This Week in Digital…

Joseph Fitzpatrick

This week in digital

A lot happens in digital during a week so every Friday we gather the most interesting, amusing and/or entertaining stories from the world of online marketing, ecommerce et al. in one place.

WestJet wins Christmas

We kick this weeks roundup off with news of a festive PR stunt that will melt the heart of even the most committed Scrooge. Canadian airline, WestJet, set about making Christmas wishes come true for the passengers on their Toronto to Calgary flight.

Before the passengers boarded the flight WestJet used a virtual Santa Claus to find out what they wanted this Christmas and then when the plane was airborne set about buying what was on their customers wish-lists. These gifts were then wrapped and delivered to the unsuspecting passengers on the baggage carousel – you really feel for the guy who asked for only socks.

The whole event was captured on hidden cameras and so far the video has more than 17 million views on YouTube. Its also been picked up by the media around the world, and has been a hit on social; for example, the events coverage on Mashable has over a million shares alone. A merry Christmas indeed to WestJets PR team!

Facebook get over Snapchat rejection with Instagram update

A few weeks ago we covered Snapchats rebuke of a $3 billion offer from Facebook in this blog, well it seems Mark Zuckerberg wont be improving on his offer now. The Facebook-owned image app, Instagram, on Thursday announced an update that allows users to send private images to a single person or up to a group of 15. Users can also communicate in real-time conversations on the app now. These updates better enable Instagram to compete with mobile messaging apps such as Snapchat.

Google+ adverts

Google+ adverts, announced this week, will not actually show on Googles social network. Instead advertisers will use Google+ to create ads that look like posts seen on the network, but will actually be shown on Googles Display Network. Basically brands can now turn their Google+ content into a display ad.

Post ads will allow advertisers to start conversations right from the ad – consumers can reshare a video, leave a comment or a question for the brand, or even join a live Hangout, Eran Arkin, product manager at Google, said “These conversations create a valuable community around a brand where people can talk with each other and with the brand itself.”

UK tops the global list for most spent online

Not only is online spending up by 16%, but the UK actually spends more online than the rest of the world, Ofcoms 2013 International Communications Market report showed this week.

The average person in the UK spends an impressive £1,175 online every year. This is more than double the French, nearly 10 times more than Italians do and over £300 more than the second place Australians. Unsurprisingly the UK also has the most trust in online retailers.

The importance of the Oxford comma

Forget Obamas selfie, Michelles frowning, and the signer who made no sense, the big news story to come out of Nelson Mandelas memorial on Tuesday was the importance of the Oxford comma – as highlighted by Sky News and subsequently Twitter.

Oxford comma

Future of journalism?

In the same month that Trinity Mirror announced the closure of its 158-year-old Liverpool Post newspaper, it launched a new viral news website called Ampp3d. The new site aims to bring readers data-driven content that lends itself to social shares and is targeted at eating into the considerable UK readership of Buzzfeed.

And finally…

Facebook is reportedly developed a sympathise button to allow users a more appropriate reaction to sad news than the existing like button. While an update on Twitter briefly unblocked users, making for some interesting scenes on the micro-blogging site on Thursday evening.