Social Media Report - Friday 3rd June 2016

Hot Topic...

Facebook Live from Space

Mark Zuckerberg has spoken to astronauts aboard the International Space Station via Facebook Live’s most ambitious real-time video stream. The social network’s founder invited fans to submit questions and watch the call live through Nasa’s Facebook page. Zuckerberg spent 20 minutes talking to Nasa astronauts Tim Kopra and Jeff Williams, as well as ESA’s Tim Peake. The trio spoke to Zuckerberg about experiments and fun in space, as well as the things training can’t prepare for. Peake, Britain’s first astronaut to stay on the space station, said the ‘real experience of launching in a Soyuz rocket, seeing the first orbit of the planet Earth going through a sunset, seeing a moonrise, seeing a sunrise’ are the kinds of experiences training can’t prepare you for. The live-streamed video notched up hundreds of thousands of views as it was happening, and later reached 2.6 million views, with the number continuing to grow.

The Facebook Live hook up with the space station comes a month after Zuckerberg, Russian millionaire scientist Yuri Milner and physicist Stephan Hawking launched Breakthrough Starshot. The $100m project aims to develop a prototype robotic spacecraft that will use light to reach the Alpha Centauri system, which is four light-years away, in only 20 years. Zuckerberg’s excitement at seeing the microphone casually floating between the astronauts during the interview was one of the video’s highlights as were the zero gravity aerobics from the three astronauts.

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Snapchat agrees multiyear deal with Wimbledon

Live moments from the men and women’s Wimbledon finals will be shared on Snapchat as part of the social network’s three-year deal with the All England Tennis and Croquet club. The partnership comes as Snapchat revealed its British user numbers for the first time. The messaging app claims it now has 10 million active users in the UK, making it the second largest market after the US. As part of the Wimbledon agreement, the social platform will also sell ad spots to the tournaments sponsors, including Haagen-Dazs and Stella Artois.

The deal also reflects comments made by Wimbledon’s digital boss Alexandra Willis during last year’s tournament, when she revealed the All England Lawn Tennis Club wanted to ‘show Wimbledon off to a different audience’. She said at the time: ‘It’s about engaging with a young generation. We wouldn’t want to get to a point where our audience is getting older and we haven’t found an entry point to them.’

Social Media Brands...

Instagram announces business profiles and other tools

Instagram has unveiled its long-anticipated business tools, part of which will allow small and medium sized businesses to buy an ad within the mobile app, and the ability to track its performance. The Facebook-owned social network has held hundreds of interviews with companies to find out what they require. The research identified three needs: to stand out; get insights and find new customers. The updates will add prominent ‘contact’ buttons to business profiles, as well as offering detailed analytic tools and easier access to promotion tools, which change Instagram posts into ads. Users will also be able to access directions to firms’ physical stores.

Although large brands have been advertising on the app for some time, there hasn’t been a dedicated service for smaller organisations, which make up the majority of Instagram’s business users. ‘The hope is to entice more businesses to use, and advertise on, Instagram’, James Quarles, the social network’s global head of business and brand development, revealed. The new tools will be launched in the US, Australia and New Zealand before a global roll-out later this year.

Facebook and Twitter sign up to EU hate speech rules

Four internet giants have pledged to review requests for the removal of hateful content posted on their platforms within 24 hours, after agreeing a code of conduct with EU regulators on Tuesday. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft have promised to remove or disable access to such content if necessary, after European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova emphasised the urgency of tackling illegal online hate speech because of the increasing use of social media by terrorist groups. Authorities across Europe have been working to get social platforms to crack down on rising online racism in the midst of the refugee crisis, and have even threatened action against some companies.

The new rules, which were announced by the European Commission on Tuesday, also oblige the tech companies to identify and promote ‘independent counter-narratives’ to hateful content and propaganda published on their platforms. Facebook has been working with the German government to be more proactive in its response to racist and xenophobic content. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft have all been involved in drawing up the code, with previous efforts to stamp down on hate speech hampered by varying enforcement in different countries.

Tinder tells users to swipe left for Brexit

Tinder has partnered with Bite the Ballot to encourage young people to vote in the EU referendum. The organisation, which is not aligned to any political party, is hoping to build on the current ‘political discourse’ on the dating app to inspire young adults to ‘evolve UK democracy’. The Tinder push is part of a wider campaign aiming to make history by getting half a million people registered to vote in a week. Bite the Ballot’s ‘Swipe the Vote’ initiative, features Tinder’s well known ‘swiping feature, where app users indicate their preferences for a potential date by swiping right (yes) or left (no). The dating apps’ users will be presented with a screen asking them to take part in a quiz on the UK’s relationship with Europe. Participants will then be required to swipe left or right, corresponding to if they think a statement is true (right) or false (left).

Tinder’s founder Sean Rad revealed that with 85% of its users between the ages of 18-34, ‘we want to do our part in educating and mobilising our engaged audience on these types of issues, including the UK referendum’. The deadline to sign up for a polling card is 7 June, and Bite the Ballot co-founder Michael Sani revealed only an estimated one in four young people are registered to vote on Brexit, ‘despite being the most connected generation to ever walk the earth’..

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