Tag Archives: Social Media

Quality Social News? : Is Peretti changing BuzzFeed into a Reliable Source?

Content and accessibility is almost everything when it comes to social news sources. Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of the online social news and entertainment company BuzzFeed, believes that in order to be considered a news source which is respected, original content is important. Furthermore, he feels it is important to publish to wherever consumers want to interact with their content.

BuzzFeedlogoBuzzFeed was launched by Jonah Peretti in 2006 as an “experimental lab”, which focused on tracking and posting content that was trending and posts readers wanted to share. Currently, BuzzFeed covers topics like politics, sports, business, entertainment and travel.

Recently, Peretti has been driven to make BuzzFeed a more respectable media news source, specifically with regards to its content. They have worked toward this goal in a couple of ways.   First, posts were deleted from their website because they were thought to be a version of plagiarism, and secondly, Community Brand Publisher accounts were frozen.

In August 2014, Peretti called for over 4,000 BuzzFeed articles to be deleted. Before doing this, they did not offer any communication to readers. All Peretti said was that the posts did not meet editorial standards. In other words, BuzzFeed was experiencing a plagiarism issue with writers. Peretti felt the posts were from back when the company was more of a tech company and was designed to detect and track trending content. However, does that make it right?

A second way BuzzFeed attempted to be a more respected media news source was by freezing all Community Brand Publisher accounts in early 2015. They are trying to encourage brands to purchase advertising on BuzzFeed’s sites rather than attempting sell something or use BuzzFeed‘s brand as an implied endorsement of a product or a political position. This is not what Peretti wanted from his company.

Not only is BuzzFeed trying to be more respected, they are also trying to branch out into different media sectors. Peretti wants to remain true to the company’s roots, which is technology. In 2014, BuzzFeed acquired two different media organizations. One of the acquisitions was Hyper IQ. Peretti acknowledged the increase in the use of apps and wanted to take advantage of where readers prefer content. By doing this, BuzzFeed was able to take an app that crashed frequently and turn it into one that was named one of the Best Apps of the Year. Thanks to the help of Hyper IQ, of course.

The Cute or Not app launched in February 2015, and was the first app to be released in several years from BuzzFeed. This app has been called a version of Tinder for pets. People who download the app are able to vote whether a pet is cute or not, like the name suggests. Subscribers are also able to upload pictures of their own for others to vote on. The Cute or Not app is obviously not driven to media news, but media entertainment.

buzzfeed-cute-or-not-app-finalAfter looking at the various business advancements BuzzFeed has accomplished over the past year or so, it is confusing on what the goal actually is. Peretti seems to have at least two goals for the organization, but they seem to contradict each other. If they want to become a respected media news source and take advantage of creating new apps, Peretti should encourage more news worthy apps to be released, right? Not an app where users decide if a pet is cute or not. So, my questions are do you feel that readers will deem BuzzFeed less credible due to the Cute or Not app? Also, are Peretti’s efforts in ‘cleaning up’ their website going to make BuzzFeed more credible? (i.e. creating own content and encouraging brands to purchase ads)

-Alexieva Speer

Evan Spiegel and Snapchat’s Update Crisis

Snapchat had an update this January that caused a complete meltdown on Twitter from users all over the world. In the update Snapchat removed the app’s ability to see the “best friends” in people’s friends lists. Snapchat also changed around some settings and added an awesome news feature for users. In this post, I will talk about these changes implemented by their CEO Evan Spiegel, and how they affected the company and users.

For those unfamiliar with Snapchat, the “best friend” feature lets you see the three friends that a person sends snaps to most frequently. It has been a beloved feature since the early days of Snapchat, letting you basically spy on your friends and lovers to see whom they are chatting with most. Once this update dropped the feature users all over the world were freaking out, because now they couldn’t keep tabs on their boyfriends or girlfriends to see if they were “Snapchat-cheating” on them.

Evan Spiegel TweetDistraught users all over the world went to social media to complain about the new update. People were so mad that Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel was forced to respond on Twitter the same day as the update.

Spiegel didn’t think removing the best friends would be that big of a deal and it wasn’t even the biggest change in the update.

The update also introduced a “Discover” feature to Snapchat users. Snapchat’s Discover feature brings news to the millennial generation. The feature provides news platforms such as CNN, Food Network, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, and ESPN to publish short stories filled with rich multimedia elements. Like Snapchat’s “My Story” feature, it offers sleek, easy to navigate daily packages of information that disappear after 24 hours and are replaced with fresh news to make sure users continue to use the feature. Below is a video Snapchat released to introduce users to the new feature.

For some users the Discover feature is almost like a game. Once you have gone through all the content on a certain news platform, the brand’s colorful icon turns white to signify that you have read all of their content for the day. With twelve content brands posting quick updates, Millennial’s with short attention spans can get their news and keep informed in just minutes. Snapchat also revealed another short video showing how easy it is to use Snapchat’s new feature.

Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel, CEO of the temporary photo messaging company, is currently the world’s youngest billionaire at the age of 24. He met the co-founder, Bobby Murphy, at Stanford’s Kappa Sigma frat house. They quickly launched Snapchat in 2011 and now 100 million people use the free app monthly.

In late February of this year, Spiegel talked about his company at a fireside chat at the University of Southern California. According to Business Insider, Spiegel said, “Snapchat is better for news organizations’ branding efforts than Twitter because unlike Twitter, Discover clearly shows the users where they are getting their news from.”

Spiegel believes that brands are losing their value on Twitter because the brand isn’t as important as the content they are reading. Snapchat is trying to bring back the editorial perspective because Spiegel believes it is valuable to have someone smarter find out what is important in the news circuit.

Spiegel thinks that the Discover feature will definitely kickstart Snapchat’s revenue growth and help expand the company. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I want to leave you with a few questions. Do you think that Snapchat’s Discover feature is useful? What does Snapchat need to do to make the app more interesting and keep users around for many years to come?

Tommy Zittergreun

Nike Will “Risk Everything” on Social Media

The World Cup is long behind us, but the memories will last forever: The United States’ historic run, Germany’s fourth World Cup win, and Nike’s Risk Everything campaign. A campaign that made it into AdWeek’s top ten most viral ads. Nike created one of the most memorable advertisements of 2014, so the question is, how did they do it?

This campaign was almost purely digital, using social media as key to their branding. Nike bet big on creating a couple of great videos in Winner Stays and Last Game, then let the fans do the work of getting it out there.

nike-risk-everythingNike collected their spokesmen from across the globe. The soccer ad featured superstars inside the sport such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr. and Tim Howard. They also reached outside the soccer world with appearances from Kobe Bryant and Anderson Silva to reach those who don’t know the sport.

Superstars don’t always drive success, but Nike’s production quality was top notch. Both the videos produced for Risk Everything told great stories, had an amazing look and were emotionally driven. They extended beyond the traditional thirty second spot to well over four minutes. Nike didn’t create an advertisement, they created phenomenal videos that also advertised the brand.

Nike brought together brand, media, and content to market their products. So let’s start out with the brand.

The literal brand really took a backseat in these videos. At no time are product names or images thrown in that could interrupt the story. While all the products in the commercial were from Nike, there was no blatant, “in your face” attempt to market themselves. The video came first in every aspect, letting viewers crave the brand after viewing the commercial because of how much they enjoyed the ad.

Nike Risk EverythingNike’s media choices really set this campaign apart. Short ads were shown during the World Cup, but the videos thrived on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. By February of 2015, the two videos had a combined viewership of 175 million. They reached this incredible number by being sharable. Winner Stays and Last Game were spread by Facebook and Twitter, reaching more and more people without any additional cost to Nike.

This leads to the content. Ads generally just try to get the product in your head. They produce subpar content and force the product on you. Nike’s content resembled nothing like their competitors. The content produced was primarily for entertaining.

The ads were shown as a world coming together, exciting and daring. This is exactly what the brand wanted you to feel about their product without ever saying it. They wanted the consumer to associate these traits with Nike soccer gear without uttering any of those words throughout their ad.

So did the risk pay off? Was focusing on creating great, sharable content instead of putting money into traditional advertising the right route? Nike saw 22 million campaign engagements during the running of Risk Everything. There were also 250 thousand user generated memes, five million visits to the product page and a 21 percent increase in earnings to $2.3 billion according to to this article. This campaign was wildly successful.

Does this campaign act as a game changer in the advertising world? Is running a digital campaign better at reaching out to consumers than traditional media? Is this where advertising is heading? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Evan Stevenson

100 Years of OREO: The Daily Twist, Lick and Dunk

Oreo celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012, and wanted to create their image into something more modern. This lead to the creation of the Daily Twist campaign. This campaign was very effective, and some people believe that it’s a new standard for the future marketing in this age.

Daily Twist plays off Oreo’s “twist, lick and dunk” slogan. The Daily Twist creates an eye catching ad for each day that represents current events, pop culture news, milestones, etc. These ads are images of an Oreo cookie that has doctored in order for it to represent the topic picked for the day.

One of Oreo’s goals with this campaign was to help people from around the globe enjoy their inner child. Cindy Chen, who’s the director of Oreo’s marketing at Kraft Foods told Ad Age that Daily Twist was meant to filter the environment around everyone by utilized the “playful imagination of Oreo.” Oreo also succeeded in showing the world its relevance by utilizing real time happenings.

On 25th June 2012 the Daily Twist started, and immediately went with a bold move. The first cookie created was stuffed with rainbow filling in order to celebrate Gay Pride Month. There was also a Mars Rover Oreo, Shark Week Oreo, and a tribute Shin-Shin’s newborn cub. By the end a handful of 100 versions were rolled out once a day until 2nd October.

Don’t mistake “Daily Twist” as a print campaign, because while it does use simple, striking images it is not considered a print campaign. Chen told Ad Age that it was a social and digital campaign to involve the fan base. Daily Twist had a dedicated website, became a sensation on Pinterest, Facebook, and Tumblr. The daily content chosen by the Daily Twist was meant to instigate conversation and sharing. “Consumption of media has shifted quite a bit too digital, social and mobile. To be on pace with that is really important for the brand to continue to grow; that’s why the Daily Twist program was born,” Chen emphasized to Ad Age.

Content that was created during this campaign was acknowledged very positively. The campaign created 231 MM impressions, its Facebook page had 433 million views and had a +280% increase in shares. The Daily Twist also had +2,600 media stories about the innovations of Oreo’s brand. 360i said, “By the end of the 100 days, Oreo became a living, breathing part of culture, and people looked at the brand in a completely new way.”

The Daily Twist’s success has been widely recognized across the industry. It has received 3 Clio, 4 Cannes Lions, 1 Facebook Studio, 1 Webby award, and 3 Effie (for more information on the Daily Twist’s rewards click: here). It’s not hard to imagine why some of the industry’s key players believe this campaign has set a new standard for marketing in the digital age.

What do you think that real time advertising? Do you think that real time advertising will become a prominent type of advertising?

Aven Helgerson

Google Plus is Trying Awfully Hard to be Cool

Over the past couple of years Google’s relatively new social media site Google+ (or Google Plus) has come to the forefront of social media shockingly quick and, as many would say, unwelcomed. But there are many people currently out there trying to convince consumers and businesses, that Google Plus is the next big thing. But should we really believe the hype and give it a chance, or should we stick with what we have and give it a fail?

facebookFirst we need to look at what it actually is. While Google Plus is marketed as a social media site, it feels like it wants to be Google 2.0, by trying to integrate everything from our emails to our tweets, to people we know, to people we don’t know, our photos, videos, etc. Google Plus boasts over 300 million monthly active users. You would think it has a lot going for it, but numbers alone can’t verify its popularity.

facebook1I have found plenty of articles that rave of Google Plus’s potential as a business model, citing its Circles feature as the main tool. The trouble starts when you scroll down to the comments and find that many of them loudly disagree more often than agree with the “professionals.” The saddest part is that, even with 300 Million users, it still pales in comparison to Facebook.

Many people have expressed complaints to the new site, citing such problems as being too cluttered, difficult to use, and invasive. “Invasive” doesn’t begin to describe the problems it faced in 2012 when it was implemented into YouTube’s commenting system. For a time, it was required that a user would have to sign into their newly-created-without-their-consent Google Plus accounts in order to simply post comments on a YouTube video. This alone was enough to create a gigantic backlash, one even the co-creator of YouTube chimed in on. Not only that, but Google was requiring people to create a Google Plus account on creation of a new Gmail account as well, however that is no longer in affect.

Google Plus now is coming under major revisions. With the de-integration of Google Plus’s mandatory status in YouTube and Gmail, some predict that Google is getting ready to pull the plug. While this is a realistic possibility, the fact remains that a lot of time and energy has been put into it inception. The more likely action they are going to take is to push it in a different direction, not gutting it, but reframing it.

Facebook2I personally have never cared for Google Plus myself; Facebook and Gmail are enough online social interaction for me to get by. And like many people I was not happy at how Google Plus was presented to me, as it was more than just “pushy.” As skeptical as I was, however, I gave it a shot. That didn’t help as I came to the same conclusion millions of other people have: it is clunky, clustered, and confusing. Plus, no one I know reliably uses it, so it has failed to usurp my need of Facebook. So many people are making contradictory arguments of whether or not Google Plus is actually a ghost town or a success. From my personal experience, Google Plus may have lots of people, but they are not the people I’d like to be around.

So what do you guys think? Do you use or know anyone who uses Google Plus? Should they take it out of commission, change it up a little, or keep it as is? What could they try to do to “redeem” themselves in the face of their backlash?

Ryan Fabbro

New App Era: Are We Surrendering Our Privacy?

In this day and age, it is not out of the ordinary to have a plethora of apps downloaded to your phone. While they may be convenient and easy to use, there are also many dangers we face in our app dependency.

Apps3For starters, how frequently do you input personal information into certain apps without giving it a second thought? These types of problems will not go away unless we pay more attention to what they are. Here are three main app security problems that we often blindly face.

Browsing in Third Party Apps– While most of the main alternative web browsers such as Safari and Google Chrome are safe, not all apps are. Apps that allow you to load browsers within them are often manipulating the JavaScript and gaining access to your screen. These apps record information in clear text, as you enter it into your own phone. An example of this can be found here.

Apps2Insecure Data Storage/Unauthorized Data Leakage– Apps like Starbucks failed to properly store their information. It was easily accessible and stored in plain texts on multiple devices. Other apps like Angry Birds have had consumer information recorded and stolen from companies like NSA. This could potentially violate individuals rights depending on the kind of information that is stolen.

Inviting Risky Devices into the Workplace– Since app security is not advancing as fast as applications are themselves, workplaces often don’t have the means of protecting their networks from these problems. They also allow individuals whose devices are not protected to connect to the main servers. This is extremely harmful for businesses and could potentially put important corporation data at risk.

The biggest thing we can do towards improving security is make people more aware of the problems that already exist. This means paying more attention to where we log our information and what kinds of apps we allow on our phone. It’s also good to mindfully put in information, rather than just surrendering it right away because the app is telling us too.

Sam Fickett

What Screen Do You Use?

We live in the time of technology. Everybody and their 4th grader has TVs, laptops, smart phones, notebooks, iPods, tablets, smart TVs, desktops… Whatever! You name it, if it has a screen you can probably search, create, or watch content on it. Because of our technology and gadget driven lifestyle, a trend has emerged which is called ‘multi-screen viewing.’

It is a pretty self-explanatory term, but let me ask: How many screens do you have on you right now? Most likely you are reading this blog post on a computer screen, or perhaps a computer that is plugged into a larger screen like a television. Maybe your phone is on the table next to you, lighting up or even in your hands right now while you sit reading. Maybe you’re reading this on your tablet, while doing your homework on a laptop, while also watching TV in the background! I think you get the point.

MultiscreenNinety percent of our media consumption occurs in front of a screen. The reality is that it has become normal for most people to be using more than one screened device at one time, in order to achieve multiple goals.

Studies have shown that there are a few reasons why people are using more than one device at a time. These reasons include playback problems, productivity, time and space, and information flow. People own and use multiple devices in order to stay connected anywhere at any time. In 2012 ThinkWithGoogle.com conducted a study on multi-screen viewing, which you can check out here. This research delves into consumers motives, how they use multiple screens, and how activities on one screen may impact another among several other research goals.

Marketers know that multi-screen viewing is relevant, so in order to keep with the times and engage viewers, we see companies taking advantage of all sorts of platforms. This enables consumers to connect on a broader level with companies and the products that they want.

For example, you may be watching your favorite TV show that is displaying a tag in the bottom corner of the screen. This indicates to viewers that they are able to follow along with an interactive stream of content that is online, most likely a social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter, and it is most likely this occurs simultaneously on another device.

For more information on muliti-screen viewing check out this video of a panel of industry professionals at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Media Summit, discussing multi-screen viewing in regards to television more in depth.

I will be attending the NAB Show next week and hope to learn more about how the entertainment industry is adapting to this new viewing model. Monetization is an important aspect of the multi-screen viewing industry and companies are in the processes of developing new coordinated ways to reach consumers on multiple screens.

Paige Buns

Social Journalism: The New Media Fad?

Seconds after the Boston Marathon bombings, social media erupted.  In minutes, media giants like The Boston Globe were bringing in content from thousands of sources on the ground; verifying and broadcasting information at extraordinary rates.

This event is one of the truly profound examples of how social media is altering the journalism profession.  This convergence from traditional media – television & radio – to social media – Facebook, Twitter, etc – may prove to be even more threatening than when print journalism was overtaken by electronic journalism.  Will journalism keep moving towards the social media realm and how will it affect traditional media viewing and how people obtain their news?

Journalists have had to adapt quickly to this emergence of social media.  As this emergence came about, it didn’t happen overnight.  Since the nature of communication is such that individuals are more likely to source information from each other – rather than traditional news agencies – information sharing has become scattered.

The recent government shutdown received very high media buzz, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  The story was told by millions of Americans posting photos and comments online.  On Facebook, people shared photos of themselves being turned away from national parks and walking away from empty federal offices.

National Zoo Twitter

Citizens vented their opinions and told their own stories about the affects of the government shutdown on social media sites, but does that mean that anyone can be a journalist?  More importantly, how will this shape the way journalists report and write stories?

A website that comes to mind when talking about Social Journalism is Huffington Post.  Huffington Post was founded by Arianna Huffington in May 2005.  It is an online news and blog site which offers a variety of content to cater to people’s interests.  Huffington Post certainly isn’t the only online Social Journalism site, but it was one of the first to present citizen journalism and position itself as a citizen-powered campaign news site.

Social media is also constantly mutating and evolving; just when you think you have nailed it, a new combination emerges, changing perceptions again.  But whatever the precise definition, there are three underlying reasons why mainstream media organizations are taking social tools and networks increasingly seriously:

  1. There is always someone who knows more than you do.
  2. Making better relationships with people in order to engage users and to be more loyal and spend more time on the site.
  3. Getting new users to engage with people whom are difficult to reach or reconnect with former users.
Click to Enlarge

With all this information on the power of social media and how it is currently affecting journalism, what can we expect in the future?  How will news reporters, editors and contributors adapt to these changes?

As someone who is currently working in the industry as an intern at a local news station (Eastern Iowa’s KWWL), I’ve seen what reporters and producers are doing in the newsroom.  KWWL utilizes many media platforms for their news, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  They frequently update their website with stories repurposed from their television broadcast or with exclusive content.

The big question is: Will traditional media survive?  I think traditional media will survive but journalists are going to have to adapt to using social media for their content.   Fox News adapted to the changes by recently adding the “Fox News Deck” where journalists can sift through Facebook and Twitter to keep track of emerging news.

Another change that I see in the future is in the journalism curriculum at many colleges.  Not only will students learn about how to write for traditional media but how to write for the web and how to utilize sources like Facebook and Twitter for the content.

Dakota Funk