Social Media Report - Friday 12th August 2016

Hot Topic...

Facebook takes on ad blockers

Facebook is introducing technology to make it harder for users to avoid adverts on its platform, in a move to counter the rising popularity of ad-blockers, which it claims poses a threat to online businesses. The social network has acknowledged how annoying adverts can be and has promised users better tools to help control what material makes it through to their newsfeeds. People will be able to customise the type of promotions they see by selecting the brands and businesses they prefer. ‘As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people currently using ad blocking software’, revealed the social network’s advertising vice-president Andrew Bosworth in a blog post. The move is set to reignite the debate between publishers that rely on advertising revenue and users wishing to avoid unwanted commercials. While ad-blockers do no usually work on mobile devices, which make up the majority of visits to Facebook, they do prevent billions of pounds of advertising from being viewed. The company earned £4.7bn in advertising revenue in the most recent quarter. It is also estimated that around 200 million people globally use ad-blocking software on their computers.

Facebook’s crackdown on controlling what users view in their newsfeed has also seen it introduce technology to automatically supress so-called clickbait news stories. The social network has manually reviewed ‘thousands of headlines’ which suggest there is more to a story than there actually is. Those using such phrasing will see their prominence automatically diminished on Facebook’s newsfeed, to help users engage with more content they wish to see higher up in their feeds.

PR and Marketing in Social Media

Burberry partners with Pinterest for ‘Cat Lashes’ mascara campaign

Burberry has become the first luxury brand to personalise on Pinterest after partnering with the visual bookmarking platform for the launch of its new ‘Cat Lashes’ mascara. The campaign aims to take advantage of the 38.5 million views on Pinterest each month across its hair and beauty categories. The promotion will offer customers individual inspiration boards based on their makeup preferences, populated by Burberry Beauty content, allowing users to save pictures of look guides, product tips and makeup inspiration. Pinners must first take part in a quiz providing details of their cosmetics use – answering questions such as how long they spend applying products and what their ‘signature’ look is. This will then generate a personal Pinterest board, with each pin acting as a Promoted Pin, allowing customers to click to purchase Burberry cosmetics from the brand’s e-commerce partner for the campaign, Sephora.

The luxury brand is increasingly turning to social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Twitter, to appeal to new customers. In April the company debuted its Mr Burberry fragrance on Snapchat’s Discover channel. Pinterest’s creative and brand strategist Radhika Prakash revealed the site had approached Burberry about a partnership over a year ago. She added: ‘Beauty is huge on Pinterest, and we wanted to bring that to life in an innovative way that had never been done before.’

Social Media Brands...

#OlympicNan celebrates Adam Peaty’s gold medal

Adam Peaty’s triumph in the 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics made him the first British man to win a swimming gold medal in a quarter of a century, and nobody was prouder than his nan Mavis Williams. The 74-year-old shared her joy on Twitter as she watched her grandson’s race in the small hour of Monday morning at home in Sheffield. ‘Well you have done it @adam_peaty you have made it, your hard work has paid off’, she tweeted after his gold medal win, adding: ‘So proud love Nan’. Her Twitter handle @Mavise42Mavis has attracted over 3,000 followers since she joined the platform in April, and her personal perspective on her grandson’s Rio journey has led to her own hashtag #OlympicNan.

A fundraiser has now been launched to send Mavis to Rio. Inspired by the reaction on Twitter, Adam’s sister Bethany Peaty has set up a JustGiving page to get their nan to Brazil. On the page she has written: ‘We’d love to get nan out to Rio so that she can enjoy the Closing Ceremony with the rest of the family on August 21st.’

Twitter set to open up Moments to all users

Twitter has announced plans to open up its Moments feature to a broader group of accounts, before rolling it out to all users in the coming months. The social network’s curated tweet slideshow was launched in October last year and appears as a separate tab on a user’s profile, letting publishers collect and share tweets around specific events. Previously, Moments have been curated by Twitter and a handful of publishers but will now be opened up to thousands of ‘influencers, partners, and brands’ before all users are able to create their own collections. Nike and Budweiser’s Lime-A-Rita are among the new creators, as well as civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson.

The move comes in response to similar features provided by other social networks, such as Instagram’s recently launched Stories. Twitter hopes the video and photo collections will offer an easy way for new users to access important conversations on the platform and so boost user growth. The social network’s global curation lead Andrew Fitzgerald noted earlier this year: ‘We think of Moments as an extension of content discovery on Twitter, beyond the search function.’

Facebook study confirms stereotype about cat owners

A team of data scientists at Facebook have studied 160,000 user profiles in the US to determine the truth about stereotypes surrounding cat and dog people. The research, which marked International Cat Day, found that just as expected, cat owners are more likely to be single than dog owners. Only 24% of users who shared dog photos were single compared to 30% of those posting images of cats. However, the stereotype of the old lady cat-loving spinster was found to be a myth, as single status was not skewed to any gender or age. The light-hearted study revealed that dog owners, like their outgoing pets, had more friends and were more popular, judged by the number of online connections. But the quality of cat owners relationships appeared to be higher, as they were invited to more events on Facebook, suggesting more discerning friends.

When researchers looked at how the different camps updated their status to reflect their mood, it was seen that cat lovers were more likely to claim they felt annoyed, sad, tired or emotional but also much more likely to describe themselves as feeling happy, loved or amused. Dog owners were far less varied on the emotional spectrum, being more likely to reveal pride or excitement. The Facebook team also looked at who had the best taste in TV and books. ‘Cat people are disproportionately fans of sci-fi and fantasy, while dog people show a preference for love stories’, the researchers said in a blog post.

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