Instagram’s Video Launch, Vine Sharing Tanks On Twitter
Instagram’s Video Launch, Vine Sharing Tanks On Twitter

#InstagramVideo has been eating into the number of people sharing videos on Twitter’s Vine, according to data from data analytics tool Topsy.com.

On 20 June Facebook unveiled #InstagramVideo and it appears that it’s launch led nearly immediately to a drop of over 40 per cent in the number of videos shared on Vine. If this is anything to go by then it looks that the public has taken to Instagram’s 15 second video format with filters over Vine’s 6 seconds offering.

Over 5 million videos were uploaded to Instagram in the first 24 hours, confirming what we all knew, that video is what people want to see and share, especially on mobile devices.

This has created the opportunity for private sector companies, NGOs and public sector groups to engage with their audiences using short and to the point video. But what are the differences between these two channels?

Insight gathered tells us that:

  • Instagram has over 130 monthly million users, while Vine has 13 million.
  • Vine videos can be a maximum of 6-seconds long, while Instagram gives you 15-seconds. We should also note that in The Gulf and Middle Eastern Countries the video application of choice is Keek, which allows 36-second video updates.
  • Instagram allows filters to be used, Vine doesn’t, or at least it doesn’t yet, but I suspect that they will offer this facility soon as Twitter already offers filters on pictures upload to the network.
  • Instagram videos are locked into Facebook. VentureBeat’s John Koetsier‎ (@johnkoetsier‎) points out that, ‘you can view the video within the Instagram app [on your mobile], or — if you have the URL — on the Instagram website. You can also view the video in Facebook, but nowhere else.’ Yes, if you share an #InstagramVideo on Twitter, it won’t auto-play as Twitter removed Instagram use of Twitter Cards, so Instagram video will not render in Tweets.
  • Vine will auto play video in Tweets, and you can also embed Vine videos on websites.
  • Facebook could move to embed video advertising before or after your clips. But then, so could Twitter. As a brand, you should consider the implication of this.

Social media has given PR and communications professionals with an arsenal of tools with which to better engage with their respective audience. The rise of video, confirms PRs are brand journalists, enabling organisations to:

  • Share behind the scene information.
  • Encourage brand ambassadors to share content.
  • Share short stamens from decision-makers.
  • Encourage your community to reply to announcements.

From my perspective I see Vine as a tool for real time news for companies and brands. A video platform with which you can reach influencers on Twitter. Instagram meanwhile has positioned itself as a channel for the long-term conversation with consumers on Facebook. Bot has it’s strengths, but it is up to PRs to know which is the right tool for the occasion.

Video is taking over from the written word. Gaining knowledge on video and how it influencers is a skill that PRs are going to have to gain, and fast. Just look at how @GeneralElectric have taken to Vine.

Just this week I was at Aljazeera in Doha presenting to a number of their PRs the value and ways in which video can add value to conversations. Their answer to me? Er, we already use Keek.

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

Introducing Facebook Graph Search
Introducing Facebook Graph Search

Facebook recently launched Graph Search, a facility that will allow users to find places based on their friends activity on the social network.

Graph Search aims to deliver a very different type of search from what Google offers. The objective for Facebook is to give users recommendations based on what your friends like and talk about.

For example, if you search on Facebook for a Curry House in London, the results you would get will be based on your friends Likes and Check-ins to Indian Restaurants in London. And if by any chance your friends haven’t been to a curry house in London, then Facebook will give you web results from Bing, with whom it has partnered.

The partnership means that we are going to have to spend more SEO time on Bing.

Writing for SearchEngineWatch.com Ben Straley (@bstraley) says that the, ‘simple rule of thumb is that the more content that gets shared, liked, or commented on through Facebook, the greater the chances of discovery of that content through Graph Search.’

How is Facebook going to offer me the best results to my search queries?

Facebook is currently the biggest social network in the world with over 1 billion active accounts. More than half use Facebook on a mobile device.

Every users journey through the network is recorded, giving it a wealth of data that it uses for advertising revenue.

According to Europe v. Facebook founder and law student Max Schrems data that the social network collects includes:

  • Your friends and family
  • The IP address used from every location you’ve used to log into Facebook
  • Dates and name changes
  • Your messages and comments
  • Every event you’ve been invited to
  • Check-in to places
  • The Pages and comments that you ‘Liked’
  • Camera metadata including date/time and GPS

How will Graph Search affect the reputation of my business?

Graph Search for Journalists
Graph Search for Journalists

Facebook Pages can be set up by anyone. If you are not on Facebook then there is chance that a supporter or detractor has already set up a Page. And if they haven’t, Facebook’s deal with Wikipedia enables it to deliver Wikipedia entries on companies or brands that do not yet have a presence on the network.

Remember, an unofficial Page can attract as many people, even more than an official Page.

Certain media outlets will look at content on Pages, official or otherwise, to see if they can find case studies during a crisis.

Journalists are really going to like Graph Search. In a note on the Facebook + Journalists page Journalist Program Manager Vadim Lavrusik says, ‘because graph search is in early stages of development, the first version focuses on four main areas: people, photos, places, and interests.’

Before adding, ‘the new search enables journalists to do richer searches when trying to find experts for stories. For example, say you’re doing a story on a specific company, and you’re looking to interview someone who works at the company’s New York office, you could do this by searching for, “People who work at ACME Inc. in New York,” to find potential employees to reach out to.

You could even make the search more specific to find people who work at the company with specific titles, for example. This could make it easier to find potential sources and experts to reach out to for stories you’re working on.’

What can I do to manage my reputation on Facebook?

First, and above all, offer a good service. Nothing works like recognising your customers. If they like you, then encourage them to share their praise, because if they don’t they’ll be equally happy to share their dislike.

In PR, the saying goes that good news is repeated 3 times, while bad news 11.

Social media though does amplify bad news. People like to share and shame. Not being on Facebook just means that you are outside the room while people talk about you.

If you already have a Page, then Facebook has shared a few tips about SEO to help you when Graph Search goes live. These include:

  • The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
  • If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
  • Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.

Remember, your presence, activity and authority on social media are signals that help your SEO. Make sure that you own it and can influence the perception.

Does Graph Search mean that Facebook Likes finally have a value?

Hypothetically yes. A Like is one of the key signals that Facebook will use when they filter data to answer your question. But, there is a difference between Liking a Page but never commenting, and commenting and never Liking a Page.

In any case, the Likes from people in your network are the ones that are going to count. Likes from fake Facebook users should be considered a waste of money.

Instagram, here today, gone tomorrow?
Instagram, here today, gone tomorrow?

Everybody loves a start-up. They are new, agile and the so-called ‘gurus’ like to describe them disruptive. The problem though is that many often lack basic business experience – common sense leads many to be here today and gone tomorrow.

Enter Instagram, which was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010. Instagram was one of the first photo sharing and social networking services that enabled users to ‘take a picture, apply a digital filter to it, and share it on a variety of social networking services, including its own.’

Instagram was a runaway success. Within it’s first year the application had over 5 million users, a figure that grew to 30 million by April 2012 when Facebook approach the company and bought it for a cool $1 billion. Today, Instagram has 100 million registered users.

Facebook though isn’t going to buy such a company without thinking of how to monitise it.

Which is why on 5th December this year Kevin Systrom announced at Le Web that Instagram was going to block Twitter from displaying photos as Twitter Cards. This announcement didn’t go down that well with users who shared their photo’s on Twitter.

The removing of Instragram from Twitter cards was nothing in comparison to the announcement on 18th December that the company was changing its terms and conditions. Under the new policy, the company would have the rights to sell users’ photos to advertisers without “compensation or notification.”

This announcement was described by users as a ‘suicide note‘, especially after Instagram announced that the only way to opt-out was by deleting a users account before 16 January 2013.

Instagramers took to Twitter to denounce the new terms and conditions. High profile photographers deleted their accounts and the media, rightly so, went negative.

Kevin Systrom took to the company blog to try and manage the crisis. In a post he appeared to claim that users had misinterpreted its revised terms of service. He blamed the furore on “confusing” choice of language.

Blaming the language is an odd strategy, as legal documents are supposed to be written in plain English. And in any case, any change in terms of use should have gone through both compliance and PR.

What is stranger is that given that this was not the first time that a photo sharing site had both been caught trying to claim copyright over users content, it was odd for Systrom to blame ‘confusing language.’

Let’s remember that in May 2011 Twitpic, which went mainstream after a user captured a US Airways plane crash landing on the Hudson River, announced a change in its terms and conditions. The changes sought to secure copyright over all images on the network. A backlash ensued with users hastingtaging #twitpic #delete.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett apologised on the site’s blog for the “lack of clarity” in the language used. Photo sharing network Plixi was also caught in a similar situation when entered into a deal with World Entertainment News.

Fact is that many photo-sharing sites have tried to monitise their business by trying to grab exclusive copyrights from users.

Networks such as the Yahoo-owned Flickr tried something different though. In May 2009 Flickr entered into a deal with Getty Images. As part of the deal Getty can approach users in order to secure a deal on an image that they have taken. Users can then take anything between 20 and 30 per cent of sales through the renowned global picture agency.

And Getty is not the only site that offers to pay users. The Agence France Press backed Citizenside acts as an agent for pictures that are sold, often passing 50 per cent to the user.

So the question to Instagram and Facebook is, why try and grab everything and then blame the lawyers, when you could have set the scene for crowdsourcing opportunity for amateur photographers?

Photo sharing sites have tried to grab copyright from users in the past and failed. Perhaps, sharing money earned would have enhanced Instagram’s reputation.

Perhaps speaking to your PR, Instagram could have saved themselves a lot of grief.

As it stands, and according to Andrew Beaujon at Poynter, ‘unhappy Instragram users are still suspending their accounts.’

Sentiment140.com | Sentiment Analysis of G4S Security Firm on 17 July 2012

London 2012 Security firm G4Sreputation is going from bad to worse with a stream of stories breaking daily on the non-appearance of contracted staff at Olympic venues in London and around the UK.

The firm, which has been under immense scrutiny since it admitted to government that it was going to be unable to provide the full numbers of contracted staff, has become the subject of many conversations on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.  News organisations like the BBC are encouraging the gathering of views on their own BBC News Facebook Page.

One of the key rules for security firms is to maintaining of trust.  This is central to their business model, brand and the value that, as a UK publicly listed company, is expressed in it.  For G4S the problem lies in the fact that their services should be taking place with very limited public knowledge of this.  Limited discussion by the public can signal a smooth operation and so position them for further contracts.  But this is not the case, as the public have taken to Twitter to express their anger at how the company has let the country down during these London 2012 Olympics.

Research from social media analytics firm Topsy and sentiment analysis site Sentiment140.com gives us insight into the public’s opinion of security firm G4S, data that will influence politicians.

Topsy | Analysis of Mentions of G4S

Shortly after news broke on Wednesday 11 July, Twitter saw over 9,700 mentions of G4S at 11.36am.  By Thursday 12 July G4S was being mentioned over 20,000 times, with the most popular shared link being to the BBC’s coverage of the story.  Coverage by other news providers including The Guardian, Sky and the NewStatement were being shared by the public.

Analysis of links shared on people mentioning G4S on Twitter

Today, the sentiment of G4S stands in negative territory, with 69 per cent of Tweets being classified as negative.

 

Chief Executive Nick Buckles at the Home Affairs Select Committee said, after Keith Vaz MP asked him why he was still in his job, that he was the best person to lead the organisation through the troubles, with it’s “reputation intact.”

Reputation gets damaged in real time and for G4S and it’s Chief Executive Nick Buckles the more the public – voters, talk about it, the more politicians and the media will question their services.  It’s not looking good for this company. Social media smells failure.

Research by Intel revealed earlier this year what happens in one minute on the internet.  The semiconductor chip maker confirmed that the number of networked devices was equal to the population of the world.  And that by 2015 the number of devices, smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks, would be double the global population.  In business and leisure, we have become ever more reliant on technology in order to communicate and do business.

Have a look at this infographic to find out more about what happens during and digital minute and how many Facebook Pages are viewed.