Friday Wrap #116: Bye-bye Authorship, who owns your Likes?, Hyperlapse marketing, and more


Flickr image courtesy of jodimichelle
Greetings from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’m here teaching a three-day course on social and digital media to a group of senior communications executives. It’s part of a year-long program from Aberje, the national communications association, and Syracuse University. But I couldn’t let a week go by without regaling you with this week’s highlights. As always, I’ve drawn on the items I’ve saved to my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow; it’s also the source of the stories I cover on my podcast.

News

Google suddenly kills of Authorship—Once highly touted as a way to connect search results contents with authors associated with sites, the Authorship tag has been dismissed. Search results no longer include authorship information. Google’s John Mueller explained, “We’ve gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we’ve tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.” And just like that, a once useful tool in the search mix is no more. Read more

Your company doesn’t own its Facebook likes—Stacey Mattocks amassed 2 million followers for a Facebook page she created for a TV show she liked. When BET decided to revive the previously canceled show, they partnered with Mattocks, who gave the network admin control in exchange for part-time work maintaining the page, which grew to 6 million fans. When she locked BET out in a bid to turn the job into a full-time gig, BET got Facebook to shut down her page and transfer he likes to the new page the network created. Mattocks sued and lost. According to the judge in the case, “If anyone can be deemed to own the ‘likes’ on a Page, it is the individual user responsible for them.” Read more

Tweet Activity Dashboard will be yours to use—Only a small subset of Twitter users had access to the Tweet Activity Dashboard up until now. Advertisers, Twitter Card users, and holders of verified accounts could use the tool to track activity on their tweets. That’s changing. Twitter just made it available to English, French, Japanese, and Spanish users who have had accounts for at least two weeks. It’ll be available to everyone else soon. Read more

Salesforce wants to own the branded community space—Branded communities—sometimes referred to as “white label communities”—aren’t new. Lithium and others charge big bucks to host communities for organizations ranging from Home Depot to the American Diabetes Association. Now Salesforce is getting into the game with the launch of Salesforce1 Community Cloud. Technologies developed for other Salesforce offerings (reputation engines, personalization tools, discussion forums, and design templates) will comprise the Community Cloud, with pricing starting at a comparatively low $500 per month. According to the VP of marketing for Community Cloud, “We believe communities will be the next battleground.” Read more

Brace yourselves for another Facebook News Feed algorithm change—If your organization has been driving traffic with those Upworthy-style link-bait headlines on Facebook, get ready to find a new tactic. Facebook is tweaking its algorithm to ensure fewer of those show up in users’ News Feeds. You’ll also see fewer updates with links in the caption of a photo and even links within status updates. “We’ve found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions,” the company said. Read more

Trends

Hyperlapse marketing: That didn’t take long—Not too long ago, communicators lamented the introduction of new platforms. “I barely have time for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn,” they would wail. Now, it takes only a day or two for brands to start experimenting with new tools. Hyperlapse is the latest, a new app for iOS from Instagram that lets you create time-lapse videos. Among brands that have released their Hyperlapse videos: Mountain Dew, Milkbone, Bud Lite, Sonic Drive-in, Arizona iced teas, and the Tonight Show. Read more

We’ve been curating content on the Net; now the net is curating exhibits in museums—Content curation has been a thing for a couple years now. When explaining it, I often refer to curators in museums as an analogy: What they do is not simply buy every painting they can find and nail them all to walls. Seattle’s Frye Art Museum is turning the idea of curation on its head, though, but creating an exhibit curated entirely by the Net. In early August, the museum asked users of various social platforms to apply the #SocialMuseum hashtag to their favorite paints from the museum’s collection. Those with the most votes will be included in the exhibit. Read more

Brazilians top Latin America for time spent online—Brazilian Internet users spent 37.7% more time online than average Latin American users. The 30.3 hours they devote to the Net is over 9 hours more than the next country on the list, Argentina, whose residents are online 21 hours per month. The average for Latin America is 22 hours per month. The comScore figures account only for home use, so countries where Internet cafes or other means of access are popular may have higher numbers than reported. Read more

Research

Social media doesn’t necessarily make us more willing to share minority views—One of the big promises of social media was that it would establish forums where people who felt uncomfortable expressing views they knew most people wouldn’t agree with could share those perspectives and engage in public discourse. If the Edward Snowden revelations are an indicator, that’s not the case. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center study, people were less willing to discuss the story than they were in public. Further, social media did not provide an alternative discussion platform for those unwilling to talk about the story face-to-face. The phenomenon is known as the “spiral of silence.” Read more

Consumers will share wearable data in exchange for coupons and discounts—Privacy concerns go right out the window for a lot of people when it comes to what they might get in return. According to a study from an Accenture subsidiary, 40% of consumers would share data collected by their wearable devices if they got discounts or coupons in exchange. Still, 80% said they still have privacy concerns, which means 20% have privacy concerns and they’re willing to swap that concern for a coupon. Read more

Mobile

Most digital media consumption happens in mobile apps—If you haven’t geared up your mobile efforts, this might get you jump-started: In the U.S., users are on mobile devices using apps for most of their digital media consumption, displacing laptops and desktops. For the first time, 52% of the time spent using digital media was via mobile app. Only one out of every eight minutes spent online via a mobile device is accomplished without an app (such as a mobile web browser). When you remove tablets from the equation, leaving only smartphones, the numbers get even higher. Read more

Now you can target Facebook ads based on cell signal strength—The ability to micro-target ads to Facebook users is pretty damn impressive. Most communicators, still struggling with the collapse of the wall between earned and paid media, haven’t dug into it much, but as a means of amplifying a message to the right people, there’s not much out there that compares. Given the shift in Facebook habits from computers to mobile devices, though, Facebook is right on top of things, now offering the ability to target ads to people with strong cell signals, so they won’t waste money sending data-intensive ads to people with weak connections. Read more

WhatsApp hits 600 million monthly active users—Six hundred million is a number that’s getting uncomfortably close to that magical billion that Facebook owns. That might worry Facebook if it hadn’t acquired WhatsApp six months ago. Clearly the angst expressed at the time of the acquisition hasn’t led to an exodus of users; in fact, the mobile messaging app has added 150 million new ones since then. Read more

Tech

Ditto scans images on Yahoo and Facebooks to identify brands in the photos—The primary purpose of this practice, known as digital ethnography, uses photos to help brands see what other products people are using when using their brands, such as what clothes they’re wearing. “We don’t do any analysis of private photos so this is really about photos in the public domain where people have voluntarily opted in to sharing,” according to Ditto CEO David Rose. Read more

QR codes live—Despite repeated proclamations that QR codes have been relegated to the trash heap of digital hype, they just keep turning up. Last week, we learned that a pilot app will let you store your customs declaration digitally and present it to U.S. Customs at Atlanta International Airport via QR code. Now comes word that Verizon Enterprise is introducing QR codes as a two-factor authentication option for its universal identity service. Read more

Autoplay videos propelled Ice Bucket Challenge—There has been no shortage of analyses of the wildly popular Ice Bucket Challenge and why it went viral. There are probably fewer marketing lessons to be gleaned from the fundraising phenomenon, since it was never a marketing campaign, just an idea thought up by friends of an ALS victim. But one technology may have played a bigger role than it has gotten credit for: Facebook’s “autoplay” feature, which starts videos playing as they appear while you scroll through your News Feed. Without that feature, you might have kept on scrolling. Read more