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Rallyverse Roundup: Smartphones And Live TV, Facebook Referrals, Animal Selfies

By , on May 12, 2014 at 11:08 am

In today’s Roundup, we’re thinking about how the second screen is goodness for all of us, worrying a bit about the impact of anonymity apps, marveling at how Facebook is owning mobile referrals, and enjoying a cute set of animal selfies.

If “the history of the Internet is one of lonely ¬≠people trying to find one another,” as this piece begins, the smartphones plus live TV is one of the best solutions yet for helping folks to connect. Specifically, the connections around live TV and events are especially strong. We appreciate the note about the Oscars, but, um, how about that gigantically popular thing called sports that’s much better with the second screen too?

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As the smartphone becomes the first screen, it’s bringing us closer together.

It must be awkward to have to pretend that your successful anonymity app exists to create peace and harmony across the planet. Sure, there may be some nice use cases but, like anything else, there are some really easy ways that these apps can go sideways: “Anonymity apps have opened an online Pandora’s box that even their founders may have a hard time closing.”

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Whisper is one of a growing number of anonymity apps, where anyone can go to write something without putting their name on it, set it against a pretty background, and share it with the world. Many of these apps — including Whisper and another called Secret — advertise themselves as a safe place for people to spread the truth and feel understood online. But while many people do use these platforms as a sort of public personal diary, we now know that isn’t always how they work.

If mobile is the platform that matters, then, um, wow, Facebook. And by that we mean the following: “24% of referrals to the top 250 major mobile news and entertainment destinations come from Facebook.” That’s quite the elephant in the room. Or the something-hundred-pound gorilla? One of those animal metaphors.

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For a company that didnt seem to have anything but a hapless mobile strategy two years ago when it IPO-ed, Facebooks post-PC story is among the great turnaround tales in recent digital history. Remember when we were poring over those pre-IPO SEC filings that revealed the weak underbelly of the company clearly was in devices?. Well, the company not only rocket-fueled their revenues in the direction of mobile in a hurry — now it looks as if the basic changes in use cases and modes for mobile will naturally favor the social channels. According to an upcoming report from Quantcast, almost a quarter (24%) of referrals to the top 250 major mobile news and entertainment destinations come from Facebook. Using its Quantcast Measure platform, the company analyzed traffic to the top 250 publishers and found Facebook outdistancing all other social media sources combined. The metrics reflect the full 12 months of activity ending in January. Twitter accounted for only 7% of referrals, with Pinterest at 2%. Notably, the beleaguered and perhaps foundering Google+ didnt even make the chart. Social clearly is becoming the major source of content discovery — an important shift from the search-centric desktop that could also help fuel social commerce going forward. It gets better for Facebook because so many of referrals to third-party sites are keeping the user in the Facebook environs.

Speaking of animal metaphors, National Geographic has an animal selfie campaign, and it’s great.

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Categories: Rallyverse Roundup