#SXSW Takes Over Social Media on a Global Scale

With all the hype of SXSW this year, its no wonder that social media was booming with the latest news on anything and everything that was going on during the festivals and conferences in Austin this year.

For those that don’t know about SXSW, it is an annual set of festivals, musical shows, and interactive conferences held in Austin, Texas. Started in 1987, the event has grown in popularity every year.

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Photo By: Fsse

 

According to an article by Mashable, there were over 1 million tweets in 19 different languages sent across the world. The event has been known to bring together hundreds of cultures, all joining each other to celebrate an interest in music, film, and interactive media. In total, 205 different countries were represented at this years SXSW, which explains its popularity internationally. While the US had a major lead on interaction (71%), it is still incredible to see countries and languages that are usually off the radar, like Romanian or Indonesian for example, still creating conversation.

This amazing digital interaction between people across the globe shows how much social media impacts cultures from all corners of the world. Even though we are limited by geographic location and language, we can all come together for events such as SXSW through an online medium. Social media has taken over control, it is the main interaction for people to talk about anything and everything. SXSW is just one example of how an amazing time can be captured and displayed across the world to millions of people.

Social Media Scandals, Scams and Security Updates

Brands got a rude awakening this week. Turns out, social media is not as secure as the Defense Department. Or even a pre-school, really.

“Twitter has a problem: While the social network is trying to woo brands and advertising money to its platform, companies’ Twitter accounts keep getting hacked.” – CNN Money

 

Twitter Hack

Photo by: Photo Giddy

The Twitter “leak fiasco” started back in 2009, when personal accounts of Twitter employees were hacked. With an increasing number of accounts and services related to Twitter it became very difficult to manage the huge amount of data. Therefore, the system without an extra security features appeared to be fragile and easy to break into. It was Fox News’ twitter account next. The portal with more than 2 million followers was hacked in 2011 and, therefore, assassinated.

During the last week, scary news about major brands being hacked came out and now we are all waiting what’s going to happen next. Jeep and Burger King’s Twitter accounts have been broken into.

Social media is by far the best one-on-one experience you can give your customers – no other media allows brands the opportunity to directly communicate with their customers in any sort of efficient manner. But brands seem to have forgotten they didn’t build the social platforms they prize but rather tuned-in to a conversation already in progress. Despite the recent Twitter security update, social platforms are not reinforced with the secrecy and security ad agencies offer that brands have taken for granted for so long.

Marketers should keep in mind the nature of the beast. Social media is a technology meant to gain its own momentum thanks to its viral nature, the same type of draw that lures hackers. Short of social media platforms completely revamping the structure of their site, marketers need to be hyper-mindful of their own security. In case of breach, social media marketing agencies should have a plan in and always remember to maintain a sense of humor and camaraderie in the aftermath of security failures – even with competitors.

— Co-written by Elena Nadtochiy & Ashlie Forchione

Facebook’s New Privacy Policy

The night before Thanksgiving at around midnight Eastern Standard Time, Facebook sent out a notice regarding changes to its privacy policy, or as they like to call it, “Data Use Policy”. There are three main changes to the policy that are important to understand if you are going to be using the site:

  1. You are not going to be allowed to vote on policy changes anymore.
  2. Now, Facebook is allowed to share “information with affiliates”. Basically, Facebook will now be able to build unified profiles of users with information from all companies that it owns, like Instgram. Those drunken Thanksgiving Eve photos that you Instagrammed? Facebook can now use them to build a more complete profile of you and use that information to create an external ad network. 
  3. Additionally, Facebook is altering the way private messages function. They are in the process of changing your ability to block users from sending you private messages. Facebook wants to have filters for managing messages as opposed to the “Who can send you Facebook message” setting. Some are concerned that this will leave users with unwanted spam-like messages. 

You may have noticed a lengthy status update written in legalese cluttering your Facebook news feed for the past few days. As a response to these new privacy changes, many users have been posting a “copyright protection notice” as their Facebook status updates. This is not the first time a status like this has gone viral. However, nobody seems to realize that this is not effective on Facebook. The user agreement is the only binding legal contract between Facebook and user. If you are concerned about copyright, the best way to protect your work is to not post anything that you would not be willing to share with Facebook and its affiliate companies. If you are a business present on the social networking site, be sure to consult with a reputable social media agency for best practices.