— blending the mix

That was the week in social 18th 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 18th November 2013 

More mad Snapchat valuations from Google this time, chinks appearing in the armour, Twitter’s big TV move, Edelman and Google make major but separate (!) media announcements and well, please…a moment’s silence to mark the passing of the beloved WinAmp…the great, great grandfather of mp3 players which closes on December 20th. That was the week in social. Read on…


It’s actually been a pretty quiet week on the Facebook front, although there have been some interesting consumer and SMB insights come out this week. Whilst penetration of internet users is pretty high in the US (67%), it’s an incredible, although perhaps not surprising, 82% in the UK. One of the interesting points about the chart below though, is how different the top brands on each channel are. Is a social brand, not one whose presence works across ALL channels?


Following on from O2 UK’s SMB Twitter partnership, there was some interesting stats from Facebook, quoting that they have 25 million small businesses who manage Pages, many of whom are increasingly turning to advertising to improve impact.


Twitter continues to make itself increasingly accountable and relevant with significant changes for both users and businesses.  It launched a great new Alerts service for use by emergency services (or approved partners). The system sends push notifications to all subscribers when a relevant account indicates a Tweet as an “Alert”, ensuring that the message gets through:

Whilst there is on obvious public service opportunity at launch, it isn’t a big stretch of the imagination to think that brands could be offered the opportunity to sponsor pushed alerts, or even have them as another promoted product, in much the same way as Facebook allows for post-boosting perhaps.

You may recall a few weeks ago, that Twitter introduced inline images, where you don’t need to click-through to see the content:

This week, Buffr, the post scheduling service released some interesting stats which suggests that (on their content at least), Tweets with images received 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets than those without (working across tablet, desktop AND mobile). This will clearly vary depending on the sector, the competitions for eyeballs in any given market but it’s interesting to see now, a similar conversation about post type on Twitter as we’ve had on Facebook for many years now. Perhaps there is now likely to a more consistent creative approach to all social networks?

Perhaps Twitter’s biggest play though is in the way it is now infiltrating TV advertising, with the launch of its TV conversation targeting initiative. This basically means that advertisers can now target ads at people talking about specific TV shows (X-Factor, Match of the Day, etc.). Read about the logic to the system and the overview is here, along with a stunning visualisation of the tracking ability of an ad here:


The biggest news for Instagram this week was that it has finally been released for Windows Phone…Techcrunch called it “the dumbest possible launch”, whilst The Guardian seemed to get it. Either way, one of the fastest-growing social platforms has now been added to the fastest-growing mobile OS now (156% YoY growth) with 110m users.


Another smart announcement from Pinterest, with the addition of Place Pins. Off the back of the insight that users were using Pinterest to research holidays or trips, Place Pins are interactive maps that chart everything that has been pinned about a certain location – kind of like a visual TripAdvisor. It’s a great additional and perhaps gives Pinterest a “place” in the same way that Twitter has for TV.

Pinterest Places

Roaming, 4G or retail campaign anyone?

There’s also interesting stats from Pinterest analytics firm, Piquora, that half of Pinterest-driven purchases occur 2.5 months after the item has been pinned.


The jury’s out on the methodology, but fair play that they are the only major new platform talking in this way about attribution.


Massive news from Google this week, announcing a $100m deal with Publicis. Three weeks ago, the agency (and its siblings) and Google agreed a huge deal to secure discounted “conventional” banner and mobile ads, but this week, extended the scope of the deal to now include space on Google+, Hangouts and YouTube.

The interesting point here, apart from the value, is that the new, package gives Publicis’s agencies, a reach (and arguably value) that begins to surpass that of TV advertising. Last week’s announcement that they are now allowing Nielson to tag YouTube videos suggests that this is only going one way – TV ad spend is heading where the audience is, online.

And, whilst not Google-specific, Edelman have made a major play to enter the paid-media space with the appointment (ironically-enough!) of Publicis Groupe’s Chris Paul, to the newly-created Global Head of Paid Media). Whilst many would argue that there’s clearly some mission-creep here and most PR agencies will have a tough time trying to either buy at the scale of a dedicated media house or provide the depth of analysis/optimisation necessary, it’s not impossible to think that it will only take a couple of big clients who are attracted by the integrated approach that Edelman could offer, to create a major shake-up in the traditional paid-media business model.

 Research and Insights

In light of the furore over the “Teenage exodus” on Facebook, Globalwebindex took a look to see which platforms the world’s teens are using. No surprises here, but further proof that closed messaging networks are a big threat to a “conventional” social approach:


Other fascinating news is that the UK, according to eMarketer is likely to lose top spot as the “top social networking country” in Western Europe. Looking at the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of internet users who use a social network at least once per month, Germany is soon expected to take top spot.

european social media


I wouldn’t say that there’s a big news shout this week, other than what appears to be a significant attack on TV spend. The Google/Publicis deal and Twitter’s TV audience targeting shows that finally, TV ad spend is finally moving towards where the audience is.

But…is the move to online spend posing a threat to TV in a similar albeit slightly different way that piracy is to music or film? With no financial reward for creating the content, who will create the shows around which audiences gather (anywhere)?

Are we looking at a future of Red Bull TV or Netflix-own productions? Will YouTube simply replace the big screen as the first screen?

1 comment
  1. Jamie Riddell says: November 25, 20133:27 pm

    Great stuff Paul, thanks for sharing. The Pinterest Place pins are pulling data from Foursquare which works well for retail targeting and potential footfall. However, it fails slightly when looking for wider travel destinations – Malabar in India (for example) will give you no shortage of take aways in London but no actual destination!

    So far I see no way of overriding the location data so if 4SQ don’t have it, you can’t pin it. As much of Pinterest is aspirational this may be a small oversight when people want to pin aspirational destinations that aren’t on the high street :-)

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