#TheStream – Issue 3

Welcome to this week’s #TheStream! A day later than normal due to the Easter Bank Holiday, but considering the big news on Monday that’s not such a bad thing. Now grab a cup of your chosen beverage, sit back and enjoy our break down of the past 8 days in social, tech and marketing.

Facebook acquires Instagram

This is seriously big news.

Remember when Google bought YouTube back in November 2006 for $1.65 Billion? Well a very familiar story with the worlds favourite  mobile/social photo sharing application unfolded yesterday (09/04/2012). Mark Zuckerberg announced through a status update on his Facebook Timeline that Facebook had acquired Instagram and the entire team (all 12 of them!) who are behind the application. Very quickly we learned that the price of this acquisition was $1 Billion in cash and stock, a quite staggering amount of money for a team and product that had been valued at $500 million just a few days earlier.

This acquisition from Facebook makes clear why the Facebook Photo mobile app has never seen the light of day. It could of course be something that now turns up, in the same way as the acquired  Beluga team clearly had a lot of involvement with the Facebook Messenger mobile app. And while the photo area in Facebook’s, frankly below par, mobile application continues to not work as it users expect, the Instagram team will be able to bring some much needed expertise to the new offices in Palo Alto. This also comes a few months after Facebook acquired the very talented team from Gowalla to work on the new Timeline feature and they no doubt will also be influencing mobile and location as well.

It is important to note these points from Zuckerberg’s post on the Instagram buy:

“…we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people… We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.”

To all those concerned that Facebook will damage the app and it’s community you don’t need to worry. The team at Facebook truly value user experience and the communities that grow around products. As these points Zuck made show the app is only going to get better and they aren’t going to do anything to upset the dedicated community. That is another key point, the community around Instagram truly loves Instagram. It has connected with people in a way that the largest social networks can only dream. This of course also explains the negative comments that have been circling the internet since the news broke and we know that things do eventually change no matter what the initial intent was.

We thought this Tweet from @dkberman summed up the scale of this news neatly:

It also made us reflect on what we’ve all done in the last 551 days?!

Tom Anderson (MySpace founder) had some interesting points that are also worth reading, which he shared in this Google+ post.

So is Pinterest next on Facebook’s potential acquisition list?

Google’s Project Glass unveiled

So before the Instagram/Facebook scramble this was the biggest news, Google unveiled their already announced glasses project with this pretty awe-inspiring video and launch of the projects own Google+ page:

One of Google’s founders, Sergey Brin, was then spotted wearing the prototype glasses at a charity event:

It’s official, we are living in the future people! Here at Headstream we’re pretty excited about this and the possibilities but understandably it has also sparked many concerned reactions around privacy. Hopefully all of that will get ironed out before the rumoured launch at the end of this year. Whether or not they will work as advertised is yet to be seen and of course this has also resulted in its fair share of parodies:

Fingers crossed we won’t be getting ads served like this!

Instagram comes to Android, gets 1 million downloads in 24 hours

Most likely a helpful aid to it’s $1 Billion valuation by Facebook, Instagram for Android launched last week and gained an incredible 1 million downloads in its first 24 hours. Clearly Android users have been waiting for the launch for a long time.

Pinterest get’s its own analytics – Pinerly

The other headline grabbing social/tech startup Pinterest has a few 3rd party analytics options, similar to how Twitter has a number of 3rd party analytic tools dotted around the web with varying degrees of success. Pinerly is currently in invite only, alpha status and looks to help people analyse all the different areas on offer  from Pinterest. The basic idea is you set up “campaigns” through Pinerly and then receive a complete breakdown of your posts stats. Read the Mashable article for a complete breakdown of the service and its upcoming features.

Facebook is the place to promote events says Eventbrite

Eventbrite, the online event creation and discovery tool, has released some research titled “Social Commerce: A View from our London Office” that confirms what we probably all suspected that Facebook is the best place to promote events online. They have calculated the value of sharing on social platforms creating the below equation:

This is where it get’s interesting as from this Eventbrite have been able to calculate the share of value from Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with Facebook the clear winner:

lolcat

And here we have this week’s lolcat:

What do you think? Is the Instagram news as big as a lot of us think? Have we missed anything? Sound off in the comments below.

Until next time!

#TheStream – Issue 1

Hello and welcome to our very first #TheStream. It’s a weekly round-up of the hot industry topics that have caught our eye here at Headstream in the past week, and some things that made us smile too! We hope that you will find this useful and if you have any suggestions for us, or think we’ve perhaps missed something, feel free to add them to the comments below.

The Rise of Digital Influence – Report from Altimeter Group

Last week the Altimeter Group published a report called “The Rise of Digital Influence” which you can read below. It looks at how brands and agencies are investigating and using individual’s online influence to provide strong word of mouth marketing. It includes some nice case studies from those who have already taken a lead on this and provides a good basis from which to begin thinking about. One conclusion is that you need to think about three key pillars when assessing an individuals influence: Reach, Resonance and Relevance.

The report also takes a thorough look at the different tools that are available and provides a very helpful table from which to best gauge which ones you might want to be using when taking on this activity. However, they also point out that these tools do not measure a true form of influence, something to keep in mind when looking for people who you believe to be influential for the next campaign.

Google Analytics – The Value of Social Media

On Tuesday Google announced some enhancements to their Analytics product that is designed to help marketeers with understanding and reporting the value of social media. The three key areas that the big G have focused on are:

  • Identify the full value of traffic coming from social sites and measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions
  • Understand social activities happening both on and off of your site to help you optimize user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs

Using these new enhancements for your owned outposts will provide a very strong set of metrics that you can work from when looking to implement strategies, campaigns and learnings.

Mad Men – 8 bit Adventure Game

Here is a well made bit of fun, with the new season of Mad Men nearly upon us a very clever and far more in depth than you would expect YouTube 8 bit adventure game has been released. Made by The Fine Bros and harking back to those point and click adventures of old, it puts the player in the shoes of Don Draper. Over 40 videos later and a slew of in jokes you’ll feel the need to suit up and give a carousel presentation.

TweetDeck updated – v1.3 Released bringing important missing features

The guys at what may as well now be called Twitter Pro, TweetDeck, have released a new version of their product bringing back some much needed features that mysteriously disappeared after they were purchased by the Twitter team. As hardcore TweetDeck users here at Headstream to say we are very happy about all of these now “new” features is an understatement. You can now:

  • Create, edit and delete lists direct from the app
  • Add two new columns to allow you to see interactions and activity with your account
  • Get media previews in stream and a media gallery when you click on an image/video link
  • The Quote retweet option has been removed and replaced with Edit & RT
All of these features pretty much bring this back in line with where the app was before the “New Twitter” launch last year and allows for even better management of your profiles for free!

Personal Infographic Generators

You’re waiting for a bus when two come along at once…or rather three in this case. Infographics have become a staple of internet based information sharing over the last 18 months however creating them can be very tricky with lots of time and effort needed. The wait is now over with three different web apps launching to bring this form of data visaulisation to the masses.

First to launch (on the 12/03 granted but we’re including it) was the service from Visual.ly. They have been around for a while now as the YouTube of infographics with plenty of very cool and creative pieces of information being uploaded to and shared from the site. They have always promised a robust automated creation system and now it has arrived. You can create them for both Facebook (pages) and Twitter and there is promise of many more options coming in the near future.

Next to the table is the smaller independently produced GetAbout.me which launched on the 19/03. Focusing solely on Facebook activity it produces three graphics based around “My Last 12 Months”, “About me and my social network” and “More about me”. All three highlight activity that you and your friends have undertaken, drawing in images and various pieces of activity. At this time however due to it’s unsurprising surge in popularity the site is running a bit slow. This is however the most visually pleasing and overal useful of the three we are profiling so we’d recommend taking the time to create your own infographics. Like with Visual.ly the team behind this app are working hard to bring more improvements and stability.

And finally on the 22/03 Intel launched ‘What About Me’, a web app that pulls in your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity to generate an infographic highlighting your activity online. Although not quite as slick as last years Museum of Me it still pretty impressive what information it shows. However there have been questions around what it is actually showing you with some random links being shown.

As with all applications relying on user data if you are a cautious social media user and have restrictions against your profiles switched on, the experience is more limited. That said, they are great fun and a neat way to be able to look at your information, and that of any Facebook pages and Twitter profiles you look after.

Lolcat

And finally for your amusement:

Thanks for reading the first ever #TheStream! We hope you found the short bites of information useful. If there is anything you would like to see more/less of or any other areas you’d like to see in the future just let us know in the comments. We’ll take on board any thoughts and no doubt this will be a continually evolving piece of content as we go from week to week.

Have a great week!