News 18/4/2014

Twitter’s Secret to Growth Is 580 Million Users Waiting to Reengage

Adweek – 10 April 2014

Twitter is signing up 50 million new users a month, a rate at which would put the network at more than 1 billion users sometime next year, if not for the fact it loses or suspends more than half those accounts—30 million a month—for violating its policies, according to the latest data from Twopcharts.

The Twitter tracking firm revealed new user statistics that shed light on the social network’s greatest threat and ultimately its most hopeful area for growth. Even after Twitter cuts through the spammers, the fake accounts and the impersonators, it still has more than double its current user base—580 million potentially reenergized people—lying dormant on the platform waiting for a reason to reengage.

Facebook’s News Feed: What Changed and Why

Mashable – 17 April 2014 

Posts appearing in your news feed today likely look different from the posts you saw six months ago, both in appearance and content. The simple reason for this is Facebook is learning more about you, and that means the company’s news feed algorithm is better at determining what you like and what you dislike.

What You’re Seeing More Of:

  • Auto-play Videos (Including Ads) 
  • Larger Photos
  • High Quality News Stories 
  • Resurfaced Content
  • More Content from Brands

What You’re Seeing Less Of:

  • 'Meme photos'
  • 'Spammy' Links
  • Like-baiting 

Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8.1 for developers and

Starts letting Windows Phone developers respond to app reviews

The Next Web – 17 April 2014

Windows Phone 8.1 is being rolled out now for registered developers, though of course anyone can install the update by signing up for a developer account and launching a new project.


Developers will be able to respond to reviews posted from Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices, in the US only for now. Once a developer posts a response, users will receive the comment via an email from Microsoft. They can then choose to a) ignore the email b) respond to the developer c) update their review or d) opt out of all further app review.

Why advertisers should target personas, not segments, on Facebook

The Next Web - 16 April 2014

It’s a misconception among advertisers and media buyers alike that they should be targeting different audience segments when using the advanced targeting features available from the Facebook platform.

In actuality, it’s important to target the various personas of your audience online, as opposed to generic segments. By targeting these personas, your ads are more likely to convert since they are more aligned with the interests of the Facebook user in the funnel…

Use data from your analytics to understand what types of personas are typically active on your company’s website. By doing this research, your team will be able to create ads to match the interests and behaviors of the different personas active on your site.

Yahoo’s new Flickr app adds creepily accurate search tool

Venture Beat - 17 April 2014

Continuing its efforts to remain relevant in the post-Instagram world, Yahoo has unveiled updates to its Flickr app for iOS and Android.

Some of the new features are quite amazing, notably the cool new open-ended search tool. You can search for “January 2013″ to find photos from that date or search for “San Francisco” to find amazing photos geotagged with that location by your (or others’) powerful mobile cameras. You can even specify objects like “car” or “tree” or “portrait.”

Twitter follows Facebook in selling ads that push mobile app installs

Venture Beat – 17 April 2014

Soon you’ll be one tap away from downloading an app on Twitter.

The company today announced a new mobile app promotion suite, which seems very similar to Facebook’s own app promotion offering. The new suite will allow advertisers to promote their apps directly on Twitter users’ streams, as well as reach consumers outside of Twitter via MoPub’s mobile ad exchange.


Newsletter 11/4/2014

500px Launches ISO For Showcasing Its Members, Easier Bulk Upload And Editing

Techcrunch – 10 April 2014

Flickr-competitor and photo-focused startup 500px is launching a trio of new things today, including a new blog called ISO that’s designed to build stories around member photos, revamped upload and management tools, and new collections which are curated photo groups that are designed to provide members with more sources of inspiration

Feds accuse Jerk.com of scraping Facebook, cheating users

CNN – 7 April 2014 

From 2009 to 2013, the operators of Jerk.com created profiles for millions of people, including children, using information that was scraped off Facebook, according to charges filed Monday by the Federal Trade Commission. The site continues to operate.

The profiles, which were supposedly created by users of the site, labeled people a “Jerk” or “Not a Jerk.” Also, the site claimed — falsely, according to the FTC — that the subjects could edit their profiles if they paid a $30 membership fee.

Facebook to cut Messenger from main app - Now you actually have to download it

Techtimes - 9 April 2014

Facebook’s new plan for app domination is removing Messenger from its main app. Now users will have download the standalone Facebook Messenger app to view any of their messages on their mobile devices.

This may not sound like a big deal. It actually might not even be a big deal, but to Facebook users who hate change, this is a tragedy. Technically, Facebook isn’t taking Messenger away from the main app completely. The icon will still be there, but now it will take you out of the main app and send you to the separate Messenger app. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, Facebook will make you.

Automattic makes another bet on content by acquiring Longreads

The Next Web - 9 April 2014

Wordpress owner digital publishing company Automattic has purchased article-aggregation service Longreads, the companies announced today. Neither disclosed the deal’s terms.

Longreads’ service basically grabs long-form written content from across the Web and gathers it in a single place for you to read via email subscriptions. For Longreads to notice a piece, it must be at least 1,500 words long. That’s a pretty effective way to easily filter out in-depth pieces that frequently have more context than shorter articles carry.

WeChat opens its image-recognition tech to the public

Venture Beat - 10 April 2014

Several months, ago WeChat launched a voice open platform for third parties to add capabilities such as speech recognition and speech-to-text conversion into their WeChat accounts.An image recognition SDK has been released this week.

Since the 5.0 version, which was launched in August last year, WeChat has been able to recognize books, music albums, or other goods by scanning covers or packages. The result pages of some goods also include links that will direct you to e-commerce sites for purchase.

Now WeChat makes it available for third parties to add the image recognition capability into their WeChat accounts. For instance (see below), after scanning a book cover, you’ll be able to read reviews from Douban Books, one of most popular platforms for book ratings and reviews in China, or buy the book from Dangdang.com, an online retailer.


B2C Growth Hacking Tactics

·         Paypal referral: Paying $10 to new customers and $10 to the customer who referred them.

·         Paypal eBay bot: A bot that bought goods on eBay and then, insisted on paying for it using PayPal.

·         Hotmail tagline: All email ended “This email sent with Hotmail, Join Hotmail now”

·         Airbnb Craigslist integration: Reverse engineering the craigslist posting process and automating it to be dead simple to cross-post your airbnb listing to craigslist.

·         Mailbox wait list: An incredibly compelling launch video combined with a cool interface that showed how many others were in front of the user on the waiting list.

·         Dropbox Incentivized Referral: Invite their friends for more space.

·         Twitter suggested followers on-boarding: Users following 30+ people were most likely to become active. Twitter optimized UX to encourage this behavior.

·         Instagram cross-posting: Play nice with other services like twitter and facebook. It leveraged the distribution of some very large existing platforms.

·         Pinterest auto-follow and infinite scroll: Upon signing up you automatically follow high quality users. It helps alleviate the cold-start problem. And the infinite scroll that allowed people to just keep seeing more and more.

·         Youtube liberal interpretation of dmca: YouTube tried many tactics to gain differentiation over it’s competitors. Conversion of viral buzz into users.

·         Mint.com content/seo strategy: Blog, very content-rich, to a young professional crowd that was being neglected. The articles became regular hits on Digg, Reddit.

·         Facebook email notification: “You’ve just been tagged in a photo.” The CTR on this is 75%, and likely within minutes. Clicking through drops you off on a new visual. It sets off a cycle of dopamine stimuli.

·         LinkedIn retention mail: They moved from “endorsements” to allowing others to endorse you for skills. It created two growth hacks. 1. A way for your network to deepen your profile for you. 2. It creates this reciprocal desire to do the same.

·         Groupon: “This coupon is only valid if you invite 1000 friends.” The incentive here is to invite EVERYONE who does just about ANYTHING. It’s the same reason merchants are crazy enough to offer 70%+ off  -  it reaches more users faster than any marketing to date.

·         OkCupid tries to reach a broad audience with its blog by choosing interesting topics and great graphs that provide information as well as entertainment.

·         Reddit admitted that the link-sharing site was initially seeded with fake profiles posting links to simulate activity.

(Source: medium.com)


How to acquire first 100K users with 0 marketing budget?

1) Create tools of self-expression which are really easy to use: A user may not want to spread the word about your platform but would definitely want to spread the word about what she created on it.

2) Target a micro-market: Facebook’s early users were at Harvard.

3) Be the first to get onto a new user acquisition platform: There is a window when a new channel launches when users are still gullible enough to be harvested.

4) Steal: There are a lot of niche classifieds and ecommerce sites that compete with Craigslist. Quite a few of them started off by posting listings on Craigslist and directing the traffic to their site.

5) Widgets: Be shareable and embeddable.

6) Fake it till you make it: When users come initially to your platform and there’s nothing there, they see little value in using it.

7) Piggyback on an existing network: Piggyback on a thriving network as long as your platform is contextual and complementary to that network.

8) Seed the community on standalone mode: Essentially, a user should be able to derive value out of the product even when other users aren’t on it.

9) Design your product to align growth and engagement: E.g. when I post this answer on Quora, it allows me to broadcast it to my network.

10) Provide a service for producers that enables them to interact with their consumers: Your producers already have consumers. There, that’s the solution to getting in more users for free.

11) Content marketing is amazing free marketing: Blog away like the guys at Buffer and Mint, and not about your product, just anything that your target market would want and that would make them want to explore the product.

12) SEO at scale: Ensure that whenever users create content, the permalinks are search-engine friendly.

13) If you’re building for user-generated content, ensure that users create good content and are appropriately motivated: keep creating value, you need to ensure you cater to their motivations.

14) Create organic virality, a product that spreads every time it’s used:SurveyMonkey, EventBrite, MailChimp, and the original HotMail, are products that just have to be spread to be used.

15) Focus on superconnectors: Branchout gained rapid adoption the day Michael Arrington downloaded the app.

16) Build an invite list before you join: Nothing is as good as having a Launchrock-powered user base raring to hit your product on day 1.

17) Demonstrate immediate value for all users: Often marketplaces never have value when users visit in early days.

18) Make the two-sided network one-sided: Target a specific group which has both the consumers and producers of your service and where the lines between them blur.

19) Provide access to new production infrastructure that the user would use even if the network was a ghost town: When Youtube started off, users didn’t care if there was a network of potential users, early users were happy enough to have a facility to host a video easily and embed it on their sites.

20) Be exclusive but be smart about it: Try starting with an invite-only beta. …

21) Don’t try to change behavior for both consumers and producers: Consider the strategy of NFC players vs. Square. NFC is trying to change behaviors at both ends. Square, on the other hand, introduces new behavior for SMBs (accept payments using your phone).

22) Get a marquee player or seed your own content: An extension to the above point, sometimes, signing up a top-notch producer can help draw consumers in.

23) Remove barriers to product usage: Create a product that makes something that people want to do, but currently can’t do.

24) Convert consumers to creators: It creates a nice feedback loop and keeps building value on the product.

(Source: quora.com)