The hottest social media news from SXSW and beyond, this week

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 20 Mar 2015 by Emily
Social Media | Uncategorized

It has been a busy week in the digital and social media world. Here are our highlights:

‘Game of Thrones’ social media team: “We basically manipulated you”

Award winning HBO series Game of Thrones’ recent social media campaign was innovative yet infuriating for fans. The network hired a creative agency called Elastic, who created an excited buzz across social media and digital platforms, engulfing the program in an air of mystery using a series of teaser trailers like none that the film and TV industry has ever seen before.

The creative director of Elastic discussed this campaign at SXSW, and what came out of it is surprising. The campaign consisted of a series of enigmatic tweets and 10 second videos which directed fans to a sign up site. This all sounds very run-of-the-mill promo stuff, right? But here’s the twist: 1.3 million fans signed up and received a video via text message which then vanished 90 seconds after being opened. Elastic stated, “We weaponized time. We took away the one thing you want, which is the ability to watch it again.”

HBO and Elastic revelled in the social media backlash, saying it was exactly what they aimed for. There were 2 subsequent ‘visions’ sent out to fans, with the final being a more conventional teaser trailer, containing scenes from the upcoming new series.

Abstract methods, perhaps, but we can’t deny the originality of this controversial campaign.

Users can now make payments to friends through Facebook Messenger

Facebook payments

The ever changing social media platform, Facebook, has unveiled yet another intriguing new feature for everyday users. Users (in the U.S. only, for now) can now send and receive money via the Messenger app. This new update will appear as an icon, alongside ‘photos’, ‘camera’, ‘stickers’ and ‘mic’. All a user has to do is load their debit card details into the settings, start a conversation, enter the amount and then clicking ‘pay’. On the other end, the user receives the message and is prompted to accept the payment, which then processes like any other bank transfer – simple as that.

This is an interesting development, particularly for advertisers. If, further down the line, Facebook begins to facilitate online shopping, of sorts, this could drastically refine demographics with regards to their shopping habits.

Facebook are plugging it as ‘a more convenient and secure way to send or receive money between friends’ (source:

Is this a tactic to keep Facebook ‘sticky’ and rule out competing sites? Or will this be a truly beneficial feature for businesses and standard users alike?

Users can now stream full-length songs from the Twitter app for free

In its latest experiment with music, Twitter has teamed up with Rhapsody in a formidable alliance. Subscribers to Rhapsody can now share full-length tracks on Twitter, which can be played directly from the app by anyone, not just Rhapsody subscribers. Just as with Soundcloud tracks, the Rhapsody tracks will be shared via an audio card which is integrated with Twitter – rather than a link to an external page.

The CFO of Rhapsody plugged it as a way of reviving music sharing between friends, without illegal downloading.

Whilst this is potentially more beneficial for Rhapsody than Twitter, as it poses some significant exposure to the streaming service, it is an intriguing move by Twitter, who have previously only tentatively dipped a toe into the music world.


“The meerkats are moving in colonies, and they’re always alerted of what’s going on.” Ben Rubin, founder of Meerkat.(source:Mashable) Meerkat, the Twitter-integrated live-streaming app, was a hot topic at SXSW, the social media ripple is already expanding across the waves of social media platforms, and the buzz surrounding it is almost electric. From vloggers to social media influencers, everyone is talking about this new app and where it is heading. But how is it different?

MeerkatIt streams directly to twitter. The app warns users as they log in; ‘Everything that happens on Meerkat, happens on Twitter.’ Real-time reactions: your twitter followers can react to your streams as it is happening, meaning it is interactive, you have an audience. It is exclusive: In a snapchat-esque fashion, blink and you’ve missed it, but more so, as the videos are only available live.

Whilst many are championing this as the best thing to happen at SXSW since Twitter, others are raising concerns that this new sensation may suffer the same pitfalls that Snapchat did; the potential for users to abuse the app is high, so this is an interesting one that we will be keeping an eye on over the coming weeks and months. Will you?

LinkedIn photo uploads; LinkedIn is broadening its functionality

Recently, LinkedIn has gradually been rolling out a new homepage, bit by bit. If you have been following our blogs, you will know that the platform released a new homepage, it offered notifications to company page managers. Now, LinkedIn will be giving users the ability to upload photos directly to the news feed.

We all know that visual content stimulates leaps and bounds more engagement than text content, and as other platforms are working to make the user experience more visual, it seems that LinkedIn will not be left behind.


What social media news have you heard this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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