Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Facebook’.
The world is waking up to the news that Facebook has acquired mobile photo sharing platform Instagram for a cool billion dollars.
Here is a round up of the reactions from around the webs;
Mark Zuckerberg makes the announcement on his Facebook page;
I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.
For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.
We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.
You can read his full statement here.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom breaks the news via Twitter
The tweet linked through to the Instagram Tumblr where Systrom had posted an official statement;
It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.
The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you.You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.
We’re psyched to be joining Facebook and are excited to build a better Instagram for everyone.
You can read the full statement here.
TechCrunch highlights how Facebook has made way for Instagram;
This is a really big departure from the way Zuckerberg has historically run Facebook as a single product. He has always been insistent that everything feed back into Facebook itself.
Keeping Instagram as a separate product and brand is reminiscent of what Google has done with keeping YouTube and Android as separate fiefdoms within the company following their acquisitions.
The website has also remade their logo in honour of the acquisition. You can read the full article at TechCrunch.
Quora weighs in
Over on Quora the techsperts have been sharing their views. Ryan Charles, former head of mobile at Zagat, said;
If you’ve read The Facebook Effect, you’ll understand how pivotal photo sharing was to Facebook’s growth. The ability to tag a user in a photo was also a tremendous social and viral mechanism for Facebook.
Instagram could easily become a baked in component of a Facebook mobile OS and the team understands how to build a mobile community from the ground up.
Tech commentator Robert Scoble shared his views on the $1bn price tag;
Today Facebook has NO revenues from mobile. None. That’s amazing, since so many people, hundreds of millions of us, use Facebook on mobile clients.
Instagram will let Facebook develop a new kind of Open Graph advertising. One where Facebook will be able to offer mobile developers a lot of money in return for opening their apps up to Open Graph.
Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are slobbering over this new potential revenue stream, so having lots of VC buy-in (they just got a nice payday) will be very important.
Imagine that Benchmark now “asks” all of its member companies to support such a new advertising scheme? This could result in billions of revenues for Facebook and member companies.
The Guardian highlighted the negative sentiment the deal has garnered;
Instagram and its various analogues have created a legion of smartphone users who are quite literally uploading billions of damaged images into the public record.
Make no mistake, you aren’t an artist. If you were an artist, you wouldn’t be using Instagram in the first place. You certainly wouldn’t be using a filter as a crutch.
At the end of the day, that’s what Instagram filters are: a crutch, a misguided replacement for a properly composed shot and a decent sensor.
The precedent is worrisome, though, if it means every time a startup encroaches on one of Facebook’s presumed strengths it will need to take out its pocketbook to defend its turf. That’s hardly a robust justification for a lofty valuation.
The most vocal outrage has been reserved for Twitter, with everyone from journalists and tech bloggers to Instagram users venting about the deal;
As a former entrepreneur myself, my sense is that there’s no way Instagram would have knowingly shrunk it valuation slice if they knew a potential sale was imminent.
It’s more likely that either the Facebook deal floored them, or that they were using the latest round of venture funding to show off their accelerating valuation to Facebook.
It seems clear that closing the investor round helped Instagram improve its negotiation position/valuation with Facebook. Instagram (closed) a big round that gave it enough money to stay independent for a long time while growing the company.
At that point, Facebook’s only option was to go big or go home.
The existing users of the network reacted both with hubris and humour to the news;
We are still gathering our thoughts here at the We Are Social office, and will be posting them on the blog shortly.
In the mean time, tell us; is this the end of Instagram? Does this change anything? Let us know in the comments.
Yes, we’ve all been social network raped (fraped), where one of your hilarious mates takes your phone/laptop and decides to update your page with some reference to how much you love male members and such. It’s all very amusing. In fact, it’s happened to the best of us, including high-profile footballers.
But yesterday evening, things got a bit close to home. At around 7pm, my Mum called me out of the blue and her first words were “I’m going to speak now for 5 minutes, and you are going to hear me out, and then you can speak.” Scary stuff I thought – something terrible must have happened. A highly emotional rant followed, where my Mum told me she was very upset I announced I was a lesbian on Facebook, without telling my family first.
My Mum is on Facebook, but she’s got about 5 friends, and hasn’t logged in for months. In fact, it’s safe to say she’s a Facebook n00b. It transpired that an anonymous colleague at my Mum’s work had left a note on her computer letting her know that she’d heard I was a lesbian. Thanks a lot Anon. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I immediately knew what had happened, but I couldn’t get a word in edgeways.
The update in question was a frape from a few days ago, where a mate had updated my status with the following:
I then found myself in a situation where I had to explain what a “frape” was, which is pretty difficult: “It’s erm, funny, to update your mate’s status with something untrue or relating to genitals.” My Mum didn’t seem to get the joke.
Most people will say, just turn your privacy on. But that’s never bothered me. I don’t care if my Mum sees 100s of my drunken photos, neither do I care whether people at work see them. If I’ve added you as a friend on Facebook, you’re obviously close enough to me to see the inner workings of my life.
This is in contrast to many people who hide all manner of things from family and colleagues on Facebook. But now I’ve had to rethink my stance, and join the army of privacy nerds by controlling who sees what.
If you’ve got people out there far removed from your life stage and internet understanding, then it’s less about hiding and more about making sure what you have published doesn’t get taken as gospel. Many people believe we’re closing the generational divide with technology, so when our parents and grandparents start signing up for social networking accounts, we feel that maybe they are starting to “get it”. I don’t believe that. The generational divide will always be there, as it’s about context, not platforms – so I’m afraid they’ll always have a slight “Dad on the dancefloor” air about them.
So is this a new type of social censorship? A world where we have to censor who sees what not because of embarrassment of our behaviour, but because the technological divide has resulted in an older generation of tech-savvy, but context illiterate individuals?
If anything I hope this blog post has:
- made you smile on a Friday morning
- finally convinced my Mum I’m not a lesbian
PS. Yes, my profile image is of me in a pedobear costume. Please don’t tell my Mum who that is. KTHXBAI
Facebook set to launch Groupon-style deals service
As you’ve no doubt noticed, Facebook are in the process of increasing the range of services and products available to its vast and ever expanding user base. In keeping with this, last week they announced that they would test a Groupon style deals service, to be incorporated into their present Deals program.
Facebook’s move comes as little surprise at their present rate of diversification and will no doubt increase Facebook’s pressure on the existing online deal service providers. According to the Virginia based consulting firm BIA/Kelsey by 2015 the daily deal service industry will generate $3.93 billion.
Facebook improve Insights service
As the number of brands that are using Facebook as part their marketing (and sales) strategy increases, so too has the pressure for Facebook to improve their Facebook Insights service, which previously offered only generalised performance feedback.
Twitter changes its tone with client app developers
Ryan Sarver, Twitter’s API leader, released an official statement to the platform’s developer community today that marks a dramatic shift in the dynamic of the relationship between Twitter and their previously strong developer community.
Developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no.
Existing Twitter API clients are safe, for now, but as for developers looking to develop new ways for users to make the most of the platform, back to the drawing board methinks…
Foursquare 3.0 launches and also make it easier for users to find local deals
Foursquare celebrated its two-year anniversary last week with the launch of Foursquare 3.0, a new release of the app which includes recommendations from experts in your social network, and new-style rewards for businesses to offer to customers.
The new app also includes an ‘explore’ option which gives personal recommendations based on your history and interests, as well as an overhaul to the leaderboard that makes it a lot more social – it offers more points for new activities, such as checking in at new venues, especially if it is with old friends. Impressive stuff.
They’ve also released a feature that alerts users to nearby deals, following the lead of AT&T’s Shop Alert service and Living Social’s mobile app. As part of this move, they’ve adjusted the vendor-end of their service, making information such as gender, time of check in, and other information that previously wasn’t available to vendors, accessible.
Gowalla and CNN iReport join forces
Meanwhile, users of Gowalla – a service similar to Foursquare – will now be able to share stories of places that are particularly special to them via CNN’s iReport.
Warner Bros to stream full movies on Facebook
In keeping with Facebook’s current expansion of its services, Warner Bros. announced last week that it would make a number of its films available to be streamed on the social network. Viewers will have to pay 30 Facebook credits ($3) to rent the film for 48 hours.
By tapping into the existing Facebook user base, Warner Bros have access – with no immediate competition – to a 500+ million strong market, potentially blowing competitors such as NetFlix and Amazon Prime out of the water. The first film to be rented was the 2008 DC Comic adaptation, The Dark Knight. Good choice.
Chrysler join the Twitter hall of #fail
It’s all becoming a little familiar now: a huge, largely respected brand; a Twitter user who thinks they’re signed into their personal account; and an ill judged or downright offensive tweet…
Chrysler were the latest brand to step up to Twitter-fail plate when one of their agencies’ employees landed the automotive firm in the proverbial, with the tweet: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive”.
In time honoured fashion, the agency fired their employee, Chrysler fired the agency responsible, and are said to be taking the matter ‘very seriously’. Gordon MacMillan from The Wall Blog has suggested that in so quickly sacking the individual, Chrysler may have missed a chance to turn this disaster into a social media opportunity:
What happened to Chrysler has echoes of what happened recently to the American Red Cross. In that instance a personal tweet went out on the main account. The US charity quickly owned up and then smartly rode the good will and publicity that came with its admission.
We can’t believe how often these sort of situations arise. With proper workflow managment software used to update brand accounts (i.e. a separate Twitter client from the one used for personal accounts) and rules of engagement in place, this sort of thing just shouldn’t happen.
Nikon’s ‘The Chase, powered by Ashton Kutcher’
Nikon, together with Ashton Kutcher, have launched a clue-based game at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Users are encouraged to follow a set of clues left on Twitter and Facebook by Ashton for different locations around the city that they need to get to. Once users arrive and checkin on Foursquare, they’ll have a chance to win a bunch of free stuff. Camera stuff.
UK Uncut hack Vodafone website
Vodafone has recently been the target of lobbying group UK Uncut over its reported six billion pound unpaid tax bill – and it continued with the World of Difference blog (Vodafone’s charity scheme) being hacked. A blog post was published which declared that: “We demand that the Government force Vodafone pay the £6bn in the tax it owes to the public, in order to prevent the cuts to charities and essential public services”, but the site crashed and Vodafone managed to wrest back control later in the day.
Share your breakfast
Kellogg’s have started an innovative campaign around people sharing pictures of them eating their breakfast – for each picture uploaded, Kellogg’s will donate a breakfast to a child who would otherwise go without. The campaign is a real integrated effort from Kellogg’s – but we can’t work out what it has more of: snap, crackle or pop?
Social Media Dominates Asia Pacific Internet Usage
Nielsen announced its Asia Pacific Social Media Report and found the region has undergone an unprecedented level of growth in the past year. Notably, social media is seen as having a noticeable impact on consumer purchasing decisions:
In Asia Pacific, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when making purchase decisions, behind family and friends. This is particularly so for purchases of consumer electronics, cosmetics and cars – products where consumers are most likely to base their purchase decisions on online product reviews.
The report looks at Internet usage across Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and China.
Foursquare in talks with Google, MS and Yahoo! about search partnerships
The Telegraph reports that Foursquare is in talks with the three major search engines which could allow people to look up the most popular bar or restaurant in their area in real-time. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s co-founder, has said:
Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search… Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending
It’s worth noting that Twitter’s first commercial deals were with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, licensing its real-time feed of information.
Say Hello to the New MySpace Profiles
After reports of falling traffic figures, it looks as though MySpace is trying to change its fortunes by completely redesigning its user profiles. MySpace confirmed that it was demoing a new look and feel to the site, which includes:
- An improved UI and navigation menu
- A Facebook like newsfeed with a user’s recent activity
- Social network integration with other sites like Facebook or Twitter
Facebook will announce 500 million users; announces 150 million on mobile
In anticipation of hitting the half billion user mark, Facebook is planning to mark the occasion with a new consumer marketing initiative called ‘Facebook stories’ in which they hope to celebrate the impact of the social network on their users’ lives.
The announcement is expected any day now, and will sit alongside other large milestones announced last week, such as hitting 141 million unique visitors in the US (comScore). There are also an estimated 150 global mobile users, according to Facebook’s Head of Mobile Products Eric Tseng, who also indicated last week that we can expect to see Facebook’s “Like” buttons in mobile applications soon.
The New York Times notes that with this impressive growth, comes some grim challenges at the social network grapples with how to handle deaths in the system as older users die:
Now, people over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone… People over 65, of course, also have the country’s highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse.
That said, big steps have been made to improve the ease with which ‘ghosts in its machine’ are identified, and profiles can be “memorialised” such that grieving friends can still post messages on those pages as a tribute.
Apple deleting mentions of Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 piece on forums
Since the iPhone 4’s release last month, Apple has been going through a bit of a rough time with widespread reports of an antenna design flaw that was causing the mobile signal to degrade and calls to be dropped.
Consumer Reports last week released independent findings that confirmed there was a design flaw with the iPhone 4 which caused problems with its reception. This news spread quickly online, but Apple made the questionable decision of “deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums”, which deepened the crisis further.
Old Spice social media campaign
Last week Old Spice / Wieden+Kennedy turned a lot of heads with its innovative use of social media for its ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign. We’ve twice written about the campaign so it needs little summary here – head over to our previous posts to learn more.
Starbucks is the first brand to reach 10 million Facebook fans
Following on the heels of Lady Gaga becoming the first ‘person’ to gather 10 million fans, Starbucks has now become the first brand to collect 10 million fans for its Facebook page. According to Inside Facebook:
The company’s audience of 10 million people around the world has been hard won with marketing, promotions and advertising. Over the years Starbucks has given away free ice cream on Facebook, been recognized by Facebook [for fan page innovation] and was also the most popular brand [on the social network].
Ben & Jerry’s drops email in favour of social media
Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s is looking to abandon its current email marketing activity in favour of using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage with customers on an ongoing basis. The decision was based on the feedback they received from customers who would prefer being contacted via social media. Ben & Jerry’s still plans to send one email update to customers each year, and the company has received “mainly positive feedback on the decision” thus far.
K2 Skis redirects entire company website to Facebook
K2 Skis has made the bold decision to redirect the company’s entire website to its Facebook Fan Page in an effort to boost its fan base. By becoming a Fan of their page, users will be able to see next year’s line up. All Facebook notes that this is the first time they’ve “ever seen a company shut down their corporate site as part of a promotion,” but it doesn’t appear to be driving significant numbers just yet.
BT uses social media to decide ending for TV ad campaign
BT has taken to Facebook in order to have the public decide the ending to their long-running ‘Adam and Jane’ TV ad campaign. Fans of the “Please don’t let Adam and Jane off the BT home hub advert break up…” Facebook group were given a sneak peak of the ad before it aired this weekend, and asked to vote on the ending which will be aired in late August.
The Human Avatar
This just about sums up The Human Avatar campaign for EA’s new game All Points Bulletin (APB). To tie in with the customisation available in the new game, APB decided to take a real person and over the course of several weeks transform them into a real-life avatar that will be released in the game – all to be decided by votes via their website. After selecting the candidate Josh, users then voted on his haircut (cyber punk), piercing (septum) and tattoo (back wings).
Visits to MySpace UK have halved in 6 months say sources
UK visits to MySpace have dropped from a from a peak of just under 10 million at the start of the year to around 5m as of the end of June 2010, according to a TechCrunch Europe source.
MySpace maintains the figures “aren’t accurate,” however independent measurement service comScore shows a similar decline in MySpace UK’s traffic over the past 12 months. Interestingly, Facebook is the third biggest referrer of traffic to the site.
Orkut about to fall to Facebook in India
Google-owned social network Orkut’s fortunes in India may soon be changing, as Facebook narrows the gap with the country’s most popular social network:
In May, 2010, Facebook attracted 18 million unique visitors in India, compared to Orkut’s 19.7 million (comScore). In the past year, Facebook grew 177 percent from 6.5 million Indian visitors, compared to 35 percent growth for Orkut.
By contrast, Orkut remains dominant in Brazil, “with 29 million visitors a months versus only 8 million for Facebook”. ‘Western’ social networks can sometimes run into challenges in gaining a toehold against local competitors (e.g. Facebook vs. China’s RenRen, 51 and Kaixin001), but Facebook’s growing popularity in India and Twitter’s rapid adoption in Japan suggest that this is not always the case.
Foursquare launches location layers – this is Big
Two Foursquare ‘location layer’ campaigns announced last week from the Independent Film Channel and Huffington Post signal big moves for the location-based service. The campaigns allow users to ‘opt-in’ to get news/tips/content pushed to them whenever they check in near an annotated location.
The development is culmination of several other experiments by Foursquare with partners, such as the Canadian newspaper chain Metro’s review integration in January, and the Wall Street Journal’s location-based news in April.
Social media boosts Domino’s Pizza’s UK online sales by 61.4%
NMA reports that online sales for the Domino’s have increased by 61.4% in the first half of 2010, in part down to innovative social media marketing over the past year:
Our main Facebook site has in excess of 36,000 fans and there are numerous fans of individual store sites too. In addition, we have led the way with social media initiatives such as affiliate marketing, our superfans programme and the development of a link up with Foursquare, the location-based social media site.
BMI integrates live Twitter feed onsite for city destination pages
BMI destination landing pages for cities around the world now incorporate ‘the uncontrolled madness’ of Twitter, thorough a feed dedicated to Tweets about the city in question. The Feeds are moderated for “swearing, competitors and racial slurs,” and feature alongside travel-related content like maps, tips and things to do. BMI wants to demonstrate their belief in transparency by moderating the feed as little as possible, and note they rely on an automatic filter list to automate most of it, and manually monitor sensitive destinations.
UK Government to use Facebook for ideas on cuts
The UK Government is teaming up with Facebook in the hopes of using the social network to harness ‘civic spirit’ in the country, and allow people to submit ideas for where public money might be saved. The UK is the second largest country on Facebook, with over 26 million UK users. Users will be able to get involved:
…via a ‘Spending Challenge Channel’ on its Democracy UK page. There will also be microsites specially tailored to focus on key issues open for discussion and debate among the voting public.
The move follows the previous week’s launch of the Your Freedom website which was aimed at allowing users to submit suggestions for legislation they would like to see repealed or modified.
Facebook unveils child safety ‘panic button’ (which is just an app)
Facebook has announced that it will incorporate a ‘panic button’ to the social networking site, aimed at children and teenagers to allow them to easily report abuse to the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).
Facebook had previously resisted adding a panic button, and its launch follows ‘months of negotiations’ between Facebook and CEOP. But as Techcrunch reports:
while a few media outlets are reporting today that it has launched [a panic button], the reality is somewhat different. What Facebook is launching is a tailor-made marketing application and campaign for a government body which till now had no presence at all on the social network. That’s quite a different thing altogether.
Bebo had previously announced adding a panic button last November (not that it did them much good).
‘One third of young women check Facebook when they first wake up’
A recent study polled the habits of 1,605 adults using social media between May and June 2010, and uncovered some interesting online habits from both men and women on Facebook. Chief among them:
- One third of women aged 18 to 34 check Facebook when they first wake up
- 21% of women aged between 18 to 34 check Facebook in the middle of the night
- 50% are happy being Facebook ‘friends’ with complete strangers
Facebook’s OpenGraph, Three Months Later
Three month’s after the announcement of OpenGraph at the Facebook F8 conference, fbLike has compiled a list of six OpenGraph use cases including CNN, Yelp, IMDB, Fandango, Levis and themselves.
In particular, the simplicity of the ‘like’ button comes into it own for Yelp, IMDB, Levis and Fandago, which allows for easy recommendations to be shared directly across a users’ new feed.
On Monday I got back from a week volunteering (and partying) hard at Glastonbury festival for Oxfam. When I arrived on the first day and received my shift times I was truly gutted to hear that I’d be working through the England Vs Slovenia game.
However, my disappointment didn’t last because, in a stroke of luck, I was posted to work on the edge of the Pyramid stage – right where the game was due to be shown!
Along with my fellow volunteers, and Chris from We Are Social that I coincidentally bumped into, I watched the game from my post whilst continuing to carry out my duties.
At half time a guy with a photographer came out on stage and explained that Orange were going to take a photograph of us all to try and make it the most tagged picture on Facebook. There was a murmur of ooh’s and we thought it sounded like a pretty cool and nice way for a brand to interact with festival goers, gaining new Facebook fans in the process.
So they took the picture and everyone got back to the game and kind of forgot about it. Since coming back to find the GlastoTag page I’ve found and tagged myself (despite being partially obscured by an over sized novelty St. Georges wig), shared it on my Facebook profile and liked their page. There’s currently almost 3,000 tags on the photograph and over 4,000 Facebook likes of the page. With over 180,000 people at Glastonbury, and a reported 70,000 people in this image, I expect this will only increase further.
What stands out from this idea is that you can filter the tags to show just your tagged Facebook friends and I (kind of) feel a small sense of pride that I’m involved. It’s cool to check out all the various tags, especially those of the friends I didn’t know were at Glasto, and this will no doubt stimulate conversation amoungst us on Facebook as well as when I next see them in the pub.
Along with the GlastoNav App, Chill ‘n’ Charge tent and the Glasto Blog, I think that GlastoTag is a great addition to Orange’s already brilliant Glastonbury Festival presence. Well played to everyone involved.
Disclosure: Orange is a We Are Social client, although we weren’t involved in this project. Apart from some of us being in the photo, of course…
Social media helps drive purchases by 10x
Recent research reveals that customers visiting an online store via social media are 10x more like to by something than other users: “whereas 7% of all visitors to an online store make a purchase, a significantly higher 71% of visitors initiated via social media will click their way to the transaction section.” The study showed that while many online stores are good at attracting visitors, a small amount will be converted to customers. But “reassurance from a positive review” and “social media marketing” can be highly effective in closing sales.
Sorrell questions commercialisation of social web
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell likened social media to letter writing at one of the closing sessions of the 57th Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and said that it could be “polluted” by attempts to monetise it. On the same panel, Keith Weed, the global chief marketing officer of Unilever, likened social media instead to the modern day equivalent of a pub or bar chat, and that social networking sites “will and they must” find ways to monetise their offerings.
…companies like ours can develop with companies like Facebook or Microsoft. So I think ‘yes’, they will monetise. How they do it, I think [Sorrell is], right they have to be clever.
Facebook commits to UK support
King Mark Zuckerberg was in London last week at the first official London Facebook Developers’ Garage event, and he committed to increasing support for UK brands and content providers. Zuckerberg also “stressed the importance of the UK to the company, and highlighted personalisation and its virtual currency Facebook Credits as key themes for the year ahead.”
Statistics update reveals that more than one million websites are using Facebook’s platform
Facebook has updated their official Statistics page, and announced in the process that more than one million websites have integrated with its developer platform, up from about 80,000 websites.
This difference is due, in a large part, to Facebook’s launch of the Like Box and other social plugins in late April; the company said this week that more than 300,000 sites have already implemented the plugins, and the number appear to still be climbing.
Elsewhere, it was reported in a study by Experian Simmons that half of US web users visit Facebook each month.
Twitter makes it easier to find friends and colleagues, Facebook ‘blocks’ Twitter friend finder
Last week Twitter announced that it was making it easier to find friends on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn, by improving their Find Friends section and tweaking their LinkedIn and Facebook applications.
The Tweets application by LinkedIn allows users to see which of your LinkedIn connections are on Twitter and follow the ones you choose right from the app. Meanwhile the Facebook app was meant to show which of your Facebook friends are on Twitter, but this was blocked by Facebook disallowing people to see which of their friends on the social network also have Twitter accounts.
A whole new way of experiencing LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups received their first major overhaul since August 2008, which is one of many that are expected in the coming months. In addition to improving the look and feel and ease of use of groups, LinkedIn has also:
- Made it easier to receive email updates from select group members
- Made it possible to vote up or down content and discussions
- Introduced a way to highlight the most active members/contributors to a group
We expect that these changes could go a long way to changing the way that users interact in groups for the better.
Foursquare hits 1.7 million users, and the threat from spammers looms
Foursquare announced that it had passed the 1.7 million user mark, after having added 100,000 in a mere 10 days. At that rate, the location-based service should hit 2 million users before August.
But with growing popularity, comes a greater threat from spammers. The Next Web notes that while spam is still a minor problem, it is becoming more prevalent as people ‘innovate’ by changing their profile name to a company name in order to raise awareness atop local leaderboards, or by leaving advertising messages as ‘tips’.
Foursquare, Starbucks need better blend of offers
When Starbucks and Foursquare announced their joint loyalty program last month in the US, it generated quite a bit of positive publicity. The offer, $1 discount on Frappuccinos to the mayors of individual Starbucks stores, has since come under criticism from Forrester analyst Augie Ray who laid out five reasons that it has become both ‘noisy and bothersome’, and potentially damaging in the long term. Fair play to Starbucks for being amongst the first to implement a nationwide Foursquare promotion, but there are certainly some lessons to be learned with respect to offering better targeted and easier to redeem Foursquare offers.
Virgin America Offers Free Flights to Twitter Influencers
Virgin America has partnered with Klout, an analytics service that tracks users’ influence on Twitter, to offer free flights (plus tax) to influencers in Toronto:
The offer includes free round-trip airfare (Wi-Fi included) between Toronto and San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) between June 23 and August 23. Those who received invitations for the offer — whether or not they decide to accept the flight that comes with it — were also invited to Virgin America’s Toronto Launch Event on June 29.
Interestingly, ‘influencers’ who have been offered the free flight aren’t require to blog or Tweet about the experience, though Klout has requested that users who do accept the offer and chose to write something, disclose the promotion. Handing out free flights to those with Twitter ‘influence’ is not without its critics however, and some question the validity of ranking people based on an algorithm alone.
JD Sports campaign turns 900,000 visitors into 180,000 sign-ups
A recent campaign for the JD Sports-owned fashion label Bank managed to generate 900,000 unique users and 180,000 sign ups for a competition to become the face of Bank and model the Autumn/Winter 2010 range.
It used Facebook Open Graph – only two clicks to connect with a site and then sending info that they’d signed up or voted for someone into the user’s Facebook profile, which meant that their friends (on average 150 people) also saw it.
LOFT ansers the Facebook call for ‘real women’
Meanwhile, LOFT, a US fashion retailer, received interaction of an entirely different nature on its Facebook Fan Page. The company posted images to Facebook of a tall, blonde model wearing the brand’s new silk cargo pants, and received a number of complaints that the trousers were not universally flatterig unless you’re a “stick like model”. LOFT quickly responded to calls for ‘real women in photos’ the next day by posting pictures of its own staff – ranged from size 2 to 12, and from 5′3″ to 5′10″ – posing in the cargo pants. In so doing they managed to turn things around, address the negative sentiment head-one and show that they were indeed ‘listening’ to their customers.
Digg redesign takes the fight to Twitter, Facebook
Digg has also recently announced a redesign, and “aims to directly challenge Twitter and Facebook by redefining the way Diggers share, view, and submit content.” Chief among the changes, are the ability to follow friends, publishers, and “taste-makers”; as well as view content shared/promoted by their friends.
The idea seems to be that Digg will become much more of a true social networking site, but still based around links and news so as to cut out miscellaneous status updates so common to Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, it will now be easier to submit stories to the site, as well as become easier for Top News to spread amongst friends.
FourWhere now combines Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare
FourWhere, free service developed by Toronto-based social media monitoring and analytics company Sysomos, now integrates information from the three leading location-based services: Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare.
If you’re not familiar with Fourwhere, it integrates data from Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp, and displays it using Google Maps API in order to provided users with “ an easy way to discover places and comments for thousands of restaurants, bars, cafes, stores, tourist attractions and other venues.”