“If messages were filtered, it would be a big change for brands used to showing up in all their followers’ timelines. But changes could be in order because Twitter still has to find a way to get those masses of visitors to become active users, and it has already tinkered with experiences that deliver information to users with a few clicks.”
PNConnect Insight – While it might make sense for Twitter from a business standpoint to start offering some sort of algorithm-based feed, it would also serve them well to just make it an option, not the default. Power users in particular enjoy the unfiltered stream exactly because it’s so different from Facebook’s heavily-manipulated feed. Also, this functionality already exists in the form of Lists, though that’s something that’s largely beyond the first-time or even casual Twitter user.
“Of the top 8 social networks, only Facebook drove a greater share of traffic at the end of Q2 than it did at the end of Q1. By increasing its share 10.09% (2.14 percentage points), it may be fair to suggest that Facebook stole share from the seven remaining social networks, which lost a collective 1.97 percentage points.”
PNConnect Insight – The report’s data is all very interesting and shows how some networks are rising or falling as a source of traffic. So while mileage may vary from program to program, these industry trends are worth paying attention to and matching up against specific program analytics.
“…blog posts with images saw higher interaction rates, suggesting that a large portion of the blogger community had adopted this trend to keep up with competition and drive traffic. But where do the opportunities to stand out lie? Video and, even more so, audio. Fewer than 15% of respondents said they included video in their posts, and a measly 2.6% used audio alongside content.”
PNConnect Insight - “The visual web” has come to be applied mostly to Facebook, Pinterest and other sites. But it’s worth remembering, as part of an overall content strategy, how to work pictures and other visuals into blog posts as well, particularly if a website’s design emphasizes visual elements.
“Ben Smith, a Buzzfeed editor, announced the move in an article on the website, stating: “After carefully reviewing more than 500 of Benny’s posts, we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites. Benny is a friend, colleague and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go.” All instances of plagiarism have now been corrected, with an editor’s note added to each.”
PNConnect Insight – The most striking part of this is that it highlights how, almost despite its own mission statement, Buzzfeed still has an archive of content that needs tending. So while it emphasizes material that’s about “right now” it still has a vast history that is discoverable and accessible and, being part of the historical record in its own way, it still has a responsibility to correct errors long after they’re made.
Facebook’s plan to monetize Messenger through payments just got one step closer to reality. Now users who want to keep messaging their Facebook friends will be forced to download the standalone Messenger app.
PNConnect Insight – As we saw several weeks ago, Facebook will be separating Messages feature into a separate app. In doing so, the social network is creating focused apps that will essentially function more efficiently.
As expected, Instagram has launched a new photo and video messaging app called Bolt, though for the time being only iOS and Android users in New Zealand, South Africa, and Singapore can put it through its paces. As its name suggests, speed and ease of use is at the heart of Snapchat-like Bolt, with the free app allowing for the super-fast sending of images and videos to friends.
PNConnect Insight – The messaging app field is now officially crowded, which means a shakeout period should come shortly as acquisitions, shutdowns and more ramp up. In the meantime, this will be interesting to watch as it expands into other markets.
“This is the beginning of the ‘personalized local search’ future we’ve been talking about since we started Foursquare. It’s been built with the help of our amazing 50,000,000-strong community, with all your tips, check-ins, photos, and the smarts we layered on top of that. Those of you have been with us since the beginning, your check-ins and history will continue to help shape your recommendations. For those of you giving us a try for the first time – you still get all the benefits of a better way to explore any neighborhood, no check-ins required.”
PNConnect Insight – Has any company done as big a shift in the last six months as Foursquare? Certainly “checking in” as a dedicated activity seems to be waning. But it remains to be seen if it can effectively become, at least in part, a dedicated local search service, an area it’s expanding into largely since it has the biggest potential for local advertising revenue.
“A study by Shop.org and Forrester Research shows 85 percent of retailers surveyed said search marketing (including paid and SEO) was the most effective customer acquisition tactic. And, the research showed paid search was the channel most heavily invested in.”
PNConnect Insight – What’s illuminating about this survey is not just how effective search marketing of some form or another seems to be, but how far down the list tactics like Facebook, Twitter and so on are. Consumer behavior is still very much based around searching for information as opposed to waiting for it to be presented to them in the feed.
Facebook has announced it’s to shutter its ‘Gifts’ service that allows users to buy digital gift cards from a wide range of merchants such as Starbucks, Best Buy, and Gap. The service will end on August 12, the social networking giant said, giving it the opportunity to focus more on other e-commerce features, such as its new ‘Buy’ button that lets Facebook users buy physical goods from companies via a single click without having to exit the site.
PNConnect Insight – This news is not too surprising, as the “gifts” service never saw the expected pick up in usage. The ability to purchase natively in Facebook will remain, though, as the social network pushes their new “Buy” button.
The six-month sponsorship will include BMW videos appearing the bottom of each article and text at the top that says “Presented by BMW.” Medium staffers will also generate up to five sponsored articles about the automaker.
PNConnect Insight – This is a natural move for Medium since traditional display advertising was never going to fit in with the site’s overall aesthetic. Even “native advertising” may be an odd fit since the focus on Medium is about following interesting people or topics.
“Based on data released earlier this month by Nanigans, advertisers believe that Unpublished Page Posts are the way to go. In Q2 2013, the newly introduced ad type accounted for just 2.9% of Facebook ads worldwide. Fast-forward one year later, and this share was at 50.1%.”
PNConnect Insight – While these posts are very much ads, they’re also very much part of the content mix – and therefore strategy – even if they don’t appear in people’s Newsfeeds as regular posts. This is an important addition to the Facebook advertising arsenal and one content publishing teams should educate themselves on and work on ways to integrate it into their programs.
“McBride, better known as “Shonduras,” is Snapchat’s first homegrown celebrity and one of the first people to make money off of his intricate Snapchat art. Brands are shelling out up to $30,000 for advertising deals with McBride and other power users, hoping to reach Snapchat’s demographic: the fickle and influential 13- to 25-year-old bracket.”
PNConnect Insight – This is the same trend we’ve seen on Instagram, Vine, YouTube and other platforms, where brands seek get “organic” exposure by working with those with huge followings on ad messages. But as always in such cases there’s not only the importance of including disclosure but also the risk that becoming, for lack of a better term, a corporate mouthpiece could turn off the audience that the individual originally attracted.