June 23, 2014

Twitter Adds Translated Tweets to iOS Apps

With World Cup coverage underway, people from all over the world are tweeting about the same topic in many different languages. Twitter wants to make it easier for everyone by bringing mobile translations to its iOS app in partnership with Microsoft.

After downloading the Twitter iOS update, users can click a small globe icon within each tweet to have it displayed in their native language.

Facebook Slingshot

Facebook has launched a photo-messaging app, known as Slingshot. The app’s features include sharing photos and videos with friends in a similar fashion to Snapchat. However, Slingshot’s point of difference is that it is built around a two-way interaction. It uses an unlocking mechanism, whereby photos received from friends must be unlocked by “slinging” a different photo back to the original sender. Like Snapchat, all images are deleted once sent and users can scribble or type over their photos.

On the social media page for the app, the creators said: “With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator.”

The Slingshot launch comes as Facebook is trying to fight off threats from other social networking agents, which also contain messaging and photo-sharing tools.

Jelly adds replies to its Q&A app, offering back-and-forth conversations for the first time

Previously, all communication on Jelly was either a question or an answer in response to said questions, but now users can keep the conversation going to add context or just maintain a dialogue.

Jelly launched in January of this year as an answer to crowdsourcing information from your social networks, adding location-based answers in March.

Facebook’s iPad app becomes more of an entertainment hub

On the right side of the new Facebook iPad app, social notifications for Facebook games both native and on the web, along with video trailers of games that users have yet to play, trending videos and new articles will be served.

Facebook’s pick of videos will be based on the most-shared footage across the site, filtered by those in the same general demographic. Similarly, a popular games section will include casual titles that are getting greater than average attention from friends and Facebook users in general.

Amazon Fire Phone

The company debuted its first-ever smartphone at a mystery event held in Seattle on Wednesday. Its US release date is 25 July, although global distribution has yet to be confirmed.

The device has a 4.7in screen, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and an innovative system of cameras and sensors on the front of the phone to track head gestures from users, and change the display accordingly.

The Fire Phone also has a feature called Firefly, which combines a range of media-identification capabilities into one app, for example, Firefly can recognise (similar to Shazam) songs, movies and TV-shows. It uses the microphone to listen into a scene of a show and identify which episode you are watching, (similar to Facebook’s recent app update), and then it also directs people to buy the series from Amazon.

Twitter to buy video sharing site SnappyTV

Twitter is extending its drive into video after it announced the acquisition of SnappyTV, a video sharing website. The social media network has already started to embrace video with its Amplify programme, which allows sponsored video excerpts of televised content to be easily viewed on mobile.

In a statement, Twitter said: “One of the best ways to follow events as they unfold is through real-time videos on Twitter. As we continue to invest in video, it’s important for us to provide tools that make it easy for TV broadcasters, businesses, and event producers to share high-quality videos. To that end, we’ve agreed to acquire SnappyTV.”

The theory is that as people talk about certain TV shows on Twitter, others who see those tweets will be compelled to tune in.

Mobile and tablet video viewing up 532% YoY since 2012

The Q1 2014 Global Video Index revealed that in the first quarter of 2014, mobile and tablet viewing accounted for 21% of all online video plays, up from 3.4% in Q1 2012 and 9% in Q1 2013. Since 2012, mobile and tablet viewing has increased 532% year on year (according to new research from Ooyala).

While the majority of plays on tablets were short-form videos, viewers clocked 48% of their overall viewing time watching videos of 30 minutes or more. Viewing time of live video on connected TVs was 11 times more than on-demand content.

Sky IQ’s new viewing panel is providing data from more than 500,000 Sky homes across the UK

As TV has changed and technologies have evolved, so has the way viewers plan their viewing. Measuring overnights gives us a valuable first impression but can’t provide an overall picture of a show’s success – and the myriad of ways that viewers engaged with it.

Sky IQ’s aggregated and anonymised viewing panel aggregates data from over 500,000 Sky homes in the UK – and offers us a view of exactly how content is consumed – be that live, playback, on demand or via Sky Go.

Figures from Sky IQ viewership for Game of Thrones have recently been published, which I have summarised below:

Last year:

  • Nearly 1.5 million households engaged with the Season 3 premiere, with 85% of viewing via linear (either live or playback).

This year, however, Sky Atlantic did something unprecedented: on 7th April 2014 it simulcast the first episode of Game Of Thrones season four between the US and the UK at 2am, prior to the more traditional 9pm transmission later that evening.

  • Overall, 1.9 million households watched the premiere – up 26% on last year, accounting for 1 in 5 of all Sky households.
  • Linear viewing, both live and playback, is still king, accounting for 85% last year and 82% in 2014, although the increased proportion of catch-up might be due to that 2am simulcast.
  • Sky Go views were up an impressive 139% on last year, increasing share of overall viewing from 4% to 7%.
  • The other main growth area was Sky’s on-demand push service “Showcase” which saw an 89% increase in household viewing than in 2013, from 7% to 9%.

Because viewers can choose from a variety of transmission times and different ways to engage with the show, we can see how viewing of the 1st episode played out across different platforms during the week of the transmission window.

Monday 2am:

  • In total, nearly 60,000 watched the 2am broadcast via their Sky box or on Sky Go.
  • Just over 450,000 set their Sky+ boxes to record the 2am broadcast in order to watch at a time that was more convenient for them.

Monday 9pm:

  • Over 490,000 households waited to watch the episode live when the show re-aired at the more sleep-friendly time of 9pm on Monday evening – perhaps because watching live at the same time as half a million others enables synchronised social commentary via the second screen.
  • In addition, nearly 680,000 subsequently viewed this showing on playback.

In total, half of those that recorded either the 2am or 9pm showing had caught up on the same day, ready to discuss at work the next morning.

Wednesday 10pm:  a repeat of the episode on Wednesday evening attracted a further 165,000 households viewing live.

  • Of those who recorded the show, 20% caught up the following day after the premiere with the remaining 30% watching two to six days after transmission.

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