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Social media is selling out – The RAAKonteur #95

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27 July 2012

The RAAK office is less than 2 miles from the Olympic stadium, and our Adriaan saw the opening ceremony dress rehearsal on Monday. However, in line with Danny Boyle’s entreaties to #savethesurprise, we are not going to tell you anything – we’re keeping stum.

savethesecret Olympic message

Social sites generating more revenue, driven by ads

Gartner has just released a report which claims that social networks will rake in $16.9 billion dollars this year, with the bulk $8.8bn coming from advertising. That’s not bad. But do keep in mind that Apple, who just announced a ‘disappointing’ quarter, made $35 billion. Facebook exceeded – just – the predictions for its quarter, making $1.18 billion, of which ad revenue was nearly a billion. Google, however, made over $12 billion this quarter, underlining that the social pure play companies are not in the big leagues. Twitter is expected to make just over $500 million, but only by 2014.

Social Media to add $1.3 Trillion to economy

According to McKinsey, improved communication and collaboration from social media will add an immense amount of economic value to the global economy. How does this chime with recent evidence that the US’s productivity growth has slowed down since the 1970′s, or that because we do things increasingly ourselves, these technolgies are moving our paid for work from the producer side of the ledger to the consumer side – for free? Could it be that social media makes us more social, but not much richer, and is that a bad thing?

Foursquare throws its hat into the ad ring

On the theme of ads and money: Foursquare has just announced promoted updates, an advertising product that allows local and national businesses to push out specials, news and pictures to Foursquare’s more than 20 million users. How will it work? When users fire up the Explore tab on their Foursquare mobile app, they will now see promoted updates from nearby businesses, but only if you or your Foursquare friends have interacted with similar businesses.

“Et tu Twitter?”, as it stabs Instagram in the back

Twitter stabs Instagram in the back

In line with Twitter’s increasingly assertive control over its erstwhile open API, it banned Instagram from using Twitter’s API to show you your Twitter friends who are also on Instagram. Is it a once off defensive measure (many services like Foursquare has the same feature) because Instagram is now owned by arch rival Facebook? Would Twitter not like Facebook to mine its user connections, or is it because Twitter is increasingly seeing itself as a media destination? Or both? By the way, this is exactly what Facebook did to Twitter, two years ago.

Twitter kills the TV star?

That Twitter is seriously moving into media territory was underlined this week with news that it is working with Hollywood producers on the release of a video series, and that talk about advertising is advanced. This sits neatly with another report that web & digital based video advertising has broken a new record.

Celebs are doing it for themselves


No wonder Twitter is getting ideas. Celebrities’ use of social media and in particular Twitter is reshaping the entertainment industry. Not only do celeb tweets become potential news stories (and we’ve built an early warning system for the Mirror Group that monitors Celebs on Instagram), many celebrities are also taking more control of how they connect with their fans. Jessica Alba sharing news of her pregnancy on Facebook first gives her fans an exclusive insight that short-circuits the traditional PR and media hierarchies. When Beyonce and Jay-Z release their baby pics on Tumblr, asking people to ‘share in their joy’, they make Hello! magazine exclusives look hopelessly old-fashioned.

Facebook makes page management easier

Now scheduling posts are possible from within Facebook, something which previously required use of third-party applications. Meh. Furthermore, to support more advanced marketing segmentation, the feature unpublished page posts now allows you to send sponsored Page posts that don’t show up on your Page, but in users’ news feeds, if they match the marketing campaign’s requirements. You guessed it – this featured is paid for. It’s an ad, after all.

Creative of the week – Philippe-Antoine Lehoux


Imagine, you’re not a big fan of RAAK. We know, it’s hard, but imagine. You can rant about us on Twitter, but thanks to FontBomb, a cheeky little app from Philippe-Antoine Lehoux, you can now also blow up our website. That’s all there’s to it. But it’s well built and good fun. So now go and blow up a site you really don’t like.

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