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Last Week Online #29 – Disappointing Q2 results for Samsung

Anna Loverus
Anna Loverus
3 min read

July is slower than usual online. But it still looks pretty good if we compare it to Samsungs Q2 results.

LinkedIn uncovers its news feed algorithm

After making a lot of changes to its news feed algorithm over the last year and a half, Linked In's Senior Director of Product Management Pete Davies shared some insights this week. LinkedIn – like Facebook – is aiming to create more engagement for users. The company is, therefore, putting more weight on niche-specific professional conversations, moving away from ranking trending content.

To determine which posts get ranked higher in someone's feed, Linked In's algorithm uses AI to identify niche conversations specific to someone's occupation. Davies writes: "We know from our data that members are more interested in going deep on topics they're interested in. Consistently, we see better conversation around niche ideas (e.g. #performancemanagement) than broad (#management)."

After revealing that much of the engagement on posts in the LinkedIn news feed appeared for the top 1% of power users on the platform, LinkedIn introduced creator-side optimisation to give more attention to creators with smaller audiences. According to Davies, LinkedIn does not prefer certain types of post formats (videos, images, links, articles) over others. Instead, the algorithm values posts that encourage engagement: "Post things that encourage a response," writes Davies, "If you're posting a link, express an opinion with it."

Global trade fights impact Samsung greatly

Samsung expects its second-quarter operating profit to fall more than 50 %, to about $5.6 billion. This profit is still better than analysts' expectations, but this is only due to a one-time gain in its display business.

The second-quarter report showed how an escalating series of trade fights are impacting the global economy.

First, the ongoing conflict between the United States and China has created trouble for Samsung. The Trump administrations restrictions on sales to Huawei – a significant buyer of Samsung memory chip – has reduced demand for the company's chips and forced it to cut prices. Also, even if Samsungs smartphone division might win when Huawei cannot sell competing products, the decline in Samsung's memory-chip business will probably be more significant.

Samsung is also dealing with added costs following from import tariffs on washing machines put in place by the Trump administration to protect American businesses like Whirlpool. Additionally, Japan recently decided to limit the export of materials used to make displays and computer in South Korea, which are expected to hurt Samsung and its top competitor, SK Hynix.

We don't want to pay for the hassle of buying

In a new report from the global performance marketing agency Merkle, 66% of consumers rate experiences over price when it comes to making a purchase decision online. For consumers, positive, quick, and simple digital experiences are behind the decision to buy.

A recent report (registration required) indicates that delivering excellent digital customer experiences is critical to driving revenue. Merkle surveyed 500 US consumers to analyse how and why customer experiences affect where consumers choose to spend their money.

Over half of those surveyed (52%) reported having left a website while shopping because of poor site experience. Respondents also indicated that the top three most important factors in delivering a successful experience are ease of use, customer service, and speed.

"Now more than ever, consumers expect brands to offer personalised and seamless experiences,"said Rives Martin from Merkle. Nike, Amazon and Apple were the top-mentioned brands for delivering a personalised experience, and the same three brands were the top-mentioned for a superior online experience.

Tool of the week: Hunter

Have you ever wanted to contact someone by email instead of via LinkedIn without knowing the correct address? Hunter is a neat (and perhaps scary) little tool that collects email addresses and makes them searchable. So, if you know the right email address domain (for instance amazon.com or wholefoods.com) you can most of the time find the full address with Hunter.io's search engine.

Sure, it might feel like an invasion of privacy, but every single email address Hunter.io collect and distribute in their Domain Search have a public source that they disclaim, along with its discovery dates. So, they've just done the stalking for you.

Also, it comes in handy very often.

Last Week Online

Anna Loverus Twitter

Thinker and doer. Loves running, wine, and human behaviour.


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