Sponsored Content, Twitter’s Brand and More: Quick Takes for 7/27/16

How Sponsored Content Is Becoming King in a Facebook-Dominated World (New York Times, 7/24/16)

I have no commentary here. It’s a must-read, partly because this reads like the last gasp of an industry about to willfully and with absolute intent put itself out of business. Everything here is disheartening.

See What’s Happening (Twitter Blog, 7/25/16)

All I’m saying is that if you’re a 10 year old company and you still have to explain the basic premise of the brand to people, you may have bigger issues. Just assume that the rest of this is me once again stating my belief that Twitter doesn’t need explaining, that the core audience gets it and uses it heavily and maybe trying to appeal to those who don’t because Wall Street demands new user growth rates that are inconsistent with reality is a fool’s errand. The bigger, more immediate problem it’s facing is that it missed ad revenue targets again.

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B2B Brands Have LinkedIn Followers, But Engagement On Instagram (MediaPost, 7/26/16)

The stats here on when Fortune 500 brands are and aren’t seeing engagement on Instagram makes a lot of sense. Because there are few scheduling options there, most posting of photos and videos happens during business hours, but posts that fall outside that window see higher engagement because the audience itself isn’t also at work (or school), leaving them more time to scroll through. The B2B stats, though, really interest me. LinkedIn is where the audience for these companies is, but Instagram is once again positioned as a powerhouse because of engagement rates. What, though, is the value on engagement for a B2B company? What does that get them? Those companies need leads and action, not Likes. So it makes sense for them to stay active on the networks that provide that immediate business value, not one that is all about engagement, which is relatively worthless.

Runkeeper’s Running Groups is a virtual running club for you and your buddies (VentureBeat, 7/26/16)

“…with your friends” seems to be an emerging theme when it comes to social networks and apps. Runkeeper wants you to run with your friends, Atom Tickets wants to help you organize group movie outings with your friends. And that’s just what’s been in the news lately. My guess is we’ll hear about more like this, either from new apps or existing ones looking to add new functionality, as they realize that owning the group experience is just as valuable, if not more, than owning the singular experience. Allowing groups to make plans in an owned environment brings a sense of focus and maybe even community that doing so through iMessage or GroupMe may not. This could fail due to lack of adoption by the larger group but it makes a lot of sense for this kind of consolidation to happen.

Tumblr’s Bloggers Will Soon Be Able to Cash In (Fortune, 7/26/16)

I get what the company is going for here, but I don’t see this doing much good to repair the issues that exist between Tumblr the platform and Tumblr the community. I don’t think the big problem has been that people can’t make money off ads, it’s that Tumblr has been trying to make money for itself off the user base for a few years now, certainly since the disastrous purchase by Yahoo. This will be welcome by some but just be another sign of selling out to many others.

Reddit will let brands sponsor posts from regular users (The Verge, 7/26/16)

This is the worst possible form factor for a platform that regularly mocks and shames ham-fisted brand intrusion on conversations.