Visit MaineToday's profile on Pinterest.

About The Author


Rob Gould

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002). Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

Send an email | Read more from Rob

Posted: January 22, 2015

Social media in the news | Ev Williams & Super Bowl ads | It’s 2015!

Written by: Rob Gould

It’s January! It’s 2105! What better reason for an edition of Social Media in the News? Plus, it’s a new year so there’s lots going on. As much as I love the holidays, I’m also always happy when they’re over and we can get back to business. Business has certainly been booming this month in the world of social media news. It was difficult to narrow dow which articles to include. I hope you’re happy with my selection.

Anyway, enough of my lame intro. Just one last thing before we get to the news. As I always mention, I love getting feedback about Social Social. If you have suggestions regarding topics, interview subjects or just what you’ve liked or disliked, please leave them here in the comments section, email me, or get me directly on Twitter at @bobbbyg. I’m always looking for story ideas, so I promise I’ll read your emails/comments/tweets with a careful eye. Actually, I hate that description. What does it even mean? I’ll just read them. How’s that?

Now I’ll leave you with the real news from the real journalists …


Ev Williams: Why I Don’t Care if Instagram Has More Users Than Twitter, Ev Williams, ADWEEK

If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it’s pretty significant. It’s at least apples to oranges. Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It’s this real-time information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter — important stuff breaks on Twitter, and world leaders have conversations on Twitter. If that’s happening, I frankly don’t give a shit if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures.

Of course, I am trivializing what Instagram is to many people. It’s a beautifully executed app that enables the creation and enjoyment of art, as well as the human connection, which is often a good thing. But my rant had very little to do with Instagram (or with Twitter). My rant was the result of increasing frustration with the one-dimensional way that those who report on, invest in and build consumer Internet services talk about success.

Which rectangle is bigger?


Most Consumers Don’t Want Customer Service Via Social Media, Erik Sass, The Social Graf

Not so long ago, you would routinely hear predictions that social media was the customer service channel of the future — but if that prediction is true, then I guess we haven’t arrived at the future yet, because most people still don’t view social media as a suitable channel for customer service.

That’s according to a new survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 25 and up by M2Talk, which specializes in customer service technology, which found that just 2% of consumers said they prefer social media as a customer service channel. That’s especially damning when you consider that this isn’t a hypothetical choice: fully 67% of consumers surveyed have already used a company’s social media channel for customer service — meaning they have actually experienced it and were obviously not impressed. Meanwhile, 25% said they have never used social media for customer service, including 39.7% of respondents ages 55 and over.


Social Sharing of Super Bowl Ads Declines, But Does It Matter?, Jack Neff, Advertising Age

Now that releasing Super Bowl ads before the game has become commonplace, people seem to be getting tired of it all. Sharing of Super Bowl ads dropped dramatically last year, and releasing the ads pre-game has a fairly negligible impact on awareness or purchase intent, according to separate research studies.

“The online free lunch with the Super Bowl is over,” said Richard Kosinski, U.S. president of video ad tech firm Unruly, which found that social sharing of Super Bowl content decreased 29% on average last year vs. 2013. That’s despite a 22% increase in sharing for the average online video ad overall. The finding suggests that brands may have to buy more online views pre-game, get smarter about strategy or just wait until the game.


This Hilarious Ad Imagines How Awesome Facebook Would Have Been in 1995, Alfred Maskeroni, ADFREAK

In its early days, the Internet was sort of the Wild West. Message boards, chatrooms and newsgroups were huge. Browsers, apps and social media were just a twinkle in its eye.

Well, what if Facebook—which launched in 2004—were around a decade earlier, in the primordial ooze of the Internet? The pretty hilarious fake commercial below imagines just that—and is actually a parody of the cult favorite America Online spot from 1995 (that’s “AOL” to you teens).


Skype makes a new pitch for the WhatsApp era, Tanya Dua, Digiday

Skype has an image problem: Most people still don’t use it beyond delivering birthday video wishes to grandma or making painful video conference calls at work. But its new campaign is out to change that, highlighting the platform’s utility as an everyday tool of communication that offers a suite of products from video to instant messaging to file sharing to group calling.

“The Things We Can Do” is a campaign across the U.S., Brazil, Russia and Mexico for Skype, led by agency Pereira O’Dell. At its center are four, country-specific documentaries that demonstrate the unconventional ways in which people across the world use Skype in their everyday lives.


Does Facebook Know You Better Than Your Friends, Steve Smith, Mobile Insider

Expect more studies like this over the next few years. As artificial intelligence and Big Data start making more human-like presumptions about our activity, we will become fascinated by testing the “humanity” of machines. Even as one aspect of our culture feels threatened by automation — its encroachment on feelings of human specialness — another is endlessly fascinated by exactly how far automation, quantification and data can go in matching human activity. As much as behavioral tracking is registering our every move, we would like to believe that there is some interpretive or algorithmic gap there that prevents these systems from “knowing” us in any profound way.

To wit, a study of 86,220 U.S. respondents between 2007 and 2011 suggested that their activity on Facebook could be used to create a more accurate profile of the user than one made by their own friends and family, and even themselves.


At Windows 10 Event, Microsoft Introduces HoloLens 3-D Headset, Nick Wingfield, The New York Times

Microsoft on Wednesday introduced a headset that will allow people to interact with holographic images, allowing them to play video games and build 3-D models.

The headset, Microsoft HoloLens, was the most eye-catching new product that the company revealed at an event showcasing Windows 10, a major new operating system from Microsoft. The company said the headset would be available around the same time that Windows 10 is released, which is expected to be this year.

At the event, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, said he viewed the headset as heralding a big shift in technology. “Our industry’s progress is punctuated by moments of category creation,” he said. “Windows and holographic computing is one such moment.”


Up Next: