Social Bento: 27th June 2014

Social Bento

Google Glass ventures across The Atlantic! 

Early adopters in the US have been able to get their hands on Google Glass for a few months now, but Monday marked the launch of Google’s smart-glasses in the UK! Google glass allows users to snap videos and photos via the built in camera, whilst pairing the device to their Smartphone enables hands-free usage via heads-up display.

The gadget brings the connected consumer closer to technology and content that matters to them; satisfying always on needs by delivering information in the right place, at the right time. This customer-centric approach enables a user to digitally explore whilst being active, and living lighter. Google glass is available in multiple shapes, colours and frames; designed around the lifestyle of each user but comes with a hefty price-tag of £1,000.

Google stress the project is still a work in progress, but invite users to join their open beta and help shape the future of Google Glass. Will this be an item you’ll be adding to your impending Christmas list? – At least that way you’ll be giving people a chance to save up!

Amazon Dash

The latest innovation to come out of Amazon Fresh is Dash – an attempt to make shopping easier for the consumer.

Amazon Fresh is a same day and early morning delivery service of fresh groceries and everyday essentials, currently only available stateside. However if this wasn’t good enough, the development of Dash allows effortless shopping throughout the day as the remote control style device enables members of a family to add items to their shopping list from around their home simply by saying or scanning the object. The best thing too, never will you run the risk of forgetting items again as Dash remembers so you don’t have to!

We love this concept, far gone are the days of traipsing around the supermarket with a scraggly shopping list! Although unfortunately signing up is an invitation-only process… ours must’ve got lost in the mail.

Digital Wimbledon

2014 has introduced a digital revolution for the main sporting events, first with the World Cup and now with Wimbledon set to be the most social tennis tournament yet, with 63% of UK Twitter users planning on following the championships. Kicking off this week, Wimbledon’s Twitter feed is rife with real-time coverage, live updates and even a #QueueSelfie competition, encouraging spectators to snap themselves to win goodies from the Wimbledon shop.

The launch of #WelcomeBackAndy came when Andy Murray walked back on centre court to play his first match. The campaign invited all fans to engage with the hash-tag and @Wimbledon profile, to receive one of five signed digital photos of Murray winning the championship last year, personalised to feature a message and their own Twitter handle.

In addition, this year marks the first year where the screens on Henman’s Hill (or if you prefer, Murray Mount…) will feature crowd-sourced social interactions relating to Wimbledon – sharing photos, tweets and votes of those talking about the tournament.

Follow Wimbledon on Twitter, here!

 Brands reactions to Suarez’s shameful bite

After Luis Suarez shamefully bit his third footballer victim on Tuesday night in the Uruguay V Italy match, brands were hungry to jump on the back of the trending topic with real-time marketing ploys. Twitter was filled with brands, unsurprisingly predominantly in the dental hygiene or food industry, tweeting their humorous quips to the apparently hungry footballer.

  • Trident Gum were one of the brands to jump on the hype, tweeting: ‘Chew Trident. Not soccer players. #ITAvsURU’ – @tridentgum
  • Similarly so were mouthwash brand Listerine: ‘We recommend a good swish after grabbing a bite of Italian. #WorldCup#PowerToYourMouth’ – @ListerineGlobal
  • Along with the likes of chocolate giant Snickers: ‘Snickers: more satisfying than Italians. #LuisSuarez’ – @SNICKERS
  • Even the official handle of Major League Baseball’s contributed to the conversation: ‘There’s no c̶r̶y̶i̶n̶g̶#biting in baseball.’ – @MLB

As a result of his behaviour, the football star could be facing a two year ban from the sport. I wonder what relevant witticisms brands will come up with when that verdict is leaked!

Facebook sidebar ads return 

Since Facebook have continually been updating the layout of their pages based upon their growing focus towards visual content, the sidebars on the platform have become largely redundant. The introduction of newsfeed ads was accompanied by larger, eye-catching images which naturally gained more traction than the largely-overlooked adverts pushed to the sidelines. However good news for brands and marketers as times are a changing and Facebook is now introducing enlarging the images in their sidebar ads by over 50%, in a bid to compete with the newsfeed ads. To support this Facebook is minimising the amount of adverts which appear in the sidebar, streaming them down to just one or two as to not over-populate and confuse the user, allowing more obvious discovery.

With these developments enabling sidebar ads to appear more like newsfeed ads, the 20% text to image rule will now also applies across the board, with the ad needing to consist of 80% image. These changes will come into effect come August, so we have a month to organise our new sidebar content. On your marks, get marketing!

Social Bento: 20th June 2014

Another week has passed, and this week we’ve had lots of excitement. From the World Cup, to Cannes Lions and finally the meltdown after Facebook was down on Thursday morning. With so much to choose from, narrowing down topics for this week’s Social Bento was a bit tricky. However we hope you enjoy our picks, and have a great weekend!

YouTube to block indie labels?

This week it was announced that Google are planning to roll out a music streaming service. Listeners can pay to play music without advertising on Google owned YouTube. Google claims that 90% of the music industry has signed up to the service, threatened by the fact that not signing up will result in the videos being blocked on the platform. It’s been said that some indie labels are yet to get on board, with artists such as Arctic Monkeys and Adele at risk of their videos disappearing. There’s no confirmed launch date yet for the service, but it’s being predicted that it will have a graduated roll out later in the year.

Facebook release Slingshot… for real.

So last week we saw Facebook accidentally release their version of Snapchat, Slingshot. After a hasty removal from the app store, we had a sneaky suspicion it wouldn’t be long before the app was released for real. We were right as Slingshot was officially launched this week. With developers saying it’s different to Snapchat as it’s more of a way of sharing what you’re up to at that current moment in time. In addition, it has been said to be more polished than the rival ephemeral messaging site. Find out some more about both apps features in this article by Mashable. So what will you be turning to? Slingshot, or staying faithful to Snapchat?

YO!

A new app got everyone talking this week. Or should I say Yo-ing? Yo is super simple messaging app that allows you to send a ‘yo’ to your friends. That’s all there is to it. A yo. Perplexed? So were we. Of course what your ‘yo’ actually means is down to preference, could it mean when you get to a destination and instead of calling a family member you send a ‘yo’? Or perhaps as Yo themselves suggest, a blogger could Yo their readers when a new post is live. It’s completely up to you how you use your ‘yo.’ With user figures not being released just yet, it has been reported that so far over 50,000 users have sent more than 4 million ‘yos’. The app, which was reportedly created in just eight hours, has certainly has got everyone talking and is ahead of Facebook’s slingshot in the App download chart!

LinkedIn launch Job Search

LinkedIn have launched a brand new app called LinkedIn Job Search which is a free iOS app where you can search and apply for jobs using the platform. But you needn’t worry about your boss seeing your job searches as everything remains completely private and won’t be posted to your network. LinkedIn are reported to have said they want to make job searching easier for applicants. Whilst the app is currently only available in the US, it’s set to be released to other countries very soon.

Twitter now supports GIFs

Some good news to end the week is that Twitter finally supports GIFs! Hoorah. Just in case you’ve been living in a cave, GIFs are moving images that are repeated on a loop. It’s super easy to add GIFs to your tweets; we’ve found ours through Giphy, saved them and then uploaded them to our tweets as if they are a photo. Whoop. Let’s celebrate with a dancing GIF.

giphy (2)

Social Bento: 6th June 2014

 Instagram’s New Editing Tools

This week saw Instagram unveil a new update, that we are sure will please Instagram enthusiasts. With ten new tools and seven updated ones, you will be stuck for choice when it comes to editing your photos on the image sharing site. You can now adjust the intensity of the filter you apply to a picture, sharpen images and use other tools such as adjust, saturation, warmth and highlight. The new update has very similar features to other separate editing tools such as VSCO cam which may now be redundant for users. What do you think of the new Instagram 6.0 update?

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference

Monday night saw Apple’s 2014 WWDC roll round. The twittersphere was rife all day with rumours of what could be announced, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t checking the hashtag repeatedly for news! So what actually came out of WWDC? First of all a lot of information was released about iOS 8, and it was revealed that most Apple devices will be working with the new update, except for the 2010 iPhone4. This means that all devices will also have touch ID; a feature that only the iPhone5 has at present. It was also revealed how SMS messages and phone calls will now pop up on your Mac, meaning you never have to miss a text or phone call again if you’re phone isn’t near you. There were lots of other iOS 8 features revealed, such as a quick type keyboard, and interactive notifications.  The keynote also announced details about their new Health app, and their plans for HomeKit.  We love the idea of HomeKit, it’s exciting that we are a step closer to being able to control most of our household appliances through our iPhones. Though now we all are eager to hear about the iPhone 6!

Is Tinder trying to be like Snapchat?

This week Tinder announced news of their latest update, with a certain feature which seemed rather familiar. The dating app, which shows you single people in your local area and lets you like their profile and talk to one another, has a new feature that means you can also share photos with one another that will self destruct in 24 hours. It’s supposed to allow the users to show another side to themselves as well as their profile picture. The ‘moments’ will be sent out, and the recipients can either ignore the photo or like it. There have been talks that there may be a block button for unwanted photos such as body shots. With the new update, it seems that most platforms are trying to get on the Snapchat bandwagon, with Apple also revealing familiar Snapchat features in new iOS 8 update.

Google Maps New Transport Options

Google Maps have added some unusual forms of transport to their platform.  With their Easter Eggs popping up every now and then, it was found that both the Loch Ness Monster and the Royal Carriage are among the transport options for journeys. With the mythical monster, being an urban legend for years, between Fort Augustus and Urquhart castle, Nessie will take you on a 28 minute trip, which is definitely a speedier than the bus! The Queen’s Royal Carriage is also featured, when looking for routes between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, but you will need to practise your royal wave first! In Wales you even have the option of travelling by dragon between Snowdon and the Brecon Beacons. Which mode of transport would you prefer? The girls in the office are opting for the Royal Carriage, whilst the boys are definitely more interested in travelling by dragon!

IFTTT

This week we found a genius app that will change the way you use social platforms. IFTTT (which is pronounced ‘gift’ without the ‘g’) is all about making the internet work for you; allowing the user to create ‘recipes’ between platforms. Say for example you want a tweet to be sent out every time you publish a blog post, or you want your instagram photos turned into a twit pic automatically, IFTTT takes care of all this. You can also configure recipes such as muting your phone as soon as you get into the office! We have been playing with the website all week, and now have recipes applied for all sorts, but we’re yet to find one for putting the kettle on!

 

Social Bento: 16th May 2014

LG G watch

Another week, another smart watch. This week it was LG’s turn to release new details about their new smart watch. The G watch will go on sale in a few months and an exclusive video teaser has been released with a sneak peek of the new first commercial device powered by Google’s Android Wear platform. The watch will also be water and dual resistant and other features include an always on display and the Google Now integration in Android Wear. All we need to know now is when the G Watch will be released!

The new affordable smart phone: Moto-E

This week also saw some exciting technology news from Motorola with the launch of their new Smartphone. Marketed as an affordable android, Motorola’s Moto E will have features such as 4GB of memory storage, 4.3inch screen with a 540×960 resolution. In the teaser video, Motorola concentrates on three features, a water splash proof body, interchangeable coloured back covers, and each phone will come with Google’s latest software. The camera is only 5 mega pixels but the software is fast and has a long lasting battery. The best bit about the Moto E? The price. In the UK you can get the smartphone f   or £80 without a contract. Will you be ditching your smartphone for the budget version?

BBC’s new infographics for social media

The BBC has released new details on their new social media plans. This week they announced they are going to be sharing daily infographics on current news stories which will be shared on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest. This is set to be a new way for the BBC to connect with their audience and reach out to a brand new one. The infographics are part of the social media experiments that the BBC have been testing out in recent months, such as Instafax, BBC trending, and experiments with Whatsapp and WeChat in the Indian elections. The daily infographics will also be collected for a round up on the BBC website. The aim is to add an insight into a current big news story. We’re looking forward to seeing the BBC’s new infographics and it’s great to see news being taken out of the box and communicated within social media, which is ultimately the fastest place to now get news.

Snapchat rises in popularity

Data released this week showed that Snapchat has become the biggest messaging app by volume in the US. The app is reported to be gaining more traffic every day other over messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Traffic specialist Sandvine carried out the data research and also found that video apps still dominates the charts of network traffic. The new stats how much we are using messaging and video apps. With Snapchat latest update with the new messaging and video feature, the app is technically combining two of the most popular app features right now. This means that Snapchat could easily take over as the most popular app. Sandvine agreed by saying that Snapchats rise in popularity is due to being able to message people using different types of media such as photos and videos, whilst WhatsApp is where you can only message people through plain text. Due to the rising popularity of Snapchat rumours have been circulating about how Google has apparently offered $10 billion for the site. Sandvine found lots of other traffic reports about Snapchat including usage on New Year’s Eve. You can find the rest of the data here.

Gmail reaches 1 billion downloads

This week saw Gmail really show how much they are ahead of other web based email services, when their android app has reached the one billion mark on the Google play store. However the downloads doesn’t actually calculate to accounts, it’s the total number of unique accounts. This means that there could be duplicate or abandoned accounts, but still 1 billion is pretty good going. The last time any usage figures for Gmail were released was in 2012, when the figures were 425 million. However the usage figures have gone up since Gmail is now bundled with Android phones. Reports say that Gmail reached the 1 billion mark on May 6th, and other apps such as Google Search, Face book and Google maps are catching up on the almost 1 billion mark. Gmail is our favourite web based email, are you one of the other 1 billion people who love it too?

Pinterest testing new Q&A

This week Tech Crunch developer Tom Waddington has discovered a new feature on Pinterest. A question and answer feature seems to be currently being tested. The questions would be a dedicated section where pinner’s can get more information about certain pins. A pinterest spokesperson didn’t give too much away about the new feature apart from saying “We’re always gathering feedback from Pinners to make Pins more useful. We’re currently testing the ability to ask and answer questions in a more structured way on Pins, with a small group of Pinners.”The new feature means that we could be able to gain more information about pins, and find out where their original source is from. Waddington also said how he thinks this feature will help to bring back inactive users. Would you use this Q&A feature? We think it’d be great to find article sources from certain pins.

Blog posts get shared most at the weekend

This week Emarketer shared some very insightful information about when blog posts are most likely to be shared over the week. They found that brand blogs are posting over the working week which is when most consumers are working, and may be missing out on posts. An April 2014 study from Trackmaven found that most bloggers post on weekdays, in fact 87% of weekly blog content is pushed out on Monday – Friday. But the data proved that although bloggers post in the week, their sharing figures are higher at the weekend. The report found that blog posts posted on a Saturday or Sunday had a bigger social share percentage than those posted in the week. They recommend posting at the weekend to get a better probability of your post being shared. When do you think is the best place to post a blog post? We personally think a Friday afternoon is the best time ;)

The Internet of Things to dominate our lives by 2025

The Internet of Things and wearable’s are set to be making a huge impact on our lives by 2025. With reports this week of Samsung’s Gear Glass due to be released in September, wearables are becoming more and more popular. Experts from the Pew Research centre carried out the research, to mark the anniversary of the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Experts believe that internet of things will affect our daily lives by being apparent by using them for fitness and health, our homes; we will be able to control appliances through to how often our garden is watered. To communities, with apps being able to monitor pollution, to goods and services and finally to the environment. In 2013, there were 13 billion internet connected devices, but experts expect there to be 50 billion in 2020. We can’t wait to see more Internet of Things devices come out, last week we spotted one for umbrella data which calculates how much rain is falling, and we really think these new devices connected to the internet will change our lives.

Flappy bird is returning!

Good news to all Flappy Bird fans, as it’s returning, but not till August. Developer Dong Nguyen has told CNBC that’s he’s bringing back the app but with a multiplayer feature. Nguyen originally pulled the app after finding its popularity had gotten too much, and he didn’t like the disruption on his quiet life. However his life must have gotten too quiet, as he is bringing it back much too many people’s delight later this summer. Are you excited? We were a bit rubbish at Flappy Bird, but at least we can now have another go!

You can also find this week’s Social Bento as a Flipboard

Buying engagement: fake likes and dodgy endorsements

Channel 4’s Dispatches has uncovered a number of brands and agencies crossing a line, generating fake likes, followers and views, and using celebrities to endorse products, sometimes for cash and sometimes in exchange for a nice present or two. The programme is currently available to watch on 4OD and well worth it. Continue reading

Social Brands 100 – the road show

On Wednesday this week Headstream took the story of the Social Brands 100 to a group of thirty marketers at an ISBA event in Edinburgh.

The beautiful and cultural City of Edinburgh was a suitable place to end our SB100 road show 2012, which has seen us discuss in-depth insights and findings with over thirty-five brands that featured in Social Brands 100 this year.

We’ve had the chance to have some brilliant conversations about social brand performance and benchmarking with lovely people at: Bing, British Gas, Burt’s Chips, Cancer Research, Chiltern Railways, The Great Collective Dairy, Deloitte, Diabetes UK, Douwe Egberts, Estee Lauder, First Direct, giffgaff, Global Radio, Go Ahead Group, Help for Heroes, Holywell Spring, London Midland, Manchester City FC, The Met Office, Mongoose Cricket, Museum of London, National Rail Enquiries, The National Trust, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Nike, PayPal, Penguin Books, RSPB, Sainsbury’s, Thames Water, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Money, Virgin Trains, White Stuff and Wonga.  Phew!

We even dropped in to Number 10 for a chat about how to measure ROI from social activity, (wins prize for meeting venue of the year!)

And we’ve taken the stage at Haymarket’s ‘Driving and Proving Social Media Value’ conference in June, and the IAB’s ‘Great British Social Media Festival’ in July, as well as gigging at some internal conferences with brand teams at global companies (if you’d like us to come to your next team get together give us a shout @headstream).

Reflecting on all of these conversations the following six subjects are the ones that kept coming up as the priority issues around social media for brand and marketing teams: 

  1. There is increasing buy-in from boards around social media, and as a result budgets for social are increasing 
  2. Uncertainty about how to prove the efficiency and return on social media investment is holding back further commitment to social spend at some brands     
  3. Some brands’ social performances remain restricted by legacy structures and ways of working. For example, how does a brand and marketing team built to deliver periodic campaigns now adapt to news-jacking and creating content at the speed of social? 
  4. A training and development challenge exists. Brands need to increase the social media capability in their teams to match the greater number of customers using social media to engage with them 
  5. High performing social brands are investing in real-time content creation teams, with a particular focus on images, video and data visualisation  
  6. Brand teams are exploring the potential for social media to boost organic search results

How does this fit with your latest thoughts on social media? As ever we’d love to know what you think.

Dear travel company – how social is your brand?

Can you believe there are only 99 days until Christmas! Get those lists ready folks.

That also means that the key booking period for many travel companies will soon be upon us as millions of customers look to cure the post-Christmas and New Year blues with a holiday booking to look forward to. To help travel brands make the most of social media during this crucial time in the business year we’ve put together a white paper on ‘Building a Travel Social Brand‘.

It’s the second in a series of Headstream whitepapers (the first looked at the Retail sector) and is designed as a practical aid to any travel industry marketer looking to maximise returns from social media in 2013 and beyond. We’d love to know your thoughts.