We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #65

by Caterina Lodo in News

Facebook pages get more traffic than brand websites
Our friends over at Webtrends have produced an interesting white paper in conjunction with Adgregate Markets, delving into how social networks have changed our browsing and purchasing behaviour online.

It spoke with 44 companies and 40% commented that they are seeing significantly higher traffic and unique visitors on their Facebook page in comparison with their website. Not only were their Web sites accounting for fewer unique visits than Facebook, but many were also showing a decline in visits over a three-month period. Two companies in particular exhibited extremely high Facebook traffic volumes when compared to their sites: Coca-Cola and Disney.

The report also suggests those with F-commerce in already place (i.e. stores within their Facebook pages), are now achieving similar conversion rates (2-4%) to e-commerce sites, as well as impressive page view figures.

Brands can easily use social media to turn detractors into advocates
The Retail Consumer Report has found that 68% of customers who turn to social media to air their grievances are then contacted by the brand in question. 33% of these customers then go on to leave a positive comment, with 34% deleting the initial negative comment and 18% turning into loyal customers, buying more.

Happy Tweeting wins business!
Scientists from the University of Indiana have been looking into our behaviour on Twitter and it seems the term “Birds of a feather flock together” has never been more appropriate. People tend to tweet with people that are like them – in other words those happy tweeters out there tended to tweet and receive tweets from people of a similar state of mind. The scientists tracked 102,000 Twitter users over the course of six months, analysing the sentiment/emotion within 129 million of their tweets.

This has important implications for brands when they tweet: if you’re projecting a brand message, you may want to think about who’ll be more receptive to a happy (or perhaps to a more downbeat, factual tweet), and how it matches the image you’re trying to project.

Facebook extends Places worldwide
Since Facebook launched Places in August, it’s slowly been rolling out the feature worldwide – and they announced on Friday that it’s now been rolled out wordwide except Korea and Russia where ‘they’re working to launch Places soon’.

A Closer Look at Deals, Facebook’s News Feed-Based Answer to Groupon
As you may have seen from your Facebook newsfeed over the last few days, many people have been signing up to Facebook Deals. Launched on Tuesday, Deals is its answer to the very successful Groupon selling model. Businesses can now work with Facebook’s Merchant Services team to send users offers in their newsfeeds and potentially by email also – this direct access instantly gives the rollout an advantage over other providers.

Rather then using location features to promote a deal, users can share it via their newsfeed driven by Edgerank to increase visibility. Initially Deals will be available free of charge to businesses, but this may change and if it does it will be the first time it has tried to directly monitise content within the newsfeed.

Facebook buys Snaptu
Following the acquisitions of advertising startup Rel8tion and the group messaging app provider Beluga, Facebook has announced its third mobile acquisition: Snaptu.

Snaptu, which helps developers create smartphone-like experiences on basic feature phones, partnered with Facebook earlier this year to bring the app to 2,500 different kinds of mobile devices, the majority of which were basic feature phones. This shows Facebook’s investment in reaching users on any device and not just focusing on the smartphone market, as many other companies are.

Since its partnership with Facebook, the weekly growth of the users via Snaptu has shown a continue increase. In fact with a growth 158,485, Snaptu is the third most downloaded after Facebook for iPhone and Facebook for Android in Facebook’s Top Mobile Clients rank.

Twitter turns five
Five years ago today – in something of a “one small step” moment – Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Little did he know that three years, two months and one day later, Twitter would have stacked up a billion tweets, and that five years later users would churn out a billion in just seven days!

To mark the fifth anniversary of Twitter, the company have made public some pretty incredible figures:

  • One year ago, an average of 50,000,000 tweets were sent a day. At present, that figure rests somewhere around 140,000,000
  • 572,000 new accounts were created on the 12th of March 2011
  • On March 11th 2011, 177 million tweets were sent in one day

Today, the company is valued at ten billion dollars, and it’s still well worth joining Twitter.

‘Non-official’ Twitter clients account for 42% of activity
However, it’s not all birthday cheer. Twitter’s Ryan Sarver raised a few eyebrows last week when they claimed that ‘non-official’ twitter clients only made up 10% of user activity – a figure that was at odds with a similar Sysomos study that found that there were a significant proportion of non-official client users, with TweetDeck making up nearly 20% of the market.

On the day of the statement, Sysomos reviewed 25 million tweets, finding that 42% of tweets were made from non-official client apps – more than four times the figure Twitter released.

Blogger named sixth largest website
The Google powered blog platform, Blogger, has been named as the sixth largest website in the world by Alexa. In 2010, Blogger users published over half a million blog posts, which were then read by over 400 million readers. The platform recently released this animation, compiling their achievements to date.

Alongside this, Blogger also gave an audience at SXSW an exclusive introduction to their “next generation user interface”, a new content discovery feature, as well as promising users even more features in the pipeline.

New Foursquare app, Agora, is launched
It’s a simple enough premise: when you check into a location, Agora scouts around the other Foursquare users in the area that share your interests and sends you a tweet, suggesting which of them you should meet up with and giving you a score according to your similarity.

In cities such as London or New York with particularly active Foursquare communities, this could become an extremely effective networking tool.

Kevin Rose leaves Digg
Digg has recently found itself in something of a hole, increasingly losing out to Reddit. Following a redesign and the slashing of a number of features, the site suffered an exodus of users, falling from 16 million before the redesign to 8.2 million in recent months.

As a result, Kevin Rose, Digg’s founder, has left the company to focus on his next start-up, which is close to completing its first round of funding. As of yet, he’s playing his cards pretty close to his chest regarding the new project, but he’s tweeted that he’s “excited to explore some new ideas” and that there will be “more news soon”.

The social media ‘Champions League’
Although Facebook fan numbers are important, what’s really important is how engaged the fans are. So despite Barcelona FC having 10.3 million Facebook fans, they only have 142,000 active users – far fewer than Man United’s active userbase of 256,000, despite having more fans. The full table makes interesting reading, although sadly Bieber comes top.

Major League Baseball streamed via Facebook
The MLB has launched a tab to stream one spring training game – like a football friendly – each day on its Facebook page. With interest traditionally low in these games, if the move succeeds in driving more subscribers to the MLB website, it can be seen as an unequivocal success – what they’re giving away isn’t worth much at all.

FremantleMedia launch live Facebook show
Streaming on Facebook is clearly not just confined to America though – FremantleMedia have launched a weekly live Facebook show called Scoreboard airing through a dedicated app. The programme will air for an hour every Friday, and will preview and predict the weekend’s upcoming matches. Crucially, different from the Baseball streaming, Facebook will be the only platform for the show – so it will be easy to measure very quickly whether it’s a success or a failure.

Charity worker’s fundraising effort through JustGiving
Traditionally, social media platform JustGiving has been used by individuals to raise funds for, say, a marathon they’re running; but charity worker Anna Young has taken it one step further – funding for her job will cease at the end of this month, so she is trying to raise £15,000 through a JustGiving page to stay in the job and continue helping children. This is clearly a noble endeavour, and she can be sponsored here.

Propaganda, privacy, politics and social media slacktivism
While social media has helped MPs and governments appear closer to the electorate – this has also brought with it a clear issue, namely that governments are keen to see positive sentiment in social media. Nonetheless, its pretty shocking that the US military is developing software that will allow it to create fake internet personas, which will spread pro-American propaganda. While they explicitly say they won’t be using Facebook or Twitter, this is clearly a dangerous path to be heading down, and there has been understandable shock in online communities.

Meanwhile, the EU is also trying to keep up with the zeitgeist – but by trying to protect its citizens rights online. The idea of the draft legislation, is to protect users’ privacy: currently Facebook privacy settings are so hard to understand – and disingenuously worded – that it’s very hard to preserve privacy; the new legislation, which comes from the EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, is designed to protect users in the future:

Maybe you’ve been at a party, up until four in the morning and you or someone you know posts photos of you. It’s a harmless bit of fun, but being unable to erase this can threaten your job or access to future employment.

With stories like these flying around it’s perhaps no surprise that recent research shows that the internet creates more politically engaged citizens. The study’s findings run counter to two commonly held assumptions: first, that the Internet makes exposure to divergent political viewpoints unlikely, the so-called “echo chamber” effect; and second, that the Internet promotes shallow activism among youth, so-called “slacktivism”.

So, let’s prove the research right in a suitably social way. Donate, download, print and fold an origami crane in support of Japan. Thanks.

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