Hello, we are social. We’re a global conversation agency with offices in Sydney, New York, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore & São Paulo. We help brands to listen, understand and engage in conversations in social media.
We’re a new kind of agency, but conversations between people are nothing new. Neither is the idea that ‘markets are conversations’.

We’re already helping Optus, eBay, Kia Automotive, Nivea, Expedia, Sony, Roadshow Films, Seven Network, Open Universities Australia & Adidas.

If you’d like to chat about us helping you too, then give us a call on (02) 9046-3700 or drop us an email.

We Are Social gets involved at Social Media Week Sydney

by Dhanuj Selvaraj

This week Michael Batistich, our Head of Insights and Analytics, took part in two sessions at Social Media Week Sydney, sharing his thoughts on how marketers can use social media to build relationships of value with their customers.

Tuesday 23 September saw him participate is a lively panel discussion at the Beresford Hotel on Social ROI and Measurement. Helen Crossley, Head of Measurement and Insights, Australia & New Zealand, Facebook; Joanne Jacobs Digital Strategist, Business Connector and Eddie Cliff, Principal Social Architect, Salesforce, joined him for the well-attended session.

Audience anticipation was high in the lead-up to the event and based on the Tweets coming from the audience, there was plenty of breadth in the points of view of the panellists.

Wednesday 24 September saw Michael host a Social Media Masterclass at Sydney University, where he spoke to a full house about the role of social media in the customer journey, how to create a social media measurement model that is aligned to business outcomes and how to use social listening to extract actionable insights that inform winning strategies. During the hour and a half session Michael outlined a framework for social media success, including the best metrics for actionability, and left marketers with tips, dashboard examples and best practices for social success. It was great to see so much support for Social Media Week Sydney and yet another example of how socially-led thinking is continuing to inform marketing strategies for some of Australia’s most successful brands.

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An Apple a day – the healthier option for branded apps

by Paul Napier in News

Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on the newest addition to iOS8 – HealthKit. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:

New health tracking features of Apple iOS 8 present opportunities for brands in industries from healthcare and insurance, to FMCG and travel, writes Paul Napier.

The new iOS8 is now available for users to download. As an iOS developer I have had several months to play around and come to understand the new features that come with this version of the operating system. As always with the new release of iOS, there are a suite of changes, some major and some minor.

One of the most exciting  additions to come out is HealthKit. So, what is it and how could it be used within your brand’s digital portfolio?

What is HealthKit?

HealthKit is the product of a two-year collaborative endeavour between Apple and Mayo Clinics, which services around 1.2 million patients every year. Their combined goal is to put iPhones and iPads at the centre of the self-health movement that has seen traction of the last few years.

At its core, HealthKit is a central hub/repository for gathering all the intelligence apps collect about a user’s fitness and health. Apps are able to upload their information about a user’s health and fitness activities into HealthKit, and in instances where users grant them permission, download this information and manipulate it to gather a better picture of the person currently signed into the app.

Users can see all their information at a glance, as it tracks their fitness activities such as running, walking and cycling from apps and associated wearable technology. Additionally, adapters such as glucometers, ECG devices, blood pressure monitors and even ultrasound have been created to give greater knowledge to users about their overall health, all of which can be stored in HealthKit and accessed by users through the simple interface.

In essence, HealthKit has removed the silo mentality that comes from having multiple apps for individual purposes, and encourages greater communication between health and fitness experts.

How can it help me?

At this stage, since the technology is in its infancy, it is difficult to predict where it could lead. The obvious beneficiaries of this technology, at least in the first instance, are companies such as Nike, Adidas and other fitness specialists or wearable producers. However, beyond the obvious, this technology opens an exciting avenue that could allow more diverse industries to begin working on a more intimate level with their customers:

Medical: There could be long-term benefits to the medical industry, which will have a huge database of reliable, or at least semi-reliable, information about people’s fitness and health. This information can be used to begin reviewing trends in health statistics against medical complications.

Healthcare: State medical facilities can build apps that can hook into a patient’s profile and read their medical data alongside health and fitness activities, giving the doctors and immediate understanding of the patients well-being prior to any medical appointment. Taking this even further, the patients activities could be tracked and the patient sent a notification when certain thresholds are reached, meaning that doctors can start to focus more on prevention rather than the cure.

Financial services: Insurance companies could look at the health and fitness of their customers to provide accurate quotes, or provide incentives to those who follow a healthy regime.

FMCG: Food and beverage companies could build apps that tracked users consumption and offered better nutritional options on food and beverages could be tracked against the user’s health needs, allergy requirements, blood sugar levels, fitness activities or goals.

Travel: Airlines could be made aware of any medical needs for passengers, or be alerted to dietary requirements, while encouraging their passengers with medical conditions to continue tracking throughout the journey to ensure the crew are alerted in the event of any pressing concern. Travel companies could track for potential changes in stress to enable bespoke packages to engage health focused customers.

Retail: Clothing and apparel companies could track clothing sizes using measurements given by the users then look at targeting them with the newest ranges in sizes that match the user’s statistics or intended goals.

This information on its own is but one facet of a potential medical breakthroughs in both the literal and mobile sense. We are seeing a swell in the information being gathered around individuals: location, behavioural, social, economic, psychological, physiological, etc. I recently wrote an article outlining the benefits of looking at implementing a social strategy within your mobile application, and with the advent of this new technology, never has there been a greater time to review this strategy.

The power of integrating social alongside this medical and fitness information could seem overwhelming, and it is most certainly not for every company. However, for those companies that have a legitimate reason to access this information, the potential options for improving user experience and engagement are greater than ever before.

On a final note, any idea should have a benefit for both sides, and provide information about the user back into HealthKit before drawing information in return. This way, HealthKit can provide ongoing advancements and the information you receive can become a more detailed and richer experience for both you and the user.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #158

by Prudence McKendry

Narcissists are from Sydney, gluttons are from Melbourne
New South Wales has taken the lead as the most active Instagramming state with over 1.6 million posts in a 90-day period, according to the latest Datafication study conducted by creative agency The Works. Sydneysiders have been busy snapping portraits and landscapes above all else. In comparison, Victorians are falling behind with 1.02 pics on the network with food the most popular theme.

We are spending more time using mobile apps then ever
Our time spent using mobile apps has risen by 21 percent compared to last year, with music, fitness and social media apps amongst the highest climbers.

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Despite coming third to music and fitness categories regarding the time spent in apps, when it comes to app launches (i.e. opening up the app itself) social networking is leading the field with an average of 25.1 app launches per month. Our time in apps has already overtaken desktop web and this number is only going to continue to grow, according to Localytics, who carried out the research.

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Channel Ten partners with Twitter help put its new dramas in the spotlight
Channel Ten’s latest Australia drama is being promoted with an interactive edge thanks to Twitter. Party Tricks, a political drama starring Asher Keddie and Rodger Corser, will come to life on the platform with live messages with the political candidate characters and ability to follow their election campaigns online. The show will be aired from Oct. 6, however the “campaign” sites are live and running across Ten Play.

Small and medium businesses are the biggest spenders on social media
Research firm BIA/Kelsey has revealed that 74.5 percent of SMBs use social media to advertise or promote their businesses, rising from 71.7 percent last year. At the same time, SMBs are spending less on print and outdoor advertising. Steve Marshall, director of research at BIA/Kelsey, explains that “print and outdoor together have switched positions with social in terms of reach and share of spend”, describing social as convenient, user-friendly and inexpensive with low participation barriers. The most profitable channels cited by SMBs are online banner ads containing video, streaming audio advertising and offers distributed on smartphones or tablets.

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Asia-Pacific holds nearly 30% of global social network spending
Even though North America continues to retain its breadwinner status in terms of media dollars spent on social sites this year, nearly a third of worldwide paid social media spending will come from the Asia-Pacific region, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. It’s expected for this region’s share to rise by almost 2 percentage points over the next two years, while it’s anticipated for North America’s share to fall.

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Facebook captures 10% of US digital ad spend
Adults in the US will spend an average of 6 percent of their total digital media time on Facebook (roughly 21 minutes every day) and the platform captures 10 percent of all U.S. digital ad spending, according to a new study from eMarketer. Facebook in the UK is not far behind the US, representing 7.5 percent of all digital ad spend this year with another 3% going to other social networks, with the expectation it continue to grow at a strong rate.

Facebook prioritises breaking news
Facebook has announced changes to its News Feed algorithm that aim to put a greater focus on topical news and timely posts. The update looks at two new factors; one being trending topics with Facebook giving more priority to breaking news and the other is how people are liking and commenting on posts to determine if it’s relevant to a specific user. Facebook hopes the update will help to deliver everyone the right content at the right time, so users only read “what’s important to them”. For users this might mean fewer BuzzFeed quizzes and ice-bucket challenges, and more breaking news.

Facebook’s private sharing app “Moments”
Facebook is trialling a new app codenamed “Moments”, a private sharing app designed to make selective sharing to different sets of people much faster than the main Facebook app, which focuses primarily on content rather than audience. Though Facebook is yet to officially comment, the app has already been likened to the mobile app “Cluster”, which lets people create safe “spaces” for sharing content with small groups.

Facebook relaunches ad network Atlas
Facebook has revamped the ad network it acquired Atlas with an updated system that enables it to better serve and measure ads across devices and beyond Facebook. Advertisers can target ads to any device leading up to a purchase, and use Facebook data to measure the success of a campaign. The update could be big news for brands looking to organise their digital ad spend, and seeks to extend Facebook’s display advertising dominance beyond its own service. The full details are due to be revealed during Advertising Week, beginning Sept. 29.

Instagram ads are set to roll out in UK soon
As promised back in June, Instagram is preparing to show sponsored posts to UK users soon. With ads being announced last year, and having already rolled out in the US, the Facebook-owned photo sharing site claims the sponsored posts will aim to be “natural”. The ads look just like regular updates, but are instead marked out with a “Sponsored” label in the top right-hand corner. If a user doesn’t like the posts appearing on their feed, they can select to hide any updates from that particular brand.

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Twitter expands audience targeting tools
Twitter first introduced tailored audiences last year to give advertisers the ability to target audiences and tailor ads. Expanding on its audience targeting efforts, the platform has updated its self-service advertising dashboard to give advertisers more tools to manage targeted campaigns. They can do so by creating new audience lists and managing existing audiences, all through the new audience manager tool.

YouTube Analytics now with real-time tracking
YouTube has added new real-time reporting to its analytics dashboard that provides view counts down to the minute for your videos. The new dashboard looks at your last five published videos, how many users have accessed them, how the user figures have developed in the past 48 hours. The interface has two graphs: hour-by-hour data for the last 48 hours and minute-by-minute figures for the past hour. This is a particularly exciting update; providing a new way to look at content and keep track of what time is preferable to publish new videos.

Joan Rivers posts about iPhone 6-feet-under
After several warnings to PR companies, sponsored scheduled posts appeared on Joan Rivers’ Facebook and Instagram accounts two weeks following her death. One of these included an ad on the late comedian’s Instagram account promoting the Apple iPhone 6, before it was quickly taken down. However, with 1.3 millions fans, this didn’t stop people immediately having fun with the story on social media.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #157

by Caitlin West

Roadshow Films using augmented reality technology to promote film

Following on from a teaser video of one man’s quest to capture a selfie with a dust tornado in the Australian outback, Roadshow Films have embraced augmented reality technology to deliver a unique outdoor advertising experience for their film ‘Into The Storm’. Using the technology,  a window through which passersby could view a wild storm unfolding on the street ahead of them was created. The technology was used to create a higher level of engagement than traditional static outdoor advertising, and as a memorable topic of discussion. Featuring lightning strikes, tornados, and torrential rain, the display held nothing back in showing the full force of nature.

Ikea parodies Apple for new catalogue launch

Taking Apple’s trademark advertising style as a starting point, Ikea has delivered a parody commercial advertising the store’s most recent catalogue. The commercial, featuring the aptly named Ikea ‘Bookbook’, discusses the main features of the catalogue, including ‘eternal’ battery life, high definition photographs of products, ‘pre-installed’ content, and easy bookmarking of pages, in a way that would easily be at home in one of Apple’s own videos. While plenty of Apple spoofs have been made in recent years, Ikea’s effort seems to be making waves for all the right reasons, reaching 7.7 million views in less than a week.

Facebook requesting drag queens to change their names

As a part of their real names policy, Facebook is requesting that drag queens using the site change the name displayed on their profile to their birth name. Several drag queens using the site who have refused to change the name shown on their profile have had their profiles deleted, with members of the drag queen community planning to protest the policy and discuss the terms of the policy with Facebook. The dilemma created by the policy for the drag queen community raises further questions about who else the policy may impact.

Apple Watch to feature social apps

Following its grand unveiling last week, it has been revealed that Facebook, Yahoo, Pinterest and Twitter are among the companies already developing apps for Apple Watch. While certain features such as the ability to receive and act on Facebook notifications have been demonstrated, it has not yet been announced whether ads will be included in the small-screen apps. The wearable device got a relatively subdued 336,000 mentions on Twitter right before and after its unveiling, compared to the hefty 1 million-plus mentions of the new iPhones launched the same day. The gadget will be released early next year, so (Apple) Watch this space!

Facebook takes on YouTube

Facebook joins Yahoo in taking on YouTube as a distribution platform for multi-channel networks and their stars, approaching some of YouTube’s biggest content producers to get them to distribute their videos directly on the social platform. Already, some have experimented with putting some of their top YouTube series on Facebook, including Disney’s Maker Studios and Collective Digital Studio; the latter making its animated viral hit “Annoying Orange” available on the social network. The competition is no surprise, as “more brands divert their focus from broadcast TV to online video”.

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Facebook tests self-destructing posts

Facebook is trialling a new feature on a small number of users’ iOS devices that lets you schedule the deletion of your posts in advance. The feature gives users a set of choices from one hour to seven days before a post is deleted– an update potentially very useful addition for brand and business Pages. Facebook has tried its hand at self-destruction before; in June it released a Snapchat clone called Slingshot.

Facebook Messenger lets users doodle over photos

Facebook has released an update to its Messenger app for Android that lets users edit photos from their device’s gallery by drawing or typing all over them. Interestingly, the update does not currently work with photos taken via Messenger’s built-in camera. To use, people simply need to tap on the photo icon in the bottom control row, and then they are given the option to write, text or draw.

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Buy your mate a Budweiser through Facebook

Budweiser is trying its hand at social commerce with the launch of two new programmes on Facebook. “Bud Light Birthday” lets users hand out free beer vouchers to friends on their Birthdays (providing they’re of-age), while “Bud for Buds” celebrates allows users to buy vouchers to send as gifts for any type of special occasions. To redeem the offer, the recipient simply needs to click on the link and show the ID to a bar’s point of sale. From there, it’s beer o’clock!

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Topshop’s SS15 launch on Facebook

Topshop, the UK high street fashion retailer, launched part of its SS15 ‘Unique’ collection not on the runway, but exclusively on Facebook. The range was made available to buy immediately after the end of the show, a ‘fast-fashion’ shift that has also been embraced by luxury fashion brands including Burberry.

Each season, it becomes clear that social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in Fashion Weeks worldwide, and this is faring well for brands too. As NYFW draws to a close, results show Twitter mentions are up a huge 1,113% this year for sponsors including WGSN, Samsung and Mercedez-Benz.

A branded response to #AppleLive streaming

Apple product launches are undeniably huge social media moments, attracting global conversation. So naturally, marketers jumped on Tuesday’s live streaming of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch unveiling in their masses, with some doing better than others. MasterCard, an initial partner of Apple Pay, used the event to promote the new feature:

Denny’s brought some humour to the night in highlighting the technical issues suffered by frustratingly trying to livestream.

Competitors also had their say, with HTC and Windows playing a seemingly friendly game of social media banter, amongst Blackberry’s slightly pitiful reminder that it’s still around.

Of course, Oreo didn’t miss out on the opportunity either, with yet another real-time Photoshop response.

How brands Tweeted about the second #RoyalBaby

Last Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially announced they are expecting another child. With 260,000 tweets sent throughout the day about the big announcement, #RoyalBaby began trending around the world with more than 70,000 uses of the hashtag. Several of the tweets celebrating the news came from brands. One of the quickest to offer its congratulations was @NissanUK, who managed to produce an ad just seven minutes after the news broke. Featuring the Nissan X-Trail seven-seater, the company tweeted a picture of the interior of the vehicle with a crown on each seat:

Brands’ Twitter reactions to 9/11

Last week saw the 13th anniversary of 9/11, an occasion where many brands undoubtedly wanted to become part of national conversation. Some brands commemorated tastefully, such as New York retailer Century 21, who posted a picture of a memorial painted by artist Mr. Brainwash at one of its stores, and Walmart and Nordstorm posted unbranded images of the Manhattan skyline.

However, unsurprisingly, not all brands remembered the date with such grace. Build-A-Bear was forced to remove a tweet of a teddy bear in fatigues after it received much to-be-expected criticism, while several brands including Dunkin’ Donuts and Applebees invoked the wrath of Twitter critic, Mike Monteiro. His comments made many look twice at 9/11 brand tweets – you can read some of his replies below.

 

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #156

by Caitlin West

Reddit launches Ask Me Anything app
After a failed attempt at launching an app in 2011, Reddit has rolled out an app centred solely on its “Ask Me Anything” series. Featuring a wide range of participants, such as politicians, television and film stars, and musicians, the series is one of the site’s most popular destinations.

The app departs from the site’s trademark simple look, instead featuring a sleeker display. Using left and right swipe motions, users can navigate between different question threads, and have the ability to forward links by text, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and other sites. The app also gives users the opportunity to filter content to their own preferences, enhancing their experience, and making it even easier to find out more about the famous, notable, and interesting!

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YouTube fan funding
YouTube is trialling a fan funding feature, giving users the chance to show even more love to their favourite channels. The feature can only be used if the channel owner has chosen to turn it on, and may provide further income for content producers, beyond ad revenue. While channel owners receive the bulk of the donation, Google claims five percent of the total, and a small fee. The feature is currently being trialled in the USA, Japan, Mexico and Australia, with views to expand in the future.

Social is increasingly important for marketers
The CMO Survey was released last week. The survey of 351 ‘marketing leaders’ shows social is becoming ever more important to brands; it now makes up 9.4% of marketing budgets, expected to rise to 21.4% within five years.

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However, as you can see below, ROI is still proving tricky. Particularly sad is the big blue section, made up of the 45% who can’t show the impact of all the fantastic work they’re doing. Expect to see increases in budgets for measuring ROI.

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How cost efficient is social advertising?
Very! Wonderful news. Q2 analysis by Neustar has found that social ads outperformed ad networks, portals and exchanges for cost efficiency. Look at the graph, the graph says it all:

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How social network ads affect buying decisions
So social ads are cost-effective, but which platform is king? Analysis by AoI Platforms of data from 500m clicks has found that YouTube is the best social network for introducing customers to new products, with Facebook coming in second. YouTube manages to perform well throughout the buying decision process, unlike Twitter, which is pretty much only useful during the middle phase.

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Over 50% of people have a mobile phone
Half of the world now owns a mobile phone. At the time that we published our article on the subject, there were 7.258bn global citizens (though a few more have probably arrived in the last week), compared with 3.630bn unique mobile users.

Facebook video views at 1bn a day
Facebook video views grew by 50% month-on-month between May and July and, since June, there have been 1bn every single day. Fidji Simo, Project Management Director of Video at Facebook, wrote:

Video is one of the most engaging and immersive ways to tell your story. Whether capturing breaking news, a baby’s first steps, or rising to a friend’s challenge for charity, it is a remarkable storytelling medium.

He doesn’t say what percentage are ice bucket challenges. We may soon know, though, as videos from public users and pages are set to display a view count in the near future.

‘Privacy Checkup’ debuts on Facebook
Facebook has rolled out ‘Privacy Checkup’, which it has been testing since March. Each user who logs in will see an option to edit their settings, guided by a cartoon dinosaur. (A tyrannosaur? Our taxonomy skills have left us wanting.) Here’s how it all works:

Twitter adds a buy button for mobile commerce
Get set to start purchasing through Twitter – the network has just added a ‘buy now’ button for iPhone and Android. It’s chosen 25 beta partners, which include two brands (Burberry and Home Depot), but are largely made up of celebrities. Musicians are an important part of the partnership, and celebs will be able to act as paid influencers for brands. You can find out about how it works in the below video:

Snapchat adds London geofilters
Snapchat has added 30 London-specific geofilters, which are only accessible in certain parts of the capital. Two of them have been revealed: the London Eye and Tower Bridge, but the other 28 remain a secret for now.

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Netflix adds greater sharing controls
Netflix is allowing users increased privacy over what they share on Facebook. Previously, anyone who had linked their accounts would automatically share what they’d watched with any Facebook friends signed up to Netflix. Now, you can tell everyone about that Scandinavian crime drama, but keep Gossip Girl to yourself (or vice versa, of course).

Social media talks about the NFL
The new NFL season kicked off on Thursday to a roaring online reception. There were 15m total Facebook interactions from 8.5 million users, and the network released a map of the most popular team in each US county, measured by official page likes:

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Frito Lays used the event to commence its latest campaign, in which fans must like a ‘Fire Drill Alert’ posted during Thursday night games, for the chance to win prizes from tubes of Stax to Superbowl tickets.

Asda set to launch YouTube commerce
Walmart-owned UK supermarket chain, Asda, is set to allow YouTube users to purchase its products without leaving the site. A new partnership with e-commerce service, Constant Commerce, will allow the brand to display a list of products alongside its videos, which users can add to their basket before checking out, without ever leaving the video.

Samsung launches #thatsucks campaign
Samsung has been walking the ‘fail’ tightrope with its latest vacuum cleaner campaign, dubbed #thatsucks. It has received a couple of negative responses, but in large part shows that it’s possible to take risks in social and succeed.

 

 

adidas crowdsources NYFW show
adidas put on the world’s first crowdsourced fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Dubbed #NEORunway, almost every element of the show was chosen by fans – from hair and makeup to music, outfits and even set design.

Starwood looking to LinkedIn with $30m campaign
Hotel chain, Starwood, is putting LinkedIn at the centre of its latest campaign, worth $30m. It is looking to promote its ‘Starwood Preferred Guest’ loyalty programme in the business market, making LinkedIn a good fit, though it will also increase the volume of its content on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

EA creates social media sitcom
EA is pushing the launch of the Sims 4 with a sitcom that takes place on social media. Four different characters, each with a personal Twitter account, will act out the story over two weeks. It’s based on ‘Gone With The Wind’, so they’ve taken a punt and are calling it ‘Gone With The Sims’.

Snuggle Bear gets social
Snuggle is bringing its mascot, the Snuggle Bear, into the 21st century. He’ll be debuting on various social channels for his 30th birthday, as part of an editorial-led campaign across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Now, you’ve been very good and finished your whole mashup, so here’s a picture of the cuddly chap. Don’t say we don’t treat you.

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Half of Africa’s internet users now using Facebook
Facebook has recently announced that it has reached 100 million users in Africa, meaning that approximately 50% of all internet users on the continent now have a profile on the site. The announcement suggests that if improved internet connectivity spreads across areas of the world without steady internet access, such as South America and India, Facebook could potentially gain even more users.

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