Monthly Archives: November 2012

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Twitter New Search & Sharing Capabilities
Twitter introduced this week, the ability to email a tweet directly from – a feature they will be rolling out to everyone in the coming weeks. You can email a tweet to anyone, whether they use Twitter or not, right from your Twitter stream or from the details view of any tweet. Twitter also announced improved search results to highlight photos, videos, and news. Three new elements Twitter searches will find include: 1. Photos and videos will appear first. 2. Headlines and photos will appear on iPhone and Android. 3. Results will be tailored for context.

Pinterest Launches Brand Pages
Pinterest unveiled business accounts designated for marketers this week. These new business accounts – which are free of charge – aren’t brand pages in the tradition of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., since they don’t look any different from other pages. They also don’t possess any enhanced functionality, apart from making the new feature of authenticating a website a streamlined part of the sign-up process. Another easy-to-grasp difference is that business pages allow brands and merchants to simply enter the name of their business when registering instead of having to work around the first name – last name sign-up format.

Facebook Adds a News Feed Option: “Pages Only”
This week, Facebook began rolling out an update to its users that allow them view a Facebook feed in “Pages Only” mode. The new option reduces your news to updates only from the Pages you’ve Liked – good news, in short, for businesses, consumer brands, sports teams, media and politicians. As soon as you have it, you will see a “Pages feed” option on the left hand side of your homepage. ‘Pages Only’ arrives just as some companies are getting increasingly frustrated with the News Feed.

YouTube Will Pull the Plug on at Least 60 Percent of its Programming Deals
YouTube has helped fund about 160 channels as part of a new strategy to make the video sharing site more ‘TV-like.’ And just like the TV world, YouTube isn’t going to renew all of last season’s programs. This week, YouTube will start offering new contracts to some of the channel programmers/creators it signed up last year – but not all of them. YouTube will reinvest in up to 40% of its original channels when the renewal process is complete. Engagement with programming, total “watch time,” and cost will determine who makes the cut.

Facebook Tests Ranked Comments to Boost Engagement
Facebook is testing a new comment format on brand and subscriber pages by replacing the most engaging comments up higher on posts. As reported in last week’s Strat Facts, Facebook will also start allowing users to comment on other user comments. Brand Pages that are currently participating in the test (Tim Tebow & Fareed Zakaria) include ranked comments based on Likes, responses and hides. Those with the most engagement appear higher on the list.

Global Social Media

Two-Thirds of Asia-Pacific Consumers Look for Brands on Social Media
Around 66% of social media users in Asia-Pacific turn to social media to learn more about brands, products and services. Nearly two-thirds of Asia-Pacific consumers are also actively researching the positive or negative experiences of fellow social-media users at least once a week and 58% are actively seeking deals online. Brand presence on social media also affects users at point-of-sale, as around three in five users in Asia-Pacific are using their mobile phones to interact with social media – more so than the global average of 47%. Mobile social media usage was most pronounced in Singapore and Indonesia (70% and 65%). Another important trend to note: Close to half of Asia-Pacific consumers interact with social media while watching TV, slightly more than the global average of 46%. Filipino, Hong Kong, and Indonesia residents are most likely to engage in this cross-platform behavior.


Noteworthy Campaigns

NARS Cosmetics Makes Over Facebook Profiles in Warhol Tribute
NARS Cosmetics has developed a limited edition product line inspired by Andy Warhol for the holidays. The NARS Andy Warhol Collection includes a range of cosmetic products including eyeshadow palettes with Warhol’s portrait and an essentials kit packaged in a film canister. To promote the new line, NARS created a Profile Makeover App for their Facebook Page, which allows users to ‘Warholize’ their own profiles. Users can pull images from Facebook, their desktop, or take new pictures using a webcam. They can then assemble the images and templates that combine Warhol’s artistic touch and NARS branding.

Pin and Share Wish Lists Directly From the IKEA Holiday Catalogue
After IKEA introduced an interactive catalogue earlier this year, it has now launched a digital holiday catalogue that lets you click on the product and pin or share them to Facebook. You can also change the furniture and accessories on the page, or create wish lists directly from the catalogue. The ‘Celebrate Brilliantly’ catalogue is compatible across multiple devices, allowing consumer to watch videos and click through images to find additional information and tips.

Walmart Launches Goodies Co. Social-Powered Subscription Service
The @WalmartLabs unit launched Goodies Co., a $7/month box of gourmet, organic, ethnic and specialty snacks hand-selected by its own employees. Subscribers who are active enough in rating, reviewing, posting photos and otherwise and touting the products can get Goodies boxes for free. Later this month, @WalmartLabs plans a wider rollout of last year’s experimental Shopycat gift-recommendation Facebook app, to be promoted on as “Walmart Gifts.” Facebook users who download the app can use it to mine data on friends’ likes and posts to generate gift recommendations from or elsewhere.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook Experimenting With “Reply” Button On Comments
Facebook is experimenting with a reply option for comments posted to Timeline. The move would make it much easier for users to respond to individual comments left on wall posts. The news comes as Facebook is also testing a new alert notification that emits a ping sound when someone writes on your Timeline, sends you a message or invites you to an event.

Pinterest Introduces Secret Boards
This week, Pinterest introduced a “secret boards” feature which limits the visibility of pinned items only to the creator and any collaborators they might invite. Private boards may be switched from on to off one time before it becomes permanent. The major drawback is that you can’t hide existing boards because others may have already repinned from it. When you add a pin to a secret board – it won’t show up anywhere on Pinterest.

Foursquare Gives Locations a New Kind of Rating
Foursquare has launched a new ratings system to help users make better decisions about the locations they visit and give their business to. The company is now attaching a number score to locations when you find them in the Explore tab. When you are browsing, each location will show a number between one and ten. That number is an indicator of “how much people love it,” according to Foursquare. Foursquare hasn’t revealed the exact algorithm for how they get to those numbers, but we do know that it’s a combination of tips, likes, dislikes, popularity, loyalty, etc. from the nearly 3 billion check-ins from over 25 million people using the platform.

Facebook’s iPhone App Lets You Send Real-World Gifts
From the Events section of the iOS app, you can view friends who have upcoming birthdays in addition to upcoming events on your Facebook calendar. You can now send a real-orld gift, by tapping the gift icon beside his or her name. Facebook offers a number of real-world gifts that you can send or you can let your friend choose. You can send a virtual card, which you can select from several choices and personalize with with a message.

Global Social Media

Twitter Prepares to Launch Promoted Products in the Middle East
Twitter is looking to ramp up its revenue efforts in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA). Twitter will localize and target its Promoted Products in Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. MENA is one of the fastest growing Twitter regions and the product launches in this area will help Twitter expand their revenue capabilities here.

Facebook is Lobbying Europe on Unreasonable Privacy Reform
The European Commission has proposed a comprehensive reform of the EU Data Protection law, which would come into effect in the next few years. The proposal was unveiled back in January by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. A large plank of the strategy is aimed at giving EU citizens more control over their data, including granting people the right to have data companies and organizations hold on them deleted on request (aka “right to be forgotten”), and a right to have their data ported to another service. Data holders must also notify users of serious data breaches within 24-hours. The new rules will apply to companies processing EU citizen data, even if the company does not operate inside Europe. Violators of the new rules could face hefty fines. Facebook would be the main target of such a proposal and have been lobbying the Commission on key portions. Facebook has a team of lobbyists based in Brussels to try and sway the Commission to do away with items including the “right to be forgotten,” clause. Facebook has of course built their entire business around remember users and their data. Commissioner Reding hinted that she is unlikely to be swayed by Facebook (and Google) lobbying efforts.

China Blocks
The Chinese government has blocked, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Analytics, Google Drive, and many other Google services as the Communist Party of China holds the 18th Party Congress.  The latest censorship is part of a long term dispute between Google and the Chinese government going on for years. Subdomains with have all been blocked which means that websites including the search engine are not accessible. Not even an outside DNS server will help. Chinese Netizens can however find ways around the block by using a VPN or other circumvention tool. You can still access other domains for Google that do not have “.com” including Never before have so many people been affected by a decision to block a website. If Google stays blocked, many more people in China will become aware of the extend of the censorship there. It is unclear if the move is temporary or not. They could reinstate access after the congress is over.

Noteworthy Campaigns

A Photographer’s Journey Ties Travel Images to Real-World Exhibition – Curated on Facebook
Le Meridien and Air France recently launched an innovative Facebook promotion that pairs travel lust with Facebook “likes.” The promotion, titled “A Photographers’s Journey,” follows international photographer Jimmy Corhssen on a one month, ten flight journey around the world. Jimmy visited Tahiti, Bora Bora, Shanghai, Istanbul and Paris, snapping vivid images to capture the travel imagination. The best part of the campaign was the integration between the online world and off.  Facebook users are encouraged to “like” Air France and Le Meridien and participate in a 3-week voting process for their favorite images across three themes: Style, Voyage and Art de Vivre. Users can vote on up to 10 photos under each weekly theme. The most popular photos are curated into an offline traveling exhibition, premiering in NYC on December 11. The images inspire travel lust as well as integrate both Air France and Le Meridien. The Facebook application encourages social sharing and allows users to enter to win a trip to one of the locations visited by the photographer.

NBCUniversal and AmEx Join Forces for Mobile Shopping/TV Mashup
NBCUniversal and American Express have announced a strategic alliance that allows consumers to purchase products “inspired by” NBCUniversal programs directly from a mobile device, while the show is airing. Early plans are for NBCUniversal’s, to curate a list of exclusive products inspired by Bravo’s “Life After Top Chef,” E!’s “Fashion Police,” and Style’s “Tia & Tamara.” The program will use zeebox, the companion TV viewing app to provide two-screen technology that combines television and social media with commerce. Within the zeebox app, NBC viewers will get information on how to buy in-show inspired items. Plans are for each participating show to have their own page tailored to reflect its style – meaning there will be content (games, trivia, fun facts, etc.) surrounding each show in addition to purchase opportunities. The campaign includes a series of 30-second custom vignettes that will run on-air beginning this week. American Express will give card members a one-time $35 credit when they make a purchase with an AmEx card, which needs to be synced with Facebook and/or Twitter to be eligible.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Don’t Forget About “#GivingTuesday”
Following the post-Thanksgiving shopping rituals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a new celebration has been added to the roster – #GivingTuesday. This annual day of giving back to the community takes place on November 27. There is no one cause contributing to the effort. The goal: giving back together. Companies can join in and create an initiative in honor of the movement. It’s entirely up to the partner on what they choose to do.  For more information, visit the #GivingTuesday site here. Some companies participating this year include: Discover (offering a 2% match to all donations made to #GivingTuesday partners and offering to waive fees made to non-profits), Microsoft (donor matching initiative for Give For Youth),  LRN (sponsoring charitable giving activities for all employees).

Facebook Rolls Out Charitable Gifts
Facebook added a new feature to Gifts this week: the ability to make charitable contributions in honor of your friends and family. The program kicks off with 11 non-profit partners including the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of America and Livestrong. Each time you buy a charitable gift, you have the option of choosing a non-profit recipient or letting your friend choose.

Facebook Prompts Users to Share Halloween Memories
Facebook got into the trick or treat spirit this year by prompting users to share their various Halloween related information as part of their status updates. Instead of the usual “what’s on your mind?” prompt text in the status update bar, Facebook asked some users to share their favorite Halloween memories, talk about their best Halloween costumes or share their favorite scary movies.  This will likely be an ongoing feature around events and holidays in the future.

Facebook To Provide Free Wi-Fi In Exchange For Check-Ins
Facebook is testing a new service that allows local businesses to offer customers free Wi-Fi after checking in on the social network. When visitors check-in to a location on Facebook, they are redirected to the business’ Facebook page and can continue to browse the web for free. Page owners will be able to track how many new “likes” they receive from people who took advantage of this service. It is uncertain if Facebook will roll this feature out wide.

Google+ Hangouts Rolls Out New Features
Google announced this week that it is rolling out new features and updates to Hangouts. Among the new features is a new sidebar which touts key tools in one spot. The sidebar also includes frequently-used apps, but allows you to remove apps in the process. Google has also introduced colorful notifications to make it easier for users to get a sense of the message. Alerts are now highlighted in red, while actions are blue and announcements are grey.

Global Social Media

Twitter’s Global Reach Continues to Grow
Twitter began speaking Arabic in March, and now the social-media service has the sixth-most-popular website in Saudi Arabia. Twitter has become a virtual parliament in a country that has none. In Germany, Twitter is only No. 20, according to Alexa. Twitter lags two places behind geeky gadget site and seven spots behind The reason is likely because of Twitter’s 140 character limit, which some think is discouraging to Germans (due to language barriers). Twitter also added 16 additional languages including Tamil, Bengali and Kannada –  three languages common in southern or eastern India, where Twitter is no. 10.

Latin America Social Media Growth
In 2000 only 8 million Latin Americans were active online. Today that number has ballooned to 129 million regular users – more than a 1000% increase, with almost 127 million of them logging into their social media accounts once a month. The number of users differs country by country, but the upward trend has been steady across the region, led by the Brazilians followed by Argentineans and Chileans. Facebook dominates the region with 114 million unique Latin American visitors per month, spending over a billion combined hours on status updates, wall posts and photo sharing. Twitter comes in second place with 27 million (Mexico and Brazil are the top countries by usage). Millions more are using Orkut, Slideshare, Tumblr, and LinkedIn as well.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Dunkin Donuts Seasonal Instagram Campaign
A new campaign for Dunkin’ Donuts uses Instagram and Twitter to promote its special Halloween offers and mobile payments capability in the U.S. The campaign urges fans to tweet Instagram photos of their Dunkin’ Donuts cup decked out in a creative Halloween costume, using the hashtag #DresseDD for the chance to win $100 Halloween-themed Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. The gift cards tie in neatly with the themed menu items, including the “Boston Scream Donut.” Using the Dunkin’ Donut App, customers can purchase items simply by tapping their mobile Dunkin’ Donuts Card and presenting the screen to be scanned. The app’s gift application allows people to send virtual gifts by text, email and Facebook Connect, which enables fast and easy gift giving over the holiday season.

EA Takes Madden Social
Now fans can play Madden 13 virtually anywhere. EA Sports has released Madden NFL 13 Social, a free-to-play title that fans can use across platforms for Facebook and iOS. This is the first time EA has offered a full game experience across mobile and Facebook. The game offers turn-based gaming, in which each player is on offense and plays until he or she scores points or turns the ball over. Defense is played automatically. The asynchronous play allows people to start a game on their iPad and move it to a computer for Facebook.

Stats of the Week

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape. Here are some of our favorites from this past week:

Customer Service

SocialBakers defines a brand as #SociallyDevoted if they respond to at least 65% of all questions received on a social property.  Per their latest update (see infographic below for more detail):

  • Across Facebook, 70% of questions that companies receive on social media are not responded to 
  • 25% of global companies have a closed wall on Facebook
  • The average response time for companies on social media is 26 hours.

Social Channel: Facebook

  • Brands that posted (or scheduled posts) outside of business hours showed engagement rates 20 percent higher than those that posted only during business hours
  • 15% higher engagement rates for posts ending in a questions
  • 27% higher engagement rates for posts containing fewer than 80 characters

Source: ZoomSphere

Industry – Social Media Customer Service

  • 47% of all social media users have used social care, with usage as high as 59% among 18-24 year olds
  • 71% of those who experience positive social care are likely to recommend that brand to others
  • Nearly 1 in 3 social media users prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel rather than by phone

Source: NMIncite

Just for Fun

  • The first alarm clock could only ring at 4am
  • Birds don’t urinate
  • Dying is illegal in the Houses of Parliaments – This has been voted as the most ridiculous law by the British citizens