Five things on Friday #20

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 18th, 2012

1. Mother of Dragons Disney T-Shirt
Game of Thrones fan? You’re gonna love this

Available to buy from Etsy (warning: the model used has seen happier days)

2. The Networked Urban Environment
I have few industry heroes and, ever since I saw his TED Talk on ‘Our Mobile Phones‘, Jan Chipchase has been one of them. His latest post, ‘The Networked Urban Environment‘ is (so far) a great read. I’m about halfway through it at the moment and it’s one of the better future-gazing pieces I’ve read in a while.

Imagine never having to look for a parking space ever again. Imagine that from here on out, this problem is solved. Fast-forward to 2025. You’re driving from Brooklyn to Manhattan…because driving in New York City, and everywhere else, has become much simpler a task than it was a decade or so before… or has it?

Definitely worth a look.

3. The OTHER inbox in Facebook
Look, some of you are going to know about this and have known about it for ages. For the rest of you (like me, about two days ago), this will completely and utterly blow your mind.

A couple of nights ago, the girl casually mentions how useful it is that the ‘other’ inbox is on Facebook’s iPad app.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“The other inbox on Facebook, I’ve just found it on the iPad app. Cool.”

“Hang on, rewind, what is this ‘other’ inbox.”

“The other inbox.”

“No, you’re just repeating the same thing.. what is the other inbox.”

She shows me.
It blows my mind.

It turns out that if someone isn’t your friend on Facebook and then they message you, their messages end up in the other inbox.

This is ridiculous. First off, this is NOT obvious. I’ve missed a whole bunch of messages from people I’ve met from all over the world! Second, this will also explain why a whole bunch of messages I’ve sent to non-friends haven’t responded either (at least, that’s what I’m telling myself).

Admittedly, a fair amount of the stuff in there is spam, but still – I’m into double figures on the amount of messages I’ve missed. I’m gutted. But hey, I know about it now and will check it more regularly.

Every day’s a school day.

4. The Marketing Academy: The New Batch
Two years ago, almost to the day, I was waking up in Maidenhead to commence my first few days as a Marketing Academy scholar. Next week, the next batch of lads and ladies to go through the year will kick-off their own journey. One of them is a really good friend of mine and I’m chuffed to bits for him. Best of luck to all of the new starters.

You’re in for an amazing year!

5. Howard Stern / Sacha Baron Cohen
An extremely rare out of character interview with Sacha Baron Cohen, (thank you Howard Stern). Cohen says himself this is only the third time he’s ever been interviewed as himself (preferring to turn up to talkshows etc as his creations such as Ali G, Borat or, most recently, The Dictator) and is clearly a fan of Stern’s work.

Engaging and enlightening throughout, I’ve been listening to it while writing this blog post and it really is brilliant. Featuring hilarious anecdotes about the comedy-writing process, the dangers of filming Bruno in Arkansaw and the unforeseen perils of attempting to sneak the ashes of Kim Jong Il into TheAcademy Awards

Listen now, before it gets taken down.


Bonuses – This Could Hurt for iOS looks pretty good (I’ll be downloading as soon as I hit publish); this bookcase + chair hybrid just made my ‘want’ list; and these 1950’s takes on the Batman universe from artist Denis Medri are fantastic. Poison Ivy + Bane are definite faves.

Liked this week’s edition? Hit the Tweet button and tell your friends.

Whatley out.

Is breaking Facebook TOS?

To be honest, I’m not sure. Take a look at this

Facebook Timeline for brands is brand new and as such, the nuances and intricacies of the new user interface are still being worked out*. However, a good place to start when dealing with a new service structure is the service supplier themselves. In this instance, that’s Facebook.

Their [new] terms of service (specifically to the cover photo) state:


All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
Covers may not include:

  1. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on”;
  2. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
  3. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
  4. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”


I interpret that asOi! No special offers on your cover photo!‘ 


…but I could be wrong.

Being unsure (and in constant search of a decent debate), I asked Twitter

Ask Twitter

The crowd certainly think so – although, funnily enough, Play didn’t respond.

Covers including special offers certainly seem off limits from the Facebook’s terms of service and, in all honesty, that’s what I’ve been advising friends, colleagues and clients when it comes to embracing Facebook’s new Timeline layout…

Either way, Play are sailing pretty close to the wind. Wouldn’t you say?
Friends, readers and peers – what do you think?

Better yet, why don’t we ask Play?



*for example: knowing how many characters you should use in your ‘about’ section.


Instagram + Facebook

I had a post scheduled for later on this week talking about my recent love affair with all things Instagram (even though I don’t actually own an iPhone) however, some news is breaking right now that kinda needs covering.

Facebook just bought Instagram, for $1bn.

That’s right: One. Billion. Dollars.

Stefan nailed it –

Well, do you? It’s a lot.
But why?

To start us off, here are some numbers* to get your head around taken from the mere 18mths that Instagram has been in existence:

  • 1 billion photos uploaded
  • 30 million registered users
  • 5 million photos uploaded every day
  • 575 likes every second
  • 81 comments every second
  • 1 million downloads of the new Android app in 24hrs

That’s a lotta love for an app that is solely mobile-based. But why is that important to Facebook? Think about it – Facebook is about the data. As the saying goes: if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product – and Instagram just sold a whole ton of data about its users. Not personal data, or contact data but image data and sharing data.

What people snap, what filters they apply when they’ve snapped and where & how they share that snap is all important data for a social network that builds itself around social objects and the relationships that people form around them.

While this kind of purchase is new ground for Facebook, it’s refreshing to see that it has every intention of keeping the service independent and multi-platform friendly. Mark Zuckerberg has already talked about lending Instagram Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure – something that they’ll need when it comes to the building for scale. That sounds like someone who only has the app’s best interests at heart, certainly.

And while a billion dollars is a lot of money, Facebook has just bought itself its own standalone photo-sharing app, with a built-in base of happy users while at the same time cancelling out a potential competitor in the lucrative social networking space. Good things will come of this acquisition, Yahoo + Flickr this ain’t.

As Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, blogged earlier today

It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.

Remember, the future is mobile and Instagram have proven that a mobile-only social network is not only worthwhile but 100% achievable to boot.

Best of luck guys (all 13 of you); your fans, users, industry and investors will be watching.

*since April 3rd, 2012 – source

UPDATE – Other posts of note:

1000heads: Ticketmaster: Social Ticketing

This morning, Mashable is reporting the launch of Ticketmaster‘s latest layer of Facebook integration, a move that allows users to see exactly where their Facebook friends will be sitting at various different events and gigs across the globe.

Live on over 9000 events across the Ticketmaster website, the new interactive map enables seat tagging, which will post to your Facebook wall requesting (or nudging) your friends to do the same.

Got that? No? Try watching this 80 second explanation –

Social ticketing is something we’ve talked about before here at the ‘heads, but that was more around using social media to reward regular attendees with loyalty points and bonuses. What Ticketmaster have done here – really quite well – is taken the Facebook social graph API and applied it to their own site.

In a similar way that Trip Advisor change the structure of what you’re looking at depending on your friends’ purchasing decisions after their experiences, Ticketmaster has taken a step forward by showing the purchasing decision before the experience. Enabling friends to buy tickets whenever they want instead of waiting and waiting until they’re able to get their tickets at the same time.

I’m reminded of something that o2’s Head of Social Media, Alex Pearmain, said at the Social Media Influence conference back in June –

“How much are we seeing of social brought into commerce rather commerce being brought into social?”

Setting up shop in a Facebook tab is [relatively] easy by comparison, so why not consider changing your customers’ web experience based upon their Facebook preferences as they travel around your website? 

To top it off, Ticketmaster’s research suggests that every time a ticket purchase is shared through social, that converts to an extra five dollars in additional ticket sales. Social media integration moving the sales needle? Perfection. Definitely something to keep an eye on in the future.

Irrespective of your feelings around the Ticketmaster brand, this new feature is smart, useful and ultimately beneficial to the end customer. Well done.

1000heads: Facebook facial recognition: do you care?

Today’s headlines:

The news is out this morning that literally overnight, Facebook has switched on facial recognition for tagging by default. Typically of the gargantuan social network, the onus is on the user to opt-out of this ‘upgrade’.

A few things on this -  first, for the super-private, here’s how to do just that –

Step 1.
From the Facebook ‘Home‘ page, go to ‘Account‘ and then ‘Privacy Settings

Step 2.
From there, scroll down to ‘Customise Settings

Step 3.
Scroll down again until you find a section entitled ‘Things others share

You’ll find the setting you need to adjust (it’ll be the one automatically switched to ‘enabled’) right next to the above section. Done that? Right. Good.

To my second, and leading point/question – do you actually care?

Yes it’s easy to get annoyed about Facebook not asking permission to switch this on, as well as automatically assigning you the default setting of ‘Yes, I want this’. However, surely if you’re not an idiot when it comes to privacy, you’ve already got a certain amount of barriers and settings in place that prevent unwanted friends and tags taking place, right?

Surely, if you’re smart with your photo tagging (and with your friend requests for that matter), this new feature (whisper it) actually makes life easier.

Yes, tagging your friends in photos is fun, but it can take ages. Having Facebook SUGGEST [yes – ‘suggest’ – not ‘automatically tag’] to YOUR FRIENDS that you might be in one of their photos really isn’t such a big deal.

Moreover, with marketeers increasingly looking for new ways to interact with your relationships, there might even actually be some room here for some real life, campaign-based innovation. Amazing.

So, for me at least, the question still stands: when it comes to Facebook’s new facial recognition, do you care?

Answers on a postcard (or in the comments below).

1000heads: The Museum of Me

This gorgeous, gorgeous piece of work from the smart chaps at Intel is one of the most perfect uses of the Facebook social graph API that I have ever seen.

Click through to the site, give up virtually all of your Facebook access privileges (we’ll come back to that one later) and just sit back and watch as Intel’s application accesses all of your photos, videos, friends, likes and links and displays them all in a glorious installation that even Getty would be proud of.

If you haven’t done this yet, click through and do it now. Once you’re done, come back again – we need to talk.

Right, welcome back. Done it yet? You have?

So exactly why is this beautiful application so damn good? Let’s explore further.

First, the sticking point: all those access points that the app demands.

I must admit that even I wavered there for a second.

Granting ‘access’ I have no problem with, it’s the ‘Post to my Wall’ part that niggles at me. But, forward you go – why? Because Intel aren’t some start-up off the street, nor are they a second rate newspaper looking for a quick way to proliferate their words and stories and, to be completely fair, if Intel do end up breaking my trust after I hit the ‘Allow’ button, so be it!  I can still go back in afterwards and disable their access, right?

And of course, let’s be totally clear here: the combination of all of the above along with the fact that perhaps, just maybe, after the clicking of agreement above I might have my very own ‘Museum of Me’, is more than enough to tempt even the most doubtful of Facebook users – the ol’ ego stroke; gets us every time.

Moving on, what makes the The Museum of Me so special in its delivery is that – through the API access you’ve granted above – it delicately creates a uniquely personalised and deeply personal journey through your social graph in a way that one might perhaps hope their life might be celebrated after they’re gone. Through pictures, screens, connections – they whole exhibition is dedicated to you and it could only really be totally appreciated for what it is by you.

Just enough virtual praise to be flattering, just enough branding to be quietly understood and, to top it all, just enough subtlety in the sharing functionality to entice you to push it out to your friends.

You pushed the like button – didn’t you?.

Speaking of which, at the time of writing the app has been liked just shy of 7800 times. 12hrs from now? When it’s gone viral, who knows what number it’ll hit.

For me, the great thing about this work is that the idea is simple, but the execution is flawless. I can’t show you how great it is, because my version wouldn’t work for you. You have to experience it for yourself. And that – in today’s world of mass information and constant personalisation – is definitely worth three minutes of your day.

Go to it.

The Museum of Me YOU awaits…



Facebook: State of the Union

Trawling through slideshare this morning, I stumbled across this Facebook deck from Ogilvy –

While some of the larger numbers within will be of no surprise to the more savvy social media practitioner, what’s interesting here is the idea that Facebook fan pages and ‘likes’ are the ‘new word of mouth’ [see slide 25] with stats like:

  • 160% lift in brand recall
  • 200% lift in message awareness
  • 400% life in purchase intent

The numbers speak for themselves. But personally, if brands really are ‘reorganizing themselves around people’ then:

  1. How does that manifest itself in an offline environment? It’s all well and good having a fantastically engaging fanpage, but if your member of staff at the point of sale is completely unplugged from your social media department, then your customer experience falls flat at the part that matters most.
  2. How long do you think the 3rd party platforms being used to support these efforts will continue to do so free of charge? Yes, they make money from advertising, but will that really and truly always be the case? What happens when the well runs dry?
  3. Finally, here at the ‘heads we manage some of the largest (and most vibrant) local and global Facebook groups in the world. If brands are continually seeing the success like that laid out above, then a larger education piece needs to be undertaken in pushing these wins out to the common man/brand. Here in London’s Soho, nearly all of the coffee shops and lunch houses can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, but what I want to know is; how do you get your local corner shop involved? Where are the wins there?

We have a running, semi-serious joke in the office that our ideal client would be a toilet roll brand. Social media works well within the technology products space, FMCG sees many successes too… But if you can get people talking (and subsequently build communities) around say, the latest velvet-quilted roll of loo paper…

Then the future is here and literally, anything is possible.