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Digital Bytes: Ditch the clicks, say Facebook

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week Facebook tells brands to forget about clicks and British Gas go mobile…

Facebook: Ditch the clicks

Facebook have unveiled new metrics and told brands to stop focusing on clicks as a measurement of success. In a post on the Facebook Studio blog, the company’s Head of Measurement and Insights, Brad Smallwood, writes that “99 percent of sales generated from online branding ad campaigns were from people that saw, but did not interact, with ads.”. This, he argues, proves that “it is the delivery of the marketing message to the right consumer, not the click, that created real value for brand advertisers”. The data comes from research conducted with data mining company Datalogix, who Facebook have recently announced a partnership with. Through this partnership, Facebook are hoping they can provide metrics that will track the relationship between Facebook exposure and real-word spending. “For us, this is a turning point,” Smallwood added at the IAB MIXX conference in New York. “We’ve been flying blind and metrics haven’t moved from being focused on CTR as a result. Our study with Datalogix has shown us that this isn’t what we should be focusing on. Clicks are great, but it’s impressions that create value…Just like TV advertising, it is reach that drives revenue for online brand marketers.”

Online retailers disappoint customers

Online retailers aren’t delivering on the expectations of their customers, according to a new study from EPiServer. The report, entitield ‘Benchmarking the Digital High Street: UK e-commerce performance Index 2012’, polled 1000 consumers about their expectations of a retail website and then measured them against a best practice benchmark assessment of 25 top reatiler’s websites. The average reatiler score was 58 per cent, which is down on 2011’s total of 63 per cent. “Our findings highlight areas where even the UK’s top retailers are risking customer loyalty, extra revenue and market share by underestimating consumer expectations,” said David Bowen, product manager at EPiServer, “many of the problem areas could be fixed easily and at very little cost.” Retailers were marked across four areas: overall exprience, browsing, buying and after-sales.

British Gas look to mobile

British Gas mobile experience manager Neil Swanston has said the future of the business depends on improving their mobile offering. Swanston was speaking at the Mobile Marketing Live conference earlier this week and said that nine per cent of British Gas’s traffic was being generated through its mobile app, with 76 per cent coming from PC and 15 from mobile to website. “We’re in the very early stages of understanding the power of what [mobile] can do, so we’re in the infancy stages like a lot of businesses and it’s my job to understand consumer behaviour,” explained Swanston. “We have to now start to talk to our customers through those channels where they want to talk to us – suddenly the success of our future business depends on it. Any business will tell you the more products a customer holds with you, the more loyal they are. We are just a utility company, but we now know the power of the connected smartphone space which has been talked about for many years, is starting to become a reality.”

CW take digital to print

American TV network The CW have taken to print to promote their digital offering. In a first-of-its-kind move, the company has run an advert in the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly that contains a small LCD screen that features a stream of tweets from @CW_network. “We’re always trying to look at things that are first to market, that are really going to let people know that we are a digital network and that digital media is part of our DNA,” said Rick Haskins, executive vice president of marketing and digital programs at the network. He added that the aim of the advert is not to boost followers, but about “solidifying CW as a leader in digital and social thinking and execution.” The ad appears in 1,000 copies of the magazine across New York and Los Angeles and runs on a custom-built Andoid device with 3G connectivity.

Digital Bytes: Twitter helps journalists

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. In this week’s FWM Digital Bytes, we look at how journalists are using Twitter, Nestle’s new GPS powered campaign and the continued rise of ebooks…

Twitter: a help and a hinderance

Social media isn’t just helping brands connect with potential customers, it’s also proving an important research tool for journalists. A new study carried out by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University has found that 28 per cent of UK journalists believe that sites such as Facebook and Twitter are essential for their job. Broadcast journalists were found to be the biggest users of social media, while magazine journalists were least likely to use it.  “The majority of [journalists] use two or three social media tools regularly for professional tasks,” the report found. “The most popular social media tools are microblogs, namely Twitter, professional social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, and social networking sites, such as Facebook. 47.9 per cent of respondents had more than 500 followers/friends on their preferred social networking or microblogging site, and only 13.7 per cent had fewer than 100 followers/friends.” The report’s findings weren’t all good news for social media though. It also found that social media is regarded as a drain on journalists’ time, with 34 per cent of respondants saying they disagreed with the statement that ‘social media improves productivity’.

Nestle know where you live

Nestlé UK have launched a GPS based competition that locates winners the moment they open specially picked chocolate bars. GPS trackers have been fitted into a handful of KitKat, Aero Peppermint and Yorkie bars and when a winning bar is opened, it will automatically alert the Nestle team who will track down the winner and send them a check for £10,000. Nestle are supporting this activity with a series of outdoor billboards that feature integrated NFC and QR touchpoints. Users can use the touchpoints to access a mobile landing page that offers the chance to win one of 2,000 secondary prizes. Graham Walker, Nestlé UK’s trade communications manager, said: “Nestlé Confectionery is delighted to be first to market with this highly innovative GPS based promotion. We believe this promotion will particularly appeal to men, attracting them to the chocolate singles category and thus driving incremental sales.”

Twitter reveal new look

Twitter have unveiled a new look designed to “help you get to know people better”. The company’s chief executive Dick Costolo revealed the new layout on American breakfast TV on Tuesday, showing that the site now features a header photo (not unlike Facebook’s cover photo) and gives greater prominance to photos, with the image section moving up in the left hand pane and featuring bigger thumbnails. “Starting today you can make your presence on Twitter more meaningful with new Twitter profiles,” a post on the Twitter blog reads. “Upload an all-new header photo on mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android or twitter.com, and the same image will appear whenever anyone views your profile on the web or these apps. You can upload your header photo, which appears above your Tweets, to express yourself instantly, anywhere.” The site’s mobile and tablet have also been changed as part of the redevelopment.

Children turning to e-books

Children could become more accustomed to reading from an e-reader or tablet than from a traditional pritned book, according to a new report commissioned by the Pubishers’ Association. The research has revealed that sales of children’s e-books have almost tripled since last year, with over 2.6 million kids’ e-books sold in total. Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publisher’s Association, said:  “The growth in children’s e-books is really a reflection of the fact that children’s digital books have become more possible in the last 12 months. For example it has only been in the last year where the publishing format has allowed for flowable text, and that is one of the reasons why children’s books have taken off in digital recently.” Sarah Odedine, managing director of children’s fiction publisher, Hot Key Books, added: “It is entirely possible that people will be more used to reading from a screen than a page, and I do not think it matters in the least, so long as they are reading. I think it is marvelous. There was a time when there weren’t any paperbacks.”

Reading infographic

More facts and stats on the future of reading can be seen in Schools.com‘s great infographic. They’ve found that consumers who own an e-reader read 24 books a year, while those who don’t only read 15. They also found that the Amazon Kindle is by far and away the most popular e-reader, and that Baby Boomers are 19% more likely than any other age group to own an e-reader. The Schools.com infographic can be seen here.

Digital Bytes: Facebook to move into Search?

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at Facebook’s possible move to Search and the launch of the new iPhone 5…

Facebook look towards Search

Facebook could branch out into Search as it continues its hunt for increased profits. The company has been in uncertain financial waters since its troubled £65bn floatation in May and shares in the company have collapsed by 50pc. Mark Zuckerberg has been looking for ways to expand Facebook’s offering to put them on a surer financial footing, and it seems Search may be one of the answers. “When you think about that, Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned,” he explained at the annual TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. “I do think that’s one obvious thing for us to do in the future. We do 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying.” Zuckerberg also spoke about Facebook’s mobile offering, pledging to explore the advertising potential of mobile browsing in greater detail. “[For every] person who’s using Facebook on mobile, there’s more engagement and they’re spending more time. We think we’ll make a lot more money than on the desktop.”

Google move into price comparison

Google have launched a car insurance comparison service that allows users to compare around 120 insurers when they type the words ‘car insurance’ into the search engine. The service, which comes a year after Google’s acquisition of BeatThatQuote, will be strictly monitored and Google have insisted they will not sell personal details on to third parties. “We will also publish a provider code of conduct that we expect them to meet,” Google said. “Persistent offenders will be removed from the panel. We will encourage users to identify offenders through a complaints procedure.” John Paleomylites, Google’s price comparison product director, added: “We want to help users find the best car insurance in the fairest and most honest way possible and above all while respecting their privacy.” The company has previously launched comparison tools for credit cards and bank accounts.

New iPhone hailed by experts

The new iPhone 5 has been hailed as a “cornucopia for app developers” by analysts and experts following its launch on Wednesday (13th September). The new device is lighter and taller than previous models and features a wider screen size. It is equipped with an A6 chip, which doubles the speed of the CPU and graphics, helping make it, in the words of CEO Tim Cook, “the most beautiful device we’ve ever made.” IDC analyst Al Hilwa agreed, telling The Drum that “the actual level of engineering and design that has gone into it is quite amazing. The power of the chip and the new graphics capabilities alone will prove a cornucopia for app developers in the ecosystem.” Technology magazine T3 agreed, writing that Apple have “worked wonders”, while The Guardian add that “the iPhone 5 is definitely the most integrated phone out there.” The iPhone 5 will be released on September 21st and will cost £529 (16GB), £599 (32GB) and £699 (64GB).

Microsoft revamps adCenter

Microsoft has continued to develop their ad offering by renaming their adCenter advertising platform ‘Bing ads’ and introducing the Yahoo! Bing Network. The change has been made to give advertisers more control over their adverts and ultimately increase ROI. David Pann of Bing Ads said in a blog post: “Bing Ads isn’t just a new name, it is a reimagined and improved way for our customers to manage their campaigns on the Yahoo! Bing Network. Our team is committed to streamline the experience of buying search ads and to provide a unique platform to reach new customers when they’re ready to make a decision. In addition to an optimized experience, Bing Ads gives advertisers increased transparency into the auction process, helping inform them and take critical actions to improve their campaign performance if needed.”

Facebook and Twitter expand ad targeting

ATYM have gathered together some interesting statistics on iPhone use and iPhone5 anticipation for their new infographic. The stats show that suring the web and checking email are the third and fourth most popular activies performed on iPhones (behind sending texts and making calls) and that around 40% of people in the US live with someone who owns an iPhone. The infographic also shows that around 75% of current iPhone users are looking to upgrade to iPhone 5 before the end of next year. More facts and stats can be seen on ATYM.com.

Fast Web Media launch BIGprofile

Fast Web Media is proud to launch BIGprofile, a new cutting edge digital marketing product designed to help businesses punch well above their weight online.

BIGprofile combines SEO, PPC, social media and online PR into one platform that features flexible reporting metrics and compliments existing partnerships with PR and advertising agencies.

With BIGprofile, businesses can increase website traffic, boost online visibility, increase market share, win new customers and gain valuable insight into competitor activity.

The software is designed to quickly identify areas that your company is performing best in, highlight weaknesses and show how these areas can be improved.

Fast Web Media CEO Mike Flynn said: “Our philosophy is that digital marketing services work better together and BIGprofile has been created with that in mind.

“BIGprofile will help businesses get the most out of their digital presence, gain greater exposure and ultimately improve ROI.”

BIGprofile is sponsor of the BIGprofile Sports 2000 Championship, a motor racing tournament that helps some of Britain’s best up-and-coming drivers develop their talents.

Fast Web Media were recently winners at the UK Search Awards and European Search Awards. We won four awards at each ceremony, including Best Agency and ‘best of the best’ award, the Grand Prix.

Our new PPC software, WeatherFIT, which serves adverts or content based on localised climatic conditions, was also recognised, winning the Innovation award at the European Search Awards.

Digital Bytes: Facebook and Twitter expand ad service

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at changes to Facebook and Twitter’s ad services and Coca-Cola’s digital milestone…

Facebook and Twitter expand ad targeting

Marketers can now target Facebook users by their user IDs, email addresses and phone numbers, following an update to the site’s ad service. Facebook have been testing the new system for a number of months and results are thought to have been impressive enough to inspire full roll out. Of course, the development raises privacy concerns, but Facebook have been quick to play down such worries, explaining that all the data will already be owned by the advertiser and Facebook itself will not share any data with brands. Meanwhile, Twitter have also recently revamped their advertising options, adding greater filtering functionality to allow brands to pinpoint the type of users they want to target. So, for example, a movie studio advertising a film can target users who enjoy that film’s particular genre, rather than just movie fans as a whole. Such developments are slowly but surely helping social media become as significant a player in digital advertising as Google, which remains arguably the biggest source of online ads.

A walk down musical memory lane

US rock back Matchbox 20 have blended elements of Spotify and Facebook to create an online app that celebrates the release of their new album, ‘North’. The group have unveiled a timeline that fully integrates Spotify and tracks their progress from ‘North’ back to their 1996 debut, ‘Yourself or Someone Like You’. The Timeline features band moments and historic moments between 1996 and 2012 and fans can log in to Facebook to comment and share their own milestones. “I feel old,” singer Rob Thomas tells Mashable. “It puts a lot of things into perspective — it’s kind of mind-blowing for us…I’m really excited to see how fans are going to interpret it.” Spotify’s Katie Schlosser added: “They wanted to do something big and engage the audience to create a conversation about their history. We really want fans to post and share their own memories.”

Coca-Cola pass 50 million mark

Coca-Cola have become the first brand to pass 50 million likes on Facebook. The drinks company achieved the feat just after 9am on Tuesday (4th September) and are significantly ahead of other big name brands, such as Disney, Converse and Starbucks, none of which have more than 40 million fans. “Throughout its history Coca-Cola has always had a role in bringing simple moments of happiness to people around the world every day,” Joe Tripodi, Coca-Cola’s chief marketing and commercial leadership officer, said in a press release. “Today we have an engaged global community more than 50 million strong connected through Facebook. This provides an opportunity to engage our most supportive and enthusiastic fans in a quest to find ways to make the world a happier place.” Lady Gaga is the most popular fan page on Facebook, with over 53 million likes.

Google+ gets elected

Google Plus got a boost yesterday when it was announced that the trailer for Steven Spielberg’s latest film, ‘Lincoln’, will debut on the site. The historical drama, which focuses on the final months of Abraham Lincoln’s life, will unveil its first promo footage on Thursday September 13th in an event that will be simulcast in Times Square and a Google+ Hangout that will feature a chat with Spielberg and one of the film’s stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. ‘Lincoln’ is not the first major movie to be promoted via Google+ – both ‘The Muppets’ and ‘The Avengers’ did the same – but it is arguably the biggest, not least because of the live broadcast in Times Square. To participate, users can RSVP at the Lincoln Movie Hangout, but to ask a question to Spielberg or Gordon-Levitt, they have to submit a YouTube video, using the hashtag #LincolnHashtag.

A walk down musical memory lane

What does the future hold in store for ecommerce? This handy infographic attempts to answer that question. Created by Baynote, the infographic reveals that the average person will spend around $1,738 online by 2016 (it’s currently at around $1,207), with the clothing and accessories industry expected to benefit most from this increase.  More facts and stats can be found on Baynote.

Digital Bytes: Facebook reveal Sponsored Results

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at Facebook’s new Sponsored Results service, digital’s continued rise in the advertising and Bing’s new Quora functionality…

Facebook launch Sponsored Results

Facebook have unveiled a new Sponsored Results service that will allow companies to run ads in the drop down results menu of the website’s search bar. Pages, places and apps can be featured in the ad space and, as with most of Facebook’s ads, can be dismissed if the user wishes. In their blog, Facebook wrote: “Sponsored Results provide advertisers with the ability to embed ads in the list of typeahead results. Advertisers can create standard on-site ads (with a 70 character message) that lead to Facebook pages or apps (including custom tabs on their page). Ads can be targeted against Facebook entities, including Pages, Places, Apps, and subscribe-enabled users. Facebook users see the ad when the targeted entity appears in their search results. Ads only show in desktop search results, not on mobile and not on the “more results” page.” Currently ads can only divert users to pages within Facebook, though that could chance as the service develops.

Digital to overtake print advertising this year

Digital will overtake print in the advertising spend stakes this year, according to a new study by Carat. It had previously been expected that digital would overtake print in 2013, but a 5% global advertising increase this year will see the shift take place sooner than previously thought. Jerry Buhlmann, chief executive of Aegis Group, who own Carat, said: “Carat’s latest ad spend forecasts show the continuation of two fundamental trends which have changed the advertising industry. Firstly, Digital Media continues to grow materially ahead of all the other media and has overtaken newspapers – a year earlier than expected – to become the second largest medium in terms of advertising spend, behind TV. The trend of audiences moving online shows no sign of slowing down, as demand for online content and the proliferation of internet and mobile access increases. In parallel to this, the trend of the two-speed world continues, with the rates of growth in the emerging economies remaining well ahead of the US and Western Europe.” Direct marketing has also been on the rise this year, with 2012 seeing a growth of around 7 per cent.

eBay predicts rise of Social Shopper

Auction site eBay predict that the value of the ‘social shopper’ will increase dramatically across the next five years. Fuelled by the success of sites such as Pinterest, eBay have found in a report conducted by retail experts Conlumino that the value of social shopping will go up from £1.6 billion to around £3.3 billion, while UK sales directly inspired by social media will go up by 44 per cent from £210 million to around £290 million. “There’s a billion pound prize for UK retailers in using social to help customers make up their minds when they’re looking to buy something,” said eBay’s Head of Mobile Shopping, Petra Jung. “Generating direct sales is part of the prize in social shopping but using peer-to-peer networks to influence purchasing decisions is the far bigger opportunity. Many shoppers, particularly women, want fun and inspiration as much as information when they shop, and social networks are a great way to seek out a friend’s advice, see other people’s style, and get ideas.” Currently around 46 per cent of people use social sites while considering a purchase.

Twitter founders Branch out

Bing have continued to develop their search engine by integrating Quora into it. The company already feature Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn functionality and it is expected they will expand further in the coming months. The integration of Quora seems to be the first step in that direction, with Microsoft saying that it marks the company’s “ongoing commitment to work with industry partners to make the social experience compelling and useful for customers.” A post on the Microsoft blog added, “We believe search should be about giving you the best information from across the web including knowledge and people from a variety of social networks. This is why we’ll continue to work with industry partners like Facebook, foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Quora to help you spend less time searching and more time doing.”

Football v Soccer

Which is more popular – English or American Football? Confused.com have crunched the numbers and found that while the NFL has more fans on Twitter and Facebook than the EPL, England is outperforming America on a club level, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United leading the way on Facebook, and Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool leading the way on Twitter. The full infographic can be seen here.

Digital Bytes: Twitter founders Branch out

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at new platforms from the founders of Twitter, the death of Flash Player on mobile and Facebook’s new adverts…

Twitter founders Branch out

Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the men who founded Twitter, are hoping to emulate the success of their most famous creation with their two new ventures, Medium and Branch. Both websites are variations on Twitter, with Medium collecting photographs and writing and Branch allowing users to develop conversations (or ‘branches’) beyond Twitter’s 140 character limit. Writing on the Medium blog, Williams said: “Media is still the “connective tissue of society,” as Clay Shirky eloquently put it. And we think it can be better. Better for creators. Better for consumers. Better for the world. So, we’re re-imagining publishing in an attempt to make an evolutionary leap, based on everything we’ve learned in the last 13 years and the needs of today’s world.” Meanwhile Josh Miller, head of product at Branch, added: “Between articles, blog posts, and tweets, the internet is dominated by monologues. So we want to build a home for dialogues online, by combining the intimacy of a dinner table conversation with the power of the internet.” More information on both new sites can be seen on The Guardian. You can sign-up to Branch via Twitter, while Medium is current invite-only.

Adobe pulls plug on mobile Flash Player

Adobe has pulled its Flash Player plug-in from the Android Google Play store and will no longer develop software for mobile devices, the company has revealed. The decision has been taken because the plug-in is likely to cause “unpredictable behaviour” with the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean. On a post on their official blog, Adobe wrote: “Beginning August 15th we will use the configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed. Devices that do not have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store after August 15th.” Adobe will continue to develop Flash Player for PCs, but will focus most of their efforts on HTML5.

Facebook unveils newsfeed adverts

Facebook is set to show adverts in users’ newsfeeds even if they don’t subscribe to that brand’s updates. Companies looking to take advantage will have to pay a fee to have their messaging appear and there does not appear to be an opt-out option available. The move has raised concerns that users may be put off and abandon the website, but Facebook have told Tech Crunch that the adverts will be carefully vetted to avoid overload. “We want to be thoughtful about how we introduce ads in news feed, so we have limits in place to ensure that people’s news feeds are not filled with advertising, but we don’t have specific numbers to share.” Though the process is on a limited test at the moment, it is likely to be rolled out across all users in the coming months.

Mobile advertising reaches Olympic peak

The Olympics encouraged advertisers to spend 150 per cent more on mobile advertising, a new report from M&C Saatchi has found. News and sports websites were the primary beneficiaries of this increase, while over 50 per cent of the ads used location target to pinpoint users based in London. M&C Saatchi Mobile CEO, James Hilton, said: “Mobile advertising has given brands and companies an intelligent and highly segmented channel to reach consumers. Our data shows that brands and advertisers are prepared to invest in granular mobile campaigns that utilise platform and device type, location and time to reach consumers – ahead of the competition.” Money-off deals were among the most popular types of adverts, while the Opening Ceremony, the Closing Ceremony, the Mens 100M Final, Bradley Wiggins’ cycling victory and Super Saturday (the day of Jessica Ennis’s Gold) were the most active days.

Bolt and McDonalds take Gold

Which brands got the most buzz during the Olympics? Who were the most mentioned athletes? And which sports were most popular in the US and UK? Social media monitoring platform Salesforce Radian 6 have been crunching the numbers and come up with some answers. Usain Bolt’s Gold haul made him the most popular athlete with over 962,000 mentions, while McDonalds won the brand wars, with 159,000 mentions. Gymnastics was the most popular sport in the US and – unsurprisingly – cycling took the crown in the UK. More facts and stats from ‘The Social Olympics’ can be seen in Salesforce Radian 6’s infographic.

Bytes: Mobile search takes Gold

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at mobile search, Tesco’s new interactive billboards and the continuing feud between Apple and Google…

Mobile search takes Gold

It’s not just Team GB that’s been topping the podium at the London Olympics; it’s also mobile search. The 2012 Games is the first worldwide sporting event of the smartphone age and with events taking place at all times of the day internet users have taken to their mobile and tablet devices to keep up with the latest news. Google is reporting that during the first two days of the Games, tablet searches accounted for almost 50 per cent of overall search queries, with Japan seeing the most activity (55 per cent). In the United States, 47 per cent of overall search queries came from a mobile or tablet device, while in the UK the figure was at 46 per cent. Taking Paul McCartney’s performance at the Opening Ceremony as a case study, Google write on their blog: “Whether watching the Olympics at home on TV or on a desktop livestream, or at a bar with friends, users  searched on one screen for things they saw happening on another screen. Comparing searches by device type, smartphone searches surged, and in the US, viewers were searching almost as much on their tablets as on their computers for Paul McCartney.” A full infographic, featuring more facts and stats, can be seen here.

Tesco launch interactive billboards

Tesco has unveiled new billboards at Gatwick Airport that allow customers to buy their shopping digitally. Looking like interactive fridges, the boards can be hand-scrolled and allow users to browse through 80 of Tesco’s most popular products. The user then adds the products they wish to buy to their shopping basket by scanning them with Tesco’s smartphone app and selects a day they would like the shopping to be delivered to their home. “E-commerce is increasingly important for our multichannel offering and this is about responding to the wider use of smartphones among our customers,” said Tesco’s internet retailing director Ken Towle. “As a business we plan to try out lots of new things to work out which are the good ideas and which ones customers want to use. We want to try and improve consumer access to Tesco using mobile.” Tesco launched similar billboards in South Korea’s subway system last year and so far they have accounted for over 55,000 transactions.

YouTube suffers as Apple/Google feud continues

The divide between Apple and Google grew further this week as it was revealed that the tech giant will remove its YouTube app from all its mobile devices. The video site has been one of the primary applications on Apple products since 2007, but the rollout of iOS 6 later this year will bring that run to an end. “Their two ecosystems are pulling away from each other,” Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group, is quoted as saying on The Drum. “This is two companies agreeing they just don’t want to work together anymore.” YouTube will still be available on iOS devices via Safari and Google are working on their own YouTube app that is set to be available through Apple’s app store. A spokesman for the company said: “We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.”

Direct marketing spend on the rise

Direct marketing is estimated to grow by around 7 per cent this year, according to new data collected by the Direct Marketing Association. Digital spend is thought to be behind the growth, with £2.5bn expected to be spent on email marketing, £2.2bn on social media marketing and £516m on search advertising. Chris Combermale, executive director of the DMA, said: “While the UK remains mired in a protracted recession, the creative industries are among the few that are performing strongly, with direct marketing in particular making an outstanding contribution to the UK economy. The industry is bucking the prevailing trend with increases in overall expenditure and employment figures forecast for 2012.” The DMA survey polled 600 UK companies and more information can be seen here.

2012’s social media winners and losers

We’re over halfway through the year, so Ignite Social Media have put together an infographic to see how 2012 is affecting social media sites’ popularity. The company has found that interest in social networks has actually fallen slightly, to its lowest rate since mid-2008. Unsurprisingly, Pinterest is the most popular network with women, while Dribbble is most popular among men. Meanwhile, it’s been a good year for Tumblr and Twitter, with both seeing massive rises during 2012. The full infographic can be seen at Ignite Social Media’s website.

Bytes: Mobile-only Facebook use rises

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at mobile-only use of Facebook, Netflix users’ new friend Max and the continued rise of the digital consumer economy…

Mobile-only Facebook use on the rise

Mobile-only users of Facebook have increased by 23 per cent since March according to new statistics included in the company’s recent 10-Q document. The site had around 543 million active mobile users in the month of June, and of that amount around 102 million (18.7 per cent) visited exclusively via a mobile device. As The Verge’s Amar Toor points out, this is great news for Facebook because recent studies have shown that mobile users generally stay on the site longer than desktop users. However Toors adds that there’s less chance for those users to convert as “Facebook has less ad real estate to sell on its app or mobile site, and has thus far been reluctant to insert more sponsored stories into mobile News Feeds.” Advertising accounted for 84 per cent of Facebook’s overall revenue in Q2 2012 so if these mobile use trends continue it will be of paramount important for Facebook to find a way to more effectively monetise the medium.

Netflix introduce Max

Netflix have taken a leaf out of Apple’s book by allowing their users to talk to their Playstation 3 app while looking for films to stream. ‘Max’ is an update to the app that asks users a series of questions and bases its suggests on the answers it receives. The update is only available on a handful of systems at the moment and when asked by Gigaom, Netflix explained that there is no guarantee it will recieve roll-out beyond the PS3. “Max is a new user experience we are testing. It is available to a subset of Netflix members who use a PS3. We will look at how the test performs, whether it leads to increased interaction with Netflix by our members, and decided based on that whether we will make it broadly available.” A video of Max in action can be seen here…

Digital consumer economy to hit $2.1tr

The digital consumer economy will be worth $2.1 trillion by the end of the year, according to research gathered by Gartner. This total covers money spent on digitial hardware and content by consumers and it will mark an increase of $114bn compared with the total from last year. “Our research consistently shows that consumers are willing to pay for content they deem ‘worth it’,” analyst Amanda Sabia said. “However, our research has also found that consumers are willing to tolerate an ad-supported business model in exchange for free functions and content such as personal cloud storage, social networking, information searching, email, IM, person-to-person (P2P) voice (Skype and mobile voice over IP [VoIP]), streaming/downloading video and musical content when accessing the Internet.” The digital consumer economy shows no signs of slowing down even farther into the future as Gartner predict that the overall total will hit $2.7tr in 2016.

Facebook test ‘Save for Later’ feature

Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow users to add interesting stories to a folder for future use. ‘Save for Later’ will be available on desktop, tablet and mobile devices and will work in much the same way as Twitter’s Favourites feature. However, unlike Twitter Favourites, Save for Later will not send out notifications to users whose stories are saved. Save for Later is the latest in a number of new features Facebook has been testing recently, but as Mashable note the quickly-dropped ‘Find Friends Nearby‘ functionality proves that not all tests lead to success.

Going for Gold

An Olympic medal is worth the world to the person who wins it, but what value does it have in digital? Social Media company BirdSong have kept track of more than 300 athletes’ Twitter feeds since the games started and found that a place on the podium means a gigantic rise in followers. Lizzie Armistead saw her follower count rise by nearly 200% following her cycling silver medal, while swimmer Rebecca Adlington went up by around 170 per cent after she won bronze in the swimming. The Team GB Facebook and Twitter accounts have also seen significant boosts, with the latter jumping by around 122 per cent and the former going up by 50 per cent. The full list of tweeting Team GB members can be seen here. Andy Murray leads the way with over a million followers, while waterpolo player Ciaran James brings up the rear with just 145.

Digital Bytes: Foursquare launch Promoted Updates

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at Foursquare’s new Promoted Updates, the Olympics’ Athletes’ Hub social search engine and LinkedIn’s FTSE100 popularity…

Foursquare launch Promoted Updates

Foursquare have stepped up their bid to monetise their offering by launching a Promoted Updates service for companies who are featured on the platform. Featured in the app’s ‘Explore’ section, Promoted Updates will show the user details of a promoted company if they have a shop nearby the user’s location. “We’re thinking of them as Google search ads for the real world,” Weiss told Mashable. “But instead of a Google ad driving traffic to a site like BestBuy.com we drive traffic to the actual Best Buy store.”  Gap, Old Navy and Best Buy are among the 23 companies to be part of the initial rollout, but Foursquare are expecting the service to be expand across the rest of the companies on the site “in the coming months“.

IOC launch social search engine

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have launched a search engine-style website that allows users to search through social media messages about the Olympics and the athletes taking part. The Olympic Athletes’ Hub is searchable by athelete name, team, sport, discipline and event and will cover official feeds on Facebook and Twitter. Mark Adams, IOC Director of Communications, said: “The Athletes’ Hub has already compiled the Twitter and Facebook feeds of over 2,000 Olympians, and over 100,000 people have visited the site. The additions we are announcing further demonstrate the IOC’s continued efforts to socialise the Olympic Games and create a better, more engaging experience for fans and Olympic athletes around the world.” The hub offers rewards to users for following their favourite athlete and a video of it in action can be seen on YouTube.

Premier League issues social media guidelines

The Premier League has issued new guidelines to players on the use of social media following a recent FA punishment for Arsenal’s Emmanuel Frimpong. The midfielder was charged with improper conduct for comments made on Twitter to a Tottenham Hotspur fan, so in an attempt to prevent further incidents the Premier League has created suggestions about a wide range of issues, including the endorsement of brands. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: “Social media is doing a good job of allowing fans to feel closer to the players, [but] clearly it isn’t the same as texting your best mate or talking to someone. There is a more human side now to some of the players and the public can communicate more directly with them. Sometimes there can be abusive comments, but generally the internet, online chat rooms, and the way people are communicating, is healthy.” In June, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere were reprimanded by the ASA for tweets promoting Nike.

FTSE100 dominate on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the number one channel for users looking to connect with FTSE100 companies, new research has found. Statistics produced by The Group show that 1.9 million people are connected with at least one FTSE100 company on LinkedIn, while 86% of the companies on the FTSE100 have a company page on the site. Cathal Smyth, managing director at The Group, said: “Our update to the FTSE100 Social Media Index reveals the large and growing circle of influence that FTSE100 companies have created online. LinkedIn is clearly becoming an essential channel for businesses wishing to connect with important audiences and in particular it has become an important aspect of corporate recruitment.” 1.7 million people follow FTSE100 companies on Twitter, and they have a combined total of around 19 million likes on Facebook.

Smartphones v Tablets

More than half the UK population now owns a smartphone according to a study by Deloitte that pits smartphones against tablets. The report found that 52% of the UK has a smartphone, while only 16% has a tablet. However, while app expandature stands at just 80p for mobile users, it’s a much larger £2.50 for tablet owners. The survey was conducted on 9-11th May and had 2060 respondents. An infographic with more stats and facts can be seen here