Daily Scroll: Facebook’s coming for YouTube; Guardian surpasses New York Times

21 Oct

The Guardian is letting everyone know it’s moved ahead of the Grey Lady on ComScore. Also, the younger the Snapchat user, the more active they are, by a wide margin. Lastly, there’s a huge new study from Pew Research — I just linked to a social media section, but it’s all there.

How A/B testing became publishers’ go-to traffic builder (Digiday)

So “An Epic Battle Between Acrobatic Dogs and a Gardening House” got twice the click-throughs from Facebook and shares than the non-epic “Battle Between Acrobatic Dogs and a Gardening House.”

It tested various versions of modules and found that placing them to the right of an article, as in the screen shot below, led to a 28 percent increase in social sharing over the control site.


In one example, BuzzFeed noticed that people coming to the site from Pinterest “overwhelmingly want to pin again,” Nguyen said. The question was, how could BuzzFeed make it easier for them to pin content from the site. So BuzzFeed ran a test with a small number of users where it removed other sharing buttons. “Even if you took into account all the lost Facebook and Twitter shares, the amount of pinning overwhelmingly increased,” she said.

Because A/B testing centers on small changes, it favors an iterative approach to design rather than wholesale redesigns.

BuzzFeed’s Nguyen asserts that while BuzzFeed avoids massive overhauls, its constant small tweaks add up to big changes to the site over time. She does, however, note the risk in assuming that just the results of one test can apply elsewhere on the site. “We’re not a company that’s slaves to the numbers,” she said. “We use data to inform decisions; we don’t use it to dictate strategy.”

Section 2: Social Media, Political News and Ideology (Pew)

(This is just one part of a huge report.)

Facebook is now a widely-used source for news about government and politics. Nearly half (48%) of the panelists say they accessed news about politics and government on Facebook in the past week, about as many as got news about these topics from local TV (49%). (Note that this survey is representative of the 89% of Americans who have access to the internet. Based on the full population, somewhat fewer—39%—get news from Facebook in a typical week.)

And Facebook far surpasses other social media sites, such as YouTube and Twitter, as a source for news about politics and government. Just 14% say they got political news in the past week from YouTube, 9% from Twitter, 6% from Google Plus and 3% from LinkedIn.

Fully 77% of web panelists use Facebook. That compares with 63% who use YouTube and much smaller shares who use Twitter (22%), Google Plus (24%) or LinkedIn (26%).

At the same time that consistent conservatives are less likely to use Facebook than other groups, those who do use it are highly engaged with political news.1 Two-thirds of consistent conservatives who see political posts on Facebook pay “a lot” of (19%) or “some” attention (47%) to those posts. Similarly, six-in-ten consistent liberals who see political posts on Facebook pay “a lot” of (14%) or “some” (46%) attention.

Digital Ad Revenues Hit Landmark High in First Half High of 2014, Surging to $23.1 Billion, According to IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report (iab)

  • Mobile revenues increased 76 percent to 5.3 billion at HY 2014, from the $3.0 billion (15% of total) reported at HY 2013, with the 2014 six month total consisting of $2.7 billion mobile search, $2.5 billion mobile display, and $103 million in other mobile formats
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, reached $1.5 billion, a 13 percent increase in revenue over the first half of 2013 at $1.3 billion
  • Search revenues in the first half of 2014 hit $9.1 billion, up 4 percent from $8.7 billion in the first six months of 2013
  • Display-related advertising revenues in the first half of 2014 totaled $6.5 billion, a 6 percent uptick from $6.1 billion in the first half of 2013, and accounted for 28 percent of digital advertising revenue overall
  • Social media revenues, which includes advertising delivered on social platforms, including social networking and social gaming websites and apps, reached $2.9 billion in HY 2014, a double-digital hike of 58 percent over the same period in 2013, at $1.9 billion
  • The top three advertising verticals continue to account for nearly half of advertising revenue (46%), including Retail at 21 percent, Financial Services at 13 percent and Automotive at 12 percent

Social Proof in the User Experience (NN/g)

People are guided by other people’s behavior, so we can represent the actions, beliefs, and advice of the crowd in a design to influence users.

Facebook video isn’t killing off YouTube — yet (Digiday)

Combined with the introduction of autoplay videos and its unprecedented reach and targeting options, Facebook is becoming the Web’s second most important video platform.

…Socialbakers…released a study last week showing that YouTube’s share of the number of brand videos posted to Facebook was diminishing, as was its share of interactions on video posts.

“Basically, there are no signs of the trend reversing from its current path

Google, YouTube’s parent company, told Digiday it, too, is seeing an increase in upload activity: More than 300 hours of video are now uploaded to YouTube every minute, up from 100 hours last May, according to a Google spokesperson.

Facebook’s superior targeting will attract marketers seeking reach on specific campaigns, while YouTube’s relative cheaper cost per view will make it alluring for brands looking to build more lasting, consistent connections with consumers.

“Their growth isn’t at the expense of either; it’s at the expense of text,” George Hammer, DigitasLBi’s svp of content and social strategy, said. “For more and more of our campaigns, the preferred medium is video.”

Millennial media-consumption habits explained, in 5 charts (Digiday)

New York Times partners with Citi for mobile native advertising solution (inma)

Citi and The New York Times collaborated on a never-been-done-before branding opportunity integrally incorporated into the user experience of The Scoop, a mobile application from The New York Times that aggregates and recommends “the best of New York.”

The Citi Bike sponsorship of The Scoop app provided additional value to users and offered Citi an effective, editorially integrated branding opportunity — all while promoting a programme that promises to reduce emissions, road wear, collisions, road and transit congestion, and improve public health.

Where Can Digital Video Ads Have Consumers’ Attention? Smartphones (eMarketer)

The device on which a consumer views video ads matters far more than mood or location—or even the content genre.

Among US internet users who viewed pre-roll video ads on a smartphone—a group that’s often on the go—64% of those who were highly attentive planned to purchase the product advertised. In comparison, just 23% of smartphone viewers who paid little attention intended to buy.

Nate Silver Develops Video to Demystify Data on ESPN Stats Site (AdAge)

Snapchat’s Audience Is Teen-y (eMarketer)


Among 14-to-17-year-old US internet users surveyed, 36.8% said they used Snapchat at least weekly. Meanwhile, 18- to 34-year-olds trailed by nearly 16 percentage points, and a mere 4.2% of those ages 35 to 54 smiled, snapped and sent.

Google’s product strategy: Make two of everything (arstechnica)

The Guardian overtakes New York Times in comScore traffic figures (The Guardian)

Last month theguardian.com website network recorded 42.6 million worldwide unique visitors, a 12.3% month-on-month increase, according to the latest comScore report on desktop web usage. The New York Times drew 41.6 million worldwide unique visitors, up 8% month on month.

Jill Abramson Teaming With Steve Brill on Startup Venture (The Wrap)

As for the partnership with [Steven] Brill, [Jill] Abramson said, “He and I will be doing one big story a year.”

Gannett earnings strong, but publishing revenues continue a steep slide (Poynter)

U.S publishing ad revenues year-to-date are down 6.3 percent. At Gannett, that difference is more than made up by booming broadcast operations and freestanding digital ventures like CareerBuilder. So revenues for the entire company are up a healthy 13.4 percent.

Gannett’s advertising decline to date (-6.3 percent) roughly matches the industry rate in 2013 (-6.5 percent).

Gannett’s broadcast revenues are up 97.2 percent year-to-date in large part because the operation is much larger after acquisition of Belo’s 20 stations.

Mobile Ads Could Make or Break the Yahoo-Tumblr Marriage (AdWeek)

New York-based Tumblr’s numbers state that 65 percent of its 400 million global monthly users employ its mobile app. And with mobile ad sales exploding for Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr’s millennial prowess looms like an untapped beer keg for youth-minded brands.

BuzzFeed to Retain Seat Among IAB’s Advertising Elite; Blog-born publishers gain clout (AdWeek)

The Daily Scroll is a roundup of my favorite media reads Monday through Thursday. All text is copied-and-pasted from articles. You should click on them for the full story.


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