Posts Tagged ‘social media’

facebook 300x300 Facebook catching up as a search tool for Christmas ideasWhen Facebook aren’t recreating HAL, who will try and kill us all through the power of dead-eyed nagging, they’re apparently a portal for shopping research for Christmas consumers.

It seems that, according to research, nearly a quarter of UK shoppers researched festive gifts on Facebook. This is according to some lot called Searchmetrics, who said that 23% waltzed around Facebook looking for ideal presents.

This isn’t quite as much as Google’s 50% search share, but creeping up fast.

Of course, Amazon is still the daddy in this instance, taking the top slot with 61% of shoppers finding the answers to their gift solutions on there.

The chief technology officer and founder of Searchmetrics, Marcus Tober, reckoned: “One of the benefits of looking for product ideas on social networks is that you get to see feedback and preferences from other consumers, as well as participate in online discussions about products with a range of people, including your own friends and followers. And of course purchase recommendations from other shoppers – especially friends – can be very powerful,”

This news will gladden the heart of Mark Zuckerberg, as apparently he’s been eyeing up Facebook to become more searchy, and hopes to enhance that further.

Lower down the findings, both Pinterest and Twitter had 7% of shoppers sifting through them for ideas for gifts.

Tober has advised retailers on increasing their internet presence for Christmas: “They should be trying to increase their visibility in Google searches, as well as building a strong presence on social networks such as Facebook. And even if they are not present on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, they need to be checking these sites to see what their competitors are doing.”

We await the figures from the report that tells us all about people going into shops, holding something in their hand for 40 seconds and thinking “it’ll do.”

Instagram: bigger than Twitter

December 11th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

instagram Instagram: bigger than TwitterInstagram has overtaken Twitter. The photo sharing ooh-look-it-is-gin o’clock-lol site now has 300 million users compared to Twitter’s paltry 284 million.

The Facebook owned network have also revealed a new way of authenticating celeb ‘grammers too.

Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom did a blog, and in it he said: “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day.”

“Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift.”

Yeah but still predominantly wonky photos of people’s dazzlingly tedious cats.

Systrom also said that Instagram would start using “verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands,” to help users ensure they are following these members and not shyster copycats.

“We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web. We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts.”

You’re still not allowed female nipples on there though, which is weirdly prudish.

New Twitter tools to report abuse

December 3rd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Twitter Logo1 New Twitter tools to report abuseTwitter are bringing out a new set of tools to crack down on abuse. They mostly consist of hammers.

Actually they don’t, but they have launched a new way of reporting problem tweets and internal ways to deal with them more quickly.

The new widgets will allow Twitter’s users to flag up anything they thing is a bit awry or unpleasant. It will also allow anyone witnessing abuse going on to another user to report it as well.

The company also reckons it has upgraded various facets of its internal processes to speed up the suitable course of action required.

They also claim that it won’t alter the rules around harassment and abuse, but will make problem tweets easier for users and the company to respond to.

The changes also give users the option to see all blocked accounts, as well as stopping users from viewing profiles of those that have blocked them and these changes will be happening over the next few weeks.

Said Twitter in a blog post: “We are nowhere near being done making changes in this area. In the coming months, you can expect to see additional user controls, further improvements to reporting and new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts.”

“We’ll continue to work hard on these changes in order to improve the experience of people who encounter abuse on Twitter.”

About time. We’ve had it up to here with death threats round these parts.

Social media should be simpler

December 1st, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Social media should be simplerSocial media companies should simplify their conditions as no-one can understand them. That’s according to the government, sitting on the parliamentary science and technology committee.

Of course, last week, we saw just how little MPs understand social media as it is, leaving one Tory red-faced as everyone saw how much he liked dirty photos.

Anyway, the complicated terms and conditions that allow firms like Facebook access to a wealth of personal information and even control a user’s phone are drafted for use in American court rooms, according to the committee.

The committee would like a new set of guidelines that make sure websites explain themselves a bit clearer, and that laws should be in place should they not comply.

The committee has pointed to terms for Facebook Messenger’s mobile app, which is used by more than 200,000 million people a month.

Basically, Facebook can gain direct access to a user’s mobile or tablet, including to take pictures or make videos, at any time without explicit confirmation from the owner.

Committee chair Andrew Miller said: “Let’s face it, most people click yes to terms and conditions contracts without reading them, because they are often laughably long and written in the kind of legalese you need a law degree from the USA to understand,”

Miller went on to say that he’s sure most social media developers will be happy to sign up to new guidelines on “clear communication and informed consent” that the committee is asking the British government to draw up.

All hail! The external hashtag for Macs!

November 27th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

As most people know, in the last few years, the hashtag has become a hugely popular symbol, thanks to Twitter. However, Mac keyboards don’t have one.

So someone called Ben Gomori has decided to come up with one and is raising funds on Kickstarter to create the HashKey, a dedicated one-key external keyboard that only has a hashtag button on it.

3c0f326df04ed9e02d04678daf133187 large 500x281 All hail! The external hashtag for Macs!

Naturally, there’ll be dweebs out there spitting tea from their nostrils and yelling “URGH! THERE IS A SHORTCUT Y’KNOW? JUST PRESS ALT + 3!” but that’s no fun.

Gomori said that he was tired of people asking him where the hashtag key was on a Mac, and instead of linking someone to LetMeGoogleThatForYou, he thought he’d try and make some dollar out of it. So basically, through your USB port, you pop in the external hashtag key and hey presto!

While this may be useless to people who know how to work out a tiny problem like this, it’d make for a good present for those who are persistent in not learning how to do things.

Twitter Logo1 Twitter to start spying on your apps (and how to turn it off)Twitter have unveiled their plans to start collecting information on the apps that users have upon their phones and tablet devices.

They reckon it would allow them to monitor and target Twitter users with specially tailored advertising. Sounds like spying and invading people’s privacy to us, but that’s the internet for you.

According to a post on Twitter’s help page, Twitter said it would target people who use its app on all mobile devices that run Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.

It continues: “To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in.”

The social network claim that they will only collect names of applications that users, um, use, rather than the contents and data from them, so the social media behemoth can help to build graph data to personalise each tweeter’s Twitter experience.

Twitter will automatically opt its users into the new data collection service, but if you’d like to turn it off, here’s how.

How to turn this feature off and remove my data from Twitter

If you use Twitter for Android:

Tap the overflow icon (the thing in the top right that looks like three dots)
Hit ‘Settings’
Tap the account you’d like to tinker with
Under ‘Other’, you can adjust the setting to ‘Tailor Twitter’ based on your apps

If you use Twitter for iOS:

From the Me tab, press the cog button
Hit ‘Settings’
Click on the account you’d like to edit
Under ‘Privacy’, you can adjust the setting to ‘Tailor Twitter’ based on your apps.

Twitter introduces Offers

November 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

twitter offers 300x277 Twitter introduces OffersTwitter have just introduced a new thing called Offers to US users.

Twitter will work with a variety of brands to offer up deals on various things, and they’ll be able to redeem discounts from the social network.

Once an offer gets linked to your card, you can then use it to buy where the discount will be activated. Also, Twitter will also be able to focus deals to particular users based on their Twitter habits and which brands they engage the most with.

According to a Twitter blog post: “Starting today (in the US only), we’re beginning to test a new way for advertisers to connect with consumers on Twitter and convert them to loyal customers in their stores, on their websites and in their apps.”

“This feature, Twitter Offers, enables advertisers to create card-linked promotions and share them directly with Twitter users. As we continue to learn and improve based on the experience of our advertisers and users, we’ll make this feature available for more advertisers.”

It sounds a bit Groupony to be honest, but no doubt we’ll embrace it when it arrives over here at some point in the New Year.

snapchat 300x300 Amazon to send deals through Snapchat that last for secondsAmazon have decided to adopt a novel approach to getting people to spend money with them. They’ll be using Snapchat to send exclusive deals to customers which will last a matter of seconds.

This partnership will allow you to also send gift ideas and recommendations as well as receiving deals that’ll be gone in 10 seconds. It looks like they’ll be using this on Black Friday and really getting going with it in the build-up to Christmas.

Amazon’s director of social John Yurcisin said: “Instagram and Snapchat are the two of the fastest growing mobile social networks where people are engaging and interacting with each other in entirely new ways.”

The Amazon Instagram page is growing in popularity and if you click on an image posted by them, it’ll send you straight to the product page. There might be a few people who get the hump with that, if they initially intended to double-tap to like the image, and end up on Amazon’s website instead.

The retailer is really gunning for social shopping. Last summer, they created a Twitter hashtag which allows you to place an item in your Amazon shopping cart simply by replying to a tweet.

Tesco launch Secret Scan-ta app

November 21st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Tesco Clubcard are hoping to help you find the perfect gift via Twitter! They’ve teamed up with We Are Social to create a campaign that endeavours the find the ideal gift for people via Twitter.

The Secret Scan-ta (OH GOD YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE) app will focus on the cheaper end of goods they offer, rather than stuff like tellies and fridges.

secret scanta 500x363 Tesco launch Secret Scan ta app

Both Clubcard customers and non-customers can input the Twitter handle of a person they are buying the gift for, and then Secret Scan-ta will sift through that particular Twitter account sourcing info on what sort of people and organisation the user follows.

Then using this data – which they’ll probably store away and cite you as a stalker or something in the future – the Scan-ta will offer up gift solutions which they have in stock.

Clubcard members who input their Clubcard vouchers at the start of the search will find their voucher value doubled and deducted from the gift’s price if they go ahead with the purchase.

And that’s not all, each week five winners will be selected at random from those who have used the app to receive 5,000 Clubcard points, and one ultimate winner will be in with a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Katie Aust digital marketing manager from Tesco Clubcard, said: “Christmas, although a happy season, can often bring with it panic and stress of buying gifts. This campaign gives the buyer get a bit of genuine insight into what the recipient is really interested in, resulting in a personal, and thoughtful gift. It also promotes the huge offerings of the Tesco gifting range and the benefits of joining Clubcard and boosting vouchers.”

So, ‘gifting’ – we’re saying that now, are we?

Twitter: now more searchable

November 19th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Twitter Logo1 Twitter: now more searchable Twitter have been changing a few bits and bobs around the site and now, the microblogging site announced that users can send URLs in Direct Messages once again, after having tinkered about with some maintenance work.

All weblinks sent via private message will automatically be shortened, and the option to share a public tweet via Direct Message is expected to be added in a subsequent update this week.

Twitter are also expected to roll out a new feature which will allow users to search through their tweet history rather than having to do so via third party sites and histories.

The company have been indexing and cataloguing all of your tweets, and should you wish to search for something you said in September 2011 that was really lol, then you don’t have to manually flick through 30,000+ tweets to find it.

As if that wasn’t enough, they’re also introducing an ‘instant timeline’ feature, which will show content from accounts that the user doesn’t follow. Which seems a little counter-productive, otherwise you’d follow those accounts already, no?

These and many other new features have been part of the company’s upgrades, since their last update in September which was designed to help newbies get started on the site, after they incorrectly assumed that Twitter is ‘just people talking about what they had for their lunch’. That joke’s been done. Get a new one.

facebook 300x300 Facebook finally trust you enough to curate your own feedFacebook have been fiddling with your newsfeed for a while now, and after everyone moaned about it (invariably through their Facebook updates), it seems like the social network have listened. Insert your own ‘Facebook listening in on their users’ joke here.

If you want to mute someone for putting up too many baby photos or secretly cold-shoulder someone who blarts on about their keep-fit regime without unfriending them, or indeed, blank companies trying to sell you stuff, Facebook are giving you the tools to do so.

The new settings tool allows you to control what you see on your feed with greater ease. After you login, you’ll see grey arrows which you can click on on the top right corner of a post.

You can hide stories, hide people and all manner of things.

Of course, you’ve been able to do this for a while, but it wasn’t immediately obvious how to do it for a lot of Facebook’s users. The feature is being rolled out as we speak and will hit the mobile version in the next couple of weeks.

If you want to watch a video about it all, here it is.

More Ways to Control What You See in Your News Feed from Facebook on Vimeo.

Government snooping on your Facebook

November 5th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Government snooping on your FacebookGovernment requests for access to your Facebook data have gone up by 24% in the first six months of 2014.

Governments made 34,946 requests for data, Facebook said in its latest transparency report, which was up 24% from the second half of 2013.

The Government are allowed to see what you’ve been having a say about, should they fancy it, and can do something about it should they wish, and you’ll be none the wiser. Chances are they won’t because you’ve probably spent half your time using it to organise nights out or to flirt with someone who isn’t interested in you at all.

Facebook was also forced to restrict access to about 19% more content than it had before thanks to local laws, due to content having some form of untoward activity featured in it.

Someone with quite a bit of time on their hands, compiled the requests by country, and the U.S. was responsible for 15,433 of them – covering 23,667 users and/or accounts. Most of those requests were search warrants (7,676) and subpoenas (6,088) – of which 84% and 80% were granted, respectively.

A nameless drone from Facebook, clearly unaware of the irony, said “As we’ve said before, we scrutinize every government request we receive for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests.”

That’d be the company that makes you feel miserable for experiments and nearly forced drag queens to use their real names on the site. That’s how much they care.

So a handy tip here would be “don’t be a dick on Facebook”. If Facebook could follow the same advice, that would be lovely.

Facebook reinvents the chatroom with Rooms

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

facebook mobile Facebook reinvents the chatroom with RoomsWe spoke about Facebook’s anonymous app that they were toying with, and now it is here, in the form of a rejigging of a good ol’ fashioned internet chatroom! And it is called Rooms.

So what’s the skinny? Well, each ‘Room’ acts like a Facebook newsfeed or tiny message board that gets a name, wallpaper and then, people are invited to share stuff on it like photos, videos and jokes stolen from Reddit.

You can adopt a new identity or nickname in each room if you like, as there’s no link to Facebook profiles (or Twitter or any other profile for that matter). Facebook have set some of these chatrooms up already, so you can see what the deal is. Fans of Japanese cup-and-ball toy, Kendama, are in for a treat.

In an even more backward looking thing, you are invited to the chatrooms via QR codes. Honestly. Are we going to see people redesigning pages with CricketSoda like they did with their old MySpace pages?

It looks like Facebook have seen the sprawling, but addictive mess that is Reddit and decided to try and ape it, of a fashion. By giving users the control of a page’s content, they hope that it’ll end up a bustling area for discussion. However, thanks to it being mobile-only and users need to be invited to these chatrooms, they may have hit a stumbling block.

Will this work? Facebook aren’t daft, so it might just take off… provided of course, people are willing to walk away from the services they are already using.

Facebook: still not paying tax

October 23rd, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Facebook: still not paying taxFacebook didn’t pay any UK corporation tax again in 2013 – the bloodclots. It’s the second year in a row that the social media company have side-stepped the ol’ tax.

Facebook reported a pre-tax loss of £11.6m in the UK last year, despite its US parent company reporting a net profit of $1.5bn (£900m).

The company’s UK revenues rose from £34.6m to £49.8m, according to Facebook UK’s latest financial filing at Companies House published on Wednesday.

According to Facebook, its turnover is classed as “marketing and engineering services”, due to much of their ad revenue being sifted through Ireland because lower tax rates.

Facebook also made £371m in advertising revenue last year, which is a 67% rise from £222m in 2012. Facebook UK have however incurred a corporation tax charge of £3,169, as well as receiving a credit of £182,000.

Also, the UK end employs 172 staff, who were paid £40.8m last year, almost double of 2012′s £21m. Most of this could be laid at the door of the £15.5m payment cost for share-based payments, as UK staff received 1.52m free Facebook shares worth $118m at their current share price of about $78.

So yes. All a bit uncool, especially given that Mark Zuckerberg is splashing out $100m on his own island. He’ll probably set a bank up on it so Facebook can ‘rest’ funds there too.

McDonald’s in your facebook

October 20th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

mcdonalds logo McDonalds in your facebookMcDonald’s are to launch 14,500 Facebook pages by the end of 2014, just in case they were omnipresent enough in your life.

This is part of a drive to get every US branch connected to its customers via social media.

While there’s no date of when the UK end plan on doing it, the move will make the burger empire the biggest brand on Facebook.

It will also allow branches to engage directly with problems that customers might have. They’ll probably start wishing you Happy Birthday and butting in on your posts too.

At the moment, in the UK social media consists of bitching about McDonald’s UK and then getting redirected to the branch in question and, should you still be feeling arsed, email the manager directly.

McDonald’s has already rolled out 7,000 pages so far, with a further 7,500 to follow by the end of the year. It will also launch Twitter accounts for individual restaurants.

In a bid to talk the most gunk about a thing ever, David Martinelli, US digital marketing manager at McDonald’s, said the goal was to speak to customers in “real time”.

“Fourteen thousand five hundred pages – we know that’s a lot of pages to get up and running, but we know the customer’s journey doesn’t end at the restaurant. We wanted to connect to them in the place they’re at and deliver that relevant content. It’s important to be part of the conversation and really understand what’s being said, and then join the conversation.”

“We have hundreds of stakeholders that are playing role in launch of this and it’s been a journey bringing them along with us to fully understand the impact on the business.”

He’s said ‘journey’ twice, like he’s on X Factor or something. McDonald’s US will support the new pages with paid ads at a local level, plus activity on other social media outlets.

So grabbing a cheeky Big Mac when you’ve been on the pop is a ‘journey’ now. Fancy that!