Tag Archives: mobile

#hashtagnews #76

- One in five American adults don’t use the #Internet, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center. People who fall into this group are senior citizens, adults with less than a high school education, and those in households earning less than $30,000 per year (Source).

- Mobile bookmarking service Read It Later has rebranded itself as #Pocket and launched a completely redesigned app. The product is a market leader, has over 4.5 million users and items are saved at a rate of 5 times a second (that’s over 400,000 items saved a day) (Source).

#Twitter has announced that it is expanding its Promoted Tweets advertising offering by adding BlackBerry to its roster of platforms available to advertisers, also allowing users of the ad program to specifically target BlackBerry users (Source).

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#hashtagnews #73

- #Facebook has launched a new type of community page for schools called “Groups for Schools” that requires an active “.edu” email address to join and will allow students and faculty members to exchange files, create events and message each other (Source).

- According to a report by Reuters, a forecast released by Crédit Suisse predicts that global sales of #smartphones will top 1 billion units by 2014. Smartphone sales are expected to grow about 46% this year to 687.9 million units (Source).

- #Tablet sales are expected to reach 119 million units this year, up from 60 million in 2011, according to a forecast published by Gartner. The iPad will most likely continue to dominate the market and is expected to amount to 61% of all tablet sales in 2012 (73 million units) (Source).

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#hashtagnews #57

- According to a report by Technomic, Wendy’s edged out Burger King in U.S. sales volume for the first time last year, becoming the second biggest #QSR chain in the country (Source).

- According to Beverage Digest, carbonated #softdrinks reported their seventh straight year of declines in 2011, taking the category back to 1996 levels. Only Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Diet Mtn Dew and Fanta are reporting growth (Source).

- As announced last month, #Twitter is rolling out Promoted Tweets for mobile devices (Source).

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Facebook and Advertising

In many respects, Facebook made history this week, as COO Sheryl Sandberg took the stage at New York’s Natural History Museum for the Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC) on Wednesday. Joined by VP of Product Chris Cox and Director of Global Business Marketing Mike Hoefflinger, Sandberg made a number of major product announcements that will definitely redefine the way brands communicate on Facebook (and maybe beyond that too).

A “Partnership Company”

A few weeks ahead of the company’s IPO, the speakers made sure that one particular message came across: Facebook is a partnership company. A rather odd statement but not a very surprising one coming from a company that makes up 12% of its revenue from selling virtual goods through a partner’s platform (Zynga). It was also a clumsy way to stroke marketers and advertising agencies and help them understand that the social network is their friend, not their enemy (and definitely Facebook cannot afford to mess up its relationship with advertisers, as advertising still accounts for the most part of its revenues, and by far).

Admittedly, Facebook is offering great new real estate to marketers, including on mobile, which is certainly something that most advertisers have been looking forward to for a long time. Nonetheless, the changes that were announced on Wednesday were clearly designed to benefit Facebook first and foremost (and to help them get their hands on some good cash). Facebook is obsessed with trying to prove to the world that it is ready for its IPO, and that it can still generate growth in revenues (an increasingly challenging task, as the social network edges closer to a billion users). They might very well have succeeded at achieving that first objective.

Apple & Google, Inspirations and Competitors

Another interesting fact was just how much effort Facebook put into trying to look and sound like two other major tech corporations that are both its sources of inspiration and competitors: Apple and Google. Sandberg’s keynote was definitely reminiscent of Steve Jobs’ most glorious stage moments, and the new products video presentation had the look and feel of a Google Chrome commercial (see below). That is very telling about what kind of company Facebook think they are (and what kind of company they’re trying to be). Just like Apple, they’re all about the user experience (Facebook execs highlighted how the new ad units do not disrupt the user experience), and just like Google, they’re trying to demonstrate that they don’t “do evil” and that they’re a people company.

“Brands With Purpose”

That last part pretty much sums up the philosophy that inspired Facebook in revamping brand pages and building new ad products. The idea was to completely rearchitect Facebook brand pages to put users at the center of the experience, and to build ad products from their stories (an idea that’s best illustrated by the name of Facebook’s most famous ad product: “Sponsored Stories”). Facebook actually explained that brands are not so different from people: they have a voice, a “mood” and a personality. I thought that was an interesting angle. I also liked how Facebook insisted on how they want to help build “brands with purpose”, which I think is a concept that is going to be very big (and already is, to some extent).

The New Products: “Reset Time”

What Facebook did is they completely overhauled brand pages to bring them the exact same “Timeline” format that users have got to experience since late September 2011. Meanwhile, they made the new brand pages the “mission control” of a brand’s activity on the social network, with the possibility to “pin” a post that will stay on top of the page for a week and the ability to retrofit content on the timeline. They made it clear: it’s reset time for brands on Facebook. They also built some new ad products to help brands make sure their fans and the friends of their fans see their stories. The “Sponsored Stories” will now show up not only on the right-hand side of the homepage but also in users’ newsfeeds (including on mobile, for the very first time) and even on the log-out page. According to Facebook, that should help brands maximize their reach and reach 75% of their fans (as opposed to only 16% before).

These changes are definitely a good opportunity for brands to think about how and what they want to communicate on Facebook. The changes will most likely help revitalize the strongest brand pages but they make it difficult for smaller brands to build a solid social media presence. In particular, the fact that Facebook doesn’t allow landing tabs or “likegating” anymore will make fan acquisition very challenging. That being said, it may be a sign that fan acquisition should not be the main focus and that brands should rather try to get their fans more engaged.

Paul Adams on the Social Web

I also had the privilege to sit it on a conference with Paul Adams, here at the agency on Thursday. Paul is currently a researcher with Facebook’s product team. He previously worked at Dyson and Google where he formed the foundation for many aspects of Google+, including the concept of Circles, for which he holds a patent.

Paul told us about how the new Facebook products came to be, and how he thinks the web will evolve to be completely social in the coming years. He’s a great speaker and what he had to say was sometimes quite fascinating. He had a lot of insights to share on the theory of information and social media (two subjects that he seems to have studied and researched extensively). What interested me the most was his vision of the web, and how he thinks in three to five years it will be rearchitected from the ground up to incorporate social media in everything we do. He mentioned a few caveats to that vision (the most important one being privacy issues), which I think seriously weakness his demonstration. That being said, there is definitely some truth to what Paul Adams told us about the revolution of the web and TV, how that affects consumer behaviors and, eventually, challenges marketing and advertising to think of new ways to be effective. You can read a fairly recent interview of Paul Adams on AllThingsD.

Conclusion

Despite all of Facebook’s efforts, there’s one thing that all advertisers have on their minds: “social advertising” is still in its infancy. That’s not saying that it won’t take off (it has already) or that the opportunities are not huge (they are), but advertisers and agencies still have a lot to learn, and that will take time. We’ve probably just started to imagine the possibilities. It is now the responsibility of a new generation of advertisers to take advantage of these new tools to reimagine the way we do advertising, not only on Facebook, but also on the web and even on TV. Hopefully, these changes and future changes will help create better, more imaginative advertising.

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#hashtagnews #44

- #Facebook is rolling out “Timeline” for brand pages. Brands have till March 30 to activate the new format but it looks like some were able to access the new features early and already did (i.e. Ben & Jerry’sCoca-Cola, Coldplay, Manchester United, Old SpiceStarbucks…) (Source).

- According to The Wall Street Journal, new data from comScore indicates that users spent on average 3 minutes per month on #Google+ between September and January (Source).

- #Twitter announced that its Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts ad products are coming to its mobile apps on iPhone and Android. For the time being, the ads will not show on the iPad or third-party clients (i.e. Tweetbot and Twitterific) (Source).

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#hashtagnews #43

- #Facebook announced a series of efforts to simplify the development of mobile web applications. In particular, Faceboook partnered with major tech corporations and carriers to work towards mobile browser standardization and allow streamlined operator billing (Source).

- #Skype recorded 34 million users online concurrently at peak yesterday (Source).

- #YouTube announced new customization features for its automatic captioning service, allowing you to change the font, size and color of the text, but also to convert existing captions (Source).

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#hashtagnews #42

- Google announced that the number of #Android devices around the world has topped 300 million, with 850,000 new devices activated every day, a 250% year-on-year increase (Source).

- #Groupon announced that 25% of all deals in North America were purchased from a mobile device in December 2011 (Source).

- Microsoft is bringing a beta version of #Skype to the Windows Phone platform (Source).

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#hashtagnews #41

- Google announced that it is adding #Google+ Circles to Google Voice (Source)

- According to comScore, 64.2 million U.S. customers use their #mobile devices for social networking, with 38.2 million doing so “almost every day” (Source).

- A new ad for Tide that will air during the Academy Awards telecast this weekend will allow #Shazam users to access and download a song for free (Source).

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#hashtagnews #34

- Ad Age reports that Apple is once again cutting the minimum amount it charges advertisers to run a campaign on its #iAd program for rich in-app advertising. Advertisers will now have to spend just $100,000, significantly down from the initial starting price of $1 million in 2010 (Source).

#Microsoft‘s advertising division has unveiled a social display ad product called “People Powered Stories”, which will allow brands to incorporate user-generated content within a banner ad. The first campaigns are expected to launch in April (Source).

- According to a report from Cisco, the number of #mobile devices will exceed the world’s population by the end of the year  (Source).

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#hashtagnews #29

- Google have launched #Chrome for Android Beta, a mobile version of their browser they say is “focused on speed and simplicity” and syncs across devices (Source).

- According to comScore, social bookmarking service #Pinterest just hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, although it is still invite-only (Source).

- A record-breaking 2.1 million viewers watched #SuperBowl XLVI online, adding up to 111.3 million broadcast viewers (Source).

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