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Trends on Tuesday: Smartphone Ownership Reaching Saturation, Fueling Media Consumption

ComScore released a report with a lot of great data about how mobile digital media usage continues to explode in 2016. It has 70 pages of charts and information to digest. Here are seven key mobile trends and takeaways: Smartphones are exponentially driving digital media usage.** ** Digital media has tripled since 2013 and digital media use is being driven heavily by smartphones—up by 78% since 2013.

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The Content Corner: Facebook Expands Access to Instant Articles

As I begin to wind down my time at The Content Corner, I have realized that one of my biggest content concerns uncovered during my tenure is digital sharecropping. The recent announcement from Facebook that they will soon open their Instant Articles publishing capability to everyone was reason enough for me to revisit the topic of owning and controlling our content one more time. While I dislike the term digital sharecropping (coined by Nicholas Carr), I haven’t found a better or more succinct explanation for this ongoing drive for private companies and platforms to own our content (while we do all the work).

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Preliminary Results from USAGov’s Voter Registration Partnership with Facebook

The first phase of our partnership with Facebook included Facebook “megaphones” being rolled out in a handful of states with rapidly approaching voter registration deadlines. Facebook’s megaphone is a featured box that is displayed at the top of all user’s News Feeds. (You may recall seeing these after certain disasters giving users the option to quickly donate to Red Cross or other organizations). We piloted the voter registration megaphone in South Carolina on January 15.

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Trends on Tuesday: Facebook, TV and How to Reach Millennials and Hispanics

How do you capture millennial and Hispanic eyes? Through their hands. (More specifically: their mobile devices, and the social apps within!). AdAge recently analyzed a study from Nielsen’s Homescan panel which found that in a typical month, 12.2% of millennials can only be reached through TV (looking at the top 10 networks only) versus 14.2% who can only be reached on Facebook. The numbers are similar for U.S. Hispanics: 16.

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#SomosSocial: 5 Keys for Government to Reach Hispanics Through Social Media

Hispanics are one of fastest growing demographics in the U.S. But like any demographic, there are important nuances to consider when connecting with this audience. Insight into your audience’s motivations, behavior and preferences is key for anyone trying to engage with the public. We know every day that more and more Hispanics are on social media, but on which platforms?, Where are they participating? And more importantly, in what language?

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Trends on Tuesday: Mobile Messaging and Social App Research Released

On DigitalGov, we frequently talk about some of the most popular app experiences, and research almost always shows that mobile messaging and social apps are the most frequently used. Pew Research released a new report specifically about these wildly popular channels for mobile engagement, specifically focused on how youth use them, with some interesting results that government agencies should pay attention to for their digital strategies. The report author, Maeve Duggan, said, “The results in this report reflect the noteworthy and rapid emergence of different kinds of communications tools serving different social needs.

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#SocialGov Round Up 2015

The #SocialGov Community is coming up on three years of hard work and pushing the boundaries on using social tools across the federal government. I’d like to start this round up by taking a look at the event we hosted last year, State of the #SocialGov 2014: 2 Years of Smashing Silos + Elevating Citizen Services with Social Media. Justin Herman, #SocialGov Community Lead, moderated a talk looking at the work delivered by the SocialGov CoP over the past 2 years and looked ahead to the next year.

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ICE Wields Smartphones in Fight Against Child Exploitation

Armed with a smartphone instead of a badge, ordinary Americans are helping law enforcement officers capture child predators. After exhausting all investigative leads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents turn to the public for help to locate fugitive child predators through the Operation Predator smartphone app and social media outreach. And it’s working. Since Operation Predator launched for iPhones in September 2013 and Android devices in Oct 2014, the app has assisted in 6 arrests on charges related to child exploitation.

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The Content Corner: The Content Wars

One of the most interesting trends forming at the start of 2015 is the rise of new digital publishers. Online entities from Facebook to GE are continuing their strong forays into the world of content production. This shift, especially among social media platforms such as Facebook, Linked In and Snapchat, could significantly alter the digital landscape turning content partners into content competitors. No Longer Just an Aggregator LinkedIn’s decision to grow their original Influencer program from such respected names as Bill Gates and Richard Branson into a full digital publishing suite available to all their members in multiple languages may have been the watershed moment of this new age of content publishing.

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Social Video: Making Sense of the Facebook and YouTube Platforms

Updated: Added link to Twitter’s blog post on direct video uploads. Around the time that Tim Fullerton of the Department of Interior delivered his webcast to DigitalGov audiences about publishing video content to Facebook, we at the Broadcasting Board of Governors were comparing the differences in user behavior on the Facebook and YouTube video platforms (note: BBG is the federal agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

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Interior and USDA Talk Social Media Success

When it comes to implementing a social media strategy, determining how to measure success can be challenging. Yes, knowing how many followers and likes you have is beneficial. However, to really get valuable results from the trove of social media data monitor, social media managers first need to understand what they are measuring and why. When you know your goals, you can determine what channels you will use to get there.

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Trends on Tuesday: What’s Currently the No. 1 Smartphone in the U.S.?

Do you ever find yourself conducting unofficial smartphone research? Ever since my agency decided to develop a mobile app, I know I do. Luckily, new data from ComScore on the U.S. smartphone subscriber market share can help eliminate the guesswork. Here are a few of the key trends ComScore found in the U.S. smartphone industry for June 2014: 173 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the second quarter of 2014, up 4% since the previous quarter.

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Facebook Increases Public Service Verification to Improve Citizen Engagement

Facebook is now the first social media platform to start verifying all federal government pages with their signature blue checkmark using the Federal Social Media Registry API. The Federal Social Media Registry provides the singular source that allows social media platforms to quickly collect real government accounts—emphasizing the critical need to ensure the trust, quality and security of citizen engagement. When the public searches for the new Central Intelligence Agency Facebook account, many different accounts pop up—but only one of them is managed by the actual CIA.

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Why We Turned Off Comments on the USA.gov Blog

On Friday, we made a big change over on the USA.gov blog—we turned off the ability for people to comment on our posts. Now before you all start looking at me like I have five heads and wondering what Koolaid I’m drinking, let me explain our reasoning. We’ve had comments on blog.usa.gov since it launched in March of 2011, and our previous blog—GovGab—always had commenting too. I mean, commenting was one of the things that made a blog different from a regular old website right?

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Trends on Tuesday: Apps Dominate Mobile Web Usage

“There’s an app for that.” New data from app analytics provider Flurry on mobile app usage reveals that smartphone users are taking this trademarked slogan to heart. Of the 2 hours and 42 minutes per day that a typical user is on a mobile device, mobile app usage accounts for 2 hours and 19 minutes of that time. In other words, app usage accounts for nearly 86 percent of time spent on a mobile device.

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Ten Earth Day Activities in Digital Government

On this Earth Day, federal social media managers are hard at work, sharing and promoting what government and citizens can do to protect the environment. We’ve compiled a sample of the activities that also show how different agencies are using different social media tools in support of a common goal. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been leading the way all month, hosting Twitter chats every Tuesday at 2pm EDT, with the hashtag #ActOnClimate.

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Can Federal Agencies Use Getty Images’ Free Share Tool?

Earlier this month, stock photo giant Getty Images launched an embedded photo viewer, that permits sharing millions of its’ copyrighted images for free. The news generated headlines and questions about whether it’s okay for government content producers to use the tool. From Getty’s perspective, the answer is yes. The company’s main restriction is that the images be used for editorial, non-commercial purposes and government content meets this criteria.

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National Weather Service: Think Social Training

For the last several years the National Weather Service has been rolling out social media accounts for all of their 122 field offices. Each office now has a Facebook page, Twitter handle and YouTube account to better communicate our life saving messages to the public. As these accounts were being rolled the NWS did some basic training on how to use Facebook and Twitter, but it soon became clear that more in-depth training was needed to help NWS forecasters best use their new social media platforms.

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Nine Tips to Leverage your Facebook Page

Due to recent news feed changes, Facebook engagement is down nearly 50% since October for brand pages and is predicted to go lower, according to Social@Ogilvy. As a result federal agencies are continually monitoring the performance of their pages and diversifying their strategies. We talked to members of the Social Media Community of Practice for their best tips to help your agency leverage its Facebook presence. Scott Horvath is the Bureau Social Media Lead, Office of Communications and Publishing at the U.

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Engagement

It’s one of the most important words to a federal social media account manager and knowing who to talk to can sometimes make or break a communications campaign. The idea of making sure your social media accounts are reaching key constituents and members of the general public certainly isn’t new. DigitalGov University (DGU) offers a variety of webinars and training seminar regarding digital media and citizen engagement. But what about engaging other federal agencies?

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Instameets Combine In-person and Digital Engagement

Federal agencies continue to look for better ways to combine the benefits of online engagement and in-person action — Instameets can achieve this strategic goal by using Instagram with meetups to amplify the vision of your mission. Katie Harbath, global lead for politics and government engagement at Facebook, joined us at DigitalGov University for a webinar to share with agencies how they can plan Instameets, and some of the nuts and bolts of managing Instagram.

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Best Week Ever in #SocialGov: December Edition

_(This is the next installment of an ongoing series charting the programs, events and people that make the emerging field of social media and data in government an exciting place to serve the public. Agencies are encouraged to submit their own stories for this travelogue of digital innovation.)_ From where I sit, there’s no better way to wrap up a great year than by taking a look at the future of emerging digital government with the #Socialgov Community.

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Facebook News Feed Algorithm Update: What You Need to Know

Facebook announced they are refining their algorithm this week to better identify and promote quality news content. This can and will affect your strategic performance, but what exactly makes “quality” content and how can your agency ensure they are on the winning side of this adjustment? We talked with Facebook about the changes, and the bottom line line is that these improvements will make it harder for organizations to clutter news feeds and cheat their way to engagement metrics.

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Trends on Tuesday: Mobile Surpasses Desktop for Social Media

More users are now accessing social media via mobile than on desktops. People are checking email or using social networks during their commute, in line at the grocery store, or waiting at the doctor’s office. MarketingResearch.org recently covered the topic and UnifiedSocial created the infographic in the post (click it to get full version) around trends in social and mobile. Here are some key stats: Mobile users are nearly twice as likely to share content on social networks as desktop users Global shipments of tablets will eclipse PCs in 2015 78% of US Facebook users access via mobile at least once a month 60% of Twitter users access via mobile at least once a month Mobile users are 66% more likely to retweet content than web users.

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What We’ve Learned: Three Years of Answering Questions on Social Media

USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov have been engaging with the public on social media long before Mayor Cory Booker underscored the need at this year’s SXSW. In January 2010, we began to respond to questions and comments on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We never advertised the service, but people naturally had questions for the government and we answered — to the tune of more than 300 questions in 2010. Not long after we started answering questions, it became clear that our two-person pilot program wasn’t robust enough to keep up with demand, so we instituted a more formal, but flexible system.

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