EU Heads of Government on Facebook: who’s scoring best?


After releasing the ranking of EU Heads of government on  Twitter I thought I should not stop there and I should also check their presence on the most populated social media: Facebook.

As I explained in the previous post, the communication strategies of EU Heads of Government vary greatly. Some Prime Ministers are not on social media, some are just on Twitter, some are just on Facebook some are on both platforms.

For instance Bohuslav Sobotka and Jyrki Katainen do not have an official personal presence on either platform, while David Cameron, Matteo Renzi and Mariano Rajoy are on both. Angela Merkel, Werner Faymann and Helle Thorning-Schmidt are  not on Twitter but they do have a Facebook page while the opposite applies to Nicos Anastasiades, Victor Ponta and  Joseph Muscat (see full table below. Data as of 25/03/2014)

European_Heads_of_state_Facebook

As we can see from the table above, out of the 19 Heads of Government on Facebook, 10 are actually verified. Some well-known public figures and Pages with large followings are verified by Facebook as having an authentic identity. You’ll see a blue badge next to a verified profile or Page’s name. Facebook verifies profiles or Pages to help you be sure that they are who they claim to be.

European_Heads_of_state_Facebook

As we can see from the chart above, as for Twitter, Matteo Renzi is the most followed (or “liked”) EU head of government on Facebook with 628.360 likes, followed by Chancellor Merkel (who does not have a personal Twitter account) with 517.415 and Président Hollande with 448.191 likes (Hollande is also the second most followed Twitter account for an EU Head of Government). David Cameron, who has the third most followed Twitter account, is in 6th position in this ranking.

Continue reading “EU Heads of Government on Facebook: who’s scoring best?”

A review of the European Commission’s social media presence in 2013


Co-written with @AmyJColgan, @PabloPerezA. Published on Waltzing Matilda Blog

Assessing our performances is key to understanding how we can improve. In this post we want to share with our readers about how the European Commission’s central social media accounts have developed – in terms of followership, engagement and the volume of conversation we are now having across our social media platforms.

European_Commission_Social_MediaFollower numbers
Let’s have a look at what the European Commission achieved in 2013 in terms of social media followership of their central accounts.

A response to Derek Muller on “the problem with Facebook”


I have watched yesterday the video The Problem With Facebook by Derek Muller published on Devour. Although I found the video interesting, I must point out there a quite a few inaccuracies about what Derek presents and that I find his theory lacking some basic solid evidence.

Let’s watch the video and go through some points in common, things I disagree with and questions I prepared for Derek.

1) “People you disagree with will vanish from your news-feed.” I find this statement incorrect. The correct sentence should be “people you don’t engage with will vanish from your news-feed.” In fact, Facebook is also used to express disagreement over published content and I find it inaccurate to label Facebook’s algorithm as an attempt to create an echo chamber of self affirming views.

2) I don’t find it weird to have to “like” or “share” a post to express interest in a piece of content. How would Facebook then be able to adapt your timeline according to your preferences?

2) “The problem is Facebook is using is filtering power to make money” Isn’t that the technique used by any information system or media outlet? Why is it evil if this is done by a social network whose target is to become the best tailor-made newspaper?

3) The push-to-buy-advertisement point is true. Facebook is indeed restricting the reach of fan pages’ posts in order to encourage fan pages’ managers to buy  advertisement. Now, the question is “Is this practice fair?” In my opinion yes, with constraints. If a business or a public figure like Veritasium is benefitting from a service that Facebook provides, why shouldn’t Facebook, or any other social network, try to monetize these efforts?

The problem that these raises is the differentiation between what I call “genuine” and “non-genuine” social profiles. This problem also applies to Twitter and those who buy followers to gain visibility within their community. Certainly, pushing pages’ owners to buy advertisement increases this problem to the final user of the product (the regular people) for which a solid solution has indeed not been provided by Facebook.

4) The viewer-creator-advertiser triangle sounds like an interesting theory but lacks evidence. It is not true that viewers are advertisers simply because most viewers (like in YouTube) are not creator. In making this point Derek completely overlooks the differentiation between profiles, pages and groups that Facebook provides. Not all profiles are content creators and can’t then be advertisers. Although, that does apply to fan pages which are by definition content creators and, in a very far-fetching way, advertisers but only if they become non-genuine pages. Continue reading “A response to Derek Muller on “the problem with Facebook””

The faces of Facebook


I bumped into this app a few days ago. A totally zoomable, totally clickable collage of every single person on Facebook, all 1.27 billion on them…including us! You can get directly to people’s page, which is kind of scary, but I suppose it’s like a phone directory. Faces of Facebook is aggregating the profiles of every user to give a birds-eye view of the social network. Here is what The Guardian says about this app.

Do you ever wonder about the first person to join Facebook after you? Probably not, unless you and a friend clicked the sign-up button at the same microsecond, in some weird social-network-based ritual, you’ve likely never met the person. Nor have you ever seen the face of the thousandth person to join the site, or the ten thousandth, the millionth or the billionth.

But once you’re given the opportunity to find those people, it can all get strangely compelling.

That’s what’s weirdly compelling about this new app which uses the site’s API to deliver, ostensibly, every profile pic on the site in one gigantic wall of colour.

The site was created by Natalia Rojas, a US-based creative technologist, and doesn’t actually show every user at once, of course. A conservative estimate of the size of every profile picture on the site is 30 terabytes (that’s 30Kb per picture multiplied by a billion users), and downloading that over the fastest residential connection in the UK would take a little over a week.

But if you hover your mouse over the shining pixels making up the backdrop of the site, it tells you the user number you’re hovering over. If you zoom in from there, you can see that user’s profile pic, as well as those of the hundred or so next to them on the wall of faces.

486e9478-5fc2-4905-bfc0-0104a6769edd-460x276 Continue reading “The faces of Facebook”

Social sharing and content engagement in 2013: who’s winning and who’s losing


What was the social sharing and content engagement trends in 2013? Which social network was most popular amongst users? This infographics explains it all. The Addthis team has unveiled the numbers and found that:

– Social activity increased by 32%
– Facebook was still the most popular sharing method
– Twitter now accounts for 13 percent of all sharing worldwide, up 3 percent from 2012.
– Pinterest sharing increased by 50%
– India and Brazil have seen the strongest gains in social sharing

This figure pales in comparison with Facebook, which makes up 26 percent of all sharing (via the Share button – the Like button controls another 16 percent), although Facebook’s slice of the pie is on the decline, falling 11 percent in the past 12 months.

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You want to get retweets? use images

Are you looking for retweets? Than add a picture to your tweets. Social media expert from HubSpot Dan Zarrella has carried out a study based on over 400.00 tweets which proves that tweets with pics have twice the chances to attracts tweeps’ attention and get retweeted.

Be careful though, the study also points out that this hypothesis is debunked when posting images uploaded on Instagram or Facebook. For the former, retweets rate goes down to 42% while for the latter it goes down to 47%. More details (in Italian) on Il Corriere della Sera.

1 Continue reading “You want to get retweets? use images”

What’s behind Zuckenberg’s philanthropy?

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to connect five billion more people to the Internet. This is his announcement on 19th August for the formation of Internet.org a partnership with some of the biggest players in the smartphone space, to bring internet connectivity to poor people in the developing world who can’t afford or access it yet.

It may not actually be profitable for us to serve the next few billion people.

The group positioned itself as a charitable effort, but there is wide speculation about this being a sober business move that would put Facebook and its friends in the smartphone world front-and-center to court the biggest group of untapped customers left on planet earth.

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Internet.org is a global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities and experts who are working together to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it.
Sharing tools, resources and best practices, Internet.org partners will explore solutions in three major opportunity areas: affordability, efficiency, and business models.
The idea that Facebook and these other public companies are working to spread the internet without any thought or promise of eventual profit seems unlikely, to say the least. Facebook has already saturated the industrialized world, so developing countries have created Facebook’s fastest growing source of revenue. Over the last year, the company’s revenue has grown 43 percent in North America and 45 percent in Europe. In Asia and the rest of the world, by contrast, Facebook’s revenue grew 82 percent and 88 percent.
Source The Verge

Hashtags on Facebook: what if Twitter had copyrighted the #?

imagesFacebook users will be able to include hashtags in their posts and then watch them become clickable. When a hashtag is included in a post, clicking on it will pop out a feed that aggregates others posts that have been tagged with the same phrase.

After last year Apple vs Samsung case, I wonder if social platforms should be able to copyright their exclusive features.  Would this turn into a patent war among #socmed giants (and dwarfs)?