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The RAAKonteur #75 – Facebook Edges towards paid media, Raspberry Pi launches, and a golden age for Crowd Funding


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6 March 2012
8:37
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A tax on mediocrity as Facebook looks to increase revenue

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Facebook has announced a slew of new ad formats that will sit inside the newsfeed, and especially the mobile feed. Already some are proclaiming that this makes Facebook the world's biggest mobile marketing platform. Until now brands posting status updates via their pages had their work cut out for their posts to be visible to fans. Figures suggested that as little as 5% to 16% of these posts were shown, depending on how good a brand was at getting people to interact with it. But another new tool for advertisers, called Reach Generator, "allows brands to focus on users more aggressively. If a brand meets the Facebook criteria of having a minimum number of fans (the company didn't reveal the number) and posts more than a few times a week, the company will guarantee they reach 75 percent of their fans with ads each month, "a privilege they will have to pay for". This of course changes Facebook from an earned media to a paid media platform. The old adage, advertising is a tax on the unremarkable, is back.

Facebook's brand pages get rid of tabs, make stats public & more

Mashable has a good list of the things you need to pay attention to on the new Facebook pages. Thankfully the annoying landing pages is a thing of the past. Check-in Deals have been scrapped while Offers makes its debut. And more of the Insight Analytics are visible to anybody that cares to visit a page.

Social media is not killing the advertising star

It's being funded by it. Besides Facebook (who gets the majority of its money via advertising), Twitter is introducing its own ads (Promoted Tweets) into the iPhone and Android clients. Global ad spend is set to increase by 4.9% in 2012 to over $465bn – mostly driven by online. Global agency giant WPP's annual pre-tax profits have grown 18.5% to a record £1.01bn while revenues climbed 7.4% to a record £10.02bn.

A golden age for people powered funding

In a week where it was announced that Kickstarter will channel more funds to the arts than the US Federal Endowment for the Arts, everybody has been very excited at the prospect of new US legislation. The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act will enable platforms like Kickstarter to offer shares in projects for the first time. Up to now you had to be an accredited investor to buy shares (while you were free to blow the same amount of money at Las Vegas). This week, £275 000 was raised for billboards protesting the NHS reforms in mere hours, completely independent of any service like Kickstarter. The demand is clear. Also read this blog post about this kind of open access to funding in other countries.

Tweets like Candyfloss no more

Ever since we saw Nick Halstead – CEO of Datasift – demonstrate the power of his powerful platform (Datasift) for sifting Tweets, we have been super excited. However, there's always been a problem with Twitter, even with the help of DataSift. If you did not anticipate Mubarak's resignation or any other event for that matter, you miss the content you were looking for before you started. With their new service, that is now no longer a problem. Datasift is surely one of the most exciting startups to come out of the UK in quite some time.

Should you do content marketing and social media marketing?

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The most wanted digital talent for 2012 is "Blogging, Editing, Copywriting". To underline the importance of content marketing, General Motor's beautiful animated Gif's were widely shared accross the web this week. So exactly what is content marketing and does it necessitate a different approach to social marketing? Oh yes.

The highly successful launch of the Raspberry Pi

This week's news was dominated by the highly successful launch of the Raspberry Pi mini-platform, which instantaneously crashed their website, and has their main supplier scrambling to meet demands. In a nutshell, Raspberry Pi is a computer motherboard the size of a credit card. The technology is not exactly new (remember pico-ITX?), but the price is … well … $25. That is very impressive. This brings the cost of a fully fledged computer platform within component range, which means we are likely to see many creative uses of these platforms included into all kinds of mainstream electronics. Think wireless speakers, a kettle that tweets … you get the idea.

It's cobwebs and tumbleweeds over on Google+

Google+ had everything going for it. When it launched, it already had almost 200 million Gmail users, who didn't need to sign up, but only enable. It had access to a rough social graph on these users, based on their contact lists. It reached the 10 million user mark in two weeks. Now, 90 million users strong, it has surfaced that the average user spends 3 minutes on Google+ each month. Which is, well … way below average. Is Google+ trying to be too much like Facebook? Is Google too confused, readjusting its core services in a brave new world? We think that, for the masses, Google+ gives too little, and asks too much. It is too creator friendly and consumer unfriendly.

Creative of the week – Sean Hill

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Forget Tolstoy-esque long novels, forget short stories even: we now have a new literary genre called Very Short Stories. Sean Hill is a writer who's gotten himself almost 100,000 followers on Twitter by writing stories that fit into 1 Tweet. There are quite a few writers who experiment with Twitter; but what makes Hill's approach particularly interesting is that he also asks people to send him words – nouns more specifically – to inspire him, a trick he learned while he was doing improvisation comedy.

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