Tag Archives: WeChat

2015 Will See The Rise Of Dark Social

Written by: Tom Edwards
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dark-social

Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, emails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat, and WhatsApp.

A majority of focus today is on social broadcast platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With the tides shifting toward ephemeral social communication applications as a key driver of sharing, the attribution data of the share — and all of the value that comes with it — is essentially untapped and, in some cases, simply unknown.

According to a recent Radium One study, 59 percent of all online sharing is via dark social. Furthermore, a whopping 91 percent of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods. This study also showed that 72 percent of sharing is simply users copying and pasting long URLs and either emailing or texting the information.

There are a significant number of conversations — and more importantly, potential intent— from a marketing perspective that are simply being ignored and untapped. Currently, there’s an over-reliance on retargeting. Dark social could represent an opportunity to bring balance to the equation.

What makes cracking the code with dark social in 2015 even more paramount is the sharp rise in adoption of ephemerally charged, socially-centric communication apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Kik. The convergence of social and mobile is here and the percentage of content shared through dark social will continue to rise at an exponential rate in 2015.

A few pioneering brands have incorporated sharing functionality with the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has over 400 million users sending 50 billion messages a day. FTW, a USA Today sports site, introduced a WhatsApp sharing button to its mobile experience recently, and almost immediately saw shares from WhatsApp climb to 18 percent of the site’s overall sharing activity. Furthermore, 53 percent of shares came from “dark social” vs. 47 percent through traditional social mechanisms.

Snapchat, another ephemeral application, is the fastest-growing social app heading into 2015. With a user base of 100 million active users, 60 percent of whom engage with the app 22 times per day, Snapchat represents another dark social platform that should be considered in 2015. This is especially true with the upcoming strategic partnership model that will incorporate multiple media outlets into the platform. This will convert the experience to include more content from external networks and publishing partners.

And there’s Wechat, with a global audience of 600 million users, 180 million outside of China. It is the fifth most-used smartphone app worldwide. All of these essentially represent the next wave of dark social that will quickly raise dark social sharing’s current percentage of 59 percent of total sharing even higher in 2015.

Outside of the applications listed above, there are many more that are growing quickly, including Kik. Even Apple’s AirDrop is being used to share images and messages with school-age kids.

And there are more on the way — hybrids of the hybrids — like Mark Cuban’s Cyber Dust, which essentially combines elements of WhatsApp and Snapchat, boasts high levels of privacy and security, and is, as Cuban recently commented,  “troll-proof.”

Moving forward, there are ways to begin building a dark social strategy. In addition to simply relying on URL-shortened links, brands can employ advanced Google Analytics against long-form links.

It’s also important to consider what integration options are available from the social communication providers themselves, the type of data and analytics available, and how these will be aligned with existing measurement framework.

Taking these steps will ensure that while we’re testing and learning, we can begin to formulate how these platforms will go from experimental to a reliable part of the marketing mix.

Understanding how content is shared when not immediately visible will be a key metric in 2015. Dark social is on the rise, and the more we can harness its power, the faster we can build connections and leverage intent to drive conversions.

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 Updates Design For Business Pages
Only days after debuting a new look for the News Feed, Facebook this week began rolling out an updated design for brand Pages. Among the changes, all posts now appear on the right-side column of the Timeline, so all updates appear the same on a brand’s page and in the News Feed. The left-hand column will feature information about a company’s business, including a map, hours of business, phone number and website, as well as photos and videos. Also noteworthy –  Tabs are now hidden behind the “More” option, which is yet another step towards Facebook’s quest to focus entirely on the News Feed. Apps are still present but are featured on the left-hand side and are much less prevalent.

Tumblr Lets Bloggers Dial-In to Add New Content
Tumblr’s latest feature allows you to call a toll-free number and record a short audio message that becomes your latest blog post. The feature is easy to use – just add a telephone number to your Tumblr settings that you want to be able to record a message, and then dial 1-866-584-6757. As soon as you hang up, the message will get posted to your Tumblr account. Watch the fun video explaining how it works here.

Facebook Introduces 15-Second Video Ads
Facebook just introduced 15-second video ads, which will start playing without sound as they appear on screen and stop if you scroll pass. If you tap the video, it will expand into full screen view with sound. Users can expect to start seeing these ads over the next few months.

Pinterest Debuts Gifts Feed
Aiming to boost e-commerce activity, Pinterest this week introduced a new Gifts Feed showcasing all things that users can buy through the platform. This feed only shows Product Pins and includes pricing and availability details. The new feed also indicates price range through a system of one to four dollar signs.

Google Changes Search Results
Google is rolling out a new design of search to desktop users that includes changes to both organic search results and ads. The new design removes underlines, increases font size and changes the way ads are labeled in search results. Google’s AdWords-targeted ads no longer have the pink shading. Instead they are preceded by a small yellow box labeled “ad.”

Vine’s Hottest New Trend: #Whaling
Vine stars are looking to get in on the platform’s newest trend: #whaling. Whaling has even enticed news anchor teams to join in. Much like planking, whaling involves contorting your body into a shape resembling a real-life creature: in this case, a whale. More specifically, a breaching whale.

Global Social Media

China’s Sudden WeChat Crackdown
The social networking app, WeChat, also known as Weixin in China, fell victim to a very abrupt and unexpected crackdown this week, with dozens of politically active accounts deleted. Politically active users driven from censorship on Weibo, are finding the relative oasis of WeChat not as safe from the government as previously thought. Some of the squashed accounts had hundreds of thousands of followers. Some new sources were also shut down.  WeChat is slowly approaching the 300 million user mark, but if censorship like this continues, it may have a huge impact on the app. China’s crackdown on Weibo resulted in a 10% decline in users last year.  37% of those users that left Weibo flocked to WeChat.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Starbucks Begins Testing Mobile Orders, Payments
Starbucks plans to begin testing a service that lets customers place orders ahead of time via smartphone at some of its U.S. stores later this year. The coffee giant plans to let customers choose coffee or food while inline or before entering an outlet through the Starbucks mobile app. The step would build on Starbucks’ mobile payments business and loyalty program. The company currently processes almost 5 million mobile transactions a week through its payments app, which boasts 10 million monthly active users.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $16 Billion
Facebook just spent $16 billion to acquire WhatsApp, spending $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock. WhatsApp is a text-messaging replacement app that lets you send messages to any of your contacts as long as you know their phone number. It is similar to BlackBerry Messenger and iMessage in that it lets users bypass their carriers SMS to avoid texting fees. WhatsApp is one of many similar services, but it’s the most popular with 450 million active users. Chinese competitor WeChat has 270 million active users and Japan’s Line recently surpassed 300 million users.

Facebook Expands Ad Targeting Options
Facebook unveiled deeper ad targeting options this week.  The updates are specifically to the four main targeting categories, which include: Location (marketers can now build campaigns around any combination of geography allowing retailers to show ads to people who live near a brick and mortar location); Demographics (new choices include updates to relationship status, people who have gotten engaged, job title, etc.); Interests (now simplified to allow marketers to just select from one segment rather than multiple); and Behaviors (target by people’s offline and online activities and purchases).

LinkedIn Expands Publishing Platform
LinkedIn members will have the ability to post and distribute long-form content as the professional networking site extends its publishing platform to all users. Members will now be able to publish longer posts to their pages and share those posts with their connections and followers. Others outside a member’s network can start following them from their posts as well. The capability launched this week with 25,000 English-speaking users. It will eventually be rolled out to all users.

YouTube Rolls Out Desktop Redesign
YouTube is starting to roll out the latest redesign to its web interface, while also adding new features to enhance the video-streaming experience. The design is now a center-aligned look, which helps it fit more neatly on screens of all sizes. The desktop version is moving towards looking similar to YouTube’s mobile apps. Updates also include enhancing playlist elements, and allowing users to quickly flip between what’s recommended and popular in ‘what to watch’.

Global Social Media

Ustream Launches Non-Profit Program to Support Citizen Journalism in Ukraine
As demonstrations in Kiev turned into chaos this week, some of the most striking photos came from citizen journalists. Part of this is because Ukraine has cracked down on traditional media. The country’s opposition friendly Channel 5 has reportedly been shut down, making the Internet the only source for many Ukrainians. Because Ustream is frequently used by Citizen Journalists in both Kiev and elsewhere, the company decided to launch its own non-profit program dubbed “Ustream for Change.” With it, Ustream plans to provide free access to its ad-free enterprise streaming services to citizen journalists around the world. The company will also promote the live streams and provide technical support.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Pepsi Integrates Vines into Outdoor Ads
PepsiCo is including user-generated Vine videos in outdoor ads in what it claims to be a “media first.” Pepsi Max is encouraging fans to submit something “unbelievable” they’ve done on Vine using the hashtag #LiveForNow. Select fans will be featured on outdoor screens across the UK starting this month.

Burberry Creates a Custom Fashion Show For Fans Via Instant Messages
British luxury brand Burberry teamed up with WeChat, one of China’s most popular messaging platforms, for a series of branded creative collaborations throughout the year tied to their runway shows. The partnership lets fans customize their runway show experience by allowing them to unlock special WeChat only-audio content, access exclusive details about the inspiration behind the collections, and follow VIP guests during their experience at the show.  The first output of the collaboration was the Burberry Autumn/Winter 2014 womenswear show on WeChat. Burberry followers were able to create personalized AW14  Runway Made to Order plaques through a single text. Fans were also able to follow guests at the show and received exclusive messages, videos and audio from show VIPs.

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 we thought we’d share with you from this past week:

Platforms

  • Facebook is currently making $0.80 per mobile user each quarter, up 60% from Q1 this year – Source
  • Nearly 20% of American adults use Twitter – Source
  • Vine has 40 million users, up 200% since June – Source
  • China’s WeChat has 100 million users outside of China – Source
    • If you’ve never heard of WeChat, click here.

Industry
P&G spends 25-35% of its marketing budget on digital.  Source
Mobile phones account for 17% of global traffic – Source
20% of Americans don’t use the internet at home – Source

Just for Fun
China tracks their rural population based on the “Pickle Index”  Source
32,300,000,000,000,000 – That’s 32 Quadrillion – shots that have been fired in the video game Call of Duty in the last 10 years. Source

 

Headlines & Stuff

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

Twitter Says Tweets Boost CPG Sales
According to new research from Datalogix, Twitter can help lift offline CPG sales. Twitter asked the company to conduct studies for 35 CPG brands measuring the impact of organic and paid Twitter activity across beverages, food, wellness, household products and alcohol. Among the key takeaways, users who engaged with a brand’s Promoted Tweets bought more from that brand than an identical control group, resulting in a 12% average sales lift.

Facebook Testing PayPal Rival for Mobile App Purchases
Facebook will attempt to give in-app commerce on the platform a boost with an upcoming mobile payment system. The company plans to test a new payments product that would allow online shoppers to make purchases on mobile apps using their Facebook login information.  JackThreads, a men’s clothier, is the pilot partner for the effort.

Advertise Your Facebook Post Within 24 Hours or Don’t Bother
If your brand just posted a status on Facebook, don’t waste time waiting to amplify it with an ad buy. If you don’t do so within 24 hours, you will likely lose a great deal of the engagement and viral impressions that would have been generated by posting earlier according to a new study.

Facebook Partners with Open Table
Facebook this week, announced partnering with OpenTable to allow users to make restaurant reservations through their mobile devices. Starting this week, U.S. users of Facebook iOS and Android apps can visit a restaurant’s Page and book a direct reservation.

Twitter Teams with Viacom to Sell Its Ads to VMA Sponsors
Viacom wants to turn buzz-generating moments from the MTV VMAs into new ad impressions for sponsors and is teaming up with Twitter to make it happen. The two companies are selling packages or Promoted Tweets to five sponsors including Unilever and Pepsi, which will see their brands attached to videos posted to Twitter before, during and after the 8/25 broadcast.

Global Social Media

WeChat Surpasses 100 Million User Accounts Outside China
Messaging service WeChat announced that it has surpassed 100 million registered users outside of China, double the figure from just three months ago, as its International presence grows due to aggressive global marketing. WeChat has already been well-received in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. In July 2013, it became the most downloaded app in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Facebook Fans Determine Design For Limited Edition Porsche
More than 54,000 Facebook fans became responsible for designing a special edition Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. The social design process happened as a celebration of the German automobile manufacturer reaching 5 million fans on Facebook. After putting features and specifications to a vote, the end result was a Facebook blue 911 with black and white racing stripes. The doors also feature the words “5m Porsche Fans” and an aluminum dashboard displays the phrase “Personally built by 5 million Porsche fans.”

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook to Acquire Atlas from Microsoft
Facebook has agreed to acquire the Atlas Advertiser Suite from Microsoft. Atlas is said to be a leader in campaign management and measurement for marketers and agencies. Facebook hopes that Atlas will provide their customers with the much needed tools to let them see how effective their spend is across online channels.

Google Said to Be Developing Subscription Music Service
Google plans to start a subscription music-streaming service to challenge Spotify. Negotiations are underway with major record labels to license their music. Google is also discussing renewal deals that cover the use of songs in videos for YouTube. The worldwide service is targeted for a third quarter start.

Foursquare Adds Credit Card Specials
Foursquare is allowing members to link their Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards to their accounts, to redeem money-back specials from participating merchants. The company will pocket a fee for every credit redemption it processes. This week’s announcement marks the first significant expansion to their credit card specials program, which Foursquare launched exclusively with American Express two years ago.

Facebook Showing Off ‘New Look’ For News Feed March 7
Facebook has invited reporters to its Menlo Park headquarters on March 7 to take a look at its new News Feed. A redesigned version of Timeline is already being tested in New Zealand, which features a new look for the toolbar at the top of the screen, a new About widget below your profile picture, and moves Timeline navigation to the top right of the Page.

Global Social Media

China’s Fast-Growing ‘WeChat’ Shakes Up Weibo
Weibo, China’s version of Twitter was the hot place to be as recently as last year. Now, marketers are clamoring to engage with WeChat and the 300 million users it has amassed in just two years. WeChat is a mashup of several existing applications, with fun features like “Shake Shake” and “Drift Bottle.” WeChat users trade text, audio and video messages with friends over mobile-data networks. There’s a popular group-messaging function and newly unveiled live chat capability. Photos can be posted on an Instagram-like “Moments” Page, while “Look Around” identifies other WeChat users nearby. There is also a QR-code reader. Brands including Durex, Nike, Intel and Starbucks are currently using the platform to reach consumers.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Oreo  Ramps Up YouTube Efforts
Oreo released a YouTube video this week that shows physicist David Neevel and his Oreo separator machine. Neevel – who is reportedly a physicist and copywriter, is featured in the first series of videos that Oreo plans to release displaying inventors’ solutions to solve the age old problem of twisting an Oreo apart to get at the crème filling. It’s an expansion to the “Cookie vs. Crème” campaign which Oreo launched on Instagram around the Super Bowl. The original campaign urged people to share photos, some of which were selected and turned into sculptures by a team of artists in Portland, Ore., using either cookie or crème. In this new portion of the campaign, Oreo will post videos to YouTube over the next two weeks that show high-tech robotic ways to eat the snack. Neevel’s is the first of four videos from Oreo lovers whose inventions that Oreo will post.