Who seems to be winning the midterm elections on social media?

The New York Times analyzed data from one month’s (9/15 to 10/15) worth of social media activity by nearly all of the Republican and Democratic candidates running for House, Senate or governor this year. This data came from organic-only public content published to the Facebook and Instagram pages of these candidates.

Measuring total interactions on social media is an imperfect way to gauge a candidate’s electoral chances, in part because it does not distinguish between types of engagement. A negative comment left on a Republican candidate’s page by an angry Democrat would still count as an interaction, for example. In addition, it does not account for the fact that some candidates have more followers than others.

But social media engagement can be a crude measure of popularity, and a bellwether of shifts in public opinion that often turn up in polls days or weeks later. In 2016, many polls and pundits gave Mr. Trump little chance of winning, but his performance on Facebook was soaring, bolstered by millions of dollars in targeted advertising. His digital campaign director, Brad Parscale, later credited Facebook’s scale and influence with his victory.

Facebook is the most widespread platform, and for campaigns, it’s like broadcast television,” said Tim Lim, a Democratic digital consultant. “You have so much reach, and so many ad units, and probably more eyeballs than anywhere else.”

Democrats running for House, Senate and governor’s seats in this fall’s elections received a combined 15.1 million interactions on Facebook in the 30-day period, roughly three times the 5.4 million interactions received by Republican candidates.

Why it’s hot: we’ll find out this election day that to what degree we can link social media popularity to winning elections. Will there be a blue wave this election day?

Source

Amazon just opened a physical store in NYC that only sells certain types of products

 

Amazon just opened their first-ever 4-star store. It opened in SoHo in New York City.

And as the name implies, everything on its shelves has earned at least a four-star review average from Amazon’s customers.

The store sells: devices, consumer electronics, kitchen, home, toys, books, and games.

Amazon Prime members will pay lower prices than non-members.

Why it’s hot:

This is essentially a “customer curated” physical store from an e-commerce retailer.

It’s also tailored to local buying habits because it features products “trending around NYC” in addition to the 4-star + products.

More here.

Video streaming is the top source of global internet traffic

Sandvine, a networking equipment company, just released the Global Internet Report 2018.

Key takeaways:

58% of the total downstream volume of traffic on the internet is VIDEO.

15% of the total downstream volume of traffic across the entire internet is Netflix.

19% of total downstream traffic in the US is Netflix. At peak hour, that number can spike to 40% on some operator networks in the US.

The social network rankings are interesting, because user population does not always translate to network usage. More video-heavy social networks are responsible for a greater share of global internet traffic. YouTube was not placed in this category because it would skew the results.

Why it’s hot: video content and video streaming are the future of the internet, at least in terms of its share of global internet traffic. This is true not just in North America, but around the world.

The UK Government Is Planning To Set Up A Regulator For The Internet

BuzzFeed News has obtained details of the proposals, which would see the establishment of an internet regulator similar to Ofcom, which regulates broadcasters, telecoms, and postal communications.

The UK government is preparing to establish a new internet regulator that would make tech firms liable for content published on their platforms and have the power to sanction companies that fail to take down illegal material and hate speech within hours.

Ministers are also looking at implementing age verification for users of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

More here.

Why it’s hot: 

Social media companies are especially watching to see how:

  • State-backed regulation of social media would work and the resources it would require to do so successfully
  • What non-illegal content merits state-backed oversight
  • Whether it is even possible for a European country to impose a legal framework on firms headquartered in the US and elsewhere

Survey says Nike’s brand image has dropped because of Colin Kaepernick ad

A new survey by Morning Consult says that since Nike debuted its stunning new Colin Kaepernick ad, the brand’s favorability and consumer purchase consideration have significantly sunk. According to the survey, before the Kaepernick announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers. That has now dropped by 34 points to +35 favorable. Before the ad, 49% of Americans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to buy Nike products, and that figure is down to 39% now.

Why it’s hot:

Not surprisingly, Nike’s favorability has dropped dramatically among Republicans and baby boomers who are unlikely to agree with Nike’s messaging. It’ll be important to see how these numbers change in a few months since their overall favorability has dropped significantly among all American adults. This might be a case study on whether or not large brands should get involved in polarizing political discussions and how they might be alienating certain consumers by picking a side in a very divided America.

 

The geographic distances of your Facebook friends from your location reveals lots about you

Social networks like Facebook, far from serving merely as entertainment for youngsters, are central to modern life, influencing the way people work and play. Social connections formed online now help shape many people’s identities in the real world.

New research suggests that our social media networks tell us more about ourselves than we may think. A study published last week in the Journal of Economic Perspectives by researchers from Facebook, Harvard, NYU and Princeton analyses the social “connectedness” of Americans, as measured by friendship links on Facebook. Using aggregated and anonymised data, the authors find that Americans with tightly clustered social networks comprised mainly of friends located within a short distance of their home tend to have lower incomes, lower levels of education and lower life expectancies. Those with more geographically dispersed social networks tend to be richer, more educated and healthier.

More here.

Why it’s hot: 

The geographic locations of your Facebook friends says a lot about your socio-economic mobility, health, and education levels. Those with more Facebook friends close by to them are more likely to have lower household incomes, life expectancy, and lower education rates, for example. The opposite is true for those with more of their Facebook friends spread out around the country & world which probably correlates with higher socio-economic mobility meaning better health and education levels, for example.

 

New York Times Co. Reports $24 Million Profit, Thanks to Digital Subscribers

The New York Times continued its digital growth in the second quarter of 2018, adding 109,000 digital-only subscribers. With that rise came an increase in revenue that counteracted a decline in print advertising.

The company said on Wednesday that revenue from digital subscriptions rose to $99 million in the second quarter, a jump of nearly 20 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Over all for the second quarter, total revenue increased 2 percent, to $415 million, and the company reported a profit of almost $24 million.

The Times now has 2.9 million digital-only subscribers, out of 3.8 million total.

“Subscription revenues accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s revenues, a trend we expect to continue,” Mark Thompson, the company’s chief executive, said in a news release. “We continue to believe that there is significant runway to expand that base substantially.”

More here.

Why it’s HOT:

As a “newspaper” media company, the New York Times now has significantly more digital-only subscribers than print subscribers. 76% of its subscribers are digital-only.

Also, subscription revenues are now two-thirds of the company’s revenues which means the company doesn’t rely on advertising for revenues as much as it did in the decades past.

The death of Don Draper

The advertising industry is currently enthralled by a prophet of its imminent demise. Scott Galloway is a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and founder of a marketing consultancy. In a much-shared YouTube video, he delivers a talk entitled “The Death of the Advertising-Industrial Complex” to an audience of young marketers. In it, he argues that businesses can no longer rely on advertising to compensate for mediocre products.

Until the 1990s, says Galloway, the path to success lay in taking “an average beer, average car, or average suit” and wrapping it in appealing associations – this one makes you feel more elegant, this one makes you feel younger. Now, we live in an age in which the intangible haze of soft-sell is no longer necessary, and the battle for market share comes down to the raw strength of your product. “The sun has passed midday on brand,” he says.

The ad industry, run by people who pride themselves on creativity, is being displaced by the ad business, which prides itself on efficiency. Clients are spending less on the kind of entertaining, seductive, fame-generating campaigns in which ad agencies specialize, and more on the ads that flash and wink on your smartphone screen.

More here.

Why it’s HOT:

Modern media technology, more educated consumers, and the democratization of information have transformed the advertising business like no other. Today’s advertising agencies may not be able to help clients market mediocre products like they could have in a much simpler time.