March 2, 2018 By FTI Consulting
This week the Digital Team has been battling through snowmageddon here in London, all in the name of making sure you are up to date on the latest digital developments. In the end our efforts were made worthwhile from hearing the news that you can double your share price with a single tweet. Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals, a bone marrow and blood stem cell transplantation specialist based in the UK sent a cryptic tweet which saw its share price skyrocketing by 170%. It turns out that the company had a breakthrough in antibodies capable of attacking myelogenous leukaemia. However, the company’s success was mired by a number of perturbed investors who suggested it was “irresponsible” to not issue an RNS prior to the tweet.
Hemogenyx is not the only company to have its share price fall prey to the watchful eyes of investors on social media. Last week Snapchat’s value was sent tumbling by £1 billion following a tweet by Kylie Jenner stating that she no longer uses the social media app and we all know the impact that a single tweet from President Trump can have. Closer to home – and back to the Hemogenyx example – it’s critical that companies to have a clear governance process for handling market sensitive information on social channels – even if you have less than 400 followers like HemoGenyx. In the UK, an RNS must come first, in the US the SEC do allow companies to use social channels to post market-moving news – but only if you’ve informed investors which channels you’ll be using beforehand.
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But times change and it seems that you can build and lose an empire overnight (perhaps) in 2018. As is the case with the latest “hot social media app” – Vero. The app is a photo and video sharing platform like Instagram. It appeared to many to answer two of social media users’ biggest gripes, algorithms determining what content you see and advertisements clogging up newsfeeds. Vero shot to the top of the charts, gaining over 500,000 followers in a day, after it announced that the first million subscribers would have free access to the app for life. However, fame is a fickle friend and before the day was done many began to turn against the app questioning its founder’s history, the terms of service and overall functionality. Whilst Vero may be joining its ancestors, Ello, Mastadon and Peach in the graveyard, it may of course be the next big thing. I now have my first follower on Vero so watch this space…
In the classic Cluedo-esque mystery of who killed LittleThings we think that it was Mrs Algorithm in the chat room and the weapon of choice was diverted traffic. Or at least that is what that company’s CEO Joe Speiser says. In an effort to counteract fake news and political interference Facebook recently altered its algorithms to prioritise posts from friends and family over brands and publishers. However, many publishers feared that the move would cut traffic from the social media platform which they relied upon. LittleThings appears to be the first major casualty of the diverted traffic but it may not be the last. Many brands and publishers will need to adapt to survive and learn how to use the new algorithm to their advantage. We suspect the more creative companies will emerge stronger as a result.