News: Twitter launches ‘Flight School’

in 2014, people are no longer asking Why Twitter? they are asking How Twitter? And as if by magic Twitter has followed the lead of the likes of Facebook, Google and Buzzfeed and has launched it’s very own learning hub – Flight School to help agencies use Twitter more effectively as a marketing tool.

Twitter say:

“For marketers who want to reach consumers during today’s biggest live, public and conversational moments, there’s no better place than Twitter. Flight School has given us added expertise to leverage Twitter’s real-time marketing platform to create impactful campaigns for our clients in the evolving digital media landscape.”

The online tutorials will cover maximising content, tailoring campaigns for specific clients and promoting messages at the right time to reach a target audience.

Facebook Messenger App

I’m not sure why there has been a sudden flurry of scepticism about the Facebook Messenger Android app while I’ve been away (only for a few days) as it isn’t exactly new, it originally launched in 2011!

At Dot-Social we’re all on iOS and want the latest version of most things to keep us all up-to-date.  I personally believe Facebook make changes to enhance what we do, to keep us all on there!  The difference is that the Android version of the app is having to play by Google’s rules and declare all it’s capabilities which, when spelt out, seem quite alarming and possibly intrusive, using all kinds of data from your mobile.

This article from Mashable helps with the detail of what people are concerned about and should help decide whether you should be worried. It’s aptly named, Don’t Freak Out About the Facebook Messenger App.

Facebook’s own blog on this, Why is the Messenger app requesting permission to access features on my Android phone or tablet? explains why they need the permissions stated.  Even if you don’t really understand it all, you can get the gist.

You’ll see in the first blog post that they advise these permissions already applied to Facebook’s main app, and many of them are standard for social media apps like this anyway. It was in April this year when they split the app and started rolling it out.  The app reduces the different ways in which Facebook has to handle messages in its standard app and, “It would be too cumbersome to add to the standard app.”

In very basic terms, within Facebook if you want to send someone a picture from your android mobile, you’ll need to have given the messenger app permission to access your photos.  However, if you still don’t want to use the Messenger app, you can still access Facebook messages by accessing the site through a mobile browser.  You can then access and respond to your messages without using the Messenger app.

New changes to Facebook rules – HURRAY!

Facebook like, dislike image

Facebook like, dislike image

As a user, I was extremely pleased to read about the new Facebook Platform Policy (7 Aug, fully effective on 5 Nov 2014) stopping Pages apps requiring you to like a Page in order to enter competitions etc.  Like-gating, as it’s known, is now prohibited by policy.

What is it?

It’s when competitions and promotions require you enter by following their request of liking their Page.

However, there are many Pages not following the rules that already apply to promotions and offers.  This could be due to lack of knowledge and understanding, blatantly ignoring them or attempting to get hundreds of likes.  The latter doesn’t particularly help your marketing because if the person doesn’t really ‘like’ your Page, they with either unlike it or remain dormant, limiting the reach of your posts.  Remember it’s about quality not quantity.  You want an engaged audience, not huge figures of uninterested people on your Page.  After 5 November even if an existing app requests a Page like, it will be disabled by Facebook (in effect) and not count whether the entrant has or hasn’t liked the Page!  For a new app, we believe this is in effect already (from 7 Aug 2014) and some have 90 days to comply.

There have always been strict rules around competitions on Facebook.  To summaries these:

  • you must show all the terms, rules and eligibility to enter etc
  • must include an acknowledgement that it is not associated with Facebook
  • not request use of personal timelines (e.g. ‘Share on your Timeline to enter’ is not allowed)

See the rules in full in the Facebook Pages Terms.

Hands up if you are surprised by these rules?  There are plenty who don’t abide by them!

Another interesting rule that you may not have heard of is that third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without Facebook’s prior permission.

The new rules that sparked this post applies to apps.  ‘You must not incentivise people to use social plugins or to like a Page.   This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.   It remains acceptable to incentivise people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.’   Read this and about the changes to Games apps here under Changes to Platform Policy .

So, in theory, we should see a lot less of the ‘Like our Page to enter’ competitions in our personal timelines.

As a Page owner if you have created a campaign or social strategy based on incentivising page likes through apps you may find have work to do!  But, in the long run, you will find other actions, probably more effective ones, to ask your audience to do, to replace that one.

The controversy over this is move by Facebook is really interesting. See the comments under the Facebook Blog, and Socially Staked.

When you consider how many Pages each individual has liked, narrowing down who sees what has got to mean users only really do click to like, in the future, those pages that you are really interested in, not just because they want to enter a competition.

We think this is a good move. What do you think?