I’ve never been a big believer in social commerce — and the newest initiative between Twitter and AmEx seems more gimmicky than a real commerce play. However, I could see big brands doing some creative campaigns with payment hashtags, so it’s worth keeping an eye on this.
Mike Isaac shared Bluefin’s Co-Founder Deb Roy’s quote from D: Dive Into Media today:
“This whole thing is about taking common sense and making it scale and making it quantative,” Deb Roy, co-founder of Bluefin, said at the conference. “If you can take [our analytics service] and not just do it about [one event like] the Super Bowl but do it for all TV shows … now you have this comprehensive view into how TV is driving engagement.”
Several startups have attempted merging the social and television spaces, but I can’t think of one that has done it extremely well. When I first heard about the acquisition, it was difficult to understand why Twitter would make such a move.
The more I read about the perspective, the more I believe an acquisition like this is not just a good one, it’s a crucial one for the long-term business success for the company. Merging the TV analytics with Twitter’s ad business could drive significant revenue for the popular social networking site — on top of the already-successful promoted trends.
Peter Kafka on the bull trend for Twitter Promoted Trends:
Twitter’s newest price hike went into effect earlier this year, and represents a 33 percent increase over the $150,000 rate the company was asking for in 2012. And it’s up 150 percent from the $80,000 a day it was getting for the ads back when it launched them in 2010.
It’s definitely a positive sign that Twitter is able to command increasingly-higher prices for Promoted Trends, but I’m still not sold.
From their perspective, any revenue is better than no revenue, and at the very least it’s heading in the right direction. But I have to believe that Twitter will have to find another solid revenue stream beyond a Promoted Trend to command real respect from plenty of doubters on the business model.
I’ve tried to tweet “Get Better.” (without the quotes) a dozen times now, and it keeps not showing. A friend of mine told me that, while in high school, Jack Dorsey’s (the creator of Twitter) father used to spur him to work harder with that exact sentence.
If true, this would make for an awesome chapter in Jack Dorsey’s life story.
EDIT: So after a few crafty people tweeted it successfully with additional text, it looks like “Get Better.” can’t be tweeted only if tweeted alone.
Is it really any surprise? Sean Ludwig reported today that Pinterest is now the third most popular social network.
The growth numbers are staggering. 17.8 million February uniques that average 89 minutes per month on the site. Overall, very impressive February numbers and short-term growth.
What really got me though was Alexia Tsotsis’ report that Pinterest could be valued at $1 billion. Forget trying to get in touch with Ben Silbermann…apparently his inbox is slammed with people trying to get into an (imaginary?) Series C round.
On the product side, Pinterest announced board covers, which seems to be oddly close to another social network’s feature we have all come to know and love (cough Facebook cough). That being said, this feature should be great for users and marketers alike. Picking an eye-catching feature photo is an awesome user-focused feature addition that should encourage more clicking around on the site.
All news considered, Pinterest is a tremendous social network that seems to have everything in line. They have money in the bank, a passionate and loyal userbase and momentum on their side. I’m excited to see how the product continues to evolve — copyright issues aside — to see if it really can close the gap on Facebook and Twitter.
The Great Re-Follow
It’s been about two weeks since I finished unfollowing my account to zero. It seems that I’ve set off a bit of a trend—as Chris Brogan has unfollowed to zero as well (heh heh)—but so far, I have absolutely no regrets about my decision.
As of today, I follow about 600 accounts. This is a great number for me, but I feel that I am far from done. I have a clear vision for the types of accounts I want to include in my stream, and there will be plenty of unfollowing and following taking place in the next few weeks.
The response has been fairly positive but not without opposition. For those who have opposed my approach, I recommend that you give the unfollow-to-zero strategy a try before bashing it. It really is the greatest decision I’ve made on any social network. You will likely find the same.
The bottom line: No one can tell you what to do on your social networks. Own your accounts, make the decisions and follow who you want. In the end, as long as you are pleased with your decision, you can’t lose.
The Great Unfollow: More Than 50% Complete
My follow count as I write this is at 7,450. At the start of the great unfollow, I was following just over 16,000 people, so this means that there is over a 50% chance that I have unfollowed you.
So far, so good. It’s not like I have any important updates about this process, but since you are already engaged and reading this post, I’ll share a few.
As for actions on my end, I’ve been hard at work identifying the users who I will be following back shortly after hitting 0. I’ve also been aggressively blocking and reporting spammers. For reasons unknown, Twitter spam has been rampant as of late (especially through DMs).
What, you expected juicier updates? Sorry to let you down!
Feel free to reach out to me (forrestk [at] gmail [dot] com) if you have anything to say. I feel that for the most part, people understand what’s going on. But if you have questions, comments or just want to chew me out over a technological channel, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Really.
The Transactional Problem With Twitter Users
Today is July 10, 2011. My Twitter unfollowing is close to halfway done, as I sit firmly at 12,133 following.
While I stated before that my only post about the process would be the one above, I’ve felt the need to write another post on the topic.
All Twitter users take different approaches as to who they choose to follow, who they follow back and who they list. After all, it’s up to the user to decide how he/she wants to use their own account.
The idea of “following everyone back” greatly disturbs me. In a way, the follow-back-everyone approach turns Twitter into a mere transactional game. You follow me, I’ll follow you back. This idea, regardless of wherever it first originated, is flawed significantly and has resulted in more Twitter spam, “follow back” trains and “Team #Followback” bull.
The approach is simple. If you choose to follow me, follow me because I provide you value through the timeline or other means and YOU WANT TO. Not because of reciprocation. Not because you feel the urge to. Not because you don’t want to hurt my feelings.
Part of the reason I’ve decided to unfollow to zero is to eliminate anyone that believes the flawed approach. The one that takes the point out of Twitter, which is to build meaningful relationships and share.
I can’t wait to start fresh and follow users that provide updates of great interest to me.
Shuu.sh off (by BERG Studio)
» Shuu.sh is a prototype web based Twitter reader that ranks your followers on frequency of tweets. It aims to amplify the people that don’t usually get heard, and scale back those with frequent updates.
Shuu.sh is very intriguing and potentially a go-to tool for discovering great content on Twitter in your main timeline. One of the major issues with Twitter is noise — which drowns out others who have less frequent, valuable updates. Shuu.sh mutes the noise.
With all of these new social features debuting, it’s clear that we live in exciting times. The big winner of the “social wars” is the user. With more features and more competition than ever, users will have the opportunity to pick the most applicable platforms to meet their needs.