Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
In the News
Twitter Rolls Out Surveys
Twitter advertisers will now get the chance to survey the users they advertise to. Twitter began rolling out the tool this week, which it will provide for free to some of its biggest advertisers and eventually offer more widely. Here’s how it works: Some users will see a tweet asking them to take a survey, and if they click on it, the message will expand within their timeline, and trigger a series of brief questions. Nielsen will work with Twitter to audit and analyze the results. Twitter hopes that it will be able to use the feature to convince advertisers that they are getting their money’s worth, and to help them tweak and optimize their campaigns.
Facebook Launches Promoted Posts for Users
Facebook just announced this week that users in the U.S. will be able to promote their personal posts to friends for a fee, effective immediately. Although testing first started in New Zealand in May, and has since rolled out to more than 20 countries, the feature is now available in the U.S. for the first time. The price to promote your news is “about $7.” This new feature has some in the industry crying foul. A recent Mashable article titled “Facebook is Rigged,” points to the fact that Facebook may start purposely hiding your updates from friends as a way to convince you to pay for them to see your updates. The article goes on to talk about how Facebook is rigging the supply of something to create inflated demand, known in economist circles as artificial scarcity.
Facebook Hits One Billion Users Worldwide
Facebook announced this week that “one billion people are using Facebook actively each month,” and released their first ad campaign in honor of the milestone. Other facts released by Facebook include: The media age of users is 22, the top five countries are Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the U.S. (not in order), and Facebook now has 600 million mobile users. One of the more amazing stats released is that there are 140.3 billion total friendships on Facebook. Which means that we each have 140.3 friends. Download the fact sheet here and check out this handy infographic here.
LinkedIn Allows You To Follow Key Influencers On The Network
LinkedIn begun allowing its members to follow companies over two years ago, giving professionals a way to easily access company updates, such as job openings, new developments, and more. But the network has not allowed users to follow individuals – until this week. LinkedIn is now allowing users to follow certain key influencers from a variety of sectors, who can broadcast their news, blog posts and more across the network. Starting now, you can pick who you want to follow from 150 of what LinkedIn calls “the most influential thought leaders.” These include Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Salie Krawcheck, Craig Newmark, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney. You can read what they are saying, like and comment directly on their posts, and share with your network. Posts from influencers also include videos, photos and slideshare presentations. Over the next few months, LinkedIn will begin expanding this list. Members who are interested in becoming an influencer, can submit their request to LinkedIn.
Global Social Media
Mark Zuckerberg Visits Russia
Mark Zuckerberg met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for 20 minutes this week, during which the two reportedly discussed the tech industry, copyright issues, and the possibility of Facebook opening up a research center in Moscow. For Facebook, Russia, with a population of more than 140 million, represents a significant growth opportunity. Facebook lags behind two other social networks in Russia – including Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki (which translates to classmates). Zuckerberg is also said to be interested in recruiting more Russian engineers to work for Facebook.
YouTube Goes Legit in Turkey
YouTube is already the number-five web service in Turkey. Now it will have to work under the fast-growing country’s laws. Turkey has successfully convinced YouTube to operate at YouTube.com.tr – which means that the video site will need to comply with the country’s own domestic laws on censorship. According to the Transport and Communications Minister, YouTube “will now be in a binding and critical position to implement court decisions and remove any objectionable publications. Furthermore, it will also pay taxes on its operations.” One issue already stated by the government: the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” video must be censored in Turkey. Turkey is not considered a wildly oppressive state, but its stance of freedom of expression has been a sticking point in Turkey’s efforts to gain European Union membership. Turkey’s online penetration surged from 15% in 2005 to 45% by late 2011. Turkey is the number three country for time spent online per user. For more on Turkey’s internet behaviors check out this presentation.
Zappos Creates Lookbook Store So Fans Can Inspire Others To Shop
Zappos is about to join forces with the social fashion site Chicisimo, a global community of fashionistas who share photos of their personal style and inspire each other. The collaboration will see the launch of a social commerce microsite where users can upload photos of themselves wearing items from brands that are featured on Zappos. The community will be able to vote for outfits they like and receive product recommendations from brands based on the fashion items they are browsing. The most inspiring looks will receive the Zappos Flower (a virtual award that is featured on the user’s Chicisimo profile) and one lucky person will be awarded a $500 gift certificate. Sign up here to get notified when the site launches.
Moe’s Southwest Grill Social & Mobile Loyalty Program
Restaurant Moe’s Southwest Grill has launched “Check-In Club,” a multi-platform loyalty program for their customers. Users register at a check-in area on Moes.com, connect to either their Facebook or Foursquare accounts, and accumulate “chips” towards earning prizes each time they check in at any of Moe’s 440+ U.S. locations across 34 states. To drive awareness, the chain ran a kickoff “Take the Queso to the Banko” sweeps, offering a grand prize of a $500 Moe’s gift card, and give $100 gift cards. The Check-In Club site features a leaderboard highlighting individual chip leaders, photos from fans, links to the chain’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and more. Since launching in August, the club has seen 127,000 check-ins in Florida, 74,000 check-ins in Georgia and 52,000 check-ins in North Carolina.
Curiosity Makes First Foursquare Check-In On Mars
Curiosity is NASA’s most digitally savvy rover yet. She tweets regularly, posts her pictures and now she is the first Foursquare user to ever check-in on Mars. Curiosity’s first check-in was this week at the Gale Crater, where she made her first landing on the night of August 5. Curiosity will continue to check-in and share updates throughout her 23-month expedition. Since Curiosity is the first to post from Mars, she will regularly give travel tips for future space tourists including: “Mars is cold, dry and rocky. Extra moisturizer and sturdy shoes would be a good idea, plus oxygen for those of you who breathe.”