Before we get into this week’s social business roundup, here is some important information regarding the Heartbleed Bug.
The so-called Heartbleed Bug is a security flaw in OpenSSL, a popular data encryption standard, that gives hackers who know about it the ability to extract massive amounts of data from the services that we use every day and assume are mostly secure.
There is no indication of whether or not any hackers actually took advantage of the bug but it is entirely possible that the sites have been compromised and the hackers made away with your data unnoticed.
Here is an up to date list of the sites most people use regularly with details on whether or not they are affected and which ones you need to change passwords for. Courtesy of Mashable.com.
Yahoo Launches Motion Ads
This week Yahoo introduced a new ad format, which combines imagery with thoughtful animation to deliver a beautiful brand experience. While this format may not be fit for every advertiser, it is a certainly a nice break from the monotony of Display banner ads, Yahoo hopes these units will prompt higher engagement from users and a wide adoption by advertisers.
Facebook Plans to Overhaul Right Hand Rail Ads
The company plans to roll out an updated design for right-column ads in the “coming months.” The new units will have the same proportions as desktop news feed ads, which means they will be bigger and, according to sources, there will be fewer of them. One of the practical benefits for marketers is that these new ads will use the same size images as Newsfeed ads, thus streamline the ad creating process.
Study: Majority of Content Sharing to Social Networks Now Occurs via Mobile
According to a recent study by ShareThis, around 52% of “social sharing actions” occurred on a mobile device during the first quarter of this year. Mobile took the lead on the back of a quarter-over-quarter growth rate in sharing that was more than twice as high as desktop’s (28% vs. 11%). While the iPhone (25%) remained the top mobile device used for sharing, Android smartphones (17%) narrowed the gap.
Reddit is looking to get in on the Native Ads Game
While no details have been revealed, Reddit Executives Ellen Pao and Jena Donlin discussed some ways they are looking to monetize the site. “…We’re trying to figure out ways to monetize within the structure that people are used to in ways that are very authentic.” – Pao said in an interview with Re/Code.
Disqus Launches Sponsored Comments
This is the comments service’s own foray into native advertising, the latest holy grail for marketers looking to replace Display ads. While the Sponsored Comments will appear in a page’s thread, they won’t be embedded into the actual discussion, as it is considered too disruptive. Instead, they will be pinned to the top of the discussion environment.
The New York Times To Loosen RTB Restrictions On Its Inventory
The company intends to release more inventory into the RTB space. Some of it will take for of preferred deals, private exchange deals and some open-market RTB. The main concern here is, of course, maintaining acceptably high CPMs for the premium placements on the site. “We’ve recast our thinking around programmatic as part of a total yield-management practice” – shared Michael Zimbalist, SVP AD Products and R&D.
Dell Hires Marketing Attribution Firm To Optimize Its Marketing Spend
As many marketers know, robust attribution is vital in proving the ROI of a campaign. One of the first steps Dell has made as a private company is hire a marketing attribution firm Visual IQ to optimize their marketing channels based on performance data.
Facebook Announces Plans To Deprecate Chat in Favor Of Messenger
The social network caused an outbreak of protests on social media over its decision to force users into the Messenger app. More
Gmail May Be Getting a Snooze Button.
According to Geek.com, Google is testing a build of Gmail with a bunch of neat new tricks packed in, email snoozing included. Also in testing, according to the report are more tabs for sorted emails and email pinning, to force an email to stick to the top of your inbox until you decide to unpin it.
Don Draper Buys A Round For Everyone
Brendon Eich, CEO of Mozilla Forced To Resign Over Prop. 8 Controversy
Eich’s seemingly involuntary resignation, forced by the turmoil within the Mozilla community and high profile condemnation, poses questions on freedom of speech and whether business leaders should be judged on their private lives. Interestingly, some prominent LGBT advocates criticized the “witch hunt” and went on record to say they didn’t wish for Eich to resign. More
6 Steps to Double Your ROI With User Generated Content
This case study by Medtronic diabetes outlines the 6 strategies.
Instagram Photos With Faces Get More Likes
According to a study done at Georgia Tech, Instagram photos that include faces are far more likely to get likes from followers than those without.
Vine Adds Private Messaging to Its App
Some of the features included the new “Share” icon, which lets you re-share a favorite Vine to multiple contacts and an ability to receive video and text messages from those who aren’t your friends on the video sharing network. More
Report: Google+ Brand Posts Get Twice the Engagement of Tweets
According to a Forrester research, Google+ posts achieve as much engagement as Facebook posts and almost twice as much per follower as tweets from the same brands. Out of 60,000 respondents, 22% said they use G+, the same percentage as those who use Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram. Of course, Google + also has widely publicized SEO benefits as well.
What Determines Your Post’s Visibility on Facebook?
Facebook Page admins big and small are understandably upset over the rapidly declining organic post reach. They paid to acquire the fans, with the assumption that these fans are now “their” captive audiences. According to Facebook’s head of NewsFeed, “the total number of Pages Liked by the typical Facebook user grew more than 50% last year” so the space is getting crowded. Facebook is also facing competition from others like Twitter and fighting to stay relevant. So it needs to filter its content. Here is a simplified formula used by Facebook to rank Page content.
Facebook Adds Free Voice Calls to Messenger App
Facebook updated its Messenger app Thursday with a major new feature — one that allows users to make free voice calls to their Facebook friends.
Google’s Project Loon, the effort to bring Internet connectivity to more remote areas using a network of hot air balloons, has beat its own creators’ estimate on the number of days it would take to travel around the world. Loon made it in 22 days, 11 days less than projected.
AdsNative Raises $2M To Help Publishers Manage Native Ads
The startup is focused on both, the publisher and the advertiser side, and connects native ad networks with publishers. More
A Ukrainian painter revisits the feeling of alienation in Edward Hopper Paintings with a decidedly modern twist.
Microsoft Announces The Release Of Office For iPad.
Office remains the company’s most profitable product so it’s no big surprise Microsoft is going where the market is, which is of course mobile. It will have to find its place among a host of competing products, such as Quip and Keynote to name just a couple. More
Twitter Rolls Out Photo Tagging
In the new episode of Twitter vs Facebook, Twitter adds a feature, which allows users to tag others in photos without having to @mention them in the tweet, therefore not using up any extra characters. The move is aimed at bolstering engagement with the platform encouraging users to come back to the platform by sending a notification to their mobile device that they’ve been tagged by a friend on Twitter. More
AOL Aims To Unify Its Programmatic Efforts With A New Ad Platform, One.
Following in Yahoo’s footsteps, AOL announced its own programmatic ad platform. Tim Armstrong said the platform will “fully formulate a vision for the mechanization of what Madison Avenue is going to look like being a customer of our platform…” More
Facebook Acquires Virtual Reality Startup Oculus For $2B. Here is the story of how Oculus turned from two dudes tinkering with some wires in a garage to one of the most sought after tech startups in Silicon Valley.
Klout Confirms Lithium Acquisition For $200M.
The service, which measures a person’s social influence, is being acquired for $200M by Lithium Technologies.
Youtube Is Banned In Turkey, Internet Swarming With Tips On Backdoor Access.
The news comes only a week after access to Twitter was reportedly blocked in the country and was supposedly triggered by a video of high level Turkish officials discussing plans that could lead to war with jihadist militants in Syria.
Twitter Partners with Billboard as Part of New Music Strategy
Twitter continues its proliferation of real time media conversations with a foray into the music industry via a Billboard integration. The new product – Billboard Twitter Real-Time Chart – will use the social sentiment data from Amplify to follow trending conversations about songs, artists, and albums. More
Storytelling Platform Tapestry Updates offering to Let Users Build Stories In-App
The 2 year-old Betaworks-incubated company is a platform for long form storytelling and has seen over 100K “tapestries” created since launch. The new functionality allows users to build their stories on mobile. More
Why Apps Shouldn’t Have Access To Your Contacts – Comic (via Recode.net)
Facebook’s Secret New “Business Manager” Could Compete With Developer Partners For Marketing Dollars
Techcrunch has discovered a platform within Facebook that performs functions similar to those offered by Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developers (PMDs), potentially competing with them.
Facebook Unveils Video Ads to Court TV’s Market
The long-awaited video ads are now available to advertisers. The 15-second spots, which Facebook began testing in December and delayed several times, will be offered to select U.S. ad partners starting today.
Facebook is Banking On Its App Business To Take Over Apple And Google
While Apple and Google have extensive App stores, they lack the tools to promote the apps they sell. This is where Facebook comes in. Between its mobile app install ad format, Instagram and WhatsApp and targeting, the social network is gearing up to improve on its already impressive app business (53 percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile ads).
Liz Heron Joins Facebook To Head Partnerships
The seasoned journalist and ad exec hails from the WSJ and New York Times where she focused on the publications’ social media efforts
Instagram Inks Deal With Omnicom Worth $100 Million
Ads to be rolled out for a select group of the agency group’s clients who, according to Instagram, are popular on the platform
Social App Secret raised $8.6M in Series A funding
Secret is an anonymous social sharing startup, which has been generating a lot of buzz in the tech circles of CA and NY.
Yahoo Add Yelp Reviews To Search Results
Tapping into the enormous local search opportunity, Yahoo will now incorporate Yelp’s business listings, user reviews, and star ratings into relevant searches on desktop, smartphones, and tablets.
Yahoo Launches Gemini – A Mobile Search And Native Advertising Ad Platform
The new ad platform aims to make it easy for advertisers to combine the scale of search with creativity and impact of native advertising. Gemini will be part of Yahoo’s recently announced Ad Manager.
Google Tests Desktop-to-Mobile Retargeting With Brand Data
The Search giant is looking at ways to replace the cookie and develop a seamless mobile retargeting solution.
There Is Already A Brand Play On The Famous “First Kiss” Videos
A British yogurt brand, appropriately called Snog (Brit slang for making out) chased down its own Oreo moment and created a hilarious ad as a parody of the famous “First Kiss” video.
Happy Friday! Here is a rundown of stories from the front lines of our dynamic industry.
Facebook’s Redesigned Newsfeed Aims To Mimic The Simplicity Of The Mobile App. The new layout, which was introduced last year but is only rolling out now, features a new “card” arrangement for a less cluttered look Images are accentuated against the grey background, the left-hand column has a lighter feel. The changes are being rolled out over the next few weeks worldwide.
The man mistaken for Satoshi Nagamoto, the elusive Bitcoin founder, was chased around his California town by a bunch of tech reporters. LA Times editor Bel Bruno live-tweeted the event.
Mashable is running a March Madness-style Most Social Small Business contest. Creativity comes in small packages – the lessons learned can be applied brands and businesses big and small. Check out the current bracket here or follow #SocialSmallBiz
Which online video content genres achieve most ad views? A new report by FreeWheel (which has just been acquired by Comcast) shows, the content genres that had the fastest year-over-year increases in ad views – documentary/reality (66%), scripted drama (64%) and sports (50%) – are also the ones that tend to dominate primetime TV.
Facebook and GFK Release Study on How and Why We Switch Devices. The study found that over 60% of respondents use 2 devices and around 40% use three. Of those who use at least two devices, just more than half say they begin a task on one device and finish it on another. This device switch typically involves increasing screen size. Only 22% of users employ tablets on the go.
Time Magazine Redesigns Website, Invents Its Own Take On Native Ads. In the anticipation of the Time Inc. spinoff from Time Warner, Time magazine launched a redesigned website, complete with its take on native ads. The ad unit, consists of a cluster of articles from the same advertiser, but offers a choice of content while keeping the user engaged with the brand. Publisher Jed Hartman hopes to submit these to IAB to make this format an industry standard.
Findery, the Local Story Sharing App is Launched. Founded by Caterina Fake, who is also a co-founder of Flickr, the app is made of notes people leave in places they visit. Notes can be of any format, such as photos, text, video, etc. A note can be shared with the world, one to many people, one to one, or only with yourself. The founder sees the app as a way of “making the places around you come alive.” Notability algorithm determines the more “important” notes around. Can flip through notes to discover the area. Great for travelling, people relocating to a new place for work, or just day to day discovery of your own area. Unlike Foursquare, Findery is more experiential than recommendations based.
New App Trusper offers tips and a community, raises 6.17M Series A. The name is a neologism for a “trusted helper” and it became famous for beauty tips posted by the founder’s wife. Since then, the app has expanded to offer tips and advice on thousands of topics, with some of the most active users gathering as a many as 20,000 to 30,000 followers. The app is gamified – posters can earn points and tokens that allow them to either promote their content or the content of other posters and redeem points for discounts at retailers. Trusper’s competitors are Jelly and Quest.
QuizUp, the iPhone Trivia game + Social network comes to Android. The app is built on crowdsourced questions from the user community grouped by topics and is great at connecting people with common interests, since you have the option to chat with an opponent after a match. Brands can potentially engage with the QuizUp community by “hosting” new topics or adding questions to existing relevant topics.
PopTip Launches Zipline Analytics On Instagram
PopTip, a real-time conversation analytics platform, has announced the launch of its Zipline analytics tool on Instagram.
The company’s original product, Questions, allowed brands to poll or ask questions to their audiences and then analyzed real time conversations create as a result. Zipline, which was previously available for Twitter and Facebook, works similarly to other sentiment analysis tools in providing language tracking across social platforms. As of today, the feature is also available for Instagram. PopTip technology is about natural language processing and tracking in real-time.
More from Techcrunch
How Brands “Hack” Instagram To Drive Ecommerce Sales
Instagram has proven itself as a great branding tool, but what about sales? Since the platform doesn’t make it easy to drive direct sales, marketers are getting creative in driving their Instagram followers to purchase.
Retailers like West Elm, Bauble Bar, and Alex and Ani are using widgets to drive conversions from user photos. The widgets will pull in Instagram photos that are tagged with a specific hashtag to the retailer’s site, where it can be associated with a product for sale.
“Thirty to 35 percent of our online traffic engages with that widget on the homepage or on the product page,” said Daniella Yacobovsky, co-founder of Bauble Bar. “We see conversion about four to four-and-a-half times higher with these people than from people who don’t engage.”
“There’s definitely a correlation between the ones that sell the best and the ones that are on Instagram,” said Abigail Jacobs, vp of brand marketing for West Elm.
More from Digiday
Facebook is Buying WhatsApp for $16B
Facebook is purchasing messaging giant WhatsApp for $16B in cash and stock. The deal is being cut for $12B in Facebook shares, $4B in cash and an additional $3B in RSUs for employee retention.
Interestingly, WhatsApp’s founder, Brian Acton, had applied for jobs to both, Facebook and Twitter a few years back and was turned down.
More From Techcrunch
Study: Last Year, Social Ads Proved Highly Effective in Delivering New, Quality Audiences
The “Global Media Intelligence Report” [download page] from Neustar Aggregate Knowledge released this week, found Social was a better bet than display channels for reaching users that can be consistently marketed to. The report is using a “user quality index” as a measure of user “post-ad” interaction, which is a rate at which the acquired audiences are engaging with the brand.
The study reveals that social ads performed 52% better than the 4-channel average in delivering such quality users during Q4.
More from Marketing Charts
With New Publishing Tools, LinkedIn Makes Everyone a Professional Blogger
On Wednesday, the company announced that everyone can now publish personal, long-form content to their LinkedIn profile pages, providing the site’s 277 million-plus users with their own professional blogging platform.
This is an extension of LinkedIn’s Influencer program, which centered around high profile business personalities creating content on their profile pages.
This is of course a great personal branding tool as well as LinkedIn’s way to encourage more engagement on the platform and becoming a player in the content game.
More from Re/Code
Klout to Be Acquired by Lihium Technologies
Klout, the service designed to determine your social media influence, is reportedly being acquire by Lithium Technologies. This seems like a logical fit since Lithium provides social customer experience management software for the enterprise. With the two companies merged, we will hopefully see a more robust and scalable version of Klout Perks – deals offered to influential users based on their Klout scores.
More from Re/Code
Facebook Drops Inline CTA, Adds CTA Buttons To Appear In The Ad With Pre-Selected Calls To Action
There is some indication that Facebook is experimenting with replacing inline Calls To Action (Learn More, Click Here, Download etc) with buttons. So far this change has been rolled out on link posts, but it’s possible other formats will follow.
When creating link posts in Power Editor, you’re now given the option to include a CTA button that can feature one of the following pieces of copy: Shop now, learn more, sign up, book now or download.
They look like this:
Facebook Ad Clicks Set Record in Q4 2013, But Concerns Linger
According to a report by Adobe, Facebook saw an uplift across all engagement metrics in Q4 2013 as compared to the same time last year. The CTRs alone reportedly increased by 365% and total click volume doubled. The concern, however, remains about the social network’s referral volume, which hasn’t seen the same growth. With new platforms like Pinterest and Twitter revving up their advertising offering and higher adoption, Facebook is faced with stiff competition.
Read More on Mashable
Twitter is Testing a Timeline Redesign similar to Facebook’s
A new Twitter profile view design was first spotted by Mashable’s Matt Petronzio, and it signals a departure from Twitter’s classic vertical look. The new profile view is a tiled display of recent tweets and the profile snippet, similar to Pinterest or Facebook’s Paper app. A separate new feature offers pop-up notifications with fields for easy replies for direct messages sent through the platform, and similar notices for RTs and favorites.This more magazine-style web layout would work well with video and rich media formats but also potentially take away some of the engagement since there will just be too many things to distract a user’s attention.
More from Techcrunch
Confide is Snapchat For Business
Confide is a new app, which allows users to send private disappearing messages to each other, similar to Snapchat. The app launched in January and is being touted as “Snapchat For Business.” Unlike Snapchat, Confide only allows text messages, but the main difference is in the way message are displayed and read. Once you tap on an incoming message to open it, you have to swipe your finger across the screen to reveal the message. At no time is the message viewed in its entirety and an attempt to screenshot it will kick you out of the message.
More from BusinessInsider
Facebook to Let Users Choose Their Gender Pronoun Option
Aside from the usual “male” and “female” options, users can choose up to 10 different gender definitions to describe themselves out of more than 50 options, including “cisgender,” “transgender” and “intersex.”
More from Techcrunch
Facebook Launches Paper
Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary last week and, to mark the milestone, also released this app. Facebook’s Paper app is a curated experience comprised of interesting stories from publishers, brands, and friends. The app is made up of sections such as Tech, Flavors, or Headlines, which users can add to read content on these topics.
The slick interface makes for a beautiful reading experience and is a big step forward towards Facebook’s goal to become a true discovery and content hub.
More from Washington Post
#Esurancesave30 Wins This Year’s Unofficial Real Time Marketing Competition Of The Agencies
The premise was simple: offer people a chance to win $1.5M and they will tweet like no tomorrow.
The company announced on Twitter that instead of forking over $4M for a SuperBowl spot, they would show their spot during the first post-game slot, which goes for a mere $2.5M. Instead of just bagging the savings, Esurance’s agency Leo Burnett used the difference as bait to amass an incredible amount of publicity, fans and website visits.|
The company promised to give the money to one lucky viewer who tweeted the hashtag #EsuranceSave30 within 36 hours after the ad aired.
More from Adweek
On The Other Hand, IFC Spent $1200 To Increase Its Twitter Following By 25% With Clever Tweets And Cross Promotion
The Esurance stunt was of course a huge success, but it cam with a “small” price tag of $1.5M plus agency fees. So what can a little money, knowing your audience, and a lot of mock feminist humor get you instead?
IFC asked a volunteer at a Portland-based feminist bookstore In Other Words, which also happens to be the location where the show is filmed, to tweet during the big game. The brilliant tweets channeled the tone of the show’s main characters and used its own hashtag #FeministBookstoreSaysWhat as well as #Superbowl, #Portlandia, and #Feminism. The network didn’t buy any paid placements to promote the effort, rather relying on their 600K strong Facebook fan base to get the word out. The result was an increase in follower base from 65K to 81K and 8,000 re-tweets.
More from Adweek
No money used at new Marc Jacobs Pop up store – only “social currency
Money can’t buy love never rang so true! The Daisy Marc Jacobs popup store opening in New York’s SoHo neighborhood this Friday will sell you goods in exchange for “social currency” of tweets, Instagram photos, posts, and any other social mentions you can think of.
By snapping photos and posting messages with the hashtag #MJDaisyChain, visitors are awarded with Marc Jacobs-branded gifts when exiting the store. This ranges from perfume and necklaces to even purses (the best Instagram photo of the day will win a handbag). Each visitor then visits the front counter to receive a gift.
More from Mashable
Thompson Reuters Aims To Use Twitter For Sentiment Analysis
The company will use the sentiment analysis from Twitter for its market analysis and trading platform, Eikon. The service will enhance the offering with visualizations and charts based on the data. Looking at the graphics, traders and other Eikon users then will be able to look further into the data to track specific Tweets, people and companies on Twitter.
More form Techcrunch
Google Takes a Digital Stance Against Anti-LGBT Laws in Russia
More from Re/Code
For several years now, the analysis by Forrester Research has been required reading for those trying to better understand social media and social listening/intelligence – and separate what’s real, and what’s hype. It has become an important guidebook for brands helping to choose the right solution to meet their needs.
In 2010, Converseon was named category leader in the Forrester Wave™ Q2 2010 in part because of its data quality.
In 2012, we were named strong performer, specifically citing our social research strength.
Just this past week, the latest report was launched with much acclaim. The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Listening Platforms Q1 2014 evaluated offerings from the 11 providers that they determined “matter most” in the category and scored them according to a variety of criteria, including data sources, data processing, dashboard functionality, consulting and analysis services, and integration capabilities.
We were very pleased that Converseon was named a Strong Performer and received the highest scores in the evaluation for its data processing, including sentiment analysis (tied), as well as its consulting and analysis services, which received the highest score possible (5 out of a possible 5 points).
We are especially gratified that the areas where we received the highest scores – data processing and consulting and analysis services – are the two pillars that we believe are most essential to take enterprise social listening and intelligence to the next level. Highly-precise, relevant, reliable and actionable data, together with effective consulting services, are critical prerequisites for achieving even greater enterprise adoption and deeper integration into marketing and organizational operations. These are areas where we feel we clearly shined through.
What Forrester emphasized – and what we’ve been focusing on — is something quite important: Converseon is focused on taking social intelligence to the next level for existing and new client programs. Where once we only provided consulting on top of our own platforms, we recognized that many brands already had a a social monitoring platform and were understandably reluctant to rip it out and start again, even if the data wasn’t very effective or the platform didn’t meet all the needs of the organization.
Enter Converseon’s new solution set. Our ConveyAPI technology can work in conjunction with many third party tools to make that data more precise, meaningful, flexible and relevant. It includes emotion, custom classifier creation, and much, much more.
As the Forrester Report states, “(Converseon) also has productized its text analysis tool, Convey, for use on any source of unstructured text. This is a fit for buyers who want to add on Convey as an enhancement to their current platform provider.”
Converseon’s data processing is powered by its award-winning ConveyAPI™ technology (also offered via API through our newly-formed subsidiary, Revealed Context) which leverages machine learning together with advanced bespoke and custom natural language processing (“NLP”) to not only provide the industry’s highest precision, but also the greatest flexibility. It not only “tunes” to specific domains and industries, it allows for the rapid creation of a new and meaningful custom classifiers that can help glean unprecedented insights from social data.
But more advanced data often requires consulting services to help drive adoption and integration. Converseon’s Consulting offerings are designed to help infuse listening across organizations for multiple use cases and help large enterprises redesign business processes to make the intelligence actionable. These also are now available in conjunction with our own, and third party solutions. We simply want to make sure we get the right solutions for our clients and help them maximize the value and impact of the investments they have already made.
These offerings include Social Capability and Valuation Assessments, Employee Enablement Programs, Social Strategy Development and Execution services, among others. Its award winning research services provide a wide range of standard and custom analysis solutions, including Landscape Analysis, Competitive Intelligence, Brand Advocacy Analysis, Purchase Funnel and Customer Experience reporting, campaign effectiveness, among others. Converseon research focuses on the integration of social data with other critical intelligence, such as web analytics, search, sales data and more for deeper and more meaningful insight.
As Forrester recognizes, social listening continues to evolve fast. In our view, the next generation will be driven by much greater precision, customized to specific brands and their challenges, deeper integration into their company business operations and integration with other third party data (search, web analytics, sales, etc) and platforms/applications. These are core to our strategy and pleased that we’ve been recognized again in such a important analysis.
The full report is available (free) here