FWM Digital Bytes

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 Apple TV, Buffy the Facebook Phone and social media advertising incentives for small businesses…

Cook hints at Apple TV

Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted that the company will move into the production of their own TV sets by saying that they have “an intense interest” in internet TV. Currently, Apple produce a set-top box that users can plug into their existing TV to download content from sites such as iTunes and YouTube. Rumours have been rife since last year that a full TV set would be imminent, and while Cook refused to give a definitive answer (“You were right. I’m not going to tell you,” he said when asked at the All Things Digital Conference in California this week) he did say that “we are going to keep pulling the string and see where this takes us.” He added, “We’re not a hobby kind of company, as you know. We’ve stuck in this.” It is speculated that an Apple TV could be available before the end of the year, while Google have also spoken about releasing their own television set during 2012.

Facebook and Twitter target SME’s

Facebook are offering small businesses in the UK £20 of free ad credit as part of the Facebook Small Business Boost programme, which goes live today (Wednesday 29th May). Businesses with more than 50 Facebook likes can register for the free scheme and those who increase their fanbase by more than 100 users as a result of the credit will be entitled to a further £60. The campaign is part of an overall project that will offer around £4.2 million of free advertising to small business in European countries including France, Germany, Spain and Italy, as well as the UK. Twitter have also recently courted SMEs with self-serve adverts aimed at those unfamiliar with online advertising. Their initiative, offered in conjunction with American Express, vows to “offer small businesses the chance to create even more marketing success as advertisers on Twitter.”

Buffy, the Facebook Phone

A Facebook smartphone could be released before the end of the year according to a report in the New York Times. Citing a number of unidentified sources, the paper states that a Facebook phone has been in the works since last year and is being developed under the code-name ‘Buffy’. The team working on the phone has been expanded since work first began, with Facebook hiring a number of former Apple engineers to take advantage of their experiences working on the iPhone and iPad. One of the engineers said that Mark Zuckerberg has been taking a close interest in the project and that he “asked about intricate details, including the types of chips used”. However, when asked for a statement by the BBC, Facebook were typically tightlipped. “Our mobile strategy is simple: we think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social,” a spokesperson said. “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”

Women dominate social media

Women use social media sites more than men, according to research conducted by British Telecom. BT surveyed over 1,000 Brits about their social media habits and found that more than half of the women questioned use sites like Facebook and Twitter, while only 34% of men do. 18% of women said that they’d miss social media if it wasn’t around (compared to just 7% of men), while women also play more online games than men (9% to 8%). John Petter, managing director of BT’s Retail Consumer Division, said: “This research makes it clearer than ever how the nation has embraced the internet across all aspects of life and, in particular, the different way men and women use the Internet. People now take for granted that they can manage their life all in one place, from shopping and banking to entertainment and social media.”