Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Facebook’.

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #214

by Cat May in News

Mobile messaging apps used by 1.4 billion worldwide

eMarketer has released its first ever worldwide forecast for mobile messaging apps and the number of users is rapidly growing. More than 1.4 billion consumers will use mobile messaging apps this year according to the report – that’s a massive 31.6% increase on last year. eMarketer’s money is on the trend continuing; it predicts that by 2018, the number of chat app users worldwide will reach 2 billion – that’s 80% of smartphone users… which is heaps.

emarketer mobile messaging

OMG! One Direction in emoji form

We’ve all tweeted something and thought ‘This could’ve been better conveyed with a Harry Styles emoji’, right? Well now you can tweet the face of any of the 1D dreamboats with a simple hashtag. Take your pick from the hashtags below. One of which may not be quite as it seems…

We Are Social Tuesday Tune-Up

Rainbow vomit has a price

Have you ever dreamt of having something that money can’t buy? Something, for example, such as magical rainbow vomit? Well your dreams might just be coming true as rainbow chunder is now for sale and it could be yours for the princely sum of $1.49. While this sales pitch might sound convincing, anyone who has been on Snapchat in the last month or so will know that the almighty Snapchat rainbow vomit lens was once free. A free distraction for students (and We Are Social employees) everywhere. A free costume inspiration for Halloween parties. A free gift to the world. But sadly the best things in life are no longer free and Snapchat has opened up the Lens Store for all to try (and buy).

We Are Social Tuesday Tune-Up

Tumblr gets instant messaging

Tumblr has granted its users the most requested feature to date – instant messaging. Before this, the only way they could communicate was reblogging with comments or by using Fan Mail and that wasn’t the most popular. Now, they’ve opted for a viral launch with only 1,500 people getting access for now but if they message you, you’ll then have it. Keep an eye out for that message!

Pinterest introduces visual search tool

While we all wish our homes looked like a Pinterest board, the reality is often quite different. To help you get a little bit closer to achieving that dream, Pinterest has introduced a search tool which means users can highlight something within a pin and get taken to that exact product. So highlight away and start hoping that everything is affordable.


Facebook’s first virtual reality ads revealed

Last week we talked about virtual reality being kind of a big deal and oh how we were right. Facebook has now entered the fold big time, with its first virtual reality-style video ads. This follows on from the roll out of its video creation tool in September, where brands could post 360-degree clips organically to their pages. In order to attract more brands to use the 360 vids (and therefore, make more $$$), Facebook has created a dedicated site to help get the low-down on creating 360-degree videos. You can see all of the ads from the brands who used the new format here, including Mondelez’s Ritz with a wonderful 360-degree holiday party and a tour of the “the most magical place on Earth” from Walt Disney World.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #213

by Liam Cross in News

Snapchat reaches 6billion daily views

Snapchat is quickly growing to become the preferred social media platform of teenagers around the world, and it’s well on its way to social media dominance. Snapchat has now reached six billion daily views, which is triple the traffic it was getting in May 2015. In comparison, Facebook records 8 billion daily views, twice as many as they were recording in April 2015. Facebook’s video views, however, are across desktop AND mobile, so it’s pretty impressive that Snapchat is pulling in these kind of numbers solely on mobile.

Snapchat has, without a doubt, shaken up the way in which audiences are consuming content and what they are expecting from their content. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat content is what makes it so appealing, but it also makes it difficult to justify pouring big bucks into a video that is only going to be viewable for 24 hours. Similarly, Snapchat videos are viewed almost exclusively in portrait, an intentional decision by CEO Evan Spiegel, and they have a maximum length of 10 seconds.

eMarketer has predicted a 42% increase in digital video revenues this year (taking it to a whopping $7.5billion in the US alone), and with Snapchat becoming one of the big, if not the biggest, player in the sector, it looks like the game has well and truly been changed.

Facebook launches Music Stories

With the latest iOS app update, Facebook has integrated Music Stories into our Newsfeeds. Pulling in streams from Spotify and Apple Music users can sample 30 second clips of songs and albums without having to leave the app, with the end goal being for all users to be able to share entire playlists. Users don’t need to be subscribed to either service to be able to access the tunes, and there are capabilities to save favourite songs or purchase them directly from the iTunes store. With 900 million mobile users on Facebook every day, this is a definite win for the streaming industry. Unfortunately, it does mean that there is a chance you will be seeing significantly more of this guy…

Twitter shares the love

The stars are going out. Twitter has revamped the way users share positive sentiment towards one another, replacing the action of ‘favouriting’ a tweet with a star with ‘liking’ it with a little heart. The reason for the change, according to Product Manage Akarshan Kumar, is down to semantics:

“You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favourite. The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.”

With ‘likes’ already being used with great successes on Facebook and Pinterest, it’s pretty likely that this change will be a good thing for Twitter. The mechanic of liking will be exactly the same, the only real difference is the change of icon.


Finland immortalises National Pride in… Emojis?

Yep! That’s correct. The Finnish tourist board has just released a series of national emojis that they believe celebrate Finland and “reveal the weirdnesses and the strengths of the country and its people”.
Three of the eventual thirty have been released so far: a sauna, a headbanging rocker and a Nokia 3310. Guess that means the Finnish are hot, like to party, and are unbreakable.

Fortunately for Tourism Australia, we already have our national emoji:


YouTube moves into Virtual Reality

Say whaaaat? YouTube’s Android app now supports VR video, giving users realistic 360 degree perspectives of videos. To view, users simply have to get up a virtural reality app, enable VR mode and place their phone in Alphabet Inc’s “Cardboard” device. At the moment there are only a few VR compatible videos online, but the catalogue is slowly expanding as more and more people and companies experiment with the format – including the Hunger Games movies. A very exciting leap forward for technology – really exciting to see where this works and how it will change the way we currently consume media.

Facebook is dabbling in a ‘teleportation’ station set to launch by 2025
Well, kind of. Don’t go adding “Beam Me Up Siri” to your voice command centre just yet. After Facebook acquired Occulus Rift, they got straight to work on creating the technology to making a believable virtual world. The technology for beautiful virtual worlds already well and truly exists (hello Call of Duty), but making it believable is the struggle. Facebook is working on touch controllers that will trick your senses into believing that the virtual world you’re seeing is real. The aim is, according to Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, to: “build a device that allows you to be anywhere you want, with anyone, regardless of geographic boundaries”.

This kind of tech would allow users to ‘meet up’ in online communities, for example coffee shops, and interact, as if they were doing so in real time. So not teleportation per se, but simulated teleportation. Brain me up, Siri!


You can now buy your fantasy Pinterest life

Similar to the buyable pins that were released a few months ago, Pinterest has just released Pinterest Shop, a marketplace of curated items picked by Pinterest editors and available for purchase. At the moment it is only on the mobile platform, but there are plans to expand it into desktop as well. Weddings throughout the world just got considerably more elaborate and photogenic.


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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #211

by Cristina Forlani

ICYMI: Telstra 2015 Australian Digital Summit

Yesterday the Telstra 2015 Australian Digital Summit took place in Sydney to ‘help Australian businesses capitalise on the move to digital’ with the theme ‘there’s no going back’. It featured many interesting panels and high-caliber speakers from all around the world. Robert Scoble talked about the latest innovations from around the world; Rob Tarkoff, President and CEO at Lithium, talked about innovative ways to delight customers and win loyalty; Brian Solis talked about how brands are defined by those who experience it, and how technology impacts business and our lives – did you know we look at our phone 1,500 times per week, for 177 minutes per day? He also said something we particularly liked. Go Brian!

Many other very smart things were said, don’t miss out: you can still watch the 2015 Australian Digital Summit here, and scroll through tweets here.  


How Australian & New Zealand marketing executives view the future

Marketing executives in Australia and New Zealand believe that the structure and design of their function will need to change to meet the future needs of their enterprises – but they appear to feel less strongly about the subject than their counterparts elsewhere. That was one of the major findings of a global study by The Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by Marketo, based on a survey of 660 high-level marketing executives asked to consider the future of their professions. Among the main findings:

  • ANZ marketers are aware of the need to overhaul their organisation but feel it less acutely than marketers in many other regions
  • The marketing function’s role as a revenue driver will grow substantially as it assumes responsibility for the customer experience
  • Customer acquisition will present a major challenge for ANZ organisations but they are investing heavily in marketing initiatives and as a result are confident they will rise to meet the challenge
  • ANZ marketers believe that real-time mobile personalised transactions will shape the future of the marketing function

Have a look at the full report here.          


Sumo Salad, Contiki, Model Co. and others to raise awareness on Equal Pay Day

Did you know?  In Australia, pay gap between men and women sits at 18.6%. Shame on you, ‘Straya. Why is it particularly relevant today? Because this is the day Australian women will stop getting paid for the year as a result of the gender pay gap. From this day forward, “women will work the next 65 days FOR FREE, while their male counterparts continue to earn a salary“. How crazy is that?! The conversation on Twitter is on fire, and many brands are offering a 18% discount on their products.


Boomerang is here, and we all love it

Instagram launched Boomerang last week, a new standalone video app that takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward. Brands are already using it to drive engagement, and users are going crazy about it too, with almost 160,000 short videos posted in just a few days.

At We Are Social we obviously love to try new things, so we decided to celebrate Friday like this, but also like this.

jumpmujumpmuj #boomerang #wearefridays

Un video pubblicato da We Are Social AU (@wearesocialau) in data:


Facebook comes top of the class for Social Ad Effectiveness

eMarketer has released a catchily named new report called “Social Advertising Effectiveness Scorecard: Industry Execs Grade the Leading Platforms,” where executives were asked to rate different social platforms in terms of their paid advertising effectiveness. The results left Facebook with a healthy report to take back to its parents this half term, with a B+ for ROI and the only A in the class (made up of Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat) for its targeting capabilites. Snapchat was commended for its creative capabilities but as a relative newbie to advertising came bottom of the class with some of the lowest scores in the categories judged. ‘Good effort’ Snapchat.



Companies using Instagram set to double next year

It has been reported that 88.2% of US companies use at least one of the major social platforms indicating they are almost at saturation point. Despite this marketers are now rapidly embracing Instagram which is reported to be one of the only major social networks which will continue to show significant growth over the next two years according to the latest eMarketer forecast. Currently 32.3% of US companies with over 100 employees use Instagram for marketing activities but this will increase to 70.7% by 2017, overtaking Twitter for the first time.



Facebook improves search features

Three major improvements have been made to Facebook’s search capabilities. The first is that it will now offer personalised search suggestions, secondly you can search through publicly shared posts by strangers or your friends and finally you can search for what people are saying about specific topics and viral posts. Facebook will also highlight topics which are currently popular so you can keep up to speed with real-time news.



Facebook: “Unleash the Instant Articles!”

Thousands of Instant Articles were released onto Facebook for iPhone users last week. The rollout comes after it launched with just a few select publishers but now the number has increased to include people like USA Today, The Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan among others. Instant articles are fast-loading, image heavy and housed within Facebook, promising a richer reading experience than regular mobile web articles. You’ll know when you’re seeing an Instant Article as it’ll be marked with a lightning bolt as seen below. Many publishers are keen to get involved despite concerns within the industry that they’ll lose control to Facebook over content. Some of these concerns were alleviated when Facebook said the publishers could keep all of the advertising revenue sold within their Instant Articles in exchange for the soul of their editor’s first born child. Seems reasonable.



Twitter Polls are rolled out

This month sees the official launch of Twitter polls, where users can now pose questions with two options for answers e.g. ‘Do you like lamp? a) Yes I Like Lamp b) No I Do Not Like Lamp’. It has been said by Twitter that answers you submit will not be shared publicly or with third parties (so they can sell you some lamp if you like it) and you will be notified of the final result when the poll is complete, which could be a little annoying if you become addicted to the polls.

Meta poll  


Twitter to let brands link Twitter handles to their customer accounts to aid customer care

Twitter is working with Fabric and Gnip to help businesses run their customer services more smoothly over Twitter. Early testers like Hilton are now able to link up customers’ Twitter credentials to their main customer accounts so all interactions with the brand on Twitter can be tracked for quicker history overview to assist with resolution. Twitter’s fast-paced nature now means that it dominates customer services on social, with 80% of all customer requests coming through this platform.  


Twitter announces improvements to and future plans for embedding tweets

At a recent Twitter Flight developer conference it has been announced that there is to be a new “ecosystem” of products for publishers coming out which are tied to how tweets are embedded in published content. These include already existing Twitter products like Tweetdeck and Curator which help find the best tweets to feature in content and also partnerships with companies like Spredfast, Wayin, Dataminr, ScribbleLive and Flowics. It’s also introducing a new grid format (see example below) for those who don’t want to just stack tweets on top of each other (guilty!🙋). Twitter’s Michael Ducker argued that embedded tweets have now become the “modern day pull quote” and has also announced a partnership with JCDecaux to bring tweets to out of home digital displays.


Google reveals its subscription video service

It has now been announced that Google will be offering a subscription video service called YouTube Red and the cost? $9.99, which also encompasses a music service called YouTube Music (formerly known as YouTube Music Key) and includes a full subscription to Google Play Music. The service which is only currently available in the US will allow users access to all content on YouTube without the ads and they’ve announced that they’ll be 10 new original shows launching for subscribers. Unfortunately for YouTube content creators, if you make content with advertising support you HAVE to participate in the subscription service or your videos will be set to private and no one will be able to find them.


Twitter’s first ‘Promoted Moment’ is an ad for new film ‘Creed’

The first marketers to use a Promoted Moment after its Moments channel was launched earlier this month are the people behind new movie Creed (A Rocky spinoff FYI). No details of pricing have been released but Twitter has said that it is more in the range of a Promoted Trend than a single promoted tweet. A promoted trend costs around $200,000 a day. Why not get 10!



Skittles score a touchdown as the NFL’s first Live Story sponsor on Snapchat

After seven weeks of Live Stories from the NFL on Snapchat, it introduced three 10 second ads from Skittles that played in between videos shared by fans at the stadium during a game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers on Thursday of last week. It is believed that advertising was not started right at the beginning of the season as the NFL would have been taking the first seven weeks to sum up what its audience is like. Snapchat stories have been seen to command more than 10 million views in 24 hours with a minimum cost of 2 cents per view but the NFL will most likely charge a lot more than the minimum. snapchat-skittles


Wendy’s get creative with Snapchat style ads on Facebook

As some brands are just waking up to the new possibilities of Facebook’s full screen ads,Wendy’s is racing ahead with a fun interactive ad which uses, photos, videos and GIFs which people can swipe (a classic Snapchat move) to see the whole process of burger making step by step. Other brands testing Facebook’s new immersive ad format include Gatorade, Michael Kors and Bacardi.


TCL is inviting people to talk to its new TV set as part of Halloween campaign

To tie in with Halloween Chinese smart TV manufacturer TCL will be encouraging Periscope users to join in its “ask me anything” Q&A session. Users can then ask questions to a spooky virtual face which can smile, frown, nod and speak (with help from a comedian who will be providing the voice of the TV). Pete Lin, MD of We Are Social in China, added:

“This campaign shows how forward-thinking TCL is. Periscope has huge potential, yet we’ve still seen very few creative executions on the platform away from a simple event live-stream or product demo. TCL is an exciting brand with big global ambitions, and this is just the first step towards taking it to a wider audience.”


Doc Brown uses Facebook Messenger to talk about the future

As part of Back To The Future Day on 21st October, not only did Universal launch social campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram but Doc Brown himself chatted about the future (and a bit about BTTF products like Pepsi) with fans on Facebook Messenger. The Back To The Future chat created by startup Imperson allows users to have a quick exchange with the doctor and is an attempt to crack the messaging medium where many brands have failed but which sees a reported 104 million monthly users in the US alone. Imperson has already revealed that their next chat character will be Miss Piggy, free, single and ready to mingle!


Of course lots of brands wanted to hop aboard the hover board of social conversation (see what I did there). Here are some of the good, bad and downright ugly to wrap up this week’s epic mashup.


The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #209

by Oz Dean in News


Last Thursday we celebrated our 5th Birthday at The Carriageworks. We held a Social Gathering, inviting friends, clients & partners along to an evening of discussion and networking.

Simon Kemp, Regional Manager Partner in Asia for We Are Social, began the evening with a presentation on ‘Succeeding in a Social World’ and then joined a panel of experts chaired by Suzie Shaw (our local MD). On the panel was Vanessa Jones from Twitter, Serena Leith from Spotify and Tom Walter from Tumblr. More to come on this in a separate blog post.


Chicken Treat’s tweeting chicken

I love the fun ‘just because’ side of this one. West Australian chicken restaurant Chicken Treat is attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the first chicken to ever send a five letter word as a tweet. Be sure to watch the campaign video where Betty demonstrates her typing skills.


Metadata Laws

Starting on Tuesday, October 13, Australian telcos such as Telstra and Optus are required to start storing metadata logs pertaining to people’s email, internet, mobile and landline use for up to two years.

Who you called, who called you, both parties’ location and the duration of the calls will be stored for two years, and potentially accessed without a warrant, meaning there is no judicial oversight by a magistrate. It also applies to email.

Marketers will diversify their online advertising spend

A new study published by RBC Capital Markets in partnership with Ad Age has revealed a few little nuggets in regards to where brands might be putting their advertising bucks in 2016 and beyond. It found that 72% said that they would like to allocate some money to Instagram in 2016, as well as expressing interest in other emerging platforms such as Pinterest (41%), Snapchat (36%) and Amazon (34%). The research also revealed that 61% of marketers plan on increasing their ad spend with Facebook, indicating that the company’s meteoric growth is far from over.

And so it begins: Instagram organic growth and engagement is in decline

A new report from Locowise shows that as Instagram continues to grow; just announcing 400 million active users, marketers are now struggling to maintain organic reach and growth. New figures indicate that Instagram is following in parent company Facebook’s footsteps in becoming a “pay to play” platform, where only brands that are prepared to spend will be able to reach the consumers they crave.

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Facebook trials new range of ‘Like’ options in the form of emoji

Exciting news as Facebook has announced it is testing new Like options. Users will now be able to respond to content with love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger as well as the original like.


At the moment it is only being tested in Ireland and Spain before it is decided if it will be further rolled out. I’m glad I’ll be able to fire off some anger at the next friend who posts about cleaning their gutters with ‘hubby’.

Facebook takes on Twitter in the fight for TV viewers’ attention

Three new tactics have been announced by Facebook which aim to make it the number one choice for second screen viewers (people who watch TV and engage on social media at the same time) over Twitter.

1. Hashtag voting and polling

Instead of having to use a separate app which pulls people away from their newsfeeds, this will now be possible within a top-level post or a comment. Facebook is also working to make it easier for media partners to poll audiences during live broadcasts.

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2. Photo and video submissions

Users will be able to submit pictures and videos directly to the pages of their favourite shows, whether these are questions for a Q+A or submissions for a talent contest. Producers will be able to create galleries which can be embedded as well.

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3. Custom icons

Facebook plans to create custom emojis which automatically appear when people talk about the most celebrated TV events such as the Emmys and Oscars.

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Facebook creeps past TV in reaching the most sought after demographics

Nielsen has released a new study which shows that ads just on Facebook are now more successful at reaching Millennials and Hispanics in the U.S. than running ads on the 10 most watched TV networks combined. Despite this though, data shows that using a combination of both mediums is the best way to influence both groups.

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Facebook has developed a “10 second” native lead generation ad

After first being tested by brands such as Land Rover, Facebook has announced a new product – ‘Lead Ads’. It involves a two-click process, where consumers tap an ad button and then agree to submit personal information which is already stored within Facebook. Sales people can then easily populate lists of potential customers for follow-up.


Kim Kyaw, digital marketing and social media manager at Land Rover, said that “Facebook’s native lead ads outperformed link ads driving [people] to the website to fill out a lead form in terms of total leads and conversion rate, while driving a [quadrupled] reduction in cost per lead compared to previous social lead generation tactics”.

Twitter introduces ‘Moments’

A Twitter feature has been rolled out in the U.S. called ‘Moments’, which allows users to cut through the noise and see the biggest and newest stories as they unfold. By tapping a new lightning bolt icon on the platform, users can see new stories emerging throughout the day, continually updated by Twitter.


Moments arrives at a time when Twitter is desperately trying to claw in users and increase its stock price. This curating of ‘best of’ means that users should be more engaged from the off, without having to slowly and painstakingly wade through the millions of tweets that are spewed out every hour.


Announced the day after Jack Dorsey was announced as permanent CEO, what does Moments mean for brands? Some brands are already lined up to test a new ad unit called Promoted Moments, which will let brands tell a complete story through the immersive, magazine-style Moments format. Promoted Moments will also have the capability to showcase videos – another indicator of Twitter’s hunger to steal TV budgets, something which Facebook has already started to do in earnest.

Twitter opens up Amplify, merging ads with organic video content

After two years of development, Amplify, Twitter’s program for video ads is being expanded. Previously, publishers would need to embed videos into their tweets, then an advertiser would add on a short pre-roll ad and then they would need to pay for that whole tweet to be promoted. What Amplify does is provide a sort of dating service for publishers and advertisers, matching ads to video according to which category they fall into, guaranteeing a match that leaves everyone feeling happy.

Twitter enables video to be uploaded via web It is now possible to upload video not only via mobile but also the web on Twitter. Users can share up to 30 seconds of their favourite cats dressed up as apples, eating apples, and even add a caption. May I suggest “Look at this Catple!”?

LinkedIn makes some home improvements to its groups offering

From the 14th October LinkedIn will be making all of its groups private with only members being able to see and contribute to discussions – users had complained that the group experience had become quite low quality due to the spammy nature of some of the conversations. A standalone iOS app is also being created. To keep conversations timely, comments will go live immediately after someone posts, with moderators able to remove off-topic or inappropriate content.

Cisco utilises Vine to tell tech stories in six seconds or less

It’s a brave person who decides to try and explain The Cloud in the form of a Vine, but that’s exactly what Cisco is attempting with its new content series, covering not just The Cloud but also complex stories around data and security among other things. Kirsten Chiala, digital content manager at Cisco’s The Network, the company’s technology news site said: “We are really trying to provide thought leadership at the top of the funnel”. She added “Our main focus is influencers in the tech space. Opening a new platform like Vine can help us expand the audience”. In order to compile the stories, Cisco reached out to some of its top social influencers and internal subject-matter experts.

Gillette has a cut throat approach to taking down Dollar Shave Club

Seemingly annoyed that the Dollar Shave Club is now claiming to be the no. 2 best-selling razor in the U.S, Gillette has resorted to promoting tweets posted by users that complain about Dollar Shave Club blades.

An aggressive move by the P&G brand has garnered some backlash from the general public with Dollar Shave Club still being perceived as very much the underdog.

Burger King has a Crappy Halloween

Burger King had a bit of a shit week last week. Those brave/stupid enough to take the plunge and try out its new Halloween-themed Whopper, complete with a spooky black bun, were met with a rather unfortunate side effect, as customers’ ‘poop’ started turning a shocking shade of green. Of course, people took to Twitter to talk about their #greenpoop experiences (thankfully no shots of the end product were shared). Toilet roll brand Charmin jumped into the (very relevant) conversation too. To borrow Digiday’s pun… Crappy Halloween everyone.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #207

by Christopher Moriarty in News

Facebook down

Something went wrong. Facebook failed and people had to talk to each other. Where were you when Facebook went down? Did you survive The Great Facebook Outage of 2015? Survivors shared their stories and memes via the hashtag#facebookdown

The story took over social media on Monday evening, except for on Facebook, which was down.


The moon went blood red during an eclipse, and many lousy photos were taken of the blurred red smudge in the sky. Those using the hashtag #SuperMoon or #SuperBloodMoon on Twitter received a little red blood moon emoji. Which was a better view of the lunar eclipse than most people got.


Our salty red neighbour

On Sunday, NASA was poised to make a big announcement about Mars, but held back their “major science finding”, probably to give the #SuperBloodMoon a bit of time in the err sun, …out of the sun. The news was embargoed until the live press conference on Monday at 11:30EDT. As #MarsAnnouncement trended, speculation ran rampant, from the discovery of life on Mars, to the announcement of a manned mission to the red planet. But today they revealed that they had discovered evidence of saltwater streams running over the red hills of our celestial neighbour. This is big news as flowing saltwater is one of the essential ingredients to generating and sustaining many forms of life. Some cynics wondered if NASA’s #MarsWater announcement was a tie in with Ridley Scott’s new film The Martian.

Bieber’s Snapchat rant

You can howl at the red moon (or the red planet), but just don’t yell at Justin Bieber. In a series of videos uploaded to his Snapchat, taken in the back of a limousine while being driven around Melbourne, The Bieb, The Biebster, The Biebmesiter General, J-Bieb… has asked fans to stop yelling and screaming at him as it’s not enjoyable for him. “I want to enjoy the moment like you’re enjoying the moment but I can’t really enjoy it if I’m not feeling there’s any respect given to me that moment. If you start screaming louder that’s not going to make me (want to) take a photo more,” Bieber continued. And no one enjoys having a horrible, repetitive noise stuck in their head all day.


The Government’s new Anti-Extremism Booklet, complete with ethically diverse photos of twenty year olds posing as teens, links environmental awareness and “alternative music” to radicalisation and terrorism. The helpful booklet includes a Case Study on a young girl named ‘Karen’ who fell victim to “the alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism”. Naturally the Internet, no slouch when it comes to snark, stepped up its game and along with sending the hashtag #FreeKaren into the top Twitter trends, they also released their own wry Case Studies on various Australian political figures. Good work, all.

Clean your tweets

Trevor Noah the next host of ‘The Daily Show’ has instructed staff to read all tweets by the show’s newly hired correspondents in order to avoid giving the Twitter Stasi any reason to tear them apart before  they even begin. “I said, ‘This is a good exercise,'” Noah told The New York Times. “‘You go through every single tweet and tell me what you think we should get rid of.'” Noah received a backlash from the outrage brigade online when the sourpusses scoured his Tweet history looking for a reason to get offended and upset. “I tried to grow as a human being,” he told the newspaper. “Someone goes, ‘Yeah, but you wrote this in 2009.’ I go, ‘well, thank God I didn’t write it in 2015.’ That to me is progress.”

Facebook drives increased investment in social

Investment in social media is going up – and there’s a clear indication of whose pocket it’s ending up in. eMarketer stated last week that social media ad spend is accelerating even faster than expected, now predicted to hit $25.1 billion in 2015, over a billion dollars more than it initially projected in April. It won’t be a surprise to many that Facebook is the company responsible for this growth – Facebook and Instagram’s ad business is expected to grow 42 percent y-o-y to $16.3 billion, or 65 percent of brands’ social media budgets in 2015. The platform continues to out-perform poor old Twitter, which is expected to pull in $2 billion in ad revenue (roughly 8 percent of total social budgets). While this is a 62 percent increase over Twitter’s 2014’s revenue, eMarketer had previously expected growth of 67 percent for the platform.

Facebook lures in TV spend with new ad products

Facebook wants a slice of the ever-lucrative TV advertising pie and what Facebook wants, it gets. The platform has created a series of ad products to appeal to those launching big budget integrated campaigns, which includes target-rating points (TRP) buying, using Neilsen to verify how well ads on Facebook perform in conjunction with their TV equivalent. Facebook’s Director of Ads Product Marketing, Graham Mudd, told Adweek:

TV ad campaigns supplemented by Facebook advertising provide an ideal combination for marketers to both reach large audiences and build their brands. Now we’re making it even easier to extend and augment TV campaigns through the introduction of TRP Buying, so advertisers can plan, buy and measure Facebook ads using the same guarantees and Nielsen verification they’re used to with TV.

Facebook will be hoping that the data proves the value of investment in the platform, perhaps over and above that of traditional channels. Other new ad products include allowing videos in its carousel ad unit, which up to now only featured photos.

Facebook brings 360-degree videos to News Feeds

Next up – Facebook! Yes, this week’s mashup has a theme, folks. This time the platform is dabbling in a bit of virtual reality, with the introduction of 360-degree videos. Fittingly, the first 360 vid was made by Disney and Lucasfilm to promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and brands like GoPro, Mountain Dew and Discovery are already lined up to try it out. Facebook coughed up $2 billion for VR company Oculus Rift last year, so expect more updates like this in the future.

Notes gets a revamp

Pinterest has recently launched… only kidding, it’s Facebook again! The platform’s Notes function, which allows you to write longer posts, has historically been pretty dull – so it’s had a revamp. Notes users can add a cover photo, caption and resize images, and format their text into headers, quotes or bullets. Facebook suggests that you might like to recap your summer vacation or update people with an important life event. I for one can’t wait to read long form versions of Sarah’s crazy holiday to Greece, Tom’s first birthday party and Laura and Steve’s fabulous Caribbean wedding.


Facebook updates Instant Articles

Facebook’s Instant Articles – which allows readers to consume news stories in-app rather than being redirected to an external site – was a controversial announcement last year, with publishers concerned about the level of control it would give Facebook. But it seems that the function is still very much on the platform’s agenda, with Facebook announcing plans to ramp up Instant Articles by expanding the number of users who can see them and the number of publishers that can create them. One of the function’s biggest fans is the Washington Post, which says it will start running every single one of its stories on Facebook via Instant Articles.

Instagram community hits 400,000,000

Facebook-owned (yep, we had to get it in there somewhere) Instagram has hit a massive 400 million users. It’s also getting more and more global, with 75 percent of its community living outside the US and, among the last 100 million to join, more than half live in Europe and Asia. Très bien.

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Twitter tests polls within tweets

The latest Twitter feature to be bubbling up to the social surface is polls. Perhaps in an attempt to keep up with the ever evolving Facebook and Instagram this new Twitter format has been sighted on staff and a few verified accounts so far but it is unconfirmed when or indeed if it will ever be fully rolled out. For the time being you can only pose two options for polls so that rules out ‘Will you be my boyfriend? Yes/No/Maybe’ for now. Damn.


Periscope creates its own version of a retweet using screenshots

A new version of Periscope has been released where users are now able to share screenshots of the streams they watch, creating the Periscope version of a retweet and making the whole experience a lot more social. It also makes everyone else watching that stream aware that a screenshot has been taken. The screenshot sharing aspect will help promotion of streams which currently appear as quite an uninspiring link in Twitter.

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Pinterest blows its developer sandbox wide open

Pinterest has announced that it is giving developers access to its APIs for building new apps and third-party integrations. Now anyone can start building away, they just need Pinterest’s approval before going public. That’s my ‘suet puddings for swingers serving suggestions’ app idea out the window then isn’t it. Since May, developers have submitted more than 5,000 ideas for apps and Pinterest has already been working with IFTT, Polyvore and Topshop to launch integrations. Polyvore has already reported that it has increased traffic from Pinterest by 35%, while the number of pins saved from the company has jumped tenfold.

Maggi presents Singapore’s first ‘social’ cookbook on Instagram

Nestlé Singapore with We Are Social has launched a new Instagram campaign in an attempt to engage a new generation of aspiring chefs, with an aim to put the fun back into cooking. The activity takes advantage of Instagram’s rising popularity in Singapore, with Maggi releasing two new recipes each month in line with their brand belief that ‘Happiness is Homemade’. Clicking on specific photo tags will direct users to the corresponding recipe page and also in the direction of their YouTube page for longer ‘how-to’ videos.


Tweet-powered sculpture raises awareness of gay blood donor restrictions

As part of the London Design Festival, a rainbow comprised of liquid has been created which is missing one vital colour: red. Users who tweet #PutRedBack will trigger a single drop of red liquid to fall into the empty part of the rainbow. The installation has been made to raise awareness of the restrictions on gay men donating blood in the UK and coincides with a petition started by charity Freedom To Donate that will lead to a government debate on current blood donation guidelines.


Twitter creates Popemoji for Pope’s US tour

Papal ferula? Check! Papal mitre? Check! Papal emoji? CHECK! It’s every modern pope’s prerogative to have their own emoji these days and that’s just what Pope Francis got from Twitter as he embarked on his US tour last week.

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With four different emoji attached to respective hashtags, users tweeted by their tens of thousands in anticipation of his arrival and according to Topsy, an hour after landing in Washington, there had been 42,000 tweets about his visit.


Of course some brands were quick to jump on this spike of social activity, especially those with legitimate ties; for instance Fiat, one of the official ‘Popemobile’ providers and papal bed supplier Loom & Leaf. Data also showed that many big brands stayed quiet with the majority of the top 300 brands on Twitter steering clear of the conversation.


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