Friday Social – Twitter Purge, new iPlayer and refreshed Facebook ads

  • Social Media

Twitter plans fake account purge

Twitter Bird

We have written previously about Twitters planned flotation in the coming months, the social media giant is taking similar steps to those of Facebook before their own high profile stock market listing. The majority of Twitters valuation comes from its marketing potential, its demographic information and sheer size of user base making it an advertisers dream. The total number of users registered on Twitter is up for debate, the company itself recently wrote that there are 200 million registered users, but it is likely to be much higher than that, some sites claim it is nearer to 1 billion. Twitter is concerned that, with up to 5% of its users being fake accounts this may impact upon its valuation, even at Twitters claimed 200 million this still equates to 10 million fake accounts, if an advert happens to land on one of these accounts it is advertising money down the drain, making Twitter a much less enticing proposition. Twitter had this to say in their paper delivered to the stock market in preparation for the flotation.

“If spam increases, this could hurt our reputation for delivering relevant content or reduce user growth and user engagement and result in continuing operational cost to us,”

It is for that reason that Twitter will be undertaking a purge of fake accounts in the coming weeks, so if you notice follower numbers dropping dramatically overnight this could be the culprit.

Twitter developments

Twitter is busy at the moment developing new features and partnership opportunities; we know that they are extremely keen on building their relationship with TV, and that they want to be seen as the main second screen companion.Entertainment companies @Comcast and @NBCUniversal in the USA have announced a partnership with Twitter that lets users tune in to a TV show directly from a Tweet. Comcast will give some of its customers the ability to change the channel, set a recording and play a show On Demand, quite what is wrong with the remote I don’t know but hooray for technology!

Further to this, Twitter has been working on new ways to push relevant content to its users; the first foray in to this was @MagicRecs, which alerts you via a direct message when a certain amount of users you follow start to follow a certain account. The new service called ‘Event Parrot’ will operate in much the same way, pushing relevant events and breaking news to you via direct message, ensuring it doesn’t get lost in your twitter stream. Much like Magic Recs there is nothing to confirm this is officially from Twitter but many of the sites staff are following the account.

BBC plans revamped iplayer and launches Playlister


The BBC has announced plans to revamp and increase the offering of its popular iPlayer application, the update will include personalised recommendations and Radio One will be getting its own channel, creating a Radio/TV hybrid channel.

Director General Tony Hall outlined his vision for how the new iPlayer will affect the channels relationship with its audience

“It will be a relationship where we provide our audiences with what they want, when and how they want it. And crucially through enhanced interactivity, they will also be able to tell us what they think of these programmes and services too. That conversation excites me hugely as it means our audiences won’t just receive the programmes we make, they will contribute to how we make them as well.”

Key future developments the BBC iPlayer will experiment with:

– Pop-up channels – around specific events or festivals such as Glastonbury, curated by key talent

– Online channels – such as Radio 1 TV, Arts or Science

– More exclusive content – building on the success of comedy pilots for BBC Three

– The ability to create your own evening schedule – with access to more content before it is on TV

– An extended window to watch increasing from seven to 30 days*

– Ability to pause and resume TV viewing from one screen to another

– More relevant and personalised recommendations

Further to this the BBC has launched its Playlister service, the site allows you to add any song being played on a BBC Radio station to your own playlist on sites such as Spotify and Deezer, each stations programme will display a list of songs played during the show so that users can retrospectively add songs.

Promoted Pin tests continue on Pinterest


We wrote about Pinterest trailing promoted pins back in September, initially the ads were only appearing in certain users feeds and they were few and far between. Now the site is to begin rolling promoted pins out to all of its users, the subtle adverts will appear at the top of search results and category descriptions. Customers can click to find out more about the product and navigate through to the advertisers page, this is an extension of the first trial adverts but a much wider one, Pinterest have said they will announce in due course when promoted pins will be available to advertisers.

Facebook updates its advert platform

Facebook ad objective

On Tuesday Facebook announced an overhaul of its advert buying platform, renaming the process “objective-based ad buying and reporting”. The ad buying process will now start by asking what individuals want to achieve with their advert and suggesting the ideal type of advert to help meet those objectives. The Facebook team have been adjusting this process since July this year when they removed several advertising options such as online offers and sponsored results leaving what they deemed to be the most effective ads available to marketers.  The new update comes with refreshed analytics and you can read more about it here.