Friday briefing 7/10

The marketing team gives us a roundup of this week's hot topics


Tala Byrne. Brian Grassie. Mark Oliver.

This week's discussion from Tala, Brian and Mark focuses on Facebook's admission of inaccurate metrics, the launch of its Marketplace, and the future of Twitter as potential buyers circle overhead.

Facebook launches Marketplace

The big news in social media land this week is all about Facebook making it easier for people to spend their precious pennies by making purchases without ever having to leave their feed. There have been two key product launches in that vein this week.

Firstly the launch of Marketplace, Facebook's answer to Gumtree, which lets users put items up for sale, contact the sellers through Messenger to ask questions about them and arrange to pick the items up. This seems like a great solution for users who are already members of their local 'buy, swap, sell' Facebook group and are constantly annoyed by notifications for items they aren't always interested in. Although there are only simple search filters so far (you can search by location or by broad item categories) it already seems like the service is taking off, with a mixture of useful and hilarious listings! Scrolling through creepy dolls and half eaten apples for sale on Marketplace has already become a favourite hobby of the social media team at Dog.

On top of that, Facebook has made big steps into something they've been talking about for a while - the ability to make purchases while in conversations with a business through Messenger. This first launch is with Shopify, and it works by giving customers a “Shop Now” option when they open a conversation window with any Facebook Business Page store. This will bring up the product catalogue and let users browse and purchase through Shopify's checkout portal. Check out the gif to see how it works and full details here on TechCrunch.

Tala Byrne, Social Media Manager


Twitter Acquisition - Potential Buyers & The Rumblings So Far

It's been a year of substantial change at Twitter, and there may be some some major events in the not too distant future. Whilst speculation on a buyout has never been far away, the rumour mill has picked up pace in the last week. Much of this has been built on the perceived struggles at Twitter, its failure to close the gap on Facebook, numerous changes to management, products and designs, haven't set the heather alight. From a marketeers perspective Twitter still has plenty to offer, particularly around B2B, often providing a more economical route into Business users when compared to LinkedIn. Whilst usage has declined in recent years there are still a reported 300 million Tweets being created each day.

It's been widely documented that in its 10 year existence Twitter has failed to deliver a profit. So why would it ever appear to represent an attractive proposition for investors? The apparent interest from Salesforce, Google and Disney catches the eye. If there is any substance to these rumours then each organisation would have very different motives for acquiring Twitter. The main attraction is likely to be the vast mine of data owned by Twitter. For Google the Walled Garden of Social Media is unlikely to be accessed via Facebook any time soon. Twitter would represent a lower cost (and more willing) participant should any takeover materialise. With access to over 300 million users and obvious linked between the video ambitions of Twitter and the strength of Youtube, there would appear to be a plausible case for Google (Alphabet) to go ahead with a the purchase.

For more on Salesforce's 'no comment' check

For the time being there are no official offers, however the market has already seen the impact of the uncertainty. 

Brian Grassie, PPC Manager


Facebook reportedly miscalculated video watch time for two years, upsetting advertisers

I thought I’d take a brief look at the recent news that Facebook has admitted it had been exaggerating engagement figures for its video advertising. Mashable explained the issue a few weeks back.

Although it appears to be bad news for those who have spent money promoting video on the platform, in the grand scheme of things it could prove to be a good thing as it further shines a light on online advertising heavyweights like Facebook and Google, and the extent to which their data can be considered wholly accurate.

Currently advertisers are very much forced to accept engagement stats from Facebook and Google at face value, there’s little scope to challenge the data - who are we to dispute an increase in click costs for example, if Google tells us it’s simply down to seasonality?

We’re seeing our clients paying more and more attention to where exactly their advertising budgets are being spent, putting more emphasis on us as an agency to report accurately on click, impression and engagement data. Clients expect full transparency from us, and rightly so, therefore we should expect the same from the companies who operate the media platforms we utilise on a daily basis.

With online advertising spend continuing to grow, and organisations paying more and more attention to data analysis, we can expect to see further pressure put on the likes of Facebook and Google to provide a greater degree of visibility and potentially open their platforms to more third-party analytics providers.

Mashable explains the state of play here.

Mark Oliver, Search Marketing Manager


It's a week of social media news in a grown up, business sense - commerciality and accountability making the news this week. As ever, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!