NBA Finals: Warriors Win, Facebook Users Talk LeBron (Infographic)

The Golden State Warriors prevailed over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the National Basketball Association Finals, but Cavs forward LeBron James still ruled Facebook.

James generated twice as much conversation on the social network as any other player involved in the battle for the league championship, even though his squad fell short, losing in game six Tuesday night.

Facebook said some 32 million users generated about 173 million posts, comments and likes related to the NBA Finals between June 4 and 16.

The five most-talked-about players were:

  • James
  • Stephen Curry
  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Kyrie Irving
  • NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Andre Iguodala
  • The five most-talked-about games were:

  • Game six: Golden State 105, Cleveland 97, 9.4 million users, 27 million interactions
  • Game one: Golden State 108, Cleveland 100, overtime, 7.3 million users, 19 million interactions
  • Game four: Golden State 103, Cleveland 82, 6.7 million users, 18 million interactions
  • Game five: Golden State 104, Cleveland 91, 6.3 million users, 17 million interactions
  • Game three: Cleveland 96, Golden State 91, 6.2 million users, 16 million interactions
  • The top five states discussing this season’s NBA Finals were:

  • Ohio
  • Mississippi
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Georgia
  • And the top five demographic groups discussing the series were:

  • Men 18 through 24
  • Men 25 through 34
  • Women 18 through 24
  • Women 25 through 34
  • Men 35 through 44
  • Readers: Did you interact on Facebook during this year’s NBA Finals?

    2015NBAFinalsFacebook 2015NBAFinalsGame6BuzzMap

    2015 NBA Champions image courtesy of Golden State Warriors Facebook page.

    Messaging Apps Dominant Among Social Network Users (Infographic)

    A total of 80 percent of Facebook users also use mobile messaging applications, and surprisingly, that 80 percent figure is on the low end when compared with other social networks.

    GlobalWebIndex found that Instagram topped the chart, at 86 percent, and Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr all came in between 80 percent and 82 percent.

    GWI said in an email to SocialTimes:

    Across some of the most important networks globally, it’s a minimum of eight in 10 active users who say they are also mobile instant messengers. It’s a behavior that peaks among Instagram’s young audience, and it’s one that’s very much in line with the move toward multinetworking (whereby behaviors are becoming more specialized as people begin to favor certain platforms for particular activities).

    That doesn’t mean we’re abandoning the traditional networks, though: Far from it. Just look at the long-term engagement figures for a site like Facebook and it’s clear that membership and visitation rates are both holding steady. Rather, it’s that people are using a site like Facebook less intensively than before–i.e. visiting it to check their News Feed without actively posting anything or interacting with other users (something that one in two active Facebookers say they’ve done in the past month). Quite simply, smaller networks and messaging apps are capturing a lot of the activities that used to take place on the big networks.


    Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Study: Facebook Posts to Brands’ Pages Fall on Deaf Ears

    A total of 87 percent of posts to brands’ Facebook pages were never answered at all, according to a recent study by social analytics and reporting firm Locowise.

    Locowise studied more than 900 pages with nearly 300 million likes throughout the month of May, and it found that:

    • 51 percent of pages studied allow users to post on their Timelines.
    • 67 percent saw fewer than 10 posts in May, while 29 percent received between 10 and 99, and just 4 percent attracted more than 100 posts.
    • The ratio worked out to one post for every 22,500 likes.
    • 65 percent of pages that enable users to post to their Timelines did not respond to a single post, meaning that nearly 4,000 posts were ignored.
    • Active pages responded to 37 percent of posts.
    • 10.5 percent of pages responded to all posts on their timelines, but those pages had three or fewer posts.
    • 33 percent of users who posted received responses within one hour.

    Locowise also offered the following takeaways for page administrators:

    • If you don’t plan to take the time to review and respond to the posts on your page, do disable this feature. It doesn’t look good for a brand to enable this publishing ability but then ignore all or the majority of the posts that they receive. Focus on other things instead.
    • You don’t necessarily need to go the extra mile. Responses do not need to be very advanced and take you a long time. You could simply thank the customer for the feedback or point the customer to the FAQ section of your official site.
    • How can you integrate your customer-support team into your social media workflow? Some questions might not have simple responses, so getting a customer-support representative to reply would be ideal. Your customer-support team could access your Facebook page and seek out posts to respond to. Or you could ping them the questions manually and they can send you a response for you to post. While waiting to hear back from your customer-support team, a simple, “Thanks, we’re looking into this and will get back to you shortly,” will suffice.
    • What response rate should you look to achieve? Ideally, you should acknowledge every post that you get, if nothing else than just to say, “Thanks for being a fan.” Your customers are taking their time to write to you, so they should hear something back. If you’re not able to respond to all posts, you should at the very least respond to any posts that raise concerns or complain about your product or service.

    Readers: What have your customer-service experiences been like on Facebook?


    Image of CSRs courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Twitter Trends for Orange Is the New Black Fans (Infographic)

    The third season of Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black debuted this past weekend, and social analytics provider StatSocial did some number-crunching.

    Among the findings by StatSocial:

    • Twitter users who tweeted about OITNB were 27 percent more likely to like Laura Prepon than average Twitter users.
    • They were also eight times more likely to like Netflix.
    • They were 24 times more likely to like Orphan Black.

    Readers: Any surprises?


    What Does Facebook Game Exec Peter Jonas Want From E3? Mobile

    The introduction of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and its Oculus Touch controller isn’t Facebook’s sole motivation for attending E3.

    Head of gaming for North America Peter Jonas mentioned the fact that gamers use Facebook and Instagram to discover games and connect with other gamers in a conversation with Facebook for Business, and he also spoke about what he hoped to get from the Electronics Entertainment Expo:

    Simply more mobile: There’s a ton of opportunity for mobile game developers to create long-lasting entertainment brands that stay culturally relevant over long periods of time. The major franchises have done an amazing job over the years of continually delivering engaging entertainment experiences at E3. I’m curious to see what mobile game companies come up with next and how they continue to evolve into fully fledged entertainment brands.

    The other thing I hope to see is console publishers going big in mobile. In the past few years, companies known for their console prowess have put out some quality mobile games. I’m hoping we see more of that this year. Companies that know how to build high-quality games have a unique opportunity to evolve the mobile landscape.

    As for where E3 attendees will most likely find him, Jonas said:

    I love the game announcements at the press conferences. That’s the most surreal part of my job. Growing up as a gamer, I never imagined that my job would entail sitting in a packed auditorium on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the game is as good as I had hoped. There’s always an air of excitement at E3 that starts when the doors open and carries all the way into the last night of parties. It’s incredibly contagious, and it reminds me every year how lucky I am to work in an industry that I still get so excited about.

    Readers: Are any of you in Los Angeles for E3 this year?


    Facebook Moments App Helps Users, Friends Swap, Organize Photos

    Moments, the latest stand-alone application from Facebook Creative Labs, is aimed at allowing users and their friends to consolidate and organize their photos from events.

    The new app is available for free download via the iTunes App Store and Google Play for U.S. users, with more countries to be added “over time.”

    Product manager Will Ruben used weddings as an example of how Moments can be useful, saying in a Newsroom post introducing the app that Moments provides a quick way for friends who attended the same wedding to quickly share and organize their photos, and the same is true for smaller events.


    Ruben wrote:

    Syncing photos with the Moments app is a private way to give photos to friends and get the photos you didn’t take. Moments groups the photos on your phone based on when they were taken and, using facial-recognition technology, which friends are in them. You can then privately sync those photos quickly and easily with specific friends, and they can choose to sync their photos with you, as well. Now, you and your friends have all the photos you took together.

    Moments also keeps all of your synced photos organized and even lets you search them to find the ones that you or specific friends are in.

    Moments uses facial-recognition technology to group your photos based on the friends who are in them. This is the same technology that powers tag suggestions on Facebook. You can control tag suggestions in your settings.

    Ruben and software engineers Ashwin Bharabme and Zack Gomez described the process behind building Moments in a post on the social network’s engineering blog:

    Our objective throughout the development process was to create something that empowers people to exchange photos with their friends. We sought to eliminate as much of the friction as possible, while still ensuring that you stay in control of the photos you take.

    At the beginning, we weren’t tied to any particular solution, so we explored various ways that we could suggest which of the photos on your phone you may want to give to specific friends. We experimented with several different technologies—Bluetooth, location and facial recognition among them. Bluetooth wasn’t ideal for a few reasons. Some reasons were practical—for instance, friends who wanted to share photos would have to enable Bluetooth on their phones at the same time. Other reasons were more technical. Android and iPhones don’t cooperate very well over Bluetooth without the presence of a beacon. Location presented its own issues. It worked great for pinpointing which friends are in the area, but in crowded or densely populated places, it was not precise enough to suggest the specific people with whom you’d want to share your photos.

    In the prototypes we built, facial recognition produced highly accurate, actionable suggestions. If friends of yours are recognized in a photo you take, that’s a signal that they probably want the photo. If you took other photos around that time or at the same event, they may want those photos, too. Your friends may want to give you the photos that they took around that time, as well.

    We were fortunate to be able to leverage Facebook’s existing facial-recognition technology. Recognizing our friends is something that we can do easily as humans, but it’s a complex problem for computers. Only breakthroughs in recent years, some developed by Facebook’s artificial-intelligence research team, have made this technology something that can be really useful to people.

    Readers: Will you download Moments?

    MomentsAndroid MomentsPhotos MomentsCartoons

    2015 Facebook Awards Winners Revealed

    The winners of the 2015 Facebook Awards were announced Monday, and the top honor, the Blue Award, went to the #LikeAGirl campaign for Always, by Leo Burnett for Procter & Gamble.

    The 2015 Facebook Awards, formerly the Facebook Studio Awards, shine a spotlight on exceptional creative work on the social network.

    Facebook said in a Facebook for Business post that the 2015 Facebook Awards drew more than 2,700 submissions from 160 countries, adding that the most submissions came from emerging markets and countries in Asia due to the explosion in mobile use of Facebook.

    Mirroring another trend on Facebook, 70 percent of 2015 Facebook Awards submissions were video-based.

    Campaigns on Instagram were also part of the 2015 Facebook Awards for the first time since the awards debuted.

    Facebook Creative Shop chief creative officer Mark D’Arcy said in the Facebook for Business post:

    The way brands build on Facebook and Instagram has evolved from last year, because people have evolved. We are building for where people are, not for where they were.


    Joining Like a Girl (pictured above, which also received a Gold award in the Facebook for Good category and a Bronze for Craft) on the list of winners were:

    Blue for Good: Ice Bucket Challenge, The ALS Association. This campaign also won a Silver award.





    Google Compliance Exec Frank Lawrence Joins Facebook

    Google Payments chief compliance officer Frank Lawrence will now be collecting his payments from Facebook, as Re/code reported that he has joined the social network.

    Facebook confirmed the hire of Lawrence to Re/code but had no further comment.

    According to Lawrence’s LinkedIn profile, he previously served as head of global compliance operations for Google.

    Prior to that, he was global head of legal, compliance and operations for Coinstar Money Transfer.

    Facebook Sweeps Votes at Annual Meeting; 700 Million Messenger Users

    Facebook held its 2015 annual meeting Thursday at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, Calif., and once again, all of the votes went the company’s way.

    Shareholders voted to re-elect all eight current members of the company’s board of directors:

    Facebook shareholders also voted to ratify the appointment of Ernst & Young as its independent registered public accounting firm for the year ending Dec. 31, and to reapprove the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (code), section 162(m) limits of its 2012 Equity Incentive Plan, which provides for the grant of awards to eligible employees, directors, consultants, independent contractors and advisors in the form of stock options, restricted stock awards, stock bonuses, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock units and performance shares.

    The following proposals were rejected by the company’s shareholders:

    • Facebook should initiate and adopt a recapitalization plan that would result in one vote per share for all outstanding stock.
    • Facebook should issue an annual sustainability report describing its short- and long-term responses to environmental, social and governance issues by October.
    • Facebook’s board of directors should prepare a report to shareholders by Oct. 31 of potential and actual human-rights risks of Facebook’s operations.

    During his opening remarks, Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook Messenger application topped 700 million monthly active users, after the app reached 500 million last November. He said:

    Over the next three to five years, one of the big parts of our story is going to be that Facebook now is no longer just a single app in a way that people communicate, but now, we’ve developed a strategy of trying to build multiple world-class apps and services for all the different ways that people want to communicate. We acquired this company, WhatsApp, where now 800 million people use that to send messages every month across the world, and we’ve built this product, Messenger, which more than 700 million people are using to communicate. We have a groups product that more than 700 million people monthly are using to communicate in small groups and share on topics about their interest.

    And we have communities like Instagram, which more than 300 million people are using to share things. So what you’re seeing is that there are all these different kinds of products, and we’re focused on building world-class tools in each of these different categories–whether it’s private communication or sharing with interest based communities or sharing publicly–that expand on this mission to give people more ability to share what’s important to them. So over the next three or five years, a big part of what we do is going to be continuing to grow those communities while also starting to evolve those products to become important drivers of revenue in our overall business. as well. That’ll be an important and fun part of what we get to do over the next five years.

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson once again attended Facebook’s annual meeting, where he brought up the lack of minorities on its board of directors and in its corporate suite, saying:

    Where are we a year later? … How many new employees has Facebook hired this year? How many and what percentage are the black, Latino, Asian and women? … Donald Graham has left your board–Facebook made commitment to replace him with an African American or a person of color. And you agreed to place a ballot amendment that will imply on exclusive and active search for women and people of color for all future board openings.

    We have people who are qualified right now, and we hope the board does not shrink … We must make the board look like America.

    Sandberg replied:

    We have a unbelievably diverse consumer-based 1.4 billion people using our products around the world, and that means we’re going to build the best product is by reflecting that type of diversity. And we talk about that cognitive diversity, diversity of thoughts, and a best way to get there is diversify of background that means everything from gender to race to also global diversity for us.

    We have had slightly more progress in actually recruiting people in this year, but they don’t know the overall numbers as much as we would want, and we know we have a long way to go.

    We’re working on the pipeline. We have a Facebook internship program, which was for computer science. We now started a business one, and we started in freshman year because that gives us better than what we have done before that give us a chance to find women and people of diverse backgrounds who might not think they could go to a technology company or might not a part of that. By senior year, people are a little bit on career path, and we went younger to make a bigger investment in starting freshman year, and we went even further that that for our local community with Facebook Academy setting up an internship program for local high-school students so they could get involved.

    We know we’re not where we need to be. We know we need to change our numbers so that we can reflect the diversity of population we serve, and we’re committed to all of these programs. A lot of this is new and, doing even more going forward, we’re also grateful for the opportunity to work with you and other grassroots organizations.

    Readers: Any surprises?

    Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Facebook News Feed Algorithm to Factor In Time Spent on Stories

    The latest tweak to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm factors in the amount of time users spend viewing stories.

    Software engineers Ansha Yu and Sami Tas announced the change in a Newsroom post Friday, acknowledging that Facebook users don’t necessarily like, comment on or share every post that is important to them.

    Yu and Tas added that the change to the News Feed algorithm will roll out “over the coming weeks,” and they did not expect any significant impact on pages.

    They explained the motivation behind the change as follows:

    We learned that in many cases, just because someone didn’t like, comment or share a story in their News Feed doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful to them. There are times when, for example, people want to see information about a serious current event, but don’t necessarily want to like or comment on it. Based on this finding, we are updating News Feed’s ranking to factor in a new signal—how much time you spend viewing a story in your News Feed.

    When talking to people about the way they use their News Feed, we’ve found that it’s not as simple as just measuring the number of seconds you spend on each story to understand if that piece of content resonated with you. Some people may spend 10 seconds on a story because they really enjoy it, while others may spend five seconds on a story because they have a slow Internet connection. We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.

    For example, you may scroll quickly through your News Feed and like a photo of your friend’s graduation, followed by sharing a funny post from your sister. You keep scrolling and happen upon a post your cousin has shared about her recent trip detailing everything she did and saw. Her post even includes a photo. You spend time reading her post and reading the interesting discussion about the best places to eat in Europe that had broken out in the comments on this post, but you don’t feel inclined to like or comment on it yourself. Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that more prominently for you in the future.

    Readers: What are your initial thoughts on the latest change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm?

    Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Facebook Updates Custom Audience Pixel: More Data

    Facebook updated the data available to advertisers via its custom audience pixel, giving them more ad-targeting options.

    Reader Or Fialkov of Fialkov Digital alerted SocialTimes about the update, saying that advertisers now have access to information including:

    • Websites and web addresses
    • New events such as search and add to wish list
    • Total traffic
    • Events tracking
    • The ability to share custom audience pixels with other ad accounts via Business Manager

    New documentation is available here.

    Advertisers: What are your initial thoughts on this update?


    Facebook to Developers: Page Plugin Replaces Like Box June 23

    Facebook reminded developers that its page plugin will automatically replace its like box on websites June 23 and detailed improvements to the former.

    The social network’s page plugin allows website visitors to see which of their friends like those websites’ corresponding Facebook pages and see the most recent posts from those pages.

    Front-end engineer Yugal Jindle described the improvements to page plugin in a post on Facebook’s developer blog:

    • Improved width support: As requested by our developer community, we’ve made updates to the page plugin to support a broader range of widths—as wide as 500 pixels and as narrow as 180 px. (Note that you may see minor layout changes due to space constraints when working with narrower widths. For example, at 180 px, you won’t see the share button).
    • Call-to-action buttons: The plugin now supports the same call-to-action buttons as pages. For example, if your page has a “Sign Up” or “Contact Us” button enabled, then that button now appears on the page plugin on your website, with the same functionality that it has on your page. This doesn’t require any changes to the plugin configuration on your end.

    Developers: Are you ready for June 23?


    Facebook, Shopify Expand Beta Test of Buy Button

    The Facebook buy button may be one step closer to a wider rollout, as e-commerce provider Shopify announced an expansion of its beta test with the social network.

    Shopify said in a blog post that it is expanding its beta test of Facebook’s buy button to “a group of U.S.-based Shopify merchants,” adding that clients that are invited to participate will receive messages like the one below in their Shopify home screens.


    The e-commerce provider added that interested merchants can apply here.

    Shopify offered more details about its work with the buy button in its blog post:

    For the past year, we’ve been working closely with the team at Facebook to create a solution for Shopify merchants to advertise and sell their products using Facebook’s buy call-to-action button. This feature lets consumers purchase products they discover in their News Feed or on pages without having to leave Facebook.

    A small group of Shopify merchants are already using this solution to post products with buy buttons, and today we are expanding the beta test to include a variety of businesses.

    Buying is safe and secure, and consumers can optionally choose to save their payment information with Facebook for future purchases. This makes purchasing easier, especially on mobile.

    After adding the new Facebook sales channel to your Shopify account, you can start posting products with buy buttons, promoting those posts with paid advertising, managing all of the customers and orders that come in from Facebook and more.

    Readers: Have you spotted buy buttons on Facebook yet? What are your thoughts?


    Brands Hit the Gas with Facebook Creative Accelerator

    What do Coca-Cola in Kenya, Nestlé in India and Lifebuoy in Indonesia have in common?

    Those three brands represent early success stories for Creative Accelerator, which Facebook introduced in March, enabling Facebook Creative Shop to work with brand and agency partners in high-growth countries such as India, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya and Turkey to establish best practices for campaigns tailored to Facebook users in each country and the devices most commonly used in those nations, mainly mobile phones.

    Facebook product manager, emerging markets Nikila Srinivasan discussed the emergence of video on the social network in a Facebook for Business post:

    People everywhere are embracing visual communication formats, like video, at a staggering rate. More than 50 percent of people on Facebook in the U.K., Brazil, South Korea, Singapore, Israel and the United Arab Emirates watch a video every day. In the Asia-Pacific region, people are spending more time creating and consuming videos, including ads. In fact, in just one year, the number of video posts created per person on Facebook increased 75 percent globally, 52 percent in Australia, 36 percent in South Korea and 138 percent in the UAE. People in the Middle East now consume more video per person than any other region in the world.

    Facebook also offered the following updates on how brands are taking advantage of Creative Accelerator:

    • In Kenya, Coca-Cola launched a photo ad campaign designed to spread a locally relevant message of happiness. Compared with similar campaigns, ad recall increased by 18 percent.
    • Nestlé Everyday’s Theatre in a Cup campaign connected with people in rural and metro areas in India using photo or video ads, depending on the person’s device and connection speed. Compared with similar campaigns in the region, the campaign increased brand awareness by 9 percent and purchase intent by 5 percent.


    • Lifebuoy used photos and videos showing its soap’s effectiveness on germs to talk to moms in Indonesia about how washing hands helps keep families healthy. After the campaign, 9.4 percent more moms in the area associated the brand with the statement, “protects effectively from germs.”

    Readers: What are your early thoughts on Creative Accelerator?