Instagram confirms UK ads are on their way

Instagram is in the process of rolling out sponsored content and advertising alongside its regular content to UK users, according to a BBC report.

The adverts, which have already been launched in the US, will aim to be “as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos [users] enjoy from brands who are already using Instagram”, according to a spokesperson.

Unsurprisingly, reaction from the social community has been somewhat negative. Yet the photo-based social...

By James Bourne, 18 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Brands, Social Media.

Gone in 6.0 secs: 5 auto brands that are winning on Vine

Since it was launched in January 2013, Vine has become a hugely popular video sharing app, with approximately five vines tweeted every second.

Vine's appeal is simple, short and sweet six second clips which play on a loop and offer wannabe filmmakers the chance to experiment with witty one liners, stop-frame animation and creative cutaways, all in an easy-to-shoot and share format.

Not surprisingly then, Vine has attracted a lot of attention from advertisers who see...

By Hurricane Media, 05 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Brands, Social Media, Twitter.

The pros and cons of buying followers on Twitter

How many followers do you have? 10s, 100s, 1000s, more? When you first start out on social media, building a following can be slow. And for that reason many people are now opting to buy their friends. But apart from being a bit sneaky, are there any other disadvantages of buying Twitter followers? We’ll discuss that here.

How Do You Buy Followers? 

The most common way of buying followers is through a method called ‘zombie account following’. This is where you enlist the services of a 3rd party...

By Gareth Morgan, 02 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: B2B, Social Media, Twitter.

Samsung gets one up on competitors with Galaxy S5 Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’re getting a little jaded of celebrities, friends and co-workers voluntarily dousing themselves in ice water, albeit for a very good cause, here’s a novel twist on it from Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has officially taken the Ice Bucket Challenge, raising awareness for ALS, or motor neurone disease, and nominated the iPhone, the HTC One and the Nokia Lumia to go next.

It’s worth noting that

By James Bourne, 22 August 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, JustForFun, Social Media.

Twitter cites World Cup engagement as key factor in “strong” Q2 results

Twitter has released its second quarter financials, with a quarterly net loss of $145m (£85m) but revenue of $312m (£184m) to an adjusted EBITDA of $54m (£31m).

Describing the numbers as “strong”, CEO Dick Costolo said: “Our strong financial and operating results for the second quarter show the continued momentum of our business.

“We remain focused on driving increased user growth and engagement, and by developing new product experiences, like the one we built around...

By James Bourne, 30 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media, Twitter.

Bebo co-founder sends cease and desist to Airbnb after logo revamp

Michael Birch, the co-founder of recently revived social network Bebo, has sent a cease and desist document to apartment and rental firm Airbnb after claiming its widely discussed logo redesign is in breach of Bebo’s ‘genital marketing’ trademark.

The new Airbnb logo was unveiled last week in a blog post entitled ‘Belong Anywhere’, with the logo attempting to signify several things, the key one being a sense of human connection and belonging:

Picture credit:...

By James Bourne, 23 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Design, Social Media.

This Israeli startup is offering e- and m-commerce for Instagram

Meet Inst-ore. The Israel-based startup is offering a service whereby Instagram users can hit a brand’s in-store landing page (hence the name) just by liking a photo on the social network.

There’s no app or login process involved, and the whole thing is relatively simple. User likes a photo, it’s stored on the Instagram API, they go to the bio tab of the brand, and then gets the link to go to the commerce page.

Currently Inst-ore only has two brands signed up – New York fashion brand...

By James Bourne, 22 July 2014, 1 comment. Categories: e-commerce, Social Media.

Malaysian mobile firm pays tribute to MH17 flight victims through memorial app

Just Mobile Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-based IT and mobile technology firm, has updated its eMemorial Facebook app to include separate pages for each of the 298 people who lost their lives in the MH17 flight to Kuala Lumpur, which was shot down over Ukrainian airspace last week.

The eMemorial app, currently in beta, allows people to post memorials “to remember loved ones and share their legacy and life with the rest of [their] Facebook friends”, yet also features memorial pages to celebrities, from as...

By James Bourne, 21 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Community, Facebook, Social Media.

Google ends ‘real name’ YouTube commenter policy, shuffles Google+ pack again

Last month MarketingTech noted the third birthday of Google+ with the question: Is it time to wave the white flag? It was one of the most popular articles of the month, and the sentiment certainly resonated among our community with over 50 comments.

Well, Google has had another crack at modifying its problem child social...

By James Bourne, 16 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Google, GooglePlus, Social Media.

Yo: Is it really that simple?

By Gram Bowsher

Yo: A two letter word with ambiguous origins and typically inconsequential meaning. Or is it not that simple? One of the newest trends in social media and mobile apps has been the rise of the app named after such a seemingly innocuous term. Giving users only the ability to send the word “Yo” to each other, the app has already received $1.2 million in investment and has risen to the number one in the iOS app store.

The fast rise of Yo was quickly followed by an influx of hack attempts, and...

By Randy Giusto, 02 July 2014, 2 comments. Categories: Brands, Community, Social Media.

As Google+ turns three, is it time to wave the white flag?

June 28 2014 marks three years since Google+ was launched. It represents an interesting tipping point in the history of the social network, for whom mass adoption has often been difficult to come by.

Despite having only a quarter of the userbase of Facebook, 359 million active users compared to 1.28 billion is still a hefty number. But there’s another issue at stake.

At Google I/O earlier this week, during the two and a half hour keynote conference there was mention of various new announcements and...

By James Bourne, 27 June 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Google, GooglePlus, Social Media.

BuzzFeed denies collecting personal data from users

BuzzFeed is collecting far more data about its readership than the majority of other news sites, a blogger has claimed.

According to ecommerce expert Dan Barker, writing on his blog, alongside the out-of-the-box analytics Google provides, BuzzFeed has actively decided it requires more information on users, thus classified as ‘Custom Var’.

So far this only covers such mundane information such as whether the user links BuzzFeed to Facebook and whether email updates...

By James Bourne, 25 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Privacy, Social Media, Viral.

The social media sentiment at the World Cup gathers pace

As more than 40% of tweets sent in the evening relate to television according to Twitter statistics, and given kick off times in the World Cup are between 5pm and 2am for UK viewers, it’s no surprise that the biggest football tournament on the planet is getting some serious buzz on the micro-blogging network.

So much so that Twitter itself has issued a series of stats pre-tournament; specifically, nine in 10 UK Twitter users will tune in to watch the...

By James Bourne, 16 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media.

Which football clubs are top of the league in social and responsive design?

With the FIFA World Cup just two days away, new research from Brand Perfect has revealed that Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona are among the best football clubs in social media and website optimisation.

The research, which analysed the top football leagues in Brazil, England, Germany and Spain, found that only 18% of the clubs examined had online presences to work responsively across both smartphones and tablets, with 36% having separate mobile domains.

In England, only Arsenal and Sunderland had...

By James Bourne, 10 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Design, Social Media.

Global retailers lambasted for ‘immature’ social media efforts

The vast majority of global retailers aren’t doing enough when it comes to converting social media and marketing into sales, according to a report from social commerce provider Buyapowa.

The report ranked 100 retailers and found that Tesco came out on top in terms of its social maturity, ahead of Falabella, Nordstrom, Lowe’s and JCPenney. Notable companies which didn’t place as well include Walmart (#10), Amazon (#15), IKEA (#37) and Apple (#54).

Each retailer was ranked based on how many...

By James Bourne, 14 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Social Media.

Wolf of Wall Street howls old school comms in the digital age

“Any publicity is good publicity.” This is perhaps one of the less controversial lines from Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. And while it’s easy to overlook amidst a three-hour epic of debauchery, drugs and dwarf tossing, it’s actually one of the more insightful lines from the movie – from a PR perspective at least.

The line comes from Belfort’s wife in response to a negative story in Forbes about the unethical practices of her husband’s brokerage firm. The phrase is by no...

By Alastair Turner, 07 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, PR, Social Media, Viral.

LinkedIn turns 11, but is it a happy birthday?

On Monday, everyone’s favourite business-oriented social network LinkedIn turned 11. Boasting 277 million users, a net income of $26m in 2013, and one of the most successful tech IPOs in 2011, things have been continually rosy for chairman Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner.

But should LinkedIn be celebrating its 11th birthday?

One look at the most recent balance sheet suggests otherwise. On May 1 LinkedIn published financial results of a $13.4m net loss in the first quarter, compared to $22.6m in the...

By James Bourne, 07 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Infographic, LinkedIn, Social Media.

Simon’s Cat: On social media, engagement and the importance of the story

Feature When Simon Tofield first started creating videos about a charming, yet mischievous cat, it was simply to teach himself a computer program.

Six years on, with book deals, syndications and millions of fans under his belt, he explains that he never expected the success Simon’s Cat has brought him.

“I had no idea it would ever really touch as many people as it has,” he tells MarketingTech. “I think the main reason it has done is because there’s a lot of cat fans out there and the...

By James Bourne, 02 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Community, Content, Social Media.

How is social media affected by the big sporting events?

In 2014 we’ve already seen the success of the Winter Olympics in Sochi and we still have many sporting events to come including the World Cup in Brazil and the Commonwealth Games in sunny Scotland.

These sporting events are also big social events. We plan to book tickets using instant messengers and we brag about our good seats to friends – or we moan about that missed opportunity through posts or tweets before keeping up with the news on other events that we can’t attend.

Sporting events...

By Gareth Morgan, 01 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media, Strategy.

The best Twitter fights of all time

From global pop stars to footballers and all the Z-listed celebrities in between, Twitter has become the modern day social platform for a good old fashioned slanging match. Using the instant message platform to their advantage, insults can be published immediately, reaching all corners of the globe and with the potential to be seen by millions.

In amongst the insults are some comedy battles, with some of the more memorable involving a One Direction member and a national rugby player, another One Direction member and national paper...

By Gareth Morgan, 30 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: JustForFun, Social Media, Twitter.