Here are all of the posts in the ‘News’ category.
Google is G
It’s been 17 years since a little search page on a desktop PC launched and over the years it’s evolved into the Google we know and love today. To mark this evolution, Google has debuted a new colourful G logo to replace the little blue ‘g’ icon that previously appeared in various of its products.
— Google (@google) September 1, 2015
Instagram Direct gets an update
Ever seen a photo on Instagram and wished for an easier way to share it with your friends privately? Well, Instagram has just made it a whole lot easier to send Direct Messages by placing a little arrow beneath all pictures in your feed so your always just a few taps away from private sharing. They’ve also added threaded messages making it easier to follow conversations on the platform as well as larger than life emojis (their words) to jazz up your chats.
Facebook sets new 1 billion logged in user record
It’s official: 1 in 7 people on earth logged into Facebook last Monday, a massive milestone for what started as a small exclusive network just for Harvard students back in 2004. Mark Zuckerberg posted this update to commemorate the occasion: Facebook introduces personal assistant ‘M’
Siri and Cortana better watch out, as Facebook has announced it’s acquiring the skills of MI6’s head, ‘M’ to help out with users’ day to day tasks. A bit of a down-step for the first lady of espionage but it can’t all be go go go, right? Only joking of course, but ‘M’ is the name of Facebook’s new personal assistant service, which will be a hybrid of human and computer assistance. ‘M’ is predicted to be able to help with gift buying, holiday booking and much much more. This news is exciting for brands (less so for other Chat Apps), but our own Marketing Director, Tom Ollerton has a reservation, telling Marketing Week: “I imagine there will be sponsorship opportunities for certain categories or locations, but Facebook will need to be careful not to lose the authenticity of any recommendations,”. Now when do we get our exploding pen?
Facebook add ‘Donate Now’ buttons for nonprofits
In a move to benefit charities and nonprofit organisations, Facebook has made a ‘Donate Now’ button available for pages and link ads. It is well known that Facebook is often now used for online giving, the new addition also furthers Facebook’s case to marketers that its pages can drive conversions. Charity win, Facebook WIN.
Instagram stops being so square
Did you know, one in five Instagram photos is currently uploaded with… I’m not sure I can even bear to type it… white space around it?! Luckily Instagram has taken steps to fix this terrible plague that has gripped the planet by now allowing photos and videos to be uploaded which AREN’T square. You have read correctly, non-square images and videos are now allowed on Instagram. Great news for giraffes! This brings pros and cons with it as brands will now more easily be able to incorporate Instagram into their campaigns but with horizontal space also brings fear of banner ads clogging up users feeds. Brands such as Victoria’s Secret and NBC’s Saturday Night Live have already tested the feature which enables more cinematic widescreen content.
Make music videos with your photos using Facebook Moments
Facebook Moments, an app designed to ease photo sharing among friends, has released a new update which lets you create montages of your favourite pictures from Facebook set to music, and share the video back to Facebook again. Now if only you could pick ‘We’re On The Road To Nowhere’ by Talking Heads, I think it would go well with my recent birthday snaps. Moments is an app created by Facebook’s Creative Labs initiative and the new music video addition should hopefully entice uninitiated users to try it out.
Twitter is up to something and Taylor knows the secret
It looks like Twitter is about to up its photo and video editing offering after Taylor Swift, Pharrell and Big Sean all posted some new ‘funky’ (look at me, talking like a mum!) images and videos up during the recent MTV VMAs. It seems that users should soon be able to add a little more creativity to their Twitter images, yes that’s right, even YOU could be able to overlay zebras AND giraffes onto your posts (second giraffe mention of the day).
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) August 30, 2015
SlideShare rebranded as LinkedIn SlideShare, new clipping functionality
Three years after acquisition, SlideShare has made it official and changed its name to LinkedIn SlideShare. Along with this, it has a new ‘clipping’ option which means you can save your favourite slides from presentations and also group the slides together a la Pinterest for later perusal and inspiration.
LinkedIn revamps its messages by adding gif and emoji capabilities
In a bid to encourage people to use LinkedIn more for messaging, it has introduced what all people want when contacting potential future employees, gifs and emojis. LinkedIn has hinted that there may be further messaging updates coming, including voice and video features or perhaps debriefings post meetings but this is as of yet unconfirmed.
Snapchat creates ‘Back To School’ channel, helping marketers target 13-24s
Snapchat’s Back To School channel has been created for users to upload their experiences of returning to school and college. It also tackles a previous advertiser gripe which is that despite its famously high advertising costs, Snapchat offers little in way of guaranteed user targeting, similar to television. This makes the Back To School feed a brand sweet spot for those wishing to target the 13-24 year old audience and it has subsequently seen Pink, Coca-Cola and the movie “The Visit” all taking this rare opportunity.
Snapchat is charging brands for video ads viewed for less than a second
Not all brands are loving Snapchat it seems, as it has been revealed that it is charging advertisers 2 cents per video view, even when the views are zero seconds long. Snapchat has purported advertising benefits such as vertical video content only (which means users don’t have to rotate their phones to view) and also the fact that the videos take up the entire screen, meaning users can’t look at anything else simultaneously. I would also like to argue that zero seconds of video can stay with you *coughs* lemon party *coughs*.
Target encourages fans to Share The Force
In a partnership with Lucasfilm, Target is encouraging Star Wars fans to upload their favourite memories, be it light sabre fights, Chewbacca impression or good old-fashion Princess Leia sex fantasy (joke – DEFINITELY DON’T DO THAT). Users can upload their photos and videos from Facebook and Instagram to receive galactic coordinates as to where their memories will then be housed. This is all leading towards the hotly-anticipated December release.
Reynolds rides #FoodPorn hashtag with interactive cookbook
If you imagine Nigella’s Instagram feed as a food porn image hub, then Reynolds’ new Instagram cookbook is a multi-screened XXX back-street food porn cinema. The brand has created whole tables of interactive food on Instagram which lead to sub accounts with instructions on how to make the lovely-jubbly grub.
What you need to know about the VMAs and also totally useless fun stuff
If the world thought they could get away with not see Miley’s nipple or Kanye announcing a presidential campaign in 2020 during MTV’s VMAs, they were wrong. With 26% of the 16.5 million tweets being positive, it seemed that the public even… liked it? But maybe that was just them enjoying Bieber crying. MTV also inserted a Moonman emoji into every tweet using the hashtag #VMAs or #VMA which people seemed to enjoy.
Vine was crowned the winning content platform during the ceremony with the most social interactions of all social networks, and with content such as Kanye pretending to be asleep, we’re not surprised (read: we are very surprised as to how this has happened).
Finally, 24 advertisers also signed up to sponsor what MTV called, the ‘Millennial Super Bowl’, feeding their content to users where the most conversations around the event were taking place, Twitter and Snapchat. This was mainly via real-time tweets, ads and, for the first time, branded Periscopes.
38 new emoji submitted for consideration
Exciting news for emoji fans as the Unicode Consortium has released 38 new emoji that it’s considering for next summer’s Unicode 9 release. Highlights among them are an avocado, bacon, a selfie and a dancing man for the long-suffering singleton, dancing woman. Let’s hope there’s a giraffe also included!
Tumblr has now launched in Australia!
The blogging platform Tumblr has teamed up with Yahoo7 to launch in Australia last Thursday night. Australia is the first non-American market to be commercialised for the platform. Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp explained, “part of why Australia was the first stop for our international rollout was that it is one of the biggest organic markets in the world.”
The youth orientated platform has found that there are currently around 4.6 million Tumblr users within Australia and growing, with half of those users estimated to be between 18-35 years of age.
So with all the social platforms that are out there what is it that makes Tumblr a platform that is different from the others? “Tumblr offers the best of two online worlds; combining the creative control of a traditional website with the active audience of a social platform. Tumblr’s users are actively seeking out content that inspires and entertains them, opening the doors for brands to be more creative and tell their story in new and more authentic ways” explained Ed Harrison, CEO of Yahoo7.
The first comprehensive study on the business of blogging in Australia
A survey on Australian bloggers by Catablog.com.au has found some interesting statistics about how lucrative blogging is as a business. What the study found was that half of the bloggers earning income consider it as extra spending money, while 20 percent said their earnings were equivalent to part time work and 11 percent full-time.
Most of the income that bloggers gain is from sponsored blog posts, but as there is no industry standard price “half believe the average invoice for a sponsored post is anything up to $250, while 20 percent say it’s between $250 and $400. Others say it’s closer to $600.”
Interestingly though, bloggers are not in it just for the money. When asked about their motivations for doing it, they said that they enjoyed blogging as it assisted them in helping and inspiring others and also in creating a community.
Google and Twitter get cosy with desktop search result integration
It is now possible to view tweet feeds and hashtags on the desktop version of Google’s search results. Twitter and Google announced a new partnership in February, and Twitter integration has been available on Google’s mobile website and apps since May, but it’s nice to see the pair getting along so well with another public display of affection on all of our desktops…
Facebook overtakes Google as traffic source for news and media
Traffic analysis from Parse.ly with data from over 400 major news and media outlets, has revealed that Facebook has overtaken Google as a traffic source and bolstering the theory that search has hit a plateau while Facebook’s growth trajectory continues to head skyward.
Facebook finally gifts pages and ads with gifs
After rolling out gifs to individual users in May, Facebook has now allowed select business pages to use the flashy graphics. It has been reported that Mark Zuckerberg has in the past held reservations about flashing banner ads in case they negatively affected user experience. I’m less bothered about flashing images and more about the constant penis enlargement ads I’m served. The user reaction to gifs will be monitored closely before a full roll-out to all businesses.
Coca-Cola’s Brazilian brand Kuat’s first gif offering
Facebook is planning to spruce its events offering right up
It’s time for Facebook events to get an overhaul and new details have been confirmed by the Facebook product manager for Facebook Events, Aditya Koolwal. One main goal is to separate out public and private events more significantly. Koolwal has also revealed that the ultimate goal is for Facebook to offer users a tailored list of what’s going on in any given city at any given time. Now please excuse me, I have a ‘WORLD’S LONGEST Slip ‘N’ Slide!!!!’ to attend.
Twitter ads now being served through mobile apps
Brands can now access more users with Twitter creative, through mobile apps (that aren’t Twitter) via the Twitter Audience Platform (TAP). Macy’s, who has used the technology reported engagement rates much higher than industry benchmarks. See below how the Twitter ads appear to users. I’ll just type Twitter one more time now. Twitter.
Twitter CFO calls for patience as stock falls below IPO price for first time
Bad times for Twitter as its stock dropped below $26 last week, the price set during its initial public offering in November 2013, against a background of ongoing concerns about a lack of growth in its user-base. One reason offered by Twitter for its trouble attracting new users is that it remains “too difficult to use” to truly reach a mass market beyond celebrities and journalists. I’ve taken it upon myself to look into the matter in depth myself. A quote from my mother: “I agree”.
Kik receives $50M cash injection from China’s Tencent
Tencent, the biggest internet company in China, who also own WeChat, is set to help Kik realise its dream of becoming the “WeChat Of The West” through a strategic partnership and a $50m investment. Kik, according to GlobalWebIndex, is currently the 4th placed messenger app amongst 16-24 year-olds in US, behind Facebbook Messenger, Snapchat and Skype. Kik plan to use the money for innovative development in the hope of taking on the the big players of the messaging world, with ambitions of taking on even Facebook Messenger.
Old Spice get it right again by cracking tough Imgur crowd
After its ‘loony’ Instagram adventure game, those mentalist nutters at Old Spice are all aboard the banter train once again with a new batch of promoted content on Imgur. The notoriously picky users of the platform have responded well to the ‘Gif off’, with one erudite user exclaiming: “The beautiful bastards in your marketing department understand me better than any man.”.
Man from UNCLE Instagram hack brings out the secret agent in users
The Warner Brothers UK team have used Instagram to hide a secret message for users. The message is revealed by regramming the image and applying a certain filter with the chance of winning a swanky watch fit for a spy. I’d love to tell you which filter it is but if I did I would have to kill you.
Ronald McDonald’s WLTM Tinder audience to advertise to
McDonald’s have surprised Tinder users in Australia this week after launching a competition on the dating app where users can win a trip to Thailand by swiping right when faced with the brand’s profile. With more late night trysts with sauce-covered hot chicken McNuggets than I care to mention, I’m confident for a match.
UK vlogger guidance issued followed Kim Kardashian’s banned selfie
New guidelines have been issued in the UK to vloggers after claims have been made that influencers have been put under pressure to keep commercial partnerships a secret from their fans. The new rules outline exactly what you can and can’t do within the UK advertising code and will act at the go to guide to help vloggers push back on unreasonable requests.
We all love to claim that we ‘never watch television’… but my 12-year-old daughter genuinely doesn’t.
She literally hasn’t set finger on the TV remote in over a year.
From a professional perspective, it set me wondering: if there’s a generation coming through who will never watch linear television – and I now firmly believe they never will – how can we help brands reach them?
Let’s start by looking at what my daughter’s media consumption actually is, if it isn’t TV. She’s listening to music on Spotify, watching movies or series on Netflix, she’s talking to her friends on Snapchat and Instagram, but more interestingly, she’s watching heaps of YouTube content. And once I got under the skin of what she was watching, it really rocked my world.
She’s not much of a girly-girl, but she’s watched countless hours of fashion and make-up tutorials from Zoella and Bethany Mota. She’s no gamer, but knows exactly who PewDiePie is. She gets her giggles from Natalie Tran and Nigahiga, and she follows Troye Sivan, Tyde Levi and Tyler Oakley like a religion. Between all of whom they have a combined audience greater than the population of Australia. In fact, PewDiePie alone has almost twice as many subscribers as we do citizens.
And she’s not just watching their content on YouTube; she’s following them on other social channels like Instagram and Twitter.
It’s possible you’ve never heard of any of these characters, but let me tell you, they are more influential amongst this younger age cohort than any TV celebrity. With literally millions of followers apiece, they have greater reach than many Hollywood movie stars.
Clearly, plenty of movie stars also have big social followings, but if you want them to do a celebrity endorsement, it comes with a multi-million dollar price tag, whereas with the new-school ‘Influencers’, you are talking just tens of thousands, if that.
And it’s not just tweens who are tuning-in to Influencers; there’s mummy bloggers who are setting political agendas, fashion Instagrammers who are creating seasonal trends, and Youtubers who are making or breaking tech product launches.
Brands are beginning to understand the power of these wunderkinds, but something tells me we’re only at the start of this new wave of marketing. Certainly, most conversations we’re having with clients at We Are Social involve an aspect of Influencer marketing.
This recent article in Ad Week makes a very compelling argument for why any marketer should be considering Influencer Marketing as part of their programme. One of the ten reasons they gave was that it’s an arbitrage – something that is selling for cheaper than it’s actually worth. Which makes it an even more interesting phenomenon when you consider that mainstream media is probably selling for more than it’s worth.
The other thing I find incredibly interesting about this trend is that most of the content would never be commissioned by mainstream television networks, yet seems to be reaching far bigger audiences than any of our ‘top rating’ shows.
This recent Variety article ranked the top 12 digital ‘famechangers’, and you’ll notice that most of them focus on what could be considered quirky or ‘niche’ topics, but regardless, they are finding huge audiences. In the democratised world of YouTube, where content isn’t commissioned by the powers-that-be at the top of a network, but subscribed-to by the viewer, we are perhaps seeing a truer reflection of people’s real passions and interests, whether that be gaming, science, or even acrobatics.
The production values are rubbish, but the audience just don’t care. If anything, it seems to add to the relatability of the stars.
Awareness of the phenomenon is definitely on the rise – the table below from the above mentioned Adweek article shows the steep rise in the number of searches for the term ‘influencer marketing’ – but I’m still surprised by the number of people I speak to who aren’t yet fully aware of the impact and reach of these influencers, or clients who don’t see the value in it.
At We Are Social we have been working with Influencers for some years now, so have built up strong relationships with many of them.
For example, we worked with Mighty Car Mods – the only Australian entry into Variety’s list of top 12 Digital Famechangers – to support the launch of Roadshow Films’ Mad Max: Fury Road.
We’ve found that the process of creating a successful Influencer campaign involves working closely with the Influencers to design content that will seamlessly integrate the brand message in a way that appeals to their audience. The Influencers are very aware of what their audience like and don’t like, since they have personally grown and tended to their audience over time, and will not do anything that they think will alienate their audience.
Additionally, we always aim to work with Influencers who have a true interest in or affinity to the brand. In the case of Netflix, we worked with a whole host of Influencers to support the launch here in Australia, including developing what turned into a blockbuster campaign with Troye Sivan to promote Netflix’s Originals Series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In planning the campaign, our social listening research highlighted that many of these key Influencers were already organically talking about and eagerly anticipating Netflix’s arrival here in Australia, so working with them as ambassadors made total sense. They were able to credibly endorse the brand, and it worked its socks off.
So next time your agency recommends Influencers as part of your marketing campaign, I strongly recommend you give it serious consideration. They potentially have greater reach than mainstream media at a more efficient price, and more genuine influence than most celebrities.
New Facebook data analysis has revealed what we’ve all expected, “haha” is the new “LOL”. The study has shown a staggering 51.4% of people use “haha” and 33.7% use an emoji to laugh on the internet. The research did have limitations, only including posts and comments on Facebook and excluding Facebook Messenger. The entire study is a fascinating look into e-laughter.
G is for Google
Google has created a new parent company, Alphabet. The two Google co-founders will run the company, with Larry Page as CEO and Sergey Brin as president. Internet-centric services including Chrome, Youtube and Google Maps will continue to be run by Google. Other projects such as X Lab will now run as separate entities. #Tech Twitter is having a field day.
I can’t want for other tech companies to create tech companies that own their tech companies. #itwillhappen
— Jessica Lessin (@Jessicalessin) August 10, 2015
is this how they buy twitter?
— harper (@harper) August 10, 2015
Snapchat will stop being such a data hog
Snapchat has released a new update that will prevent the app from using too much of your data. “Travel Mode” will turn off snaps including Snapchat Stories or Discovery from automatically downloading. Another additional feature from the update is more emoji support. Using a feature called Sticker Picker, emoji can be placed all over your snap, not just on a text line.
The YouTube versus Facebook video debate continues
Although Facebook is fast becoming a real rival to YouTube with its video offering, a debate has started around which metric is most useful to brands when measuring effectiveness on both platforms. Facebook places emphasis on ‘views’, which are logged after three seconds of watching, a strategy which has seen their results publicly scrutinised. YouTube on the other hand thinks ‘watch time’ is where it’s at.
Facebook lets users respond privately to local-awareness ads
In a move that pushes Facebook further into the direct response channel realm, a local-awareness ad service has been introduced that lets users message businesses directly with customer service queries. Businesses that respond quickly to users’ rants and raves will also get a public badge rating them as ‘highly responsive’.
Facebook adds live streaming – but it’s not for you
Unless you’re reading this Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson *waves*. A live streaming service has been introduced on Facebook but at this stage it’s ring-fenced just for the famous. Facebook has not commented on whether it will eventually be rolled out for brands or us, the lowly non-famous.
Instagram finally switches on its money jets (advertising API)
Following what has been described as “one of the most anticipated moments in the evolution of advertising”, marketers will be able to advertise on Instagram just as they do on Facebook and Twitter. Now brands can sidestep phone calls with Instagram sales reps and instead self-serve ads with third-party platforms.
Twitter to roll out ‘breaking news’ tab
Twitter wants to get serious about news. How serious? Making a new tab serious, that’s how serious! When you click the tab, you’ll see curated top stories from major news publishers like The New York Times and CBS. It’s unconfirmed when this feature will be fully rolled out, so watch this space.
LinkedIn proves itself further for B2B advertising
It has been announced that LinkedIn’s native Sponsored Updates has accounted for 45% of its ad revenue in the second quarter of this year. This is a result of the platform’s move away from supplying traffic to third-party publishers and instead becoming a publishing platform in its own right.
Social Selling Index helps LinkedIn users measure personal brand health
Sales professionals on LinkedIn, or anyone else interested in ‘social selling’, will now be able identify key areas for improvement using its new Social Selling Index, which rates users out of 100 based on four categories. I won’t tell you what they are here but will reveal that none of them are based on how dashing you look in your profile picture.
Republican presidential hopefuls’ social media offerings
Behind every self-respecting politician nowadays is a social media-savvy twentysomething with a smart phone and a Vine account. Ad Age has kindly compiled a look at the best, or the worst (I just can’t tell anymore) of the Republican presidential candidates’ new media attempts. #DontMessWithTheInternet
Tweets that made #NationalUnderwearDay weirder To end my inaugural mash-up, it was National Underwear Day last week, I know! Did you not celebrate? Brands like Calvin Klein and Spanx also didn’t but luckily for us Justin Bieber’s package gets re-aired virtually by Vevo and two Postman Pats encourage you to ‘keep it clean’. Here are some of the best, but for a post mash-up treat, search Lenny Kravitz on Twitter to see how he (unofficially) celebrated. You’re welcome.
— The Maytag Man (@TheMaytagMan) August 5, 2015
Heads up, your Twitter wallpaper has gone
If you thought Twitter was looking very bland recently, you’re not wrong.
my twitter wallpaper has disappeared and been replaced by a blank space, just like my heart
— Neil (@armchairlb) July 20, 2015
Twitter has removed all users background images from the home and notifications timelines. The solid white background has replaced users customisable wallpaper.
NASA debuts Pluto Surface Photo on Instagram
NASA debuted its first surface image of Pluto to its 4 million Instagram followers, giving the photo-sharing service an hour head start before being officially released. As a way to engage with a new audience, the space agency pushed the photo directly to Instagram’s 300 million users, then to their official website.
Gorgeous Pluto! The dwarf planet has sent a love note back to Earth via our New Horizons spacecraft, which has traveled more than 9 years and 3+ billion miles. This is the last and most detailed image of Pluto sent to Earth before the moment of closest approach, which was at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday – about 7,750 miles above the surface — roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India – making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth. This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from the surface. Images from closest approach are expected to be released on Wednesday, July 15. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI #nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons#solarsystem #nasabeyond #science
A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on
YouTube viewing time grows 60% in a year
Q2 looked good for YouTube, as overall viewing time grew 60% year-on-year. Mobile was particularly strong; the average viewing session on mobile grew 50% in the same period to 40 minutes. According to Google’s chief business officer Omid Kordestani, more people now watch YouTube on mobile than watch video on any US cable network.
Facebook is working on a virtual assistant
Facebook is developing a virtual assistant for its standalone Messenger app. The feature’s details are still under wraps, but we can expect the ability to ask real people for help with searching for products and services. Oh, and it’s being referred to internally as ‘Moneypenny’, making it the closest most Messenger users will get to being James Bond.
Facebook to create fully shoppable pages
Facebook is building ‘Shop’ pages, where users can enjoy the entire shopping experience, from discovery to purchase, within the network. We don’t know exactly what they’ll look like yet, but here’s a mock up for the impatient among you:
‘The Power of Four’ from 20th Century Fox and We Are Social
To promote the upcoming Fantastic Four film, 20th Century Fox and We Are Social’s Singapore office have created ‘The Power of Four’. It’s a content-led Instagram campaign that asks users to work in teams of four and locate hidden visuals across each character’s feed, for the chance to win tickets to an exclusive movie screening.
Pinterest and Waitrose form partnership
Waitrose has launched a Pinterest campaign dubbed #TasteOfSummer, which asks customers for input into what makes the ultimate ‘taste of summer’. Interestingly, the platform actually approached the supermarket about the campaign, as it looks to test content and introduce advertising into its business in the UK.
Laphroaig to project tweets on its distillery wall
Laphroaig, the Scottish whisky, is celebrating its 200th anniversary by projecting tweets about the drink on its distillery wall. The move, called #BigOpinions, is part of a larger campaign, #OpinionsWelcome. That means all opinions, good, bad and everything in between. Here’s one of our favourites.
— Greg Saunders (@GKSauce) July 8, 2015
Brands and World Emoji Day Put it in your diaries, July 17th is World Emoji Day. Naturally, brands were keen to get involved last week (as we’re sure they will be next year). Here are some examples of their work.
— Disney UK (@Disney_UK) July 17, 2015
— Barbican Centre (@BarbicanCentre) July 17, 2015
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) July 17, 2015