Social networks are getting less graphically diverse: why?

All the same: how graphical diversity disappeared from social media

What Starbucks and Whole Foods did for hip neighborhoods, and Ikea did for city apartments, seems to now be happening on social media. As platforms ‘borrow’ functionality and looks from each other and converge towards design choices promoting ease of use and engagement, graphical diversity among different platforms is steadily decreasing. Here’s just a few examples: The proliferation of a “stories” tab displaying a sequence of circular profile pictures  across Facebook properties (Instagram, Messenger, Facebook app, Whatsapp…) as well as Snapchat The circular profile picture itself, now ubiquitous across FB, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and Apple products Within the circular profile pictures, green ‘active’ status (FB, LinkedIn) Twitter adopting the heart-shaped ‘like’ button in lieu of the ‘favorite’ star...

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Twitter Passion Report: how the Cook for Syria campaign provides foodies for thought

Twitter Passion Network foodies

We’ve been running a series based on our research work with Twitter, uncovering a set of passion communities on the platform using analysis of 800,000 randomly selected users. We found that those who identified with these passions do not make up monolithic audiences, but gather into a series of sub-communities. Each of these have a very specific cultural footprint, clustered around geographic, ethnic or interest affinities. This month, we’re taking a closer look at the community whose main passion is identified as food. The important thing to learn here is that the network of people who identify as liking ‘food’ is too wide a term to categorize as one interest – while they all exist under an umbrella of liking...

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On-demand webinar: bullet-proofing your new business pitch with data-driven insights

Bullet-proofing your new business pitch with data-driven insights

Putting together the right pitch to win new business can be like mixing up the ingredients for a perfect cocktail: you need to know your audience and whether they’ll like the ingredients you’re including, you need to time your execution perfectly, and you need to shake it up so that people are blown away by something they thought they knew. We recently ran a webinar discussing how you can use data-driven insights to win a new business pitch. Following a major study of how global agencies extract insights from data to create strategies, we identified an important workflow of using social data analysis to uncover the insights you need to stand out from the crowd.  This empowers agency clients win new pitches by demonstrating an understanding of both the big picture...

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How #MerciArsène replaced #WengerOut, and even exceeded #ThankYouSirAlex

WengerOut blog Arsene Wenger leaves Arsenal

One of the longest-serving coaches in the history English football announced he’d step down after 22 years of service on Friday. Over the past few years, Arsène Wenger had been under siege on social media, as fans turned the hashtag #WengerOut into a meme, which began to pop up at political protests and music concerts. But after this weekend’s announcement, vitriol turned into gratitude on Twitter, as the hashtag #MerciArsène eclipsed #WengerOut and even exceeded the goodbye hashtag for Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson. Our resident Gooner and researcher Sameer Shah investigates the fanbases’ dramatic shift in emotions.   In summary: Confidence in Wenger had fallen to an all-time low this season Three consecutive defeats for Arsenal in late February and early March...

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New on Pulsar: TRENDS is here!


We’ve just launched our latest product: Pulsar TRENDS. This tool lets users map real-time and historical trends instantly with access to 12 years worth of public data, from the very first Tweet back in March 2006 to today.   Just like search engines opened up the web and made it explorable, we designed Pulsar TRENDS to be the easiest and fastest way to explore the world of social media.   We’ve been working for years with thousands of planners, analysts and researchers to help them find the story in the data. One of the key things we realised was missing from the market is a tool that supports quick iteration, which is essential when using data for creative thinking.  ...

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Why memes matter: our best shot to talk about the world in the post-truth era

Disloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl

Source: Dennis Yang on Facebook   We have entered a post-truth, post-authenticity era, in which dichotomies like true/false or real/fake no longer serve us very well, especially on social media platforms. In this excerpt from the Medium essay Post Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture, Pulsar Research Director Jess Owens (@hautepop) explains how memes have emerged as a new way to explore and distribute nuanced, complex truths. “Generations” are a bullshit marketing concept, right? Except all of us looking at the remarkable teenagers of Parkland High School and their astonishing media-campaigning ways are also aware that damn, something’s different about kids today. For the last two or three years I’ve been doing a bit of work for a tech...

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Twitter Passion Report: How the Hard Rock Cafe could take some music lessons from Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn with grime music star JME

What has the Labour Party got in common with Tanqueray? From #Grime4Corbyn to Gin and Juice, their messages are creating the right notes with music fans.   We’ve been running a series based on our work with Twitter, uncovering a set of passion communities on the platform using analysis of 800,000 randomly selected users.   The research found that those who identified with these passions do not make up monolithic audiences, but gather into a series of sub-communities, each with a very specific cultural footprint clustered around geographic, ethnic or interest affinities. This week, we’re taking a closer look at the community whose main passion is identified as music. [Zoom in to take a close look: Here’s a visual representation of...

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Art, politics and data meet as Pulsar data stars in a new Design Museum exhibition

The Hope To Nope Exhibition at the London Design Museum with data portraits from Pulsar platform

The ecosystem of the social web is heavily woven with images and, as a new exhibition at the Design Museum in London’s Kensington created in partnership with Pulsar proves, these images are now becoming more important than ever in politics.   Movements can change almost overnight thanks to a single photograph, people are expressing their personal politics through memes rather than manifestos, and imagery also heavily contributes to how we perceive today’s political class.   To that end, Pulsar data is currently being displayed in the Design Museum exhibition Hope to Nope. And as it shows, it’s never been a more divisive time to be in the public eye; as imagery and data merge to open up a new way of examining our...

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The great Cambridge Analytica/Facebook roundup

Facebook is on the downturn after the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal

This week may well turn out to be a defining, watershed moment for Facebook and for the social media industry as a whole. As you might have heard, these past few days have seen Facebook get in very hot water because of how an outfit called Cambridge Analytica collected and used its data. Most of the information that is coming out is not news among people who study social media, but circumstances are creating a perfect storm. Since the story is still developing, and the number of takes is growing by the minute, we decided to put together a roundup of some interesting, often opposing perspectives and viewpoints, which we hope will help you make sense of this story.  ...

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Twitter passion report: how brands could engage TV and film buffs

TV&Film sub community

Recently we introduced our work with Twitter, uncovering a series of audiences on the platform who are united by their interests. We found that it is simply not enough to approach audience targeting by generic demographics, and by delving into the ways audiences group themselves, you can learn a lot about how to communicate successfully with them. Take a look at the full whitepaper for more details. Now we’re taking a closer look at the community whose main passion is identified as TV & Film.  The TV & Film passion community is a varied audience. Although on average about 60% of this passion community are men aged 22 to 32 living in English-speaking cities such as New York, London and LA, its sub-communities cluster around genres...

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