Twitter plans to broadcast live video around the clock

Our round up of this week's social media news and insights:

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Twitter plans to broadcast live video around the clock

Twitter is looking to stream live videos on its platform 24 hours a day, seven days a week, featuring news, sports and entertainment. The social network’s COO and CFO Anthony Noto said it will take Twitter time to ramp up to that point but revealed work was already underway on content. ‘Our goal is to be a dependable place so that when you want to see what’s happening, you think of going to Twitter,’ he added. Noto said the move will provide the social network with an additional source of revenue in the form of 15 to 30 second unskippable ads and will also help drive engagement on the platform by boosting conversations. Despite the recent set back of losing the NFL rights to Amazon, the deal was instrumental in attracting more companies to air videos on the platform. Twitter is looking for premium and non-premium shows to help it stream live videos all day. Noto sees the end result as being similar to the dip-in, dip-out programming available on rolling-news channels, with users carrying programming around with them throughout their day. ‘Focus in on it when you hear something that’s of interest, but then maybe not be 100% focused on it when it’s not of interest. I did that myself during the debates,’ the COO explained. Meanwhile, Twitter shares rose 10% on Wednesday after its latest results beat expectations. Investors were cheered by better than expected earning revenues and a significant increase in average monthly active users, which was up 6% to 328 million compared to a year ago, while the number of daily users grew by 14%. Chief executive Jack Dorsey said: ‘While we continue to face headwinds, we believe that executing on our plan and growing our audience should result in positive revenue growth over the long term.’

PR and Marketing in Social Media

Social media campaign urges Twitter users to join doomed Alien: Covenant crew

Marketing firm EchoMany has joined forces with 20th Century Fox once again to help promote the impending release of Alien: Covenant. To whet fans’ appetites in the run up to its launch on 12 May in the UK and 19 May in the US, the film’s official Twitter account @AlienMoviesUK messaged users: ‘Retweet to get Alien: Covenant personalised reminders’. So far the post has received 2.5K retweets. The social media campaign will reward fans who engage with the tweet with personalised updates and exclusive content, which starts off with a crew badge. More content will follow in the new few weeks to strengthen a bond with film fans and ensure they visit cinemas on release day. EchoMany co-founder Tim Redgate claims that forming an emotional connection with a brand ‘is now a prerequisite for today’s consumer’ as it develops a deeper level of engagement. ‘What we are starting to see with the likes of advertising around Alien: Covenant is brands using personalisation as part of the broader, cross-channel marketing strategy,’ he added.

Social Media Brands...

Instagram reaches 700 million users

Instagram has experienced its fastest ever growth rate adding 100 million users in four months to reach 700 million monthly active users. The Facebook-owned social network put the gains down to making it easier to find friends on the platform and simplifying the sign-up process. The launch of Instagram Stories has also contributed to the social network’s user count, a spokesperson revealed. The Snapchat inspired feature reached 200 million daily active users earlier this month, eclipsing the 161 million total daily users Snap revealed were accessing its own Stories function. In a recent interview, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom claimed: ‘I can confidently say that most of the people who’ll eventually use Instagram don’t use Instagram now.’ With such a large and growing audience, Instagram continues to appeal to top brands. The social network now has one million active advertisers, up from 500,000 in September and is planning to offer them more flexibility and data.

Pinterest says it’s not a social platform, will kill the ‘Like’ button, and ramp up advertising

Pinterest is planning to launch its first major ad campaign in the US this summer with the aim of promoting itself as a visual search engine, and clarifying that it is not a social platform like Facebook or Instagram. Chief executive Ben Silbermann said that the company’s biggest challenge had been getting people to understand that Pinterest isn't a social network. ‘The hope is that you'll get ideas for your real life, and you'll close the app, get off your phone and try those ideas,’ he said. A significant American campaign would not be Pinterest’s first advertising push. Last year it invested in an above-the-line campaign in the UK which portrayed people at the point where they might turn to the site for inspiration. Part of the move to differentiate itself, is killing off its “Like” button. Pinterest says people engage more with Pins when it’s not there, and that some users found it confusing to distinguish between the company’s ‘Like’ and ‘Save’ buttons. The app is also trying to separate itself from other photo-heavy social platforms where “Like” buttons are prominent, primarily Facebook and Instagram. ‘While other companies want you to live in a virtual world, Pinterest encourages people to live in the real world. We like to say, be yourself and not your selfie,’ a spokesperson said. ‘There are many services out there with the mission of helping you connect and share with friends; we’re the one app exclusively in the visual discovery business.’

LinkedIn now has 500 million users

LinkedIn has announced that half a billion people are using the professional networking site. The news came in a blog post that unveiled its first numbers since being acquired by Microsoft last year for $26.2bn. The revelation was accompanied by details of updated Microsoft sales software which integrates some of LinkedIn’s data. Microsoft said the United Arab Emirates was the most connected country, with an average 211 connections per user, while London is the most connected place. Staffing and recruiting are the most connected industries, followed by venture capital and private equity. LinkedIn is rolling out one small update this week - users will start to see new information about people in their network in the ‘My Network’ tab. The platform will also provide users stats about people they know on the site, such as lists of who is the most connected in their network and who has the most mutual connections and interactions with them. Microsoft VP of advertising sales Rik van der Kooi noted the company’s model of a business largely built around sponsored content has ‘resonated incredibly well’ with B2B advertisers, adding that Microsoft plans to allow it to continue as a standalone business. ‘We don’t want to mess around with that, so the LinkedIn team is fully in charge of its own destiny in that regard,’ he revealed.

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