FWM Digital Bytes

Here at Fast Web Media, we’ve been scouring all of the biggest digital marketing news over the last seven days to bring you the most important happenings in all things digital. This week, we look at MySpace’s relaunch, the latest player in the tablet market and some record-breaking tweets…

FWM BytesTimberlake brings Myspace back
Nine years after pioneering the social revolution, MySpace is relaunching as a social TV site backed by Justin Timberlake and Panasonic. The partnership came to light last year, when Timberlake bought a significant share of the site, but it’s only this week that plans have been officially unveiled, with the pop star, along with Myspace CEO Tim Vanderhook, in attendance at CES 2012 to make the announcement. Dropping the capital S from their name and adding a ‘TV’ at the end, the website formerly known as MySpace will eventually provide a service called Myspace TV that will allow users to share their TV viewing habits with friends. The platform will work with all Panasonic HDTVs as part of the brand’s Viera Connect.

“Historically, TV has been a shared experience, as people gathered together to watch their favorite programs,” Vanderhook said. “Our belief was that we could enhance the TV experience by increasing viewers’ ability to connect to both content and each other. By partnering with Panasonic, we’re bringing together the content that people love and a social experience in one service: Myspace TV.” Timberlake added: “Social has been about what you have done, possibly what you are doing at this moment. The future of Myspace is about what you’re going to do, who you’re going to become. Myspace TV is the first foray into that future.”

For the short-term, the site will use its rights to 100,000 music videos and 42,000,000 songs to push their music service. Again, the idea is to create a social forum, with users watching and listening to their favourite tracks, commenting on them and ultimately creating a new viewing experience. Once this has been established, the site will branch out into TV, movies, news and sports. However, with Facebook’s music sharing service already well underway, and social TV site Zeebox on the rise, Myspace TV has some stiff competition and its future will depend on whether it can shake off its past and become as relevant today as it was back in 2003.

Orange goes to Tahiti
Orange will become the latest brand to move into the tablet market this week as the telecoms company launches their new Tahiti device. The product, which will retail at £69.99, will run on Google’s Android platform and has been developed with the aim of challenging Amazon’s monopoly on affordable tablets. Paul Jevons director of products and devices at Everything Everywhere, who own Orange, said: “The Tahiti is a stylish, lightweight device with a great quality screen, which we believe really does offer great value innovation and will help customers to get the most out of their multimedia content whilst on the go.” Not only rivalling it on price, the Tahiti also has a head-start on Amazon in terms of availability, with the Kindle Fire still not pencilled in for a UK release. With the tablet market quickly becoming saturated though, it remains to be seen if Tahiti is a bright new part of Orange’s future or merely a flash in the pan.

Ads hit users feeds
Facebook has followed in Twitter’s footsteps by adding sponsored messaging to users’ News Feeds. The move is intended to provide an alternative to Sponsored Stories, which are seen on the right hand side of users’ feeds and are easily identified as promotional. The new ads will appear in the feed itself and will therefore be a little less obvious. Indeed, the only suggestion that the message has been paid for will be the use of the word ‘Featured’, which will appear at the bottom of each post. This marks a significant departure for Facebook, who have always aimed to keep the News Feed section free from advertising. They will therefore be aiming to keep the promos as unobtrusive as possible by ensuring that the user only sees adverts from pages they have liked and that just one paid update is added per day.

Tebow’s a Twecord breaker
Heard of #TebowTime? You should have, because on January 9th, it became the most tweeted about hashtag in sport. #TebowTime was inspired by Denver Broncos star Tim Tebow, who played a decisive role in a touchdown that helped the Brancos see off the Pittsburgh Steelers in a dramatic NFL play-off match on Monday. #TebowTime was mentioned in a staggering 9,420 tweets per second that night, setting a new record for sports and beating even Beyonce, who racked up 8,868 tweets per second when she announced she was pregnant during the MTV Video Music Awards last year. Both Tebow and Beyonce have some way to go to beat the all-time record holder though. Japanese director Hayao Miyazak was the subject of 25,088 tweets per second when his animated classic ‘Castle in the Sky‘ aired on Japanese television on December 9th last year. To put that into context, that’s 189,665,280 tweets during the course of the film and an average of around 1.6 tweets per Japanese citizen. Maybe Myspace TV are onto something after all…