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

Social Bento: 9th May: A Round Up Of This Week’s Best Social Media News..

Tesco’s New Smartphone To Rival Android?

This week Tesco proved they are so much more than the place where we do our weekly grocery shop. With the supermarket chain already edging their way into the technology game with the release of Hudl, a tablet which has seen sales of over 550,000. With the success of Hudl behind them, Chief Executive Philip Clarke revealed that a Tesco phone is on the way and should be launched by the end of the year. It’s also been reported that the handset will be based on Android, but there haven’t been any confirmations of any further details such as prices of the handset. The only details we do have is that the phone will be loaded with Tesco services such as Blinkbox video streaming, a music/books/movie e-store, and general Tesco shopping services. Clarke also revealed how they are also releasing a follow-up to their tablet, Hudl 2, in September. We’re intrigued to see the new Tesco phone; will it really rival Android? We guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Amazon Lets You Pay With A Tweet

This week saw Amazon launch a new feature to their e-commerce website. After connecting your Twitter account to your Amazon one, using Twitter you now can add items to your basket using the hashtag  #amazonbasket. It’s targeted at users who don’t want to go through the trouble of clicking links and then manually adding products to their basket. Amazon has created #amazonbasket to provide ease for their customers, stating that “no more switching apps, typing passwords, or trying to remember products you saw on Twitter. Save it to your cart now, and check out later when it’s more convenient for you.” Reports state how this new feature benefits Twitter more than anyone else. An Amazon spokesperson says ““Twitter offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands and friends. #Amazonbasket was designed to help customers add products to their cart now without leaving Twitter and come back later to shop and buy on Amazon.”  Will you be using the new #amazonbasket feature? We’re sure that our basket is probably always going to be full to the brim!  Shopaholics beware!

Police Love Pinterest Too

Some of us in the office are big Pinterest fans. This week we learnt that it’s not just us who love Pinterest, in fact so do the police. No not Sting and pals, the actual police force who are using the pinning inspiration platform as a way to solve crimes. Yes really. Redwood City’s force in California used the site to list stolen jewellery that had been found in a bag. After just eight hours, the police force received details from three different people about owners of the stolen jewellery. Including a charm bracelet that had been stolen in 1983 and was a mother’s keepsake and 30 years later, it was reunited with the rightful owner. In addition Pottstown’s force have created boards of criminals mug shots and have seen a 57% increase in arrest rates for offences since the boards were created. Police have also been using other social platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to help find criminals and a revolutionary new pre video advert on YouTube showing missing people. How do you feel about Police forces on social media? We think it’s a great way for them to connect and help solve crimes.

 

Everyone To Get New Twitter Profile This Month

If you thought you’d got away with not having the new Twitter profile, we have bad news. It’s coming for you. Twitter announced this week that everyone will have the new profiles on May 28th. The new design has come under criticism in recent weeks for its similarity to Facebook. With not everyone having the new profile yet, it won’t be long before everyone has the new features including larger profile and header images, new timeline views and the ability to pin a tweet to the top of a profile page. So if you’re a hater of the new design… you’ve only got 19 days (and counting!)

Vine Gets Accessible

It’s been announced Vine have revamped their website to show it’s more accessible for viewers to search and watch their favourite six second videos. The best thing you don’t even have to be logged in to see videos, or even have an account for that matter, making the new shift a very similar one to YouTube. You’ll even be able to see different channels, popular videos and trending tags. The move shows a real segregation between Vine and Instagram who still have a limited online website, and moves towards becoming closer to being a YouTube competitor. The developments of the website means that more people can enjoy Vine’s and search for them a lot easier, which will do nothing but boost the platforms popularity. We have had hours of fun searching for our favourite Vine’s, will this new update mean you’ll spend more time on the six second video site or stay faithful to the giant YouTube?

Mink: The 3D Printer That Prints Make Up 

This week we saw an innovative new product launched that got the girls in the office pretty excited. Okay no, it’s not a Ryan Gosling clone. However Mink a new 3D printer that allows you to print out make up was revealed at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt event by Harvard business school student Grace Choi. So how exactly does the printer work? Well, the printer works as an inkjet to mix colours to the user’s preference then print, the custom make up. You can select colours from any digital image, whether you want to copy a look from YouTube, a photo or a colour found on the internet. Creator Choi says “”The inkjet handles the pigment, and the same raw material substrates can create any type of make-up, from powders to cream to lipstick.” With no specific release date apart from later this year, Mink has an enquiry list you can join to be first in the know about the revolutionary new printer’s launch. Reports are the printer will be roughly $300 and materials will be ‘competitively’ priced. We love the idea of having a printer to print custom ideas, our Social Media Exec and beauty blogger Corrie is literally beside herself at the idea.

 

Yahoo Launches News Digest App For Android

This week Yahoo launched their News Digest app for Android, and made the current iOS version available for all users worldwide. The app which gives daily news updates for users was previously only available in the UK or US. The app was launched earlier this year, and was based on news app Summly, started by British teen Nick D’Aloisio started up before Yahoo acquired it  in 2013. Yahoo also released some latest stats on News Digest, with D’Aloisio revealing that 40% of users use the app every day. With News Digest going worldwide, will you be downloading the app?

5G Trials In Japan

Word on the street is that Nokia and Samsung have joined in with trials of 5G in Japan. However it seems we can’t get too excited as 5G is still years away, in fact 2020 is the predicted year that we’ll get internet speeds up to 10Gbps. Current tests are being carried out to see if high frequency bands (higher than 6GHz) which can support speeds up to10 Gbps even if there are lots of devices using the same bandwidth. It’s reported that the first tests will be held in an indoor research facility and later in outdoor field trials next year. We guess we’ll just have to carry on with 4G for the time being!

Tumblr’s New Features For Mobile:

Tumblr have announced they are rolling out a fully customisable update to their mobile versions. In the past, users haven’t been able to change the background of their blog or customise it due to logos and backgrounds not being available on the mobile version. Peter Vifani, the creative director at Tumblr says “this is our biggest launch in the past five years. We’re allowing customization and theming to occur in mobile apps, which is huge, because mobile takes up half of our total traffic and it’s rapidly growing.” Updates now sync instantly between the desktop and mobile versions so changes made to one another are then reflected on each device. We love the idea of being able to customise whilst on the mobile app, seeing as we are all such big fans of Tumblr. What do you think about the new update?

 

Remember you can also find Social Bento as a Flipboard too!

 

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.

Right time. Right Place. Mobile and social integration in travel.

What’s the number 1 travel app in the world? Google Earth, says Rory Kenny, TripAdvisor’s Director of Mobile Partnerships, EMEA. With 22 million downloads globally, the travel website sits at a comfortable number 2 and Kenny shared some of his experiences delivering what he called ‘right time, right place’ content at an event in London recently.

Kenny started with some important stats on mobile usage: Continue reading

Bing Goes Social

The promise of social having a major impact on search came true in January when Google integrated Google+ into search results. Now Microsoft are going one step further by building into Bing’s search results Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogger and in the future Linkedin, Quora and Foursquare.

“The new Bing introduces a brand new information architecture with a three column design that focuses on bringing you information from the web to help you take action and interact with friends and experts without compromising the core search experience.”

Promo video:

This is a much more advanced version of social integration into search results than Google’s and clearly Microsoft have been listening carefully to the complaints that people had about “Search, Plus Your World”. The Verge have put together this great walkthrough video that explains how it works:

“The new Bing isn’t there yet, but it’s clearly heading in that direction with some tweaking and optimization. “We’re annotating algorithmic results to actually get stuff done,” Weitz told me. While algorithmic search results are still there, the new Bing points you towards real people who you can ask for information, because as VP Derrick Connell mentioned earlier, people want perspective and not just raw search results.”

Check out The Verge’s full article for a complete run down of the New Bing.

This integration of social networks into Bing and the way it has been handled shows the power that the new web has. Putting people at the centre vastly improves the experience for the user. It’s safe to say that Google will be looking at this very carefully and don’t be surprised to see other social networks more closely integrated into their search product in the not so distant future.

Although not fully featured just yet Microsoft’s new Bing is clearly heading in the right direction and is slowly chipping away at Google’s dominance. However they’ll need to do something quite spectacular to get significant mind share over Google.

Source: Bing BlogThe Verge

LEGO’s Social Media Strategy

This is an old video but a good one and worth highlighting again as it is a fascinating insight into LEGO’s social media strategy from one of the guys who was at the centre of the company’s cultural shift that ultimately dragged them out of a very dark time. Jake McKee was LEGO’s Global Community Relations Specialist and in this talk he takes us through how the company undertook a bold social media strategy that put their community at the heart. The video is 30 minutes long but is worth the time investment.

Jason makes three key points that anyone can learn from:

  1. Look beyond your target customers
  2. Support existing fans
  3. Find what works and replicate

Source: DigitalBuzz

Understanding Online Communities: De-Centralised, Centralised and Transient

Here at Headstream we view online communities in three ways; de-centralised, centralised and transient. This presentation outlines our thinking, defining the three types, how they behave and how you can work with them.

If you have any further thoughts, view things differently or have any questions please do let us know in the comments below.

We have also split the presentation into the three sections for easier viewing and sharing:

De-Centralised

Centralised

Transient

Real-time marketing

As previously discussed, we are currently witnessing a shift away from the carefully planned and orchestrated ‘BIG’ campaign, toward a campaign journey made up of small but valuable communication content, agile enough to respond to the 24×7 media environment.

This shift has occurred due to the rise in social media and data, fuelled by technology and consumers’ demand for immediate and contextually relevant content.  In response, brands already have, or will need to, re-structure their marketing departments to offer a unique, personalised value proposition to their customers with a focus on content.

From an agency perspective, creative, planning and production teams will all need to adopt a more extemporaneous mindset, so that they are able to respond in real-time.

Continue reading

The QR Code Witch Hunt

So there’s a huge QR code on the roof of Facebook HQ in an apparent attempt to rickroll online maps to draw attention to their QR code page. In the same moment that many members of the Headstream team groaned at the mere mention of QR codes, I was thinking about what a bad rap these curious beasts have gotten (QR codes that is, not my team) I still think that they’re yet to have their day.

But first, why is QR so derided and misunderstood? Well, like any idea, if it’s been executed badly it instantly becomes a bad idea. Here are a few QR don’ts:

- Don’t put your code on an ad that is going to be UNDER THE EARTH where my phone won’t work.

- Don’t put a QR code on a bus or a moving object. I’m not allowed to use my phone when I’m driving and when I’m on foot, the vehicle is generally moving too quickly for me to get to my phone/unlock my phone/trawl my apps/open the … oh you’ve gone and I’m here all tooled up with nothing to scan stood on the pavement like a muppet.

- Try and let me know what I’m letting myself in for. I’ve got no idea what you are. You could be anything. Why should I trust you?

- Don’t be rubbish. Whatever is at the other end, it had better not be rubbish. For what I’ve just done for you this had better be pretty special. Oh. It’s a website. Awesome. I should have guessed.

Even though they’re used in some pretty terrible marketing campaigns in some pretty awful ways, QR codes are being used in pretty cool ways too. Google experimented with them earlier in the year as a way for users to securely log into their Google accounts on public machines and developer Clik are using QR codes as a way of enabling your mobile device to take control of…well, pretty much any “complex device” according to Fred Wilson, one of Clik’s investors.

The ability to use QR codes to create a unique session between your device and anything, causes the flood gates of my mind to open to the possibilities of everythingness; from kids controlling giant mechanical dinosaurs, to a crowd of people operating the individual jets of water at the Bellagio, to interactive window displays, gaming tournaments on digital billboards in Trafalgar Square…all using phones and…well, to be honest it could literally be anything couldn’t it?

Using mobile devices to control hardware is nothing new (Apple and Sonos are doing some really cool stuff), and with ‘second-screen’ TV viewing so de rigueur (and slightly more antisocial than TV itself) right now, we’re seeing consumers using their devices to engage, interact and connect in many different ways, but importantly, in ways that are meaningful to the user. QR codes needn’t be any different, they have the potential to be exciting and meaningful; they just need good execution to stop being a gimmick and become a good idea.

Here’s a pretty (funny) comprehensive ongoing list of QR code fails: http://wtfqrcodes.com/

facebook HQ with QR code on the roof

Photo credit: Facebook’s Justin Schaeffer

Social networks = ‘look at me’ Interest networks = ‘this is me’

The social media phenomenon of 2012 to date has to be ‘online pinboard’ Pinterest. Its simple formula, which allows users to make ‘virtual pinboards’ of images that interest them and to browse others’ boards, has proved a winning formula. Having amassed over 10 million users Pinterest is moving towards its stated mission to ‘connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting’.

Pinterest’s success has thrown the subject of ‘interest networks’ into the spotlight, but the idea of ‘interest networks’ isn’t a new one…  

The success of longstanding Web1.0 forums such as Money Saving Expert, Motley Fool and Trip Advisor is based upon the wealth of user generated information available on a particular topic (interest).  Members can share links and information, discover links to information and collect links and information on a particular topic of interest within the forum.

Facebook on the other hand is a social network platform allowing us to share information with selected friends and family (our social graph).  However, to have a deep conversation with our connections around a specific interest, most of us revert to direct messaging e.g. email and IM which is closed.
Even though brands have joined in on Facebook, the primary conversation is between brand and fan.  For the brand it is more about being social with customers, rather than facilitating fan to fan interaction.  Yes a community does exist within a brand page, but conversations are primarily based on responding to brand updates. As a result brand content released through Facebook, such as applications, are one size fits all.  Content is primarily general interest (competitions, entertainment) rather than specific interest.

Twitter on the other hand allows many like minds to come together around hash tags and lists, but it is not easy to collate info on a single topic in one place.  You can use tools such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite, or custom data visualisations but it is not a perfect solution.  A brand can be more flexible in terms of content, but because of the limited number of characters allowed on Twitter it is difficult to use multiple hash tags in each post to produce a comprehensive interest list.  Again, as a result, the majority of content produced by brands themselves is usually generic to ensure that a large audience will re-tweet to achieve trending.

It is against this backdrop that interest networks such as Pinterest and Foodspotting are becoming ever more popular.  They combine the open API of Facebook (tapping into the social graph, allowing for frictionless sharing amongst personal social networks), with the open forum/message board behaviour of link sharing, allowing curators to comment, discover and collect information based on specific interests.

Facebook themselves are responding to this trend via interest lists.  If one is interested in UK Politics you can group together feeds from political party brand pages and curate a stream of related content. Alternatively I can follow someone who has already curated this list.
However, interest lists are limited as you can only group people/brands based on your social graph, or allow you to filter friends into circles similar to Google+.  They do not allow you to curate individual pieces of content surrounding a specific topic.

Moving forward we will see even more interest based networks springing up.  The life blood running through them all will be Facebook/Twitter, so that users can achieve ‘look at me’, showing off to their social network, when they discover ‘this is me’ content via their interest graph.

Next week we’ll be looking at how brands can take advantage of interest graphs.