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Facebook mobile advertising revenue and the ultimate selfie

Facebook mobile advertising revenue skyrockets, an iPad app takes selfies to a new dimension and more of the latest digital news.

Facebook Revenue Jumps 61% on Mobile Ad Strength

Facebook blew away investors for the ninth straight quarter with the release of their quarterly earnings report this week. Advertising revenue at the company saw a 67% year-over-year increase, with mobile advertising growing 151%. Key to their reported successes, the social network is finding ways to monetize mobile browsing worldwide and increase their share of the advertising market.

An iPad App to Make All Your Selfies Go 3D

In partnership with computer vision technology company Occipital, Itseez3D is making headway into the 3D world as the first app to turn any picture into a 3D object. With the help of a ‘Structure Sensor’ attached to an iPad, users can create virtual characters of themselves without needing an expensive 3D scanning unit. This capability opens the door to many opportunities in gaming, architecture and more.

Foursquare Reveals a New Logo and Previews Its Overhauled Discovery App

Foursquare has announced a revamp of their app, which includes a new logo, color scheme and design format. The updated mobile app will also include a “Most Popular” section, where suggestions will be sourced based on check-in data. With this update, Foursquare hopes to harness years of data to challenge location-based apps Yelp and Google.

LinkedIn Makes another Deal, Buying Bizo

The world’s largest professional network is strengthening its B2B marketing platform with the acquisition of Bizo, a company that specializes in advertising for businesses and professionals. The addition will allow LinkedIn to grow its business-to-business offering, specifically in its Sponsored Updates ad unit.

Friday5: New Social Media Features

Keeping track of all the major updates across social media can be daunting even for the most tuned-in digital people. Here to help is this week’s Friday5 looking at some of the most recent updates to the major social media platforms. These tools are great ways to help Community Managers reach and engage more of their community.

1. Twitter Amplify

Twitter’s Amplify service is moving out of the garage and into the fully-functioning real world. Historically, the Twitter Amplify service has been used by major U.S. and European TV broadcasters to share live TV clips and video content on Twitter in real-time. The paid media distribution service from Twitter has seen the most success during live televised events such as award shows and sporting events—including the World Cup. The service extends the reach beyond a broadcaster’s standard TV viewers by serving live TV content to Twitter users without leaving the Twitter app. Twitter recently announced that it’s expanding the service to more broadcasters and media companies, potentially allowing more live video content from events such as concerts or speeches.

2. Snapchat Geo Filters

Snapchat recently released a new feature on its app which allows users to add customized filters to their Snaps based on location. Currently the geo-filters only exist for popular destinations and neighborhoods in Los Angeles and New York City—a few were created for Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup. It’s unconfirmed, but speculated, that Snapchat will use this new feature as a revenue source tapping popular tourist destinations such as theme parks, sports arenas and museums to name a few.

3. iPad App Makes 3D Selfies

A partnership between Occipital and Itseez3D created an iPad app which can turn any picture from an iOS camera—with an attached Structure Sensor device—into a 3D object. Although this app isn’t specific to a particular social media platform it could create a whole new way for users to share their selfies—especially after Facebook closed the $2 billion purchase of virtual reality startup Oculus Rift. Of course there’s hundreds of applications for an app which creates 3D images beyond the self-indulgent selfies—such as mapping dimensions of a room, gaming avatars or 3D printing—but let’s be honest. Consumers want one thing: to share selfies.

4. Vine Loop Counts

Twitter’s popular micro-video sharing platform, Vine, has added a way to measure engagement and popularity of a Vine, which was previously unavailable to users and admins. The updated feature allows users on the mobile app and vine.co to view in real-time, the popularity of a Vine based on how many times it’s been looped. This is a great KPI for clients to understand the reach and popularity of their Vine beyond the standard comments and Twitter engagement.

5. Updated Tweet Activity Dashboard

Twitter already has a robust analytics platform for promoted Tweets but has recently expanded its analytics offerings to organic Tweets. Through the updated Tweet Activity Dashboard, Community Managers can now view how Tweets are performing in real-time, impressions (time a Tweet is viewed by a user), and total engagement including clicks to links and embedded media in addition to the standard Retweets, replies and favorites. The updated Dashboard can help optimize content strategy in real-time and provide up-to-the-minute metrics.

What new feature are you most excited to use?

Snapchat adds geofilters and updates from Pinterest

Snapchat adds geofilters, Pinterest revises follow feature and more of the latest digital news.

Snapchat Adds Geofilters for Quick Image Location Tags, And a New Revenue Possibility

Popular messaging platform Snapchat now offers customized image filters depending on user location. This new feature could potentially evolve into a revenue source for Snapchat, with a few geofilters featuring Disneyland and other heavily branded locations. Location services must be enabled to activate these new filters.

Pinterest Makes It Easier to Follow E-commerce Brands

Pinterest is taking another step towards creating a more brand-friendly platform. Last week, the social network announced a revision to its current “follow” feature, allowing fans to automatically follow a brand’s page without being directed to an external website. Brand pages with an existing follow button already have the feature, and those that do not can easily enable the button and feature.

Facebook Tries Being a TV Channel With New Mobile Video Player

Facebook’s recent video recommendations update aims to entice users to watch, and ultimately upload, more native video content to the platform. Currently being tested with select users, a carousel of suggested videos appears after a video is viewed on the mobile News Feed. This feature is similar to YouTube’s related videos feed, and includes only ad-free, organic content thus far.

Best Practices for Twitter Amplify

A new service from Twitter, Twitter Amplify, provides brands and media companies the opportunity to co-brand and target video content. Amplify has primarily been used as a medium for interacting with Twitter users during live events, and has taken the form of video clips with short, sponsored pre-roll ads. Ad Age shares a few best practices for the offering, such as making content relevant and being creative with how and when content is placed.

Take the Work out of Networking with LinkedIn’s New Connected App

In a move to simplify networking and strengthen relationships, LinkedIn announced the LinkedIn Connected app for iPhone last week. The app sources opportunities for users to connect with others through birthdays, work anniversaries and events. The professional network also hopes to ease the stress of networking with timely push notifications and meeting reminders.

Kanvas Goes Beyond Video Sharing With a Stop-Motion Camera

Kanvas 3.0 is setting itself apart from other media sharing apps with a unique focus: stop-motion videos. Catering to a young and creative audience, the app offers the ability to create mashups of text, video, stickers and music. Kanvas has a predominantly young audience, with 72% of users being under the age of 24.

Friday5: The #WorldCup Happened on Twitter

We all got a kick out of the #WorldCup, and Twitter showed it. As the FIFA World Cup excitement unfolded in Brazil, it also played out on the social media platform in a big way: fans across the globe discussed every exhilarating and emotional moment as it happened.

After all of the 64 thrilling matches, including Sunday’s dramatic final, Twitter compiled the numbers and released some pretty impressive-sounding statistics to illustrate just how massive the conversation has been since the start of the World Cup on June 12.

1. There were 672 million Tweets sent related to the 2014 #WorldCup

Whether fans were discussing the latest injury or reacting to a big goal, the crowd came to Twitter to discuss the games 672 million times, making it the highest number Twitter’s announced related to an event; it’s hard to compare the 32-day, 64-match World Cup to, for example, the single-game Super Bowl, the one-night Oscars, or the 16-day Olympics.

2. Fans shared the most during the Brazil vs Germany semi-final match

While fans were discussing the drama of the games every minute of every day, conversation really took off during each live match, as expected. Specifically, during the semi-final between Brazil and Germany fans sent more than 35.6 million Tweets, making this a new Twitter record for a single event.

Top three most-tweeted matches:

  • Brazil vs. Germany on July 8: 35.6 million Tweets
  • Argentina vs. Germany (World Cup Final) on July 13: 32.1 million Tweets
  • Brazil vs. Chile on June 28: 16.4 million Tweets
3. Fans sent 618,725 Tweets per minute when Germany won the #WorldCupFinal

To no one’s surprise, three of the top five most-tweeted moments occurred during Brazil’s depressing 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany on July 8, while the other top moments came in the final match. Below are the top five moments that generated the highest peaks of conversation, measured in Tweets per minute (TPM), during the entire tournament:

  • Germany defeats Argentina to win the World Cup Final on July 13: 618,725 TPM
  • Germany’s Sami Khedira scores goal assisted by Mesut Özil in July 8 semi-final vs. Brazil: 580,166 TPM
  • Germany’s Mario Götze scores game-winning goal in World Cup Final on July 13: 556,499 TPM
  • Germany’s Toni Kroos scores his second goal of July 8 semi-final match vs. Brazil: 508,601 TPM
  • Germany’s Toni Kroos scores, bringing the score to 3-0 in the July 8 semi-final match vs. Brazil: 497,425 TPM
4. Brazil’s Neymar Jr. was the most mentioned player

Brazil’s Neymar Jr. and Argentina’s Lionel Messi were the most mentioned players on Twitter during the World Cup. Coming in third place was Uruguay’s Luis Suárez due to the infamous biting incident rather than his fútbol skills.

5. The conversation around the World Cup has truly been global

The World Cup lived up to its name with the Twitter conversation reaching nearly every country across the globe. Click here to see a map of how the games have played out on Twitter, with the entire tournament in 60 seconds, from beginning to end. You can also explore individual games too with Twitter’s maps for each match.

While the month-long celebration of the World Cup is over, there’s plenty more to discuss – and Twitter is making sure to remind users that it’s a great place to engage in conversation around real-time events as they’re unfolding. The World Cup proved just that.

To learn how to implement best practices for your own sports-related clients, visit Twitter’s Sports Media page.

Image credit: alobos Life

Friday5: Facebook Organic Reach Q&A

On June 5, Facebook addressed widespread frustration from brands who have seen a significant decline in organic reach via a Q&A on the topic authored by Facebook Head of Ads Product Marketing Brian Boland. In this edition of Friday5, we analyze Facebook’s core answers and provide some additional perspective.

1. Why is organic reach declining?

Facebook’s answer is two-fold. First, mobile technology created an explosion of content from everyone (users and brands), which leads to the second reason: increased competition for space in users’ News Feeds. Per Facebook, there are an average of 1,500+ pieces of content vying for only 300 available slots in the News Feed. To rise above the noise, brands need to approach Facebook with a strategic approach that starts with content (and includes paid support).

2. Why not just show everything — every piece of content from every friend and Page — and let people decide what they want to see?

Some social platforms (e.g., Twitter), offer real-time content through a constant ticker. Facebook has always been different. The Facebook News Feed is dynamic and evolves based on user habits.

Facebook is built around trying to serve people content they want to see. Many debate the effectiveness of Facebook’s algorithm, but in general this is more likely to be content from friends than brands.

3. Is organic reach dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money?

Facebook’s answer is no. They argue that they make such changes to protecting its users.

That may be, but creating the best possible user experience is how Facebook makes money in the long run. Facebook attracted over a billion users by giving its users what they want (more often than not). As marketers, it’s important to understand that:

  • Facebook is a business. They know that giving brands priority in the News Feed is the most effective way for them to monetize the platform.
  • Social media is growing up – paid is no longer a nice-to-have, but is rather a critical component for elevating your top content (and not just on Facebook).
  • Facebook users care more about their friends than brands. No one is petitioning Facebook to see more ads.
4. Is Facebook the only marketing platform that’s seen declines in organic reach?

Facebook cites search engines as examples of platforms where organic reach declined as they matured. It’s important to understand that Facebook’s success isn’t just about organic reach anymore:

  • Organic reach does not always equal engagement. Facebook prides itself on crafting a delivery algorithm that delivers to those likely to engage rather than simply everyone.
  • Other platforms may offer greater ability to reach new people organically. YouTube and Twitter are examples. Instagram is probably the hottest for organic engagement on brand content right now.
  • Facebook is improving tools for brands to go deeper and be smarter when delivering content.
5. OK, there’s more content now. But what’s the value of having more people like my Page? I paid good money for my fans on Facebook, and now I can’t reach as many of them.

Facebook’s answer: Fans have value because they make ads more effective and cheaper, they give you insights about your customers, and they give you credibility via social context on ads.

Facebook’s answer is part of the story, but there’s more:

  • Fan acquisition should not be an umbrella objective in most cases.
  • A Facebook “like” is not equivalent to an email subscription.
  • Facebook is getting better at tracking deeper metrics. Brands need to move beyond fan counts, and even engagements (likes + comments + shares), to focus on deeper metrics like conversion, purchase, etc.

Facebook and all social media will continue to change and evolve rapidly. Change will create challenges for brands, but also new opportunities to communicate in more targeted, more innovative and more effective ways.

How does your team respond to changes in social platforms?

Photo credit: Bethan

Facebook changes their video algorithm and Twitter experiments with “retweet with comment”

Facebook changes their algorithm for videos, Twitter tests their new “retweet with comment” feature and more of the latest digital news.

News Feed FYI: Showing Better Videos

On Monday, Facebook announced a few changes to their algorithm that will affect how videos are weighted on a user’s Timeline. Metrics including how long a user has watched a video, engagement and views will now be considered. As a result of this algorithm, users who engage with videos and have a longer viewing duration will be exposed to more video content. Luckily, Facebook has recently started providing more detailed data around their native videos, including average view duration. The algorithm will affect videos uploaded directly to Facebook and could result in externally sourced content (such as YouTube) being less favored.

Twitter is Experimenting with a New Way to Retweet

Twitter’s 140-character limit is the best and worst thing about the platform, so they’re changing things up. They are currently developing a new way of retweeting that will allow users to share more of their thoughts with the original tweet. The new “retweet with comment” feature will give users the ability to retweet the original post with enough room to add in their own words. Twitter is currently testing the new feature but has not shared plans for the feature.

YouTube Announces Translator, Tip Jar and Other Goodies at VidCon

At VidCon, the premier gathering for online video enthusiasts, YouTube announced a series of new features for both video creators and viewers. Creators will soon be privy to a crowd-sourced translation capability, an analytics and channel management mobile app, a sound library and more. YouTube fans, in turn, can support their favorite creators through interactive cards and a virtual tip-jar. These features, which will be available in the coming months, will allow for creating ease and higher business growth within the channel.

Introducing Daily by Buffer: Content that’s Easy to Find, Easy to Share—Wherever You Are

Previously featured on Digital Dice, Buffer introduces another feature to its content-scheduling platform: Daily. The new iOS app opens up the opportunity to post creative content from outside sources directly onto their social channels. Content is curated by Buffer and includes popular topics among its current users: marketing, inspiration, business and startups, lifehacking, design and “Buffer picks.”

Yahoo Rolls Out a New Ad Program, Prime View. Here’s How It Works

Yahoo is staying competitive in the world of online advertising by introducing Prime View, a new option that will charge advertisers for display ads that receive real face-time with users. This is Yahoo’s step towards giving advertisers more of their money’s worth and could result in bringing in more clients, as advertisers have the option to choose between view-guaranteed impressions and standard impressions.

Five Things PR Students Must Do to Succeed in the “Real World”

We spend a quarter century of our lives – maybe even more – training, conditioning, and educating ourselves to be self-sufficient, hopefully even productive, members of the “real world.” That’s a great deal of time and energy that, if used effectively, can lay the groundwork for success.

Over the past three days, some of the most successful people in the PR and media industry, along with some of the most esteemed educators, came together at the 2014 Academic Summit in Chicago to discuss how to teach and prepare the next generation of PR pros to be the future leaders of our industry.

So for those who are still in training, hoping to make it in the world of PR: listen up. Here are five key takeaways from the #2014AcademicSummit:

1. Don’t be Afraid to Take Risks

Platforms for communication are changing at an exceptional rate; PR professionals can’t just keep doing what’s been done before. We need to adapt and innovate, be willing to experiment and take chances. As Richard Edelman instructed in his speech yesterday, come up with “ideas that challenge conventional wisdom.”

2. Think Outside the “PR” Box

Diversifying your skills and understanding related disciplines is essential. Over the past year, Edelman hired over 1,700 people worldwide. Richard Edelman explained that many of these new hires had never worked in PR before. We heard from a few of them at the Academic Summit, such as Chris Paul, covering paid media, and Tyler Gray, discussing the Creative Newsroom.

3. Pay Attention and Participate

How often do you hear about a new popular app or the latest update to Twitter? These changes are happening constantly and the only way to keep up is to not just pay attention, but participate. Test out new features, experiment on new platforms. When asked what quality is most valuable in an entry level candidate, one panelist from a leading tech brand answered simply, “curiosity.”

4. Learn How to Tell Impactful, Relevant Stories

The official theme of the Academic Summit is “Storytelling @ The Speed of Now,” so it’s no surprise that effective storytelling was a recurring topic of conversation. From telling stories of a brand or corporate character to empowering employees to share their own stories, finding the emotion to bring a story to life is key.

5. Build Your Personal Brand

Yesterday, Yumi Wilson of LinkedIn* (disclosure: Edelman client), spoke about the importance of building your social presence. Even just having a picture makes people 14 percent more likely to click on your profile; but keep it professional, Yumi advised—no selfies. How you represent yourself online reflects your personal brand, so use your social channels to portray your brand appropriately.

What do you believe incoming PR professionals need to understand to succeed?

*Edelman Client

**Please note, there will be no Friday5 next week July 4 due to the Independence Day Holiday.

Welcome to the Era of Surround Storytelling

Picture this: You wake up. You check your phone. You take it to the bathroom. (Yes, you do.) You see an Instagram of a hat. You like it. Or heart it. (Whatever that little icon means.) You go outside. You see a giant ad on the side of a bus. It’s a picture of a hat. It says, “Next Stop, Your Head.” You turn the corner and you see a truck. What’s it selling? Hats (of course). You follow it on Twitter, where a profile of a hat informs you it’s been “throwing shade since 2013.” LOL, hat truck, LOL. At work, you click on a list of “100 Bald Guys Who Can Still Look Cool in Hats.” You’re a bald guy. Should you get a hat? At home, you watch a video about how to measure your head. On TV, Pharrell shows up in a 10-gallon number that looks like he’s packing a fruit basket. Let’s face it: you’re surrounded.

This is a content tornado, where anyone, anywhere, at any time can be hit with branded content. For the consumers, marketers and bald guys alike, it can be a little overwhelming.

How exactly do we show up differently and tell a brand story that still makes sense in this incredibly windy, fragmented environment?

1. Find your code. 

With so much content flying around, it’s easy to lose your hat altogether. When you ground the storyline of your brand in a word, phrase or idea that stems from its DNA, you can ensure your message stays coherent, even when you can’t see where, when or how it will land. For a brand like AXE*, the code might be “confidence.” Every piece of content produced should then ladder back to the story of finding the essence of confidence from within.

2. Embrace the butterfly. 

Remember the butterfly effect? The idea that a small action in the right conditions can produce a huge reaction is even more powerful in the content tornado. In our interconnected world, timing is everything. For example, when Pharrell wore a giant hat at the Grammys, Arby’s social media team jumped on the moment and tweeted that they wanted their hat back, a move that made Pharrell - and the media – tip their hat.

3. Resist perfectionism. 

You wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t seem human and the same is true for brands. In social media, authenticity is the name of the game. Little imperfections can make your story more organic, fluid and real. Don’t be so perfect, precious and careful about every story you’re telling, or your brand could end up on the Condescending Corporate Brand Page.

The always-on content tornado is giving all of us an incredible opportunity to connect and learn from our audiences in completely new ways. An agency that steers the storyline between a brand and its consumers must create programs that remember the code, deploy many different types of content at the correct time and inject humanity and purpose into every story they tell – developing a creative network that’s fast, flexible, porous and diverse. If not, you’re just creating a Pinterest board full of hats.

*Disclosure: AXE is an Edelman client.

This article was collaboration between Jimmie Stone, executive creative director of Edelman NY and Kendra Eash, senior copywriter at Edelman Digital NY

Image credit: Bob Mical

Facebook launches Snapchat competitor and Twitter expands offerings for live media partners

Facebook launches Snapchat competitor, Twitter expands offerings for live media partners and more of the latest digital news.

Facebook Launches Snapchat Competitor Slingshot, for Real This Time

On Tuesday, Facebook officially launched Slingshot, a Snapchat-like app for sharing disappearing messages. The app differs from Snapchat primarily because it requires users to reply with a message before they’re able to unlock messages from friends. Slingshot accounts are tied to cellphone numbers, and do not require Facebook accounts for use.

Twitter Acquires SnappyTV to Expand Offerings for Live Media Partners

In an effort to extend the toolset it offers to live content producers, Twitter has acquired SnappyTV, a service that allows users to edit and share clips in near real-time from live broadcasts. SnappyTV has provided Twitter with highly shareable broadcast content in the past, and this acquisition will allow this type of content to be directly embeddable in Tweets. Clients of SnappyTV include Fox, Nascar and TechCrunch.

Snapchat Lures Brands with New Customized Photo Filters

Snapchat is becoming more brand-friendly with two new features: customizable photo filters and an ability to include a brand logo. The popular messaging app has also announced a group sharing tool specifically for concerts and other live events called Our Story, which uses geo-location to allow event attendees to share snaps collectively.

What Are The Right Competitive Metrics To Measure For YOUR Business On Instagram?

Simply Measured shares a handful of tips for establishing metrics to measure brands’ Instagram presence. Tips include determining and keeping a close eye on competitors, identifying top cities for engagement and more.

Friday5 | What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet argues—more or less—that a name is nothing more than a convention to identify a person, or more broadly a noun. A rose by any other name still retains the sweet smell of a rose, right? But in today’s world a name has a little more weight and could mean the potential to lose millions of dollars in trademarked merchandise—just ask the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The well-established sports team had its trademark protection canceled this past week when the U.S. Patent and Trademark office revoked it, calling the team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.” Although the team and NFL plans to appeal the decision, it raises the question: “What’s in a name?”

This week’s Friday5 looks at what it means to have an established name and the consequences that may follow.

1. A Name is an Identifier

First and foremost, a name identifies a brand, product or service on the market. The identification aspect is the most important reason to secure a brand name. Unfortunately for the NFL team, the team name is considered a racial slur. When selecting a brand name, or even campaign name, it’s important to remember how it will be identified by most or even some.

2. A Name Carries Meaning

A brand is a set of associations that one has related to a person, place, product, service, or pretty much anything else. Despite the team’s performance and championships, its name’s reputation as a racial slur is finally catching up to the team after 82 years. When creating a brand name or even campaign name it’s crucial to understand the name’s connotations and denotations locally, regionally and even nationally.

3. People are Familiar with a Name

Unfortunately for Washington’s NFL team they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place: the proponents of the name change versus the die-hard fans. The die-hard fans are familiar with, and loyal to, the current name, while critics primarily understand its derogatory nature. No matter which way team owner Dan Snyder and the NFL go, they’ll anger one side or the other. It comes down to the decision of how the owners want to be remembered and what they stand for.

4. A Name has Heritage

Most names evoke a sense of history and legacy. Generations will very often pass along an affinity for purchasing a certain brand or cheering for one team. The children of these children see nothing wrong with rooting for this team because they have history with the name. However, in parallel, families have grown up knowing that a specific term holds its own derogatory heritage. Again, Washington’s NFL team has run itself into a corner.

5. A Name has Investment

Washington’s NFL team made significant investments in its name for decades with relatively little resistance. However, as Bob Dylan once said, “the times they are a-changin’.” Activists’ voices are being heard and public opinion is shifting toward their support. The NFL team may have to consider its options and evaluate the long-term investments in its name. Although Snyder plans to appeal the cancelation of its trademarks it’s clear that they’ve lost the public opinion. They risk seeing millions of dollars in knockoff merchandise being sold at half price, as they perhaps consider cutting losses and investing anew by changing its brand.

At the end of the day, everyone must ask themselves, “What’s in a name?” Of course, it’s never ideal to change a well-established name but, when push comes to shove, it might be best option to give ground and acknowledge the shift in public opinion.

What does a brand name mean to you?

 

Photo courtesy of Jack Doresy

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