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A Social Media Agency’s Round-Up – 11th August – Buzzfeed £30m funding, BBC Weather App, Bolt Aus launch & Pinterest messaging

Here is a quick round-up of what you may have missed in the Social Media world over the weekend!

Buzzfeed gain $50 million in new funding


 Buzzfeed have raised £30m of new funding from a venture capital firm called Andreessen Horowitz, who are well known for their investments in large social companies, such as Facebook, Skype, Pinterest, Twitter and Foursquare. The investment comes from the company who see Buzzfeed as an emerging “preeminent media company”. This new strand of funding takes the total funding amount up to $96.3m since 2008. Buzzfeed is definitely the site of the moment with over 150 million monthly visitors, and a new valuation of $850m; this new investment should help them work on their online video section, a place of interest for the company, as well as an in-house incubator for tech start-ups. Whatever they use the investment for, it’s clear to see that Buzzfeed’s growth doesn’t show many signs of slowing.

BBC Weather app is extremely popular

bbc weather

We Brits do sure love the weather. The BBC have revealed that their popular app, ‘BBC Weather’, which shows weather forecasts and lets you save favourite locations, gets a whopping 19,000 downloads everyday! These downloads have lead it to become the fastest growing BBC app of all time, with 8 million downloads since it’s launch last year.

Bolt launches in Australia


Bolt, the new Snapchat style app from Instagram has now officially launched in Australia, being the latest country in a somewhat slow roll out to get access to the app. This could be due to trademarking issues with the app’s name, where an existing app called Bolt is fighting for it’s name rights, this could further explain why it hasn’t yet rolled out in it’s homeland, America, yet.

Pinterest launch messaging

Pinterest launched a brand new messaging service at the end of last week, which allows users to take interaction to the next level. The new feature allows you to send pins to others and reply to those pins with either a message or a pin back.

This new feature is available on the mobile apps, it does also work on the desktop sites but is currently in need of some work, as notifications don’t yet work on the site but instead send an email notification.  This new feature is an exciting step forward for Pinterest which could prove to be very useful for users, especially those collaborating on a creative project.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails- Wednesday August 6th 2014: Referendum and Bake Off


As I’m sure you’ll all be aware, the Great British Bake Off returns to our screens this evening for the fifth series. However, it has moved from BBC Two to big sister channel BBC One. A travesty in my eyes, but that’s probably just my inner hipster coming out.

Anyhoo, last night, BBC Two tweeted a totes emotional message about the fact they were losing Bake Off to BBC One, and  a wonderful Twitter conversation was born.

You can read the whole exchange on Buzzfeed, and I’ll see you all at 8pm tonight for #GBBO *flexes tweeting thumbs*


If you were on Twitter last night, you can’t have failed to notice the conversation going on around the Scottish Referendum Independence debate. The leader of the SNP Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, who heads up the Better Together campaign in favour of the union, were having their first live televised TV debate.

Now, this would be all well and good, except that it was only broadcast in Scotland, so everyone who wanted to watch it that wasn’t in Scotland hopped on over to the STV Player to try and catch the action. Unfortunately, this turned out to be quite a lot of people, so the app broke and Twitter went nuts.

STV assured viewers that they were working to fix the issue, and that the debate would be available online several hours after it had finished, so there’s that.


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by Iona St Joseph


A Social Media Agency’s Round-Up Blog – 28th July – Google buys Twitch, Pirate Bay launches app, Buzzfeed plagiarism firing & Guardian FB quiz

Here is our round-up of Social Media news you may have missed at the weekend. Get yourself clued-up this morning.

Google buys Twitch


There were talks of a deal a month or so ago and now the deal is official. Google has purchased Video game streaming site Twitch for a cool $1 billion. This news comes just days after the end of the massive online Dota 2 tournament which had an impressive $10 million prize pool. Twitch is the US’s largest live-streaming service by far, with 50 million active monthly users and more than 1.1 milllion members who broadcast their footage each month. The YouTube section of Google is said to be in charge of  the acquisition and with YouTube being the number 1 platform for online video this is a great move to get them more involved with the livestreaming side of video as well as the huge video-gaming market.

Pirate Bay launches App


Pirate Bay the media industry’s biggest enemy, and file-sharing site has expanded their reach by launching a mobile app. Before users could only download files from a browser, but now the app makes it easier for users to download files straight to their smartphones. UK internet service providers have blocked pirate bay on their networks but there have been multiple ways users have found to get around these blocks. Now that there is an easier way to get files on the go, it opens the site to another audience and it could mean more issues surrounding copyright  and illegal distribution of files.

Buzzfeed plagiarism sacking


Buzzfeed have been forced to apologize and sack their news editor Benny Johnson, after it had been found that he had been plagiarizing other’s work, by copying sentences word for word from other articles. In an article published on the site, Buzzfeed admitted that they had found 41 instances of plagiarism out of 500 articles written by Johnson, and that they had no other choice but to let him go. Buzzfeed have also changed all the instances of plagiarism with editors notes on all of the affected articles. They signed off by saying that all Buzzfeed staff would hold themselves to a higher standard from now on.

Guardian Facebook quiz

Logout, The hardest button to Click!

The Guardian have released a new quiz asking what sort of Facebook user you are, apparently to celebrate Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday… The questions cover things such as “how often do you ‘log on’ to Facebook?” as if we aren’t all permanently logged in. Others ask “what sort of photo’s are you most likely to post?” With answers such as ‘selfies’ and pictures of your baby, let’s just say you’ll recognize all the different Facebook characters from the answers. I took the quiz and luckily my result was fairly ordinary…

“WELL DONE YOU’RE NORMAL. You are a nice, normal Facebook user. You probably have a touch of the stalker, a touch of the narcissist, a touch of the vaguebooker, but in truth, you commit no real Facebook crimes or fails. Congratulations on your general awesomeness at Facebook.”

Take the quiz here.

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by Helen Stirling


Insight: Are Buzzfeed and click-bait articles losing their appeal?

So, don’t get me wrong, I love Buzzfeed, it’s perfect to wile away the hours whilst not having to think very hard about anything.

There’s no denying though that Buzzfeed’s popularity has led to a huge surge in click-bait articles. Which in turn has led to the net being inundated with articles of little substance. The numbered lists are everywhere and the titles such as, “16 Peaceful Pictures Of Exhausted Shoppers Fast Asleep In Ikea” or “18 Shirts Every Guy Should Buy If You Want To Be Single Forever” are enticing but pointless. The sheer amount of content on Buzzfeed means that some of their newer articles really show how hard it is for them to come up with original content. See: “23 GIFs Of Me Desperately Clinging To Any Idea I Can Think Of”.

The Onion recently put everyone’s surfacing annoyance with these articles into reality, in a hilarious spoof website called Clickhole. Clickhole features articles such as “9 Snacks You Should Try Right Now, But Only If You’re Planning On Having A Late Dinner” and “7 Photos Of People Wearing Full Scuba Gear You Have No Way Of Proving Aren’t Sandra Bullock”. I think that the creation of this site proves that people are realising more and more how pointless these numbered lists they’re reading daily are. 

Buzzfeed is going from strength to strength, but surely there will be a cut-off point soon, the site’s popularity will plateau and they will go into the sort of panic mode which Twitter are currently in. Twitter has seen itself undergoing some drastic changes in recent months and this is likely due to the site’s growth slowing down. Changes to the Twitter profile and the rumoured changes to how you interact on the site are an attempt to entice new users by making the site easier to use and more accessible. It’s possible that if Buzzfeed find themselves in a similar position they’ll attempt a tonal shift, or a new focus. I think this is already beginning to be addressed with the introduction of their long form pieces, though much of the emphasis they initially put on these articles has been slowed.

The problem that Buzzfeed is having is with original content, or lack of. The fact that their content is so lightweight and ‘disposable’ means that their longevity is dubious, and it not only affects what users are thinking of the site, but it affects the value of the site as well. Buzzfeed was recently rumoured to be worth $1 Billion, but this figure was called in to question when the site’s originality was considered. The fact that the site, like other news sites, deals in the reactive stories (as well as other lightweight articles) means that there is little value in their archive of articles, and the lack of original content suggests that the site is not worth quite that much.

It feels as if there is a shift happening, where people are looking for more long form content, and dare I say it, articles that are actually about something. How long can people really be satisfied with lists and lists of GIFs, or quiz content? Yes, the aspect of sharing results or relatable articles with your friends on social media can be satisfying, but won’t there come a point where we’ve seen it all and your friends will no longer react to such content on their timelines. How often do you click on a ’10 things women do that men don’t’ article that your friend shared in comparison to how much you clicked on them say 6 months to a year ago?

Looking at click-bait in wider terms, it’s meteoric rise is mostly due to the modern lifestyle becoming more and more hectic, and not having the time to sit down and read a long form article. The titles with countdowns, so ’10 reasons’, ’21 tips’ give readers an idea of how long their attention will be need, it’s more of a definite, making them more likely to read it. Obviously trends are known for coming in and out and things are constantly changing, and I think we are at the point again where people want something more than 20 ‘Mean Girls’ GIFs in an article with a 10 word explanation. The disposable content is on it’s way to being fully disposed of and people are beginning to search for something new.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – Friday 13th June – Clickhole & Facebook murder plot

It’s Friday 13th, woooo (that was meant to be a creepy woooo, but it looks more like a celebratory woooo, you decide.) Anyway, today is Friday and we’re bringing you another great selection of Likes and Fails! Today we look at The Onion’s great parody of Buzzfeed and the gorl who stupidly tried to solicit murder over Facebook.


Clickhole has been created by the Onion, and it’s parody at it’s best. The site perfectly parodies click-bait sites, such as the very well known Buzzfeed. It includes articles, quizzes and videos, much like it’s source material. There are such fantastic titles as ’16 pictures of Beyonce where she’s not sinking in quicksand’, ‘which hungry hungry hippo are you?’ and ‘If I ordered fries, would you have any?’. Basically it’s a genius idea, and done in true Onion style, where sometimes I read the titles of their ‘news’ articles and say to myself, ‘wait, really?’ and then realise I’m being extremely stupid and hope that no-one can read my mind.

click hole

Anyway, Clickhole is hilarious and if you know Buzzfeed well then you’ll find it even funnier. Great work from The Onion and the site is being shared a  lot at the moment, so it looks like the project has been successful.


The most ridiculous Facebook murder plot to ever happen has now happened, and it involves family members. So basically there is a  19 year old girl called Marissa who lived with her aunt, and her aunt was understandably not impressed when Marissa kept inviting people she’d met on Facebook to come round to the house. So her aunt decided to make up a fictional man on Facebook and befriend her own niece to see what she was getting up to on the site. Then it backfired and Marissa started plotting for the ‘man’ to help kidnap her and kill her aunt as they did it, then the plans got more elaborate and nasty as she discussed ways to break in at night and killing her cousin and the family dog.

The aunt decided it had gone far enough and reported her niece to the police, she was subsequently arrested and she is now in jail on a charge of soliciting murder, with a $30,000 bail charge.

I think the lesson here, is well 1. don’t try and murder your family, but also 2. don’t trust a stranger on Facebook that you’ve never met.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 31st March – Instagram selfies & blogger has selfie stolen and meme-ified.

It’s the start of a new week and there’s an abundance of selfie news today. We see that people on Instagram really do like your selfies, and we see the perils of uploading joke-y crying photos of yourself because they may be meme-ified by a political group!


A recent study has shown that on Instagram a photo with faces in it is 38% more likely to get likes from your followers than those without. The study was put together at Georgia Tech university after analysing 1.1 million Instagram pictures with face detection software. As we mentioned above those with faces in were 38% more likely to be liked and they were also 32% more likely to be commented on too. This is unsurprising, especially with the surge in popularity of selfies. The most retweeted tweet ever featured a celebrity selfie from the 2014 Oscars and has notably had an impact in the amount of people becoming aware of the term. One researcher told Mashable that people are naturally attracted to faces and he was initially surprised that it translated to Social Media but said that it made sense as the attraction to faces is ingrained in us from a young age as a child looking for support from parents.

It was also interesting to see that in the results it didn’t seem to matter what  age or gender you were or how many people were in the photo, it all added up to the same amount of engagement. It also seemed that those who uploaded very frequently saw a dip in their engagement. So the lesson we’ve all learnt her is that people actually like seeing our selfies as long as we don’t upload too many of them.


A blogger has found her selfie inadvertently spread all over the internet after a right-wing political organisation began using her image as an anti-Obamacare meme. The blogger, Helene Sula has said she began blogging after she suffered an accident and was out of work, she gained a few thousand followers in Twitter and Facebook because of her blogging. She only noticed that her image had been compromised after she woke up to an unusually high number of message notifications from friends and followers alerting her to the fact that her image was being used.

She saw that the ‘meme’ had been posted on a Facebook page called Right Wing News (which has over 350,000 likes) and several other right wing pages too. The image was taken from her blog and was one of her crying and had been plastered with writing which was very anti-Obamacare. Of the image used Sula said: “Basically this image was a selfie I posted on my blog after a stylist botched my hair color, … I blogged about it, kind of letting people know to make sure you’re very specific about how you tell someone to do your hair. I laughed at myself about the fact that I was crying.”

She unsurprisingly asked the pages to take the image down and for a while was ignored, or at least not noticed, she also suffered some backlash from people on the pages who said she was sily for uploading the picture in the first place and that she had no rights.

In the end it sort of worked out, Right Wing News removed her picture after Buzzfeed contacted them for comment, and they said they hadn’t noticed the messages from Sula. Just let it be a lesson that if you image is uploaded, it’s likely someone is going to take it from you.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 24th March – Buzzfeed teams up with Whisper & Twitter could be losing the @’s & hashtags!

This is a Like, This is a Fail, This is Likes and Fails. (If you can’t see what I’m doing here you never watched Art Attack.)


Whisper the recent start-up app from silicon valley, quickly becoming popular with teens for it’s anonymity, has struck up a deal with the website of the moment, Buzzfeed. Whisper is a platform which allows someone to post a message about anything they like anonymously. If you’re an avid reader of  Buzzfeed you may have already noticed the articles coming in think and fast with links to the Whisper site. The deal allows Buzzfeed to take user generated content from the app to be used within an article. The deal works in that Buzzfeed writers will scour the app for an article idea and they will then be given access to the apps internal search engines which allow them to find more material for an article easier. It is also said the Whisper will suggest up article ideas for Buzzfeed based on trends and things they see appearing on the app.

So how does the deal work? Well apparently there is no money involved; Whisper gets exposure and links on one of the most popular websites of the moment, and Buzzfeed gets access to info which can help them to create simple easy articles without much effort.


Twitter @’s and hashtags could soon be goners. that’s right, rumours are rife that they will soon be phased out to streamline the service. The rumours started after changes were noticed on the Android Alpha app, which is the first testing platform any potential changes to the app and site. Also from the fact that Twitter’s head of news Vivian Schiller said in a media conference that hashtags and ‘@’ replies were arcane and hinted towards changes being made to remove them whilst still retaining functionality.

It is suggested that the move would be taken to reduce the learning curve for new users, as they currently need to get to grips with the language used, such as RTs and the ‘@’ replies and hashtags mentioned above. The change would move the ‘scaffolding’ to the background, we’ve seen some images which suggest how ‘@’ replies would change, but there are currently no hints at how things like hashtags would appear. The replies will appear in-line with the parent tweet minus the actual ‘@blahblah’, much like what has already been introduced on the app and on the desktop version of Twitter; where blue lines link replies in line. It is suggested that it will be a similar tool to facebook where you can begin typing a name and suggestions will pop up for you to quickly link to another user.


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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Round Up Blog – February 3rd- Superbowl, Facebook’s Birthday and Twitter Commerce

Merry Monday, social media fans. We hope you’re not too Superbowled-out after the excitement of all things American last night. In case you’re feeling a little bit fragile, we thought we would ease you into this week with a round-up of all things social that you might have missed in all the merriment.

1. The Superbowl

The internet has been going Superbowl crazy over the weekend, with people sharing the best adverts, the half time shows and general gossip, including one story that boxer Floyd Mayweather had bet a whopping $10.4 million on the Broncos to win. A terrible decision, had it actually been true, as they were slammed by the Seahawks, which would’ve left Floyd seriously out of pocket.

Twitter account @LogoTV was a saviour for many, as they pushed out a ‘real-time survival guide’ as the game was happening, offering tips on what you should say to sound smart wherever you’re watching the game. The Superbowl generated a whopping 24.9 million tweets overall.

2. Facebook’s Birthday

Facbeook turns 10 this year, and alongside the noise surrounding its birthday, people have also been speculating about the future of the site. Is it stronger than ever, or are hoards of adolescents being driven away from the site because they want some privacy away from the prying eyes of their parents?

3. Facebook more important than Google for driving traffic

For the past few years, a number of online publishers have insisted that Facebook would be more important to them in terms of driving traffic than Google, and it would appear that this prediction has come true. The below chart shows referral traffic from Facebook vs that coming from Google. You can see the difference.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 09.52.45

Buzzfeed have been predicting this happening for a few years, talking about it on their site in July 2012. It will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on this, and to see if other sites report similar trends.

4. Facebook Paper

So this week’s update is fairly Facebook heavy, apologies for that. Blame Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook Paper is allegedly launching today (February 3rd), but whether this is just in the US or it’s worldwide, we’re not sure yet. Having checked this morning, there is no sign of it on the App Store, however, we’ll be keeping an eye out for it throughout the day.

There have been a number of stories about the service since its announcement last week, including the fact that, allegedly, other readers aren’t feeling too threatened by it. I think it will be hard to tell until we have proper access to the app, but if it’s centred more on itself as a seperate app, and not necessarily about driving everyone that’s already one Facebook to use it, then it could prove to be a serious rival.

5. Twitter planning move into e-commerce

According to an article on The Telegraph, leaked documents show that Twitter is planning to sell goods through the site as part of a new online retail venture called Twitter Commerce.

Technology blog Re/Code have said that the transactional service will be a partnership with a US e-commerce site called Fancy, and that the mockups below are what the commerce product could look like.

twitter-commerce-screenshotTwitter Commerce tweets will appear inside the average user stream, similar to promoted tweets, as well as in the ‘Discover’ section. If you expand the tweet, you’ll see pictures of the product for sale with a description, alongside similar products for sale.

You will then be prompted to enter your name, address and payment information, all which will be “handled securely within the Twitter app,” according to the documentation.

From the rumoured design, it looks as if Commerce customers may be able to track the shipping status of their order on a map, and receive shipping updates. This feature could be strictly for merchants selling through Fancy, and it doesn’t appear to say whether it will be powered by Google maps or not.

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by Iona St Joseph


Buzzfeed Beat off Huffington Post to Become Facebook’s Biggest Publisher

Buzzfeed has rocketed to the top on Facebook, knocking the Huffington Post from the top spot, becoming the biggest publisher on the site during December.


If you’re newsfeed is as chock-full of people sharing which city they should be living in and how Northern they are as mine is, then this probably comes as no surprise.

According to NewsWhip, who sourced their data from Spike, Buzzfeed were sitting comfortably at the top of the table for December, knocking HuffPo into second place. Buzzfeed managed to rack up a whopping 5,637,393 shares on Facebook, whilst Huffington Post only managed a paltry 4,885,194 earning them second place. This is the first time Buzzfeed has been at the top of the table since August.

Viral site Upworthy was in third place, and they will certainly be worth keeping an eye on throughout 2014. Who knows, this time next year we could be reporting that Upworthy have usurped Buzzfeed and they are the ones to beat.

The top ten is a follows:

1. Buzzfeed – 5,637,393

2. The Huffington Post – 4,885,194

3. Upworthy – 2,985,150

4. The New York Times – 2,614,723

5. CNN – 2,015,818

6. BBC – 1,879,071

7. Viral Nova – 1,853,106

8. The Daily Mail – 1,844,435

9. The Guardian – 1,745,889

10. Fox News – 1,481,242

You can see the full list of the top 50 Facebook publishers on NewsWhip here.

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by Iona St Joseph