All Posts in Research

September 12, 2014Published by: Steph Bennett

Facebook’s latest experiment

FB SnapFacebook has once again started experimenting with new capabilities by following in the footsteps of Snapchat and enabling users of the iOS app to produce disappearing posts. The new option allows users to set an expiration date for their posts ranging from one hour to seven days. This new function was not only a response to the ever growing teenage market for disappearing messages, one that Snapchat has led for the last three years leading to an approximate valuation of $10 billion, but also an outcome of the interest Facebook users showed in automatically deleting posts.

This is now the third attempt at a deleting message app that Facebook has produced since June; the first of which was the relatively unsuccessful Slingshot. Slingshot was an app that operated in a similar way to Snapchat but required users to send a picture to view a picture. However, this proved to be unpopular with users and, as a result, Facebook removed the one aspect of the app that made it distinctive from Snapchat. Within a month of this failed attempt to unseat Snapchat the Facebook owned app Instagram released Bolt, another attempt to threaten Snapchats dominance in the ephemeral photo sharing market.

At these early stages the new function for Facebook is only available for testing in New Zealand; however, if this new ability proves popular enough it will without doubt be turned very quickly into a globally available tool for all Facebook users.

For more information read here.

February 21, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

Top 5 things we learnt about BuzzFeed

photo

 

During the morning of Friday 21 February Battenhall attended the Gorkana briefing from Luke Lewis, Editor of BuzzFeed UK. In true BuzzFeed style, we thought we'd summarise our findings with a few cute gif images:

1. In the UK, always share stuff that's fun and interesting

Luke shared with us that whilst in the USA content that is emotive strikes a tone - the more fun content is popular in the UK.

2. Don't hate, it's just no fun

BuzzFeed even specifies 'no haters' in their job applications. Just don't do it.

3. Niche subject matters are important, not SEO

Focus on small communities in the UK, specific subjects or articles that directly relate to a small community that will share it.

4. Experiment with things all the time

Always say 'yes' to new ideas, if they don't go well, you've learned.

5. Hard news, fun quizzes and silly facts can all live harmoniously in one place

In the future BuzzFeed UK is looking to include more hard-hitting news alongside it's current fun, shareable and interesting content.

 To read more from the Gorkana breakfast briefing with Luke Lewis, head to our LIVE GOOGLE DOC.


February 7, 2014Published by: Drew

New ComScore social media user trends report

Courtesy_of_ComScore1

The global media company ComScore has published a new report looking at media consumption habits and it is is well worth a read. It breaks down social media and youth / millennials differences to other age brackets and media types. Fresh data like this doesn't come about too often, so although it's US-specific it's good to see as a barometer.

Courtesy_of_ComScore2

All the trends you would expect are in there: Facebook's smaller audience with the youth demographic, Snapchat and Instagram's larger audience with that same group, and the growth of mobile. You can download the report in full here.

January 16, 2014Published by: Tom Bradley

Step 1 of Sentience: Give Robots Their Own Internet

..yes. It's true. According to the BBC and Independent, scientists at Eindhoven University in Holland are today launching RoboEarth, a prototype cloud engine for robots. Through this 'internet' of sorts, they can learn and share their independent knowledge with others.

On the site, RoboEarth announced: “These robots will use RoboEarth as a knowledge base, communication medium, and computational resource to offload some of their heavy computation.”

To begin with, four robots are going to be linked across the system, and put into a mock hospital room in the Dutch university, analysed on how they care for their 'patient'. If successful, it could be a big step towards robotic carers for the elderly and disabled.

Let's just hope that those helping the hindered don't get too smart and start acting like this rather evil fellow below...

HAL


October 4, 2013Published by: Tom Bradley

What does the media think of Twitter? [GRAPHIC]

What does the media really think of Twitter? Twitter's in all the headlines today, so we just thought we would do some work on something that caught our eye in the wake of the company filing for a $1bn IPO.

Quartz has posted a piece on the "complete history of Twitter as told through tortured descriptions of it in the New York Times". In this piece, Quartz researched and listed - extensively - every time the social network had been effectively "@'ed" by the newspaper throughout its seven-year history.

Most of us online know how word clouds work - those words that are bigger are ones that have been used the most often, and vice versa. So we put together all the statements in the Quartz post, and made the below graphic.

Twitter NYT Descriptions

Good old Larry bird.

As you can see, the five biggest words are - in usage order - "service", "users", "social", "short" and "site". So, it's a short social service site for its users.

And we think that pretty much covers it. Thank you Quartz for doing some great investigative work to find all the mentions of our favourite social network in the first place.

September 17, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Social recruiting: what employers look for in online profiles

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 23.10.23

 

Social recruiting has seen universal adoption across industries and according to Jobvite's 6th Annual Social Recruiting Survey, anyone not leveraging social referrals is behind the curve. Top recruiters use social networks at each stage of the recruiting funnel, with 94% of recruiters using or planning to use social media in their recruitment efforts and 78% of recruiters already having made a hire through social media.

We all know LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals and this research confirms that it remains the king of searching (96%), contacting (94%), vetting (92%) and keeping tab
of candidates (93%). Yet Facebook and Twitter should not be overlooked, as both are influential and not too far behind LinkedIn with 65% of recruiters using Facebook and 55% using Twitter for social recruiting.

Beside the big three, recruiters use a multitude of specialised, localised and
up-and-coming social networks. Including photo-sharing networks Instagram and Pinterest, enterprise social network Yammer, professional question and answer site Stackoverflow, video sharing network Vimeo and Chinese social network giant Weibo.

The results show that with a variety of channels to use, recruiters have the ability to customise their messages to the platform they're using. This means most recruiters have particular uses for each network: LinkedIn is used to look at professional experience, length of professional tenure and specific hard skills, whereas Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are mainly used to look at industry-related posts and to determine whether the candidate is a cultural fit.

Jobseekers, pay attention!


July 30, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Social media masters: A method in the madness?

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 16.35.32

This week The Wall Street Journal announced a shift in job titles relating to social media. Between 2012 and 2013 the number of jobs with the term 'social media' was down by 9% according to indeed.com - additionally, jobs with the word 'Twitter' in the title dropped by 22%. But what does this mean about the world of work?

The main answer lies in finding a social media expertise, it's difficult for someone to understand social media strategy, if they don't have a role to play in the technical functions of an overall business strategy. In an attempt to tackle this new media, many universities are offering courses that focuses solely on this medium itself. The WSJ article by Zara Stone looks at The University of Florida, where an 18-month masters in Social Media is advertised to,

'...examine the impact of social media and explains how it can be used to influence the future of communication, marketing, journalism, politics, entertainment, public relations, and more.'

Understandably, educational establishments aim to broaden students' horizons, inspire them to do greater things or to dig deeper into the methodology (not practice) of their chosen subject. It could be difficult to dig into methodology of Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter though - as the intricate algorithms behind these platforms change daily.

The WSJ piece by Stone goes on to share that skill searches by potential employers with terms like 'Instagram' and 'Twitter' were up by 644% and 44% respectively, between 2012 and 2013. It seems that whilst candidates roles are becoming more integrated with bigger business goals, their innovative skill set is what matters.Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 17.09.00

Indeed social media has created an economy which is much more practical, volatile and intricate. You can't call social networking an industry - it cross-tangents with so many different departmental functions of any organisation that social media is a necessity everywhere. Needless to say, this all leads to one big question - when a candidate applies for a job, how will a degree or masters in social media be perceived, surely knowledge of new media, innovation, interpersonal skills and technology is more important?

Perhaps then the best way to really understand social media is to get hands on, learn how it applies to your pre-existing expertise and innovate the way you choose to use it.

July 17, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Next step: wearable technology for pets

FIDO project

We're only just starting to see early adopters of wearable technology wandering the streets with their Pebble smart watch or Jawbone Up on the wrist and Google Glass on the head. We know that wearable technology is amazing and in the future we'll see it being used for animals, plants and even vehicles. Who's to say that one day you couldn't put a piece of wearable tech on your pet fish to find whether the pH level of the water is right.

We're now seeing wearable technology filter down to animals, as humans and their companions alike can benefit from wearable devices. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a wearable canine computer that could allow dogs to send messages to handlers. This project, Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations (FIDO), is the brainchild of Thad Starner, the original technical lead of Google Glass.

FIDO works like this: the dog activates a sensor on its vest or collar to transmit a verbal command that the handler hears through an earpiece and view on a head-mounted display similar to Google Glass. Not only could this help disabled people navigate more effectively, FIDO could enable bomb-sniffing dogs to communicate with their handlers remotely and rescue dogs could alert a human team when they've found an injured person. The possibilities are endless! There will be a trial of FIDO of which results will presented at the International Semantic Web Conference in October.

Wearable technology products for animals have been around for a while. Luda offers monitoring products for horses and cows, including horseAlarm, which can monitor wellbeing by analysing sweating and how often the horse is lying down. Another one is an electronic dog collar monitoring your dog's wellbeing by Bio-sense Technologies.

We think that Google Glass is just the beginning for humans, as FIDO is only a starting point for wearable tech for animals, so watch this space!