Social Media

Tweets from people, businesses & brands don’t match up

Researchers say they know when users are going to Tweet – and what type of a Twitter user is behind the accounts.

A team at the Imperial College in London analyzed the Twitter activities of three different types of users: real people, managed accounts (by businesses and organizations) and Twitter bots.

Looking at more than 160,000 tweets, the researchers looked for patterns.

From the time of the day that tweets were sent to the frequency between tweets, they broke down the numbers.

After sorting through the stats, the researchers say they can accurately predict when the analyzed accounts will tweet, and how often they’ll send one of those 140-character digital dispatches.

What’s more is that they figured out that most people (real humans) will be active on Twitter in the afternoons and evenings.

The personal accounts tweet from 7 a.m. to midnight throughout the week, at evenly predictable times.

Managed accounts – whether they’re corporate brands or public figures – are more likely to tweet during business hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday.

That creates a small problem, however.

The accounts run by companies are active on Twitter only half the time real people are active. So businesses dumping money into social media marketing are active, they’re just reaching half the audience they could grasp due to operating during business hours.

Looking at the characteristics for each type of user, the study found bots tweet at random times throughout the week.

Are your Twitter followers active on Twitter when you’re active? Do you think there is a mis-match that brands and businesses need to address?

The most popular place to Celebrate Canada Day was…

While anybody can check into the places they’re at using Facebook on any day of the year, the world’s largest social network zeroed in on the places that Canadians were checking in to most on Canada Day.

After crunching the numbers and sorting the stats, the most checked-in place on Facebook for this year’s Canada Day was the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa.

Surprisingly (for me at least), the second-most popular place was Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Perhaps many Canadians were flying home or going away on holiday, sharing their whereabouts with their social world as they travelled the real world.

Which – actually – might not be the best thing to do.

Police caution against checking in to places when you’re on vacation, alerting potential thieves to the fact you’re away from home (and asking for a break-in).

In third place was Donald M. Gordon Chinguacousy Park in Brampton, Ont.  and then came the Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays were playing a game.

As we go down the list, we come across other spots in Canada, such as the Old Port of Montreal and Vancouver International Airport.

Then in eighth place came Canada Place in Vancouver, followed by Niagara Falls and then Centennial Park in Toronto.

Alleged Rob Ford crack video prompts video game

Stay_mayor_rob_fordToronto’s embattled mayor appears to have been the inspiration behind a new video game.

The game, Stay Mayor, doesn’t specifically say it’s about Rob Ford, but just check out the plot line and decide for yourself.

Users play the role of a mayor who must avoid the “Blood Thirsty Media” to buy an alleged video of him smoking crack. Only the Toronto Star and Gawker are reporting that they have seen such a video.

Note: We haven’t seen the video – and we can verify if it’s even authentic.

Read more

Tweets to be displayed on giant billboards, in malls

sample_tweet_billboardExpect to see 140-character messages on big billboards as you drive around major Canadian cities this summer.

Pattison Onestop and Spacing Magazine are launching a project this summer that will see Tweets about our cities displayed on billboards and in malls.

The cross-Canada art project is aimed at sparking discussions about the issues facing the cities we live in.

 So maybe you’ll see a Tweet questioning the need for a wall of condos in Toronto, beside the Gardiner Expressway.

Or you could see a Tweet about the Alberta oilsands, as you shop for shoes inside a mall in Calgary.

To get your message posted, send a Tweet about a Canadian city to @DearCityCanada by June 15. Just start the Tweet off by saying “Dear Vancouver….” (or address it to any other Canadian city.)

The tweets will be shown every five minutes on display screens inside malls in 33 cities across the country, from June 3-June 15.

Then in July and August, the messages sent to @DearCityCanada will go big – displayed on the big giant billboards operated by Pattison in 19 cities.

In a statement, Spacing Magazine Editor Shawn Micallef says the magazine is excited to get this “art” into public spaces.

Whether you see this as art or not, Micallef also points out that this will be a way for Canadians to show love – or “even some tough love” for our cities.

Unicef slams Facebook, Twitter ‘slacktivism’

The international humanitarian aid group Unicef is slamming people who ‘Like’ and retweet things on social media that aim to help people in need, because ultimately, clicking the Like button is a slacker’s way of getting involved, it seems.

unicefadTo get the point across, Unicef started an ad campaign to show people that actions speak louder than Likes.

 Slacktivism is what happens when someone does something, or starts something, but what they’ve done doesn’t really make a difference.

Unicef Sweden’s director of communications says that likes and social media is a good “first step” to getting involved, but people need to do more for things to actually happen.

“Likes don’t save children’s lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance,” Petra Hallebrant told the Atlantic.

The ad campaign to get the message across is so brilliant, you would think it came from the office of Don Draper on Mad Men.

One of Unicef’s ads shows a man and woman out at a restaurant. When it comes time to pay the bill, the two say they’ll split the bill 50-50, but he’ll pay for his share in ‘Likes’ while she has to actually pay money.

Another video shows a little boy saying he’ll get sick, but he thinks everything will be alright because Unicef Sweden got 177,000 likes on Facebook.

At the end of the videos, they show a message that says vaccines can’t be bought with likes, so make a donation to the organization.


This is quite possibly the first major campaign against slacktivism – which runs rampant on Facebook and Twitter.

People took part in memorial runs for victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings – but who actually donated to the groups helping the victims return to living normal lives again?

And women on Facebook wrote cryptic status updates saying where they like it (to put their purse) for breast cancer awareness, but did they actually donate to research projects or groups helping patients?

Unicef thinks slacktivism is a problem on social networking sites like Facebook – do you agree?

WeVideo app easily edits video on Android

The video editing app WeVideo is almost like an Android version of iMovie.

The app starts off by letting you add and remove videos to a production. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping clips from your phone’s collection to a timeline. Don’t like a clip? Drag it out.

Then, edit your clips by using the Trim tool to get the cuts of the shots you do – or don’t – want to use. You can also adjust the audio levels. Both controls are with handy sliders.

Add a title to the start of your video, and customize how long it shows up for.

After the core editing is done, apply an Instagram-like filter to punch up the artistic qualities of your video. There’s a fairly broad selection, from Bold Distinct to the fun ‘Confetti’ option. The first option will add some lens vignetting and will amp up the contrast. The latter option will make everything seem fun, fluffy and bright.

Once your video is done, you can share it to an array of social networks, including Facebook, Videmo, Youtube and WeVideo.

Will users ‘Like’ Facebook’s new Home?

facebook_homeFacebook announced a new, major product called Home this week – and a partnership with HTC to sell phones with deep Facebook integration.

Those who spend every moment on their phone stalking friends on Facebook and Instagram will have reason to rejoice. But if your life doesn’t revolve around Poking and Liking, you might feel like you’re stuck in a fish tank.

The new Home ‘app’ essentially replaces the Android home screen with Facebook, bringing photo-centric status updates to your home screen.

You can also write status updates, upload photos and share links from Home.

When it comes to apps, Facebook has hidden them behind another menu. It’s all part of a move to get people spending more time in Facebook, or as the company says, more time connecting with people rather than apps.

On the topic of connecting with people, Facebook Home will also include a feature called Chat Heads. This is a way of receiving text message and Facebook message notifications from your friends, with little profile icons popping up in the top-right corner of your screen, no matter which app you’re in.

In all honesty, Home looks like it’ll be a great home for social media addicts who thrive off photos of their friends’ meals and duck faces.

But for anyone who uses their phone to get stuff done, burying apps beyond the Home interface is going to create a layer of disconnect with the apps that have made smartphones so successful.

It’s almost as if Facebook is giving everyone the chance to drink nothing but black coffee, unless they push through the crowd and ask for milk and sugar.

For some, there’s nothing wrong with that. But not everyone takes their coffee the same way.

What do you think of Facebook home?

The further you travel, the happier your tweets?

twitter_logoSick of seeing your friends’ happy, optimistic tweets when they’re away from home? Or can’t stand that co-worker who gleefully gloats about their vacation on Twitter?

You can’t blame them, a new study suggests.

According to researchers at the University of Vermont, people’s tweets are happier the further away they are from home.

The group analyzed roughly four billion tweets, sent from the year 2011 to now.

They compared tweets sent from a user’s geographical home location to messages sent out of town.

Using the exact latitude and longitude of tweets (to within 10 metres), researchers classified tweets based on whether they were sent near where a user lived, or from somewhere different.

You might be wondering – how did they know where a user lived? Well, it was simply a matter of knowing where most tweets were sent from, over and over, on a consistent basis.

Figuring out a tweet’s happiness was a little more complicated. To solve that problem, they came up with hedonometer.

Taking into account the number of words in a tweet, such as “great”, “new” – helped classify a tweet as being happy.

Meanwhile, a tweet with “hate” or “bored” would symbolize a negative tweet.

What they found was that the happiness of tweets goes up the further away they are from home, especially when they’re thousands of kilometres away from home.

Tweets about 1 km from home are typically less happy.

Users on Twitter who usually have a wider variation in distances also tended to use the happier words more often those who didn’t always tweet from such a selection of different places, away from home.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that jet-setters are happier, but it just means that they’re tweeting happier thoughts.

Do you get sick of seeing really happy or sad tweets on Twitter?

Why are people changing their Facebook profile pictures to equal signs?

575655_10151537626668281_250692150_nA whole bunch of my friends have changed their Facebook profile photos from pictures of their beautiful faces and pets to pictures of an equal sign on a red background.

I know many change their names in an effort to remain anonymous and private on the social network – but why a red block with two white horizontal lines?

This trend is part of a growing movement for equality.

The Human Rights Campaign – or HRC – is pushing for equality in the U.S. for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. (more…)

Facebook aims to axe the clutter with new News Feed design

facebook_timelineIt seems that every time Facebook rolls out a new design, users get upset with the new look.

Moving menus around and switching up the location of common features throws people off and leaves them disoriented, like walking off a wild roller coaster ride in the digital sphere.

Next thing you know, some users create a petition, pleading for Facebook to put things back to how it used to be.

So as Facebook slowly rolls out a redesigned News Feed to the masses, one can’t help but wonder if they listened to the people before changing things up on their audience?

Facebook says it consulted real users – going as far as printing out physical copies of content – so that it could understand what people wanted with the redesign. And that input has helped shape what you see now as the new News feed.

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