Tag Archive | "interactions"

Facebook Best Professional Services: A Stealth Shot at Yelp, Angie’s List?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook is quietly testing a Best Professional Services page that taps reviews and ratings by users of the social network.

The potential alternative to similar services from Yelp, Angie’s List, Amazon and Google was initially spotted by Acodez IT Solutions social media manager Sreedev Sharma.

More than 80 options are available for searching, divided into the following categories:

  • Arts and marketing
  • Automotive
  • Business services
  • Event planning
  • Financial services
  • Home improvement
  • Lifestyle services
  • Medical and health
  • Pet services
  • Spa, beauty and personal care

FacebookBestProfessionalServicesHomepage FacebookBestProfessionalServicesCategories

Clicking on any of the options brings up a ranked list of local businesses in that category, but Search Engine Land pointed out that while ratings from Facebook users via the social network’s five-star ratings system are factored into results from Best Professional Services, those results appear to be customized for individual users based on their interactions or their friends’ interactions with pages, as searches yielded different results when logged into Facebook or logged out.


And TechCrunch pointed out that unlike most new features tested by Facebook, Best Professional Services appears to be available globally, and not limited to the U.S.

Readers: What are your initial impressions of Best Professional Services?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Report: Social Media Platforms Are Becoming Too Complicated

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There is power in simplicity — at least that’s the premise behind the Siegel+Gale simplicity index.

The study uses survey data from more than 12,000 consumers in eight countries about the perceived simplicity or complexity of their interactions with more than 500 brands, and why simplicity pays off.

In this sixth annual report, Siegel+Gale included a social media specific portion.

Overall, social media ranked among the most complex with Instagram coming in at 48 as the most simple network, while LinkedIn ranked most complex at 108.

Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 14.29.15

According to the report, most people use social media to connect with friends and family, with older users finding social platforms more complex than younger generations. The survey results also indicated that Facebook and Pinterest were platforms use most by consumers as a discovery tool; however, Pinterest makes the process of discovery simple.

The report also indicates that marketers have a hard time developing social media ads that get noticed. This especially true for Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Perhaps this is just a trade off for native advertising, which is by its nature, meant to integrate seamlessly into the social networking experience. When it came to YouTube and Facebook though, users were more likely to say ads disrupted their experience.

Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 14.53.57

Despite reports that the majority requests online go unanswered, only 12 percent of the survey respondents said they used social for customer service, and 86 percent said their requests were resolved successfully.

The report offered a few key takeaways for brands using social media:

  • Entertain before you sell. Besides connecting with friends and family, the majority of social media users are looking for new sources of entertainment.
  • Get noticed but don’t be disruptive. Consumers are frustrated with ads that disrupt their experience. Understanding the medium is the best way to create ads that get noticed without impacting the user experience negatively.
  • Use social for customer service. As noted previously, only a small percentage of survey respondents use social for customer service, but most are happy with the results.

Download the report for more insights from Siegel+Gale’s 2015 Simplicity Index.

Readers: Which social network is the simplest? Which is the most confusing?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Brands on Instagram Grew Followers, Posted More in Q2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

INFOGRAPHIC: Which Super Bowl XLIX Advertisers Generated the Most Buzz?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

McDonald’s was the most discussed advertiser on Facebook and Twitter during Super Bowl XLIX Sunday night, while T-Mobile USA was the most engaging, according to analysis by real-time customer-engagement platform Engagor.

Engagor also found that:

  • There were 1,915,081 total mentions of Super Bowl ads Sunday, 1,513,527 on Facebook and 361,467 on Twitter.
  • 77 percent of social buzz related to Super Bowl ads came from mobile devices.
  • 68 percent of buzz came from males, versus 32 percent from females.
  • The top five states for Super Bowl ad buzz were: California, Texas, New York, Georgia and Illinois.

Readers: Did you post anything related to Super Bowl ads on Facebook or Twitter Sunday?


Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Are mobile users moving away from sharing content via Facebook?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


A new report by Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Adobe shows that people may be moving away from Facebook’s public content sharing methods in favor of more private methods, such as messaging.

Adobe’s latest Mobile Benchmark Report shows that, among digital magazine publishers, Facebook sharing on mobile is down 42.6 percent year over year, while sharing via iMessage has risen 259 percent. Sharing through Pinterest rose 131 percent in that time period.

Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst for Adobe Digital Index, talked with Inside Facebook about how people seem to be preferring more private methods of sharing via mobile than Facebook:

Facebook, to a certain degree, is a victim of its own success. We have so many friends from all walks of life in it. The fact that all of the interactions going on between mobile devices and Facebook are having problems with getting smaller sets out this big thing that Facebook has become is likely to create a dampening on the amount of sharing. If you’re a media company, that’s a problem. All that sharing is how you get traffic. You want sharing to happen on Facebook because Facebook is broader and you’re more likely to get more people clicking through an article.

Gaffney noted that as users acquire more and more friends, something that person shares probably won’t be relevant to 100 percent of their connection base. By sharing a story through a program like iMessage, it assures that only the intended audiences sees the content. While expert users know to create friend lists, it can be a confusing process on mobile.

Though Facebook talks about being a mobile company, Adobe also found that most referrals from the site still come from desktop.


Adobe’s study shows that 60 percent of Facebook referrals come from PC, while only 25 percent come on a smartphone. That figure is third to Twitter and Pinterest.

Facebook is doing better with the average revenue per visit to retail sites, especially on tablets, where the average tablet user generated $1.55 when they were referred to a retail site from the social network. Tumblr paced the field in terms of RPV on tablets, with $2.57.


Readers: Do you now prefer to share via more private channels, when you’re on mobile?

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

STUDY: Facebook ads sequenced like stories lead to increased view-throughs

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 12.01.10 PM

A new study by Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Adaptly, in partnership with Facebook and Refinery29, shows that advertisers who position and sequence their Facebook ads to take customers down the conversion funnel can experience an uplift in view-through and subscription rates.

Adaptly worked with lifestyle website Refinery29, testing ads that were sequenced like stories, receiving an 87 percent rise in overall view-throughs and a 56 percent conversion lift.

Adaptly CEO Nikhil Sethi commented on the study:

As fundamental as this question is, it’s amazing that so little has been published on the topic of sequencing vs. sustained messaging. And although the research findings might sound like an obvious outcome, some advertisers may find it counterintuitive to elongate a campaign as a way to more gradually bring their audience through the purchase funnel, rather than more immediately delivering a call-to-action. But we have proven that this classic brand-building approach it is both effective and efficient, even for direct response advertising.

Here’s how Adaptly and Refinery29 helped consumers down the conversion funnel.

Adaptly worked with Refinery29 to get users to sign up for its service, which inspires millennial-minded women to live a more mindful and enlightened life. The two companies created a campaign using Custom Audiences to target ads at Refinery29′s best email subscribers (the most active 5 percent). Then, Adaptly built a Facebook lookalike audience of more than 2 million people who were also likely to become high-value customers. Facebook helped to split this audience into 3 treatment groups.

The ad group that saw sequenced posts saw messages across 12 days, split evenly to lead people down the funnel, from top to bottom.


Facebook Audience Insights gives marketers an overview of their potential audiences

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

IntroducingFacebookAudienceInsights650Facebook introduced a way for brands to learn more about the audiences they are targeted with their ads on the social network in order to refine their strategies, and the new Audience Insights tool will begin rolling out to U.S. users of Ads Manager Thursday, with access outside of the U.S. to be added “in the coming months.” Audience Insights will offer brands aggregate and anonymous information on Facebook users, including:

  • Demographics — age and gender, lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role, and household size.
  • Page likes — the top pages people like in different categories, like women’s apparel or sports.
  • Location and language — where do people live, and what languages do they speak?
  • Facebook usage — how frequently are people in your target audience logging onto Facebook, and what device(s) they are using when they log on?
  • Purchases activity — past purchase behavior (i.e. heavy buyers of women’s apparel) and purchase methods (i.e., in-store, online).

The aggregate and anonymous information can be viewed for three different groups of people:

  • People on Facebook (the general Facebook audience).
  • People connected to brands’ pages or events.
  • People in custom audiences brands have already created (audiences made up of current customers).

Facebook said in a post on its Facebook for Business page introducing Audience Insights:

The more customer insights you have, the better you’re equipped to deliver meaningful messages to people. That’s the thinking behind Facebook Audience Insights, a new tool designed to help marketers learn more about their target audiences, including aggregate information about geography, demographics, purchase behavior, and more.

Say you want to raise awareness for your women’s luxury fashion brand, and you sell your products in-store. You’d want to know how many people on Facebook live near your stores, as well as their interests, their past purchase behavior, and how they tend to shop (online vs. in-store).

Audience Insights is different from Page Insights because it looks at trends about your current or potential customers across Facebook, whereas Page Insights looks at the interactions with your page (i.e., likes, comments, and shares).

We built Audience Insights with privacy in mind. It surfaces aggregated information people already express on Facebook, along with information from trusted third-party partners — like Axciom – through our partner categories targeting. Like Page Insights, Audience Insights shows information about groups of people without the need to share which individual people are in those groups. This allows marketers to view aggregate and anonymous insights while keeping people’s personal information private.

Marketers on Facebook: Are you excited about the potential uses for Audience Insights?


Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Facebook Will Give Up The Ghost On Real Identity In Future Apps

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Facebook has made a big point over the years of having real identities for its users, but it looks like that requirement is soon going to disappear, and users will able to use made-up names for more anonymity. Call it the Snapchat effect.

According to a profile of Mark Zuckerberg published today in BusinessWeek — to mark the Facebook’s 10th anniversary — the social network plans to let users log in anonymously in a set of new apps it is planning to release (for more on that app strategy, check out Josh’s insightful look here). Paper, a new Facebook reading app out today, does require Facebook login, but that looks like it may now become the exception rather than the rule.

Zuckerberg once described the idea of having two identities as showing a “lack of integrity,” but he now says that real identity can be a millstone. “I don’t know if the balance has swung too far, but I definitely think we’re at the point where we don’t need to keep on only doing real identity things,” he told BusinessWeek. “If you’re always under the pressure of real identity, I think that is somewhat of a burden.”

The profile notes that there has been a lot of internal debate at the company about the use of real identities, which some might argue was a throwback to another time. The requirement for real names came about in the first place because at the time Facebook was founded, most social networks and forums were based around made-up names, and Facebook — as a way of bridging the virtual experience with the real world, and drawing in more users (it worked!) — put in the rule to raise accountability.

“It’s definitely, I think, a little bit more balanced now 10 years later,” Zuckerberg notes. “I think that’s good.”

But to say that the decision to drop identity was born in a blue Facebook bubble may not be quite right, either.

Real identity may have helped persuade more people to join Facebook — and through Facebook’s social sign-in has become a way of identifying yourself in hundreds of other apps and websites. But some have also turned away from Facebook for the same reason. You may not want to post funny pictures of yourself drunk at a party if they may one day be easily found by someone who you didn’t intend to see them. (Yes, there are privacy settings, but they’re a lot more fiddly than the act of taking and posting a photo or comment are.)

Many have pointed out that part of the allure of new kid Snapchat for younger users is the ephemerality of the content — it disappears after it’s sent. But it’s also notable that you can use whatever name you like on there, too.

Something Zuckerberg also doesn’t mention in his reasons for embracing anonymity is the fact that the social network has been under pressure in some places specifically for its real-name requirement. In Germany, the regulator has said that Facebook’s real-name policty “erodes online freedoms.”

It’s also not Facebook’s first foray into letting people use different names on the network. When it first launched verified accounts in 2012, it gave those people verified the option of using nicknames in all of their interactions (although even then the registered names were still their real names).

There is also the example of Facebook Messenger, which you can opt to use without a Facebook account on Android, although you still have to give over another piece of your data — your phone number.

The lack of identity in future apps is a very interesting turn of events — it points to Facebook wanting to change with the times, and with consumer (and perhaps regulatory) sentiment, but it also shows that it’s figured out more sophisticated ways of tracking and monetizing your time on its properties regardless. Even if you’re Ingy123 instead of Ingrid.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Twitter Says New Blocking Policy Which Allows Following, Tweet Interaction Is To Prevent Retaliation

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 4.26.55 PM

Twitter has introduced a new blocking policy that is materially different from the one that they’ve had in the past. Blocked users can now see your tweets while logged in and continue to follow you on the service, allowing potential harassers or abusers to continue to track your updates on the network, even though you’ve explicitly blocked them.

This greatly reduces the effectiveness of some aspects of the block functionality on Twitter and opens the door for those who have been harassed or stalked on social networks to have their updates monitored more easily. Blocked users can now retweet your tweets, fave them and RT them while logged into their account.

TechCrunch spoke to Twitter about the changes, and the company says that the change, which does not notify or alert the person you’ve blocked in any way, was done to prevent a scenario of retaliation. The company said that they had seen situations where users, once they discovered that they had been blocked — because they could no longer view tweets or interact with tweets — would find other ways to attack or harass the blocker or even be spurred to greater abuse.

Twitter says that another reason for the change is to better communicate to users that ‘blocked’ does not mean ‘invisible’ and that your information is still public.

This new method means that the only way to prevent someone from following you or interacting with your tweets is to make your account completely private. This will prevent anyone you block from seeing your tweets.

While we doubt Twitter had anything but good intentions here, changing blocking because a blocker might be antagonizing or inciting someone they’ve blocked just by blocking them will likely not sit well with victims of harassment.

It’s worth noting that you could previously view the public tweets of users that had blocked you while logged out of the service — and by visiting a profile page. But now they can do it while logged in and interact with them. If you’ve blocked them, you will not see these interactions, but others will, and those you have blocked will still be able to fave tweets, for instance, and see those in a list of tweets that they’ve faved.

This new blocking method is more of a mute filter that prevents you from seeing any tweets or interactions from a blocked follower. But those interactions still happen. In some ways, this new method is actually a more accurate picture of what happens with a Twitter account when you block someone. They could always see your tweets and manually RT them to their followers by copying and pasting text. Now, however, they can do so within the constructs of Twitter — you just cannot see them. Though their followers and anyone searching for your name can.

Twitter notes that those tweets may also show up in your searches.

Here is the current blocking policy:

If you block another user, you will no longer see:

  • The user in your follower list
  • Any updates from that user in your Home timeline, including any of their Tweets that were retweeted by accounts you follow
  • Their @replies or mentions in your Connect tab
  • Any interactions with that user’s Tweets or account (i.e., favorites, follows or Retweets) in your Interactions or Activity tabs

Twitter also notes the following:

If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline. If your Tweets are protected, blocking the user will cause them to unfollow you.

And here’s the previous policy:

Blocked users cannot:

  • Add your Twitter account to their lists.
  • Have their @replies or mentions show in your mentions tab (although these Tweets may still appear in search).
  • Follow you.
  • See your profile picture on their profile page or in their timeline.

Privacy note: If your Tweets are public (i.e., not protected), they will still be visible on your public profile page to anyone, regardless of whether they have a Twitter account or not.

We do not send notification to a user when you block them, but because they will no longer be able to follow you, they may notice that they’ve been blocked.

The changes to Twitter’s policy may indeed prevent some immediate knowledge that a user has been blocked, though they didn’t get a notification before and still won’t get one now. It could cause a lag between the time that they get blocked and when they realize it — but the scenario by which this could prevent retaliation once discovered gets blurrier.

Many Twitter users who have been abused and who undergo continuous harassment on Twitter — especially women — will likely not be pleased that their tweets can now be easily favorited and re-tweeted within the confines of Twitter’s platform. Yes, their tweets were never truly private because Twitter is a public service — but a policy that makes it easier to interact with tweets and add commentary to them (even if it’s not visible to you, personally) seems like it’s missing the point.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Trifacta Raises $12M For Platform That Uses Human And Machine Interactions To Prepare Data For Analysis

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Trifacta, a platform to prepare data for analysis, has closed a $12 million Series B round led by Greylock Partners and Accel Partners. The company has now raised a total of $16.3 million.

In an email interview, CEO and Co-Founder Joe Hellerstein said the company’s platform is designed for business analysts and data scientists to explore, manipulate and cleanse data for the purpose of analysis. The technology is based on research at Berkeley and Stanford that focuses on the interactions between humans and machines to transform data into something useful and meaningful. The process of this human-computer interaction is meant for the analyst and the machine to both provide insights based on the patterns in the information.

On the Trifacta platform, users work with visual data and smart suggestions, while machine learning methods analyze data and user interactions, Hellerstein said. The interplay makes this process of data transformation more accessible to business data analysts, while increasing the productivity of quantitative data scientists who can use the human-machine interaction to get through various types of data in a faster manner.

Hellerstein said use cases are for just about any industry — a large computing device vendor, for example, that has products in the field that are shipped back to the manufacturer so the behavior data on the device can be analyzed. The data tend to be complex and particular to the revision and configuration of each device. Trifacta’s platform allows the product divisions to do their own data transformation on the raw data logs and transform them into data that can be loaded into business intelligence and predictive analytics tools. The process gives the manufacturer the ability to do maintenance prediction, feature usage assessment, quantitative product design revision, etc.

Human-machine interaction is an emerging field that is gaining in popularity as the methods for analyzing data become more accessible. The complexity is lessening as machine learning and other advanced analytics practices get filtered through visual tools.

For example, Hellerstein pointed to the work of Mike Bostock at the New York Times who uses D3.js in his data visualizations that appear online and in the newspaper.  He originally developed D3.js with Trifacta Co-Founder Jeff Heer while the two were studying at Stanford. D3.js is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data that allows for visualizations in the browser.

A company like Trifacta represents two trends, said Ronnie Mitra, an API architect, who I interviewed at API Days, a conference now taking place in Paris. The utility for data is illustrated in the way companies are driving more decisions by analyzing mass troves of information.

“The other trend is leveraging the UX to provide niche experiences,” Mitra said. “For a long time there was a focus on function, the things that programs do. “The pioneers of interaction design have started moving things up,” to the application level.

Trifacta is part of a new generation of companies that provide data-driven analysis for customers to do business intelligence, risk analysis and a host of other matters. The challenge for Trifacta is building a service that competes with a variety of different tools from companies like Informatica, Revolution Analytics and Pentaho.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

February 2016
« Jan