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my twitter wallpaper has disappeared and been replaced by a blank space, just like my heart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
Star Wars mobile app: May the force…
I can’t even. Srsly.
If the upcoming release of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens is the reason why you live, don’t miss the new mobile app released by Disney Interactive and Lucasfilm to give fans an outlet for keeping up with the latest franchise news and fellow fans.
It has anything you want, and much more: fan community, social updates, GIFs, special content, breaking news, special events, augmented reality, countdown to the release date, and even a Star Wars-themed weather experience. Download it* for free on the (US) iTunes App Store and Google Play, then take and share a Star Wars selfie as Jedi, Princess Leia, Han Solo’s carbon freeze, and more.
* Disclaimer: Your productivity will drop dramatically.
Facebook Messenger testing Moneypenny to help you find and buy products
Facebook Messenger is getting its own virtual digital assistant code-named Moneypenny, which will allow users to ask real people for help researching and ordering products and services, among other tasks. It’s in internal testing at the moment, but it makes sense in the context of what Facebook announced during Mark Zuckerberg’s latest keynote about allowing users to interact with businesses via Messenger, placing orders and getting updates on them all in the same place. Keep us posted, Mark. Thanks.
Instagram stats on organic performance
Locowise recently analysed 2,500 Instagram profiles and their organic growth and engagement results in the month of May. Here what you need to know:
- Organic follower growth averaged 1.5%, compared with 0.2% for Facebook.
- Brands averaged 2.41 posts per day. The largest profiles are the most active posting just over 6 posts per day.
- 91.8% of all posts were photos.
- Only 8.2% of posts were videos, but they accounted for 11.6% of all comments.
- #nofilter still rules with the most popular filter being “normal”
- Organic engagement per post was 2.6% of the total audience, versus 0.5% for Facebook.
- Photos engage 2.7% of the total audience, while that number drops to 1.5% for videos.
- 97.2% of all engagements were <3 (hearts)
Snapchat focuses on media content
Snapchat updated its iOS app – and is updating the Android one in the near future – with a redesigned Stories screen to put a bigger emphasis on media content. A very prominent shortcut to Discover partners is now positioned beneath your stories and above those from your friends. Same thing for the Live section, which has also been moved up to this spot, above the Recent updates from your friends.
snapchat moved ALL OF THE DISCOVER CONTENT *PLUS* LIVE STORIES ~DIRECTLY TO THE TOP OF THE STORIES PAGE pic.twitter.com/fJy7ouBjry
— Sam Sheffer (@samsheffer) July 13, 2015
Google indexing nearly five times more tweets than it was
After Google gained access to Twitter data earlier this year, some were surprised by how few tweets were being indexed. The figure has since shot up; Google is now indexing 466% more tweets than four months ago, though 96% still go unindexed.
Facebook changes its CPC ads
Facebook has made what could be a very significant change to its cost-per-click ads and will now only register ‘link clicks’, meaning clicks that do one of the following: link to another site, contain a call-to-action (e.g. shop now), install an app, link to Facebook canvas apps or watch a video on another site. The move is expected to have a big impact on advertisers. CPC ads will be more expensive (say 16 cents vs. 5 cents) but more valuable and directly linked to commerce. We might well expect to see Facebook ad spend increase, as advertisers can measure their ads more directly with the likes of Google.
Facebook adds ‘See First’ News Feed feature
Facebook has added a new set of News Feed preferences, initially for iPhone and iPad users in the USA, including a feature named ‘See First’. Users can now choose friends or pages that they consider particularly important and add them to a list, meaning that their content will always show up, sort of like the opposite of ‘unfollow’. It’s likely to have an impact for brands, who have seen reach drop hugely over the past year or so among those who like their pages; if a brand isn’t added to ‘See First’, its posts may appear even lower in users’ News Feeds.
Vine adds ‘Suggested Viners’ and 720p posts
The latest version of the Vine app comes with two updates: ‘Suggested Viners’, which lets users find high-quality content publishers, chosen by the network, and the ability to post in HD.
Meerkat unveils Cameo
Meerkat has added a new feature called Cameo, which allows one broadcaster to invite another to take over a stream for up to 60 seconds. Expect to see celeb cameos in branded content.
Google removes G+ posts from Knowledge Card Graphs
Google is removing Google+ posts from Knowledge Card Graphs in search results. The photo below shows what the cards used to look like; now it’s the same, just without the stuff in the red square.
Amazon blocks certain reviewers due to social interactions
Amazon has been monitoring social media and subsequently banning users who have been interacting with authors from leaving book reviews on the Amazon site, in case they are ‘friends’ rather than impartial reviewers. It has since been accused of ‘Big Brother’ style tactics in a change.org petition.
MoveOn wants supporters to donate their social profiles
Progessive political giant, MoveOn, is asking its followers to donate their social profiles to allow the company to post messages from them. Benjamin O’Keefe, social and cultural producer for MoveOn said that the move was an opportunity for donation in an non-financial sense:
This is a different way for people to donate in a way that really matters. It’s great when people can chip in and donate money, but not everyone can.
Coca-Cola teaches Twitter users about their names
Coca-Cola has created a tweet-powered billboard in Times Square, NYC, asking users to tweet their name with the hashtag #CokeMyName for the chance to learn facts about it. Sorry to any Laurens reading, we’ve kind of ruined the surprise.
first direct and We Are Social launch ‘no, thank YOU’
first direct and We Are Social created a campaign to show the bank’s customers just how much it cares. Rather than just replying to messages saying ‘thank you’, the bank went one step further. Here’s an example:
— first direct (@firstdirect) July 8, 2015
Discovery uses Meerkat during Shark Week
Are you ready for a tenuous attempt to shoehorn a link between meerkats the animals and Meerkat the live streaming service? Good, here goes.
Sharks and meerkats aren’t natural allies. However, Discovery has been using the live streaming service, Meerkat, to post live camera streams of the aquatic creatures during Shark Week.
See? Tenuous. Here’s a picture.
Brands get their teeth into shark week
Discovery wasn’t the only brand posting about Shark Week. A load of them were at it.
— Malibu Rum (@maliburumus) July 5, 2015
— Jamba Juice (@JambaJuice) July 5, 2015
Brands heart emojis
Krispy Kreme Virtual Lickable Donuts
In a move to promote its new Decadent Dessert treats – New York Cheesecake, Black Forest, Lemon Meringue, and Tiramisu, hungry smartphone owners can now try them out virtually.
Krispy Kreme has announced a virtual “lickable” donut. In the new ads smartphone users can virtually lick off the topping. Users will race against the clock to gain the fastest lick time and will be able to challenge their friends by sharing their times via social media. While not encouraging people to actually lick their phones it has added a fun interactive aspect to engage its fans.
Unruly Releases Video Viral Tool
Video tech company Unruly has launched a tool, which uses an algorithm to predict the potential for videos to go viral. Based on the emotional, social and behaviour aspects that they will appeal to, advertisers will then be able to predict the success of their content.
Unruly launched in January 2013 for the US and UK markets and have now unveiled the tailored Australian version with a specialised algorithm that was complied through the analysis of 2 trillion video views and more than 395,000 consumer data points.
According to Unruly, Australians are the fastest at sharing viral videos with 21% of total shares happening within the first 24 hours compared to the global average of 13%. In measuring emotional triggers for sharing videos, they also found that happiness is the main reason that Australians share videos followed by inspiration and warmth.
Facebook changes its algorithm to make videos more relevant
Facebook has updated its News Feed algorithm to take into account when somebody expands a video to full screen, unmutes one or opts to watch one in HD. Facebook will show users more videos similar to those they interact with in any of these ways, while the platform will use the interactions to judge which videos should appear higher in other News Feeds. It’s the latest move in an ongoing battle for views between Facebook and other video services, primarily YouTube, and one puts Facebook’s data capabilities to good use.
Facebook to share ad revenue with video creators
It’s been a big week for Facebook’s video war with YouTube. As well as the above algorithm changes, Facebook has announced plans to start sharing ad revenue with video creators at the same rate YouTube already does: 55% goes to the creator. This will happen through its new ‘Suggested Videos’ product, in which ads are played between videos – the revenue from these is then split between all videos played in one session.
The system is being launched with a set of premium content partners, including the NBA, Fox Sports and Funny or Die; Adweek published an interview with the latter’s Vice President of Marketing, Patrick Starzan, which you can read in full here. In it, he discusses Funny or Die’s motivation to increase video views and how creators will change videos to fit the new product.
Facebook tests ‘cost-per-view’ video ad option
More Facebook video news! The network is testing an option for video advertisers to pay only once their ad has been viewed for at least 10 seconds, on a ‘cost-per-view’ basis. It’s aimed at preventing advertisers from feeling short changed, if their ads are technically being ‘viewed’ every time a user scrolls past them.
Twitter adds Personas for ad targeting
Twitter has introduced a set of ‘Personas’, which basically amount to a set of audiences for advertisers to target easily, based on similar attributes. Available personas include millenials, professionals and business decision-makers, of which I would proudly consider myself all three, though others may argue that I am none.
You can now open snaps with a single tap
The most recent Snapchat update for Android and iPhone will give users’ laboured fingers a rest. You’re no longer required to hold your finger down to view snaps and stories, because, as Snapchat CEO Even Spiegel puts it, “It’s just kind of annoying to hold your finger down for so long.” Other minor improvement include the ability add new friends in your vicinity and customise your Skype QR code.
Brands and the Women’s World Cup final
It’s no surprise that the most popular FIFA Women’s World Cup of all time proved a huge marketing opportunity. When USA beat Germany in last week’s semi-final, they received support from a variety of brands. They’ve since gone on to win the final, so clearly it did the trick.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) July 1, 2015
— Downy (@Downy) June 30, 2015
Sprint and T-Mobile CEOs have Twitter spat What’s worse than when two brands have awkward interaction on Twitter? When two company CEOs do it. Marcelo Claure of Sprint and John Legere of T-Mobile, to the naughty step with you both. Never say ‘u mad bro?’ again.
.@marceloclaure you mad bro?
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) July 2, 2015
We are #gladeveryday
What makes you glad? The team at GLAD Australia are celebrating the return of the original cutter bar on their Cling Wrap with a campaign welcoming this consumer powered product change. After seeing customers taking to their social channels to express their complaints about the new cutter bar position, the brand has decided to change the packaging and bring the cutter bar back.
The community started sharing how “glad” they were about being listened by the brand, and a social campaign was developed to leverage this organic conversation trend within the community, inspired by their behaviour. Now, all Australians are being asked to share what makes them glad using the #gladeveryday hashtag for a chance to be rewarded every day. All content is being aggregated and is visible on a conversation hub, offering a great insight into what Australians are glad about.
— GLAD Australia (@GladAustralia) June 30, 2015
Happy Social Media Day!
Whether it’s the highlight of your year or you think it’s just a Mashable gimmick, June 30th is Social Media Day and it’s time to celebrate. There are meet ups taking place around the country and the globe so keep an eye on the #SMDay hashtag to see what’s going on…
Twitter x TV = a whole lot of gifs
— The Voice Australia (@TheVoiceAU) June 28, 2015
Facebook is testing a mobile lead-generation ad unit
Another day, another Facebook mobile ad unit. The social network is testing lead-generation-based mobile ads that will allow users to sign up for newsletters or complete forms with two taps, with fields being pre-filled with the information Facebook already has about the user. If they sufficiently help to reduce the hassle of filling out details, the ads could be a real success.
Jazz up your photos with Facebook’s new photo uploader
Facebook has introduced a new way to spruce up your photos by adding text, filters or stickers onto any of your photos. The functions may not exactly be revolutionary but Facebook is keen to stay on top of the game especially with the likes of Snapchat and Japanese messaging app, Line, already being early to the party. The new photo uploader is currently being tested but watch this space for when it is rolled out across iOS soon.
You can now use Facebook Messenger without having an account.
Not keen on using Facebook but want to stay connected with your friends? Do not worry – Facebook has this sorted. Starting in Canada, North and South America, users can sign up for the Messenger app without having a Facebook account. The change comes with a new “Not on Facebook?” button where people can then upload their phone contacts which will be matched with other Messenger users. The head of Messenger, David Marcus calls it ‘an augmented address book’ where a user will have all of their address book and the ability to search for everyone on Messenger.
Instagram revamps its ‘search and discover’ functions
From having a pretty basic ‘Explore’ function, Instagram has ramped it up a notch and introduced a whole new way of exploring and searching for photos. As well as a revamped explore feature, complete with trending tags, users can now search specific categories, location-based topics or even events in real time. The change brings Instagram into being at the forefront of real-time content alongside the likes of Twitter and Snapchat.
Snapchat gives advertisers the hard sell
Snapchat took a very temporary break from being cool last week and released a no-fun infomercial about Snapchat‘s ads. In a zero fuss, zero enjoyment video, Evan Spiegel explains how Snapchat’s full-screen ads slot between its content while Facebook and YouTube’s are either annoying pre-rolls or only fill part of the screen.
Bringing back the Mayor!
Location-sharing app, Swarm, has brought back mayorship to the delight of… no-one, really. Since launching off the back of Foursquare, the app has slowly declined in the ranks and it seems the latest efforts may just be a bit too late.
Happy birthday to Reddit!
User-generated blog Reddit celebrated its 10th birthday this week. Since the website was set up 10 years ago there has been 190,227,552 posts, 36,136,190 user accounts and 1,715,454,785 comments… only 0.36% of which mention cats. Reddit is now so huge that its current active users would make up the 8th largest population in the world, just after Nigeria and larger than Russia, Japan, and Mexico.
Crocs goes creative
Summer is a big season for crocs and to really push sales, the brand has recently partnered with Twitter to create a new, interactive campaign. Consumers can pick a pair of crocs and an outfit of choice for a model to wear… whilst going down a waterslide. The content will live on a micro blogging site called Funway Runway and will be a ‘cross section of fashion, fun and footwear’.
Lilly Pulitzer collaborates with Snapchat
American brand, Lilly Pulitzer has collaborated with Snapchat in offering custom prints to add to customers own Snapchat photos. When a user enters a store they can automatically add a printed ‘geofilter’ to their photos. Jane Schoenborn-Paradis, vp of creative communications at Lilly Pulitzer commented on how (Snapshat) “is such a visual platform and allows us to share our prints and enforce what we’re known for in a fun way.”
Facebook shows its support for same-sex marriages
Have you noticed that your Facebook News Feed is looking a lot more colourful? After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now a fundamental right, Facebook launched the new ‘Celebrate Pride’ tool where users can show their support of marriage equality by adding a rainbow filter over their profile photo.
It’s not just Facebook that’s shown support for the latest ruling in America. Lots of brands have leapt on the back of the same-sex marriage legalization and have demonstrated their support in a variety of ways:
Campaign Brief has published this post We Are Social redraws the globe according to Cannes; launches interactive ‘Cannesogram’ and have been kind enough to let us republish it in full.
Global agency We Are Social is celebrating Cannes creativity with an interactive cartogram, presenting the past ten years of the Cannes Lions according to the countries that have won them.
The agency has developed the ‘Cannesogram’ to show which countries have been most successful across a number of key categories at the awards. The countries are displayed with a combination of colour and size changes according to how successful they have been in the revered adland awards.
According to Suzie Shaw, managing director, We Are Social, Australia:
“The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity continues to set the benchmark for industry excellence. The evolution of the awards as a truly global representation of creativity can be seen in the cartogram. While the US and Europe are still creative powerhouses, the rise of new creative contenders in South America, Africa and the Middle East reflect the globalisation of creativity and the increasingly connected nature of communications. This is particularly true with socially-led creative thinking, which has connected brands and their audiences as never before.”
Hovering the cursor over a specific country brings up its record of Cannes Lions wins – Grand Prix, Golds, Silvers and Bronzes. Users can also drill down into the various categories represented in the Cannes Lions: International Festival of Creativity and use a timeline to find out which countries were most successful in specific years.
James Nester, creative director at We Are Social, and a Cannes Lions Cyber judge for 2015, said the exercise provided an illuminating insight into global creativity:
“There’s always a lot of debate about which countries do best at Cannes. So we thought we’d use data to show the world according to Lions wins. It’s fascinating to see how fast the creative landscape has changed. And it’s revealing to see that different countries consistently own different categories.”
We Are Social’s interactive cartogram is based on data from Cannes Lions: International Festival of Creativity, between 2005 and 2014. Among the interesting patterns it reveals are:
- Cyber is consistently dominated by the US, Europe and Japan.
- Film is still a category the UK rules, alongside the US.
- Outdoor is ruled by Brazil, with Europe also performing consistently.
- The UK and Europe have been doing well in the relatively new category of PR.
- Brazil rules in terms of press.
- South Africa is the king of radio.
- Awards have been more widely spread as the decade progressed. While US remains strong, countries like Russia, Turkey and the UAE have made it on to the map. South American countries have also shown in a post-2011 spurt.
The Cannesogram is available here: http://wearesocial.net/cannesogram/