RIP Twitter Egg

When I signed onto Twitter this morning, I realized that I’d been followed by a new “egg.” Except that the egg had been replaced by a generic head.

I guess that’s the idea. Twitter wants to step back from its unique “egg” identifier for new accounts that had become synonymous with online harassment.

So, Twitter has taken a step to address its uncomfortable identification with a widespread problem. But a branding change doesn’t equate with effective measures to address the real problem of harrassing  behaviour which Twitter enables.

Search on Snapchat provides an easy entry path for casual users

It hasn’t arrive on my phone yet. But news that Snapchat is enhancing its search function to support topic keywords will make the app more intuitive for the casual user. And that’s the biggest challenge right now for Snapchat: breaking out of its core enthusiast base to gain a wider and larger audience. It must overcome this barrier to justify sky-high stock valuations and to avoid the walking dead fate that seems to have befallen Twitter.

Source: Snapchat (SNAP) is becoming a search engine more like Facebook (FB) — Quartz

Bookends: George Smiley saga to wrap this fall in new John le Carré novel

The Guardian is reporting that John le Carré will resurrect his classic character, Spymaster George Smiley, one last time. Publication date September 7.

Will I be preordering the book? You bet.

Le Carré’s novels have been an ongoing presence throughout my life. And I can’t wait to see how he wraps up Smiley’s saga.

 

Source: George Smiley to return in new John le Carré novel, A Legacy of Spies | Books | The Guardian

Talking about PR issues on Inside PR 457

Twitter Moments for all of us. Large publishers’ growing dependency on Facebook. Thinking ahead about the implications of AI in our devices and apps. And the ethics of the close-hold embargo. Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast.  

#IPRMustKnows

Create your Own Twitter Moments

Twitter Moments, introduced for media and select users earlier this year, is now available for all users. This is a useful feature for anyone speaking at a conference or participating in an event or discussion that they want to curate and preserve. Bit by bit, Twitter is becoming even more useful.

Large publishers are becoming dependent on Facebook. But where is the revenue?

A report published by the International News Media Association and reported on by Nieman Lab indicates that 30% of visits to large publishers websites are referred from Facebook. That’s huge. But if publishers are becoming ever more dependent on Facebook’s network effect, and with Facebook favouring content published natively on it, the big question continues to be, is traffic paying off in revenue?

Getting out front on AI

The increasing introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) into apps, social networks and internet-connected devices raise a broad range of ethical, legal and policy issues. And where that happens, government is likely to act. So, it should come as no surprise that large businesses are banding together in a number of organizations to address these issues in order in advance of legislation and regulation. Of course, we can only hope that the voice of civil society will be heard alongside that of business.

A media relations issue to ponder: Close-hold embargoes

Charles Seifewriting in Scientific American, introduced us to a practice we had never encountered: A close-hold embargo. And it gives us the opportunity to ponder the line between transparency and manipulation and the ethical questions that public relations practitioners must confront when negotiating terms of access with news media.

This post was cross-posted from the Inside PR podcast blog.

MOZ’s Rand Fishkin reminds us that success and constant reinvention go hand in hand

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast.  

#IPRMustKnows

Snapchat is a Snap

If you missed the news, Snapchat has rebranded and at the same time begun to move outside of its core business, including the promise of Snapchat video glasses. Snapchat may well pull off what Google Glass failed at.

Why Allo?

Google Plus redux? Do we need yet another duplicative app?

The sprit of selfless sharing

MOZ, the SEO app is a useful tool and source of expertise for many PR people who need to learn and apply pragmatic SEO to their programs. Recently, Ran Fishkin published a remarkable post in which he was both candid and insightful. And we contemplate his observation that “Inbound marketing never really became a thing…” A big deal if you are repositioning your company into the inbound marketing space. Something for PR people to think about as we reposition our businesses for the future. Not specifically about inbound marketing. But about any space we are moving toward. Will it still be there when we arrive?

Even the most conservative advertiser follows the audience to Facebook

Rapidly changing how it communicates with Canadians, the federal government is on pace to spend more on Facebook ads in the Liberals’ first year in office than it did between 2006 and 2014 combined.

Here’s a sign of the times. Government is a risk-averse, conservative institution. Traditionally a heavy user of print and television advertising, the rapid increase in the federal government’s Facebook spend is clear indication of where we, the audience, now spend our time.

Other interesting facts in this report:

  • “The Liberal government spent at least $3.8 million on Facebook ads between November 2015 and June 2016 targeting Canadians and foreigners of various age groups and demographics, and is on pace to spend well over $6 million during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first year in office…”
  • “In the 2011-12 fiscal year, just over 10 per cent of federal government media placements purchased through its agency of record were on the Internet (including search and display ads, and paid social media ads). That number more than doubled to over 25 per cent of media placements by 2014-15.”

The data was released in response to a written question from Conservative MP Martin Shields and reported by Jason Fekete in the Ottawa Citizen. Click the link below to read Fekete’s complete report and find a link to the source document on Scribd.

Source: Liberals have spent more on Facebook ads than total amount spent between 2006 and 2014

Talking about the New York Times creating video for Facebook

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast.  

#IPRMustKnows

Martin Waxman’s Social Media Marketing for Small Business is on Lynda.com

Yes, this is a shameless plug. But since it’s Joe writing this, Martin doesn’t have to be embarrassed. In fact, I think Martin is as smart about social media as anyone I know. And now Martin is sharing this knowledge on Lynda.com. Martin tells us about his trip to California to record a video course, Social Media Marketing  for Small Business.

Buzzfeed News isn’t entertainment

Buzzfeed separated its Buzzfeed news operation from the Buzzfeed entertainment operation. Prelude to a possible sale of Fuzzfeed News. Buzzfeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith says no.

WhatsApp shares user data with Facebook

As happens so often with privacy concerns, after an initial spate of bad press, public protestations about Facebook’s decision to share user data from WhatsApp with Facebook seems to have died down. Our concern with privacy is something that spikes occasionally. But then we put it out of mind as we enjoy the experience of social media.

Wired tells us about teens and social media

A few things in Wired’s profile of teens and social media caught Gini’s eye. There are a lot of do’s and don’t’s. It’s not about understanding young people. It’s about looking at the social mores being established by a cohort that doesn’t have the baggage of previously shaped expectations and behaviour, a cohort that can lead the way in assessing new channels and defining norms of behaviour on them. As Martin says, “One generation’s romantic is another generation’s lurker.” (Apologies to John Cusack.)

The NY Times on Facebook

Liz Spayd, The New York Times Public Editor, recently offered her take on the content that The Times has been creating for Facebook. In her analysis, Facebook Live: Too Much, Too Soon, she states

“…here’s the problem. After watching countless hours of live video in the past few weeks, I have hit upon many that are either plagued by technical malfunctions, feel contrived, drone on too long, ignore audience questions or are simply boring, by I imagine most anyone’s standards.

“Too many don’t live up to the journalistic quality one typically associates with The New York Times.”

This leads Martin, Gini and I into a discussion of the nature of content appropriate to social media. It’s not always going to stand up to The Times’ traditional standards. But it will be effective in its new place, for different reasons.

Also worth noting in this article is something I hadn’t seen before. The New York Times has a contract to produce video content expressly for Facebook.

“While the terms of the deal are secret, the transaction requires Facebook to give The Times a guaranteed sum (reported to be $3 million a year) in return for a prescribed amount of video (so far it’s averaging upward of four a day). Neither Times officials nor Facebook would discuss the deal, citing confidentiality. Several other media companies, including BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and Mashable, have also signed on. Their job: to stock Facebook’s pond with high-quality video so it can compete in the rapidly growing market for live-stream video.”

The Times as content creator for Facebook. That’s something different from The Times posting its stories on Facebook. Different even from The Times posting its stories natively on Facebook. It is instead The Times creating content to meet Facebook’s needs. That is different – and worth watching.

Words to live (on the internet) by

They comment on other people’s posts.They like other people’s posts.They share them.They don’t always talk about themselves.They have kind words for other people.They help other people without expecting anything in return.Even so, they reciprocate when people help them out.They add positive energy to the net.They always try to see things from other people’s point of view.They genuinely listen.They stand up for people who are being hunted.They read posts before responding to them.

Thank you, Dave Winer, for reminding us that we don’t have to be part of the bad behaviour that seems to have become so much the norm on social networks. Small gestures by individuals can make a difference.

Source: What do nice Internet users do?