Tag Archives: China

SMWNYC: Day 1 Recap

Written by: Sarah Shapleigh
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Last week I had the privilege of attending the Social Media Week conference in New York City. It was overwhelming and enlightening at the same time, and I walked away so energized and excited about the career path that I have chosen.

“Measuring Attention and Intention, with The New York Times.”

In my first session, Michael Zimbalist, SVP Ad Products and R&D at The New York Times, discussed the evolution of digital advertising. Previously, advertising promised intention – a user action (usually a click) is a proxy for intent to purchase. Google developed AdWords, which allows you to target users based on their intentions.

Now, with the rise of video advertising and social media, digital advertising has shifted. Essentially, it has become a method to capture people’s attention. This migration from the bottom of the purchase funnel to the top has completely changed the game for digital advertising. Marketers now need to shift their focus to storytelling, leverage social marketing, and use different measures of success. Overall, Zimbalist argued that attention is a deliverable in its own right and that marketers who use content to win consumer’s attention will have a distinct advantage when the time comes for those consumers to take action.

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“From Fans to Advocates: How to Build Community and Grow #BrandLove”

The second session I attended was presented by HootSuite. HootSuite’s Jeanette Gibson, VP Community & Customer Experience, and Dr. William Ward, Director of Education Strategy, shared best practices and real-world examples of how a strong community of fans and followers can be a powerful tool in activating others to get involved and fall in love with your brand.

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Gibson started her presentation by sharing some statistics, including:

  • It costs 80% less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one
  • 25% increased engagement on community sites can result in 25% increase in revenue
  • 92% of companies view customer service as one of their top priorities
  • 60% use customer service as a competitive differentiator
  • Yet, few companies deliver an outstanding experience

In order to grow brand love, brands must leverage stories, experiences, and momentum in order to inspire fans by curating experiences and stories that surprise and delight.

Gibson then went on to break down the steps necessary to seed brand love: Relationships, Add Value, Engage Employees, Advocacy, and Insights.

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Gibson and her colleague, Dr. Ward, discussed the HootSuite Ambassador Program and how it has been helping drive their business. The HootSuite Ambassadors have the opportunity to connect with other likeminded industry leaders as well as advocate HootSuite’s products/services, share HootSuite content to their networks, provide regional insight and feedback, and create a stronger regional presence for HootSuite both online and offline. Ambassadors also strengthen the support community by providing 1:1 support in online forums and chats.

HootSuite often gamifies the experience for their ambassadors. One way they did this was by initiating a 60-day race to see which ambassador could answer the most support questions in exchange for an incentive (the most requested was a LinkedIn recommendation).

The HootSuite ambassador program is one way that HootSuite is using their existing community to spread the word and grow brand love.

“The New DIY – Drones, Makers, and Bots: A Fireside Chat with Martha Stewart and CEO of The Barbarian Group, Sophie Kelly.”

I was extremely excited to attend my last session of Day 1 – and see Martha Stewart in person. I was also interested in learning about the evolution of the DIY industry. Pinterest and Etsy have made incredible technological advances that have impacted DIY and spurred what has become known as the Maker Movement. Referred to by Fast Company as “one of the most disruptive new trends in the entire economy,” the Maker Movement has created a collaborative world where makers can access technologies to prototype, create, and iterate faster than ever before.

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Martha Stewart talked about her love of technology and how it has impacted both herself personally and her business. She emphasized, “we have to evolve as quickly as technology is evolving around us.” Her passion for technology has never wavered, from buying her first IBM computer in 1982 (with a table attached to it) to playing with her personal drone collection on her farm with her grandchildren.

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Stewart shows image of her farm taken by one of her drones

Stewart talked passionately about her American Made initiative, which spotlights the next generation of great American makers, including entrepreneurs, artisans, and small business owners. As part of the American Made initiative, there is an annual contest that invites makers from around the country to submit a homemade item that falls into one of four categories: crafts, design, food, and style. The executive editorial team at Martha Stewart Living magazine serves as category judges and Martha Stewart serves as the head judge with final say. Stewart’s American Made program drives home her view that DIY can be a painter with a paintbrush or someone with metal in their garage or a photographer with their iPhone. Stewart was clearly passionate about this program and the community of makers around the country.

When asked one thing that people don’t know about her, Stewart replied that she was one of the first investors in Google. She also invested in a home grocer company that she described as a “total flop.” However, it looks like Martha Stewart ended up just fine.

Stewart looks forward to what’s next for the Maker Movement for her brand. Her immediate plans revolve around international expansion of the Martha Stewart brand. She recently visited China, because the middle class is “100 million and growing and they need stuff, and to be able to afford it.” Providing quality products at a price they can afford will take the Martha Stewart brand to the next level.

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MakerBot 3D printer and Martha Stewart products on display

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Martha Stewart products on display

The session ended with a drone jousting tournament between Stewart and Sophie Kelly, CEO of the Barbarian Group and moderator of the session. After a valiant effort by Kelly, Stewart came out on top. As Kelly put it, “Of course you won, you’re Martha Stewart!”

See video below:

 

 

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook and Twitter Lock Horns in Post-Super Bowl Battle of the Statistics
Facebook and Twitter released a barrage of data this week to claim the title of most popular social network for spectators watching the Super Bowl. Facebook boasted that 65 million people chimed in about the game. Twitter reported 28.4 million game-related tweets, compared with 24.9 million last year.  Facebook claimed that 676,000 people per minute commented or liked someone’s comment after the game-ending interception. On Twitter, the same play generated a surge of 395,000 tweets per second.

Twitter Launches Vine Kids
Twitter recently created its first child-friendly app – Vine Kids.  The main feature is the same, six-second looping videos, but the focus is clearly for children with animated characters leading them through the experience.

Nielsen Pitching New ‘Tweets Per Impression’ Metric to Entertainment Marketers
Nielsen has begun engaging movie studios and TV networks on a new metric — tweets per impression (TPI) — that gauges the social impact of entertainment marketing efforts. TPI maps the number of impressions a commercial has on TV against the number of tweets referencing that particular impression just minutes after the commercial airs.  While TPI isn’t limited to the entertainment industry, there has been significant interest from studios, which can adjust their TV advertising plans in real time based on input from the metric.

Tweets Will Return to Google Search
Twitter has reached a deal with Google to add tweets back to Google’s search results later this year. Google previously had to crawl Twitter’s site for tweets, but now the company will provide the data directly to the search engine. As part of the new arrangement, tweets will appear in search results as soon as they are posted.

Twitter Expands Promoted Tweets
Twitter has announced plans to expand Promoted Tweets beyond its own borders. Flipboard and Yahoo Japan have signed on as the first platforms to participate in Twitter’s newly syndicated ad network.  Twitter’s syndicated ads will be seen by users within Twitter content sections on third-party properties, as well as within third-party content areas.

Global Social Media

China Tightens Its Grip on the Internet
Over the last two weeks, China has been further tightening its grip on the Internet, blocking several tools that allow users inside the country to escape and circumvent what’s popularly known as the “Great Firewall of China.” Some popular Virtual Private Networks were the latest victims of the censorship system, with many reportedly unable to use them to connect to censored websites.  Though China has always been aggressive in trying to control the Internet, this new crackdown is seen as unprecedented.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Gap Debuts Love Story ‘Micro-Series’ on Instagram
Following Gap’s noirish brand campaign from David Fincher, and quirky holiday ads directed by Sofia Coppola, the brand has launched a “micro-series” on Instagram to promote its spring collection.  “Spring is Weird” is a 12-part love story starring actor Paul Dano and “Marcel the Shell” creator Jenny Slate. The 15-second episode will roll out each week on Gap’s Instagram account. The story will also be featured on dating websites and apps. Followers of #APerfectFit will also get special offers for trying the brand’s form-fitting “Resolution Denim” featured in the series.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Twitter Introduces Audio Cards
This week, Twitter announced that it is introducing a new type of Card to your timeline: the Audio Card. The new tool lets you listen to music and podcasts directly from your timeline. The first Audio Cards will be shared by a small group of partners including NASA, David Guetta, and the White House.

Social, Digital Brands Lead 2014 Loyalty Index
Apple, Amazon, Whats App, Google, YouTube, and Kindle are the top dogs in consumer loyalty this year. In Brand Keys’ 2014 Loyalty Leaders List, an annual survey that gauges how connected consumers feel to 721 brands in 65 categories, 36 of the top 100 are new brands. Most new arrivals are around social and digital, including tablets, smartphones, and social networks. The only non-digital or non-social brand that rated in the top 20 was Dunkin’ Donuts.

Facebook Stickers are Now Available in Comments
Facebook expanded its stickers feature to comments on Timeline, Groups, and Event posts. Stickers, which are Facebook’s emoji-like icons, have been available within Messages and in the Messenger app for some time, but were not available elsewhere. Stickers in comments will work the same way – users begin with only a few stickers but can get more from Facebook’s in-app Sticker Store.

Google is Testing Video Chat with Real Doctors
Google has confirmed that it is testing a system that would offer video chats with doctors to people whose search terms involve medical symptoms. Google is paying for the feature while it’s in the testing phase. It is likely that it would be a paid feature if it is rolled out to the public at large.

Global Social Media

Global Millennials Share Ideas and Desires
According to the first-ever global “Cassandra Report,” millennials share attitudes about commerce, brand preferences, and life goals regardless of where they are in the world. The study argues that millennials are a world demographic (Global Y’s), representing half the population on earth. Seventy percent of global millennials surveyed said that they use social media as a source of news on current affairs. Seventy-five percent said that traveling the world is an important life goal. Thirty-eight percent said that they prefer to communicate with pictures instead of words (cue Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat).  This global group is three times as likely to wear socially conscious brands over luxury brands, and 40 percent are willing to pay more for products/brands that are eco-friendly (especially in China and India).

Noteworthy Campaigns

McDonald’s Launches Transparency Campaign
In an effort to gain more trust from consumers, McDonald’s is launching a transparency program called “Our food. Your questions.” The move comes as the chain battles sliding sales and works to improve perception about McDonald’s food quality, particularly among millennials.  As part of the effort, McDonald’s has dedicated a section of its website to the campaign, as well as a video series featuring former MythBusters co-host Grant Imahara as he visits multiple suppliers for the chain. In addition to the company’s website, the videos will appear on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  McDonald’s will respond to questions with behind-the-scenes webisodes and other social content that will provide facts on ingredients, how food is made, and how it’s prepared.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Snapchat Ads are Coming
Snapchat ads are coming soon, according to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. The ads will be around the company’s “stories” product and will be optional to view.

LinkedIn Now Tells You Which Actions Led to Higher Profile Views
LinkedIn is giving users better information about which actions encourage people to look at their profile page. Under the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section, LinkedIn has added a new area listing the notable actions the user has taken. This could include posting a status update, joining a group, giving endorsements, or making new connections.  The hope is that when someone the user is keen to work with looks at their profile page, the user can deduce what they’ve done to trigger it.

Pinterest Pushing New Editorial Product with First Co-Marketing Campaign
Pinterest rolled out its first co-marketing campaign this week to promote a new editorial product called Pin Picks. The site has partnered with 10 companies including eHow, Cracked, and Funny or Die, as well as YouTube star Michelle Phan. Pin Picks are topic-specific collections of Pins and Pinterest profiles that the company has been testing since August. Pinterest is raising the profile of Pin Picks with a four-week Halloween campaign, each with their own themes: horror, villains and superheroes, humor, and last-minute ideas. Funny or Die and Michelle Phan are taking part in the horror phase; comedy site Cracked will be involved in humor; and eHow’s participation will span all four themes.

Facebook Messenger has Friend-to-Friend Payment Feature
Facebook could soon allow Messenger users to send mobile payments to their friends. A Stanford University student uncovered the feature via Cycript, a tool for developers.  The payment mechanism is said to be similar to that used in Square Cash, where Messenger uses it to debit one account, and then uses some means to look up the bank account number of the recipien, and deposit it.

Global Social Media

China’s Instagram Block is Here to Stay
For years, Instagram was one of the exceptions to China’s great firewall. It remained accessible even though Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were blocked. It finally went dark in September when users began sharing photos of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. It hasn’t come back since.  Of major US-based social media, LinkedIn is all that remains, and only because the social network agreed to play China’s game. Some people who post about sensitive topics get messages that their content is banned in China and cannot be seen by members there.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Dove is Trying Snapchat for Self-Esteem Effort
Unilever brand Dove is launching an initiative with Snapchat as part of its annual “Self-Esteem Weekend.” The brand has invited women to share their insecurities via Snaps, and as the Snaps disappear they can make room for more positive thoughts. Dove will have “Self-Esteem Ambassadors” on hand to respond to girls’ Snaps and provide real-time advice and feedback. The reason for using Snapchat, according to Unilever’s marketing director, is because “having a public conversation about your self-esteem can be intimidating.”

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

YouTube has added new real-time reporting to its analytics dashboard that provides view counts down to the minute for your videos.  The new report is available for channels, groups with less than five videos, and content owners.

 

More changes are coming to Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm. When deciding which posts to show to which users, the social network will now give greater consideration to timeliness and activity-based relevancy. Facebook explains: “There are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game.” Users will now be more likely to see “trending” stories in their News Feed – but only after a “friend” expresses interest in such a story. Early testing showed that this change led to a 6% increase in post engagement.

 

YouTube this week announced that it will begin footing the bill for new videos from some of its top creators. The move is intended to help its homegrown stars produce high-quality content for their millions of fans.  More than 1 billion viewers visit YouTube every month, and daily watch time is growing at 50% annually.

 

Twitter released an internal study this week that found networks and studios that live-tweet during their popular programming can dramatically boost followers and Twitter mentions. Posting from a show’s Twitter handle, like @GameofThrones, increases total Twitter conversations by 7% during television premieres. Having a show’s cast members live-tweet is even better – increasing total tweets by 64%.

Global Social Media

Mobile commerce continues to grow exponentially in Asia. For retail marketers, that means they must develop an effective and transactional mobile presence. China is leading the way when it comes to mobile retail. A whopping 94% of those surveyed own a smartphone and regularly use it to make purchases, redeem coupons, and send gifts.

Noteworthy Campaigns

In the ’90s, Coca-Cola had a “fully-loaded citrus soda with carbos” called Surge. Internally it was developed under the moniker “MDK” or “Mountain Dew Killer.” Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, and the product didn’t last more than a couple of years. But, the soda is making a comeback (a reSURGEnce? Get it? Get it?) thanks to a Facebook campaign called “The Surge Movement,” which has 150,000 followers. Based on the demand, Coca-Cola decided to reinstate the product, selling it exclusively through Amazon at $14 for a twelve-pack (yet another sign that CPG brands are seeking more online sales). Within hours the first batch of Surge sold out.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook wants to better understand consumer thinking in an effort to serve more relevant ads in the news feed. To that end, the social network will start asking users why they choose to hide an ad as soon as that user does so. Users can select from a variety of reasons including: irrelevant, offensive, spam, too frequent, or “something else.” Taking into account the reasons why an ad was hidden, Facebook said it will show the ad to fewer people.

 

Spotify’s video ads are coming. The music-streaming service will soon roll out its video ad products for marketers, including a mobile product that lets listeners watch a video ad in exchange for a half hour without any further commercial interruption. Spotify will start testing video ads in the fourth quarter with a limited number of brands, and plans to extend them to advertisers in the first quarter of 2015. Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald’s, and Universal Pictures have signed on as the first global buyers. Kraft Foods, Target, and Wells Fargo will be the U.S. only launches.

 

In a question and answer section on Facebook, the company now describes how to set a post you’ve published to expire, a process that allows the message to disappear. The capability is only available on certain posts, currently.  This is Facebook’s attempt yet again to take on Snapchat.

 

This week, Twitter introduced its Buy Now button, a feature that allows users to make purchases directly on Twitter.com and throughout its mobile app.  The company is moving cautiously with the product, which it says will only operate in the U.S. and be seen by a “small percentage” of users. Only 26 nonprofits and musical artists were handpicked to deploy the feature, including country singer Brad Paisley, rap artists Eminem and Wiz Khalifa, and metal band Megadeth (yes, Megadeth).

 

Facebook has reached out to some of Google’s biggest content producers and encouraged them to test distributing their videos on the social network. Facebook’s push reflects a desire to become a bigger competitor in web video and get more content on its site. Right now, content creators use Facebook to promote their programming but prefer people to watch the videos on YouTube and other platforms, where they can make money through ad sales more easily.  Facebook and content creators are discovering how advertising might be incorporated into these videos. It’s likely that some sort of ad product will be rolled out by the end of the year.

 

Global Social Media

China has ordered video-streaming sites to get state approval to run foreign TV shows and films as authorities in the world’s largest Internet market tighten online control. Video sites need to register foreign TV shows and films by the end of March. Starting April 1, unregistered content can’t be shown online. This year, China barred video websites from airing four U.S. TV shows, including “The Good Wife” and “The Big Bang Theory.” The country plans to cap the amount of foreign TV programs allowed on the sites at 30%.

Noteworthy Campaigns

During New York Fashion Week, Adidas showcased their new Fall/Winter 2014 collection dubbed #NeoRunway. The event, which was the world’s first tweet-powered fashion show, was created entirely by teens.  Teens had the power to decide everything from music, lighting, and the set design to styling the fresh new looks of the models walking down the catwalk. Teens participated in the show using the in-card voting mechanic from Twitter to choose between options. NEOLovers voted for two weeks prior to the show to decide what clothing, hairstyles, and makeup the models should wear. Participants could vote right up to the last seconds of the show. In addition, a team of young bloggers were on-site, bringing the show to life across social media channels.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Twitter Tests Promoted Videos for Advertisers 
Twitter has announced a beta launch of promoted video, a new advertising option that allows advertisers to upload videos and track user engagement. Promoted video is an extension of the Twitter Amplify Program, which is a way for marketers to promote TV clips on Twitter. The new ad unit will feature many of Twitter’s recent upgrades to its video offerings, including one-tap playback.

Vevo Partners with Pinterest, Adds Pin It and Drives Referral Traffic
Vevo will start adding ‘Pin It’ to the existing share options alongside all its videos on Vevo.com and in its apps. Its music videos can also now be freely shared among Pinterest users.  The alliance is a great opportunity for Vevo to drive significant referral traffic back to its core property. Following YouTube and Vimeo, Vevo is only the third external video player to be integrated into Pinterest.

Facebook Launches Cross-Device Reporting
Being able to track campaign performance across devices has become increasingly crucial to advertisers. To that end, Facebook this week rolled out cross-device reporting for ads, allowing marketers to see how people are moving among devices and across mobile apps and the Web.  For example, an advertiser can view the number of customers who clicked on an ad on an iPhone but then later converted onto a desktop, or the number of people who saw an ad on desktop and later converted to an Android tablet.

Spotify Adds Buy Button
Spotify has added a Buy Button to its service, making it possible for its 40 million music fans to buy directly from musicians. The direct-to-fan service (BrandPage) allows musicians to link to an existing online store or build a new one in Spotify. Aside from traditional merchandise, the feature aims to create fan experiences like private online concerts, Skype chat, meet and greets, and song collaborations.

Global Social Media

China’s Weibo Ups Media Focus
Chinese microblogging service Weibo, typically known as ‘China’s Twitter,’ has just introduced video recording and direct video playback to its iOS and Android apps. This comes as a likely move by Weibo to increase user activity on its platform, amid concerns that users are spending more time on rival Tencent’s WeChat service.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Fanta Pouring Big Bucks Into Vine Video Comedy Series
Fanta, the soda brand owned by Coca-Cola, is sponsoring and co-creating a weekly digital comedy series, “Fanta For The Funny,” consisting entirely of six-second Vine videos. It’s a seven-figure campaign for Fanta, aimed at appealing to teens and young adults. The first episode of “Fanta For The Funny,” which premiered yesterday on CollegeHumor.com and across Fanta’s social and digital channels, is comprised of dozens of Vine clips depicting gags from some of the platform’s most popular personalities.  In the first episode, Fanta doesn’t actually appear in the Vine videos, though its branding is interspersed several times between segments. The series will run for six weeks.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook introduced a new feature this week called Save that lets people bookmark links, photos, and videos shared on the social network and check them out later. After users save a post on Facebook, they can pull up a new “Saved” tab to view their stockpile of time-delayed content. People will be able to save ads from their news feeds and posts from brands’ Facebook pages, like any other content on Facebook.  Advertisers will not (yet) be able to target ads to people who save ads or page posts.
Reddit’s live thread feature has been rolled out to all users. Reddit live is the site’s first project that exists primarily outside of the subreddit system that the site uses to organize topics, links, and comments.  The project had been in “semi-open beta” for a few months, and generated popular, long-running threads on Syria and Ukraine, as well as numerous smaller ones around topics like Twitch Plays Pokemon.
Expanding its native ad strategy, LinkedIn is now giving brands the ability to personalize and test content in the newsfeed without having to originate posts on their LinkedIn Company Page.  Dubbed “Direct Sponsored Content,” the service represents an expansion of the company’s Sponsored Updates product.
Starting this week, users of Foursquare will no longer be able to check-in using the app. If you want to check-in, you will need to install and use the new app Swarm. The Foursquare app will move to focus primarily on local discovery and recommendations. But the transition won’t come without a challenge. Google this week announced a new “Explore” feature for Google Maps on Android and iOS which allows users to pull up venue information near their destination and provide personalized recommendations as it learns more about you.

Global Social Media

Latin America, particularly Brazil, is continuing rapid growth in its online economy. And the boom in e-commerce is good news for Amazon. Latin America as a whole remains the world’s second fastest growing e-commerce market – only trailing behind China. And Brazil is leading the way, thanks to high internet penetration rates, a booming market for affordable mobile devices and an increasingly digital culture. Amazon raked in $475 million in web sales in Latin America in 2013, a growth in retail of over 140 percent. The Brazilian-led Latin American market was the fastest growing foreign segment for Amazon in 2013 – outgrowing Amazon’s other e-commerce markets at a rate 3.7 times faster than China, seven times faster than North America, and 8.3 times faster than Europe.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Mercedes-Benz is using LinkedIn to promote its 2015 C-Class line. This week, the luxury car brand introduced a new contest “Drive to Perform,” in which a LinkedIn user will win a two-year lease of a Mercedes C300. Unlike typical giveaways, users will not enter the contest on their own behalf, but rather will nominate someone in their LinkedIn network. In the spirit of recommendations that users contribute to one another’s profiles, Mercedes is asking LinkedIn users to nominate colleagues by highlighting their professional accomplishments and attributes in short recommendations, along with how the nominees “personal qualities meet the sophistication of the Mercedes-Benz brand.” The brand will also weigh how popular and active nominees are on social networks.

 

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Twitter Strikes Billboard Deal For Real-Time Music Stats
Twitter has struck a deal with Billboard Magazine to serve up real-time stats on the top trending music. The charts provide real-time ranking on the most-shared tracks in the U.S. during the past hour. Filters present a real-time feature to search and view the most-shared tracks in the U.S. over the past 24 hours, with a weekly summary for both Trending 140 and Emerging Artist charts. More than 1 billion tweets were sent about music in 2013. Seven of the top 10 most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians.

Facebook Cuts Down Automatic Updates in Your Friends’ News Feeds
Facebook announced this week that from now on fewer “Implicit stories” will make it into the News Feed. That’s Facebook’s way of describing automatic updates from third-party apps. From the Facebook Blog: “We’ve found that stories people choose to explicitly share from third party apps are typically more interesting and get more engagement in the News Feed than stories shared from third party apps without explicit action.”

Psy’s Gangnam Style Nears 2 Billion Views
K-Pop legend Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is nearing the two billion mark, almost double Bieber’s “Baby,” which is in second place. It is the undisputed champion of YouTube’s most watched videos list. Though music videos became a thing of the past on television, they continue to see huge success on YouTube. Twenty-nine out of the 30 most watched YouTube videos are music videos.

Global Social Media

Twitter will hit nearly 400mm users by 2018, with over 40% in Asia-Pacific. 
eMarketer has released a forecast of Twitter users worldwide and projects that the social network will have nearly 400 million users by 2018, with over 40% in the Asia-Pacific region. By the end of this year alone,  AsiaPac will account for 32.8% of all Twitter users, exceeding its 23.7% share in North America. This is despite the ban on Twitter in China, which represents the region’s largest portion of internet users. India and Indonesia are strong markets for Twitter. Both countries have seen user numbers increase by more than 50% this year, becoming the third and fourth largest Twitter populations, at 18.1mm and 15.3mm users respectively,  passing the UK for the first time.

Iranian Judge Summons Facebook CEO For Breach of Privacy
A conservative Iranian court opened a case against instant messaging services WhatsApp and Instagram while summoning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over complaints of privacy violation.  The Zuckster is unlikely to heed the summons, which is asking him to appear in court to “defend himself and pay for possible losses,” after some citizens in the region issued a complaint. On a separate note, Iran recently sentenced eight Facebook users to a combined 123 years in jail for various charges  including insulting the country’s supreme leader on the social network.

Noteworthy Campaigns

IBM Crowdsources Latest Smarter City Effort
In the latest phase of its “People for Smarter Cities” marketing push, IBM crowdsourced digital videos from around the world showcasing how residents would improve their cities. The first phase, known as “Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities,” ran last year and featured IBM-branded structures like benches, rain shelters and ramps that improved or enhanced some aspect of urban life.  This new push was done via partnership with Zooppa, a community made up of 200,000 members, including filmmakers, bloggers and environmental communities. Out of nearly 80 accepted entries, eight winners from around the world were selected. Videos covered a range of topics from repurposing empty spaces and aiding the physically challenged to spurring employment. Awards ranged from $500 to $10,000. The videos are available on the branded People for Smarter Cities site as well as through IBM social channels.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

YouTube to Run TV Ads Promoting Video Creators in 2014 Push
Next week, Google will introduce a campaign to promote three YouTube creators with ads appearing across Google-owned properties as well as TV, print and out-of-home.  YouTube’s ad campaign will highlight creators from beauty/fashion and cooking verticals – and later this year will showcase creators from other Google preferred verticals.  The three creators Google has chosen include: make-up star Michelle Phan (also a Dr. Pepper spokesperson and has a cosmetics line with L’Oreal), beauty-and-fashion vlogger Bethany Mota (also has a clothing line with Aeropostale) and baker Rosanna Pansino. Each of them have more than one million subscribers to their respective channels.

Twitter Acquires SecondSync & Mesagraph
Two social-TV companies announced they had been acquired by Twitter for undisclosed sums – France–based Mesagraph and UK based SecondSynch. The second had announced an international partnership with Facebook in January to analyze conversations about TV that take place on the social network. Facebook was looking to SecondSync to make the case that Twitter wasn’t the only medium that mattered for real-time conversations about TV happening at scale. They even published a white-paper with results learned from SecondSync’s efforts.  Now Twitter owns them. SecondSync is not commenting on their previous partnership with Facebook.

Amazon Announces Fire TV
Amazon has just announced Fire TV, an compact, streaming video set-top box that can also play games. Titles from Ubisoft, Double Fine, TellTale Games, EA, Disney, Sega, and Gameloft will be coming to the Fire TV.  The unit itself will be $99, the controller $39.99 and the average price of games will be $1.85 with free titles also available.  Video streaming services will include: Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and WatchESPN. Music services will include: Pandora, iHeartRadio, and your Amazon library.

Vine Releases Private Messaging Feature
Vine released a new private messaging feature this week. Users can now send video and text messages to one another through the app. They can record a video message, add text, and send to those in their Vine network, as well as those in their phone’s address book.

Monthly Cost of an Instagram Ad Campaign Can Approach $1MM
Much like Pinterest, Instagram is out pitching advertisers on a premium ad offering. Following the conclusion of a test late last year with ten advertisers, the photo and video sharing platform is out pitching Instagram ads at CPMs that would put a month-long buy deep into six figures and verging on seven depending on the reach and frequency sought. Quotes ranging from $500,000 to $1 million for a month have been leaked by advertisers. No rates have officially been set in stone.

Global Social Media

China Surpasses U.S. In Mobile Commerce
China leaves the U.S in the dust when it comes to embracing m-commerce. Seven out of 10 smartphone users in China have used their devices to make a purchase in the last three months, compared to only 22% in the U.S. and 13% in France.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Pepsi Ad Changes the Plot With a Click
With the World Cup just two months away, Pepsi has released a new ad that celebrates Rio and the game of soccer with a few interactive detours that gives the viewer control over the narrative. There are 11 instances in the video where a viewer’s cursor turns into a symbol. Click on it and the video launches into a vignette that you wouldn’t see otherwise. For example, at one point there is a cameo from soccer superstar Lionel Messi, who is shown reading a newspaper. If you click, the scene changes to show the crowd discovering Messi and mobbing him. If you don’t click, the scene moves on quickly and Messi picks up the paper and just continues to read it.  Watch the ad here.