Hello, we are social. We’re a global conversation agency, with offices in London, New York, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore, Sydney & 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 adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.

If you’d like to chat about us helping you too, then give us a call on +44 20 3195 1700 or drop us an email.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #255

by Nick Mulligan in News

Facebook launches new Messenger Platform
Facebook has rolled out its updated Messenger Platform, as predicted by last week’s Mashup (not to say we told you so). Users can now share content including GIFs and videos through a number of third-party partners, such as ESPN, JibJab and Giphy.

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Facebook adds new video features
Facebook has made a few updates to its video offering. First of all, you can now embed video on other websites by copying and pasting an HTML code.

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Meanwhile, there have been a few changes to the video API, divided into three categories: control, customise and ‘other’. ‘Control’ improvements include limiting an audience by age/gender/location, adding an expiration date and posting to a page but not the News Feed. ‘Customise’ add-ons allow customisable thumbnails and subtitles across multiple locales and ‘other’ posts look to make the upload process more efficient. The changes come with a new set of publishing partners for video.

New Facebook comment functionality
Facebook announced a new commenting system, which curates comments on web pages and Facebook links to those pages, then displays them simultaneously. Would you be interested in an illustrative GIF? I’m sure you would.

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Instagram launches Layout app
Instagram has revealed a new standalone app for iPhone, named ‘Layout’, which allows the creation of photo collages. Naturally, some brands have been quick to jump on it, including Victoria’s Secret and Sephora.

A photo posted by Sephora (@sephora) on

Twitter launches Meerkat rival
Twitter has launched Periscope, a live video streaming app that looks set to rival (and quite possibly outdo) Meerkat. Users can notify some or all of their followers when a broadcast begins, see viewers as they join and comment live. Unlike Meerkat, videos can be stored in the camera roll and viewed in the app for up to 24 hours. Adweek produced a piece on first impressions, which you can read in full here; by and large, people seem impressed. It’s slicker and more polished than Meerkat, simple and easy to use. The only problem? Meerkat got there first. We’ll look forward to seeing how this one pans out.

As with anything that’s almost a week old, brands have rushed to get involved. Some good examples include adidas’s live stream of Rodríguez signing a new Real Madrid contract, Spotify posting behind-the-scenes content with Irish folk singer Conor O’Brien and Red Bull sharing exclusive video content from its Miami Music Week events.

Twitter and Foursquare partner for location services
Twitter and Foursquare have revealed a partnership that will allow Twitter’s location feature to be more specific, including landmarks and businesses, rather than just cities or areas. Foursquare CEO, Dennis Crowley, penned a blog post in light of the move, in which he discusses how the company has moved on since its initial focus on check-ins. The key takeout?

The big idea was to create a system that could crawl the world with people in the same way Google crawls web pages with machines.

Twitter starts testing autoplay video
Twitter is trialling autoplay videos for a small number of US-based iPhone and iPad users. Some will see an entire video autoplay in a loop, others will get a looping six-second teaser clip.

Brands and One Direction
So Zayn Malik left One Direction. Try and hold back the tears by looking at these examples of branded social media content, including Lidl cutting the price of One Direction easter eggs by a fifth.

Innovative Social Thinking #2

by Jim Coleman in News

‘Innovative Social Thinking’ combines social behavior with technology to form new connections, changing the world ever so slightly for the better. Last month, we highlighted the Be My Eyes app, WeChat campaign ‘The Voice Donor’ and Megafaces, the world’s first large scale LED kinetic façade. In the second blog post in our series our heads of creative, marketing and technology once again champion their best examples of Innovative Social Thinking.

Friend Compass – Graham Jenks Creative Director
This idea for flight comparison site Momondo puts a fun interactive spin on finding flights to visit friends around the globe. The App turns your phone into a social compass that plots the location of friends and offers up tempting flight offers.

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I really like the innovative use of the phones GPS, Facebook API and Momondo’s search engine. There is also a really nice insight here, by using friends as a starting point for travel consideration instead of a location.

After all, staying with a friend with local knowledge can really make a trip. See the full case study here.

Votr – Tom Ollerton Marketing Director
I spent about three weeks working on an a killer social idea that we could sell to new clients, that would tie into the UK General Election, and I came up with a good one – but no where as near as good as this. It was done by two boys with a collective age of 30 – dammit.

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Votr is a Tinder-style smartphone app that helps you to decide which candidate in your local constituency you should vote for. The app pulls in tweets from your local MPs but makes them anonymous so you don’t know which party they represent. As the politicians’ tweets come in you can decide whether you like them or not using a Tinder-style left and right mechanic.

Its creators say: “It’s like Tinder. The idea is that once you’ve got enough tweets, it gives you an idea about who you agree with the most. For people who don’t vote, it’s to try to engage them with politics.”

Addicaid – Matt Payne

Our understanding of addiction is relatively new. Since so much about drug and alcohol use is tied to cultural norms and belief systems, addiction is a destructive force in a lot of lives. Addiction can be perceived as weakness, when in some cases it’s actually an illness, and consequently the stigma attached to addicts can reinforce the habit.

There’s an app for that.

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Addicaid is a smartphone app that links people trying to recover from addiction anonymously. The app encourages you to share your goal with the community and set yourself daily goals which you can share publicly. It also gives links to meetings and support groups for recovering addicts.

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This is a great example of social thinking because it harnesses the power of the crowd to provide timely and compassionate support when our culture and stereotypes are consistently providing barriers to recovery.

The rise of anonymous social media

by Rhoda Sell in News

We Are Social has recently produced a report about Anonymous Social Media; the landscape, the issues and the opportunities for brands. If you’re interested in receiving the report, read our post below for more information.

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If you think anonymous social is hiding behind an alias in a nineties-esque chat room, then you need to get with the times, because 2015 is all about going incognito. Anonymous social apps are on the rise, so if you don’t know your Yaks from your Whispers, then read on to find out more and for details of how to get our free briefing on this up and coming area of social media.

From tapping into consumer worries about data protection and the current trend for oversharing, anonymous platforms offer a new opportunity for social. Shedding names levels the playing field for users to have open conversations, where popularity and authority have no influence.

Like any social trend, there have been lots of attempts at anonymous apps, but currently there are three major players; Yik Yak, Whisper and Secret. Whisper claims more than 3.5 billion page-views a month, Yik Yak is a regular in the social app download charts and Secret, refuses to reveal exact figures, but has received lots of media hype.

With the promise of so many eyes on content and a predominantly millennial demographic, it’s no surprise that brands are starting to take interest. MTV, Gap and Paramount have all tested the waters of anonymous and, here at We Are Social, we think there are lots of opportunities for brands to get involved with the conversation. So, if you work for a brand and would like to find out more, then drop us an email to receive our full Anonymous Social report.

Mobiles Surge Ahead in APAC

by Jason Mander in News

The team at GlobalWebIndex joined forces with We Are Social again for our new APAC Digital report, which we published last week. In this guest post, GWI’s Jason Mander shares his take on one of the hottest digital trends in APAC, and what it means for marketers.

As We Are Social’s new Digital, Social and Mobile in APAC 2015 report makes clear, Asia still lags (considerably) behind regions like North America and Western Europe when it comes to internet penetration rates. In places like India, for example, fewer than 1 in 5 adults are going online – which means internet populations in these countries tend to be skewed towards young, urban and affluent segments.

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These demographic trends are one of the major reasons why fast-growth markets are typically at the forefront of many digital behaviours such as social networking engagement and mobile internet usage. But it also shows why mobiles are so key to the future of this region: each year, tens of millions of APAC consumers are coming online for the first time, and many will be doing so via mobile.

Of course, the migration away from PCs and laptops towards mobiles has been much documented. But GlobalWebIndex’s long-term data on this area shows just how rapidly the switch is occurring in APAC; as our chart below makes clear, the average time per day that digital consumers in APAC are spending online is on the rise, but this is being driven almost exclusively by mobiles.

In fact, while the last three years have seen little change in the amount of daily time captured by PCs/laptops, the figure for mobiles jumped from 1.44 in 2012 to 2.21 hours in 2014. In terms of share, that means mobiles now account for 34% of time spent online in APAC, up from 25% in 2012. This pattern shows no sign of slowing: each year, mobiles are becoming more and more important gateways to the internet.

GWI Media Consumption Over Time

Age-based patterns are particularly telling, here: the younger the individual, the more time they typically devote to the mobile web (with smartphones now accounting for 39% of total time spent online among 16-24s versus just 19% for 55-64s). In contrast, time devoted to linear TV and traditional radio increases in line with age, so it’s not simply that 16-24s are ahead for all media consumption behaviors. Rather, it’s that they’re leading the charge towards anything digital, and toward mobile usage in particular.

As always, generalisations are a dangerous thing, here. Across APAC, average time on the mobile internet per day is typically lowest in places such as Japan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea – where high internet penetration rates mean that online populations have much more balanced age profiles. But that mobiles are the devices carrying all the momentum in this region is beyond doubt.

Read the full Digital, Social & Mobile in APAC in 2015 report here.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #254

by Nick Mulligan in News

Pay your friends through Facebook
Facebook has added free, friend-to-friend payments via its Messenger app. Certain Facebook users (currently in the US only) can add a Visa/Mastercard debit card to gain access to a $ button, by which they can transfer money. The launch was announced in the below video, featuring one Steve Davis (though sadly not the snooker legend).

Facebook to beef up Messenger
Inspired by the likes of WeChat and Line, Facebook is planning to expand its Messenger app into a platform that does more than facilitate conversation. The first step is finding ways for third parties to build on Messenger, though we’ll be expecting further moves in the future.

Tencent profit rises by 50%
Tencent, the Chinese internet giant that owns WeChat, posted net profit of $941m for Q4 2014, up 50% year-on-year. Total revenue hit $3.37bn, a 24% rise over the same period and largely attributed to mobile games and advertising.

Rules for posting on WeChat
WeChat has released 10 ‘commandments’ for posting to its news feed, known as Moments. One of these in particular has caused censorship controversy, as it forbids:

…dissemination of content that is opposed to the basic principles of China’s Constitution, socialist system, national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The remaining nine are more straightforward: thou shalt not infringe, be erotic, be violent, gamble, scam, organize crime, counterfeit, false advertise or make empty promises.

YouTube replaces Annotations with Cards
YouTube is replacing ‘Annotations’, which allow creators to add clickable overlay to videos, with a new feature: ‘Cards’. The updated system benefits from mobile optimisation and a new visual style; cards will appear to the right-hand-side of the video, and can include different images/text depending on which card is used. The six announced thus far are: Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding.

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LinkedIn acquires Careerify
LinkedIn has purchased Careerify, a startup that creates software to aid the hiring process. Careerify uses connections across social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) to automatically discover potential ‘recommendations’ for an open position. As LinkedIn looks to use data to create connections between users and potential jobs, the move could prove very useful.

Jameson lauds the shot for St. Patrick’s Day
Last week was St. Patrick’s Day, in case you’ve forgotten (for whatever reason). Jameson Irish Whiskey used #LongLivetheShot as the basis for a multidimensional social campaign during and after the event, involving a feature called ‘Shots Eye View’ that asked for pictures through the lens of a whiskey glass, videos that celebrated bartenders and geotargeted location-specific Facebook ads.

Red or brown? Heinz and We Are Social settle the debate
Heinz and We Are Social are determined to find the answer to the age old question: Tomato Ketchup or HP Sauce? The FMCG brand is pitting two of its products against one another in a content-led campaign that includes propaganda from both sides, driving to a vote on a dedicated microsite.

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Brands get in on March Madness
As fans of college basketball are well aware, March Madness is upon us. Last week saw a number of reactive responses to shock wins for Georgia State and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, while Acura has created an entire campaign around the event, dubbed ‘March Memeness’.

Tinder bot promotes sci-fi AI film
Ex Machina, a sci-fi film about artificial intelligence, has been using Tinder as part of its promotion. Users who match with ‘Ava’, whose profile picture shows the film’s star, Alicia Vikander, end up conversing with a bot that asks a series of odd questions. She then says ‘you’ve passed my test’ and links to an Instagram account for the film. Alan Turing, eat your heart out.

Ava Tinder bot

You are dead center of the single greatest scientific event in the history of man. #ExMachina

A video posted by AVA (@meetava) on