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We Are Social’s Wednesday Wrap Up #220

by Ray Phan in Uncategorized

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Are you like Bill?

If you have visited the book of faces lately, you will most definitely stumble across this friendly neighbourhood stick man named Bill. Some argue that he’s the worst thing that has happened to Facebook but I disagree. I fucking love Bill. Memes feature Bill, in his signature knitted hat, offering essential advice on etiquette that should be obvious to most people with a pulse.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 1.3 million people have liked the main Be Like Bill page on Facebook. Bill has spread to other locales and languages as well. In Arabic, he’s Bilal; in Malaysia, he’s Rashid; in Spanish, he’s Jose. There is also a female equivalent named Emily.

Periscope videos will soon autoplay on Twitter

Twitter is now providing another way for Australians to munch through our inferior mobile data limit. Live stream videos from Periscope will soon autoplay inside of tweets on Twitter’s app and website, the company announced Tuesday. The update means you will no longer need to open a separate website or app to watch Periscope streams.

The feature is rolling out to Twitter’s iOS app “over the next few days” and will launch on its website and Android app at a later date, Twitter says.

Facebook is testing a new in-app browser

A new Facebook browser is being tested among a small group of iOS users. The browser, which opens within the Facebook app when you’re looking at external links, allows users to search within it, bookmark pages and see how popular an article is. The only thing it’s currently lacking is an option to open more tabs. Welcome to Facebook California, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!

Twitter was down for some and people were freaking the **** out

Twitter went offline for many users on Tuesday, with Twitter web visitors being greeted by a Twitter error page. So obviously without social network Twitter to vent out their frustration of Twitter being down, the Twitter community of Twitter addicts took it amongst themselves to whinge about Twitter being down on Facebook, instead of Twitter.

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New social platform is Peach-y 

Last week marketers went nuts for Peach, the new social platform with a Facebook Messenger-style interface and an impressively quick presence from brands like Asos and Vice. One of the most active brands on the platform so far has been dictionary publishers Merriam-Webster, which has been sharing regular posts on the platform such as their ‘Word of the day’. Jesse DeWitt, digital director of language learning products at Merriam-Webster explained why they’re already Peach-obsessed when they don’t yet have an Instagram or Snapchat account:

Visual storytelling is a real problem for us… Obviously, we are so heavily associated with words. It’s not like we have this great library of assets we can draw from like a magazine might have. It’s been an impediment in using Instagram or Snapchat. Peach has nice built-in commands that give you a quick and easy way to post something visual.

Despite this praise, Peach is already slipping down the app charts, so whether it will manage to hold on to its new-found fame and become the next Snapchat (rather than the next Meerkat), remains to be seen.

Zuckerberg will not be splitting $45 billion amongst 1000 lucky Facebook users

Along with privacy alert hoax, Apple iPhone 6S giveaways or a pair of Beats Studio Wireless, ole’ m8 Marky Zuck will not be handing out his wealth as simple as that. Even NBC News went ahead and checked with a Facebook spokesperson to confirm that it isn’t true. Seriously guys, be like Bill.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #219

by Colin Fairley in News

Facebook messenger reaches 800M users – what’s next?
Facebook Messenger finishes 2015 as the second most-used app behind, you guessed it, the full Facebook app and it’s got some big plans for 2016. We’ll see the continuing development of M, its artificial intelligence bot, here to order all your late night pitch fuel (did you know that Mr.Crackles now delivers?!) flowers, dog bowties etc. It’s also predicted that Facebook Messenger is going to work harder to bring friends together offline and delight fans with a smattering of design treats (such as snowflakes falling in your chat window).

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Facebook lets developers build Messenger bots
As part of its aforementioned big plans for Messenger, Facebook has given some developers access to a chat SDK (software development kit) to create their own versions of its official assistance bot ‘M’. The bots will allow people to use Messenger for more than just messaging, such as ordering things (like a cab for instance). By using Messenger in this way, businesses can avoid developing expensive stand alone apps and still connect easily with customers.

Experience the ‘Green Room’ with our immersive 360 Point Break video
For the local release of Point Break, we had professional big wave surfer Mark Mathews take on the big waves of South Australia. Shot using a GoPro rig, we stitched together a gnarly immersive 360 video that lives on both Facebook and YouTube. Working with Roadshow we also branded Google Cardboard which was rolled out in cinemas across the country for people to take their experience to the next level. Yeeeewwww!

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Instagram’s Spotlight Compilations to change video watching habits?
Comparable to Snapchat’s Live Stories, Instagram has changed its Spotlight Compilations to collate more than just content around big events like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Now, users can see the best videos relating to all sorts of new themes, for instance: “Dynamic Duos – Odd Couple Animal Videos”. Video has not always been an easy sell for Instagram, as users will often scroll with their sound down, but these longer series of videos might be enough to get the volume ramped up. Making video higher up on users’ Instagram agendas means that Instagram can sell more video adverts (which make them more money) – geddit? So enjoy those animal videos…

Twitter launches new conversational ad format
Twitter is testing a new ad format which encourages people to join its advertisers’ conversations and therefore spread brand messages in a more authentic (looking) way than if the brand just tweeted it itself. Here’s how to spot if you’ve been targeted by a “Conversational Ad”. You’ll be presented with one or two buttons for branded hashtags (this will look sort of like a Twitter poll). After this a pre-populated message will appear (crafted by the brand), most probably accompanied by a picture or video. You can change any of these elements or leave them as they are and then tweet away. Of course, ideally brands would like to target people who have large amounts of followers and this is possible with Twitter’s Tailored Audiences ad-targeting tool – but whether they do anything with the content is up to them.

Twitter rumoured to be changing character count to 10,000
The end of an era seems to be nigh, as Twitter looks to be building a feature which allows users to go over the 140 character limit to match its current 10,000 character DM limit. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, also indirectly commented on the change by tweeting his views using an image (with lots of characters on it).

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Snapchat steps up advertising with new API
Snapchat looks to be taking that next step into the big boy league by working on an API to let partners buy their own ads with more precision. It will increase the variety of ads they can offer to include call to actions, encouraging downloads or sign-ups. As brands lust after its young, mobile audience, this is seen as a natural development.

Snapchat shuts down lens store
It’s a sad day for rainbow vomit fans as Snapchat has announced that its lens store will be closing. It will be upping its free lens portfolio from seven to 10 to fill the void that no doubt will be left by this sudden departure. Sources close to the brand say that it’s more lucrative for them to focus on sponsored selfies like this one for Peanuts The Movie and the development of the aforementioned ad API. 

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The social year in review

by Suzie Shaw in News

What a year in Social.

2015 was the year that 26 million people changed their Facebook profile to a rainbow flag. It was the year Kim Kardashian “broke the app store”. And it was the year that Social rose to an estimated 16% of online ad spend.

I was debating whether to make this a global review, or an Australian review… but in 2015, that question almost doesn’t make sense. The walls of the internet are almost totally porous. Nevertheless, there have been quite a few Aussie developments worth calling out.Of course, any selection like this is bound to be subjective. But hey, that’s what the comments section is for, people.

Let’s go.

Social Campaign Of The Year

So many great campaigns this year, I’m going to have to pick two joint winners.First, the launch PR stunt for Zoolander 2 – in which Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson crashed the Paris Fashion Week runway ‘in character’ as Derek Zoolander and Hansel – swept across the internet almost as fast as Kim Kardashian’s butt did in 2014.

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My other favourite is an idea that came out of NZ – Burger King’s open letter to McDonald’s, suggesting they call a truce and join forces to create a McWhopper, to help promote the Peace One Day initiative.

The copywriting was truly exceptional (“Good morning McDonald’s. We come in peace”) and when the Golden Arches responded in a really lame way, that just affirmed BK’s status as the cooler, less corporate burger joint.

Hashtag Of The Year

The power of the hashtag has grown significantly in 2015, often being employed to express important themes such as racial disquiet, for example #BlackLivesMatter and #IStandWithAhmed, and terrorism (#JeSuisCharlie and #PrayForParis). On a lighter note, there was a huge and hugely trivial debate about #thedress.

But globally, this was the year the world finally engaged in lively conversation about marriage equality, a lot of which took place under the #LoveWins banner, so let’s call it a win for positivity.

Emerging Trend Of The Year

Only one possible answer here. They may turn out to be a fad, but 2015 will definitely be remembered as the year of the emoji.  The use of acronyms to express emotion (e.g. ‘LOL’ or ‘LMFAO’) is declining rapidly, and being replaced by yellow pictograms. Numerous brands have got in on the act, with companies such as Coca-Cola, Ballantines Whisky and Domino’s creating their own unique emoji.

The most popular emoji globally? This one.

 

laughing-cry-emojiPlatform Of The Year

2015 was definitely the year that Live Social took off: Periscope launched to some fanfare, and promises great things for live events and news-streaming.

Snapchat exploded, and has become the social network to watch – with over 400m users and a valuation of US$19 billion already, it’s the platform of choice for hard-to-reach teens (50% of Aussie teens are using it) and its growth trajectory is steeper than both Facebook’s and Instagram’s at an equivalent stage.

Rumours are rife that they’ll open up the platform for advertising fully next year, so watch this ad-space.

Another contender is Twitch, emerging from nowhere like a special forces soldier behind enemy lines. Over 1.15m unique users watch the live-streaming gaming channel in Australia every month and 80% of viewers are 18-35.

But because of its continuing influence and relevance, I’m going to have to give it to Twitter.

Even though the platform’s biggest numbers were generated by the likes of One Direction and our very own 5 Seconds Of Summer, it was also the platform Caitlyn Jenner chose to introduce herself to the world, the platform that Kimye chose for the introduction of its latest spawn, and here in Australia, it has been the scene of lively debate under hashtags like #AusPol, #QandA and #LibSpill.

Social Media Fail Of The Year

Globally, you can’t go past Heinz producing a QR code that led to porn. Here in Australia, the #mytaxis fiasco would win in most years, but Woolworths’ horrendous ‘Fresh In Our Memories’ ANZAC Day social campaign is less forgivable. Vic Taxis was a case of an organisation not used to the limelight, learning the hard way. Woolworths should know better.

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Search Term Of The Year

The arrival of Netflix was one of the biggest things to happen in Australia this year. Maybe I’m biased, since Netflix is a We Are Social client. But maybe I’m not.

‘Netflix’ was the top ranking search term of 2015, while the top ranking search question was ‘what is Netflix?’

Meme Of The Year

Netflix has another contender here, with the phrase NetflixAndChill truly penetrating popular culture. Other memes that tickled the internetz included David Cameron conference call, Katie Perry’s Left Shark, Pizza Rat and Drake’s dancing in his Hotline Bling video.

But since it managed to be both popular and commercially effective, I’m going to say the winner is Straight Outta Somewhere, the branded meme created to promote the movie Straight Outta Compton, which saw people from crappy towns all over the world proudly customising their own version of the poster.

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Influencer Of The Year

Essena O’Neill, even though the Instafamous Queenslander actually quit social media in 2015. In case you didn’t see this story, the 19 year old model ‘resigned’ from Instagram, though not before going back over her profile and ‘outing’ all the images that were in reality paid endorsements. Her denouncing of social media’s ‘fakery’ was ironically itself denounced as a stunt in some quarters.

Whatever the truth of the episode, the story certainly raised a lot of interesting questions around the transparency of influencer endorsements, and the stresses of growing up in the social spotlight.

Innovation Of The Year

As ever in Social, it was a prolific year for innovation. 2015’s major new developments included YouTube Red, Facebook carousel ads, advertising on Instagram, Twitter Moments, Twitter polls and Twitter hearts, Facebook 360 and Facebook reactions.

However, although it’s not going to change the world, for sheer verve and inventiveness I’m giving the honour to Snapchat lenses (guaranteed to impress your nieces and nephews over the holidays, but do keep them on a short leash as many of these little moments of fun now cost $1.49 each).

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Looking Forward… Most Significant Development In Social For 2016?

Could be Social VR, could be the rise of ‘buy buttons’ or even social currencies such as Snapcash. But until the invention of a functioning social crystal ball, no one knows for sure. And that’s what’s so exciting about working in this field. See you next year!

 

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #218

by Beth Wallach in News

Marketers flock to Instagram
Facebook and Twitter are the top social networks currently used by marketers (84.7% and 65.8% of companies respectively) but Instagram will replace Twitter in the next two years according to a new report.

Already used by 32.3% of marketers, it is projected to increase to 48.8% in 2016 before overtaking Twitter in 2017, by when 70.7% of companies will be using it for marketing purposes. Very impressive considering how recently Instagram opened their platform for advertising. And as early reports suggest that Instagram’s product performs on par or better than Facebook, the future is looking very bright for Facebook’s attractive sister platform.

Facebook tests live video streaming
With Periscope being very much the poster child of the live social video trend, Facebook has predictably swooped in to claim its own piece of the action by beginning to test Live Video with a small percentage of iPhone users in the US. They will be able to share live streamed video content with their friends, during which users will see the number of live viewers, the names of friends who are tuning in as well as real-time comments (aka Periscope).

No sleep for brand customer services as Facebook add new tools
Facebook has introduced even more tools to assist marketers with customer service. According to Facebook, messages to pages run by businesses have doubled in the past year. Pages will be able to set their own responsiveness times to manage customer expectations but also set themselves to ‘away’ outside of business hours or when they need a big toilet for instance. Customer service personnel will also be able to leave notes on users’ messages, like: “a-hole alert!” but probably more professional.

Twitter is testing non-chronological timelines
Twitter has begun testing non-chronological timelines to an initial reaction of confusion. A Twitter spokesperson has said: “This is an experiment. We’re continuing to explore ways to surface the best content for people using Twitter.”

Twitter extends ads to logged-out users
Although 307 million people log in to Twitter monthly to check their updates, 500 million people visit who aren’t logged in. Until now, Twitter hasn’t been able to make any money from these logged-out users – that is until now. The platform has just started testing ads on people who aren’t logged in, who mainly come to the site through Google searches, e-mail links or tweets embedded on third-party sites.

Twitter changes image format
Twitter has made an update that means the end of unfortunate image crops when uploading your photo updates. Now photos will be uploaded in the size they were intended and this comes as part of its mission to move away from being a text-based service.

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Pinterest acquisitions boost e-commerce and image recognition
Pinterest’s acquisitions rise to nine following an announcement that they’ve bought Pext and The Hunt. The former is a a meme generator, the latter helps users find fashion items by posting an image of it for The Hunt’s community to locate faster than a bunch of Beliebers can find Justin’s latest Instagram crush.

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Whisper doubles its audience in six months
Anonymous social platform Whisper has reported that it now has 20 million monthly users, which is twice as many as it had in May. It cannot be denied that the closure of rival app Secret may have something to do with this; where else is one meant to air their filthy Gandalf fantasies? It has also been pulling in some top advertisers with Coca-Cola and Disney/Pixar using the platform.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #217

by Sarah Mckie in Uncategorized

Twitter revamps how images will now appear on their platform

Twitter recently announced a new richer experience for photos in your Twitter timeline. Starting from Monday, Twitter users are now able to see images from the accounts they follow in full uncropped versions. Twitter has not announced when this feature will be rolled out for mobile, so for now it is only for desktop users. No longer will you have to click to see more of the images, see your cat photos in the length they are meant to be enjoyed!

Another new update that was also revealed is a change to the multiple image format. Instead of seeing the cropped images evenly spaced out, the tweets will now allow you to have one image larger as the focus with smaller thumbnails for the others.

 

Facebook allows users to add photo collages

The days where you would debate which photo to upload to Facebook are a thing of the past; now the platform is allowing users to group photos that were taken together into a moving collage so your friends and family can really experience what you’ve been up to. It’s probably the next best thing to actually inviting them along!

 

See which Twitter moments defined the year in social media

 

Twitter has released their highlights video for 2015 showing some of the biggest trends and important moments over the past year, from the famous Oscar selfie with Ellen DeGeneres to the overwhelming social support following the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The two-minute clip using pictures, tweets and videos demonstrates how the world reacts to events on social media. When events happen, they are unified through hashtags to create global conversations. It will be interesting to see what new unpredictable trends will emerge in the year 2016 and maybe this time something will actually “break the internet.”

 

Will this new social media app bomb or become the new Snapchat?

Featured Image for Bomb’d: The hottest new social media app that old people won’t understand and is made by Australians

 

Move over Snapchat, there is a new social media app exploding onto the scene. The app has been described as the reverse social media, using a request based system where users request a “bomb” from their friends, meaning that you only get pictures from the people you want. The current description for the app reads “Bomb’d is the REAL social network. It’s NO FILTER and RN AF. Your friends, your family, and even your favourite celebs are using Bomb’d to see what their Squad are really up to right NOW.”

Bomb’d is an Australian made app, which is apparently valued at $10 million prior to launch, but who are the people behind this app and will they blow up to be the next Evan Spiegel? The PR for Bomb’d are remaining tight lipped stating, “the people behind this remain top secret. We can’t tell you their names, but there are a few key backers involved in the app along with some industry heavyweights.” It will be interesting to see if this app can match the success that has been reached with Snapchat.

 

You can now livestream on Facebook

Not one to be left behind by the likes of Periscope and Meerkat, Facebook has entered the world of livestreaming. The new feature allows users to share their experiences with the people that they care about in real-time – whether you’re sharing your baby’s first steps or cooking your Weight Watchers microwave meals. Facebook’s livestreaming feature is built directly within its app and once streams are completed the video is published onto the user’s profile. Whilst it is currently only being rolled-out to a lucky few, there are plans expand to all users in the future.

 

Facebook will implement suicide prevention tools to intervene when you see something wrong with a friend

 

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Facebook Australia has announced new suicide prevention initiatives. The program was launched in the U.S early this year, and will now be rolling out in Australia. Here, Facebook will be working with initiatives BeyondBlue and Headspace. “Keeping people safe is our most important responsibility on Facebook,” said a spokesperson.

Seen a post that you concerns you? There are now steps you can take to help them by reporting the post. Facebook has teams working around the clock to review posts that have been reported and assess if they can encourage the poster to speak with a mental health professional through a private pop-up chat or to reach out to one of their friends. “Globally there are multiple millions of users all going through these same problems,” Chris Tanti, Headspace CEO said about the new tools, “People can be notified and help can be provided just about anywhere in Australia, which is fantastic.”