Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Forbes’.
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?
“Corporate communications have radically changed” says Andy Sernovitz, chief executive of the Blog Council, an organisation for heads of social media at big companies. “It’s no longer just companies talking to the press, and customer service talking to customers. All these other people showed up in the -middle. They may not be press and they may not be customers, but suddenly their collective voice is bigger than the traditional channels.”
The essence of social media is conversation. Rather than a one-way stream of information, where companies make announcements to the press and customers, social media enables a great deal of interaction, where companies are in constant dialogue with the public. “We’ve seen a shift from doing things the old way to now having conversations with our customers,” says Jeanette Gibson, director of new media for Cisco Systems.
The above comes from an article in today’s FT, about as mainstream a business publication as you can get, a sign that perhaps Europe is beginning to hear the siren call of the changes that social media is bringing to business. Again, Twitter is on the agenda:
Companies are using Twitter to douse public relations fires before they erupt. Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motors, used Twitter to appease users who were angry after the carmaker sued an enthusiast website that was selling unauthorised Ford merchandise. When fans of the enthusiast site posted angry messages, Mr Monty “tweeted back” to explain the company’s position.
Bonin Bough, who was appointed director of social media for PepsiCo last year, also used Twitter to defuse a brewing crisis after the company released a series of advertisements depicting a cartoon calorie character committing suicide.
We’d not disagree with this – in fact we’ve been pioneering this approach on behalf of Skype since last year (and Scott Monty is a friend of the family, so to speak), but the focus should be on the overall conversation, of which Twitter is yet just a small part – forums and blogs are likely to remain the most significant venues for some appreciable time (this will vary, of course, depending on the sector you’re in – for example, if you’re Sony BMG, MySpace won’t have lost its significance just yet).
However, Melissa Bounoua’s article in Forbes earlier in the week makes a valid point:
Most European companies haven’t even heard of Twitter, and some might think it’s a time waster. A spokeswoman for energy firm Total says that Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie has no idea what Twitter is. British Telecom says it doesn’t have a Twitter account and doesn’t plan to open one. Nestle’s communications manager says using Twitter “just never came up within the group strategy.” In general, experts say Europeans don’t latch on to new social networking technologies as quickly as Americans.
I’d swap ‘Europeans’ with ‘European companies’ – as far as the general population is concerned, Europe is ahead of the US – with a higher proportion of the UK population using social networking and Twitter than the US (and the rest of Europe broadly comparable) and all of Europe but Germany and Austria way ahead in terms of blog readership.
However, despite the FT’s urging, her analysis is sadly correct when it comes to European companies. We are here to help…