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This week, Facebook held its annual F8 conference during which the world's largest social network makes key announcements and launches new offerings.
Here are the five biggest developments from this year's event.
Facebook is evolving, and one of the trends has the attention of the CEO of the world's largest social network.
Facebook users are sharing less about themselves and Mark Zuckerberg is personally imploring his staff to reverse the trend of what the company internally refers to as "context collapse."
It's a storm in a coke can.
The 2014 Super Bowl achieved a record breaking 111.5m viewers, making it the most watched event in USA history, just scraping past the 111.3m who watched the Super Bowl two years ago.
Of course the Super Bowl isn’t just about the football, it’s about the adverts. In fact much of what we read relating to the big game in the UK is mostly about the marketing: ‘it costs $4m per advertising slot’, ‘Scarlett Johansson and Soda Stream banned’, 'David Beckham and H&M gamble with t-commerce’ and one story involving Coca-Cola that you can’t have failed to notice…
Coca-Cola’s unveiling of the controversial ‘Big Game’ commercial that carries the hashtag #AmericaIsBeautiful, in which the traditional American song ‘America the Beautiful’ is sung in nine different languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Hindi, Hebrew, Keres, French and Arabic.
A predictable storm of protest followed from the Conservative quarters of the USA, with many right-wing pundits and politicians choosing to take the ad as a provocative blow to their ideals and all the things they perceive to be ‘American’.
Albeit one from the most famous, American corporation on the planet.
How has this controversy affected the brand? How does the advert itself stack up against the competition in terms of online sharing; a barometer of general opinion away from the political world?
Touchstorm has sent us over some data from its Super Bowl Video Scoreboard that tracks the #AmericaIsBeautiful controversy over YouTube, in terms of post-Super Bowl shares, comments and likes. But first, a little insight into the controversy...
As we've just had Social Media Week, I’ve been thinking about the unnatural relationship between the commercial considerations of brands and the social motivations of their customers.
If we admit it’s ludicrous to create a formula for making friends in the real world, then it’s also difficult to preach to brands on a definitive way to engage fans online. That’s because social media to a lot of people is considered respite from advertising.
The only way to advertise is to make sure your content is engaging enough to be considered not content. If you can do that, your adverts will be shared, my son.
With 100 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, your brand has to understand the alchemy of boredom. Thankfully, Unruly Media has been taking steps to bring some sanity to sharing.
Don't look now but Google+ may not be dead on arrival after all.
On the brand side of things, Google continues to push forward in trying to build an attractive ecosystem. The latest example of that: a new set of Page Management APIs are coming soon.
So, Pinterest is still the buzzword of the industry and something that looks like it might stick around a little while longer.
There’s a handful of extremely comprehensive lists floating around the web, but I thought it might be interesting to see if a full A-Z list of brands and organisations could be compiled.
Surprisingly, it turns out you (almost) can, which is quite something, considering for how little time the platform has been around...
Marketers and content makers have been conditioned over time to believe that online video needs to be short and punchy.
This is based on the presumption that people have limited attention spans, and therefore longer-form content would be wasted - particularly on the multi-tasking Gen Y consumer.
But is duration really a key factor of successful adoption? And how about social sharing? Is the length of a branded video likely to affect people's willingness to share it?
In the space of 1,000 or more words, I can't promise to deal with all the answers, but hopefully you'll agree these questions merit further consideration before setting your content or advertising strategy.
Probably the best known of the 'sharing button' services, AddThis' infographic is based on over 11m downloads, 1.2bn users and spans 350 different services.
Twitter may not have as many users as Facebook, but when it comes to social sharing, it is arguably the king for many publishers.
And for good reason: Twitter's structure makes it the perfect platform for sharing links.
But are publishers using Twitter to drive traffic to their websites underestimating just how much traffic the social media hub is generating? According to social analytics provider awe.sm, the answer to that question is 'yes!'.
Just how big a part of the link economy is content sharing? According to a study which looked at behavior across some 300m who share content monthly using the ShareThis button, sharing now accounts for approximately 10% of all traffic on the internet.
And when it comes to the source of this sharing, one site stands out above all others: Facebook.
Few search experts doubt that social media will have some impact on the SERPs in the future, but up until now, it hasn't been very clear that search engines like Google and Bing quite know the best way to integrate social content and signals into their algorithms and UIs.
But if several changes spotted in the wild on Google News results are any indication, they're increasing their rates of experimentation.
Back when social media first burst into the mainstream in a big way and popular Web 2.0 services like Digg and Flickr were the subject of articles touting phrases such as "the wisdom of crowds" and buzzwords like "democratization," it might have seemed that the web was truly changing the fundamental dynamics of information distribution.
But a new CNN study hints that some of the hype around this notion has been overblown.