Social Media and Gaming

“Gamers are loners.”, “Gaming is not social.”, “Everything was better in the past.”
In the old days, when kids went to the arcade, they went with friends. These days, kids lock themselves in their rooms alone with their gaming device. That isn’t social, or is it?

Sony and Microsoft don’t agree with these statements. Their latest products, respectively the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, have social media integrated. They blend the online and offline world. For example, when a friend finds a legendary item while playing ‘single player’, the position of this item appears on your single player map too.
While playing a videogame you can also stream your gameplay live. This way your friends can watch you play and via their headsets they can interact with you. There’s even the possibility to aid your friend while using your tablet or phone. (Hunt 2013)

You could say console gamers are finally catching up with PC gamers on the social aspect. Failbetter Games, for example, is pulling people in socially long before Sony and Microsoft did. Failbetter creates unique interactive stories, like Fallen London, “which could be best described as a sort of choose your own adventure story in which you play alongside Facebook and Twitter friends, asking them for help”. (Harper 2013)

Moreover, the crowd-funding website Kickstarter lets both big and small game developers fund their game ideas. This really changes the gaming industry, because fans spread the word themselves via Twitter instead of the developer marketing their games via traditional media. (Harper 2013)

There are countless communities where people spread their love for gaming. People interacting, collaborating and sharing. Building new relationships, maintaining them, even ending some.
It’s like people are all around you, but are they really? Is it the same as having a real person standing next to you, breathing? What is the difference? Do you think people are less social because of these changes in gaming that are supposed to make it more social?

– Hunt, T. (2013) ‘5 Ways Video Game Companies are Leveraging Social Media’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via
– Harper, E. (2013) ‘Insiders Explain How Social Media and Video Games Are Merging’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via

Teenagers prefer Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat over Facebook

Nowadays there are a lot of social media channels through which we can communicate with others. You might have an account on all of them or maybe only on a few. A survey was held among American teens to find out which social media channels are most popular amongst them.  A surprising finding might be that Facebook is becoming less popular for teenagers.

The survey included 9,400 teens from 13 till 19 years old, coming from households with an average income of $68,000. Around 56% of the teens were male.

The results showed that Instagram was the most important and popular social media. One third of the teens ranked Instagram first. Twitter ended second in the survey, ranked first by 20% of the teenagers, which is a little better then Snapchat’s 19%. It might be surprising that Facebook is not as popular under youngsters as you might expect.  Only 15% of the teens considers Facebook as their most important social network. The results are also in the figure above.

From Facebook’s perspective 15% can be considered as slightly disappointing. However, we must not forget that Facebook bought Instagram in 2012. Even though Facebook is losing interest from teens over the years, the growth of Instagram makes up for this. Facebook’s core audience is getting older and the figure shows this as Facebook was by far the most important social networking site for teens in 2012.

So should Facebook be disappointed with the results? I don’t think so. Facebook still owns the most popular social networking platform for teenagers and has the ability to focus on an older core audience now with their own platform. This gives Facebook the possibility to provide social networking platforms that suit anyone.

So now you know which social media are most popular and important for teens, did you expect this result? And what would be your personal order of social media? And what do you reckon Facebook thinks after seeing the results of this survey?


Happn: online dating based on where you go

Early 2014 a new dating app was launched in Paris. Happn is an app similar to Tinder, but it connects with the real world. It connects you to someone you crossed paths with. “Happn is an app for misconnection. You have seen someone who, for some reason, you couldn’t talk to. Thanks to Happn, if the other person has the app, you will be able to find them.” says founder Didier Rappaport, who previously co-founded Dailymotion.

Happn uses the swipe of Tinder. Users swipe to like someone. Besides like, there is also the possibility to send a ‘charm’, which means the other will receive a notification of the like. Today, they have 6.5 million users and they hope to have 10 million by the end of this year. (Telegraph, 2015) The growth is possible because Happn got investments and now is able to expand to Asia and grow in Europe, South America and the United States.
The ‘charms’, I mentioned earlier, are the only way Happn makes revenue. Charms can be bought in packs of 10-300. For 10 charms you pay $1.49, for 300 you pay $23.49.  The charms are free for women, just men have to pay for use of it. As this is the way it happens in France, men pay. Tinder earlier came under fire for this way of pricing, when it asked different prices for people over-28 years old.

Besides this, Happn is planning to start advertisements in the app. These advertisements will be based on the user’s location, as Happn follows the location all the time. Another way of income was achieved with Fiat, which let users cross paths with “Mr Fiat and Mrs Fiat” and made them enter in a draw.

The fact Happn shows people based on the places you go, can be seen as intimidating as well. It just takes a few days before someone will say: “So, now i know you cross Kralingse Zoom every wednesday and friday.” Which will be a little creepy in the beginning.  Besides this, how Happn differs from Tinder?

Do you think Happn will be a successful dating app for a longer period of time?


Click Here and Earn $1,000!!!

“Congratulations! You are the millionth visitor! Fill in your data below and get $1,000 for free!”
I guess you’ve all come across these ads on the internet. Some of you may have clicked on them. Lately, these kind of ‘ads’ are disappearing. Those were/are all scams to get your personal and financial data or infiltrate your computer with viruses. Other (real) advertising banners have also become less and less effective, amongst other things thanks to these scams. What can we do to make online advertising effective again?

From a jaw-dropping 50-90% Click Through Rate to a poor 0.1% CTR (MacDonald 2015). You could say banner ads are not an effective way to promote your product, service or company. There’s also a term describing the phenomenon where website visitors consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like information. This is called banner blindness (Nielsen 2007). Yet, there are some ways to improve your (banner) advertising.

Media rich engagement ads are ‘voluntary’ ads. In other words, they expand and play, once you hover above these interactive ads more than two seconds. Beware, consumers may also develop banner blindness to these engagement ads.
Banner blindness does not extend to audio, thus Podcasts are another effective alternative to traditional banners. For example, Spotify uses audio advertising like this. However, hearing the same voice and text over and over again, can be very annoying for consumers.

The opposite of Sponsored Posts and a very effective kind of advertising posts is User Generated Content. In short, consumers themselves post about you on their social networks creating a ‘buzz’. Be careful though: this ‘buzz’ can also be a negative one.
The idea behind Content Marketing is not creating ads that look like content, but actually creating content. “Don’t sell anything, just be useful.” Take a look at, Adobe’s initiative (MacDonald 2015).

Another great way to increase advertising effectiveness is not to improve these banners, but rather on how to replace these ineffective (banner) ads. The answer to this problem is: using apps.
Starbucks does a tremendous job by using their app to involve consumers. ‘For Mobile Devices, Think Apps, Not Ads’ (Gupta 2013) discusses some tips to increase this consumer involvement:
– Add convenience
– Offer unique value
– Provide social value
– Offer incentives
– Entertain

The Starbucks app does more than just advertise its products. If you’re interested, you can read more about it in the article.

Do you know other new, creative ways to advertise? Let me know in the comment section below!

– Gupta, S. (2013) ‘For mobile devices, think apps, not ads’, Harvard Business Review 91(3) 71-75.
– MacDonald, M. (2015) ‘Better than Banner Ads: Smart ways to spend your ad dollars in 2015’ via on September 23, 2015.
– Nielsen, J. (2007) ‘Banner Blindness: Old and New Findings’ via on September 23, 2015.

Social Media Tactics Backfiring in the 2016 Presidential Race

Already, this presidential race has proven to be dominated by which candidate can utilize social media the best. Because of all of the press coverings of candidate Donald Trump, many young voters, particularly millennials, have been paying close attention to this presidential race. This is great for voter turnout, and I expect it to be the highest ever. However, candidates are forced to reach out to this younger generation of voters through social media to seem relatable and to humanize themselves. Currently 16% of registered voters follow candidates on social media, which is up 10% from 2010. Hilary Clinton has been one of the most active candidates on social media, reaching more than four million Twitter followers, getting more than one million Facebook Likes, and creating accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Spotify (Brousell, 2015).


As beneficial as social media can be to a candidate’s platform, a mishap can be fatal to their hope for being elected president. Bill Jasso, a PR professor at Syracuse University, says that “the problem with immediacy is that it offers you an opportunity but also a big danger. When there is that break in continuity or consistency, it can be fatally damaging to a candidate” (Brousell, 2015).

Many candidates have experienced mistakes in their social media strategies this year already, such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He attempted a to launch his candidacy with a Twitter campaign using #TellingItLikeItIs. This quickly became a tool for people against Christie to reveal scandals about his administration (Flynn, 2015).

Donald Trump has experienced far more social media mishaps than any other candidate thus far, with numerous offensive tweets. In July, Donald Trump tweeted a picture of an American Flag with his picture and some others on it, with the hashtag #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. On the bottom line of the flag, there was a picture of Nazi soldiers! This tweet quickly got deleted, and Trump blamed the mistake on an intern (Donovan, 2015). He also tweeted something on 9/11/2015 which was very offensive to many American citizens, and he quickly deleted that as well.


Another social media strategy that backfired against Trump was his #AskTrump campaign. The goal of this was to encourage voters to ask him questions about his campaign so that he could then answer on a live feed. As the rest of the world could have expected, users asked him about his highly publicized negative moments, such as his rude comments about Megyn Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell, his calls for Obama to release his birth certificate, and controversial aspects of his personal life. During the live feed, he avoided all of these questions.(Marcin, 2015).

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 6.37.06 PM

Jason DeMers, a contributor on, wrote an article recently called 5 Fatal Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign. Although this article is directed towards businesses pursuing social media advertising, I think it can apply for political candidates as well. Fatal mistake #1, according to DeMers, is posting offensive material. This mistake is made very often by candidates! Mistake #2 is misinterpreting a trend. Candidates need to make sure that they are aware of all current trends so they avoid misinterpreting something or accidentally offending groups of people. Mistake #3 is paying for shortcuts, i.e. followers. Candidates do not just need high follower counts, they need for their followers to interact positively with them. Fatal mistake #4 is ignoring feedback, and #5 is going silent. These days, candidates should be posting multiple times a day on various platforms to keep their supporters (and their opponents) engaged (DeMers 2015).


Brousell, L. (27 Aug 2015). Why social media could swing the 2016 presidential election. CIO. Retrieved from

DeMers, J. (8 Oct 2015). 5 Fatal Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign. Forbes. Retrieved from

Donovan, L. (15 Jul 2015). Donald Trump’s Social Media Intern Makes Huge Mistake, Shows Why Hiring a Social Media Professional is Crucial. Business 2 Community. Retrieved from

Flynn, K. (1 Jul 2015). Christie, Jindal Twitter Hashtag Fails Show Presidential Campaigns Still Struggle with Social Like It’s 2008. International Business Times. Retrieved from

Marcin, T. (21 Sept 2015). #AskTrump Hashtag Backfires: Donald Trump Twitter Headquarters Visit Prompts Social Media Backlash. International Business Times. Retrieved from

A Traditional Burger or just a Pizza? How do we attract more customers :) ?

Around 25 percent of the catering in the Netherlands doesn’t use social media. In 2015 that’s a large percentage and even 50 percent of the 75 percent does not use social media properly. During the years the use of social media has become more and more important, it’s not only an advertisement tool but you need to create a bond with your customers through social media.

You have a lot of platforms which can be used to to express your restaurant. The first one is WhatsApp, which is forgotten by a lot of restaurants. We don’t want you to stalk your customers, but use WhatsApp to make reservations and even for feedback from your customers. It’s quicker and easier than email or phone calls.

The next one is Facebook, which is a popular one among the restaurant. A lot of them use it to give information about the opening hours and address. Thereby they also post contests to win free lunches or make advertisements about a new product. At the moment a lot of restaurant are glad when they have a a lot of likes, but they forget that comments and shares attract more attention. Create contests where for example people need to tag each other, this will put your company in the spotlights and eventually you restaurant will be showed at the newsfeed of a lot of people.

Besides the traditional sharing and liking on Facebook, the upcoming social media as Instagram and Snapchat are also of great value to the restaurant. Pictures say more than words, that’s the rule where restaurants should live by. Create beautiful pictures of food en drinks and show them to the world. People like colourful pictures, inspiration and passion behind the images. It will create more value to your restaurant. Snapchat can be used to give daily customers a look behind the scenes. Customers love transpiration en thereby they will promote your restaurant more and more off- and online.

Besides the connection with customers it’s also important to be active at social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Expand your network and show what you can offer for other companies, such as lunches. Several companies will try this out and if it goes good, than they will promote it to other companies and your network will expand which will have a positive influence on your image.

With all the social media platforms it’s important you keep your information up to date and you keep interacting with your customers. Good interaction with customers will result in loyalty and free offline marketing and good reviews will attract new customers in the future. The customers should become a fan of your restaurant and thereby it’s important to attract more publicity. One of the ways to attract publicity is by taking part in a contest. An example is ‘The Bogue Gouden Burger Spatel’, which is hold every year in Rotterdam. This contest is about which restaurant has the best burger in town.

You can find more interesting subjects about food and quotes on ‘Foodporno’ and ‘’


(2015, Starboost,


Karen- the app that psychologically profiles you

Karen is a life coach, a digital friend that lives in a smartphone. You can interact with her via an app which is free and can be easily downloaded from your App store. She – and the software – was designed by Blast Theory, a group of British artists who has made major innovations in the use of technology creating interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet.

karen picture

From the first ‘appointment’ with Karen, you immediately understand how friendly she is with you (maybe too friendly) and how willing she is to help you work though a few things in your life. As you begin, she – the lead character, the app, the algorithm, not sure how to define her- asks you some personal questions like: “What do you value most in this moment of your life?”, “Do you think positive even if you are feeling down?”. When you answer, it soon becomes clear that she is profiling you and trying to advise you based on what you just told her. Of course, it’s up to you how open and honest to be with her. She will clearly state that she won’t lie to you and she hopes you’ll do the same.

She is in a transition moment in her life as she’s recently ended a long term relationship and sooner or later it will be your time to act as her life coach. As time passes by, she starts to know things about you that she didn’t hear from you. How is that possible? All her questions come from psychological profiling questionnaires on which the Blast theory team has worked extensively with researchers including Geraldine Nichols, Professor Nina Reynolds and Dr Kelly Page.

karen pic

Users trust the app and tell Karen what she wants to know. This is what we do every day when we use social network or we agree on some terms and conditions imposed by online services, often without reading them down the line. “Data belongs to the users” explains Matt, from Blast Theory group, and ,at the end of the story, you can purchase your data (WHAT?!) for 2,99 pounds and choose to leave them anonymously to the research team or to delete them. Part of the financial support for this project came from a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which collected almost 18thousand pounds.

In this new world where technology is ever more personalized and intrusive, we give away so much information about ourselves through our mobile phones and apps without even knowing it. This project should make us think about the privacy that we are willing to lose when we use social network.

After reading my post, will you download Karen app to discover how much personal information you are willing to share on the web? How do you see the fact that you have to buy your own data?

Where social media meets philosophy: does the enormous power of social media and its impact on users come from the inherent curiosity of people to meet with other people and form artificial communities? Or does this impact stem from a certain degree of loneliness and isolation that the modern human has imposed himself, while creating the industrial environment that will serve from now on as his home?