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Blogger relations, changes at Twitter and Facebook and this week’s bits and bytes

Tasty blogger relations: At Sainsbury’s, we cultivate a tasty relationship with around 100 food bloggers. Our delicious community is full of food obsessed people who love nothing more than rising to culinary challenges ranging from creating something with our by Sainsbury’s ready rolled puff pastry or sharing their kitchen hero recipes with us.

More often than not, @a_little_wine and I will sit there going through coverage alerts and fight the urge to lick our screens, so scrumptious are the creations from the community.

We refer to them as our food blogger community – but you could also refer to them as brand advocates. Which is why I thought this post about the power of brand ambassadors was a great summary of what these kinds of communities can do for a brand: generate trust, credibility, engagement and impressions – and I’d add a fifth to the mix and that would be high quality content. We regularly share creations from the community with our Twitter followers to inspire them to try a new product or recipe they might otherwise not have come across.

#TwitterIPO: Twitter’s share price went from the initial public offering price of $26 to $45 within minutes after shares were finally made available on the New York Stock Exchange. That means the company went from being worth $18bn to a wee bit over $30bn. CNBC reckons it’s worth exploring Twitter’s business model and prospects and whether “a community of ephemeral messaging” can morph into a serious, profitable venture.

Storify + Twitter: My favourite development of the week (besides Arsenal beating both Liverpool and Dortmund) comes from Storify. The go-to-tool when it comes to curating the web in just a few clicks has just made it easier to then share your digital collages with your followers by allowing a sort of slide show to embedded into Twitter. Extremely nifty and an excellent way to take advantage of Twitter embeds as it effectively allows you to go waaaaay over the 140 character limit in one tweet.

Who better to demonstrate than President Obama himself.

Is Facebook’s walled garden coming down? Facebook and Twitter are coming ever closer in functionality, freely copying features from each other. Facebook adopted Twitter’s hashtags, Twitter adopted Facebook’s way of displaying links. Twitter copied the share button with its retweet button. Twitter also copied the idea of the favourite button from Facebook’s like button. Twitter even copied the idea of an IPO. Sheesh.

The one big remaining difference between the two networks though is that they are at different ends of the public vs private scale: On Facebook users tend to share a lot of personal information with a smaller group of friends, while on Twitter users share very little personal information with pretty much anyone.

That big difference might be changing with Facebook’s announcement this week that it is removing an old setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name.” This will mean that anyone will be able to look up your Facebook profile using your name and see what they already have permission to see. Facebook explicitly states that “removing this setting doesn’t change who can see your photos, status updates or other things you’ve shared.”

I do hope they keep that point of difference alive – I know I will be keeping my eye on Facebook’s privacy settings quite closely when this feature rolls out soon. Inside Facebook has a 5 step guide to protect your Facebook privacy (for what its worth).

The thumbs up gets the axe: Say goodbye to the Facebook thumbs up – the iconic symbol for digital approval is getting the chop, in favour of a more corporate and cold Facebook F. The change will happen over the next few weeks, according to the Facebook developer blog.

Source: Facebook

Books still relevant to youth shock: In my final year of high school, I received a pager for Christmas. I was well chuffed. No my friends could call my pager and I would see the number and I could call them back. We developed codes. 999 meant call me back immediately. 143 meant I love you. Yes, we spelt out boobs. It was the first portable digital screen in my live and it was awesome.

Fast forward to today and 17% of children in the US under the age 8 use a mobile device at least once a day. This stat comes from a recent Common Sense media study. If anything, I’m surprised (and relieved?) it isn’t higher and that books still play such a big part.

Hang on, I’ll get you some ice for that burn: Pepsi celebrated Halloween last week with some creative depicting a can of Pepsi dressed up as a can of Coke. The line reads: “We wish you a scary Halloween”.

In response, Coke quite brilliantly used exactly the same image, but changed the tagline to “Everyone wants to be a hero”.

Ouch.

While we’re on burns: Betty Productions ask musician Whitey if they can use his music in a new TV show for free as there is ‘no budget for music’. He, um, declines (HT @tomparker81).

Video of the week: Meet the Footbonaut, a 360-degree-ball machine that fires footballs at players from all angles, requiring them to control and dispatch the balls into the appropriate square. Cutting edge technology currently in use at Borussia Dortmund – but still not as good as having an on-fire Aaron Ramsey in your team.

And finally: Hats off to @TescoMobile for the masterclass in Twitter sass (it’s OK. They only made it into Buzzfeed. We made it onto Time Magazine, thanks to @tomparker81).

Apple goes colour/biometric, Twitter IPO/future, Phoneblok and this week’s bits and bytes

#JSFishFinger: We have a winner. The honour and a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher for being @SainsburysPR‘s favourite Fish Finger Sandwich was awarded to @DomSoar for his epic fish and chips with homemade mushy peas on thick buttered white bread with tomato and Tartare sauce. We were impressed with Dom’s successful work in bringing together two classic dishes in a most precise fashion. Tasty.

Colourful plastic cases and fingerprint ID: The new Apple phones are here. Charles Arthur reckons that the 5c will be popular, even if it’s not as cheap as many had hoped. The 5s however is the model that the Apple fan boys will be most interested in. A faster processor, a new camera alongside some new photography functions such as ‘burst mode’ and ‘slow motion video’ will appeal to the Instragramers and Viners out there.

The reaction to the new iPhones on social was rather negative as WeAreSocial were quick to point out.  Mentions of the 5c were mostly negative, with 45% of conversations criticising its design and 36% questioning its price. The 5s in turn was mentioned 66% less than its predecessor the iPhone 5 a year go. The Poke has taken a less scientific way of looking at the social response – they’ve just picked some of the funniest Tweets.

The biggest reaction to the new colourful range of iPhone 5c however went to Nokia, who, while Apple’s event was still running, tweeted an image of their range of colourful Lumia handsets and thanked Apple for paying them such a huge compliment by copying their idea.

Apple’s share also took a hit as investors were unimpressed with Apple’s pricing strategy and the lack of a distribution deal in China.

One feature with the new 5s that does terrify me a little though is ‘Touch ID’, the fingerprint passcode function, where you can teach your new phone up to five fingerprints that will then unlock the phone and even work as a password for purchasing music through iTunes. Apple was quick to confirm that fingerprint data is not stored on any servers and that they will only ever remain on the phone. However, with a phone inherently connected through mobile networks or wifi, I’d think it only a matter of time hackers are stealing your biometric data along with your phone number and any other data stored on your phone.

Also, if your password is compromised – you can change it. But what happens when your fingerprint is compromised? You can’t change that so easily. Boing Boing looks at this paradox of using biometric data for authentication and why it may not be as safe as we like to think it is.

And what the hell does the S and the C stand for anyway? Speed and colour? Or Same and Cheap?

Anyway – what I’m really excited about is iOS 7, the new operating system that launches next week!

Twitter IPO and new features for verified accounts: Twitter has also been busy this week, announcing their long-awaited IPO with a tweet – how else?

Secondary sales of Twitter stock have valued the company at upwards of about $10 billion (that’s 10 Instagrams, fyi), so one thing that is certain is that it will create much excitement over the next few months and a number of millionaires when it finally happens.

That tweet came almost immediately after the IPO tweet, as Twitter moved to announce a new feature for verified accounts (the ones with the blue tick). The new feature will allow the Justin Biebers of the world to filter their interactions: they can chose to see all their @mentions, just the ones from other verified accounts, or those that Twitter deems relevant. The move is meant to encourage Twitter’s most popular users to stay active on the platform – although they might end up just speaking to each other rather than their fans (which in Bieber’s case would be fine by me).

Where will it all go? Well, The New Yorker looks at what Twitter could look like in the future:

  • Twitter will continue its transition from tech to media company
  • What’s coming next is a more graphically intense platform that is led by mobile
  • They will likely match the new iOS 7 operating system with a cleaner look – for example, the menu buttons for home, connect, discover and your profile will disappear in favour of an UI that ancourages users to swipe left and right

Phoneblok: As we all know though, a phone really only lasts a couple of years before it breaks or becomes obsolete. @davehakkens argues that even though it’s often just one part that fails, we throw the whole thing away since it’s nigh on impossible to repair or upgrade. Just thinking of my visits to the Apple Store and I realise that I’ve never actually walked out of there with a repaired or upgraded phone. I’ve always walked out with a brand new handset.

Hakkens has come up with the brilliant concept of the Phoneblok – a fully customisable phone that is made up of little blocks that all fit together – almost like Lego. A quite brilliant idea, the idea is in a conceptual stage at the moment, but going by the support it is getting, I think this might become reality sooner rather than later.

On the Internet, everyone has a friend: A great piece in The Atlantic by @emmaogreen about how the Internet isn’t a place where everyone shouts at each other. Rather, it’s a collection of lots of small places where people are chatting among themselves about topics that they are interested in.

“In other words, anyone can find other people who share her interests, no matter how obscure those interests are. These communities might provide entertainment, but they also provide a place for groups to coordinate and rally offline action. This is especially important because of the low cost of entry – people no longer have to have a printing press and/or a powerful company on their side to find allies and make their voices heard in a public sphere.”

Moving on nicely from what people talk about on the Internet to some research from Ipsos about why people share things on social media. Quite simply, to share interesting (61%), important (43%) and funny things (43%).

Instagram catching up with Twitter: The Hipster’s favourite photo sharing platform has just cracked the 150 million active users mark, bringing it ever closer to the 200 million active Twitter users. What better way to celebrate this milestone that to follow Sainsbury’s on Instagram?

Videos of the week: Guinness have come up with a rather clever way of showing the true meaning of friendship and loyalty – and what it means to share a pint with friends

Extra shows us the cheesiest gum commercial ever

And an ode to Lidl (via @Treebd)

And finally: Happy 15th birthday Google. Here are 15 things about Google you probably didn’t know.

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