21 Things that Happened on the Social Web in the Last 90 Days

social media updateAs media fragments, brands are finding new ways to engage with the public via paid, earned, shared and owned channels. All forms of media are innovating and attempting to figure out how to balance the tension between generating income and providing a valuable proposition to both audiences and brands. As a result, there has never been a more exciting time to work in our business.

In my new role as chief engagement office at Ketchum, I lead an internal community of digital practitioners called the Engagement Network. The network is comprised of strategists and trend-spotters who curate and share content to help us better serve our clients.

Here are 21 platform updates and news items spotted by our community over the last 90 days, each of which can have a unique impact on brands and how they communicate within the marketplace (click to tweet).


#1 Buzzfeed: ‘don’t post propaganda and sales nonsense’

BuzzFeed suspended brand accounts throughout the community as it published new guidelines for brands. Be funny and don’t post propaganda.


#2 Falling Facebook data

Facebook community managers started to see falling totals (around 10%) for branded and community Facebook pages as Facebook culled fake and memorialized accounts.

#3 Facebook launches Facebook Place Tips

Facebook has taken aim at the travel business with a proposition called Facebook Place Tips. It wants to be a real time travel guide for consumers competing with FourSquare, TripAdvisor and Yelp.

#4 Facebook at work

The social giant launched an enterprise version of its platform. We all use Facebook at work but this move will separate personal and professional profiles, and create enterprise groups.

#5 Facebook is a consumer insight service; of course it is

We’ve been able to plug into Twitter’s firehouse for insights forever but now Facebook is offering the same via Datasift. Data will be anonymous but with 1.3 billion users it’ll be a massive data mine.

#6 Video wins at Facebook brand organic reach; photos fail

Photos on Facebook brand pages have the lowest average organic reach according to Socialbakers data. Videos are king of organic reach (8.71%) followed by text-only statuses (5.77%), link posts (5.29%) and photo posts 3.73%.


#7 Engagement opportunities for employers on Glassdoor

Glassdoor, the TripAdvisor-style employee review and rating community for organizations, closed a fundraising round and took aim at international expansion. It’s a reputation management platform for any organization in the business of hiring people, as well as a jobs’ site.


#8 Move over Google+

The search giant announced that it is splitting Google+ into photo sharing and streams. Social media pundits suggest that streams will likely be retired in time.


#9 How to on Instagram

How-to-videos started moving from YouTube to shorter formats on platforms such as Instagram and Vine. It’s an opportunity for a brand to create content or engage an influencer on its’ behalf.

#10 Instagram loops the loop

Instagram videos now loop. Gap was among the first brands to launch a micro-series utilizing the new function.

Meerkat and Periscope

#11 Is that a satellite broadcast truck in your pocket?

Live video streaming became the thing using apps called Meerkat or Periscope. The premise is simple: open the app and press a button to stream video live to your Twitter network. The stream dies when you close it.


#12 SnapChat Discover: media play, still out of the league of PR budgets

SnapChat’s new Discover feature enables media owners to pipe content to SnapChat. Partners are biased to US audiences including CNN, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic; Time and Vice.

#13 Teens on Snapchat

Snapchat is the fastest growing social network with 50% of users aged 16 to 24 according to GlobalWebIndex. Brands are moving onto the platform to engage with this audience.


#14 Group conversations on Twitter

Twitter launched a group direct messaging feature mimicking Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others. Up to 20 people can join in without the need to follow each other.

#15 Video key social media content format as Twitter goes native

Twitter added native video tools. You can now capture, edit and share videos of up to 30 seconds from the Twitter app.

#16 Twitter makes $30 million influencer relations play

Twitter made a chunky bet on influencer marketing, spending $30 million on an influencer management company called Niche.


#17 Pinterest takes aim at brand campaigns

Pinterest took aim at the creative community as it develops click-to-buy pins for brands. The platform has been pitching new content formats to ad agencies.


#18 ProductHunt: Reddit for new stuff

Product Hunt is an online community for new apps, tools and websites. It launched in 2013, came out of beta last year, and lists around 10 new products a day.


#19 Is anyone paying attention to that Wikipedia page?

Brands often get wound up about content on a Wikipedia page when in reality it gets very little traffic. There’s an open source tool to check how much traffic a page gets.


#20 YouTube paid media plays

YouTube updated its paid product promotion policy. It explicitly prevents content creators from monetising content through ads unless they sign-up to Google’s rate card.

And finally …

#21 Ketchum launched As Seen on Internet podcast

We’ve launched a regular 30-minute podcast packed with the best of the Internet. It’s published each week or so and contains news from across social web, much like the content in this blog post. Learn more about it here.