Here are all of the posts in the ‘Uncategorized’ category.
Landmark win for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Australians who pirated the movie Dallas Buyers Club may be in trouble. A Federal Court judge ruled in favour of Voltage Pictures and has ordered several Australian internet providers to share the personal details of 4,726 customers. The customers on the list allegedly seeded the movie on BitTorrent.
Australian Taxi vs. Uber War
A competition review has heated up the battle between Uber and the taxi industry in Australia. The Competition Policy Review by Ian Harper highlighted the increasing costs and lack of innovation due to taxi regulation in Australia. Will Australian regulation be able to adapt to change? Uber is one of many major rideshare apps to enter Australia, with several more waiting to step into the market.
The reach and engagement of US social
comScore has released its 2015 US Digital Future in Focus report, which analyses the reach and engagement of major social networks. Facebook is, quite literally, off the charts, at least in the case of the below graph. It reaches 81% of the total digital population and amasses 230bn minutes of engagement; Instagram follows in the latter category with 122bn, while Google+ is runner-up for reach at 38%.
Choose your preferred page audience on Facebook
Some Facebook page admins are seeing the option to designate a ‘Preferred Page Audience’. The feature, which has reportedly been on trial since February, allows an audience to be selected by location, interests or age, making it more likely that the page will be shown to the most relevant people.
Facebook launches Riff
Facebook wants people to create collaborative videos with its new app, Riff. The brand new offering allows users to shoot a video of up to 20 seconds, give a title instructing others what to do and watch as their friends’ clips join together to create a unified video.
Tinder’s first video ads
Tinderers! Your right-swiping finger is set to get a brief rest, as the app has launched its first video ads. Initially these are US only, in partnership with Bud Light; Tinder’s trying a number of different video lengths.
NY auto show is a hotbed for live streaming
Both Meerkat and Periscope are already taking off with major brands, nowhere more than at New York’s auto show. A total of four new cars were revealed across the two platforms; Mercedes on Meerkat, Jaguar and Nissan on Periscope and Toyota on both.
Chevrolet makes the #BestDayEver out of April 1st
The folks over at Chevrolet had had enough of April Fools’ Day pranks, so they decided to transform April 1st into the #BestDayEver. In conjunction with comedy network Jash and a host of influencers and celebrities, from Manchester United FC and Olivia Wilde to Tyler Oakley, the auto brand set up positive pranks for unsuspecting Americans, including makeovers, free pizza and a live Kelly Clarkson gig.
Poltergeist scaring Twitter with #WhatAreYouAfraidOf
Fox is promoting its new horror film, Poltergeist, by asking Twitter users #WhatAreYouAfraidOf. The movie studio is replying to people who use the hashtag with custom images, gifs and videos created from the film. If you’re a big fan of horrifically scary clowns, then definitely watch the example below.
— Poltergeist (@Poltergeist) April 2, 2015
Dress gets promoted by 50 Instagrammers
Fashion retailer Lord & Taylor got 50 Instagram influencers to wear the same dress. Aside from making for a very awkward party, the move was clearly a success, as the dress sold out straight away. It’s an interesting piece of influencer engagement, but one that has raised questions in a piece by Digiday. The article argues that a number of the posts were not properly disclosed as per FTC guidelines and goes on to suggest that, should bloggers and other online influencers become too ready to mix sponsored content with their own, it may lead to a breakdown of the relationship between creators and their audiences.
Hellmann’s turns fan comment into TV ad
What do you get when a Facebook fan says your product is the best thing ever created? You use it as the cornerstone of a £15m campaign, obviously. Hellmann’s features a fan comment as the tagline of its new TV ad, which compares its mayonnaise to the lightbulb, roller coaster faces and the internet.
Clarks creates WhatsApp campaign for desert boots
Clarks Originals has launched a WhatsApp campaign to celebrate the history of its desert boots. Users can add three different accounts to get updates about different subcultures to whom the boot has been important: mods, rudeboys and ‘the enraged’. In other news, I’m literally wearing a pair of Clarks desert boots right now. They’re black suede.
RBS chairman leaves his job after Snapchat debacle
A dad sends selfies to to his daughter via Snapchat, she then uploads them to Instagram. It’s a wonderfully cute story for the 21st Century. Unless, of course, you’re RBS chairman Rory Cullinan, who has left the bank just weeks after his ‘bored at work’ snaps were discovered by the national media. The perils of screengrabs, eh?
Happy Netflix day!
It is finally here – the day people down under have been waiting for. Netflix has launched in Australia and New Zealand. Go forth and binge! The announcement was first made on Netflix’s Twitter and Facebook pages just past midnight today. The hashtag #NetflixDownUnder started trending countrywide this morning and eventually making a worldwide impact as shown below.
— Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) March 23, 2015
Ahead of the launch party, the Netflix cast are in town. Over the weekend YouTuber Natalie Tran took over Netflix’s Instagram channel whilst taking the cast around the Sydney landmarks.
Pay your friends through Facebook
Facebook has added free, friend-to-friend payments via its Messenger app. Certain Facebook users (currently in the US only) can add a Visa/Mastercard debit card to gain access to a $ button, by which they can transfer money. The launch was announced in the below video, featuring one Steve Davis (though sadly not the snooker legend).
Facebook to beef up Messenger
Inspired by the likes of WeChat and Line, Facebook is planning to expand its Messenger app into a platform that does more than facilitate conversation. The first step is finding ways for third parties to build on Messenger, though we’ll be expecting further moves in the future.
Youtube replaces Annotations with Cards
YouTube is replacing ‘Annotations’, which allow creators to add clickable overlay to videos, with a new feature: ‘Cards’. The updated system benefits from mobile optimisation and a new visual style; cards will appear to the right-hand-side of the video, and can include different images/text depending on which card is used. The six announced thus far are: Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding.
LinkedIn acquires ‘Careerify’ startup
LinkedIn has purchased Careerify, a startup that creates software to aid the hiring process. Careerify uses connections across social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) to automatically discover potential ‘recommendations’ for an open position. As LinkedIn looks to use data to create connections between users and potential jobs, the move could prove very useful.
Jameson lauds the shot for St. Patrick’s Day
Last week was St. Patrick’s Day, in case you’ve forgotten (for whatever reason). Jameson Irish Whiskey used #LongLivetheShot as the basis for a multidimensional social campaign during and after the event, involving a feature called ‘Shots Eye View’ that asked for pictures through the lens of a whiskey glass, videos that celebrated bartenders and geotargeted location-specific Facebook ads.
Red or brown? Heinz and We Are Social settle the debate
Heinz and We Are Social are determined to find the answer to the age old question: Tomato Ketchup or HP Sauce? The FMCG brand is pitting two of its products against one another in a content-led campaign that includes propaganda from both sides, driving to a vote on a dedicated microsite.
Tinder bot promotes sci-fi AI film
Ex Machina, a sci-fi film about artificial intelligence, has been using Tinder as part of its promotion. Users who match with ‘Ava’, whose profile picture shows the film’s star, Alicia Vikander, end up conversing with a bot that asks a series of odd questions. She then says ‘you’ve passed my test’ and links to an Instagram account for the film. Alan Turing, eat your heart out.
Brands post more on Instagram than Facebook
As organic reach on Facebook reaches an all time low, brands are turning to Instagram. A new study has shown that the world’s top 250 brands post on average 9.3 times a week to Instagram, but only 8.8 times to Facebook. Recently topping 300 million active monthly users, Instagram is proving to be an attractive place for brands, not least because all content posted will reach every single fan’s feed.
Facebook to provide topic data to brands
Through a partnership with DataSift, Facebook will now offer brands an insight into who is talking about what on the platform. This aptly named ‘topic data’ will include the demographics of people discussing a given topic, the specific things spoken about within it, such as brand names or products, and even the sentiment of the discussion. Advertisers will also be able to filter by the location and demographic information of the people within the conversation.
Twitter adds two new features for advertisers
This week, Twitter has launched a new analytics home page and in-tweet promotion feature, to make it even easier for brands to promote themselves on the platform. The analytics home page will provide a holistic view of tweet activity, such as how many people have seen your tweets, mentioned your username and shared your links. Also updated is the ‘quick promote’ feature which can now be done directly from a Twitter profile rather than through the analytics tool.
Twitter experiments with TV timelines
As the popularity of second-screening during live TV grows, Twitter is experimenting with ways of making this experience easier and more enjoyable for users. The new feature would track when users are talking about or searching for a particular programme and offer them the option to try out the show’s dedicated timeline. If the user accepts, they would see a new Twitter interface showing three column feeds (highlights, media and all) helping audiences to delve deeper into TV conversations and the promise of more eyes on your hilarious X Factor tweets.
Date with Ex Machina
The users of Tinder at SXSW saw a new arrival, an attractive 25-year-old named Ava. However, the furious right-swipers of SXSW may have come up disappointed. The profile was actually that of Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who plays artificial intelligence in the film, with interaction driven by a bot inviting users to the @meetava Instagram page. The clever campaign was a novel use of a hard-to-crack platform and a fitting approach for a film about a robot trying to understand what it is to be human. It is unsure whether the crestfallen bachelors of SXSW will agree however.
Twitter buys live video app, Periscope
Its been confirmed that Twitter has acquired Periscope, a beta stage startup that lets users “explore the world in real-time through someone else’s eyes”. The move into live video is an obvious one that fits seamlessly with the real-time news element of the platform as well as their current focus on video content. The deal has come at a time when Meerkat, a similar live streaming video app, has gained a lot of traction. But, Twitter might have put a stop to Meerkat’s exponential growth by cutting access to the platform’s social graph, essentially making Meerkat users build their own following from scratch rather than using the fan base they have already acquired on Twitter.
YouTube launches 360-degree video
YouTube makes the first steps towards a virtual reality offering by introducing 360-degree videos. The videos can be watched through a browser, but also on mobile, with the android app allowing users to change the viewing angle based on where the phone is pointing. This feature means the android mobile app can be used with a Google Cardboard headset. YouTube have uploaded a playlist of the first 360-degree videos that are available.
Alibaba invests in Snapchat
Chinese e-commerce group, Alibaba has invested $200m into Snapchat. The deal pushes the value of the four-year-old photo-messaging app to an impressive $15 billion, putting it in the top ranks for privately-held start-ups. Snapchat is currently blocked in China, so it is still unclear of Alibaba’s plans for the app.
Apple buys all Twitter ad space for smart watch launch
In a bid to stop rival brands hijacking conversation around the Apple Watch unveiling, the technology giant bought out Twitter ad space on the day of the launch. Firstly with a promoted trend around the ‘Apple event’, but also with promoted tweets linked to all keywords associated with Apple and watches. The move follows on from last year’s iPhone 6 launch, where Samsung managed to steal much of the Twitter conversation.
Brands bid for attention during Apple Watch launch
Of course, that didn’t stop brands trying to join the conversation, so here’s our pick of some of the best and worst attempts…
— innocent drinks (@innocent) March 10, 2015
— Hostess Snacks (@Hostess_Snacks) March 9, 2015
— Papa John’s Pizza (@PapaJohns) March 9, 2015
— Corona (@corona) March 10, 2015
— Charmin (@Charmin) March 9, 2015
Apply for a scholarship in a Tweet
Online business education provider, BSchool is encouraging people to apply for its scholarship program in 140 characters or less through a new Twitter campaign called #TweetScholar.
LinkedIn Is Making Sweeping Changes
The LinkedIn developer platform is undergoing changes to weed out third party products. The change will remove any product they deem poor quality or competitive to LinkedIn.
Real time storm tracking
As the Northern Territory braces for Cyclone Lam, Aussies are using the hashtag #cyclonelam to track the impending storm. Everyone from news and emergency services, to individual twitter users are joining the conversation as they track to storm in real time.
Twitter engagement for big brands is up
Big brands are receiving more engagement Twitter, according to Simply Measured’s research into Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands and their Q4 2014 performance. On average, Twitter engagement increased by 105% year-on-year, while per-tweet interactions jumped from 91 to 168 in the same period.
Facebooks ads will be scored on relevance
Facebook is going to start scoring ads based on how relevant the platform thinks they are. It has devised a scale that gives each ad a figure from 1-10, based on a set of positive measurements (views, shares, clicks) and negative ones (hides, the number of times a piece is reported as spam). Facebook’s algorithm chooses which adverts to show to people based on a number of factors, including the amount bid and its relevance. High relevance could therefore compensate for a low bid, potentially making ads cheaper.
Facebook wants cinemagraphs
Cinemagraphs are a type of GIF that keeps the moving element to a minimum and look REAL pretty, as you can see below. Now, Facebook is encouraging brands to use the format, in keeping with its and Instagram’s autoplay feature.
Facebook ‘legacy contacts’ can manage accounts after your death
Facebook is allowing US users to designate a ‘legacy contact’ to manage their account once they have died. The contact has various permissions, including the ability to send a final post on the behalf of their deceased friend/family member, manage friend requests, update cover/profile pictures, archive content and download old posts and photos. They will not have access to private messages or the ability to amend old content.
Twitter is buying Niche
Twitter is looking to make money using the people who have become famous on Vine. The company is purchasing Niche, a talent agency that acts as a middleman between said celebrities and brand advertisers. The deal is said to be worth between $30m and $60m.
Twitter adds Cricket World Cup feature for India
Twitter has added a new feature for the Cricket World Cup, especially for India. Anyone with a smartphone or feature phone can opt in to receive tweets related to popular games, whether or not they have an account. Users can phone a number, hang up, then receive a set of tweets as text messages, from both the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Pinterest shuts down affiliate e-commerce, preparing for a buy button?
Pinterest is planning on launching a buy button, according to Recode. The tech publication’s sources claim that the feature will arrive within three to six months, although it admits that a Pinterest spokeswoman declined to comment. Nevertheless, this news comes in the same week that the platform has decided to shut down any unauthorised e-commerce by affiliate networks, potentially in preparation for the move.
Download apps from Pinterest on iPhone and iPad
Pinterest has announced a partnership with Apple that will allow iPhone/iPad users to download other apps from within the Pinterest iOS app.
Snapchat Our Stories for locals
Snapchat is trialling a feature that adds localisation to ‘Our Stories’. Last Friday, it ran a feature called ‘TGIF in LA’ that only pulled together Snaps from Los Angeles and showed them to people in the area.
Sky gets involved with Snapchat’s Discover
Sky News and Sky Sports are to become the first UK and Ireland-specific contributors to Snapchat’s ‘Discover’ feature. The publishers will post around five to 10 pieces of content a day, which will disappear at the end of the 24-hour window.
adidas sets up private Twitter conversation with Karim Benzema
adidas has become the first major brand to use Twitter’s group direct messages in its marketing. The sportswear giant chose three fans, who had been the most engaged with its #ThereWillBeHaters campaign, to take part in a private conversation with Real Madrid star, Karim Benzema.
Topman and Ghostpoet launching new YouTube video
Topman has set up a new music project on YouTube, called #Openshoot. Topman fans will have the opportunity to submit creative ideas (videos, illustrations, photos) for a new single by British singer Ghostpoet, submitting them via the Topman website or by using the hashtag on Instagram or Twitter. Topman will then create a YouTube video incorporating the best ideas and publish it on its YouTube channel.
Oreo tells Valentine’s Day stories
Oreo created a set of short YouTube videos that told awkward love stories in the build up to Valentine’s Day, in order to promote the new Red Velvet product. These were then supported with GIFs and other content across Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Brands and Valentine’s Day
As with any holiday, brands were keen to get involved with online chatter around Valentine’s Day. You can see some of the better (and worse) examples below.
Brands jump on #WhatIsLoveIn4Words
The hashtag #WhatIsLoveIn4Words was all over Twitter last week. What do brands love? Well, usually themselves, if these tweets are anything to go by. As always, the content came in varying degrees of quality.
Kia’s real time content for Australian Open
During the 2015 Australian Open Finals, alongside our client Kia, we set up a social media command centre to create real time content and engage in conversation with tennis fans across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Throughout the course of the singles matches we found opportunities for reactive content, to engage with the conversation topics popular at that moment. An example? Kia’s Provo concept car designed to match the shirt Kim Sears was wearing during the game.
Twitter account @AustralianOpen rulez
Do you remember a few weeks ago when our Gill suggested to follow the Twitter account @AustralianOpen during the event? According to Twitter Australia’s sport partnership manager Jonno Simpson, “Tennis Australia is leading the way in innovative Twitter content and customer service with @AustralianOpen, one of the world’s best-run sport accounts”. The team operated the account 24/7 during the two-week tournament, posting images, videos and updates on matches and news while engaging with fans. What made it unbeatable? Instant video replays, the “Social Shack” – where players took over the Australian Open Twitter account every day for half an hour to chat with fans, the ‘Tweet for a Treat’ vending machine (which gave out prizes in return for sending a tweet), and access to exclusive areas such as the tunnel to create content. Well done!
If you can’t get enough of their delights, support MissChu! We Need Chu is the campaign launched by Nahji Chu, founder of the Vietnamese food chain, in an attempt to to save the restaurant’s Sydney venues after the local operations collapsed into voluntary administration just days before Christmas. The objectives of the “Nothing’s changed, we’re still here” campaign include to reinvigorate nostalgia towards the brand, encourage old and new customers to socially share why they love MissChu and to visit the stores. The campaign features the people who have helped the brand to grow over the past five years, with MissChu customers invited to share why they love it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #weneedchu.
Marketers increasing digital budgets
A study has revealed that 80% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets over the next 12 to 18 months. Resource provider Mondo questioned 262 digital marketing executives about their budgets as well as areas like staff turnover and skill sets they were recruiting for. In the latter area, over half (54%) of those surveyed stated they’d be hiring people with Digital/Social expertise this year. Facebook makes $2.5bn from mobile, releases new ad tool Facebook is increasingly a mobile network. You don’t need us to tell you that. What you may not know is that its Q4 2014 figures included $2.5bn in mobile revenue, despite fewer ads being served. Compared with a year previous, Facebook served 65% fewer ads, but the average cost per ad was 335% higher.
The network wants to show the value of these more expensive ads, especially those that people don’t click. As a result, it’s rolling out its ‘conversion lift measurement’, which allows users to see when someone who saw an ad ended up making an in store purchase, to all advertisers in all countries.
Facebook unveils ‘Place Tips’
Facebook is trialling a new feature, named ‘Place Tips’, in certain parts of New York City. iPhone users in the city who have location services enabled will receive different tips, photos and posts straight to their News Feeds, depending on whereabouts they are.
Twitter launches native video capabilities and group direct messaging
Twitter has unveiled its video offering, allowing consumers using mobiles to record and share videos without leaving the site. While video isn’t new to Twitter, users haven’t been able to shoot and share clips natively within the platform before. Our Communications Director, Lauren Underwood, spoke to The Drum about the benefits of the new tool:
It plays on Twitter’s strength as a real-time, breaking-news platform – I expect we’ll be watching some of this year’s biggest moments unfold on Twitter.
As part of the same release Twitter has also revealed group direct messaging capabilities. The new group chat function will mean that users can direct message up to 20 people at a time, and is widely seen to be an attempt to counter the rise of messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.
Twitter unveils local geo-targeting capabilities Twitter has launched new geo-targeting capabilities, allowing brands to focus on individual postcodes and target at a much more local level. It’s been pitched by the platform as a potential tool for politicians campaigning in the UK General Election, now less than 100 days away. As Twitter points out, in constituencies where a seat is tightly contested, targeting by postcode could prove to be very useful indeed.
Vine now has a kids version Twitter has launched its first child-friendly app, Vine Kids. It’s basically the same as Vine, with six-second looping videos, but the interface is different. Think animated helpers, a left/right swipe system for new Vines and a set of ‘quirky’ sounds when you tap the screen.
Tumblr’s new features appeal to long-form writers
Tumblr is rolling out features to encourage long-form writers to use the platform. It’s “some real crafty shit” according to the network’s blog post explaining the new tools, which include clever quick formatting options. The platform will be hoping the features help it compete against challenger brands like Medium, which has been growing in popularity in recent months.
Pinterest rolls out ads in home feeds
Pinterest users! Hope you like ads, you’re going to start seeing a lot more of them. The platform announced last week that it will now show its US users Promoted Pins in their home feeds as well as their search results, where they’ve been appearing since last year. Don’t worry though, Pinterest has assured users they can hide any Pins they don’t like. Phew.
Snapchat launches ‘Discover’ feature
Snapchat has launched its publishing platform, ‘Discover’, through which a number of media partners will post content – from ESPN to National Geographic and CNN to Vice.
There are a few things that are instantly noticeable, particularly that there’s emphasis placed on editorial decisions as opposed to algorithms. Also, while a number of big media companies are involved, there are some large names missing: Buzzfeed, the New York Times and music giants Spotify and Vevo. Those that are involved are planning on using the feature in very different ways. The Daily Mail, for example, is planning two updates per day with a focus on pictures compared to one text-heavy piece from Vice, while Fusion wants to source five different stories per day. AT&T has already announced a series containing online influencers, named ‘Snapper Hero’. For a glimpse at the sort of content you’ll be seeing, here’s how winter storm Juno was covered.
The Super Bowl and social media
Social networks love the Super Bowl. No surprises there. In fact, a whole host of platforms created special features for the big game. Facebook had a ‘football-only’ feed, which contained updates from friends, groups, teams and players. It also offered specific targeting segments for the game, from fans of both teams to those who were talking about tangential topics (flatscreen TVs, ads), while the NFL posted exclusive clips to Facebook. YouTube created an alternative half time show and an advert hub, while Tumblr and Twitter both created Super Bowl specific feeds; the latter also posted branded games highlights. It seemed to work for Twitter – this was the the most tweeted about Super Bowl of all time, with a total of 28.4bn tweets during the game. Here are some of the most shared.
Brands get social with the Super Bowl
Brands wanted to get in on the Super Bowl action, too. Some highlights include Lowe’s Instagram ‘Hypermade’ videos, Budweiser creating GIFs from its TV ad and Bud Light purchasing promoted tweets against other brands’ keywords, while a whole host of marketers took to Twitter before, during and after the event.
Brands and the #Blizzardof2015 When you’re talking about something as dangerous as last week’s US blizzard, it pays to be careful. Brands have been doing so nevertheless, with some good, bad and ugly results.