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Social News Roundup | August 29, 14

  
  
  
  
  

1. Twitter’s Tweet Activity Dashboard Is Open to All Users

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Twitter has begun opening its Tweet Activity dashboard to all users, which shows information including impressions, engagement and clicks. Read more…

2. Brands Immediately Hop Onto Instagram’s Hyperlapse App

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Big name brands such as Mountain Dew and Bud Light have already used Hyperlapse, Instagram’s app for making time-lapse videos, within hours of the app’s launch. Read more…

3. Facebook Announces “Events” Ads and Launches Advanced Insights for Events

Facebook Event Ads

In the coming weeks, Facebook will release desktop and mobile News Feed ads and insights for events. Insights that event hosts will receive include the number of people who have seen an event link on Facebook, the number of people who have viewed the event and the number of joins, saves and maybes the event has received. Read more…

4. There Is Now a Tweetdeck for Instagram

Instagram Tweetdeck

To organize your Instagram feed, Marvel, a London-based prototyping platform, has created a web app that allows you to add columns based on users or hashtags so that users can easily follow updates on certain topics. Read more…

5. Google Stops Displaying Authorship Markup In Search Results

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Google will no longer display the names of authors in search results, since the feature wasn’t as useful to readers as Google hoped it would be. Read more…

Social News Roundup | August 27, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Facebook Emphasizes Link Format Over Links In Captions and Status Updates

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To improve the content that users see on their News Feed, Facebook is taking the steps to move against click-baiting headlines and favoring links that are shared via the social network’s link format. Read more… 

2. Pinterest’s New Analytics Tool Is Now Available to Businesses

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Pinterest has released a new analytics tool that allows businesses to see detailed data such as the number of users who engage with their pins or which countries those users are from. Read more…

3. Instagram Releases Video Editing App Hyperlapse

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Instagram releases a video editing app named Hyperlapse, which makes it easier for users to create tracking shots and fast, time-lapse videos on their mobile phone. Read more…

4. 64% of Back–to-School Shoppers Discover Products via Social Media

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It’s back-to-school season, and nearly 65% of last minute shoppers are turning to social media to discover new products. Read more…

5. ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ In India Helps Local People In Need

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Described on Facebook as an “Indian version for Indian needs,” the “rice bucket challenge” encourages participants to share photos of themselves donating rice to those in need. Read more…

Social News Roundup | August 22, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. LinkedIn’s Slideshare Is Free For Everyone to Use

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LinkedIn’s Slideshare is now completely free to use. Premium features that will be free to use include profile customization, private uploads and analytics features. Read more… 

2. Vine Finally Lets You Import Videos

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Vine finally allows users to import existing videos from their mobile devices and gives users the option to edit them. Read more…

3. Facebook Releases Analytics For App Links

Facebook App Links

Facebook is releasing analytics for App Links. With the analytics tools, developers can see when they send someone to another app, when a user has arrived at their app from an App Link and when someone returns to their app from another app. Read more…

4. Instagram Rolls Out Advertising Tools

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To help advertisers gauge the success of their campaigns, Instagram is rolling out tools that include account and ad insights. Read more…

5. Facebook Launching “Q&A Box” For Emmy Red Carpet

 

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Facebook will debut the “Facebook Mentions Box” at the Emmys. The interactive device allows celebrities to answer questions submitted by fans. Read more…

Social News Roundup | August 20, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Facebook Is Testing “Stickers” In Comments 

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Facebook is testing a new feature that allows users to add stickers when posting comments. Read more…

2. Twitter’s New Experiment Includes Favorites On Timeline

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Twitter is experimenting with a new feature that shows favorited tweets on users’ timelines. Read more…

3. Snapchat Plans to Display Ads, TV & Movie Clips and News Articles

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This fall, Snapchat plans to launch a service called Snapchat Discovery to display content that includes ads, TV and movie clips and news articles. Read more…

4. Twitter to Remove Images of Deceased Upon Family’s Request

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Upon the request of family members, Twitter will remove images and videos of the deceased. Read more…

5. Study Shows that 99% of All Organic Posts Get Almost No Engagement

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A study from SocialFlow has found that 99% of organic social posts across Twitter, Facebook and Google+ create little to no engagement at all. Read more…

6. Burger King Brings Back Chicken Fries With Social Media Success

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Since launching #chickenfriesareback, Burger King has averaged 380 tweets per minute while generating 150,000 total social media mentions in the campaign’s first 72 hours. Read more…

Social News Roundup | August 15, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Facebook Releases Cross-Device Reporting for Ads

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Facebook launches a new cross-device reporting feature that allows advertisers to see where a consumer saw an ad, the device they used and then the device they used to buy the product. Read more…

2. Pinterest Adds Vevo Music Videos to its Site

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Pinterest partnered with Vevo,allowing users to search for, share and watch Vevo videos on Pinterest itself. Read more…

3. Twitter Launches Data Visualization Tool For Commonly Tweeted Topics in the UK

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Twitter has launched a data visualization tool in the UK that shows exactly where, when and how often people interact when talking about certain topics. Read more…

4. Facebook Closes Acquisition Deal With Video Ad Tech Startup, LiveRail

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Facebook’s acquisition deal with LiveRail is now closed. The video ad tech start-up could help Facebook better target the video ads it runs in the News Feed, and Facebook can help LiveRail with its own targeting of video ads across the web and mobile apps. Read more…

5. Twitter Adds New Features For Verified Users

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Twitter added two new features for verified users. Verified users can now receive notifications when another verified user follows them, as well as the option to filter their followers so only verified users are visible on iOS. Read more…

6. Flipboard Is Introducing Video Ads in September With Chanel as an Initial Advertiser

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Social reading service Flipboard will introduce video advertisements in September, and fashion brand Chanel is confirmed as an initial advertiser. Read more…

Social News Roundup | August 13, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Pinterest Adds Messaging Feature

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Pinterest now offers a chat feature designed for group messaging. The messaging feature is meant to encourage collaboration and discussion on the site. Read more…

2. Snapchat Is the Third Most Popular Social App Among Millennials

Millennials Mobile

According to a recent report by comScore, Snapchat is now the third most popular social app among millennials. Read more…

3. Twitter Launches Promoted Video

Twitter Promoted Video

Although the new feature is still in beta testing mode, Twitter has launched Promoted Video, which allows marketers to upload and distribute video content on Twitter. Read more…

4. Facebook Offers Can Influence Purchasing Decisions [Study]

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Facebook offers have proven to be quite successful for local businesses. In a study by G/O Digital, 84% of those polled said that they believe offers or deals on Facebook are important to their in-store purchasing decision. Read more…

5. Australian Dominos Franchise Relying on Social Media and Web For 60% of Sales

 

 

 

Dominos Pizza

60 percent of total annual sales for Australia’s Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd were through orders via social media, apps and its websites. Read more…

Social News Roundup | August 8, 14

  
  
  
  
  

1. Embedded Tweets Now Available on Twitter.com

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On Twitter.com, users can now embed tweets within another tweet. Read more…  

2. Facebook’s Ad Improvements are Driving Their Revenue Growth

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Facebook’s strong Q2 earnings are driven by new initiatives that include improving the quality and relevancy of ads and new tools like ad preferences or interest-based ads. Read more… 

3. Twitter Lets Advertisers Buy Against Campaign Goals

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Twitter has released a new tool for advertisers that lets them manage their campaigns based on goals such as driving web traffic, app installs or increasing followers. Read more…

4. YouTube Acquires Video-Editing Startup Directr

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YouTube acquires Directr, a mobile application that allows users to create movies from a mobile device. Read more… 

5. 13 Year-Old Came Up With an Anti-Cyber-Bullying Tool

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13 year-old Trisha Prabhu has come up with a cyber-bullying tool called Rethink, which would filter messages that may be hurtful to others and ask posters to rethink the contents of their messages. Read more…

 

Social News Roundup | August 6, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Schedule Instagram Posts with ScheduGram

ScheduGram

ScheduGram allows users to pre-schedule Instagram posts and manage multiple Instagram accounts through one interface. Read more… 

2. Twitter Partners With Puma to Test “Flock to Unlock” Advertising Program

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Twitter has partnered with Puma to launch a new advertising program, “Flock to Unlock.” The idea behind the program is that a deal will be “unlocked” only when a certain number of followers retweet a particular message. Read more… 

3. Facebook Adds Ad Scheduling to Power Editor

Power Editor

Facebook added a new feature to its Power Editor that gives advertisers who use lifetime budgets the ability to schedule hours during which their ads should or should not run. Read more… 

4. Twitter Tests Showing Tweets From People Your Friends Follow 

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Twitter’s latest test involves showing tweets to users from accounts their friends follow. Read more…

5. Nielsen Data: Mobile Devices and Social Networks Are Making TV Better

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Social media is changing the way we learn about TV shows and how we watch them. Not only does it affect the consumer experience, but it also has proven to be a valuable source for advertisers to tap into social conversations. Read more… 

6. Google to Recognize Emails That Use Special Characters

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Google has become the first email provider to allow people to create email addresses using letters with accent marks and characters outside the Latin alphabet. Read more…

Social News Roundup | August 1, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Snapchat Valued at $10 Billion

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Despite the fact that Snapchat never has made any revenue, the company is valued at $10 billion. Read more… 

2. Facebook’s Internet.org Project Launches In Zambia

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Facebook continues to bring the Internet to those who are not yet online by expanding their Internet.org project to Zambia. Read more… 

3. Twitter Experimenting With New Hashtag Feature

Twitter Hashtag

Twitter is experimenting with a new feature that would help teach users the context behind trending hashtags. Read more… 

4. Snapchat For Adults: Confide

Confide

Geared towards professionals, Confide is a new messaging app that offers encrypted texts that disappear. Read more… 

5. Social Sharing Makes Events Seem More Real

Social Sharing

Sharing news on social media enhances an event’s emotional tone and impact. Sharing positive life events makes you happier and sharing negative news makes it “more real.” Read more…

Weird Al's Digital Masterclass - A Case Study on "Mandatory Fun"

  
  
  
  
  

This July, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Mandatory Fun” became the first comedy album since 1963 to reach number 1 on the Billboard 200. It’s a momentous achievement for any artist, but how he pulled it off is even more impressive. Using some original content, smart partnerships and a Q&A on an unlikely source, Weird Al was able to consolidate his scattered base and get old fans interested in his work again, even as he gained new ones

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Staying relevant over a 30-year music career is no easy task, and the rise of Internet culture posed unique challenges to Weird Al’s parody-heavy style. In fact, the challenges were so great that many speculated he would not be able to stand out in a digital culture awash in YouTube parodies of every big musical hit. What was largely overlooked in these arguments was Weird Al’s influence on parody culture, and when Al decided to release eight videos from his album, he found that many sites were willing to fund and distribute videos from someone who’s viewed as an industry pioneer. This grew Weird Al’s reach while giving credibility to these sites, and helped to maintain enthusiasm throughout the campaign.

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The music video for “Tacky,” Weird Al’s first single and a parody of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” was distributed by the podcast and video entertainment network The Nerdist. Featuring cameos by well-known comedians including Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Aisha Tyler and Kristen Schaal, the one-take video got people talking and widened the song parody’s appeal, and the addition of modern comedians showed that Weird Al was more than just a “legacy” act. The presence of other comedians also increased the range of conversations about the video, as evidenced by the following meme making it to the front page of Reddit the next day.

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Building on the momentum of “Tacky,” Weird Al released “Word Crimes” the next day on his personal Vevo account. The song, a parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” also made it to the front page of Reddit. Not wanting momentum from these two songs to slow, he took part in a Reddit AMA later that day to talk about his new album, which helped sustain interest over the remaining six days.

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His candor with fans struck a chord, and the following releases of “Foil” (a parody of Lorde’s “Royals,” distributed by CollegeHumor) and “Handy” (a parody of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” distributed by Yahoo!) also made it to the front page of Reddit.

Following four days of parodies, Weird Al released videos for his original songs, which benefitted from residual interest and additional distribution from sites such as Funny or Die and Popcrush. But the campaign saved the best for last with “Mission Statement,” a pastiche of Crosby, Stills, & Nash that skewers corporate-speak. This piece was notably successful because it was distributed within a native ad on the Wall Street Journal’s website, reaching a part of his audience that may have been unreceptive to his work at the start of the campaign but were willing to give him a try because of his current relevance. Yankovic then connected with them using a message they can relate to in a style that they recognize. 

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Getting positive reaction from the Wall Street Journal and Reddit in the same digital marketing campaign is no easy task. We all know how hard it is to make the WSJ audience crack a smile, but it is equally hard to crack the front page of Reddit during a digital marketing campaign. Reddit users tend to have an anti-corporate view and are against the idea of giving free advertising to companies (some Redditors even pointed this out in threads about Weird Al’s videos). The fact that Yankovic’s videos achieved the front page repeatedly is a testament to the video’s virality as well as their ability to connect with the audience, and Weird Al would not have succeeded without his unique distribution.

Over the course of his eight day album promotion, all of Weird Al’s videos were accessible from his website no matter where they premiered, making it a great source of referral traffic to his partners (who received royalties from each view), and driving cross traffic between sites. Yankovic may have been forced into this route because his record company chose not to fund the videos, but in the end the model worked to his advantage. While other artists such as Beyoncé kept with traditional wisdom and consolidated her brand, Weird Al exploded his across the digital landscape, leveraging the “link economy” to benefit his publishers while mitigating production costs. Looking back, it’s a great example of bucking tradition and sticking to what you do best (in Al’s case, connecting people around a common, if a little silly, idea), and the campaign is already proving to be one of the most successful of the year. All in all it’s pretty surprising, especially when you consider that this is the man who gave us “I Want A New Duck.”

Keep being weird, Al. 

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