Social Media Round-Up – the latest news
I wanted to share eModeration’s (more-or-less) weekly round-up of the latest, greatest or simply weirdest in the social media scene with the Brand Republic audience. Hope you finding it engaging! More good stuff on our blog at http://blog.emoderation.com.
Facebook became embroiled in global politics this
week, after pressure from some residents of the Golan Heights, a
disputed region connecting Israel to Syria which was captured by Israel
in 1967. Until a few weeks ago, if you lived in Katzrin, a town in the
region, your profile said you lived in Syria. Now users can opt to live
Social Media – it’s Chicken-Lickin’ Good. When British supermarket giant Asda discovered that an
employee had posted a video of himself licking frozen poultry, it used
the same platform to hit back. Their own YouTube post features four of
his shocked co-workers’ expressing their clearly heartfelt dismay – and
has effectively headed off the Domino’s Effect.
In a case which is either evidence of a serious social media addiction, or of chronic dim-wittery, a burglar left a hefty clue to his identity when he checked his Facebook page whilst on a job, and failed to log out before scarpering with the loot. Doop.
Doop 2: Martha Lane Fox’s Digital Inclusion office
(target: get 6m of the digitally-excluded online, ASAP) was this week
hit by a thief, who broke into its offices and stole some laptops. One down, 5,999,999 to go.
It’s all over between me and George Clooney:
when asked about Facebook, the star responded that he would “rather
have a prostate exam on live tv by a guy with very cold hands”, than a
Facebook page. That’s a pretty vivid picture you paint there, George, and now I can’t get it out of my head.
US start-up The Whuffie Bank now gives you tangible evidence of your online reputation (also check out our previous post on ReputationShare). The non-profit’s algorithm assigns Whuffies to your comments, posts and mentions by others - in other words, it’s Karma for Web 2.0. Go on – you know you want to.
ON FACEBOOK THIS WEEK…
A stunner of a week for what is now, definitively, our favourite place to waste time online, per Nielsen. The social behemoth reached a humungous 300 million registered users – putting the Great Twitter/Facebook Face-Off into some serious perspective.
Not only that, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg simultaneously revealed that the company was already cash-flow positive – a milestone which it had previously predicted for ‘sometime in 2010’.
special sauce turns out to be ‘self-serve ads’ – targeted ads which
advertisers can create on-site, in minutes, to reach particular
demographics. According to Facebook’s Chamath Palihapitiya “all channels are doing very well, but that channel is just crushing it” and has been accelerating every quarter since it was launched.
AND ON TWITTER…
A mixed bag this week: researchers analysed half a million Tweets, and discovered that an astounding 20% of them were about brands. That’s 600 thousand brand mentions per day – time to get sentiment-mapping, folks.
And e-Marketer predicts 18 million Twitter users (that’s
those who tweet at least once a month) by the end of 2009. That’s an
impressive 50% up on their predictions of earlier this year - but not quite enough to worry Facebook, 120m of whose users check in once a day.
In that context, Facebook’s claim that that Twitter ‘is in the rear-view mirror’ seems entirely feasible – particularly when Nielsen’s latest figures show that 50-64-year-old users are twice those of 18-24s, with 22% vs. 11%.
And eyebrows were raised when it emerged that Twitter’s private investors had valued the company at a breath-taking $1bn. That’s quite a figure, for a company with no revenue in sight.
And this week’s best Twitter headline goes to… The Guardian, with ‘Avatar Loss Horror Afflicts Twittering Classes’. (It was a temporary glitch, we’re assured.)
BRANDS ON SOCIAL …
Home retailer Habitat has made a sheepish return to Twitter three
months after its spamming disaster (it hijacked an Iranian election
thread to promo its Sale) hit the headlines: “We’re back. Sorry it took
so long. This time we want to get it right.”
TGI Friday’s campaign to get 500,000 Facebook fans
signed up reached its goal far sooner than anticipated – leaving many
fans too late for the promised free burger. As negative comments piled
up on their fanpage, the brand narrowly averted a backlash by extending
the offer to the first 1m signups.
Vitaminwater is crowdsourcing its next flavour – Facebook
members can download a shareable application which lets them vote for
their choice among ten flavor proposals. Each of those proposals will
have been chosen according to the amount each flavour is discussed in
online conversations on Twitter and other social media. Voters can also
specify the vitamin content, write the ad copy, and design the
packaging – with $5000 for the winner.
SOCIAL NETWORKS GOING NORTH…
Former Bebo CEO Joanna Shields heads up a new venture with Elisabeth Murdoch, which will meld TV production and social media.
And Nokia has bought micro social-networking site Plum in the latest expansion of its social media ambitions.
AND GOING SOUTH…
HMV is folding GetCloser.com, its social discovery network which launched last July to help film and music fans access content and find each other.
And poorly BusinessWeek, whose bid deadline is fast approaching, was revealed last week to have spent a hefty $16m creating its social networking site, which is thought to have generated just $600,000 in revenue.
SOME SOCIAL STATS…
The best overall way to raise a brand’s reputation is
via forums and social networks, according to new research by
Trendstream: 36% of 16-24-year-olds and 20% of 55-64-year-olds said
brands who did improved their opinion – by 29% on average.
But these new stats from E-Tailing suggest that brands are still rather, erm, conflicted about grasping the social media nettle. 34%
were concerned that consumers would think they were “using outdated
marketing/ merchandising techniques” if they didn’t do so – but a
whopping 49% were also worried that social media meant that “people can
trash my products in front of large audiences.”
A study has revealed that more than half of ad impressions and a terrifying 95% of clicks in online ad buys could be fraudulent. Radar Research’s Marissa Gluck called it “the dirty little secret of the online ad industry”.
Mediaweek reports that increased user time on social networks is stolen from email and IM. Adults
spend slightly over 3 hours a month in online communities, whereas back
in the mists of time (well, 2003) consumers spent most of their online
time emailing and IMing.
But overall, Content is emphatically king: time
spent on content sites averages seven hours, a healthy increase of 88%
from 6 years ago. Meanwhile poor old e-commerce was 18.7% down, with
consumers spending a monthly 2 hours, 40 minutes on e-commerce sites.
AND ELSEWHERE IN E-COMMERCE…
A study by McAfee found that the majority of online shoppers – 65% – wait a day or more to complete their purchase. Far from being shopping cart abandonment, this behaviour might simply be indicative of the cautious shopper.
while that species will inevitably expand as the recession continues,
eMarketer predicts that the number of online shoppers will rise from
26.9m to 31.8m by 2013 – that’s over half the UK population.
ON THE BOX…
Rumours abound that Hulu, the free online viewing service, is already beta-testing a subscription version.
Precisely what the premium service will consist of – better content?
Zero ads? – is unclear, but analyst Laura Martin warns Trad TV
businesses to be afraid – be Very Afraid – of Hulu.
The BBC is opening up iPlayer to
third parties. Announcing the move, the Beeb’s head of future media let
slip that the most searched term on the iPlayer was ‘Coronation
Street’, the jewel in the crown of rival network ITV.
AND IN THE OFFICE..
Twitter breaks could become a regular feature of worker’s days
– with those who check their SocNets at other times subject to
disciplinary procedures. It follows research suggesting British firms
are losing millions of pounds to social networks each day. You can view the social media policies of large US companies here by the way.
Socks up, mobile sites! While 31% of phone users browse the Mobile Web, they give an extremely limp 52 out of 100 average rating to dedicated mobile sites.
Those very same users are also ‘extremely ad wary’,
according to research from Chitika: mobile as a whole hit a measly
0.48% clickthrough rate – just over half of the average non-mobile
rate, which hovered at 0.83%.
And of all measly clickthrough rates, iPhone users’ were the most measly. Though they browse the net the most, they were even less likely to click through than other mobile users, with a paltry 0.30%.
Perhaps matters will be improved by Microsoft’s launch of behavioural targeting service, which collects user data across Microsoft properties - Hotmail, Bing, Xbox and other MS-owned websites.
has filed libel suit against a blogger for causing ‘significant damage
to the company’s brand.” Though Evony is US-based, and blogger Bruce
Everiss resides in the UK, the suit has been filed in Australia where libel is easier to prove.
A federal judge in California has ruled that video-sharing site Veoh is protected from liability for hosting pirated clips uploaded by its users. The law “does not place the burden of ferreting out infringement on the service provider,” the judge wrote.
A California Judge has bashed out a compromise order which
may suit the current slew of requests to unmask anonymous commenters.
She’s ordered that a commenter’s IP address be disclosed to an
independent investigator: only if it turns out to be a specific
individual will the name be turned over.
An ex-Congressman who did successfully unmask an online commenter has had the resulting libel suit thrown out. The court ruled that the comments were a matter of public interest, and that the ex-Congressman had “failed to demonstrate that [his] action has a substantial basis in fact and law.”
France’s lower house of parliament has approved a bill which could see pirates who ignore email and postal warnings get their internet connections cut for a year - and face €300,000 (£267,000) in fines.
Entrepreneur Kevin Alderman, who sells virtual erotic goods in Second Life, launched a suit against Linden Labs for allegedly allowing other virtual marketers to offer knock-offs of his “SexGen” beds and other products.
Social game-maker Playdom responded cuttingly to a suit by
competitor Zynga, who apparently accused it of nefariously accessing a
document which contains “non-public … know-how and best practices for
developing successful and distinctive social games.” Playdom replied
that the lawsuit “comes as no surprise given Zynga’s penchant for
litigation”, and that the company has “no interest in Zynga’s ‘secret
ELSEWHERE IN VIRTUAL WORLDS…
By the end of this year, Virtual Worlds will hit the 150 mark
, according to Kzero’s figures – and the total is set to double by the
end of 2010, driven largely by media companies launching IP-driven
platforms for their toy, film and tv properties.
little doubt that we are now a society which wants what it wants, when
it wants it – and so of course microtransactions are big business. Here, Massively explains all, and argues that we’re witnessing a rapid and far-reaching shift in the culture of MMORPGs.
new free-to-play MMO titles like Earth Eternal in development and other
titles ported from from Asia at a rapid-fire rate, has the market become oversaturated with free-to-play?
TOOLS AND TECH…
Vivox has launched VoiceChat,
an App which allows Facebook friends to chat while gaming. The
developers followed 100,000 users and found that those used voice chat
in their games were four times more likely to be playing a game five
weeks later than those who didn’t.
Twitter heroes Seesmic have come to the rescue of
both time-strapped Facebook brands and fans. Page admins can easily
update their content – and fans can view all their Pages as distinct
entities and engage with them more easily.
Our friends and partners Crisp, the online child protection specialist, have
unveiled Automated Behaviour Management (ABM). Working in real-time,
ABM allows NetModerator clients to automate responses to low-level rule
infringements such as sharing phone numbers or profanity, stopping
potentially serious offenders from taking root in the game.
Social review tool provider PowerReviews is launching BrandConnect, which features two elements: Listener and Megaphone. Listener
asks users to review a product in far more detail than usual, and also
carries out a 2-stage review-moderation programme. while Megaphone gives customers the option to syndicate their reviews to Facebook, Twitter, and their blogs.
Rookie social network Vreebit.com launched
last week. The site “combines the best of top social networking sites
with new organizational, e-commerce and promotional tools, changing the
way people connect, communicate and organize their social and
Centaur Media has launched Reputation Online, an ad-funded site aimed at PR firms, agencies and brands looking to better manage their image on the web.
BillMyParents has gone live: Teens
and tweens can use BillMyParents to purchase virtual goods and virtual
currency for game play upgrades inside Gala-Net’s gPotato online game
portal and Artix Entertainment’s AdventureQuest Worlds’ virtual game