Saturday Social: Instagram Ads, Real Transformers, Twitter IPO, Facebook CTA & Daily Mail Bashing
Photo-sharing app Instagram is to start putting advertisements on photo streams in the US, the firm has announced on its website. To begin with, the scheme will only involve a few partners and ads are due to start showing up in a couple of months.
The news comes as no particular surprise, given that the company has as yet failed to make buyers Facebook a profit on its $1bn investment. However, the app has seen a huge amount of growth in the past three years and now has a userbase of more than 150m globally.
“We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business,” the company said in a blog post.“We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.”
The post went on to say that the aim is to make advertisements appear as natural as possible to its users, who will be able to hide ads that they don’t like. The company says that they are relying on user feedback to help them make the “Instagram experience” one that’s constantly improving.
An assurance was also given that users will continue to own their own photos and that the addition of advertising is intended to give users an experience that is akin to seeing ads when flicking through a favourite magazine.
The Real Transformers?
Scientists at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have unveiled a series of small robots that can “flip, jump and assemble themselves into different shapes” and which stick together using magnets.
The M-Blocks, as they are known, move using an internal flywheel mechanism and it’s thought that they could be used in the future to make repair to bridges or self-assembly scaffolding. They are controlled by computers which connect to the bots wirelessly and it’s hoped that in the future, the bots can be programmed directly, in order to make them completely autonomous.
It’s also hoped that the M-Blocks will have the capability of adapting to different environments and be equipped with cameras and sensors so that they can give aid in emergency situations.
“We want hundreds of cubes, scattered randomly across the floor, to be able to identify each other, coalesce, and autonomously transform into a chair, or a ladder, or a desk, on demand,” said research scientist John Romanishin who is one of those leading the project at CSAIL.
According to the BBC, the idea initially was to create a kind of Terminator 2 bot that could re amalgamate itself with other parts.
Twitter has said that it hopes to raise $1bn when it makes its entry onto the stock market, according to documents that the social network has filed with regulators in the US. The company also said in the filing that it has a total of around 218m monthly users, who send about 500 million tweets each day.
While the company posted a loss of $69m in the first half of this year, on total revenues of $254m, it’s thought that the social media site’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) will get a good reception from investors.
“Social media is red hot,” said internet analyst Lou Kerner. “Twitter is front and centre benefiting from market enthusiasm for all things social, and remarkably strong metrics.”
Details concerning Twitter’s finances also revealed for the first time that the company has never made a profit, although it has seen huge growth in revenue for the past 3 years. While around 85% of its revenue comes from advertising, the company makes the rest of its money on licensing.
According to the BBC, a significant amount of its advertising revenue comes from mobile and more than 75% of its users access the site through a mobile device.
“Users should be happy about this,” said Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst with Forrester. “It looks like Twitter is looking at how to enrich the experience and it understands that to build a successful service, they have to create something people like and want to come back to and spend time on.”
It’s thought that the IPO will be on the Nasdaq, although this is yet to be confirmed.
Following a recent study by Localytics, Facebook is to include a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage users to open apps more. The news comes after it was found that 66% of people only open apps between one and ten times.
The CTAs vary, but include phrases such as “Shop Now”, “Open App”, “Play Game”, “Watch Video” and so on. It’s thought that this will entice users to open the apps more and drive up sales/bookings etc. for its customers.
Daily Mail bashing
The Daily Mail, already not many people’s favourite rag in the UK, has come in for a week of bashing this week, culminating in a Question Time ear bashing from the Huffington Post’s Mehdi Hasan.
“Let’s have the debate about who hates Britain more, it isn’t a dead Jewish refugee from Belgium who served in the Royal Navy, it’s the immigrant bashing, woman hating, muslim smearing, NHS undermining, gay baiting Daily Mail,” Hasan said.
The Daily Mail have hit back with a report that Mr Hasan wrote to the newspaper asking if he could write for them back in 2010 while working at the New Statesman. The show aired in the UK on Thursday and the video has spread rapidly around the net with the headline “Mehdi Hasan OWNING Quentin Letts on Question Time”.
He certainly does …