Social Media Frontiers

Friday, February 27, 2015


nytimes.com

Snapchat’s Snapcash feature is allowing people to solicit private sex shows with strippers and porn stars on your family friendly picture sharing app.  

I say 'family friendly', but I’m sure you’re well aware that Snapchat hasn't always proven to be the most ‘PG13’ app out there. In fact, during Snapchat’s early days and its rise to success, it was almost always exclusively used as a 'sexting' app.

I mean, how else did you think an app that sent self-deleting pictures was going to pan out?
However, we didn't start to see people with dedicated accounts for selling nudes and videos until Snapchat released their Snapcash update in November last year. This allowed users to send each other money through the app’s chat feature; it’s as easy as typing $5 and then hitting send. Snapcash was one of the first things I wrote about for this blog, and I didn't anticipate the potential it would hold for adult entertainment.

Take a trip to Twitter now and search for #Snapchat. Just a warning though, some NSFW material will probably pop up. As well as finding this article (hopefully) you’ll probably find people posting their own adult content with their Snapchat handles looking for more followers.

This is how the whole process comes together. People find an account which is dedicated to adult content and then strike up conversation and request pictures or videos for a fee. It sort of works like those adult web cam shows that I know you've all come across in your private times online. Don’t lie, those pop ups are everywhere.

Nick Bilton, from the New York Times reports that: ‘Some transactions are as inexpensive as $1 to $5 for a few personalized photos. The prices can reach double digits for personalized sex shows. One brunette on Snapchat this week, most likely in her 20s, wore nothing more than skimpy underwear and offered to send pictures personalized for a person’s proclivities for $5. Men offer similar products at comparable prices.’

Why are people willing to pay for these short 10 second videos? It might seem a bit strange considering the vast quantities of pornography available online for free. The answer lies in the one on one interaction that comes with the service. It creates a rather odd connection between the entertainer and the entertained.

A further bonus for the performers is that the videos shared via Snapchat are going to be limited to just that medium. Where as if they were to perform for a live webcam show, it could easily be recorded and then uploaded again where it could viewed for free.

It’s probably very important to mention that Snapchat doesn't condone people utilising the app in this way. In fact, most accounts that operate within these boundaries are already being shut down. Snapchat recently commented in a blog post: ‘Don’t use Snapchat for any illegal shenanigans and if you’re under 18 or are Snapping with someone who might be: keep your clothes on!’
Obviously, the illegal term is quite loose and depends entirely on your location’s laws regarding pornography.

To be honest, I don’t see an issue with adult entertainers utilising social media in this way. But unfortunately I don’t think that Snapchat is the optimum platform for them to operate from. Snapchat typically has a very young demographic. In fact, its network is mostly used by teenagers.
Now I’m not saying that it’s Snapchat’s responsibility to make sure that teens aren't seeing adult content – I’m a firm believer that this form of regulation requires education and parenting. If anything, I think that adult entertainers would probably benefit from their own platform. An app dedicated precisely to their services.

Whatever people may think about adult entertainment it's not going go away anytime soon.
It is one of the biggest driving factors behind technology and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, as long as there are firm regulations to keep entertainers respected and protected.
Above all, their voices must always be heard. Their views matter more than they're often given credit for.

Either way, I’m still going to be Snapping away. Purely SFW stuff, of course

Tom Welby

Tom has a degree in Creative and Professional Writing and he currently manages, edits and writes for this blog. His other interests include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.  

Snapchat And Adult Entertainment

Streamlined Service

nypost.com

There have been rumblings of an ad-free, paid subscription-based YouTube service for some time now, but in the past few days the rumors have been confirmed by Google officials. Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content, confirmed that they were “fine-tuning the experience” at the Code/Media conference in Orange County late last week.

Paid, ad-free versions of otherwise free services have been proven to work well in the past. As of mid-January, around 25% of Spotify’s hulking 60 million-strong user base are paying subscribers, a ratio that it’s been healthily maintaining for almost a year. Spotify’s traffic figures are of course utterly dwarfed by YouTube, who rake in more than one billion users every single month.

This move will also play a vital role in YouTube’s increasing presence in the movie streaming market. Some full films are available to watch on YouTube, some legally, others not. You can also pay a one-off rental or purchase fee for certain films. With a subscription service, YouTube could eliminate or at least downsize this function and move a model more similar to Netflix.

This idea was actually taken for something of a test-drive back in 2013, when certain content providers were allowed to charge a subscription fee to access certain video channels. Partners during this trial run included National Geographic, Sesame Street and the PGA. It got some attention, but not anywhere near as much as some of the partners had hoped for.

Similarly, the Music Key service was launched to invited members as a beta back in November, enabling said users to watch music videos without any advertising between them and the content.

“We’ve invited our best users - it will launch in a few months to the public. It is a very important part of business. There are audiences who just don’t want to see ads. and in music - they want things like offline access. We want to deliver to fans and we want to deliver to creators a new revenue stream. This is an important initiative for us.” - Robert Kyncl
Currently Music Key is the service being earmarked for an imminent release, but it’s clear that it’s intended as a precursor to a more rounded, complete, universally applicable ad-free service

Callum Davies
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

YouTube Preparing to Launch Paid Ad-Free Subscription Service

A Selfie A Day Keeps The Fashion Police Away 

The Selfie is a powerful tool and now, it can even earn you money!

As we said goodbye to 2014, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen to the selfie. The word selfie was used over 92 million times on Twitter last year and I had hoped for a slow and gradual decline away from selfies and into something else, anything else.

In 2014 alone, Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie broke the retweet record, there was the dreadful #Selfie song by The Chainsmokers and there had even been a few dogs taking selfies. So how could it progress any further? With the selfie stick taking off, the world is becoming more desperate than ever to make sure no-one is absent from a photo.  

Well now, the selfie has taken an even more vain and tragic turn for the worst. Stylinity is a new fashion app that claims: ‘Your style is money. Share your unique style and earn rewards when people shop your look.’ The gist of this app is to take a photograph of yourself, dressed in all your finery and then try to convince your friends to dress like you in order to make money off them.


adformatie.nl

It seems fairly simple to use. All you need is to scan in the barcode of your clothing and then post it to any social media platform and voila! You’re a walking advert for Topshop. Then if your pals buy it through you, you get a reward which can be anything from cash to "exclusive experiences." And don’t worry, Stylinity has thought of everything: you can “take and share a better selfie with the built in timer” and there’s even an “optional Selfie Stage accessory,” whatever that means.


blogspot.com

I suppose it cuts out the middle man and the “I love your coat, where did you get it?” sort of questions. But, I don’t think this is a good idea; encouraging impressionable teenagers to consider themselves as models in the making.

I don’t like accidentally wearing matching clothes with my friends, so I wouldn't dream of doing it intentionally. Overall, I’m just grateful that this app is only available in the US - for the moment. 


Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Stylinity: Moving The Selfie Forward

Facebook's Advertiser Base Doubles 

dailyinbox.com

The number of Facebook advertisers has lept from 1 million to 2 million in the last 18 months.

Facebook is always trying to find new ways to modernise and open up their website to as many social groups and generations as possible.  Right now, the focus seems to be on businesses.

As many young adults are entering the adult world, having grown up with a Facebook account, starting a business on their reliable social media network will come as second nature. As for older companies who haven’t tried online marketing until now, who will they find first? Facebook: the most popular and accessible site of their time and their children’s time.

However, with Facebook increasing their business audience more and more every few months, it is questionable if Facebook really is the best way to advertise your business.

Facebook is known for its fickle nature. In 2010 its focus was on gaming. Some people signed up to Facebook just to be able to tend to their virtual crops and livestock on FarmVille. Then in 2014 there were over 93 million people playing Candy Crush every day, most of these were through Facebook. When Facebook bought Instagram it became an even bigger platform for photo sharing as well.

giantbomb.com

So right now, advertising is where Facebook wants to excel. Since 2009, Facebook’s been trying to build a relationship with businesses, which was done through the introduction of 'Pages.' At first, all this did was encourage an onslaught of youths to create pages with vaguely amusing names whose main focus was to rack up the likes. Thankfully, they moved on and pages are now being used for the reason Facebook intended.
With a recent addition of a ‘Boost Post’ function available on pages, there really are no limits for businesses. Except you must have over 400 likes… and be willing to pay.

There are areas you can edit when boosting your post, one being budget. Basically the more you pay the more people you reach. 3 GBP will reach 1,200-3,200 on an average page with 800+ likes. At the other end of the scale, 99 GBP can reach up to 54,000 people on a similar page.  But this is for just one post and if you want it go for more than one day, and then you need to pay at least 1 GBP a day. However, allowing businesses to spend as little as 1 GBP a day, can be helpful for smaller businesses and budgets.

There have been fears that the traffic this feature brings to your page is not always legitimate; one business stated that although the likes on their page increased, the actual interests and locations of these people were not suitable for their product.

However, what seems important is to remember to edit all the settings that are available and make sure you’re specific with location and target audience, or you could end up wasting your money.

Facebook’s efforts have been impressive and although Google is still in the lead with over 4 million advertisers, Facebook has done in less than 3 years, what it took Google to do in five.  The fact that advertisers in Facebook are increasing at such a rate seems to suggest that this method is working.


Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF
Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Facebook’s 2 Million Advertisers

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Burberry In 2015

Burberry is taking to social media in an effort to become a more accessible brand for 2015.
It is safe to say that Burberry is really paving the way for the fashion industry with its social media marketing campaigns.

Their most recent endeavor sees a tweet-activated camera on the catwalk of London Fashion Week. All users have to do is use either the hashtag: #Tweetcam or the @Burberry Twitter handle and they will receive a Tweet back from Burberry including a photo. This photo will be of the catwalk taken at the time the camera was activated by the user’s initial Tweet and the picture will include the user’s Twitter handle.


theverge.com

This is one of many ways that Burberry has increased its social media presence over the last few years. In comparison to other designers, Burberry is on a complete other level with their use of Twitter. In 2011, they gave their followers sneak peeks on Twitter before their shows. They used Twitter to stream their catwalk live in 2012 and were the first luxury brand to make use of Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ function.

Burberry has also partnered with Channel 4 to create personalised adverts which include a bottle that is monogrammed to have the viewer’s name engraved on it. All you have to do is be a registered viewer who is logged into your 4oD account.

They have also introduced several interactive billboards across London and New York, which allow Smartphone users to have their monogrammed bottle created and put up live on the billboard screen for bystanders to see.

Whilst at first the 4oD ad seemed a bit disconcerting and the photos with your Twitter Handle seem borderline pointless, at least Burberry are putting themselves out there. They have put personalisation and accessibility at the heart of their recent campaigns which is modernizing them and opening their brand up to be far more interesting and fun than others of a similar kind.

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF


Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Burberry's New Use For Twitter

Cold Reception for Winter World Cup

Following the recent announcement that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will see the date moved to November – December, the internet has lit up with users criticising the decision. The hashtag #Qatar2022 was trending on Twitter on Tuesday following the announcement. Aversion to the decision is particularly prevalent here in the UK as it will disrupt premier league fixtures and conflict with Christmas events.

 101greatgoals.com

The decision was made due to conflicts with existing events such as the Winter Olympics in January / February and Ramadan in April. Holding the Cup between May and September is out of the question as temperatures are expected to reach in excess of 40 degrees, sparking concerns over the health of players and fans. This left organisers in Qatar will little choice but to suggest a late November to December date.

This all means that the final could be set for as late as 23rd December, although with that date falling on a Friday in 2022, Sunday 18th seems the more likely option. Jim Boyce, Vice-President of fifa, has expressed concerns over the final:

"That's the only reservation I would have and I would like it a week earlier, but I want to wait until the Fifa executive committee meeting to hear all the details about the dates."

Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the English Premier League, backed up Boyce’s remarks, asserting that efforts must be made to “keep the Christmas and New year programme intact.”

Professional football leagues in an estimated 50 countries will see wide spread disruption as a result of the cup, causing mangers such as Stoke City’s Peter Coates to publicly slate the decision, referring to it as a “disaster”.

"The only saving grace is that we don't have to think about it for a long time. It couldn't be more disruptive."

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will almost certainly have to be set back to avoid further conflicts for the players involved in both. The length of the World Cup will also be reduced by a few days to fit into the proposed schedule.

Since the announcement, the hashtag #Qatar2022 has been used by many to draw attention to the startling statistics detailing the deaths of hundreds of migrant workers, and to call for a boycott of the 2022 Cup in protest.


Looking at the various factors, it does seem a strange decision for fifa to go to such lengths to hold the World Cup in a country with little football culture historically, and which has been criticised over recent years for attitudes on issues such as homosexuality and racism. These are major issues which governing bodies have been making efforts to expel from the footballing world for years now, and this particular choice of venue may be detrimental to that cause.

Sam Bonson
Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working part time as a content writer, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/. 

Outrage Over Qatar World Cup

Our Friends

businessinsider.com

Facebook is looking to increase its advertising foothold in the UK, starting with a brand new TV advert promoting the site, but also seemingly just promoting friendship in general. The ad depicts a whole spectrum of different events in people’s lives, ranging from joyful to romantic to frightening, with the value of friendship being the prevailing theme. 

The piece ends with the instantly recognizable ‘F’ logo fading in with a white background. No address, no name, just the logo, exemplifying just how massive Facebook has become.



The ad has been floating around online for a little over a week, as well as appearing during a UEFA Champion’s League game. In addition to this, outdoor ads have been placed in Oxford Street station and are likely to start popping up elsewhere before too long.

The campaign has been spearheaded by Scott Trattner, executive creative director of The Factory, Facebook’s internal creative team. Trattner previously worked for a media agency tied to Apple, which would go some way to explaining the soft-focus, stripped down, Apple-like veneer of this ad and the campaign it belongs to.

A few other ads under this umbrella have been circulating in the US for quite some time and with Mark Zuckerberg making no secret of his intent to spread Facebook’s influence to the farthest corners of the planet, expect to see it popping up in more countries as time goes by. In fact, this series is stylistically similar to the ads Facebook have been running for Internet.org, which emphasize the importance of bringing the internet to the parts of the world which have yet to properly implement it.


The jury’s out on whether or not Facebook actually need televised advertising, but to me this feels less like a reach to pull more potential users in and more a celebration of the site’s success and an affirmation of its ethos. 

Zuckerberg wants everyone to know that Facebook stands for connectivity and that it’s synonymous with friendship now, more than a website. Make of that what you will, but you have to admire just how far the site has come in the past 11 years. 

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Facebook Unveil First UK TV Ad