Bytes: Mobile-only Facebook use rises

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at mobile-only use of Facebook, Netflix users’ new friend Max and the continued rise of the digital consumer economy…

Mobile-only Facebook use on the rise

Mobile-only users of Facebook have increased by 23 per cent since March according to new statistics included in the company’s recent 10-Q document. The site had around 543 million active mobile users in the month of June, and of that amount around 102 million (18.7 per cent) visited exclusively via a mobile device. As The Verge’s Amar Toor points out, this is great news for Facebook because recent studies have shown that mobile users generally stay on the site longer than desktop users. However Toors adds that there’s less chance for those users to convert as “Facebook has less ad real estate to sell on its app or mobile site, and has thus far been reluctant to insert more sponsored stories into mobile News Feeds.” Advertising accounted for 84 per cent of Facebook’s overall revenue in Q2 2012 so if these mobile use trends continue it will be of paramount important for Facebook to find a way to more effectively monetise the medium.

Netflix introduce Max

Netflix have taken a leaf out of Apple’s book by allowing their users to talk to their Playstation 3 app while looking for films to stream. ‘Max’ is an update to the app that asks users a series of questions and bases its suggests on the answers it receives. The update is only available on a handful of systems at the moment and when asked by Gigaom, Netflix explained that there is no guarantee it will recieve roll-out beyond the PS3. “Max is a new user experience we are testing. It is available to a subset of Netflix members who use a PS3. We will look at how the test performs, whether it leads to increased interaction with Netflix by our members, and decided based on that whether we will make it broadly available.” A video of Max in action can be seen here…

Digital consumer economy to hit $2.1tr

The digital consumer economy will be worth $2.1 trillion by the end of the year, according to research gathered by Gartner. This total covers money spent on digitial hardware and content by consumers and it will mark an increase of $114bn compared with the total from last year. “Our research consistently shows that consumers are willing to pay for content they deem ‘worth it’,” analyst Amanda Sabia said. “However, our research has also found that consumers are willing to tolerate an ad-supported business model in exchange for free functions and content such as personal cloud storage, social networking, information searching, email, IM, person-to-person (P2P) voice (Skype and mobile voice over IP [VoIP]), streaming/downloading video and musical content when accessing the Internet.” The digital consumer economy shows no signs of slowing down even farther into the future as Gartner predict that the overall total will hit $2.7tr in 2016.

Facebook test ‘Save for Later’ feature

Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow users to add interesting stories to a folder for future use. ‘Save for Later’ will be available on desktop, tablet and mobile devices and will work in much the same way as Twitter’s Favourites feature. However, unlike Twitter Favourites, Save for Later will not send out notifications to users whose stories are saved. Save for Later is the latest in a number of new features Facebook has been testing recently, but as Mashable note the quickly-dropped ‘Find Friends Nearby‘ functionality proves that not all tests lead to success.

Going for Gold

An Olympic medal is worth the world to the person who wins it, but what value does it have in digital? Social Media company BirdSong have kept track of more than 300 athletes’ Twitter feeds since the games started and found that a place on the podium means a gigantic rise in followers. Lizzie Armistead saw her follower count rise by nearly 200% following her cycling silver medal, while swimmer Rebecca Adlington went up by around 170 per cent after she won bronze in the swimming. The Team GB Facebook and Twitter accounts have also seen significant boosts, with the latter jumping by around 122 per cent and the former going up by 50 per cent. The full list of tweeting Team GB members can be seen here. Andy Murray leads the way with over a million followers, while waterpolo player Ciaran James brings up the rear with just 145.