Show your ID before signing up for Instagram?

Instagram has started asking new subscribers for their date of birth. Users who indicate they are under the age of 13, as per Instagram’s terms of service.

The move is part of a number of measures that they say are designed to make the popular picture-sharing site safer for younger people.

We all know that this will not stop under 13’s signing up. My own experience of my nieces and nephews on Facebook shows how quickly they work out how to get around this. The re is no requirement to send through an official age verification – yet.

Other features such as plans to target messages to educate young people around account controls and privacy settings are a good idea.

At the same time, they will be adding controls to messaging privacy for all users, helping them control who can message them and who can be added to groups.

So will one day Instagram and others be asking for ID before you can set up an account? The British government’s delays in setting up age-verification for adult sites have shown this is by no means an easy thing.

The one thing I know is that if our enterprising youngsters want to get around any verification requirements – they will.

STOP: Time to rethink social media at work

Social media is now part of the mainstream. Rather than seeing it as a threat you need to see it as an opportunity. If you have not already realised it, it is time to do things differently.

In your business you may see your people using social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and think they are wasting their time.


Social mediaRather than a waste of time social media can be a huge opprotunity to turn all your people into evangalists for your organisation. You need to stop focussing on the possible negatives and look for how your people could use their social connections to promote what you do.

People trust people on social media. Yes, you have your corporate account, but the relationshiop with individuals is very different and can help build a digital relationship thatmore easily converts beyond the virtual world.

To help your organisation make the most of your people on social media you need to:

  • Encourage your people to connect via social channels with current and potential customers
  • Give them guidance on how to make the most of social media
    • Create a do list not a don’t list
    • Encourage them by highlighting the best of what they do
    • Elevate your social media champions – sharing their good work to encourage others
  • Make social media presence a requirement
    • Targets for followers and engagement
    • Social media score card to follow their growth

If you are still in denial about the benefits of social media. Want more evidence, pick through every follower, question every social media post… you are wasting not only your time but that of your people.

By the time you catch up your competion will be way ahead and in a social media world that evolves at an amazing pace you will be left years behind.

Rather than worrying if social media is the right thing to do – you should worry about your ability to catch up. It’s time to do things differently and be ahead of the game rather than years behind.




Rise of social media in e-commerce

Social media’s role in driving e-commerce sales has never been so great. As this infographic highlights 74% of consumers rely on social media when making their decisions to guide purchases. Many turn to companies social presence to research products and to learn more about the companies they could soon be doing business with. Along with sharing some great social / ecommerce stats the infographic shares some simple to follow steps to getting started on key social networks.

Social media and ecommerce

Creating content that Google search will love

So many people still believe with the web that build and they will come, they wont. Build with great quality content, they might. Build with great quality content promoted via an integrated search, social and email strategy then you are more sure of success.

This is a great infographic that shows that investing in original quality content is essential for SEO and how ‘social is SEO and content is social’.

It also includes a great quote from Google’s Matt Cutts ‘Try and make your site so fantastic you become an authority in your niche’. A goal that should become all of ours mantra if we want to be successful in this space.

Why content is so important for SEO

Christopher Wellbelove

B2B marketing strategies – continued growth of digital

Nearly half of B2B marketers intend to increase their marketing budget this year, over 67% intend to increase the amount they spend on digital.

Other trends shown in this infographic by Ambassador shows the continued growth in the use of content as a method to reach and engage with customers, with over 72% of B2B marketers using content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. With 70% of content marketers are now using video, a trend that is likely to jump much higher in the next year.

There is a huge jump, from 74% in 2011 to 87%, of B2B marketers using social media. 56% of B2B marketers plan to further increase spend on social media this year.

Unsurprising LinkedIn is the most popular choice for B2B marketers using social media, closely followed by both Twitter and Facebook.

B2B Marketing strategies 2013Christopher Wellbelove

What happens in 60 seconds on the internet

This infographic shows what happens in 60 seconds on some of the most popular domains/apps. Some stand out stats include the fact that in 60 seconds there are 278 thousand tweets, 20 million photo views on flickr, 2 million searches on Google and 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube. Rising social stars such SnapChat and Pinterest feature as well with 104 thousand photos shared on SnapChat and 11,000 active users on Pinterest.

What happens in 60 seconds on the internet

Christopher Wellbelove

How to have more Klout on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Klout attempts to put a value on your interactions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks.

American Airlines and Klout

Based on an algorithm, Klout aims to rate you based on the more you interact on social networks resulting in a higher score for you. Klout looks for likes, mentions, retweets, +1’s and other evidence that you engaging with others on social networks.

Some doubt the value of Klout and if the Klout score really reflects the real life clout an individual has. For some of the very loud doubters of Klout’s relevance, I wonder what their Klout score is? Few like to be rated especially when rated low. So it is not surprising Klout has it’s haters.

I have definitely seen an increase in my score as I  increased the number of conversations that I have with others. Whilst sharing shareable content had helped me raise my score, it was only when I increased my interaction with others did I see my score jump from in the 50-60’s to being  in the 70s. I have no doubt I could increase my score far higher by having false conversations, purely generated to increase my score, however I choose to only interact in real conversations responding to comments and questions.

And Klout doesn’t just give you some virtual pat on the back. Brands are beginning to recognise that those with a high social influence have value. American Airlines offered a deal where if you have a Klout of 55 or higher you could gain a one-day pass to their Admiral Club lounge.

These sort of offers will increase, and Klout will without doubt continue to evolve their system to become increasingly more accurate in providing a score to who is the most influential in social media. And whilst I might be disappointed that my score is not as high as Obama or Bieber I won’t see this as a flaw in Klout.

And there is not just Klout, other social rating services are also attempting to rate your social influence such as Kred.

I found this infographic which is a great guide to how Klout works and maybe help you increase your Klout score.

infographic on how to improve your Klout score

Should Facebook have a Death Wish list?

How was you told that the last person that you were very close to died?

When a work colleague died I remember receiving a group email, shocking but at least there were others around in the office to look to for support. In the age of social networking there is every possibility that you could discover that someone close died via a profile update. With the rapid growth of mobile internet you could be in the middle of a meeting, stood in the queue at the supermarket, out for a meal with friends or picking up the kids from school.

Whilst you could be in all these scenarios to discover the death of a friend via a telephone call, the ‘accidental’ impact of discovering of someones death from a wall post or status update on a social profile seems to have an added loneliness and depth of shock.

So what happens next?

Some friends may wish to post messages of their shock and sadness on the profile of the deceased. Others may feel this inappropriate, feel that such public displays of grief are inappropriate. 

Who should decide if and when a profile is removed?

Should relatives be given control?

At funerals I have always disliked the saying ‘they would have wanted…’ said so many a time by people who have no idea what the deceased wanted at all.

A solution to this would be a ‘living will’ on social networks – a ‘death wishlist’ or ‘social network after life’. At some point after signing up to a social network you should be given the option to select what you would like to happen to your account after you die. I would imagine that most will not bother, but for those of us who do not want others to speak in their name, this could be a way of securing that our wishes are met. 

A ‘passed on’ option or ‘dead’, if you would prefer to be more blunt, could be useful – this would enable friends to stay friends but not have the deceased pop up every time an application wants you to choose friends to invite. Pre-programmable options after the ‘dead’ option is activated could include a series of status updates – spooky but could also provide some comfort (or hilarity). 

In the absence of a ‘Facebook Death List’ I’d like to let my wishes be known:

  • Post away on my profile after I’ve gone, for me death has traditionally been a social event. At least on-line there wont be any stale sandwiches 
  • My profile can stay, but if you’re a friend don’t feel embarrassed to delete me as a friend if seeing me in your friends list makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Take photos at my funeral (no one ever does this which is a shame when everyone made such an effort to look good – and of course look gorgeous in black). A HD video stream would be even better.  
  • Make sure the coffin and later pictures of my gravestone are tagged just to make sure anyone who might stumble by my profile understands why I haven’t updated my status in a while.
  • If someone can post messages each year to a newspaper on the anniversary of a death then I cant see why you can’t make it easier for people by keeping your profile open so they can post messages there.

Social networks have become such a major part of our lives, for me, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be a major part of death. I just hope that my last profile picture is a good one as I hopeit will be around for a lot longer than I was.

So what would you’re ‘Death Wish List’ be? Should Facebook let you decide what happens to your profile after you’re death or is this for you’re family to decide? Will discover new meaning? What happens to your last tweet when you are no longer able to twitter?

Winning elections on-line

The US elections are continuing to demonstrate how the internet is playing an increasingly important role in engaging with voters. Research in the US has shown that 7% of on-line searchers may change their votes. In a close election what political parties do on-line could make the difference between winning and losing.

Democrat Barrack Obama has been heralded as changing the future of political campaigning. Michael Cheney, from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs, who studies online campaigning says that Barack Obama elevated the Internet’s social reach from novelty to necessity after Obama used it to build online grassroots support that helped fuel his rapid rise. Cheney believes that the use of social media has to be part of campaigns in the future and that candidates who don’t use this model aren’t going to be as succesful.

Google recognises this and has appointed a ‘head of elections and issues advocacy’ as sales of sponsored links go through the roof. For Google this is a huge opportunity to make money, for politicians looking for votes pay-per-click advertising is an easy way to reach potential voters.

It is no longer sufficient to build a website and upload press releases about how good you are and how terrible the opposition is. Messages have to cross multiple platforms in multiple formats. Supporters need to monitor and respond to discussions on-line. Candidates need to be taught not to be phased by the on-line chatter which could be disproportionally influenced by opponents who utilise the power of social networks such as Facebook and the many elections forums that grow in the run up to polling day.

Campaign strategist, plotting the progress of their campaign, need to use services such as Hitwise, to monitor traffic and searches for political websites which can give an indication of who is gaining ground in a campaign and the subject matters that the electorate are most interested in.

In the UK by the next general elections, and london local government elections in 2010, the internet will play a bigger part than ever before. And especially where the vote is close an election really could be won (or lost) on-line.

Time to waffle?

Wafflebox is a free service that enables you to receive voice messages on your website, Facebook profile, MySpace, Friendster, Tagged or your blog.

When you join you will be given a unique telephone number, an 0845 number charged at a national rate, your friends can leave a voice message in your Wafflebox which you and your page visitors can listen to on your site.

Sign up is fairly easy, though the form is not particularly user friendly. If you pick a username that is already in use (I got the username Christopher) you do not discover this until you have submitted the form and when the form reloads the two password fields are empty and require re-entering. This is the same as the CAPTCHA code, which is not particularly clear and took a couple of attempts to get right.

More annoying form problems when you come to edit your profile, I could not fit Christopher Wellbelove in the name box – so C Wellbelove had to suffice. You can manually add phone numbers to an on-line phone book (linking a name with the number that phoned you) though would be better if this could simply take these straight from an outlook address book or mobile sim.

Adding to your Facebook profile seemed extremely easy, from the Wafflebox site you click a link which takes you to the application within Facebook which asks for presmission to access your account, however so far I cannot find where it is within my profile for my friends to see.

I am not sure why someone would want to ring a national rate number to leave a message when they could type it instead for free. A nice idea though, adding a demension to your page which could be used as a feedback system for a product and service or just for your friends to leave a silly message, sing a song or maybe to wish you a happy birthday.

An annoying ‘feature’ I spotted in the help page is that if you do not receive a waffle for 90 days they will take back your number and you will lose any of the messages left. For a new services this seems a relatively short period and not a good idea to annoy your users by making them sign up again for a new Wafflebox which is unlikely to happen.

You can leave me a waffle on 0845 126 4957.

Call charges from the Wafflebox site ‘Calls to Waffleboxes are charged at standard local rates (UK). On the 26th October 2007, calls from a BT landline are are charged at: 2p per minute day time, 0.5p per minute evenings, and 0.5p per minute at weekends. (Call charges stated above are subject to change.)’