Social Media

Social Media news and trends

Do Online Quizzes Fuel Narcissism or Just Harmless Fun?

The average Facebook timeline is not a place for the cynical or easily frustrated and even the most patient will tire of being bombarded with bridezillas, drinkers, wannabe politicians, constant game invites, baby bores, fitness freaks or even people practicing the relatively new art humblebragging where an individual delivers hidden claims on status by presenting them as an innocuous or humble personal anecdote.

In our constant quest to show the world something about who we really are, we have almost become our very own PR manager in this digital age. Whilst attempting to illustrate our uniqueness we have given birth to the ubiquitous online Facebook quiz.

The increasingly familiar quizzes all begin with “What (insert generic TV character here) are you?” or something like “What city should you live in?”


Zimbio and Buzzfeed seem to have captured the mood of the moment with their countless quizzes for all to express their individual personality. With millions of people across the global community falling over themselves to share their results, its of no surprise that the infamous “What City Should You Live In?” has amassed more than 20 million unique visitors and this kind of data is incredibly lucrative if marketed correctly.

BuzzFeed have recently begun working with clients to make the quizzes, which currently include “Which David Bowie Are You?” from Spotify. The “Which Barbie doll are you?” quiz from “featured partner” Mattel has around 152,000 Facebook shares since it launched on Feb. 21, a spokesperson for the site told Mashable

These types of quizzes are not a new idea and families have been filling out very similar in magazines and newspapers for years but the difference now is you can instantly share your results to everyone you know within a quick click and after all it’s just a giggle isn’t it?


Breaking it down, it’s very often, just a bunch of friends who all love the same TV show, entering a quick quiz to see which character they most resemble before sharing the results together and this cleverly taps into the oldest aspect of the social human condition which is to find a common connection with each other.

The more cynical amongst us, would suggest that we have all become infected with a heavy dose of narcissism and we should actually ask ourselves what our behaviour says about ourselves?

Spending your spare time searching through endless online quizzes, for the soul purpose of expressing to the world what kind of person you really are, is not a healthy pastime.

Maybe the antidote to our modern narcissism can be found in the 1985 Brat Pack movie, The Breakfast Club and the poetic closing scene where the cast learn that although they all come from different social groups and have stereotypes about each other. Ultimately they realised that they all had universal problems in common and learned new things about each other that actually made them more the same than different.

“We think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…athlete……and a basket case… …a princess… …and a criminal.  Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question?… Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club”

Ironically though, I have probably just unintentionally (honest) just given birth to a “Which Breakfast Club Character Are You?” online quiz and between me and you, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

**Update** 24th March 2014.

What was that ruckus?

What was that ruckus?

Several weeks after this post, can you guess what appeared on Buzzfeed?

Correct, the “Which Breakfast Club Character Are You?” arrived for all to answer and share, but as much as I would like to think that I inspired this latest quiz, I believe the true inspiration is because it was unbelievably 30 years since the day of the most infamous school detention in movie history.

Saturday March 24th, 1984, Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois.” So said Anthony Michael Hall in the opening voice over and if that doesn’t make you feel old, nothing will.



Facebook Buying WhatsApp For $16B In Cash And Stock, But It Will Remain Independent

If you thought this was another Twitter hoax, I’m afraid you are mistaken and the rumours are true. Facebook is indeed going to buy the popular messaging behemoth WhatsApp for $16 billion yes that’s right $16 billion that consists of $12B in Facebook shares and $4B in cash.

You can find all the information on the Facebook Blog whilst the fine print can be found at the regulatory filing. The people at Facebook are quick to stop anyone panicking by speaking about the Instagram business model to quell any speculation.

Facebook fosters an environment where independent-minded entrepreneurs can build companies, set their own direction and focus on growth while also benefiting from Facebook’s expertise, resources and scale. This approach is working well with Instagram, and WhatsApp will operate in this manner. WhatsApp’s brand will be maintained; its headquarters will remain in Mountain View, CA; Jan Koum will join Facebook’s Board of Directors; and WhatsApp’s core messaging product and Facebook’s existing Messenger app will continue to operate as standalone applications.” (more…)

UK Journalists seeking accreditation for Brit Awards asked to agree coverage of sponsor MasterCard

Another lesson of how not to use Social Media was learned today, after the PR company who represents this year’s BritAwards sponsors MasterCard appear to have insisted that journalists guarantee coverage for their client, if they wish to attend the event.

Before two journalists from the broadsheet The Telegraph were given accreditation to attend the event, House PR reportedly asked them to agree to a number of requests about the coverage they will give the sponsors.

Unbelievably they went as far as to draft Twitter messages which they would like the journalists to send out and asked that they include a mention of the marketing campaign #PricelessSurprises and @MasterCardUK.

Here’s the email that was sent to Telegraph Mandrake columnist Tim Walker:

Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. As you know we’ve been in touch re. accreditation for the BRIT’s but just wanted to check in with you directly to confirm that you are happy with the below.

Firstly as part of our Priceless Surprise we are putting on cars to take guests directly to the awards – we will be booking your car to take both yourself and Katy from the office at 4:30pm. Are you happy with these details?

The Internet Speaks...

The Internet Speaks…

In addition – in return for this ticket we would like to ask that you agree to the following…

Social media support from both publication and personal Twitter feed

Pre event – e.g. Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with @MasterCardUK #PricelessSurprises


Facebook Is 10 Years Old! Prepare For A Swamped Timeline Of Here’s My Facebook Movie…

Just about every TV show these days, builds up some regular guy or girl only to evict them from our TV screens and lives until the next batch of reality stars can take their place on prime time TV. However everyone’s favourite part of this over familiar process is the now infamous “lets look at your best bits” montage. After all even Rocky had a montage right?

As Facebook celebrates its 10-year anniversary today, it’s driving the world to look back at how the social network has changed its appearance and how it has changed our lives.

You too, can now have your very own best bits cheesy personalised video, but once again when algorithm-based software rears its ugly head, it can ironically feel a little impersonal which is exactly the opposite of what it was trying to achieve.

Looking at a combination of mundane photos or drunken nights out with a sentimental music soundtrack could be quite amusing and for those of you with a shady Facebook past prepare for some emotional scars to resurface but for most of you it’s quite a nice way to look back at your virtual life.

You can see your own personalised video here

Mark Zuckerberg seemed to edge towards the sentimental today when he gushed the following.

“It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. It’s rare to be able to touch so many people’s lives, and I try to remind myself to make the most of every day and have the biggest impact I can.

People often ask if I always knew that Facebook would become what it is today. No way.

I remember getting pizza with my friends one night in college shortly after opening Facebook. I told them I was excited to help connect our school community, but one day someone needed to connect the whole world.

I always thought this was important — giving people the power to share and stay connected, empowering people to build their own communities themselves.

When I reflect on the last 10 years, one question I ask myself is: why were we the ones to build this? We were just students. We had way fewer resources than big companies. If they had focused on this problem, they could have done it.

The only answer I can think of is: we just cared more.

While some doubted that connecting the world was actually important, we were building. While others doubted that this would be sustainable, you were forming lasting connections.

The days when the worlds biggest social media site was “thefacebook”

We just cared more about connecting the world than anyone else. And we still do today.

That’s why I’m even more excited about the next ten years than the last. The first ten years were about bootstrapping this network. Now we have the resources to help people across the world solve even bigger and more important problems.

Today, only one-third of the world’s population has access to the internet. In the next decade, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to connect the other two-thirds.

Today, social networks are mostly about sharing moments. In the next decade, they’ll also help you answer questions and solve complex problems.

Today, we have only a few ways to share our experiences. In the next decade, technology will enable us to create many more ways to capture and communicate new kinds of experiences.

It’s been amazing to see how all of you have used our tools to build a real community. You’ve shared the happy moments and the painful ones. You’ve started new families, and kept spread out families connected. You’ve created new services and built small businesses. You’ve helped each other in so many ways.

I’m so grateful to be able to help build these tools for you. I feel a deep responsibility to make the most of my time here and serve you the best I can.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey”

It appears that our friend Zuckenberg is a big softy at heart, so forget about Bitstrip, it’s time to prepare for your Timeline to be swamped with the words “Here’s My Facebook Film” and wish Happy 10th Birthday to everyone’s guilty pleasure.

The Facebook Movie Backlash Begins Now..

The Facebook Movie Backlash Begins Now..

However, as with anything of a viral nature, it doesnt take long until the backlash begins and after only 24 hours, the internet is awash with sarcastic responses to the Facebook Movie videos.

Lumi – Web Content Discovery Site From Last FM Founders

I binge on music via Spotify and Last FM, binge view my way through TV Boxsets on NetFlix and Info binge from hundreds of websites via content discovery apps like Flipboard and Pulse so I guess it’s of no surprise that LastFM founders Felix Miller and Martin Stiksel have created Lumi which a content discovery app that feeds you interesting content that you probably would have never found based on your past browsing history.

Martin Stiksel advised that users are not interested in being bombarded with details of what their friends were doing but wanted recommendations based on their own interests, reflected in their past browsing.

Whilst every new start up continues the obsession of sharing content, it’s hard to believe that only now are people realising that most people really don’t care what everyone else is doing and have their own unique interests, and this is where Lumi really excels.

Martin told the Next Web “‘I’ve been browsing the Web for 15 years and I have no benefit from that. I have a few bookmarks and I’ve learnt how to write a good Google query but that’s it – all this knowledge I’ve produced, all these choices I’ve made, they all disappear into the ether

No one allows users to put their browsing history to work,” Stiksel told Mashable. “That idea just proved so strong that we came back from retirement.” (more…)

Thunderclap – The Crowdspeaking Platform To Amplify Any Message.

Thunderclap is an interesting tool that taps into the current buzzwords of engagement, influence and reach by allowing people to pledge Tweets to a cause or event and once enough tweets have been accumulated, they are unleashed simultaneously for maximum impact and allows a message to be heard by everyone saying it together.

You don’t need big numbers to make an impact with the all important “Reach factor” potentially meaning that a user with 200 Facebook friends could amplify a message better than someone with 3,000 friends. It all depends on your cause or events voice and shareability—and how much your friends are engaged.

Essentially think of Thunderclap as one message, one number, one date making It a tangible way to measure awareness and there is no reason to worry about spamming, because you only ever allow Thunderclap to share a message on your behalf if the project reaches its goal.

In November the British Legion became the first UK organisation to use a social media tool to encourage people to mark the two-minute silence, by using Thunderclap to allow Twitter and Facebook users to simultaneously send the same message.

The message: “I’ll be remembering the fallen at 11 o’clock #2MinuteSilence #LestWeForget,” was sent at 09:00 on Remembrance Sunday, the charity and the campaign was a huge success with a social reach of over 10 million people.


Proof the Thunder Clap can work in the UK

The BBC are now getting involved and are asking for people to show support for their flagship technology programme Click fronted by Kate Russell’s and advise “Click’s first BBC2 airing on 14/01? We’re running a Thunder to spread the word!”

As more and more companies look at how they improve online engagement and the amplification of a humble tweet, this could be the year that we begin to hear much more about “Thunder Clap” but only time will tell if it can work as a business marketing tool, and eventually prove invaluable or will disappear into the night that Flash Mobs that were all the rage a few years ago.

One to keep an eye on in 2013.