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Global Internet Usage Passes the Three Billion Mark

That’s the big takeaway from a study published by “global conversation agency” We Are Social and data company InternetLiveStats today.

The general trends won’t surprise you, but they’re worth a review:

Some more interesting findings: mobile is even more here than we thought: an estimated 3/4 of the 3 billion people who access the Internet do so via mobile device. These numbers are even higher for socially connected users…and they’re rapidly increasing, of course.

The only surprises concern international audiences, but they’re worth noting: when it comes to total membership, networks we use every day like LinkedIn and Instagram rank far below others like QZone, WeChat and, yes, Google+.

Snapchat isn’t even on the list.

In other news, this is the number of emails supposedly sent so far today.

emails today

Honestly, now: how many of them really needed to exist?

Hotel CEO on Airbnb: ‘We Wish We’d Thought of It’

Well, yeah. If you have any hospitality or “sharing economy” clients, you’re going to want to check out this interview with Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce, which ran on Bloomberg yesterday.

Given the fact that Airbnb recently decided to change course and (sort of) “play nice” with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, this looks like a “next step” in the conversation between traditional service providers and their “disruptors.” In that story, an Airbnb spokesperson said “We need to work together on some sensible rules.” Flash forward to yesterday:

(If you can’t see this video, you might need to click the top link. It’s being difficult.)

A key quote:

“We love this new collaborative approach…and we’re trying to figure out how to take advantage of it.”

Sounds like capitulation, doesn’t it?

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FKA Twigs Is Making Google Glass Less Lame

FKA Twigs, dancer, musician and rumored Robert Pattinson girlfriend, has made her directorial debut with a new video called “#throughglass” that blends song, dance and technology through her use of Google Glass.

Google Glass has got an image problem. And you know it’s a big one when people who use them frequently are called “glassholes” by everyone including mainstream media. Not exactly the group you want to be a member of. But this video has got people calling Glasscool.” This could be just the kind of buzz this new device needs.

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Cision Acquires Gorkana

gorkana logo

You’ve probably already heard via every industry pub this morning that Cision, which announced its merger with Vocus back in June and told us this month that its new headquarters will be in Chicago, has acquired Gorkana via its parent company Discovery Group Holdings.

The most important things we know about Gorkana are that they interview cool people in the industry and that their employees are nice enough to attend our ad blog parties (and talk to us when no one else will).

Discovery Group clearly wants to be your one-stop shop for PR tech. So what does the company’s acquisition of “a top U.K.-based media intelligence and data insights service provider” mean to PR professionals?

Cision CEO Peter Granat will give us more information on the company’s current status in an interview next week; for now, he has some details on the aquisition.

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10 Biggest and 5 Most Surprising Brands ‘Friended’ by Millennials

Facebook BEER

No alcohol here, sorry.

Recent studies have told us that the kids these days just aren’t really into brands on social media. WPP found that 55 percent of young Americans don’t see the point of “friending” a brand, and Edelman told us yesterday that a vast majority of consumers simply aren’t satisfied with the “relationships” they have with corporate entities online — even the ones whose products they buy.

Many brands, however, have managed to accumulate thousands, if not millions, of Millennial “fans.” Independent ad agency Moosylvania recently conducted a survey of 1,500 young people to identify the top 50 such brands, and we’ve reviewed the first 10 for this post.

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Uber’s Crisis Comms Strategy: Automated Email Responses

uber-300x225Amateur chauffeur provider Uber got a bit of attention on this blog back in July for saying (via General Manager Chris Nakutis) that PR is a waste of money and that new companies can “almost jump over the…process” altogether.

We’re starting to think that the business really does live that philosophy. A couple of weeks ago we noted, via BuzzFeed, that Uber issues the same “Safety is our #1 priority” statement every time one of its drivers scores negative coverage.

Today we learned, via Valleywag, that in some particularly egregious cases the company doesn’t bother releasing a statement at all.

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The Value of a Press Release Is (Apparently) Five Dollars

Since it’s a (week)day, it might just be time for yet another post on the value of the press release.

This morning Derek DeVries, senior associate at Lambert, Edwards and Associates, noticed this promoted post on Facebook:

ICYMI, Fiverr is the startup that promises to help you do anything for the not-at-all arbitrary price of $5.

The list of tasks included under that flimsy umbrella just happens to include a big category for “find public relations professionals,” all of whom seem eager to compose said releases for the stated fee.

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Will New, ‘Private’ Networks Threaten the Social Media Establishment?

social keyboard

The big story in social right now concerns privacy…or the lack thereof. As Twitter sues the U.S. government over data collection and Facebook announces plans to release an “anonymity” app, other networks have attempted to use the controversy to get attention.

Ello is the obvious one; brands, “influencers” and bored users making fun of the same have already begun joining the “ad-free” network. Snapchat still says it’s more private than its competitors despite admitting that those initial claims weren’t quite accurate and agreeing to “start a wide-ranging privacy program that will be independently monitored for 20 years.”

Then there’s Netropolitan, “the online country club for people with more money than time” (yes, that is a real tagline).

So: coveted headlines aside, can these upstarts really threaten the Twitter/Facebook monopoly?

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Marriott Fined $600K by FCC for Jammin’ (Guest’s Wi-Fi Signals)

marriottIn May 2012, Marriott pulled quite the coup in hospitality when the hotelier bought the luxurious Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center brand for $210 million.

The chief reason Marriott doled out that kind of coin was to make an impact in the convention space, which was never a problem for the Gaylord estates nationwide. Suffice to say, you would think that rolling out the red carpet for conference attendees would be the chain’s top priority.

Not so much.

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Mobile Devices Now Outnumber Humans

Today in We Saw This Coming news: the number of mobile connections is now officially larger than the number of people on the planet.

That’s according to a running “clock” maintained by industry group GSMA, or the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association. From the site:

DATA!

And the number of people living on this globe of ours, according to the United States Census’ “population clock“:

DATA pop

These are all estimates, and it’s worth noting the difference between the “mobile connections” and “unique mobile subscribers” numbers in the GSMA image.

Still, that means that the average user currently has 2.008 mobile devices at any given moment.

Time to re-focus on mobile strategy…

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