— blending the mix

That was the week in social 11th November 2013

Getting through thousands of pieces of content per week, I figured that there would be some value in sharing some of those most relevant pieces in a weekly blog post. Like Scott’s, this also goes around various people within the Telefonica business to help them keep track of the major changes and trends in social media.

I’ll be putting this out every Friday afternoon as a bit of a wrap for the week but if you want to make sure you get this and any other posts I put out on the blog, make sure you subscribe here.

That was the week in social 11th November 2013 

In the week where every man and his dog had an opinion about Twitter’s IPO, this week’s hot topic for budding financial analysts was how or why revenue-less Snapchat could turn down $3bn from Facebook. But perhaps they have good reason to speculate wildly – there’s definitely a mobile storm brewing, perhaps best summed up by this “open letter” to Zuckerberg…

Stories are everywhere of mobile-first networks like Instagram, Line and WeChat posting increasingly significant revenue and user numbers, seemingly eroding the lead that the old boys like Facebook and Twitter have established.

Mobile News

This will come as no surprise, but in the context of mobile-first socialising, these figures make a compelling, if not cast-iron case for why brands need to re-think their social media strategies. Both Quartz and Business Intelligence have produced fascinating decks highlighting the growth dominance of mobile as the primary tool in our lives – and it doesn’t look all bad for Facebook.

Benedict Evans’ presentation on Quartz:

Platforms

Facebook

An interesting move for Facebook in becoming a member of the GSMA to “focus on mobile and our continued desire to work closely and collaboratively with partners in the industry”. You can’t help but think this is very closely aligned to Facebook’s internet.org aspirations of providing connectivity for all.

Interesting news that an update of the Facebook app now allows for the integration of SMS alongside Facebook Messages, further evidence of Facebook OS-creep…or an attempt to redeem itself after its “Home” Mobile OS-style product limps on…

Twitter

Aside from retaining a heathy share price ($44), Twitter continued to stay in the news by making some pretty significant announcements.

Top of this list, (to the annoyance no doubt of Storify) is Custom Timelines – allowing any Tweetdeck user to curate a column of Tweets to allow the user to more closely follow a topic in real-time. For the publishers of live events (and brands) though, the best example of this so far is The Guardian, which hosted a Q&A this week:

I can’t help think that this has essentially productised Q&A’s into a much nicer user experience. Mind…it still won’t stop some people cocking up on Twitter Q&A’s though…

Perhaps not news to many in the Telco industry, but Twitter also announced important new targeting features for advertisers, namely OS, Device and Wifi. The obvious targets for this are Telco’s and Device manufacturers, but with the choice and prices of devices being so broad, the profiling opportunities for many different industries are significant.

And finally, in the UK, Twitter in Partnership with O2 launched its self-serve ad platform for small businesses. As an added incentive, businesses who signed up to the O2 social media leaderboard on the social media hub (developed in partnership with Kred) received a share of £1m of advertising credit.

Instagram

There was some fascinating analysis by Benedict Evans suggesting that Instagram may not be “all that” and may be destined to remain a niche platform. Despite recent figures from Facebook boasting that Instagram’s 150m users are posting 55m photos a day, these numbers pale in to insignificance when compared to the volumes shared on Snapchat (350m/day) and WhatsApp (400m/day).

Vine

Two pieces of good news for Windows Phone users this week. Following on from the announcement by IDC that the OS has seen a 156% YoY growth (and suggests it’s here to stay for a long time!), Vine is now available on the platform – and before Instagram too!

Q3 shipments

Pinterest

Some evidence that Pinterest is really growing up as a viable commercial platform after announcing that it is making its first API available and has more to come. Essentially, it allows websites to embed their most popular pinned items in to their website (promising trending and related-pin data soon):

Embedded pins  

This is certainly an interesting evolution when Pinterest analytics firm Piqora claim that a pin generates, on average 78c of sales, an increase of 25% versus Q4 2012.

YouTube

Fun times at Google following last week’s announcement that users had to use their Google+ account to leave comments. Perhas NOT what you’d want to hear from one of your founders…

youtube-091113

 Research and Insights

Kinda insights-esque, but Google this week announced that it would begin allowing Nielson and comScore to place measurement tags on ads placed across all of Google’s properties. Most interesting will be the ability to now more closely compare TV ratings to YouTube ratings.

Didn’t think big phones were cool? Wrong:

Phablets

Smart TVs and Wearable tech are just at the start of their journey:

wearables

 

Mobile is the ONLY media time that is growing:

mobile time

Summary

So yes, it’s been another busy week, but as the Business Intelligence and Quartz reports show, perhaps in the most compelling way yet – social media strategy is on the cusp of major change.

Mobile compatibility is an absolute given, but the smart brands are the ones who understand how they can play a relevant role in their customer’s always-on, mobile lives. What we can ask of our customers next year must look very different to even this year. This will require new insights into their travel habits, attitudes and interests and perhaps most of all, their attention.

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