Facebook Confuses, Facebook Scares and Sharknado | This Week in Social Media

Photo credit: The New Yorker

Facebook Confuses and Scares Teens

Two recent studies may show that Facebook is losing its grip on the teenage audience. A Pew Center report found that 77% of online teens are still on Facebook, compared with 24% on Twitter, but Twitter use with teens has climbed 8% since 2011—a positive trend for the blue bird. A 2013 survey by Piper Jaffray & Co found that 33% of teens list Facebook as their most important social network, down from 42% in 2012. Meanwhile, both Twitter (30%) and Instagram (17%) gained importance in their lives in a one-year span. Why are teens abandoning Facebook for other social networks? Parents, says one argument. Brevity and better ad integration, says another. High school teen Brianna Cole gives her thoughts:

“There was Myspace before Facebook, and then Facebook happened and everybody thought that was the next best thing, and then Twitter happened. I mean, there’s always going to be something.”

Facebook Confuses and Scares Everyone With Story Bump, Last Actor

Marketers! You can stop using the term EdgeRank. Story Bump and Last Actor are the new ways that Facebook will manage their news feeds, determining what users see and interact with on their screens. Story Bump won’t be tethered to displaying news feed content in chronological order, but can surface older, more relevant posts to the top of the news feed rather than potentially burying them like in the old algorithm. Last Actor will take into consideration a user’s recent interactions and prioritize content from that user in the news feed. If you engage with someone a lot, chances are you’ll see more of their content.

What does this mean for brands? If Story Bump and Last Actor work for brands the same way they work for people, then this could be a great thing for accounts with highly engaged audiences. Your hardcore fans should see posts easier and more frequently, even if you post in the morning and they don’t jump on Facebook until midnight. The tail for valuable content could be much longer than Facebook’s current three hour(ish) window. It also means that good content is more important than ever. Enticing clicks from new fans or fans who’ve been dormant for a little while could give you another swing or two with your next few posts. Get another click or two out of them and Story Bump them for months (that’s a verb now, right?)! But fail to engage the audience early, and watch your post sink to the bottom of the news feed like <metaphor></metaphor>.

Does Twitter Volume Lead to Nielsen Ratings?

Using SocialGuideNielsen’s tool to capture Twitter activity for all TV programming in the United States—the Nielsen folks studied TV ratings and tweets for 221 primetime TV broadcasts to see if Twitter volume correlates to higher ratings. First, they performed a minute-by-minute analysis to see if higher TV ratings generated more tweets within a window of five minutes. Then they looked in the other direction to see if more tweets produced higher tune-in rates within the same window. Does a highly-rated broadcasts create tweets or do tweets lead to highly-rated broadcasts?

Finding #1: Higher rated programs yielded more total tweets 48% of the time.

Finding #2: Increased Twitter volume around a program drove up live TV ratings 29% of the time.

“We saw a statistically significant causal influence indicating that a spike in TV ratings can increase the volume of tweets, and, conversely, a spike in tweets can increase tune-in,” said Nielsen’s chief research officer Paul Donato.

For broadcasts like sporting events, Twitter did in fact cause multi-tasking channel surfers to click over to close games, increasing actual TV ratings. But in other instances, Twitter blew up and ratings remained steady—like Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Lance Armstrong or Sharknado. I’m waiting for the Nielsen Twitter TV ratings coming this fall. Get ready for the Major League Gaming Championships to beat everything but the NFL this November. I’m not kidding. Not even a little. The revolution is nigh.