Learn the week’s latest on how hacks can amp social cred, YouTube’s newsroom play, and Facebook’s Stories to Share feature … among other things. You’ll also see the hottest viral brand video and find out what mobile social network has more users than Twitter. Skim for the scoop!
A watch for tomorrow. “Evolution,”Samsung’s ad for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, topped viral charts with a montage of futuristic watches in pop culture. (We love us some nostalgia.) Its take on futuristic wrist candy resembles the Pebble, which syncs with iPhones (though Apple hasn’t produced its own take on a smartwatch yet). Samsung’s looking at 13M views and counting since the video launched two weeks ago.
How many positions can you take on beheading? Facebook suffered rage-buzz for reversing its position on a decision to ban videos depicting extreme violence, like beheadings. UK Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in: “It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.” As of Tuesday, the ‘Book released a statement, promising to remove posts if they’re “shared for sadistic pleasure or to celebrate violence.” Iffy videos or images will also include “a warning and sharing it with an age-appropriate audience.” Hear that? That’s the sound of parents all over the world breathing a sigh of relief.
Dinosaurs on the digital runway! We all like a fun surprise. Vogue won geek cred when users discovered that by visiting Vogue.co.uk and tapping up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, velociraptors with fancy hats appear across the bottom of the page! (Hit A repeatedly if you want more to appear.) It isn’t clear whether this was an outside job or an “easter egg” from developers, but the beloved hack’s been appearing on different Condé Nast sites since as early as July. We suspect that if it were an attack it would have stopped working since (though maybe now it’ll stop just to make us look silly).
Slice-and-dicing tweets. Speaking of hacks, MTV France enjoyed retweets galore with a hack that produces claw marks in tweets, breaking Twitter’s design frames. MTV FR and agency Darewin (disclosure: a client) say it’s the first time a visual “signature’s” been created for a brand on Twitter. The original tweet (which reads “RT if you see my claws”) generated over 5,000 retweets, not to mention 2000+ RT’s for follow-ups featuring the same hack. Twitter France blessed the act with an endorsement of its own.
RT.???????????????????????????????si.???????????????????????????????tu.????????????????????????????vois mes griffes #TeenWolfFR— #TeenWolfFR 26 oct (@MTVFR) October 21, 2013
Instagram Ads are here! The first ads will appear in feeds this week for US users. The test is limited to brands that are strong Instagram users, and users can opt-out easily: tap the “...” below the offending ad to hide it and provide feedback, which will make Instagram’s ad-serving algo smarter (thus better for advertisers).
ID share-worthy posts in a blink. Media orgs with Facebook Pages have a new feature: “Stories to Share,” which makes it easier for media sites to identify proprietary content worth sharing on Facebook: “For instance, TIME can see suggestions of stories they published to TIME.com but they have not yet shared to their Facebook fans. They can now easily post … those suggestions to their page directly from their Insights Dashboard in their admin panel.” If the effort is successful, other types of publishers will also get the feature.
More customer for your FB buck. Facebook’s also extending its Custom Audiences feature to all advertisers and interfaces. Coupled with objective-based ad buying, you’ll be able to message FB fans with promotions, or find new customers in a given area.
Vine: now edit-friendly. Vine introduced two new features to its app for Android and iOS: Sessions and Time Travel. With Sessions, you can save up to 10 draft posts and come back to them later. Tap the icon in the bottom right corner of your camera: you’ll have the option to save a session or open an existing one. With Time Travel, you’ll be able to remove, reorganize or replace shots within a post before sharing. Tap the green bar while shooting, or just hit “Edit” when previewing a post. Happy Vining!
What tweeters want. Hubspot found that tweets featuring hashtags and quotation marks generate more RT’s than those without, with the latter being 30% more likely to be retweeted. Also, using images supported by pic.Twitter.com are 94% more likely to be retweeted, since users don’t have to leave the site to see the image (as they would with an Instagram link or other types of image links that don’t jive with Twitter Cards). Instagram links in tweets reduce retweet likelihood by a whoppin’ 42%.
The art of war. Cromonitor lets you track what A/B tests your competitors run on their websites. It’ll also send screenshots of monitored pages. Works across mobile, desktop, and tablet websites. Up to three Watchlists, with two URLs each, are permitted, with up to 200MB of storage. If it feels sneaky, The Next Web points out that competitors may already be watching your site.
Beating Twitter in numbers. WhatsApp, a mobile messaging service that lets friends all over the world avoid long-distance SMS charges, now hosts over 350M active users, more than Twitter’s 200M active users. The service, supporting over 31B messages per day, is now involved in a partnership with Nokia that enables photosharing directly from cameras.
YouTube: your newsroom … and music video outlet. YouTube’s released a news channel that aggregates content from some of the biggest—and smallest—broadcasters on earth. “We have names like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and Vice, brands [that] existed for years off of YouTube and finding audiences here,” not to mention people who made their names on YouTube, like Phil Defranco, says global head of news Tom Sly. The channel hosts 21M subscribers and counting. Couple that with its new on-demand music video service, and you’ve got a serious cross-media player.
Who leads the social login pack? 44.9% of users preferred logging into sites with Facebook credentials, followed by Google with 32.9%, per an eMarketer study. However, for all that’s B2B, users’ preference for LinkedIn rose to match Google’s.
We’ll wrap with something super-handy, especially if you’re trying to improve your personal branding. Solo PR Pro provides 7 tools to showcase your social media presence. The list includes favorites like About.me, which aggregates social media presences to produce a pretty and easily customizable personal site, and Brand Yourself, where you submit links to your social presences and it’ll provide tips on how to improve those profiles or boost your Google search results. Many tools are free, so take advantage!
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