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Latest research and digital marketing trends

February 2014

Twitter's financial losses: look out for them chasing advertising dollars, and the traffic on your brand's Twitter page starting to erode. It will be Facebook's 'Edgerank' all over again.

Facebook buys WhatsApp, Comcast buys Time Warner: more digital media companies unlocking greater economies of scale, and a reminder that all young dotcoms like WhatsApp will in time become far more commercial.

Yahoo leverages Tumblr, in a smart way that will help brands through native advertising options, and Google opens a new set of ad exchange opportunities to target your media budgets.

And following requests from digital strategy clients, we now have new special research reports in place on Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia and South Africa.

Danny
Danny Meadows-Klue
Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting Group

Top stories this monthTop stories this month

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

The biggest stories that show how your markets and audiences are changing.

Facebook's $19bn WhatsApp gamble: Can Zuckerberg buy his way back into growth?

Facebook is buying WhatsApp for a massive $19bn (£11.4bn), as the social network looks to restart its flagging growth in developed markets, while offering a popular free messaging service in emerging markets, shaking up the telecoms industry in the process. Watch this video from Bloomberg discussing the deal here. 20/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Facebook's 19bn WhatsApp gamble Can Zuckerberg buy his way back into growth

Tumblr to become Yahoo's native ad server

Yahoo will start to use Tumblr as a native ads server, with the popular blogging platform hosting sponsored content from brands. 17/02/2014 | Full story...

Rakuten buys Skype rival Viber for $900m

Rakuten has bought instant messaging and voice app Viber for $900m, as the Japanese ecommerce giant and owner of Play.com continues its expansion into new markets. 14/02/2014 | Full story...

Google launches custom brand exchanges

Google has just rolled out "Custom Brand Exchanges" which will allow brands to buy premium ad space through programmatic buying. Programmatic buying means that companies can buy display advertising which has been analysed by a complex software and algorithm, displaying the ads in the best position. 14/02/2014 | Full story...

How many of Facebook's 'likes' are still fake?

Facebook has been criticised in the past for not tackling the problem of click farms generating 'fake likes', and new research suggests the problem continues for the social network- even when ads are paid for via official Facebook channels. 12/02/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - How many of Facebook's likes are still fake?

The incredible growth of web usage from 1984-2013

Back in 1984, the Internet linked just 1,000 hosts and labs- now it connects over 2 billion people around the globe. This infographic from webmaster tool whoishostingthis looks at the biggest trends that have shaped digital media in the past 3 decades. 11/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - The incredible growth of web usage from 1984-2013

Yahoo to kill off mobile banners for native ads

Yahoo is ditching its mobile banner format, instead focusing on native ads on smartphones and tablets, as the portal looks to boost its mobile ad revenue through more engaging campaigns. 07/02/2014 | Full story...

Twitter hit by $645m loss during 2013

Twitter has posted a net loss of $645m (£396m) for 2013, three months after its flotation on the New York Stock Exchange, as the micro-blogging network struggles to attract new and existing users. Watch this Bloomberg discussing Twitter's challenges below. 06/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Twitter hit by 645m loss during 2013

Microsoft names new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer

Microsoft has announced that Satya Nadella has been promoted to the role of CEO, replacing Steve Ballmer as the software giant's third boss. Watch this video from Microsoft, featuring an interview with Nadella here. 05/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Microsoft names new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer

Global internet population by region: 2014

This chart shows internet penetration by region. North America and Western Europe have the highest internet penetration out of any region analysed with 81% and 78% of the populations being online. 13/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Global internet population by region: 2014

VideoVirals

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/viral-marketing

When videos go viral they cut through the communication clutter. Getting messages forwarded from friends is the most powerful marketing, and this is the best of what our friends sent us. Send us what impressed you!

Head and Shoulders dandruff stunt gets half a million views

To mark Valentines Day 2014, shampoo brand Head & Shoulders partnered with Saatchi & Saatchi in the Philippines to run a hidden camera viral campaign, featuring young men a blind date with a lady (played by an actress) who has really bad dandruff. 21/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Head and Shoulders dandruff stunt gets half a million views

Procter and Gamble Winter Olympics ad gets 17m views

Procter & Gamble is the clear winner among sponsors of the 2014 Winter Olympics on YouTube, racking up 27 million views through the first week of the Games with videos including "Pick Them Back Up," which depicts the journey mothers and children go though on their way to sporting success. 17/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Procter and Gamble Winter Olympics ad gets 17m views

KFC Russia puts customers in spotlight for social media campaign

KFC Russia is inviting customers to star in a TV commercial, via a new campaign that incorporates outdoor, TV and social media advertising. 10/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - KFC Russia puts customers in spotlight for social media campaign

AdvertisingAdvertising

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/online-advertising

Further proof this month that customer data is key for marketing ROI, with a new study showing that advertisers are paying three times more for cookie-based ads. But joining up this knowledge of a customer across channels (be it online, in-store or reading a newspaper) remains a challenge- although many marketers are predicting a 'joined up' view of the customer will be commonplace by 2016. Google and ComScore have made this prediction a little closer to reality, uniting to measure ad success across platforms in the US.

Top web brands by unique web audience: US

This chart shows the top online brands in the US by unique monthly visitors and average time spent for the month. 13/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Top web brands by unique web audience: US

Google partners comScore to measure ad effectiveness across platforms

Google has partnered with comScore to offer advertisers real-time data to measure how effective campaigns are across all types of computer screens and mobile devices. 19/02/2014 | Full story...

Advertisers 'pay 3 times more for cookie-based ads'

Online ad exchanges cost three times more for cookie-based ads that have access to data about other web sites that consumers have visited, according to a new study. 19/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Advertisers pay 3 times more for cookie-based ads

SearchSearch

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/search-engine-marketing

The end looks in sight for Google's legal struggle over its European search - with the court forcing the web giant to place more prominent links to rivals on its search results pages. This month, we also include some search tips form Google's Matt Cutts, looking into maintaining a high place in search results after the new Hummingbird algorithm, and the web giant's position on social signals in SERPs.

SEO tips for 2014: Keep content and site layout fresh

As Google implements it's latest 'Hummingbird' algorithm, many site owners have noticed that long held top positions on Google are being lost to new sites. Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team explains why past success on SEO does not guarantee success in this new era of search, and offers advice on retaining that vital top spot in the rankings. 11/02/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - SEO tips for 2014: Keep content and site layout fresh

Google forced to give rivals more space in European search results

Google has offered further concessions to address regulatory concerns about its search technology, the European Commission said on Wednesday, effectively settling a three-year investigation and avoiding a fine of up to $5 billion. 06/02/2014 | Full story...

Social search tips: Why doesn't Google have a special index for popular Facebook and Twitter posts?

The secrets to Google's page ranking algorithms have always remained a tightly guarded (and ever-changing) secret. But recently, Matt Cutts of Google took to YouTube to explain how Google handles social media posts on its search rankings. 07/02/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - Social search tips: Why doesn't Google have a special index for popular Facebook and Twitter posts?

FacebookFacebook

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/facebook-marketing

This month saw Facebook pay a huge $19bn for WhatsApp - we look at the industry reaction and examine why Zuckerberg paid 19 times more for a chat app than it did for Instagram back in 2012. As Facebook turns 10, we also look at why the social network and its huge silos of user data could pose a threat to Google's dominance of search.

Bubble or brilliance? Five reasons why Facebook paid $19bn for WhatsApp

Facebook bought WhatsApp for an eye-opening $19bn (£11.4bn) this week- causing the stock market and analysts alike to question the social network's confidence in its own growth. But how did Zuckerberg justify the hefty price tag that could have bought him 19 Instagrams? We look at five reasons why the deal might not be quite as crazy as it sounds... 21/02/2014 | Full story...

Facebook turns 10: can it topple Google to become king of search?

Facebook turns 10 this week, rolling out its graph search to mobile users as the social network sets its sights on Google's search revenue-and it plans to use mobile to get there. 04/02/2014 | Full story...

'Putting Messi's legs on a sumo wrestler': Industry reacts to $19bn WhatsApp buy

This week saw Facebook snap up mobile messaging service WhatsApp for an astronomical $19bn- marking the biggest tech purchase to date. The move has sparked many comments from the industry- we take a look at some of the key quotes as chat apps come of age... 21/02/2014 | Full story...

SocialSocial - beyond Facebook

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/social-media-marketing

Measuring social success remains a contentious subject - just what is a like or a retweet worth? This month we take a look at social metrics in one easy-to-read infographic. February also saw rumours of Twitter's social shopping service - could it rival Pinterest?

Twitter planning social shopping service?

Twitter is looking at ways of selling products directly from its social network, as the firm explores new revenue streams from social shopping to compete with Facebook, according to a news report. 03/02/2014 | Full story...

Super Bowl brands on Twitter: winners and losers revealed

Tweets in the U.S. about Sunday's telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX reached a Unique Audience on Twitter of 15.3 million people, garnering a total of 1.8 billion Twitter TV impressions throughout the night. In this infographic, Nielsen SocialGuide looks at which brands generated the most buzz on Twitter during one of the biggest sporting events (and primetime TV spots) of the year. 07/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Super Bowl brands on Twitter winners and losers revealed

How are brands measuring social media success?

The rush for social media engagement metrics, such as 'likes', 'follows', 'retweets' or Google '+1s' has resulted in confusion over how much this social interaction is actually worth to a brand. This infographic, from Google's Wildfire, looks at how large companies are measuring their social media success. 14/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - How are brands measuring social media success

More top social media stories from this month:

 - 80% of small businesses 'turning to social media' for leads

MobileMobile and tablets

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/mobile-marketing

Google made a major leap forward in mobile this month, with Project Tango - a smartphone that maps your surroundings in 3D - with big implications for advertisers. This month we also look at global app trends and take a look at a day in the life of a app user - revealing that iPad still rules in the US market.

Google tests 'Project Tango'- a smartphone that sees your surroundings

Google has revealed its latest foray into mobile mapping technology with 'Project Tango'- a new smartphone with sensors that track the position of the smartphone in a full 3D space- with the added ability to map what's outside the phone. Watch this video demonstrating how Project Tango will work below. 21/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Google tests Project Tango - a smartphone that sees your surroundings

Global app trends: Americas drive monetisation for developers

A global survey of application developers and publishers that provides a pulse on the app economy, results showed that developers are creating more apps than ever. 06/02/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - Global app trends: Americas drive monetisation for developers

A day in the life of a tablet user: iPad generates four times more traffic than Android in US

While Android makes headway in many regions, Apple continues to dominate the tablet market in the US, with iPad users generating 4 times more traffic than people on Android tablets. 19/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - A day in the life of a tablet user iPad generates four times more traffic than Android in US

Mobile trends: Text messages fall in 2013 as chat apps rise

The number of text messages being sent in the UK has fallen for the first time ever as more people turn to Whatsapp and iMessage, according to new research looking into mobile trends. 13/01/2014 | Full story...

More top mobile stories from this month:

 - Top smartphone apps in Southeast Asia: Facebook and Google Play lead way
 - Two thirds of mobile media consumers use a second screen

Multimedia contentMultimedia content

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/content-marketing

What is the future of TV? With companies like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon shaking up the market, we look at the TV habits of consumers across the globe - with some surprising results.

YouTube clamps down on fake views with video audits

YouTube has begun to audit the number of views a video has received, in a bid to tackle the growing trend for fake views inflating the popularity of videos. Last year, Channel 4 ran a documentary 'Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans' , which examined the growing trend for fake views, and looked at the origin of click farms in areas such as Bangladesh. Watch this trailer for the documentary here. 05/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - YouTube clamps down on fake views with video audits

Digital now accounts for half of all UK music sales

Digital income now accounts for 50% of the UK record industry's sales revenue, according to new research. 20/02/2014 | Full story...

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - Mobile video trends: Brits prefer traditional TV to smartphones and tablets

GamingGaming

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/marketing-through-gaming/

The price of success can sometime prove too much - as seen this month when 'Flappy Bird' creator Dong Nguyen pulled the game despite making as much as $50,000 a day from the game's ad revenue (also showing how lucrative app advertising can be). Meanwhile, the 'freemiun' model for app gaming came under more scrutiny this month, with EA facing a torrent of criticism for its extra charges on strategy game Dungeon Keeper.

EA faces backlash for Dungeon Keeper 'freemium' charges

The growing trend for 'freemium' mobile games has come under more scrutiny this week, as Electronic Arts sparked criticism from customers that it is over-charging on its latest remake of the classic 'Dungeon Keeper' strategy game. 11/02/2014 | Full story...

Game over: Flappy Bird developer removes app over fame pressure

Mobile gaming phenomenon Flappy Bird has been pulled from the Apple and Google Play app stores, after its Vietnamese creator said its fame "ruins my simple life" - although he has not ruled out a sequel. 10/02/2014 | Full story...

EcommerceEcommerce

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/ecommerce-and-eretailing

A cheeky marketing stunt from cosmetic retailer Lush stole the headlines this month, mocking an Amazon boss after the ecommerce giant was caught selling "misleading" products that were made to look like Lush items. This month we also look at the controversial Bitcoin - is it time to take virtual currency seriously?

Lush mocks Amazon with cosmetics range named after boss

Ethical cosmetics range Lush has used a new shower gel to mock Amazon UK boss Christopher North after winning a High Court battle to stop the online giant selling "misleading" products that were made to look like Lush items. 14/02/2014 | Full story...

New tech helps Amazon predict what you will buy next

Amazon has developed a 'mind-reading' technology that will predict what people want to buy and ship packages even before customers have placed an order. 03/02/2014 | Full story...

Bitcoin and the future of digital money

With the rise of Bitcoin, virtual currencies are starting to be taken seriously (or at least being seen as a threat) by the financial industry. Since its launch in 2009 the value of the currency in circulation has now risen to $10 billion. This infographic from communications agency Clarity, looks at the 6 biggest virtual currencies, and assess whether any can become the future of money as the world goes digital. 07/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Bitcoin and the future of digital money

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - UK now second biggest exporter of retail
 - Global mobile shopping trends: 15% more shoppers plan to go mobile in 2014

RegulationRegulation

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/digital-marketing-regulation

A teacher's experimental tweet about online privacy reached 42 million people - turning a simple classroom lesson into an social media phenomenon and providing a powerful message about the dangers of social media in the process. Meanwhile, a new study indicates that 60% of all web traffic is 'not human', instead consisting largely of search spiders and malicious spam bots.

Teacher's tweet about online privacy 'reaches 42 million people'

A social media experiment started by a fourth grade teacher from Ontario has shown up in the feeds of 42 million users, according to Twitter analytics specialist SocialBro. The post was retweeted 88,898 times with London the most active city, even though the original post originated in Canada. 12/02/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Teacher's tweet about online privacy reaches 42 million people

60% of all web traffic "not human"

Nearly two thirds (61.5%) of all web traffic around the world comes from bots- both good and bad- according to new research. 13/02/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - 60% of all web traffic not human

Linking to free web content ruled "legal"

Websites can link to freely available online content without seeking permission from the copyright owner, according to a landmark European court ruling. 19/02/2014 | Full story...

Robot wars: Dyson takes on Google in race to build first household droids

James Dyson is investing £5m in a robotics lab, in a move that puts the vacuum tycoon in direct competition with Google in the race to produce robots that perform household chores. 10/02/2014 | Full story...

More top regulation stories from this month:

 - Massive NTP hack - a sign of things to come?
 - Tesco hack exposes thousands of passwords

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