Content Marketing

Browser Wars Return — Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Now Lead

Recent iOS and Android updates from the big three social media players now mean we can browse far more within their apps, allowing them to extend their data collection and mining.

We are also primed to share back into their network, and can do it anywhere via our mobile/tablet device.

Twitter has enforced changes to its API and terms and conditions for developers over the past few weeks. The changes have been in place since 2011 — dealing with exporting data to could based services — but the company has begun to enforce the new terms.

The social action service, If This Then That (IFTTT), is the latest to announce the removal of Twitter actuated services. Recipes on IFTTT that would enable you to save a image to Dropbox or email a tweet, for example, have been removed, as they breach the terms regarding exporting tweets to cloud based services.

Twitter has also removed from its website any indications of where a tweet comes from. You used to be able to see the app, client, or platform from which a tweet was sent. A form of advertising for the variety of third party twitter clients.

This move has been seen by many as an ad serving initiative. The current argument is that it’s easier for Twitter to serve ads to users if everyone consumes their tweets through Twitter’s own apps or website. Twitter have more control, can offer targeting, and can ensure that branding and messaging are consistent. Yet little focus has been placed on data.

It’s not about ads, it’s a thirst for data collection

It was only after trawling through Google Chrome’s Ts and Cs that I found the clause that they can track anything I surf. Which led me to consider apps and the ever increasing mobile browsing platforms.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +, Twitter’s Privacy policy covers data collection. Not only when we use their website, or app, but when we visit any site with a “tweet” button.

Having covered all our movements on our PC or Mac, Twitter has now conquered the Mobile frontier. Clicking a link in the Twitter iPad, iPhone or Andorid app does not take you out to Safari, or your android browser but let’s you continue browsing. Should another article appeal and merit a share, you’re still within their app and ready to spread it to your community.

LinkedIn has augmented its LinkedIn Today section of is website and app with proprietary content from business leaders like Richard Brandson. This content is added to the Linkedin Today area along with trending articles based off the most shared articles on LinkedIn. Like the Twitter app, clicking on a link to an article you will remain in browser, and your browsing data is collected.

Finally Facebook, with a similar network of iPad, iPhone and Android apps, also collect data from users who are kept within the apps while browsing.

As content creators, why should we care?

The extended preview of an article that you see on each of the three networks will become ever more important when creating content.

You’ll need to know your open graph meta data/tags and monitor how the previews of you content are displayed in Twitter streams, on Facebook news feeds and on LinkedIn.

Facebook has four main meta tags that the other networks also use. Content creators should bare them in mind when creating content formats and templates.

  • og:title – The title of your post as it should appear
  • og:type – The type of your object, e.g., “movie”.
  • og:image – A thumbnail image URL to display with the content.
  • og:url – The canonical URL of the post.

Secondly, understand how your site reacts to screen resolutions, devices and consider a full responsive web design. Think about displaying different resolution images for desktop, mobile and tablet.

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have the budget, consider how you would modify your content, sales cycle, products, or even business model by analyzing big data from social media.

Images courtesy of Flickr, Charliemariosundarpshab

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