Digital UK: We are Social have pulled together a very useful state of the digital nation from the 2013 UK Digital Future in Focus report published by comScore. Loved the tweetable highlights:

  • As of December 2012, we’re at over 50% mobile penetration in all EU countries
  • We spend 37 hours a month online in the UK – more than any other country
  • Online shopping reaches 9 out of 10 UK Internet users
  • 1 in 5 of us use their mobile to shop

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 20.41.18

Foursquare is about maps and data – not badges and mayorships: I’ve not been the biggest fan of the location based social network Foursquare – seems like I’ve missed the point! Founder Dennis Crowley was at SXSW this week to talk about the future of location and the shift from social network to utility. I’ve only been able to read the @JeremyWaite‘s Storify of the talk, but that has provided some fascinating insight. For example, using Foursquare data, you could see what people in New York were up to during Hurricane Sandy or you can map all the checkins on Foursquare across the entire globe over the last three months – there’s 500 million of them, so you have a pretty robust dataset. Go on, zoom in to London. You can clearly identify roads, even Hyde Park and Heathrow are easily identifiable. As for data, think about it like this: Foursquare can tell you who the most influential customers (on social media) are that visit your stores.

The thing I’m taking away from the talk though is this pithy summary of what Foursquare is: Foursquare is a local search engine. It was about the merit system – something I don’t think really ever caught on – In 2009. Today they’re are phasing out the gamification and focusing on local data, maps and recommendations.

Just to finish on SXSW, the guys at Edelman Digital published a handful of their SXSW observations from the annual gathering. A good, quick overview.

Habemus Papam Franciscum: Gotta hand it to the Catholics, they sure know how to run a press event. For three days the world’s media watched a chimney and compared many old men who they knew little about. Meanwhile, millions of people had the their fingers and pope puns ready to tweet. Finally, when white smoke did billow from the chimney, seven million tweets welcomed Pope Francis and his first tweet has already been retweeted over 80,000 times – my particular favourite tweet was from a guy wasn’t too chuffed with the announcement.

While we’re on the topic, a cheeky look at what PR folks can learn from the Vatican and the 10 social media business commandments. As cheesy as it sounds, these are actually quite good!

Facebook is no longer cool: Last week I talked about Facebook, their new Newsfeed design and what will chance. This week Buzzfeed added to a growing list of articles from a variety of publications that talk about how Facebook is slowly losing it’s cool. Essentially, Buzzfeed argues that Facebook has been so focused on creating an environment conducive to apps, it has left users and their personal needs by the wayside.

You are what you like: Facebook users are unwittingly revealing intimate secrets – including their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs – using only public “like” updates, according to a study of online privacy by Cambridge University.

‘Liked’ hospitals have a lower mortality rate: A new study published in The American Journal of Medical Quality points analyzed the 30-day mortality rates across 40 New York hospitals and cross-referenced their Facebook page like. They found that the more ‘likes’ a hospital had, the lower its mortality rates.

Booze brands on social: Trade mag The Drinks Business has a great summary of the top 10 alcohol brands that are ruling social media, how they rank and what they’re up to (HT @a_little_wine).

Videos of the week: During this year’s London Fashion Week, Topshop partnered with Google+ to provide an immersive experience for fans. More about how they did it on Diffusion.

A phone call in the middle of the night: your best friend is in trouble. Would you go out and help him? Carlsberg tests some friendships.

And finallyInstagramed art on plates (don’t worry, no hipsters in sight).