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Sep22

A Social Media Agency’s Monday Round-Up – 22nd September – iCloud hack, No Likes Yet, Gmail and Google Plus and Real-time YouTube statistics

Here’s a round-up of some of the news you may have missed over the weekend from the Social Media world.

iCloud hack leaks more celebrity photographs

jlaw

More celebrities have been targeted in a mass leak of private photos which were hacked from their mobile phones. This time celebrities such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian have been targeted and their private nude photographs have been shared on sites such as 4chan and Reddit. The hack, widely know online as ‘the fappening’ has targeted hundreds of celebrities and the photos are being slowly released online. Obviously there are ongoing investigations taking place as to how the the photos were acquired as well as who is responsible. It’s bad news for the celebrities involved as if they do manage to get the photos removed they reappear again and again.

It had been speculated that the hack was part of an iCloud leak, which may be responsible for many ofthe leaks, but some have noted that the photographs of Kim Kardashian show a blackberry taking the pictures suggesting that these photos have been acquired over a long period of time and from different hacking attempts as the Kardashian no longer uses a Blackberry phone.

No Likes Yet

social apps

A new site allows users to see all of the Instagram photos that have not received any likes. The site, NoLikesYet.com aggregates all the photographs on Instagram that no-one has liked. The site hopes to help attract likes for all these unloved photographs. It’s also useful in showing you which the sad lonely photographs of yours have no love either, and you can also see which of your friend’s photos have no likes as well. Which means you can be lovely and the first person to like one of their photos. Maybe don’t go too far back in time or you may look like a creeper.

Gmail doesn’t need Google Plus anymore

Google_Plus_logo

Google has quietly removed the requirement to have a Google Plus account to use Gmail. The removal of this requirement shows that Google are acknowledging that their social media service isn’t all that popular. So now when you sign up for a new Gmail account there is a ‘no thanks’ option when prompted to sign up for Google Plus. In a statement Google said: “We updated the signup experience in early September. Users can now create a public profile during signup, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post).”

YouTube add real-time statistics.

Over the weekend YouTube rolled out a new feature which allows users to view real-time video views data. Minute by minute you can see how many people have been watching your video . In a guide for the new feature it says: “Real-time data is estimated and meant to provide general guidance on potential view activity on your videos. This approximate character of the numbers is also shown in the rounding off to two significant digits.” Also, “The real-time report does not support filtering or further customisation of data. Therefore, the geographic filter, the date picker, the comparison and the download functionalities are disabled in the interface.”

 

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by Helen Stirling

Aug29

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 29th August – Facebook improves mobile search & Google removes authorship

Here we are then, it’s Friday and here are the Likes and Fails for today. We take a look at Facebook’s plans to improve their mobile search and the news that Google is removing it’s Authorship feature.

Likes

facebook-timeline-76533_640

Facebook have finally done something to improve their search feature. Their mobile search options, to put it lightly were extremely lacking, with it impossible to find anything worthwhile. They are currently testing a feature for mobile which will let users search through old posts from their friends by using keywords to resurface buried content. The feature will only let you find things that were previously available to you, so basically you can’t find anything behind those privacy filters. Facebook say that the test will be an  improvement to search on mobile, which currently isn’t saying much as the standard so far for mobile search has not been good.

It’s surprising that this option hasn’t been available before especially as it really should be how it worked from the start. The feature isn’t currently available to everyone yet, but when it does come out it will be simple as writing in ‘blah blah’s birthday’ and that should show up photos from that persons birthday (if they exist of course!).

Fails 

authorship

Google Authorship is over. A spokesperson has announced that Google is ending their authorship feature which links your Google Plus profile with any articles you write on the internet. The spokesperson went on to say that part of the reason they were ending the feature is that it hadn’t proved as useful to users as they hoped it would. They said that in their tests taking away the authorship didn’t reduce traffic to sites, nor did it increase clicks on adverts.

Google search users will still see Google Plus posts from friends and pages which are relevant to their search. the authorship change doesn’t affect these results.

The feature was only around for three years, and they stopped showing the profile pictures alongside content in June because they wanted to unify the desktop search results with mobile results to create a unified experience. Research also showed that out of 500 only 151 people had their authorship accounts set up properly, which could have also been another reason Google decided to remove the feature, simply because it was too complicated for some.

 

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by Helen Stirling

Jul16

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.

Likes

 Google Logo 2010

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.

Fails

Yahoo_Logo

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.

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by Helen Stirling

Apr16

Quick tips to refresh your Social Media

It’s Spring, well ok we know it’s already halfway into Spring but now is most definitely the prefect time to give your Social Media a good old spring clean and hopefully refresh it enough so that you may gain new followers and get a whole new outlook on your accounts. So here we are to help you out, we’re like a handy feather duster that you need to reach those dustiest parts of your accounts. Or well, something like that.

1. Update, update, update

Everything, and we mean everything needs to be updated!

Bios: on Twitter, Facebook pages, Instagram, LinkedIn, anywhere, check them all and update them to something you think will get you noticed. Sometimes bios can be left for so long that things like ages, jobs and names have changed! Make sure people know who you are and what you’re about.

Pictures: now I’m not one to talk about this, because my Twitter picture has been the same for about 3 years now. But it is good to update your picture regularly, again especially if you have any noticeable changes in your appearance. I find that if someone on Twitter changes their picture and they tweet I really notice it, mainly as I’m scanning tweets all day so I’m used to the normal colours and patterns of the people I follow. So when I see a picture I don’t recognise I really notice it and it can often make me look twice at their tweet. Though there could be a downside to this, that people will notice you and could possibly think ‘why am I following them again?’ and unfollow you.

You may also want to think about updating your cover photos, and background images, theses are especially important on Google Plus and Facebook pages as they draw the main attention on your page when you visit it initially.

2. Refresh your content

You may have a long-running system that you get your content from the same websites over and over again, I know I’m often guilty of it. Give things a bit of a mix-up by looking up some new sites and gather some new content as well as giving your musings on life. A good way to gather up new news sources quickly is by using an RSS feed like Feedly, it means all you news is in one place, and you can easily categorise the sites into topics so you can find the sort of stories you’re looking for.

3. Do some spring cleaning!

It may be cut-throat but now is the time to clear out some of your followers. Those that are either inactive or fake *gasp* need to be rid of, people aren’t stupid these days and know if you’ve been boosting your numbers by paying for them. Also it’s a good idea to clear out your follows that may not serve any value to you any more, do you find yourself skimming past their every tweet? Might as well get rid of them! Obviously don’t announce your cull like some obnoxious accounts do, but do make sure you’re making the right decision, if they’re still providing value and conversation then keep them in the forefront of your social activity.

4. Reach out (and touch me!) 

Don’t really, but do put the effort in to push conversations, try and find more time to reply to tweets that interest you, if you aren’t already! This is especially easy to do if you’ve paid attention to the above tip, as everyone in your timeline will hopefully be saying something interesting! I can’t guarantee it though. As well as replying to others try and make a concious effort to start conversations, a good way to get initial interest is using hashtags, I wouldn’t recommend on Facebook though. Google Plus and Twitter are great for hashtags as that’s how most conversations are formed, and they both have trending topics which you can take advantage of too.

So there we have it, a few quick and easy tips to freshen up your content, go forth and Febreeze your Twitter, Hoover your Facebook and feather dust your Google Plus.

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by Helen Stirling

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 16th April – BBC News best News brand on Twitter & Google Plus adds new features

Here are today’s Likes and Fails. BBC news is killing it on Twitter and Google Plus is adding new changes to try and entice users.

Likes

Nice one BBC

The BBC have won the Twitter war, if there ever was one? BBC is officially the most shared News brand on Twitter with 2.71 million stories shared over a month. It gets even better though, the news site has seen 96 million unique users in March this year which up 26% on their usual monthly average of 76 million uniques. The reason for the rise in traffic could be due to their coverage on the missing Malaysia MH370 flight.

The BBC website has also seen a whopping 88% year on year increase in mobile traffic to reach 24 million users, and the desktop site has remained stable at around 56 million users a month.

Fails 

Google Plus adds new features

I can’t decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but Google Plus have given in to people’s narcissistic ways and has put a new feature on profiles. The new feature on profiles is page views, so yes, that means everyone can see how many people have visited your profile to have a look around. The results are quite interesting, I don’t know how it makes you feel but I was very surprised. I assume that Google think that it will encourage users to become more active to up their page views , which may work, or it may have the opposite effect making people shun their account altogether.

I don’t really know what this is meant to tell you about your profile either? For example on my page I only have 43 followers and have somehow had 16,000 views? You tell me what that means.

So not only do people know how many people care about you being on Google Plus but also they can see how many people have viewed your posted photos. This is pretty cool because I do often wonder if anyone has actually seen any of my snapshots, but then again, looking at them and seeing 0 views would be pretty depressing…

So overall we don’t know what to think about this new feature for the site, but I just hope that it will encourage uptake on the site because I really do like it, just a shame it’s a Ghost Town.

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by Helen Stirling

Apr01

A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 1st April – The Hoff photobombs Google+ & Eat24 quits Facebook

Happy April Fools day, here are today’s Likes and Fails, which may or may not be fool related. Ok one of them is, AND it includes the Hoff.

Likes

Google Plus and The Hoff

Today Google Plus have taken April Fools to heart and released a new feature for Google Plus which realistically should exist anyway because it’s awesome. Auto-awesome that is! One of Google Plus’s existing features is Auto-awesome which creates moving images out of photos you have uploaded that appear similar in image content. Now though if you upload a new group photo with your pals you might be lucky enough to have Google Auto-Awesome it with a photo-bombing GIF of David Hasslehoff.

Also for today at least if you mention David Hasslehoff in a post or comment it’s likely that he will respond to you almost instantly with a fantastic Hoff quote. This ladies and gents is how you do April Fools; Google have been knocking it out of the park today, not only have they added Hoff capabilities to Google Plus, they have also added Pokémon to catch in the mobile versions of Google Maps, what are you waiting for you’ve gotta catch ‘em all!

Fails

Eat24 and Facebook break-up

Yes you heard right, Eat24 a big American brand who had an impressive 70,000 likes on their Facebook brand page decided to ‘break-up’ with the company and deleted their page as of yesterday. (This is not an April fool – it happened yesterday!) On Eat24′s blog on the 27th March they wrote a long entry discussing why they were breaking up with the Social network, in fact one of their reasons was that the network was no longer social. The letter is really worth a read and it’s better than I could paraphrase. Though here’s a quote any way:

“Even if we could figure out your mysterious, all-knowing algorithm, it’s constantly changing, so what works today might not work tomorrow. Posting something that most of our friends see is like biting into a burrito and actually getting all seven layers…never gonna happen. The point is, you’re wasting our time and cock-blocking food porn from our friends. Not cool, Facebook, not cool.”

This isn’t a fail on Eat24′s behalf, we can totally see what they’re saying, Facebook just isn’t such a helpful and worthwhile place for brands any more. Their threat ended with them giving a deadline of Monday 11.59PM to be converted but that didn’t happen and their page is longer there.

A Facebook exec responded to Eat24′s open letter with their own snarky styled letter saying that the world had moved on from jokes about tacquitos and the like, and that people were now more interested in their friends cupcakes and another’s baby (apparently) but Facebook said it was ok if they wanted to move on, but hoped they could still be friends.

As we said, Eat24 have now finished their relationship with Facebook and the page no longer exists. Fans can still find them on Twitter and Instagram though for all their funny foodie goodness.

 

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by Helen Stirling

Mar25

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 25th March – ASOS ‘Air Max’ Day & Charity given to Polar Bears by accident

It’s today’s Likes and Fails!

Likes

Tomorrow ASOS and Nike Air Max will be teaming up to celebrate an ‘Air Max Day’ which will include the companies hosting the first ever ‘shop-along’ Google+ hangout. The hangout will be hosted by Rebecca Dudley, a MTV stylist Natasha Wray and the ASOS fashion editor Zeba Lowe and they will be offering their styling tips about the Air Max trainers. It’s said that there will also be a spy cam in ASOS headquarters to see how models and workers are styling up their Air Max. Other elements of the day like promos and competitions will be shared across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

ASOS are always very positive in using Google+ (especially hangouts) in their campaigns, which is great exposure for the site, which still struggles to hold onto a loyal user base. I look forward to more campaigns taking on this idea of the shoppable hangout and using Google+ for their social media.

Fails

You’ve most likely heard about the extremely popular #nomakeupselfie trend that’s appeared on Facebook and Instagram, mostly in aid of the Cancer Research charity, but also to show the world how amazing all women are without their make-up. It has now come to light that many of those trying to donate money to Cancer Research UK by text have fallen foul of their auto correct on their phones and instead of sending the word ‘Beat’ to the appropriate number they have instead sent ‘Bear’ and involuntarily almost adopted a Polar Bear. Which is hilarious. WWF has reassured all people who have accidentally text the number that no money has been transferred and that they have not actually adopted a Polar bear and they’ve now set an auto-reply suggesting that they may have contacted the wrong number!

The #nomakeupselfie campaign, which was not originally set up by Cancer Research has led to a massive £2 million pounds being donated. It shows that selfies can actually be used for good!

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by Helen Stirling

Mar19

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 19th March – Twitter’s ‘Fave People’ & Google Voice to merge with Hangouts

Here are today’s Likes and Fails with a look at a new possible feature from Twitter, ‘Fave People’ and Google’s plans to integrate much-loved Google Voice with the less loved Google Hangouts.

Likes

Twitter has begun experimenting with a new feature, ‘Fave People’ which allows users to keep track of just that, their fave people, a bit like a list would I guess. TechCrunch say that it is essentially a more user friendly version of ‘lists’, and that it has so far been rolled out to the Alpha platform (the stage before it gets Beta tested) on the Android app. The ‘fave people’ tab has been added quite prominently next to the home tab on the initial test which suggests it would be a large feature. You can see an image of it here (again from TechCruch):

The tab gets you started by taking you through to your ‘following’ tab via a button. This could be a useful addition for those who follow lots of people, as well as those who you want to turn notifications on or off from on your timeline.

There is currently no word on whether other users will be able to see if you’ve favourited them, but if the feature works the same way as lists then they will. Obviously as this is only in alpha testing mode there is currently no indication whether this will make it all the way as a real feature on twitter or the Twitter app. All in all an interesting new feature which should make the ‘lists’ feature more accessible to all.

Fails

People are not happy, and today it’s because of Google. They’ve recently announced that much loved feature Google voice will soon be merging with the less loved hangouts feature, which suffered an outage last week. Some devoted users of the service, which offers VOIP, texting, voicemail, and voicemail transcription are concerned about the change and feel the change will affect the product in unforeseen ways. Such as a deeper integration into Google+ which users may have no interest in.

The move reportedly took some by surprise, but others may have noted that the change was hinted at over a year ago by a Google employee who posted the following quote on Google Plus. ”Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice, and making/receiving phone calls is just the beginning. Future versions of Hangouts will integrate Google Voice more seamlessly.”

So basically this move has not pleased many, and it seems that once again (akin to the Google Plus/YouTube comment integration) that users are becoming less and less enthused by Google Plus. Perhaps Google needs to rethink its plans to force Google Plus on everyone and impress users by giving them the freedom to choose what they want.

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by Helen Stirling

Mar17

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 17th March – Coca-Cola’s new campaign & Google Plus has a small update.

It’s Likes and Fails time and today we look at Coca-Cola’s ambitious but impressive World Cup Social Media campaign and we look at the newest update to the Google Plus platform.

Likes

Coca-Cola has begun to announce some of their marketing strategy in preparation for the Rio 2014 World Cup. The company has a great idea to get countries from all around the world involved in the big tournament. In one of their first promotions for the World Cup, Coke have created a video in which Brazil’s blind football team get the chance to touch the Cup, a privilege which is usually only reserved for  FIFA dignitaries and previous winners. The video is very Coca-Cola, with the usual feel of their videos noticeable in this one. An uplifting story with a happy ending, and of course enjoying a drink of Coke.

The biggest project is to get people from every country to participate in the world’s largest photo mosaic at the opening match in Brazil. The mosaic will make up the ‘Happiness Flag‘ as Coca-Cola puts it, which will feature 1 million faces of people around the world. People can get involved, adding their photo to the roster by either posting on Facebook, Tweeting with the hashtag, posting to Instagram with the hashtag or emailing them directly. You also have to add in your country hashtag so that the lovely people at Coca-Cola know where you’re from.

They have also just launched a branded Tumblr page specifically in time for the launch of this campaign. Tumblr is to be the base where they tell all the stories of the run up to the World Cup and of the Cup’s travels across the world.

Fails

Google+ has made a small interface/design change over the last week, which personally I feel should have come much sooner. The change means that posts with links attached now display a larger image much like competitor Facebook. Before, the link posts contained a small square icon image and small bit of info, whereas now there is a noticeably larger image with more info about the link. You can see the comparison here, with the new iteration at the top.

The change does appear more visually pleasing, but it is one update to G+ that I’ve been waiting a while for and I can safely say it should have arrived sooner. Any links posted previously keep the same look but any new posts will take on the new format. Overall though, a good update for the network.

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by Helen Stirling

Mar12

Cheltenham Festival – If social networks were in a horse race.

This is what the Race Card would look like if Social Networks were involved in a horse race.

Overview: The race is a tough one to call, but if I had to take a guess I’d definitely take a punt on Twitter who has showed increasing promise and uptake. Though I’m not one to discount Instagram, who is also in with a chance, and has been going from strength to strenght recently, especially one to watch now it’s wearing filters for the first time. However this is a wide-open race and it could really be anyone’s for the taking. E/W shout: Facebook.

1. Twitter

EVENS

The likely winner! Twitter may be slowing in growth but this 8 year old network has shown itself one of the most popular out there. It may find itself up against some tough competition here, but it shows consistency in it’s trends and hashtags and will definitely be a front-runner. It has recently seen some falls, but looks sure to pick itself back up and race stronger than ever.

2. Instagram

4/1

This relative youngster to the field has shown impressive form, and it has taken to the going well. The field definitely has space for this runner and with new addition of filters for the first time, it’s sure to attract some backers. The previous photo finish was a close call for this entry, but no other competitors came close. In a new stable with stable mate Facebook, it looks sure to give a good performance from here-on and push the text-filled front-runner to it’s limits.

3. Vine

6/1

The youngest in the field and the most spirited, this guy is a fan favourite who always pleases. Though initially an unsure bet it has improved ten-fold through the previous season, with some strong runs in its favour. Has been known to run in short 6 second bursts, but usually can repeat that technique frequently. Shows willing and is eager to please.

4. Pinterest

8/1

This a popular runner for ladies day, many favouring this across the boards. Has previously been pinned as an outsider, but now shows increasing promise as a frontrunner. This is one not to be discounted, it’s one runner that can keep the pace and stay the distance.

5. Google Plus

10/1

This runner has not been sure what to do for a while now, integration with the YouTube stables was it’s recent venture, but YouTube commented this just isn’t working for him. When first joining the game it showed substantial promise with many singing it’s praises before it had even taken on a whole season. However it has mostly failed to live up to the initial hype. However it is a solid bet with very few problems ever noted, and could be soon living up to it’s pledge.

6.  Facebook

12/1

Though I really do Like this entry, it is running a little past it’s prime now. At 10 years old it has struggled with recent changes, and taken a few falls. Perhaps worth a punt E/W because of a prolific following; but losing favour and definitely needs to show more to prove it’s one to stay the course.

N/R: Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr

These runners didn’t make it to the race because one was too young, one turned out to not even be a social network and the other was too crazy, respectively.

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by Helen Stirling