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Digital Bytes: Big bother for Big Brother

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week Big Brother’s Facebook app gets them in trouble while Amazon introduce Pages and Play.com have voucher issues…

Big Brother Facebook app gets rapped

Channel 5′s reality TV show stalwart Big Brother may not be the big draw it was a decade ago, but there is still plenty of demand amongst fans to vote to save or evict the contestants. To keep up with the times, producers last year unveiled a Facebook voting app, where users could purchase credits to pay for their vote, and it has been popular, with more than 70% more votes for the Celebrity version of the show this year than the year before. Unfortunately, it’s also been too popular, with the app crashing during last year’s Big Brother Final, earning the show a warning from Ofcom. When it happened again this summer, Facebook voting had to be scrapped, and Ofcom have ruled that the repeated problems constituted a breach of the Broadcasting Code.

Amazon launches Pages and Posts for brands

The popularity of brand pages on social media channels like Facebook and YouTube has almost inevitably led to online retailers following the trend, and Amazon have introduced the imaginatively-named Amazon Pages to allow third party brands to do more to sell their wares. Companies can set up pages on the site with custom urls and homepage style designs incorporating large imagery, widgets and social media buttons. They are also introducing Amazon Posts, where Page owners can promote themselves and their goods, in much the same way they can on Facebook, and these Posts can be shared on that site too.

Voucher chaos for Play.com

One thing you can guarantee in the world of digital marketing retail campaigns is that if there’s a loophole to be found, someone out there in the internet will find it and share the good news with as many people as possible through money-saving forums and deals websites. Play.com found this out recently when a ‘£15 off’ code turned out to have no spend limit, meaning that users could buy anything that cost less than £15 for free by using the code. This was soon shared on HotUKDeals and the site was flooded with users trying to take advantage of the error, and it soon went down before reappearing without the ability to use the code. Play.com did not say whether orders would be honoured, but said: ”This code was unfortunately raised in error, and has now been taken down.”

Viggle set to get GetGlue

Two of the most popular social apps for TV fans are set to unite with the news that Viggle are buying GetGlue for $25m (plus stock). GetGlue has more than three million users checking-in and commenting while watching live television, while Viggle allows users to earn points for watching their favourite programmes, which can then be accumulated and spent on prizes from shops like iTunes and Amazon. For Viggle, owning GetGlue gives them the chance to bring the two fanbases together and position themselves as the leading social watching app providers.

And he would walk 5,000 miles…

Exploring ain’t what it used to be. In the past, adventurers were lucky to have a vague map, some sturdy footwear and a mule to carry their gear, but otherwise had to live off their wits, natural sense of direction or just good luck. In 2012, Google Maps and a smartphone are pretty much all you need, and certainly that was the case for US Marine Sgt. Winston Fiore on his 5,000 mile walk across Asia. It took him 408 days to complete and he raised more than $65,000 for the International Children’s Surgical Foundation, but he couldn’t have done it without his digital tour guide: “Walking directions in Google Maps were critical to my trek. The directions were accurate and efficient — it’s essential to take the shortest route when you’re walking 20-25 miles each day,” he said “But the best part was being routed onto roads and trails through areas I otherwise never would have discovered with, say, driving directions, or even a physical map.” He’d have certainly struggled if he’d tried using Apple Maps…



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