Friday Wrap #72: Changes from Google, Facebook, Twitter; mobile video surges, print lives, and more2013-10-18
Image (c) CanStock PhotoChanges to services at the big three—Google, Facebook and Twitter—lead this week’s review of news, announcements and research. I collect stories for the Wrap in my link blog at LinksFromShel.tumblr.com, which you’re welcome to follow.
Edelman launches Creative Newsroom to support clients in real time
Shrug off the real-time and native advertising phenomena all you like. The skeptics aren’t stopping the world’s largest PR agency from setting up a shop dedicated to “monitoring and responding to relevant social media conversations in real time,” according to Lindsay Stein, writing for PRWee. Creative Newsroom has offices in New York, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta, as well as one in the U.K. Initial clients tapping into the service include Adobe, ConAgra Foods, and PayPal. The newsrooms are managed by “a few executives and ‘editors’ who work solely for the newsroom,” along with hundreds of Edelman staffers, notably those already involved in creating social content. It doesn’t mean all that client’s content will be based on real-time memes, according to Cricket Wardein, Edelman’s head of US digital and one of the Creative Newsroom’s leaders. “Even if we’re doing real-time (for a client), at least 80% of the great content can still be planned, but adding that layer of being able to respond to what the communities are already talking about is what takes us to the next level.”
Now anyone can send you a Twitter DM; all it takes is a settings change
Direct Messages on Twitter work simply enough, yet still have been the source of much hand-wringing; some call it a broken feature. If you and I want to exchange private, one-on-one messages on Twitter, we’d use DM, but only if we were both following each other. Now, Twitter has announced that you can opt in to receive DMs from anyone following you; you don’t have to be following them back. “Early analyses tend to conclude that this is good for brands, good for spammers and bad for consumers,” writes Mashable‘s Nellie Akalp. The benefit for brands is simple: When a customer has a complaint, they can send a DM that only the brand can see; it keeps the complaint out of the public stream. Even if a complaint starts out public, it’s a lot easier to ask the customer to send a DM, since you don’t first have to follow them back. But analysts predict that spam could become an issue for those who opt in for the open DM feature. How marketers can take advantage of it is less clear, since there’s high value in brands sending public tweets and little incentive to hide conversations. But, as Akalp suggests, there may be times when “a brand may want to send an exclusive coupon code to its top customers without broadcasting the action to its entire community.”
Facebook ups the ante on brand page analytics
Facebook has introduced new Page Insights analytics designed to “help Page admins better see how people interact with their content,” according to a company announcement reported on ClickZ by reporter Jessica Lee. Facebook is splitting the People Talking About This (PTAT) metric into more discrete elements: Page Likes, People Engaged (the number of unique people who have clicked on, liked commented on, or shared your posts), Page tags and mentions, Page checkins and other interactions on a Page. Upon arriving at your Insights page, you’ll find six tabs to analyze the most important metrics, starting with the Overview tab. Next is “Likes,” “where you can see data about the likes your brand is receiving” along with the ability to drill deeper into that data. For example, you can access the number of likes earned on any given day and where they came from. To the right of the graph, you’ll see additional options for further interpretation of the data. The “Reach” tab displays metrics that play a part in Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, including likes, comments and shares. “Visits” shows where referring traffic came from and the tabs on your page they interacted with while they were there. Several other tabs provide views into additional data.
You may soon star in a Google ad—without your permission
Google plans to display names, profile photos, ratings and reviews in advertisements as part of a program labeled “shared endorsements.” “Users age 18 or over could now see themselves pitching their favorite smartphone, say, or recommending an Italian restaurant across Google’s stable of sites including its search results,” according to Rolfe Winkler, Geoffrey A. Fowler and Evelyn M Rusli, writing for The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, users who sign into third-party applications using their Google account may also see their ctivity used in Google ads, the trio write. The move has raised concerns among privacy advocates, but Google recognizes the benefits of replicating word-of-mouth endorsements from a friend in the form of an ad. Lifehacker reports you can opt out in order to prevent having your likeness used by going to the Shared Endorsements Google+ settings page.
If Dreamhost values print, it can’t be dead
You hear it everywhere: print is dead. Except that it’s not, and web hosting service Dreamhost offers another compelling bit of evidence that print thrives in niche uses. Dreamhost publishes yearbooks that mimic the yearbook you got in high school, “right down to blank pages at the bank for autographs,” according to Inc.. “The book contains goofy profiles of its executive team; goofier portraits of its individual employees; candid photos from company events; they ear’s Top 5 accomplishments for each department; and superlative nominations that are both serious (“Friendliest,” “Most DreamHost Spirit”) and less so (“Best Sneeze,’ “Baldest.”) The company ponies up about $7,000 each year to produce the annual reports, which serve as morale- and team-builders and create institutional memory, according to CEO Simon Anderson. They’re distributed to new hires, many of whom keep them close by as resources, helping them put names to faces, learn where people have been working, and get adjusted quickly to the cluture, including understanding inside jokes. I have to admit, I love this idea.
Mobile accounts for 40% of YouTube traffic
The cultural shift from PC-based content consumption to smartphones and tablets continues apace. During its quarterly earnings call this week, Google said mobile devices account for 40% of YouTube’s traffic. That’s up 15 points from a year earlier. In 2011, only 6% of YouTube’s traffic was for mobile devices. In a TechCrunch article, Josh Constine notes that, in the second quarter 819 million of Facebook’s monthly users are mobile, representing 73% of its total 1.15 billion users. That’s up 12% from the same quarter in 2012 and 24% from the same quarter in 2010. YouTube knew the change was coming, having been investing in better mobile delivery via Android for some time, adding iOS functionality since taking back control of the YouTube App from Apple.
Storify adds Twitter related headlines to tweets in embeds
I’m an early adopter of Storify, the curation tool that lets you collect items from around the web in a “story” that you or others can then embed in other sites. Storify lets you add blog posts, YouTube videos, and tweets, among other things. Now, those stories you create could show up among the related headlines that Twitter has been adding to tweets since August. Twitter introduced the related headlines “because it wanted to help make it easier to discover content while also getting a more balanced and complete picture of what’s happening,” writes The Next Web‘s Ken Yeung. As Twitter put it, “When you embed tweets in your content, the headline of your article and Twitter account will be surfaced on the Tweet’s permalink page for all to see. We think this will help more people discover the larger story behind the tweet, drive clicks to your articles, and help grow your audience on Twitter.” Now, embedded Storify stories will appear along with those headlines. If the story you created “helps tell the story behind the tweet, Twitter will give related headline attribution to your website.”
Annual PR best practices study now open for input
GAP VIII—the eight annual study of PR and communication best practices and trends—is now live for senior communications professionals to submit responses. Widely supported by the industry, USC Annenberg’s study has become a benchmark for the industry, which uses the findings to understand trends and establish annual budgets. “The survey provides practitioners with practical information they can use to better manage the communication functions in their organizations; identifies best practices against which they can benchmark their own organizations; and pinpoints trends to be aware of as they plan for tomorrow,” according to Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog. “In particular, the GAP study provides industry data on budgets, resource allocation, agency relationships, use of social media, reporting relationships and areas of responsibility.” Senior-level communicators are invited to take the survey here.