3rd February 2016

2016 So Far: The Social Media Showdown

It’s only five weeks into the New Year and there’s been enough social media action to make even a millennials head hurt. LinkedIn is growing and Google is grovelling, as WhatsApp scraps and Twitter sacks, and all the while our security is still scaring everyone to death.

Fortunately, I’ve rounded up the best news in this recap of the social media showdown so far.

Has Twitter Lost its Glitter?


This was the big question asked by The Sun last month, as four of Twitter’s top executives ‘chose to leave’ the company. After having laid of eight per cent of its staff not so long ago, it seems like Twitter is indeed suffering extended growing pains, however, I don’t think it is quite as bad as our favourite tabloid would have us think – for example, the claim that IS and al-Qaeda ‘use the site to groom new users, issue threats and broadcast propaganda’ may have a hint of truth, but it is not reflective of the majority of the networks users, nor its problems. I’m more interested in seeing the quarterly results (announced 10th February) and finding out what new CEO Jack Dorsey’s next move will be – and, no, I don’t think it will be abolishment of the 140 character limit.

LinkedIn Hits 20 Million Users

While Twitter didn’t have the best month, LinkedIn has been sending out ‘20 Million Thank Yous’ as it hits the milestone membership number. This certainly is a big achievement for the B2B network and it has shared some of the user stats which make it unique, including the most represented industries and professions:



(Yes, I’m also wondering where the recruiters fit in).

The full infographic is here.

WhatsApp Scraps its 69p Fee


It won’t buy you anything off the McDonald’s Pound Saver Menu but the end of the 69p WhatsApp fee signals the start of something bigger: the move toward the monetisation of the network and the possible creation of business accounts. What could this mean for brands? Well, WhatsApp has flatly ruled out third-party adverts (its founders pretty much hate them) but it could allow brands to broadcast exclusive deals to registered customers or to even use bulk messaging. Definitely one to watch!

Google Pays up £130m to HMRC


Google has announced that it will be paying more tax in the UK, because it ‘wants to continue to comply with the rules’. It has stressed that this does not suggest it has avoided paying tax in the past, although the period which the £130m will cover is 2005 – 2015…

And Finally…

No matter how many clickjacking or DDoS attacks there are, it seems most of us still aren’t too concerned about our online security. Although the number of people using stupidly simple passwords is down, the same old favourites – ‘123456’ and ‘password’ – continue to crop up again and again. Interestingly, the 25th worst password of 2015 reflects pop culture (and probably a lot of marketing money) – yes, it is ‘StarWars’.

The force may be strong, but the password certainly isn’t.

(If you want help making a strong password, take a look here.)


Now, what will the rest of February bring? With 29 whole days it’s sure to be exciting…

By Jess Matthewman, Social Media Manager