Digital Bytes: YouTube tops youth brand poll

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week 18-24s flock to YouTube, gamers head to Facebook and Halloween revellers trick or treat their way towards search engines…

YouTube named most popular youth brand

YouTube has been named the most popular brand among 18-24 year olds by The Beans Group. The organisation, which is behind student site Student Beans, foud that the video site topped their recent poll, with Wikipedia in second. Pringles, Greggs and Facebook also ranked highly in the list, but Apple only came in at 24. “YouTube has successfully morphed ‘video’ into a conversation between creators, writers, producers and the audience,” said Luke Mitchell, head of youth strategy at The Beans Group. “They’ve provided a platform where the humble video has been transformed as part of the online revolution that resonates with young people. YouTube are deserving winners. 18-24s are an influential, highly social, open-minded and ambitious group. Many of the top performing brands identify their passions and find a role within them. Others win simply by focusing on good value and great service, two qualities that young people rate highly in a brand.”

Gamers flock to Facebook

Around 251 million people are playing games on Facebook, according to new research unveiled by the company. That figure is up by around 35 million people from the 226 million that played games on the site at the same point last year (September 2011). Simulation games are the most popular type of games, with Arcade and Puzzle games second. Guessing games, such as SongPop, have also seen a huge increase in popularity. “The amount of volume of guessing is extraordinary,” says Facebook’s Alex Shultz. “When I first saw them I thought there was a bug in the system.” He added that the social elements of the games have made them so popular: “When you sign up for a social game where only one or two of your friends are playing, it’s not as fun as if 10 to 20 of your friends are playing.”

Tesco revamp YouTube channels

Tesco have relaunched their YouTube channels to create a more consistent user experience. The supermarket giant previously had nine different channels, but have now amalgated them into five, covering different aspects of their business: ‘Food and Wine’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Technology’, ‘Clothing’, and a general Tesco channel that will cover content from the four satellite channels. The new channels have been created by digital agency Zone, and Tesco’s head of digital marketing Tom Daniell said the company was hired to help Tesco “understand how to manage our video content with consistency and efficiency so it best serves our customers”. Tesco have fully embraced digital marketing in 2012, and earlier in the year set up interactive billboards that customers could use to order their shopping.

Limited 4G ‘will harm economy’

Research conducted by eBay has suggested that the UK’s lack of universal 4G coverage will cost the economy £120 million. The company believes that slower load times will present a barrier to customers wishing to shop on their phone or tablet device and that mobile sales would increase by a third had 4G been rolled out nationally rather than across just 10 cities. Clare Gilmartin, vice president of eBay Marketplaces, Europe commented: “Mobile devices have become virtual stores in our pockets, giving us the ability to shop anytime, anywhere. But for consumers, it’s critical that the experience is quick, seamless and simple. Slow browsing speeds and breaking connections are now significant barriers to mobile commerce – and this comes at a high price. While we welcomed the move by Ofcom to bring the 4G spectrum auction forward to early 2013 there’s no doubt, as this research shows, that for the UK economy the cost of another Christmas without universal 4G is huge. Consumers are increasingly demanding a better experience, regardless of their network. We hope that the Government will work quickly come the New Year to ensure its promise to deliver 4G for all by the end of 2013 is realised.”

Happy Halloween

Finally, it’s Halloween week, so trick or treaters everywhere have been taking to search engines to find what they need to celebrate the holiday. Costumes, events and recipes have been the most popular searches, with 32% of all searches including the word ‘costume’ or ‘costumes’. Experian Hitwise found that Halloween related searches have quadrupled in the last four weeks, and even before October began there was a healthy volume of related searches, with a significant increase on the norm occurring as early as the last week of August. So what costumes are the most popular? Zombies and pirates account for 16% and 14% of searches respectively, but combined it’s superheroes who rule Halloween. Of the 20 most popular character-specific costumes, 12 were comic book characters, with Batman, Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy, Iron Man, Thor and the Incredible Hulk proving most popular. More facts and stats on Halloween searches can be found on Experian Hitwise.