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Big Changes for Social Media Giants

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This past month saw big changes for social media giants Facebook and Twitter. Facebook launched its Graph Search feature, which will allow users to search for information about their friends’ interests (particularly about brand preference) more easily. This will place even greater importance on the relationship between consumers and the social identities of brands.

The majority of consumers trust peer recommendations over online advertising. Citing Nielsen research, Frank O’Brien stated that 90 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product based on a friend’s opinion versus 33 percent who would do it based on a tactic such as online banner ads.

Graph Search will allow users to search for friends using keyword phrases (similar to a Google or Bing search). For example, when entering a phrase such as “people who like Pizza Hut,” Facebook will aggregate all friends who have associated themselves with Pizza Hut through their Facebook profile.

While Facebook hasn’t made a specific reference to Graph Search’s value to brands, the implications could end up on either end of the favorability spectrum, depending on how well the brand utilizes social media.

Meanwhile, in the world of Twitter, TechCrunch has reported that the service is ready to release its own ad API (application protocol interface) this quarter. Something that had been rumored since last year, it appears Twitter may finally be ready to increase brand advertising efforts in the next few months.

Brands already have the ability to post promoted tweets on users’ feeds. However, this more disruptive interface cannot simply be scrolled over, which could clear the way for larger, more Twitter-focused campaigns.

For more information on what effect these changes will bring to the marketing landscape, please contact Conversation at


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