Archives for August 2014

August 29, 2014Published by: Drew

10 must-have IFTTT recipes for social media managers


Last night the news came out that one of the web's best kept secrets, IFTTT (If This Then That), landed $30m of funding to turbo charge its recipe book for the social web.

If you haven't used IFTTT before, it's like a dashboard of connectors that can make anything hooked up to the web work by itself, using triggers, or 'ifs', to power devices, social media and web services. The triggers include Internet of Things devices, time of day, weather, football results or social media pings. The actions include electricity switches, push-alerts, email, and pretty much any web service.

Anyone can create their own 'recipes', as IFTTT calls them, and if you are stumped for inspiration, you can browse open, shared recipes that have been created by other IFTTT users. There are over 136,000 of them here.

If you are looking to turbo charge your social media strategy, here are 8 of our favourite IFTTT recipes (with two fun ones for good luck):

  1. Tweet your blog posts [link]
  2. Connect your blog to LinkedIn (or your Tumblr, or Facebook) [link]
  3. Log mentions of your brand in a spreadsheet [link]
  4. Get alerts from Instagram influencers [link]
  5. Ping your colleagues whenever you bookmark an interesting story [link]
  6. Use Twitter Faves as an information-sharing system [link]
  7. Monitor Wikipedia changes by a person or on a page [link]
  8. Track news topics and send the to your email or social network [link]
  9. Bonus: If you're ever in your other half's favourite shop, get your smart watch to automatically message them asking if they want anything [link]
  10. Bonus: Tweet whenever your beer fridge opens, which we have running at Battenhall HQ [link]


August 26, 2014Published by: Drew

Instagram launches new time lapse video app Hyperlapse


Instagram is the only one of the big social networks not to have spun off a new stand-alone app to date. Well today's the day, as Instagram has launched Hyperlapse, an app that allows you to create time lapse videos with the kind of quality that you'd only normally be able to achieve with specialist gear. Check out Instagram's video below to see how it works.


This new app is jumping on a huge wave of video capture, editing and sharing popularity on social media. Since the launch of Vine, Instagram video and autoplaying videos in Facebook and Twitter, this space has grown explosively and is showing no signs of stopping.

Instagram's Hyperlapse is available now in the app store - just follow this link.

August 22, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

YouTube’s new Music Key service launches as direct competitor to Spotify


Google has announced recently that it's developing a new service that will take the services of Google Play Music and combine it with the size and power of Youtube to form the new Youtube Music Key. This premium service, for which we are still awaiting a release date, will charge a similar price to the music streaming service Spotify at USD 9.99 per month and provide users with unlimited music streaming online and the ability to create and save playlists offline. The premium service will also provide extra content like live streams of concerts and videos.

While this service may sound almost identical to Spotify Premium, there are some fundamental attractions to the service. Of course, the extra content will appeal to Youtube users, however, this does not work on its own to attract users; the key attraction to the service is that it is based on the original Youtube platform, therefore making it very easy to upload new material.

The key assets that Google has in attracting users to their new service are twofold; firstly, YouTube claims that their users watch approximately six billion hours of videos each month and that 100 hours of videos are uploaded every minute. This clearly demonstrates the sheer size of YouTube and, therefore, the power Google has at its disposal.

Secondly, once Google combine the music available on Google Play Music with the library they are forming on Youtube Music Key there will be over 20 million songs available to users. With one billion users already on YouTube, Google is set to pose a significant threat to music streaming services such as Spotify. In order for Google to turn this into a hugely profitable move they would only require a small fraction of their users to sign up for Music Key.

Despite the significant potential for the new service, Google has hit some speed bumps with regards to the licensing for the content. Some artists, especially those related to Indie record labels, are failing to see the benefits of signing the agreement with Google. This has proved to be an opportunity for Google to display its power as it responded with threat to block the artists content. However, it is still ambiguous as to whether this was referring to Youtube. There has not yet been a release date confirmed but until then we will have to hope that the negotiations with record labels go smoothly.

August 22, 2014Published by: Drew

Instagram adds new marketing tools for account data insights and ads


Last night Instagram announced on its blog a raft of new tools to encourage businesses to take it more seriously as a brand marketing social network. These include Account Insights, which gives you data on your Instagram account the way Facebook and Twitter does, Ad Insights, which is similar but for ad campaigns on Instagram, and Ad Staging, an ad management platform for Instagram campaigns.

Key metrics for the account data are interesting. They focus pretty much exclusively on impressions and reach - not interactions or click-throughs for example.

Instagram says in its announcement:

At Instagram, we’re always looking to inspire and empower brands to create beautiful and engaging imagery that resonates with our community of more than 200 million worldwide.

We’ve heard from brands that having more insight into how people engage with and respond to their photos and videos is an important part of evolving creatively. We’re excited to announce that over the coming weeks and months, we’ll begin rolling out a new suite of tools to help brands better understand the performance of their paid and organic content on Instagram.

Instagram is the hot social network right now and will be inundated with brand ad campaigns quicker than it can handle if it opens up widely to all, so for now these tools have only been tested on a chosen few brands, and are available now only to advertisers on Instagram.

August 20, 2014Published by: Drew

A world beyond apps, from two different perspectives

End of apps

This week the popular press has covered a new stat that has been revealed at length: that app downloads have for the first time begun to decline.It has started many off asking is this the end of apps? The truth is possibly that this is the summer and over the summer traffic dips for a lot of digital services, from social media usage to media consumption. You might say that now apps are mainstream, this is just another seasonal trend.

There is a different perspective on the end of apps though, one that is only beginning to be talked about by some of the more progressive digital brands out there. The likes of Evernote, Foursquare and Facebook to name just a few are starting to think beyond the app. This talk from Evernote's CEO Phil Libin we think is well work a read. Libin talks about a near future where apps become obsolete, due to issues such as wearable tech like smart watches, and session time on mobile and tablet apps decreasing (ie we spend more time switching from one app to another than we do inside any single app).

So for a different reason, we think there's definitely a world beyond apps. What it means for brands is we need to think way beyond apps, just as we're getting our heads around them.

August 15, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

Twitter launches data visualisation tool #EverydayMoments

EverydayMomentsTwitter has recently launched a new data visualisation tool called Everyday Moments. The tool can be used to look at what people in the UK are tweeting about based on topic, region and time of day. The beta version of the tool is now live and demonstrates the ways in which people share updates and interact around everyday moments on Twitter over the course of a week.

You can dig up the whereabouts, length and breadth of a conversation on Twitter to demonstrate, for example, how popular an event has been. While this tool could be used for basic research purposes by marketers, it's also great for finding opportunities that the conversations present for a brand. The tool currently allows users to choose from a variety of 80 different topics to filter searches and more will be added soon, eventually creating a database that will allow users to refine their searches to specifically meet their marketing needs.

At this beta stage, it will still be important to wait until more data can be collected before the Everyday Moments tool can be used for effective market research. While we wait for that to happen, have a play here to find out the ‘everyday moments’ of a typical Twitter week.

August 14, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

Facebook now tells us when ads lead to purchases


Facebook has reported that it will from now on tell advertisers when ads lead to actual purchases across devices. This will come in the form of a new report showing how often ads drive users to buy the advertised product on a different device.

With this new report, Facebook hopes advertisers will now be able to see “the number of customers that clicked an ad on an iPhone but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people that saw an ad on desktop but then converted on an Android tablet.”

The social network giant says it found that 32 percent of people who showed interest in mobile Facebook ads in the US converted on desktop within 28 days.

Read more about the news over at TechCrunch.

August 13, 2014Published by: Drew

Yo takes on Twitter with new sharing features


News overnight from San Francisco is that the new social network Yo has added features that allow users to share links and social media content. Yo launched in June, allowing users simply to send alerts to their friends - the word Yo - but with a large user base, we think that the new features will take the app which has a Snapchat look and feel to a new level.

Yo has 2.5m total users, 1.2m of them active users, and raised $1m in funding in June 2014. Yo's stated aim is to be the next Twitter. You can read more here on the FT's report from last night.