On June 28th, Colgate launched a new campaign in Britain encouraging fans to take pictures of themselves smiling, post them to Facebook, and potentially have their photo displayed on digital billboards in the UK. The toothpaste brand aims to collect 1 million ‘smile’ pictures by summer’s end, and will donate £100,000 to Barnardo’s (a UK children’s charity) if that goal is reached.
UK fans of the toothpaste brand can upload their ‘smile’ photos onto Colgate’s UK Facebook page, and the photos will randomly appear on billboards in London, Liverpool and Birmingham. The campaign was created by VML London, and ClickZ quotes VML account manager Gemma Brown, “Integrating the photos of Facebook users is a good fun incentive for anyone who’s dreamed of starring in their own billboard campaign.”
Will Colgate reach its goal of 1 million smiles? Is ‘randomly’ being on a billboard – and/or the opportunity to support a popular charity – enough incentive to engage with a brand on Facebook?
Check out “Mini Maps” – an advergame using social networking and Google Maps – just created by Mini France. A Facebook app that allows you to customise a virtual MINI, and then challenge your Facebook friends to time trials around the world using a Google Maps ‘mash-up.’
The game lets you either create your own tracks (before inviting friends into the race) or join random challenges from around the world as you find them, and then race your friends over satellite images of the locations you choose.
Digital Buzz Blog believes that the MINI Maps campaign will ‘grab some serious traction’ due to the live social element of the game.
Or, if you were an addict to Project Gotham or other car-racing games in a past life (like me), it sounds like a pretty cool way to reconnect with your friends, in realtime.
Are social games the ads of the future?
Recent data from comScore shows that LinkedIn use has increased across the globe from March 2010 to March 2011. The social networking site for business professionals has grown 65% worldwide, from 48 million users in March 2010 to 79 million in March 2011.
The strongest growth can be seen in the Latin American market, with a 240% increase in visitors, from 1.7 million visitors in March 2010 to 5.8 million in March 2011. Visitors from Asia Pacific increased by 132% and Middle East – African visitors rose by 140% in the last year.
North America and Europe saw growth on a more moderate scale:
- North American visitors grew 37%, from 25.9 to 35.4 million
- Europe saw a 69% increase, from 14.6 to 24.6 million
eMarketer reports current statistics and growth rate projections for Facebook and Twitter in the U.S. At the end of 2010, more than half of US internet users logged onto Facebook at least once per month, and eMarketer predicts:
- 132.5 million US web users will use Facebook in 2011, an increase of 13.4%
- Facebook will reach almost 9 in 10 social network users
- Facebook will reach 57.1% of U.S. internet users
- By 2013, 62% of web users and almost half (47.6%) of the overall US population will be on Facebook
- Facebook’s ‘once-dramatic’ growth rates are over; user growth will be in single digits after this year
16.4 million US adults (9% of the adult internet population) were using Twitter at the end of 2010, and eMarketer forecasts that:
- Twitter’s growth rates in 2011 will be higher than those for Facebook
- Twitter will reach 16.5% of US adult social network users in 2011, a growth rate of over 26%
- Twitter will reach 11% of US internet users in 2011
- By 2013, nearly 28 million Americans will be tweeting*
The estimates for Facebook are based on survey data and visitor statistics from over a dozen sources, and include US users accessing their Facebook account at least once a month from any internet-enabled device. eMarketer’s Twitter estimates are based on individuals ages 18 and older who access their Twitter account at least monthly via any device, including access to third-party apps as well as to Twitter.com.
*eMarketer revised an earlier prediction for Twitter’s growth (made in April 2010) to show more moderate growth rates, based on data from several surveys.
Micro-blogging continues to grow in China, and Sina Weibo – referred to by the SFGate as “China’s homegrown equivalent” to Twitter – is responsible for 87% of the time spent on micro-blogging services there.
The last figures released by Weibo listed the service as having 50 million members back in October 2010. SFGate reported analyst predictions that Weibo will have 120 million members by 2012. According to Business Insider, Sina executives are even more optimistic, expecting 150 million users by the end of 2011. In comparison, Twitter had 175 million as of September 2010. Continue reading
Over 1.4 million fans comment and share stories on NPR‘s Facebook page, and Nieman Journalism Lab reports that this is one of the most popular media outlets on Facebook.
The referral traffic on NPR’s Facebook page has grown from 1.5 million in August 2010 to 4.5 million pageviews a month. While that traffic used to result largely from fans clicking on links that NPR posted, now as much as 50% comes from links that fans decide to share themselves, showing a high level of audience engagement.
How does NPR determine which stories to post on Facebook, and what will create the highest engagement with their Facebook fans? Continue reading
eMarketer predicts that the number of mobile social network users in the U.S. will more than double in the next five years, from 38.9 million in 2010 to an estimated 79.1 million in 2015.
As mobile use of social networks gains in popularity, the adoption of location-based mobile services will also grow rapidly. eMarketer reports that the number of location-based service users almost tripled in 2010 (based on data from SNL Kagan) and Facebook’s adoption of the check in through ‘Facebook Places’ will only raise this number even higher. Continue reading
Japan’s three largest home-grown social networks – GREE, mixi and DeNA’s Mobage-town – in September 2010 each had between 21 million and 23 million users, and all three have strong mobile offerings, as reported by eMarketer.
GREE and Mobage-town have rapidly increased user numbers and engagement by offering hundreds of free and paid social games, which encourage playing with and competing against friends. This heavy incorporation of social games (largely mobile) has led to significant increases in profit: eMarketer reports that from July to September 2010 DeNA and GREE reported net sales of ¥27.1 billion and ¥12.4 billion, representing increases of 216% and 82% year over year, respectively.
DeNA’s social games (including item billing, in-game ads, affiliate ads and avatars) represented 79.0% of total sales Continue reading
In an interview with Social Times, Tagged social network co-founder and CEO Greg Tseng claims that the platform is the third-largest social network in the US, with over 100 million registered users who form 100 million “new connections” every month. The site is seeing 5 billion monthly page views. Tseng says that there is an 80% overlap in active users with Facebook. Continue reading