Simon Pilkington
May 15, 2014

Twitter mutes, promoted pins and our (anti)social obsession

The Weekly Social Media Wrap: Twitter and Pinterest star in this week’s social wrap, with some interesting changes that may affect your business.

Twitter, Pinterest and newbie platform State star in this week’s social wrap, with some interesting changes that may affect your business.  Twitter launches their latest function this week with the introduction of the mute button, allowing users to remove accounts they are following from appearing in their feed.  Our viral video of the week immaculately captures our urban social insecurities and obsessions in social platform State’s latest viral campaign.  This week’s case study looks at the various ways Oreo has taken the social media world by storm, and what it can teach you.  Pinterest announces its first round of sponsored pins to hit the site, opening up enormous potential for future paid advertisers.  The future is looking increasingly daunting with scientists from around the globe announcing project Pheme – an algorithm proposed to detect when you are lying on Twitter.  And our tip of the week shares all the information you and your business need to know about Twitter’s mute function, and how to avoid it.

Twitter releases mute function

Twitter takes a leaf out of Facebook’s…book, this week with the introduction of their latest feature, the mute block button.  The social platform revealed the new function on their blog this week, stating that the change gives users “more control over the content you see on Twitter by letting you remove a user’s content from key parts of your Twitter experience”.

Although the mute function will not completely block a user, it will prevent tweets and retweets being visible in the muter’s feed, and inhibit push or SMS notifications from them.  Users will still be able to favourite, reply and retweet a muted user’s tweets, but will only be able to access them from their profile page.

The move is said by Twitter to prevent over-active users from taking over feeds.  Thankfully, muted users will not be notified of the action.  The function will be rolled out to all users over the coming weeks.  To determine whether this will affect your page, and for an insight into how to dodge the mute, read on to our tip of the week below.

Viral video of the week: You Are What You Share

Our viral video this week stays on topic with You Are What You Share, a branded but evasive advertisement from lesser-known social app State.  In a more upbeat tone than last week’s explosive “Look Up” viral video, this week’s features a compendium of archetypal social media users indulging in daily social media behaviours and fixed on social media dilemmas.  The video concludes with the line “time to use another part of your brain”, directing us to State’s website.

What wins the hits in this ad (directed by Alex Gorosh) more than anything is that it highlights an on-topic “cause”, the cultural cringe of the online generation, often portrayed as shallow, self-obsessed and disconnected (with reality).  Though the irony of the medium is often ignored (an online video promoting a social app), this is a topic that certainly gets people talking.

Because of this, the video’s subject is relatable, and subsequently humorous.  It is directly appealing to its target audience through this subjective humour and its sharable, online medium.  Though the product or service the ad is selling is unclear (State is a “popularity free” idea sharing platform), the emotions sparked in the ad draw viewers in and, as with any good viral video, ends with a call to action (visit State’s website).

Two other important pieces of news:

Pinterest introduces promoted pins:

Last year Pinterest announced their plans for introducing the promoted pins capability for advertisers, and this week they’ve revealed the first batch of advertisers to be seen in their search and category fields.  Amongst the “small” group of advertisers are ABC, Target, Kraft and Nestle.  The ads and advertisers are in beta stage and will continue to expand throughout the year.

Twitter lies to be revealed:

Scientists may soon be able to determine when you are lying on Twitter.  Primarily funded by the European Commission, a team of multi-national scientists have proposed a three-year research project (dubbed Pheme after the Greek Goddess of rumour and gossip) to determine the difference between factual and fictional tweets.  Read the full media release here.

Tip of the week

With the announcement of Twitter’s new mute function, many tweeting businesses have been left wondering how this move will affect their engagement.  With users being able to remove any unwanted posters from their feed, brands now need to be more considerate than ever when formulating Twitter content.

The most important things to remember when tweeting for your brand is to engage with users, help followers, create entertaining content, and be human.  Our tip of the week explores these and more ways for businesses to keep engagement at its optimum and avoid being muted.

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