Facebook Mobile Monthly Active Users Q3 2012

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Flickr Credit

Techcrunch reports that approximately 126 million mobile MAUs accessed Facebook solely through mobile apps or on Facebook’s mobile website during the month ended September 30, 2012, increasing 24% from 102 million during the month ended June 30, 2012. This confirms that the mobile use trends are growing, as Facebook saw a 23% increase in mobile only users from 83 million in March to 102 million in June.

Developing Markets

Increased mobile browsing does not necessarily prove that users are browsing Facebook less on traditional desktop or computers. Rather, it is likely that there are more users in developing markets such as Brazil and India are using feature phones more to connect to Facebook. Facebook’s key emerging markets kept growing fast in Q3. Brazil’s monthly active users (MAU) hit 61 million, up 13% from 54 million at the end of June, and up 109% year-over-year. India hit 65 million MAU, up 8.5% from 59 million at the end of Q2, and up 62% since September 30th, 2011. Sadly,  for Facebook, growth in both those markets is slowing, as Brazil grew 146% and India grew 84% from June 30th 2011 to June 2012. Some good news is that Japan grew to 18 million MAU, up 218% year-over-year. US Growth Just 1.71%

Mature Markets

Facebook reports that they had 171 million MAUs in the United States as of September 30, 2012, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2011, and an increase of 1.71% from 168 million as of June 30th.

The Pains and Opportunities of Facebook’s EdgeRank Changes

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It has now been nearly been a month since Ogilvy reported that Facebook had made big changes to the way their EdgeRank algorithm worked.  Since then, discussions with fellow Facebook Page admins and media blog posts have all reported that they have seen a sharp decline in their organic reach since September 20th.

Since the introduction of Timeline back in April, many brands have seen their reach decrease naturally decline, as more pages and more users create content. This has an effect on what is seen on News Feed. The more user content that is pushed to the news feed, the less opportunity that your brand content will be seen by people who have liked your page.

Is this a cunning ploy by Facebook to generate more advertising revenue from brands? Or, is this a justifiable change to reflect the ever increasing number of pages and users who fan those pages?

Facebook themselves have been very quiet about the recent changes. However, a Facebook rep recently confirmed the following:

· We’re continually optimizing newsfeed to ensure the most relevant experience for our users

· One of the key factors in our optimization is engagement: the amount of clicks, likes, comments, shares etc. generated by a piece of content

· While overall engagement should remain relatively consistent as a result of our most recent optimization, your organic reach may be impacted

· The more engaging your content, the lower the impact this optimization should have on your reach going forward

· Feed is optimized to show users the posts they are most likely to engage with, where engagement is defined as clicking, liking, commenting, or sharing the post – or in the case of offers, claiming the offer.

· Posts that are more likely to be engaging tend to appear higher in feed. Some of the strongest factors that influence this are how engaging an individual post has been for other users who have seen it, and how engaged a user has historically been with other posts they’ve seen from that page. Feed also takes negative feedback into account, which is the number of people who have hidden a post or reported it as spam.

· Finally, if a page has a piece of content that it feels will be very engaging e.g. A good offer, a great photo, an announcement, etc. then using paid media to “boost” that post to fans in newsfeed can be an effective tool to increase engagement with fans

Before September 20th, all fans were created equal. However, with user numbers beyond the 1 billion mark, Facebook has decided that fans are no longer equal on your brand pages. Some fans are more likely to engage with your content than others and EdgeRank has always reflected that. However, the algorithms have been “turbo charged” more than ever before to reflect what really makes for engaging content.

How does this play out in the real world? Well, EdgeRank Checker did some tests of their own and found the following insight:

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The typical Facebook Page in their data set was experiencing 26% Organic Reach the week before the September 20th. The week after the 20th, these same Pages were experiencing 19.5%. These Pages lost approximately 6.5% of their Reach since the changes.

A reduction in organic reach, and evidence from Facebook that reach drives revenue for online brand marketers, suggests that in order to increase reach, brands will need to consider advertising as one lever of getting a brand message out there. However, it is important to remember that only the most engaging posts will react better. Sponsoring a bad post, will not give it more reach.

Brands are encouraged to experiment more with their content strategies, to understand what resonates better with their fans. Producing better, more engaging content that is “social by design”. In other words, content that people naturally want to comment on and share on will more likely make it to News Feed for longer.

How To Clean Unwanted Apps in Social Media

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Avi Charkham has created a wonderful site called http://mypermissions.org/ which helps users to manage the ever growing list of apps, that we are associate our social accounts too.  It is good to practice to prune services and apps that you no longer use for good security best practice. To make life easier, I’ve posted the direct links below:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=applications

Twitter: http://twitter.com/settings/connections

Google: https://www.google.com/accounts/IssuedAuthSubTokens

Yahoo: https://api.login.yahoo.com/WSLogin/V1/unlink?.intl=us&.scrumb=oGuZry/Yg97

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?userAgree=&goback=.aas

Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/account#applications

Instagram: https://instagr.am/oauth/manage_access

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/services/auth/list.gne?from=extend

How To Build a Winning Facebook Page

 

Buddy Media’s Michael Lazerow delivered a fantastic talk at LeWeb11 on the latest trends for Facebook Pages, and Michael highlighted some of the best ways brands are currently using Facebook to engage with people and grow their business. The entire video is well worth watching and Michael’s deck from the talk is also available in this post. I have highlighted my own notes in bullet form which you can read below.

  • Facebook is massive – 850M active users on one global platform
  • 50% login everyday
  • 94% of digital marketers focus on Facebook
  • 9M businesses have a page on Facebook
  • Successful brands are dominating the wall and publishing to it with a purpose
  • Increases in engagement, lead to increases in impressions which then lead to more engagement. This is Facebook’s virtuous cycle.
  • Tie your posts to what is going on in the real world – Break news!
  • Keep status updates short, with a simple Call to Action (CTA)
  • Simple CTAs are very important, tell your consumers what you want them to do! Don’t make users think
  • Use photo galleries and put the CTA in the photo itself
  • Success depends on understanding Facebook metrics.
    Confused about the metrics?  Just look at what Facebook SAYS is important.
    If Facebook says its important, then then they are optimising it against their algorithms
  • How many people are engaging on your page?  “Talking about this?”   There are people who have created a ‘story’ in the last seven days (comments, likes, responses to events, most commented posts, answered a question, mentioned your page, tagging your page, checked in, etc)
  • Look at impressions, how many people saw your post though the organic news feed? How many people saw your page through paid media?  How many people saw your page through viral actions e.g non fans, who your post through your friends actions?
  • Coupons work! – coupons are the most engaging word on Facebook
  • Lots of brands are using exclusive content – even if it’s non fan gated (Share this with friends and we will reveal something exclusive)
  • Like-Gate content and vote!
  • Like our page to get access to the event, or content FROM the event
  • If you are having events, invite people THROUGH Facebook

 

 

 

You can also see the panel discussion that followed Michael’s talk – Going beyond creating a Facebook page which is also well worth watching.

 

Facebook Launches Places [Updated]

Last night, Facebook launched “Places”. You can see the announcement and launch video above. This new service from Facebook is similar to other Local Based Services (LBS) such as Foursquare and Gowalla, where you “Check in” at various locations and announce your presence.  Places allows you to see where your friends are and share your location in the real world. When you use Places, you’ll be able to see if any of your friends are currently checked in nearby and connect with them easily. You can check into nearby Places to tell your friends where you are, tag your friends in the Places you visit, and view comments your friends have made about the Places you visit.

Facebook is working with a small group of LBS developers including Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and Booyah to build Places check ins into their own services. However, Facebook is also launching its own Places API, which means that Facebook will eventually become the key platform on which other location based applications will be be built upon. This is huge for Facebook and no doubt worrying for Twitter and Google.

Places works in conjunction with geo location supported smartphones and allows you to:

  • Check in and your Places update, which will appear on the Places page, your friends’ News Feed and your Wall.
  • Tag the friends you’re with so they can be part of your update.
  • Appear in "Here Now" to friends and others nearby who are also checked in.
  • Browse status updates of friends checked in nearby.

[Updated] Facebook releases, “Why to Check In?” video

It will be interesting to see the uptake of businesses on this new feature. To help them, Facebook has released a short guide to help advertisers, you can read the guide below.

Places creates a presence for your business’s physical store locations- encouraging your customers to share that they’ve visited your business by “checking in” to your Place. When your customer checks into your Place, these check-in stories can generate powerful, organic impressions in friends’ News Feeds, extending your brand’s reach to new customers.

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As of writing, the new service is not available outside of the US. However, a global rollout is expected over the coming months. Use Places on touch.facebook.com or the Facebook for iPhone.

NB. Places is currently available on phones that support W3 geolocation.