Social Media Report - Friday 10th June 2016

Hot Topic...

Twitter launches EU Referendum emojis

The Electoral Commission has teamed up with Twitter to create a neon tick emoji to encourage people to register to vote in the EU referendum. The icon appears in a tweet when people use the hashtag #EURefReady in a bid to get the electorate to sign up ahead of the deadline. Once the cut-off point has passed, a new emoji will be unveiled and a neon ballot box icon will appear in tweets when users post the hashtag #EURef. Head of News, Government and Regional Partnerships at Twitter UK Rob Owers said emoji are now an essential part of how people communicate on the platform. He added: ‘We’re excited to give people a new, fun way to have their voices heard ahead of June 23rd. Owers also called on users to “make the most of the live, global conversation unfolding on Twitter to inform their decision.”

Since the Electoral Commission launched its awareness campaign on 15 May, over 1.35 million people across the UK have registered online to vote. However, the hashtag #EURefReady has only been used 1,200 times. The most followed Twitter accounts using the hashtag have been Cambridge University and Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party. The hashtag #EURef has been used over 360,000 in the same period. The campaign has also issued reminders on Facebook and plans to keep promoting videos on the social network.

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Baileys launches soap opera on Instagram

Baileys is to debut the first ever soap opera on Instagram’s new video carousel. The social push is part of the Diageo-owned brand’s ‘When Coffee met Baileys’ campaign, which aims to promote the cream liqueur. The comical eight-part soap-style series will play out over a fortnight and the ads will only run in the UK. Followers of @baileysofficial will see the episodes released into their Instagram feeds on a daily basis and then play out across two different carousels supported with paid media. Video carousels provide a platform for a sequence of connected videos that tell a story. The soap opera storyline centres on ‘Coffee Pot’ as he departs from lifelong partner ‘Milk’ and discovers the joys of ‘Baileys’. The love triangle becomes more complicated when ‘Swiss Muesli’ becomes involved in the drama. The brand’s global content creation manager Chin Ru Foo said the tongue in cheek social campaign aimed to tap into the love Baileys enjoys online to promote ‘a delicious combination.’

Meanwhile, Facebook has chosen France as the base to launch its first ever campaign to promote sister platform Instagram, with the community very active in the country. ‘Images and videos from everyday French instagrammers’ will make up the heart of the campaign, according to a spokesperson for the image-sharing app. The push will see posters and displays appearing around France as well as cinema and digital ads.

Social Media Brands...

Snapchat buys 3D face-scanning app

Snapchat has quietly bought 3D photo app maker Seene, a tech start-up that allows mobile users to take 3D images. The acquisition took place several months ago for a low fee, and the social network is understood to have been attracted by the company’s computer vision technology and its engineering team. Seene allows users to capture and record 3D objects in real time, using only an iPhone camera, getting round the need for special depth sensors as used by Microsoft’s Kinect. The team is currently split between London and the US, but is believed to be preparing to relocate to Los Angeles where Snapchat has its headquarters.

Analyst Martin Garner highlighted the importance of messaging for the social network. He added: “Messaging is undoubtedly the next growth driver for revenue but it also will be key to developing highly sophisticated artificial intelligence solutions.”

Facebook makes move into livestreaming video games

Facebook is making its first advance into video game livestreaming after signing a deal with World of Warcraft creator Blizzard Entertainment. The social network is moving into a space long-dominated by Amazon-owned Twitch, which has 100 million users. Gamers will be able to use the newly launched real-time streaming service Facebook Live to livestream their playing experience onto their newsfeed.

The tie-up with Blizzard will begin by offering users the option to login with Facebook and share in-game content with their friends, who will be able to interact with the material, such as leaving real-time comments under game play. It will first be available on the entertainment brand’s newly released title Overwatch.

Facebook pushes Messenger app

Facebook is redirecting users on Android devices to the Messenger app, revealing they will no longer be able to access their messages via the social network on a mobile phone web browser. Members are receiving a message informing them of the coming changes and on some handsets the Play Store then launches. “Using the Messenger app is faster and enables richer interactions. We're continuing to bring the best experiences we can to the 900 million people on Messenger,” Facebook said in a statement.

Analyst Martin Garner highlighted the importance of messaging for the social network. He added: “Messaging is undoubtedly the next growth driver for revenue but it also will be key to developing highly sophisticated artificial intelligence solutions.”

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