Archives for December 2014

December 19, 2014Published by: Drew

Global Social Network and Messaging App user numbers: December 2014

Here at Battenhall we review the world's top social media and social messaging apps every month, and we publish this data in our publication the Battenhall Monthly. We thought we would do a special end of year review, with Instagram having just hit 300 million users, overtaking Twitter in the process, this is the most up to date chart we think you'll find.

It's a way before any social network catches up with Facebook, but we predict WhatsApp and WeChat will be the growth stories of 2015.

Battenhall Social Media User Numbers Data December 2014

December 18, 2014Published by: Drew

Battenhall’s 2014 in review

This month brings to an end Battenhall's first full year in business. We opened for business in Spring 2013, our mission being to bring a new kind of communications agency offering to the market, and our aim is to be the next great agency. In 2014 we saw our team grow to 21 people and establish our new London HQ in Islington. We developed new disciplines that came with a raft of new senior hires, and our clients' briefs have taken us as far afield as Singapore, North America and across Europe.

As we start working on 2015, we've also been reflecting on how the last year treated Battenhall and our industry more broadly as well.


In the media

We started the year with a keynote speech at the Search Advertising and Social Media conference SAScon in January, and the year continued with us presenting our story at other events including CIPR, AHCMVision 2014, Social Media Week and our interview video was played at the PRCA annual conference in September.

Battenhall in 2014

We were fortunate enough also to get noticed by the world's media for our work. Our first mention was in January, in this feature in Glamour on the topic of celebrity YouTubers, a trend that has really exploded this year, and a topic which saw us featured in Private Eye for the first time, probably my favourite piece of company press coverage ever. We were also featured in Forbes, on the BBC, on the cover of The Telegraph, in The Guardian (twice), Sky NewsManagement Today, City AM, Stylist and more. What we think has been key here is that we're trying to set new standards and new ways of working, and we're also trying really hard to forecast future media trends and incorporate them into our day to day. Both of these things seem to resonate well, and we'll be continuing this in the new year.


Reports and the Monthly

This year we researched, produced and launched our second annual FTSE 100 social media report, which we unveiled at the opening event of Social Media Week London. The work has been reviewed widely and is being referenced as a body of work in the media and by PLCs alike. Our regular publication the Battenhall Monthly has gone from strength to strength also, with edition 21 coming out this month. In 2015 we're planning to expand our research and insights division (and we're hiring at all levels, so get in touch if this interests you).

Battenhall FTSE 100 report 2014


A year of awards

For an agency only one year old we have been humbled and overwhelmed by the recognition we have received from our industry bodies. This year we were named 'Agency of the Future' by the PRCA, we won 'Best Small Agency' in the UK Social Media Awards and we were finalists in the PR Week Awards for best new agency.

Battenhall awards and events


The industry and looking ahead to 2015

Our view, as I put forward here, is that innovation is happening across the board in agencies and comms departments alike, however it's happening at a slower pace than we're seeing from the media and in social media. And this means the communications industry as a whole is actually moving backwards. We hear this from the brands we speak to every week and the candidates we meet coming from other agencies large and small.

The raft of new social networks emerging this year, along with the new innovations from the big media and social networks, the impact of the new social influencers, and way the global media is reinventing itself, all have shown how quickly brands are having to up-skill and re-skill while also moving at speed. It's tough, but there's no slowing down in the year ahead, and we're excited at what 2015 will bring us and what lies in store for brands.


December 15, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

Just how super is SUPER?


This month, a new social network called 'SUPER' launched, created by Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Inc and also helped to create and launch Xanga, Odeo, The Obvious Corporation and Medium. In 2013, Biz Stone launched Jelly - a visual app that focused on users asking and answering questions. Whilst the app received quite a bit of initial hype, it never really took off.

SUPER's feed is much like any other social network - comparable to secret, but without the anonymity. Users add content or updates into the feed by answering the question of 'WHAT'S UP?' - proceeded by text options like 'the best', 'crazy', 'I'm thinking' and 'OMFG'. Users sign the update as they'd like to and then add a background picture. No surprises that you can edit the text style and filters on the photo.

Screenshot_2014-12-15-10-47-09 Screenshot_2014-12-15-10-46-34 Screenshot_2014-12-15-10-45-34











When launching the app, a user can find nearby friends, or those from Facebook, Twitter and their phone book. Other users can comment with similar style content, or even just 'heart' your content, which results in an animated flurry of red hearts.

For even more artistic license, it's possible to create as many different profile pages as you want - with different images and shades to match.

Fun and colourful, the app is clearly meant to be a mix of other social network - and whilst for some (including our own Creative Manager) its a colourful headache, for others it might prove to be the next best thing. Super is available to download for iOS and Android now.


December 11, 2014Published by: Drew

Who are these 300m people on Insta? Instagram overtakes Twitter and launches verified accounts

Instagram 300m

Instagram has overnight announced that it has surpassed the 300 million user milestone. This means it has overtaken Twitter which has seen slowing growth and a total of 284 million users, which is some feat. The service has experienced an amazing 2014, winning the admiration from a new mainstream userbase and becoming a front runner for the must-have social network on home screens and in marketing plans alike.

Who are the Instagrammers? This recent data published by Piper Jaffray shows that the coveted 16-24 year old demographic are the new Instagram mainstream, ditching both Facebook and Twitter for Instagram and also Tumblr. Instagram was in fact launched to design influencers back in 2010, and since then has changed very little about its design and functionality - arguably one of the main reasons it had experienced such healthy growth.

Piper Jaffray social media research

Instagram is like the Apple of the social networking world; great product, no fussy marketing or promotion, no jumping the shark which you see all too often from Twitter and Facebook, and a coveted userbase. Don't forget also that Instagram is owned by Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg bought Insta in 2013 for $1bn. No small sum but a smart move for sure.

More news from Instagram is that it's launching verified accounts and it's cleaning up spam on the social network. More on both of those pieces of news are at the bottom of this post yesterday from the Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom.

December 4, 2014Published by: Drew

New UK laws unveiled to criminalise social media trolling


New social media law guidelines have been set out by Scotland's The Crown Office, unveiled today, in the effort to protect internet users from trolling.

The new clampdown effectively means it is now illegal to say on social media what it would be illegal to say in the street. The Crown Office has said there will be a "robust" response in the future to social media hate crime, stalking or 'credible threats of violence'.

Trolling behaviour has become a serious and broad issue in 2014, with celebrities, politicians and news organisations all having been affected in high profile cases. Social networks have been building up their own measures, such as Twitter's new higher-profile settings for reporting abusive behaviour, which it launched only this week.

The new government guidelines in full state that social media communications should be considered for prosecution if they:

  • Specifically target an individual or group which are considered to be hate crime, domestic abuse, or stalking
  • Constitute credible threats of violence to the person, damage to property or to incite public disorder
  • May amount to a breach of a court order or contravene legislation making it a criminal offence to release or publish information relating to proceedings
  • Do not fall into the above categories but are nonetheless considered to be grossly offensive, indecent or obscene or involve the communication of false information about an individual or group which results in adverse consequences

December 1, 2014Published by: Charlie Sharpe

The Influence of Social Media in Modern Politics in the UK

TwitterUntil recently many have underestimated the power of social media in politics. However two recent events have demonstrated the importance of it.

Many political campaigners may take the traditional view that social media cannot influence the reputations and success of politicians, however more and more politicians are beginning to establish themselves on social media platforms. On average 85% of Members of Parliament (based on research of the 73 London constituencies) now have accounts YouTube, Facebook or Twitter that are managed by themselves or their offices.

Furthermore, in the last few weeks, two events have really highlighted the importance of social media in modern politics; the sacking of the Labour MP Emily Thornberry from her position of shadow Attorney General over a tweet from the labour campaign in Rochester, and the rise of the #CameronMustGoTwitter campaign.

While social media can be used as an effective campaigning tool, a lack of experience and understanding can be fatal in politics. Ed Miliband’s decision to sack Emily Thornberry over the Rochester tweet has attracted more attention from the wider media than the tweet itself, drawing significant negative press around the Labour party as a whole. This could prove to have a significant impact for the Labour party campaign in the fast approaching 2015 elections. Had Miliband demonstrated a better understanding of the power of social media could reputational damage have been avoided?

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 16.23.16The second example, #CameronMustGo, was initially dismissed by fellow MP’s who predicted it would have little influence and would quickly disappear. However, after five days the hashtag had been mentioned 420,178 times and had an astonishing potential reach of 573,844,914 people. While some of these tweets may have been light hearted in nature, the sheer volume of such a negative hashtag are clearly not a welcome outcome for a party gearing up to an election.

These two recent examples demonstrate the potential risk of social media in modern day politics, however it’s important to note that social can be used as a successful campaigning tool if used and approached appropriately. Labour MP for Streatham, Chuka Umunna, has amassed a sizable online community - his Twitter page has 87,112 followers and his Facebook page has 13,065 likes.

One of the key reasons for Umunna’s social media success (aside from avoiding controversy!) are the regularity of his posts and the informal and casual way he and his office approach these updates. Chuka uses YouTube to post a variety of videos which not only address political issues but also demonstrate an interest in his voters through topical events such as the Ice Bucket Challenge and Notting Hill Carnival. Many people involved in politics on social media may dismiss this approach as not focusing on the most important elements of the job, however it has clearly won him a supportive online community.

Overall, while many politicians have struggled with the risks associated with social media, it is clear that there are opportunities for politicians to engage with a disillusioned electorate in a brand new way. As it becomes clearer that the future electorate is online it is becoming far more important for the politicians to be able to communicate with them.