Facebook goes global with location
In the week that Mark Zuckerberg gave an extensive interview in the New Yorker Facebook has extended the availability of its geo-tagging service Facebook Places to the UK and Japan. Previously only available in the US the service allows users to check into locations via their iPhone, applications for Blackberry and Android devices are in the pipeline. Michael Sharon, product manager of Places, was keen to point out that the firm has made Place’s API available, allowing existing location services such as Foursquare to integrate with them. The release of Places in Japan, where only 1.1% of the population are signed up to Facebook, is seen as a move to further spur recent growth in a market with a high saturation of smart phones.
Google going social, slowly
After the failure of Google Wave and a fairly timid start for Google Buzz we could forgive Google for sticking to what they do best and cutting short their escapades into the world of social-networking. Unlikely, as chief executive Eric Schmidt announced this week that “layers” of social-networking features wil be added to the search engine later this year, focusing on their core aim of “providing more tailored recommendations”.
Indian brands flock to Facebook
Having overtaken Orkut as the most popular network last month, Facebook continues to grow in India, breaking the 12 million users mark this week. With a population of over 1 billion and a high level of English literacy India is considered a prime target for the future growth of social networks reaching saturation in their home markets, and brands clearly want a piece of the action. A report by local web strategy firm found MTV-India to be the most liked brand with the highest daily growth and highest amount of daily interactions. The most active brand, interestingly, was the Delhi Traffic Police, with an average 12.8 posts a day.
Candidates leading on Facebook win in elections
Unsurprisingly winning candidates in the American senate primaries had more Facebook Fans than their losing opponents. Although likely more a reflection of their popularity than social media anointing political winners this should at least allow politicians and their campaign teams to gauge the distance between candidates in the run up to elections, and relax/panic accordingly.
With cricket stars two a penny causing controversy on Twitter the English Cricket Board is considering writing into players contracts a blanket ban on the social network. Azeem Rafiq was banned for a month and fined £500 for calling an ECB manager a “useless wanker”, while Kevin Pietersen called the decision to drop him from the one-day squad a “fuck-up”, which he was promptly fined for. Owen Gibson has a detailed look at these and other sporting Twitter mishaps in a great article in the Observer. Looks like they need a social media strategy to me.
Ford wins big with social media
In May of this year Ford officially launched the Fiesta in the US, but they had been engaging target communities across social media with the Fiesta Movement long before the first car rolled off the assembly line. Compete has been measuring shopper data and new vehicle demand on third party sites, and the news for the Fiesta social media campaign is startlingly good.
Inside Gatorade’s mission control
Gatorade is one of the most popular drinks in the US, but is locked into a three years sales decline. In an ambitious move, PepsiCo (which owns the brand) has invested in a glassed in converted conference room converted into Gatorade’s social media mission control. The Wall St. Journal covers this in depth, with Gatorade monitoring social networks 24 hours a day, tweeting encouragement to high-school athletes before big games and tapping out responses to Facebook queries such as when to use a new protein drink.
MTV VMA Twitter visualisation
Watching TV with Twitter has been a revelation to anyone that’s tried it, a throw back to a time when limited choice encouraged more conversations about the few shows we all watched. MTV went a step further than this and created a beautiful site tracking tweets of and around their video music awards last week, well worth digging around for some choice comments on Gaga’s fashion decisions.
Content comes to Foursquare
The Metro will become the first UK newspaper to put their reviews onto Foursquare. Users will be able to check-in and view location relevant restaurant and film reviews from within the network.
Coronation Street – the social game
Following an Ofcom study showing media consumers were increasingly splitting their attention across multiple devices ITV has commissioned a social network game, Corrie Nation. The game is likely to be aimed at the 16-24 demographic who are spending less time watching TV and more on a multitude of other devices.
Archers fans launch ‘spontaneous’ Twitter campaign
You’ll be aware that The Bull pub is under threat of closure now Sid Perks has died and his partner Jolene doesn’t want to take it on (if of course, you listen to the the Archers, the world’s longest running soap opera). A storyline in the show even discussed whether a social media campaign should be launched to save the pub, possibly a cheeky ploy as now fans of the show have ‘spontaneously’ launched a campaign to do just that, using the hashtag #savethebull.
Social media may cause death by drowning
An Australian plant that was hooked up to be watered in relation to interaction with its Facebook Page has been a victim of its own success, drowning in too much water as it got more and more fans. A new, more water resistant species, has been hooked up in it’s place. Wish it luck…