onechocolate loves… the view from the U.S.

Our San Francisco office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events…

#1 360 degrees on Facebook

Facebook F8

This week at the annual F8 developer conference, hosted by Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will soon support spherical 360-degree videos in its Newsfeed. So what does this mean? Now you’ll get the chance to be fully immersed in videos from all viewpoints. You’ll feel like you’re there with the person posting the shot, or at least that’s what we’re told, and we can’t wait to try it!

#2 Instagram Layout

Instagram Layout

Instagram has finally rolled out its collage feature with a new app called Layout. The tool allows users to combine multiple photos into a single image. While it doesn’t yet allow you to apply different filters to the images within a collage, images can be flipped either horizontally or vertically, offering several new photo options.

#3 #MarchMadness

March Madeness

March Madness is upon us! The Internet is abuzz with everyone talking about college hoops on Twitter and Facebook, while running searches on Google for their favourite players and teams. According to Mashable, Facebook reported that 14 million people have generated more than 32 million posts, comments and likes about March Madness since it started on March 15. Twitter also reported that Kentucky’s round-of-32 game against Cincinnati was the fourth most tweeted of the tourney so far. Maybe social media can predict the winner, too!

#4 Meerkat

Meerkat

With all the noise at SXSW Interactive, everyone left the conference talking about Meerkat; the new live-video streaming app. According to Adweek, there hasn’t been this much buzz surrounding one app since Foursquare launched at the festival in 2009. Meerkat is already opening doors for journalists who want to live stream events, but some also see it as a privacy issue with event organizers banning the app to create more exclusivity. Whether Meerkat survives or not, it’s clear that people are interested in real-time, live streaming so they never have to miss out on events again.

#5 RoboGames

RoboGames

Robots will soon become part of our everyday lives, so why not watch a few battle it out to destruction? If this sounds like your kind of thing then check out RoboGames, coming to the San Francisco Bay Area April 3-5. At the games, tech experts from all over the world design robots that battle to the death in a ring (surrounded by plexiglass, for health and safety). Some are even designed to solve mazes, play soccer with each other and play music. Countries from all over the globe will be competing, so be sure to check it out to cheer yours on!

#6 World Backup Day

World backup day

World Backup Day is March 31 and while it’s not exactly a day of celebration, it’s definitely a good reminder for everyone to backup all of their important files and data. Given the growing number of healthcare and corporation hacks in the past year, there’s never telling when disaster (natural or a hack into your system) might occur. Protect your data!

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn YouTube and Pinterest – just in case you missed it… 

Weekly social scoop

#1 Facebook adds payments to its portfolio

By The Guardian

  • Facebook is the latest in a long line of tech companies expanding into the payments market
  • The social network has announced that it will enable users to send money to their friends through a new feature on its messaging app
  • The tool will initially be available in the US on Android and iOS, before being rolled out internationally

#2 Twitter to sell even more data

By The Drum

  • In 2014, Twitter sold $70m worth of tweets to brands and businesses, but data strategy chief, Chris Moody, has revealed that the social network will significantly increase this amount in 2015
  • The move is reflective of the increasing value of social media data to marketers in understanding their customers at a more sophisticated a level than ever before

#3 Twitter and Rhapsody bring music to tweets

By Mashable

  • Announced at SXSW last week, Twitter and Rhapsody will team up to allow users to share full-length songs on the social platform
  • Rhapsody is hoping that the new tool, which is already available on Twitter’s mobile app, will attract more subscribers to the service

#4 LinkedIn acquires Careerify

By Tech Radar

  • Following its acquisition of Bizo in 2014, LinkedIn has purchased Canadian HR software start-up, Careerify
  • The move will bolster the enterprise social network’s big data recruitment offering through Careerify’s product focused on employee referrals

#5 YouTube rolling out subscription service

By The Telegraph

  • In an attempt to better rival existing video-on-demand services such as Hulu, Vimeo and Netflix, YouTube is planning to launch a subscription service which will allow users to watch unlimited video without ads
  • The new service is reported to be modelled on YouTube Music Key, which launched in beta last November for £9.99 per month

#6 Pinterest valuation soars

By International Business Times

  • Pinterest has raised $367m in its latest round of funding, bringing its total valuation to $11bn
  • The virtual scrapbooking website hopes to bring this round of funding’s total to just over half a billion dollars before it closes in a few weeks
  • A spokesperson said that “Pinterest will use the additional capital for corporate purposes, including to fuel international expansion”

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Election 2015: A vote for social media?

Social media and politicz

We know that social media has the power to alter our personal perceptions – but will it truly influence the party we vote into power? The General Election in the UK is approaching rapidly and yet social media’s strength is still proving to be an unknown quantity. What we do know however, is that the clout of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn has grown dramatically since the last general election in 2010, when it failed to have the expected degree of impact on results.

There’s an important difference between this election and the last. Five years ago just a quarter of MPs and only one party leader used Facebook. Now, two-thirds of MPs and all the party leaders have a profile. While they are now all online, the tactics each party has adopted differ greatly; one aims to engage people in debate, while another is using paid social advertising to disseminate its messages. Perhaps that explains recent research suggesting that one experiencing greater success on Twitter and the other is dominating on Facebook.

PR Week thinks social media will be key; the publication says that this year could be the first truly integrated election we have experienced in the UK. All the major parties have continued to use traditional media to explain their key messages and most have then used social media to augment their significance.

According to a recent Ipso Mori survey, more than a third people aged 18-24 think social media will influence their vote. However, voters outside of this group are doubtful. That’s to be expected; surely the key to any successful campaign is to reach the target audience in the place they prefer to absorb information? True, social media has a strong resonance with younger demographics – who prefer to get their news from social platforms as opposed to printed broadsheets – but older audiences are still more likely to ascertain their information from traditional sources. Supporting this argument, the same survey pointed out just 19% of people are likely to trust information gained from social media above newspapers. It also explains why social media is apparently lagging behind TV debates, newspapers, and election broadcasts in terms of influence.

Disregarding the debate, and looking at the maths, here are some stats for you: 

  • There are more than 46 million eligible voters in the UK
  • Approximately 6 million of those that can vote are aged 18-24
  • In 2010 44% of those aged between 18 and 24 voted – that’s around 2.6 million voters
  • In 2010 there were 29.6 million total votes cast (27 million aged 25+)

That means, should the 6 million eligible to vote in this age group take to the polls this May, they’d make up more than 20 percent of the total voters. That’s a lot of influence, given that the winning party took just 36.1% of the vote last time around!

Perhaps then, the big question is, can social media influence traditionally apathetic 18-24 year-olds to head to a polling station in May? If the answer is yes, then this really could be the first election to be won through the power of Twitter and Facebook.

Of course, nothing is certain and we, like everyone else, will have to wait until May (and the post-election analysis) to discover the true power of social media. In the meantime, what do you think? Can a party get your vote by engaging with you on Snapchat?

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onechocolate loves

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 Bring colour back!

Dulux colour

This week, London commuters were greeted with a surreal sight when Dulux let loose a group of ‘colourless’ passengers on tubes and buses. The stunt was carried out to draw attention to the fact that bright colours have slowly been draining out of all elements of our lives since the 1990s; from technology, to fashion, to architecture and interiors. While we love our sleek clean smartphones and minimal living spaces, we have to say that we agree with Dulux. Bring back colour!

#2 Disconnect to #connect

Durex has launched an online campaign urging couples to disconnect from technology to allow them to intimately connect with their partners. The #connect campaign follows a spoof announcement from Durex last week about the launch of new smartphone technology that could improve your sex life. However, a video released this week shows couples who volunteered to test the idea that the answer to improve intimacy is by switching the off button. The campaign ties in with Earth Hour, which raises awareness about climate change, encouraging people around the world to turn off electricity for an hour. Last year, Durex’s #TurnOffToTurnOn campaign reached over 1.5 billion people.

#3 Mothering – a six figure salary job!

Mother's Day

We spotted a great Mother’s Day story in the Metro this week by Alison Lynch. Interflora has calculated that if mums charged for the services they so lovingly provide, they’d be earning a higher salary than David Cameron! Once cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring and the rest have been calculated according to average wages for these professions, Mother Dearest would apparently earn £172,000 per year – nice work if you can get it. This story works on a number of levels; it has a strong seasonal angle, a positive slant on mums and what they do for us and also opens up a comparison to their efforts and those of the Prime Minister, providing a good talking point. Let’s hear it for mums everywhere!

#4 The return of Orange Wednesdays, sort of…

Orange WednesdaysBack in February, EE’s long-running ‘Orange Wednesdays’ ended, much to the dismay of many of its customers. However, O2 is currently offering free cinema tickets to those who send in their Orange or EE sim card (but the offer is limited to the first two hundred people). A nice example of tying in a marketing stunt with a cheeky bit of competitor newsjacking.

#5 Weird and wonderful food and wine

Grubb

We spotted a brilliant piece in this week’s Guardian by Adam Lechmere about food and wine pairings with a difference. Perhaps thanks to “I’m a Celebrity”, weird and wonderful insects have now become so popular that even chain restaurants have added them to the menu. But what tipple should one pair with grasshoppers on toast and mealworms? Well, thanks to Adam, we now have the answer. This raises the question – what’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?

#6 Bonkers for beards

Beards

The most en vogue trend for men at the moment? Beards of course dahling! We’re not just talking about any old bum fluff, but beards dyed every colour under the sun are the ones fast becoming the must-have trend for rugged hipsters. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, how about decorating yours with baubles?! Even Somerset House is getting on board with its latest exhibition, ‘Beard’.

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Weekly Social Scoop

Latest news and developments on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and LinkedIn – just in case you missed it

Weekly social scoop

#1 First British bank to allow payments via Twitter

By The Guardian

  • From the 10th of March, Barclays’ customers will be able to make payments to others via Twitter, without needing the recipient’s bank details or phone number
  • The service will run on the mobile app, Pingit, meaning that the normal security functions for regular Pingit payments will apply

#2 Facebook’s advertising community grows

By Reuters

  • Facebook has announced that the number of active advertisers on the social network has grown 33% since July 2014, bringing the total number to 2 million
  • Moreover, the majority of advertisers are small and mid-sized businesses (categorised as typically spending $5-$50 per-day)
  • According to COO, Sheryl Sandberg, the fastest growing regions for small business Facebook advertising are Europe-Middle, East-Africa and Asia Pacific 

#3 The verdict is positive for LinkedIn’s new tools

By The Drum

  • LinkedIn’s new set of marketing tools which were introduced on the 19th of February have been met with a largely positive response
  • Starcom MediaVest Group’s Liam Brennan said that the updates will have a big impact on online advertising for the B2B sector
  • For more information on the new data-led product suite, check out onechocolate’s guide to what marketers need to know about LinkedIn Lead Accelerator 

#4 Music a ‘really interesting opportunity’ for Snapchat

By The Guardian

  • Hot on the heels of last week’s announcement that Snapchat users will now be able to add music to their snaps, the company’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, has said that he sees music as a “really interesting opportunity” for Snapchat
  • Hinting that the photo sharing platform may be adding more music-related features, Spiegel said “Music is really appealing to us right now because it has some of the same attributes that communication had when we were working on Snapchat in the beginning”

#5 Belgian watchdog criticises Facebook’s data protection laws

By BBC News Technology

  • A report written by Belgium’s privacy watchdog has accused Facebook of breaking European data protection laws
  • The report found that Facebook placed “too much burden” on users to navigate complex settings and that it was not transparent enough about how data gathered on users was used in adverts

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