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Freshly back from the UK’s 2nd four-day weekend in a row, here’s our regular mashup of the week’s social media news.
It only takes 3 bad reviews to put off online shoppers
According to a survey from Lightspeed Research, 67% of shoppers are put off buying a product online if it has as few as three negative reviews. With the survey also finding that 61% of shoppers take online reviews into account before making a purchase and that only 13% of people don’t use the internet in their purchase decisions, it clearly shows the power of online reviews.
Another finding of the survey is very interesting: people find the reviews of other consumers online (for example, bloggers) more trustworthy than professional reviewers or their friends and family
Facebook the top choice for sign-in
Whilst the growth of Facebook.com has been well documented, there’s been much less written about how Facebook is taking over the internet as a whole. But in the first quarter of this year Facebook overtook Google as the most used sign-in platform on external sites: it had 35% of users, compared 31% with Google.
Crucially, this marks a dramatic change from the previous quarter – where Google had 38% while Facebook only had 27%.
Google Realtime search adds Quora and others
Google Realtime search has been around since August last year – but it has now improved, from merely indexing tweets to adding in Quora, Gowalla, and a couple of other sites. Nice.
Delicious bought by YouTube founders
Social bookmarking service Delicious has been bought from Yahoo! by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, with the site owned by a new company founded by the pair called AVOS. Delicious has a really devoted userbase, and they’ll be happy about this move – as their worry that Yahoo! will close the site can now be put to bed.
Facebook expands Sponsored Stories
Facebook is always looking to expand the advertising potential of the site, and their newest move has been to expand the different types of Sponsored Story. Now, rather than just being about your friends liking a page, the ads can cover apps played, liking particular third-party websites, or even liking page status updates. It will be interesting to see the pick-up on this from marketers.
Twitter introduces text ads
Twitter has begun experimenting with text ads which show up on the web interface just after the trending topics. What’s interesting is how there’s nothing actually to show they are adverts – it’s only the page source code which gives the game away.
Tweetdeck acquired by Twitter, launches new version of iPhone app
With UberMedia aggressively acquiring third-party Twitter apps, Twitter felt it had to hit back – and it has done so by buying Tweetdeck in a deal worth between 40 and 50 million dollars, and part-financed by Twitter stock.
This news comes in the same week that TweetDeck launched a completely revamped version of their iPhone app. As the video below shows, it’s a big improvement:
Pepsi launch social vending machine
Pepsi demonstrated their latest offering – the social vending machine – at the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s One Show in Chicago last week. Though it is still only a prototype, it promises some pretty cool stuff.
Pepsi’s social vending machines are digitally-connected touch-screen vending machines that allow you to send a Pepsi to a friend (or rather send an SMS/MMS to a mobile handset in the form of a redemption code that can be redeemed at any other social vending machine) as well as buy a Pepsi for yourself. The social vending machine has an inbuilt video camera that allows you to send a video message along with your gift of Pepsi refreshment.
It also includes a kind of cola-roulette, asking people to carry out a ‘random act of kindness’ and buy a random stranger somewhere else a drink.
The new machine looks really cool, so I hope they don’t can it.
Watch the royal wedding and lose weight
You may have noticed that #royalwedding was trending last week, but the more astute of you (or less intoxicated) might also have noticed that #royalwedding had a promoted tweet – with the brand behind it – Slim Fast – taking hashtag squatting to dizzying royal heights. Whilst it isn’t a particularly precise way to market a brand, Slim Fast made it work by capturing a specific community on the day, interested in weight-loss and forthcoming weddings, through general, mass appeal tweets – all of which fed back to their Facebook page. Given the context of the day it worked really well for the brand and delivered results – they scored an extra 400+ Twitter followers in a few hours and boosted their Facebook page with an extra 5000 fans.
Crowd-sourcing completely out of control
German washing up liquid brand ‘Pril’ gave us all a lesson in how not to do crowd-sourcing this week. They offered fans the chance to design a new bottle and subject them to public vote, with the two most popular designs hitting shops in October (so far, so good). However, they very quickly realised a design for Chicken flavoured Pril was being picked up by bloggers and online magazines, leading to a surge in similar off-brand designs – the current favourite is a zombie face murmuring ‘PriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiL’. It’s a lesson learnt the hard way for them but a great case for the rest of us – we’re sure future crowd-sourcing efforts from brands will better reflect a product’s story and not just trust the wisdom of the zombie loving crowd.
Are corporate Twitter accounts too toothless?
An interesting post over at TechCrunch from Paul Carr, who complains about corporate Twitter accounts being powerless, with the aim solely to transfer the complaint to customer service. It’s an interesting point he raises, and it’s one we broadly agree with: the point of social media is about openness and transparency, and trying to shut down complaints may be efficient, but it doesn’t really tick the boxes. It will be interesting to see how this develops, with TechCrunch suggesting they may name and shame those most at fault.
Osama’s death – the social media reaction
Bin Laden’s death was understandably accompanied by a massive reaction on social channels. Even with most of Europe asleep, Twitter broke several records, with an extraordinary 3440 tweets per second over a sustained three and a half hour period. At the peak of the conversation, there were 5,106 tweets per second, beating out Super Bowl 2011.
Even more extraordinarily, the raid was (inadvertently) live-tweeted by an IT consultant living in Abbottabad, who originally starting complaining about the noise coming from the helicopter overhead. With the limited number of people using Twitter in the city, it really is an amazing story.
And while most of the humour in reaction to Osama’s death was pretty unfunny, the reviews for his compound on Google Maps did garner a wry chuckle from us…