THE HEADLINES …
THE LOWDOWN …
IN OTHER NEWS …
ON FACEBOOK …
ON TWITTER …
ON GOOGLE …
BRANDS GET SOCIAL …
SOCIAL STATS …
ON MOBILE …
VIRTUAL AND GAMES …
Really, What Were They Thinking?® An attempt at a viral campaign by Swedish telecoms company Tele2 has misfired rather spectacularly, resulting in the loss of the company’s contract with the Latvian government. Tele2 staged a fake meteorite-landing in Latvia – and not just a leetle, baby meteorite, but one which resulted in a 10m crater and the scrambling of the emergency services. The company claim they carried out the hoax, which they uploaded to YouTube as part of the campaign, “to draw attention away from Latvia’s economic crisis and toward something else more interesting”. An unmitigated success then, I’d say.
The Labour government has “failed to care” that the British video games industry is falling behind that of other countries, said Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey this week. A Conservative government would actively consider tax breaks for games-makers.
Facebook’s piggy-bank is fit to split, after the social network was awarded a fantastical £429 million against arch-spammer Sanford Wallace. ‘Spamford’, who hacked into Facebook accounts and sent unsolicited messages which appeared to come from the accounts’ owners, was recently at the wrong end of a $230 million judgement in a case brought by MySpace. So Facebook might have to wait awhile – Wallace has already filed for bankruptcy.
The European Commission this week fired a warning shot across Britain’s bows, ruling that they had failed to comply with rules which protect users’ confidentiality from targeted ad providers like Phorm. Prosecution is next on their to-do list, if the government fails to act.
Facebook has teamed up with Stanford University to encourage online friendships between those at the heart of global ideological conflict. It’s providing a daily document of conversations across the various divides worldwide: At the time of writing, for example, there have been 5,296 Israel-Palestine conversations in the last 24 hours.
TalkTalk, the ISP owned by the Carphone Warehouse, is absolutely livid at Lord Mandelson’s proposals to cut the internet connection of persistent file-sharers. It’s comparing them to a ‘kangaroo court’, and is rounding up sympathetic consumers to try and stop the proposals becoming law.
Stephen Fry was feeling “more sheepish than a sheep” yesterday, having withdrawn his threat to quit Twitter following an unfriendly remark. Fry, who’s done more than most to popularize the service in the UK, said that he had been feeling depressed, hence was more susceptible to ‘aggression and unkindness”. He was doubtless feeling perkier, following the outpourings of Twitter love with which many of his 920,000 followers responded.
No Whey! Mai employer onz mai updates? Blog posts, Twitter DMs- yes, even that photo of your dog, wearing horns and a defeated expression, which you uploaded for Halloween – all might be owned by your company, according to Jeremiah Owyang.
A palm/forehead moment for US football player Larry Johnson, whose homophobic rant against an antsy fan (detailed earlier this week) is going to cost him $213,000 in lost earnings.
Oh, this is bad… well, good – in a bad kind of a way. You know? BNP leader Nick Griffin’s virtual cheek is surely smarting, after twenty million slaps were delivered by the British public. The designers of SlapNickGriffin.co.uk say that, in the days following his controversial appearance on Question Time, the average user administered 181 slaps to the Far Right politician.
Poor Senate Candidate Marco Rubio. To be a victim of a phishing attack is unfortunate – to be a victim of a hack which makes unauthorized posts from your account trumpeting your love of a colon-cleansing product – well, we feel your pain, big guy.
These Wink Glasses, made by Japanese manufacturer Masunaga, are cleverly designed to mist up in one lens if you forget to blink, thus avoiding ‘dry eye’, an opthalmic condition which afflicts video gamers and others screen-starers. I, for one, think these are jolly smart; they will round off my Autumn Look perfectly.
The pay gap between men and women working in social media is becoming less of a gap and more of a gaping chasm, according to new research from Forum One. Men, $86,644. Women, $75,624.
Companies in the financial sector, who are increasingly using Facebook and other social sites to interact with their customers, are probably breaking statutory regulations. Financial institutions are required to keep strict records of their business communications – not possible on most social networks.
18% of search is now delivered by social media, which has become the information-hub which Google used to be. The Statusphere – the streams of other users’ info from which we pick and choose according to our needs – is our new gateway to insight.
Under-35s welcome brands on social networks – kinda. Webtrends finds that 85% of them are broadly happy to see brands, but half said they would leave if the site became too commercial, and 39% think there’s already too many ads on social networks.
Facebook made a slew of changes across its system last week – and that’s on top of the recent transformation of its news updates. Many of them will affect brands’ strategies – some for the better, but others, not so much. Luckily here are Inside Facebook and Venturebeat to get you up to speed, pronto.
Facebook is running out of world to conquer – so it’s trying to get its less active users to interact more frequently by recommending old friends to reconnect with. Unfortunately, some of these recommendations turned out to be ex-lovers – and others were people who had (there’s no good way to say this) died. Facebook has now fixed the problem – in the case of the latter group (and the latter group only), with the launch of Memorial Pages.
Twitter lists were this week rolled out to the next tranche of lucky users, causing little ripples of thrilled-ness (‘thripples’?) across the service. On the whole, reaction was broadly favourable – Matt Rhodes breaks it down.
Blimey. Here’s Google’s account of the world in 2015: a web dominated by Chinese content; users who jump from app to app without blinking; broadband sprinting well past 100mb; and melting distinctions between TV, radio and Web-distributed content.
If you, on the other hand, are still struggling with the basics of Google Wave – never fear. Mashable released their Complete Guide, and they link to an even more in-depth User Guide by Trapani and Pash.
Meanwhile , the Web 2.0 world continued to digest the implications of Google’s Social Search. Brands need to think fast to adapt to a world in which we’ll increasingly lean on recommendations and reviews from within our own social circle – as Jeremiah Owyang details here.
Elsewhere, Google’s plans for world domination continue apace. This week, it knocks Satnav into a cocked hat and deposits it in a drawer marked ‘20th Century – for Archive”, with the launch of Google Maps Navigation, which turns your mobile into an expert navigator.
Volvo is launching an integrated campaign which aims at a younger market by highlighting the role of its new XC60 in the new vampire flick Twilight. They’re offering a car to the first person to solve a series of puzzles on a microsite, with players encouraged to exchange hints via Volvo pages on social networks.
PlanetCazmo, a virtual world for tweens and teens, ran a free in-world Halloween gig featuring the band Weezer, who appeared in avatar format. It’s the latest in a series of concerts which follow a recent deal with music promoter Tommy Mottola.
Grass Roots has launched The Campaign for Crap Jumpers, which warns that the nations most-reviled Christmas present is under threat of extinction, following the launch of their Bonusbond gift voucher. Users can upload shots of themselves wearing said article of clothing, or create pictures of themselves wearing a variety of disdained knitwear designs from a selection of templates.
Mashable have put together a Top Fifty of the strongest brands on Twitter right now – no huge surprises, but worth a glance nonetheless. Chanel, for example, was not on my radar – yours?
Nearly three-quarters of the top 500 internet retailers have a presence on at least one social network or social shopping website, with 57 percent either setting up a Facebook page or advertising on the site, according to eMarketer.
85% of shoppers will maintain or up their online Christmas spend – with a third shopping more than last year.
A full 72% of netizens don’t know about behavioural advertising – and 81% didn’t know they could opt out. When they were given more information about their opt-out rights and how the info was used, 74% were relaxed with it.
Purchasing decisions by young people are heavily influenced by a connection to social causes. This holds even for younger kids – 40% of tweens (ages 9 to 12) and 20% of younger kids (ages 6 to 10) have bought a cause-related item.
Ads perform best on touchscreen phones, according to a report by Quattro Wireless. Rich media on mobile sites and within apps yielded high clickthrough rates – especially when viewed on a touchscreen device.
Virtual worlds continue to expand at a impressive rate – even if the graph isn’t quite as steep as it was last quarter. Registered accounts leapt by 92m to hit 671m in Q3 – a Q-on-Q increase of 15.9%.
Habbo and Stardoll’s accounts performed best of all, up 13m and 12m respectively – and their quarterly growth accounts for over 25% of total market growth.
GoPets, a site that encourages users to ‘raise’ 3D pets which can be customized and ‘walked’ to other users’ desktops, was sold to mega-veloper Zynga this week.
China has fallen for social farm games in a huge way. According to Five Minutes, the developer of the first and largest (and much-copied) social farm game Happy Farm, they’ve now rocketed past 23 million daily active users.
In fact, social games have exploded worldwide this year, bringing with it a huge expansion of the virtual goods industry. 12% of Americans have bought a virtual gift this year, and the market looks like it will stroll casually across the $1 billion line , with another 600 million jump in 2010.
And players aren’t only buying – 31% of them have sold goods too, indicating that virtual currency is gaining momentum, according to VentureBeat. But these figures, while striking, are inevitably overshadowed by the gargantuan Asian market, which is a stunning seven times bigger than its US counterpart.
At the The Virtual Goods Summit last week, Bill Grosso of Live Gamer talked to a rapt audience about how to manage these new virtual world economies – and prosper from them.
But over at TechCrunch a note of alarm was sounded, in this excellent piece on the ethics of monetizing virtual goods, and the scams that can underpin parts of the market.
If you’re in the mood for a little light cogitation, there is an interesting article here about how successful brand communities operate.
And over at Netimperative, Tom Griffiths writes (thoughtfully) about how real-time communication is affecting the way we, erm, think.
That’s all folks!