Social Media Report - Friday 11th March 2016

Hot Topic...

Facebook is looking to broadcast NFL’s Thursday Night Football

Facebook is in negotiation with the NFL to acquire the digital broadcasting rights to the league’s Thursday night games. The social network is believed to be competing against a number of major players, including Apple and Google, but is understood to be the frontrunner. Its vice president of partnerships, Dan Rose, recently confirmed talks were being held over the live streaming rights. Facebook is reportedly keen to create original content around games, such as behind the scenes action and footage from the locker room.

Rose previously said there are ‘a lot of interesting things we can do with sports, there are a lot of different cuts you can imagine’. He noted that in keeping with how users interact with Facebook, ‘it’s not really around watching three hours of video’. CBS and NBC revealed a $450m deal to broadcast Thursday Night Football on TV and their digital platforms last month. If Facebook secures the digital rights, it will stream either NBC or CBS’ play by play.

Such an acquisition would be a significant boost for the social network’s live streaming capabilities and will provide it with something new to offer its users amid growing competition. The rights would also boost its advertising revenue as a result of attracting large audience numbers. Facebook launched its live-streaming service last year to rival Twitter’s Periscope. To begin with, it has only made the feature available to celebrities and other public figures, such as Rihanna who used it to launch her show at New York Fashion Week. Rose revealed that users watch live video three times longer than recorded clips.

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Bloggers sign up to promote potatoes on social media

The UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is making social media a major focus of its new promotion. Following surveys that suggest eight out of 10 people don't like to be told what is healthy, and instead prefer to cherry-pick information from their peers and trusted sources, the AHDB will run a campaign titled ‘Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side,’ spearheaded by high profile bloggers and vloggers. AHDB head of marketing and corporate affairs Nick White said that harnessing the power of bloggers and vloggers, as well as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels, would enable them to reach more consumers and engage with them on a more regular and impactful basis. Ella Woodward, of Deliciously Ella, will bring her 5 million social followers to the campaign, and will design exclusive potato recipes that can be prepared in less than thirty minutes for everyday cooking. The author and prominent food blogger, said: “I feel so passionate about showing people how to give their bodies the love and health they need, and I cant wait to show them how potatoes can play a part in this.

Mr White commented: “Our bloggers are well-respected and have access to a wide range of recipes and nutritional messages that position potatoes as a fuss-free, simple and tasty option, ideally suited to modern-day dishes and international flavours.

Social Media Brands...

Dead could outnumber the living on Facebook by the end of the century

By 2098 Facebook could turn into a virtual graveyard, according to statistician Hachem Sadikki, if it continues with its policy not to remove dead members automatically. Online legacy planning company Digital Beyond predicts 970,000 Facebook users will die this year. The PhD Student from the University of Massachusetts also factored in a slowdown in user growth to make the calculation. Currently when a user dies, the social network transforms their page into a ‘memorialised’ version. The only way to delete the account is for somebody with its password to log in and close it down. But not many people have this information, so the account tends to remain.

Some dead people still appear as having birthdays in their loved-ones news feeds and alerts, which can be upsetting. Facebook has started to ask users to appoint a Legacy Contact before they die. This person has the power to write one final post after somebody dies, as well as updating their cover and profile picture.

WhatsApp rolls out update to fix storage issues

WhatsApp has rolled out a major update for iOS, fixing a bug which consumed large amounts of storage space on users’ iPhones. The new version is available to download in the App Store and also offers an improved design for browsing photos and videos. Users can now share images and videos from other applications that are installed on their iPhone and can also zoom in on videos while they are playing.

The update includes new wallpaper and improved design, letting users change the colour for chat background. The Facebook messaging service is now offering the function of sending PDF files and other documents to WhatsApp contacts. WhatsApp has also announced plans to begin testing tools that will allow its users to communicate with businesses and organisations, such as talking to a bank about a transaction.

Social media makes people less concerned about others

Regular use of social networks can make people more shallow and less moral, according to psychologists. Researchers from Canada’s Windsor University have developed a theory called The Shallowing Hypothesis, which claims the immediateness of social media use is making people lose the skill of ‘reflective thought’. The study of 149 students looked at how much time they spent on social networks and compared it with their values and ‘life goals’. The psychologists suggested that those who use social media the most, end up more self-obsessed and less concerned about other people. They found the biggest links to shallowness in users of the three main sites: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As well as those who texted the most. The more a person used social media, the more likely they were to have life goals connected to image, fame and hedonism than doing good, the study found.

The psychologists wrote in the journal ‘personality and 'Individual Difference' ; Frequent use of ultra-brief social media is associated with negative effects on the user’s use of reflective thought and some indicators of compromised moral judgement'. Lead researcher Logan Annisette added that as social media continues to evolve, ‘so must the research that monitors its effects.

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