Here are all of the posts tagged ‘we are social’.

Once Upon a Vine

by Tom Ollerton in News

A year ago today Twitter officially launched Vine.

2013 has turned out to be an astonishing year for app. It’s been embraced by the public and brands alike who have lept onto this platform determined to get one of their Vines to be one of the nine tweets a second containing a Vine link.

Who can blame them? Studies are showing that a branded Vine is four times more likely to be seen than a branded video. But despite this big opportunity and its six second time limit, some brands have still managed to bore the pants off the audience.

But it’s definitely not all bad and the top brands on Vine can only be applauded for using the platform in imaginative ways. Thanks to our friends at Brands on Vine we can see which brands were the most successful on the platform in 2013 (click through on the links below to see each brand’s Vine channel).

1) General Electric - G.E. wouldn’t be most people’s number one microvideo brand but they take the spectacle of the atom and bring it to life in hooky little vignettes that delight as much as they entertain. Does this help sell multi-billion pound infrastructure contracts? Possibly not directly, but it’s helped propel the brand through social media city at a greater rate than any other.

2) Lowe’s - A personal favourite of mine, I now only clean my taps with lemons. Lowe’s take a well deserved second place adding value through practical top tips around the home.

3) adidas - Fashion and sports were the leading categories in Vine’s inaugural year, mainly because of their capacity to give a behind the scenes view. Want to see a pro footy player kick a ball into a bin? Boom. Vine is your man.

4) Urban Outfitters - Urban Outfitters gives us tips, gags, cats and bad gig videos, in fact everything a grumpy teenager could possibly want.

5) Burberry - “A new digital platform? Go on then” – I’ve no doubt was mentioned by the marketing department at Burberry, who characteristically put them front and center of the Vine explosion and for good reason with a slew of top six second cinema.

As Michael Litman from Brands on Vine says:

“It’s still less than a year old but Vine has captured the hearts and minds of the creative community globally, creating a new form of community and celebrity”.

The winners on Vine in 2013 were creative, useful or funny. So if your Vines are not doing this in 2014 then you ain’t breaking into the top 5 this year.

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Facebook acquires Instagram: Reaction

by Dan Goodswen in News Google+

Instagram + 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.

Chris Zeigler, writing at The Verge

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.

Robert Cyran at BreakingViews

Twitter explodes
The most vocal outrage has been reserved for Twitter, with everyone from journalists and tech bloggers to Instagram users venting about the deal;

The strangest part of the deal
The Atlantic and Quora also picked up news that Instagram had sealed an extra $50m in funding only last week;

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.

Matthew O’Brian at The Atlantic

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.

Muhammad At-Tauhidi on Quora

Instagram reacts
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.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #70

by Adam Bernstein in News

After something of a hiatus due to the Bank Holidays, we’re back on a Monday…

YouTube continues to grow
For the second consecutive month, YouTube was the fastest growing social media property in the UK in April, growing by 3.12% year-on-year. It now accounts for one in every five UK visits to a social media site.

How are UK retailers doing in social media
An interesting piece from Econsultancy on how UK retailers are doing in social media – it’s notable how traditional retailers like Topshop and River Island are battling it out with online retailers like Amazon and Asos but actually managing to come out on top.

PR revenues increase post-recession
2010 was a good year for PR firms – with fee income rising by an average of almost 10%. We were delighted to be featured in the Evening Standard as one of those with the fastest growth:

One of the fastest-growing PR firms was Farringdon-based We Are Social, specialists in social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with fee income up 190% to £2 million.

In fact, it clearly piqued the Evening Standard’s interest, with them running a follow-up article looking at businesses’ use of social media, again featuring us.

Facebook pays users to watch ads…
On Thursday, Facebook launched a new programme which incentivizes users to watch adverts – by paying them to do so. To start, users will get paid one Facebook Credit – worth ten cents – for watching one of the adverts, which will typically appear in games, with Zynga among the game publishers Facebook has linked up with. It creates a very interesting state of affairs, where Facebook is trying to link its different business activities together – the Credits earnt are designed in part to be spent on Facebook Deals.

This said, having seen how click-through rates have fallen on Facebook ads, it’s questionable whether users will want to go even further and watch a video, when the reward is so minimal.

…And continues to develop its ad programme
Paying users to watch ads is just part of Facebook’s move to dominate the display ad market: an interesting interview with Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Head of Sales, gave a deeper explanation of what their aims are, but there’s no hiding from their success – Facebook now accounts for 31.2% of the US Display ad market, and is on course to surpass a trillion ad impressions over the course of the year.

Most pleasing for Zuckerberg et al, will be the success of Sponsored Stories. Click-through rates on normal ads may be stalling, but a study found that Sponsored Stories have a 46% higher click-through rate, and bring in fans at an 18% lower cost – which will mean that advertisers are still keen to invest in Facebook. They’ll also be able to measure results better – Inside Facebook had an interesting post this week on how Facebook is updating its analytics with audience funnels and conversation data.

New Facebook for BlackBerry app
Facebook released a new version of their BlackBerry app last week – with a number of improvements – particularly with integrating the phone’s native contacts.

Renren’s hugely successful IPO
Chinese social networking site Renren staged an initial IPO on the New York Stock Exchange last week – with impressive results. Shares were originally offered at $14 a share but rose in value to $18. That prices the company at $7.5 billion – far less than Facebook, but, notably, a greater valuation as a multiple of 2010 revenues than Facebook has managed.

Disqus introduces @mentions
Disqus launched a new comment system last week, meaning you can now tag friends in your comments. The move is intended to make the comments on posts both more social, and easier to filter.

Doubtless, we’ll be seeing all of you in the comments.

Mumsnet launches Gransnet
Mumsnet last week launched Gransnet – a spin-off aimed, as the name suggests, at grandmothers. With half of grandparents under 65 years old, and 51-64 year olds the fastest growing internet demographic, it’s possible that the site could be a success. What I’m more interested in though, is what will replace the dreaded ‘biscuit question’?

Farmville – with real animals
Bulding on the enormous popularity of Farmville, the National Trust last week launched MyFarm, which will allow 10,000 members to all vote on decisions being taken on a real farm. Participants will be advised on their decisions through blog posts and videos. This is clearly a barn-storming idea, though whether those on the farm have Moo business cards is still unknown.

Honda’s reciprocal marketing
To celebrate reaching one million Facebook fans, Honda asked executives to reciprocate some of their fans love. So an exec got a tattoo of a guy called Dustin who had a Honda tattoo, and so on. A thoroughly Civic idea.

Lynx’s new app
Last week Lynx launched a new app which is intended to act as a social hub for nights out:

The app collects the videos, pictures, texts, tweets and status updates from each member of the group’s phones, creating a record of the evening in real time.

The app is currently only available in the UK but Lynx expect to roll-on and deliver it to worldwide territories – understandably, as the video below shows a pretty cool app.

Ben and Jerry’s donates unused Twitter characters to Fair Trade
May the 14th is World Fair Trade Day and Ben and Jerry’s are encouraging consumers to donate any leftover characters in their tweets to a linked story, which will extol the virtues of Fair Trade. It’s a nice way of using Twitter to do something good and also generate positive sentiment for the brand. Nice.

First tweet sent from summit of Mount Everest
British climber Kenton Cool became the first person to tweet from the summit of Mount Everest last week – and Samsung did a nice bit of marketing by sponsoring Cool to tweet using a particular smartphone, and mention that he was doing this in the tweet.

It was a good campaign from Samsung – who also shot a nice video of Kenton unboxing the phone at the bottom of the mountain.

A social media loyalty card – using Gowalla
A lot has been said about how the check-in is growing in popularity – and BMI have shown their faith in check-in services by creating a loyalty programme solely using Gowalla. They’re asking users to check-in at different airports to receive recommendations – and eventually rewards.

Your Facebook design could be on a KLM plane…
Meanwhile, KLM have launched a nice campaign which asks fans to ’tile yourself’.

The KLM promotion is based around Delft blue tiles, with Facebook users encouraged to turn photos and profile pictures into Delft type images and then add a caption too. Selected photos will then be added to a specially painted KLM plane which will then fly around the world.

The campaign – and the BMI one mentioned above – hits on an interesting trend from travel companies: that they’re using social media to create more real-life experiences, and it seems to be working out pretty well.

Linkedin and Fortune 500′s collaboration
Linkedin and Fortune 500 have come together to create an app – which makes use of all the data Linkedin holds, to give users a better insight into the different companies – and more importantly, how they can do business with the different companies.

Twitter undermines celeb super-injunctions
It’s well known that many celebrities hold super-injunctions stopping stories being reported by the media, which they acquire at great expense. What they didn’t bank on was Twitter undermining them – with a Twitter account claiming knowledge of many super-injunctions, and a simple Twitter search showing how many people are happy to repeat these claims.

PCC seeks to regulate press Twitter feeds
In a surprising move, the UK Press Complaints Commission announced on Friday that it intended to bring press Twitter accounts under its remit. That it wants to regulate press streams – eg BBC branded accounts – is normal. But that it wants to regulate what individual journalists are saying seems over-the-top. It is one thing to suggest best practice – another to regulate what a particular journo wants to say. That said, Neville Hobson had an interesting piece on why he thinks it is a good idea.

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Hello from Down Under

by Heather Ann Snodgrass in News

As our new readers arriving via Mumbrella, B&T, Digital Media, wearesocial.com.au & @wearesocialau will know already, today we’re proud to announce the launch of We Are Social Australia.

Allow me to introduce Julian (julianward) the Managing Director, and myself, Heather (likeomg) the Strategy Director of We Are Social here in Sydney. We’re looking forward to meeting you and having a chat about what’s happening in social media in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, and the rest of the world.

Julian and Heather

Although the last few months have been busy with plenty of early morning and late night Skype calls between Sydney and London (and I’m certain there will be many more to come), the genesis of Sydney office was, appropriately enough, based in social media.

I first met Nathan at Twestival last year, here in Sydney, when We Are Social first came on my radar. From then I’ve been watching with interest and a certain amount of jealousy as the team did amazing work in Europe… and now I’m lucky enough to be a part of that team. That’s pretty exciting stuff, if you ask me.

Julian met Nathan during his time in London, and through many social occasions become friends. Yet it was social media that kept them connected, personally and professionally, when Julian moved back to Australia.

It’s a unique country we live in; we are geographically isolated, yet now so incredibly connected to the rest of the world – and each other. There are plenty of theories about why Australians have adopted platforms such as Facebook more avidly than other countries, but really the answer is pretty simple: we are social.

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