitter to discuss the paper’s content.

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Nike hosts ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout
Sportswear giant Nike hosted the first ever ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout last week, in partnership with Asos, to celebrate 27 years of the Air Max product. Hosted by MTV’s Rebecca Dudley, the stunt discussed the various different ways in which the trainers can be worn.

Taco Bell buys its first Instagram adverts
Fast food chain, Taco Bell, is promoting its new breakfast menu using the hashtag #WakeUpLiveMas, and will do so by purchasing Instagram ads for the first time. Other social marketing is being employed, too, including Vine videos, Snapchat messaging and the influencer activity we reported in last week’s Mashup.

We Are Social helps Strongbow launch Rio competition
Cider brand Strongbow is asking men’s 5-a-side football teams from the UK to compete for the opportunity to play against one of Brazil’s best female teams in Rio this summer. The team will be coached by ex-footballer Chris Kamara, TV personality Mark Wright and Brazilian coach Janio Cruz. Teams can sign up using a Facebook app, created by We Are Social, which has also produced social content to drive applications.

Wu Tang Clan doubles Facebook audience in one day
Wu Tang Clan announced that they will release just one copy of their next album. This generated so much chat on Facebook that they increased their fan base from 2.9 million to 4.8 million in just one day.

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West Ham United announce social media match
English Premier League football club, West Ham United, will be marking their game against Hull City with twelve different pieces of activity on social media, including competitions, tweeting by players and a man of the match vote. We wonder how much it can distract people from having to actually watch Sam Allardyce’s team.

Barack Obama joins Quora
Following in the footsteps of his Reddit AMA, Barack Obama is joining Quora to answer questions on the Affordable Healthcare Act, and will become the first verified account on the site. Unlike on Reddit, he will not be responding live; instead, the President will answer questions that people have already asked on Quora about the act. His answers will be aggregated on his profile and across the site under existing topics.