Here are today’s Likes and Fails, today we feature the brand new version of Foursquare and take a look at the diversity issues at Twitter.
Foursquare have unveiled a new look. The company unveiled a new logo and app interface. They’ve also officially moved check-ins from the app over to a new app called swarm. The new foursquare focuses on exploring the world around you and making sure that people are getting tailor made recommendations.
Foursquare themselves say that over 3 quarters of the apps users have already moved over to the new app to carry on with their check ins. Though all users will need to download swarm if they wish to continue checking in with foursquare. If you have both apps downloaded then it’s simple to check in on foursquare as a button option pops up on the app. They also say that for the use of the new app all you’ll have to do is add tastes, follow experts or even just walk around for a few days, and foursquare will become ’100% yours’.
They say of their new logo that instead of a check-in point – which is no longer it’s main business, they wanted a logo which is kind of Superhero themed. Which I would say they’ve successfully created.
There has of course been some disagreement with the change of the app, a few loyal fans of the app disappointed in the change and the fact that they now have to have two different apps to get the full functionality they want. Either way it’s nice to see Foursquare changing it up as they have been struggling recently.
Twitter are under fire today after they revealed that less than a third of all their employees are female. 30% of their global employees are female and in their tech sector only 10% of employees are women.
They released these diversity statistics along with some other silicon valley giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo! who released their figures in recent months. They both have very similar statistics with Google on a 70% male workforce and Facebook’s slightly lower at 69%. Yahoo! fares slightly better on the equality front with 37% of CEO Marissa Mayer’s staff being female.
Twitter fully admits that they know there are diversity issues in the company with their vice president of diversity and inclusion saying: ”We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity — and we are no exception,”.
They also said they knowing about these issues they had created groups that would help promote diversity and inclusion such as SWAT (super women at Twitter) and Blackbird, for “tweeps of colour”.
Not only are there issues with gender diversity but the company is being asked to reflect the communities they serve by putting more effort into creating ethnically diverse teams too.
Twitter’s stats revealed that 59 per cent of its global workforce was white, with 29 per cent identified as Asian. Black, Hispanic or Latino, individuals who are mixed race and ‘other’ accounted for under 7 per cent of the company.
by Helen Stirling
Today’s Likes and Fails take a look at LinkedIn’s big company acquisition, and a twitter trend outrage based around new teen horror film The Purge: Anarchy’s original hashtag #TwitterPurge.
LinkedIn have made a big purchase. They’ve decided to add ‘Bizo’ a marketing agency, founded in 2008, to the company, in a deal worth around $175 million to be paid later this year in 90% cash and 10% stocks . It looks as if they are hoping to benefit from Bizo’s B2B expertise and focus it on measuring social advertising programs aimed at the network’s professional audience.
Russell Glass, the co-founder and CEO of Bizo, said: “We have been a LinkedIn partner for a while now and it became clear that our respective missions and cultures are really well aligned. I couldn’t be more thrilled that we are coming together to accelerate our ability to reach professional audiences, nurture prospects, and acquire customers in truly powerful ways.”
This news comes after a year of high profile business acquisitions such as Facebook purchasing WhatsApp and Apple collaborating with Beats by Dre in a whopping $3 billion deal. It seems to be the year of the big company purchase.
A twitter trend sparked outrage the other day when it got into the wrong hands. The trend #Twitterpurge was initially linked to the new teen horror film coming out called The Purge: Anarchy (a sequel to the original The Purge), the idea of the purge in the film is that for one day in the year all crime is legal. Unfortunately some took the trend too far subjecting others to a horrible ‘purge’ by posting images of ex’s in compromising images in an act of ‘revenge porn’.
The trend peaked on the night of the films release, though after one teenager set up the same date for a #TwitterPurge and suggested people have an ‘anything goes’ attitude to Twitter for one evening, the trend was hijacked by users posting nude photographs of ex’s and sometimes @ing them in the tweet or subtweeting about them. These people are obviously not thinking about how it will affect the lives of the girls they are tweeting about, as we’ve seen before, it can cause humiliation and ruin lives, it can even lead to suicide.
The other grotesque thing is that as this film is aimed at teens, it meant that the hashtag was mainly picked up on by teenagers, which therefore meant that many of the images being posted counted as child pornography. Twitter have been removing accounts as quickly as they can which are associated with the purge trend and are sharing these sort of images. Unfortunately the trend caught on on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Luckily there were a large proportion of users that spoke out about the trend and shared their disgust at the people who felt it necessary to share private images. Here’s a look at one of the tweets calling out how irresponsible the pure was.
— Relatable (@JustReIatabIe) July 19, 2014
by Helen Stirling
A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 22nd July – Netflix hits 50m subscribers & EPA tweets about Kim Kardashian
Good morning all, here are today’s Likes and Fails for your viewing pleasure. Today we congratulate Netflix on reaching a massive milestone of 50 million subscribers and have a look at the funny fail that saw the EPA twitter account tweet about the new Kim Kardashian iPhone game.
Netflix has hit a huge milestone today, they’ve now got over 50 million subscribers world wide which is very impressive. 36.2 million of those subscribers are in the US and 13.8 million internationally. This means that they managed to add 1.7 million in the last quarter, which are very good figures. It was said to stockholders in a letter that some of their original programming has helped them on their way to this number. Especially the newest series of Orange is the new Black which was recently added to their streaming service. Execs said that the $1 increase to subscriptions which offered HD and dual screen viewing had not scared customers off.
Netflix also said that it didn’t see Amazon prime and Hulu as competitors because much of their content was mutually exclusive. They said that their biggest competitors were TV channels that were offering TV anywhere apps which let you watch their shows from any device. In particular they said HBO GO was one of their main competitors.
Netflix proves again and again that it knows it’s customers and what they want, and this milestone just shows that they’re still growing.
Quite a funny fail this morning, a US government twitter account accidentally tweeted out a message that I assume wasn’t meant for anyone to see, and I mean anyone. Last night in america the account for the Environmental Protection Agency, specifically their water account, sent out what seemed like an auto-tweet from the brand new Kim Kardashian game! It said that they were now an in-game c-list celebrity and asked others to join and become famous too on iPhone.
This is even funnier if you imagine how it all conspired. You’re an EPA employee just enjoying a bit of down time to yourself, playing the Kim Kardashian game and working your way up to C-list celebrity. Then a pop-up says “Congratulations! You’re now a C-list celebrity” it then asks you to share your progress, you quickly say ‘God, no’ and dismiss the pop-up. Or do you? You did click the button rather quickly.. no it’ll be fine, I’ll check later, I’ve got to make B-list first. Then suddenly later that evening you’re getting notification after notification, then it dawns on you, oh no, am I signed in to the work account? Click, scroll, click, meltdown.
So yes from my delightful little story there you can tell that people definitely noticed and everyone saw the humour in it, I mean who wouldn’t? The tweet was retweeted 3,000 times before it was quietly deleted from the account 3 hours after it first hit the web.
People didn’t stop there though. The tweet was obviously screen captured to make sure it lives on forever, and with this image in frequent use the Twitter jokes came rolling in.
How the EPA’s Kim Kardashian tweet makes a strong case for a carbon tax. http://t.co/YEHiH9Pq1A
— Vox (@vauxnews) July 22, 2014
We had a good run, humanity. pic.twitter.com/heOwDFnGg5
— Adrian Carrasquillo (@RealAdrianC) July 22, 2014
The EPA may only be a C-List celebrity on the Kim Kardashian game, but the CIA still hasn’t beaten Final Fantasy VII.
— Joshua Lyman (@joshualyman) July 22, 2014
by Helen Stirling
A Social Media Agency’s Round-Up – 21st July – Twitter to improve DMs, MH17 opportunists on FB, Weird Al new video & last week’s AMAs
Welcome to this Monday’s Round-up blog. We’re filling you in with all that is happening in the Social Media world. Enjoy.
Twitter is to improve Direct Messaging
Twitter says that they are to begin updating mobile Twitter apps so that your entire direct messaging history is available and viewable on your mobile. As well as this they are also planning to streamline the task of deleting direct messages on your mobile too. Twitter have been tinkering with DMs in recent months after a spate of interest in mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Line. The changes added have been pop up notifications on web, making the messages more prominent, as well as testing a feature where any user could send another a direct message whether they were following each other or not. There is also speculation that Twitter will be offering group messaging as an option soon too.
Definitely watch out for some new updates to DMs in the next couple of months.
MH17 opportunists set up Facebook pages
Some not very nice news regarding the MH17 plane crash has surfaced. It suggests that scammers have been setting up Facebook profiles in the names of some of the victims of the crash after claims that credit cards and identities have been stolen from the crash site. The names of some of the deceased, including children, had been used to set up fraudulent Facebook pages. The pages shared videos which supposedly linked to the plane crash but instead linked through to a spam site with loads of pop ups for suspicious services.
Luckily Facebook have now shut the pages down, but unfortunately it seems that looters have definitely been going through bags on the crash site as virtually every bag that the media have seen has been opened and left lying in the fields.
Weird Al Yankovic – Lame Claim to Fame video
Weird Al Yankovic has release one of his last videos promoting his new album release, his Social Media strategy has been spot on, releasing one video a day over a week is really helping him to build up hype surrounding the album. The latest video is not a parody, like some of the other popular ones, but instead is an original song about the obsession with celebrity culture. The video called Lame Claim to Fame, parodies people’s claims to fame such as ‘Jack Nicholson looked right at me at a Lakers game.’ The video is set out in a scrapbook, stop-animation style and is very well done. This video hasn’t had the instant amount of hits that the others have, this could be because it’s not a parody of another song, or possibly the fact that it was released on a Sunday. It currently only has about 366,000, which is a lot, but not in comparison to his first song released from the album, Tacky which had millions of hits on it’s first day.
Reddit AMA fun
There were some great AMAs on Reddit last week, and here’s a look at few of them. I guess I’ll start with Weird Al as I was just talking about him. I assume as part of his promotional online tour for his new album he decided to take part in an AMA, which was as bizarre as you’d imagine. Someone asked him his favourite recipe and he replied with this:
“Here’s my favorite recipe: PEANUT BUTTER BALL. First, take a glob of peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, it doesn’t matter… it REALLY doesn’t matter, don’t be so indecisive, just pick one or the other… it will taste the same eventually, so why are you being so stinking picky, just PICK ONE already)… then put in on a slice of bread, wad it into a ball and cram it into your mouth. Voila!”
As well as Weird Al Reddit was also treated to an AMA from Zach Braff which was also suitably odd. Zach has become a bit of a Reddit regular so it’s always interesting to see what new questions he answers each time. This time someone asked him how he was affected by what critics say about his work and he replied with:
“My ego wants everyone to like my art. But I know that’s not realistic. So I just hope that enough people like what I do so I can keep making stuff. Otherwise I’ll just go on FarmersOnly.com, find a wife and settle down.”
Another gereat question was:
“Hey Zach! Just a out of context question, what do you think about tattoos and do you ever want one?”
and his reply:
by Helen Stirling
There’s no denying that online media is becoming more and more visual, text pieces are losing their oomph as images and video take over. It’s been revealed that YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine after Google, and that definitely says something about the visual shift. Not only is YouTube the second biggest search engine, but it’s also bigger than Bing, AOL, Ask and Yahoo combined, and has over 1 billion unique monthly visitors.
This is definitely a sign that your company should be working on getting video to be an important part of your online campaign. If the amount of time and investment in video is off-putting to you then there are other options with short form video on sites such as Vine and Instagram. These sites are especially useful for igniting your creativity in ways to advertise your business in quick engaging bursts. People these days have shorter attention spans so it’s more likely they’ll watch a 6 second looping Vine rather than a 5 minute video explaining your business. Unless of course you get Ryan Gosling to do it.
Obviously there are limitations of using sites like Vine and Instagram, first off there’s that time limit, whilst useful for being creative, can be very limiting when trying to convey a longer point. Also, though these videos can be embedded they always seem like a much more ‘casual’ poption which may not be the impression you want to give off as a business, in which case another hosting site like YouTube, Vimeo or Vzaar might be more suited.
Plus going back to what we were saying initially, YouTube as a search engine could be extremely beneficial to your business and your videos. Having all your videos hosted on YouTube give them a greater chance of exposure, with the site having a higher exposure than any cable TV station in the US as well as a whopping 6 billion hours of video being watched on the site every month. The way videos are ranked on YouTube is a secret algorithm, but there are obvious factors taken in to account. These are the number of views (this seems to be a big factor), the title of the video, the video’s description and the video’s ratings. So the more relevant you can make the title and description the higher it will rank, also make sure not to ignore the tagging section on YouTube as this also helps the site know where to put the video.
Seeding your video will also be an important step in getting your video seen as well as pushing it up YouTube’s search rankings, which in turn will help it be seen by more people. You can start this off by sharing your video among different Social Network sites, making sure to post with relevant hashtags to potentially reach a wider audience than just your own followers.
The rise of visual media online has also affected the way that other Social Networks rank their stories too, again showing how important videos and images are if you want to be seen. Facebook has changed their algorithm more recently, making pictures more important in a news feed and ranking them higher, this is also true of video content on the site, there is definitely a bigger focus on the visual as opposed to before when there was an even mix of text and visual content. The focus on video for Facebook has been proven even more recently, where they’ve been seen testing video enhancements on the site, such as suggesting similar videos after you finish watching one on the site. This is obviously a copycat of YouTube’s suggested videos feature, but again cementing the demand for more video content.
Video can be a very tricky medium to get right, it’s important to make sure that you won’t be wasting money and commitment on a video which does nothing for the brand you’re trying to promote. It can be more important to spend time on relevant content than to create a bad video just because you feel you need a video. Planning a video and thinking over a few different ideas is the best way to make sure you get what you definitely want, as well as something successful. Whilst many people think that jumping on to an online trend is a great way to be seen and rank, if it’s not well timed or relevant it can end up drowning among all the similar content which are trying to do the same thing.
If you have a quick thinking team with quick turnarounds then it’s possible, but not highly advisable. It’s probably better to focus on being original and creating your own trend.
by Helen Stirling
A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 18th July – Twitter lightning storm & Photo censoring on Instagram
In today’s Likes and Fails we look at the Twitter storm about the storms last night, and the furore about Instagram and Facebook’s censorship of photographs.
There were some pretty epic thunderstorms across the UK last night and what does everyone do when they want to voice their opinions about the weather to the world? They take to Twitter and Facebook of course. The midlands was alight, literally last night with weather themed tweets and photographs. There were those who were absolutely terrified, quite rightly, as the lightning was coming down in ti’s thousands, 3000 bolts were recorded over the night. Many said they couldn’t sleep because the thunder was so loud and the lightning so bright.
The storms are predicted to happen again tonight so I’m sure we can expect much of the same. Though there may be even more pictures this time because people are expecting it.
More drama surrounding Instagram and Facebook and photographs of mothers and their photographs of their 4th trimester bodies, as well as photographs of them breastfeeding. Women are complaining that their photos are natural and in no way pornographic yet their images are being taken down. Conversely, women and celebrities posing in bikinis are still seen on the site. An organiser of ’4th trimester bodies’ a photo project designed to show the beauty of a woman’s post pregnancy body has said that they were excited to share their images on Facebook and Instagram to keep awareness and support going.
Unfortunately Instagram felt it had to delete two of their Instagram accounts, including the organisers own personal account on which she had uploaded photos of her family life with her children. She said that she’s also been locked out of her Facebook account multiple times.
I think that with there being more and more complaints about these image removals, a review of what the sites deem appropriate will hopefully happen, so that there will be no double standards for photos displaying nudity of any sort in the future.
by Helen Stirling
Here are today’s Likes and Fails – today we love all the videos that Weird Al Yankovic is releasing at the moment. We sort of like the new Snapchat Geofilters but we’re not sure about the direction Snapchat is going overall.
Weird Al Yankovic has been uploading a new video on his YouTube every day with new parody songs from his new album. The first one was a parody of Pharrell’s hit song ‘Happy’ with his version called ‘Tacky’. In which he had lots of celebrity friend’s help out to recreate a video similar to Pharrell’s, but a lot tackier. The following day (yesterday) he then released a song called ‘Word Crimes’ which is a parody of controversial but undeniably jazzy Robin Thicke song Blurred Lines. This song pokes fun at the ‘word crimes’ that people commit when their found not using the correct grammar or spelling online.
Today Weird Al has released a new video, and today it’s parodying Royals the popular song by Lorde. Though the parody version is called Foil, and is all about how Aluminium Foil is the best food preservation method. There’s a bit of an aside about a different topic but I’ll let you discover that yourself.
These videos are great publicity for Weird Al’s new album and the idea of releasing one a day for a week has really built up hype around the new album. Of course it helps that all the songs released so far are parodies of some of the biggest songs of the year so far. Maybe this means that we can hope to see a Beyonce Drunk in Love parody version soon.
Snapchat have added a new feature to their app, increasing it’s feature set again and taking the app away from it’s simple beginnings. The new feature is called a GeoFilter which can pick up where you’re taking a photo from and add a filter to it to show your pals where you’re at. The filters are not boring though, they can add a logo of the place you’re currently in which is pretty cool if I do say so myself.
My only issues with the new options, like filters, chat and now the geofilters is that it’s taking away from the original simplicity of the app which just meant you could quickly snap and send what you’re up to to your pals. The simplicity is what originally got me interested, it took 2 seconds to send something to a friend, but now there’s all these tempting options which means it’ll take much longer. Which is what was the plus side of the app, it’s immediacy.
I just hope they don’t go too overboard adding more and more options, I think Snapchat should make sure that they stay true to their initial promise.
by Helen Stirling
A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 16th July – Google Plus change their names policy & Yahoo struggles
It’s today’s Likes and Fails and we look at Google’s change in name policy as well as their change to search results. We also take a quick look at yahoo and their disappointing Q2 revenue.
Today Google has announced that they’re changing their names policy, which is something that users have been calling for for a long time. When Google Plus integrated with YouTube, users weren’t thrilled that they could no longer comment with anonymity, they were forced to use a full name, pulled from their Google Plus account. The drop in restriction allows users to take on any username, though they are encouraged to keep their real name. The company says in their latest blog post:
“We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be.”
However, the change doesn’t mean that people can change their name every day. There are restrictions on the number of times you can change your name and this is determined on how new a member you are as well as how often you attempt to change it. Make sure you don’t make any typos!
In other Google news, they’ve made changes to the way websites are listed in search results, there is now additional information listed with the site which lets you know whether or not the site will work on your device. So for example a site requires flash and you’re trying to access it on your iPhone or other device that doesn’t support it then you’ll see a note saying ‘Uses flash, may not work on your device’.
It’s only a small change but it should encourage developers to make sites accessible to all. The change will not remove sites from results but it may affect rankings and a cause a drop in engagement.
Marissa Mayer is struggling with Yahoo. Mayer announced the worst revenue results since she took over at the company, with the number down by 4%. Mayer has said that although there were some positives in certain areas the overall decline was disappointing and that overall they were not happy with Q2.
A financial analyst says that things aren’t getting better, and that the core business is still dismal. Yahoo’s income from operations slid 72%, to $38m, from the year-ago quarter, and most of that is because of a restructuring charge.
Shares of Yahoo fell by 2% in after-hours trading, down 9 cents, or 0.25 percent, to $35.61.
by Helen Stirling
A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 15th July – World Cup Twitter stats & Passwords are still passwords
Here are today’s Likes and Fails, today we look at the Twitter stats from the World Cup final and we look at the silly mistake one journalist made by posting his Twitter password online.
— adidasfootball (@adidasfootball) July 13, 2014
The World Cup final (yes I realise I’m about a day behind on this) happened, and all the Twitter stats are officially stacking up now, and it broke a new record for the most tweets sent per minute. The number was 618,725 and this beat the previous record set during the Brazil v Germany match of 580,116. Though the total number of tweets, 32.1m, sent during the match could not beat the total 35.6m set during Brazil’s 1-7 thrashing. The peak of the Tweets per minute was when the final whistle was blown and Germany had officially won the world cup. Obvoiusly the usual thing happened and brands piggybacked on to the news and had their own reactions to the German team’s win. Most Twitter updates featured an original image of some sort, as well as there being plenty of images of the winning team being shared too.
The best extra weight we’ve ever carried! pic.twitter.com/qaknvITdGy
— Lufthansa (@lufthansa) July 13, 2014
So a recent article written on the Wall Street journal stated that the Password is dying out, and as a bit of a stunt and as an attempt to prove the point, journalist Christopher Mimms shared his password in the article, in what most would call an idiotic move. Mimms says that using two-factor authentication is the future, he goes on to talk more about the technology of authentication and how it’s more secure than a password. The inevitable happened, loads and loads of people attempted to sign in to his account and he kept getting text message notifications from Twitter asking him to verify sign-ins. The change he then made meant he’d get the notification via the Twitter app, but that then meant that anyone trying to sign in could get his mobile number.
Mimms has since posted on Twitter that it indeed wasn’t the best idea he’s ever had, but it does seem that no-one has actually managed to break into the account, I guess concluding his point in some way. Though he’s pretty much got to change his phone number now and maybe even change his phone, which shows what power a password can have, especially when it gives you access to other details like a phone number.
Overall, probably not the cleverest idea Christopher Mims has ever had, and one that he has admitted to regretting.
Have to agree. “It Is Idiotic To Hand Out Your Twitter Password To Prove Passwords Are Dead” http://t.co/HtA6Oi3QpA
— Christopher Mims (@mims) July 14, 2014
by Helen Stirling
A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 14th July – Dukey’s last days & Potato Salad kickstarter copycats
This is your 2 second warning. In 2 seconds you will have your mind blown by today’s Likes and Fails. The story of one dog and one potato salad. Will their world’s collide? I hope not, I imagine it would be messy.
This a lovely story which is quickly going ‘viral’, ahem, telling the beautiful story of Dukey the dog’s last day on earth. The blog was created by Robyn Aroutey a photographer who seemingly works mainly with people and their pets. She wrote the blog from the perspective of Dukey and how he was enjoying his last day on earth, the blog was accompanied by some lovely photographs of Dukey and his human pals. The story has been copied over to Buzzfeed, which is especially useful as Robyn’s blog has now gone down, possibly due to excessive traffic being directed to the site.
I can already see the story spreading further than just Robyn’s blog and buzzfeed as the blog is so poignantly put as well as being extremely relatable to anyone who has ever owned a dog, or even anyone who has had to say goodbye to a dear friend.
The web love, love, loves any story about cute animals so the fact that this story has been so popular (already 200,000 shares) isn’t the least bit surprising. I hope that Dukey appreciates the love and is up in doggy heaven enjoying the cheeseburgers.
So we told you about the funny Kickstarter story last week, you know, the now world-famous Potato salad that is now at an over-the-top (almost) $50,000. Well this week we’ve seen that some desperate and unoriginal people are now creating copycat campaigns in the hope they can also raise stupid amounts of money. Some such campaigns are called ‘I’m also making a potato salad‘, ‘I want a cheeseburger…‘, ‘Taramasalata‘. You get the point.
Obviously all these follow ups, of which there are 319 Potato Salad themed ones (according to The Daily Dot) have been nowhere near as successful as the original. These so called original ideas on Kickstarter seem more dad-joke than cutting edge humour, with one user calling their foodstuff better than Robin Thicke’s new album.
People always want to be reactive with viral jokes, in the hopes of becoming the next big parody thing, this is clear to see with memes, where so called advice animals reuse the same theme over and over again in the hopes of laughs of gratification. In fact it’s more the predictability of these copycats that is funnier than the so-called jokes themselves.
Well we again find ourselves waiting for the next big thing and see how many parodies pop-up because of that, my bet is it’ll include some sort of cat, why? because it’s the internet.
by Helen Stirling