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Social Media Roundup for January 13

 

Kirsten McNeill is a Co-ordinator, Content and Community at Social Media Group.
Follow @kirstenmcne

Social Media Comments in Your Search Results

This week Google implemented “Search plus Your World,” a bit of a controversial change to its searches – it integrates Google+ comments into standard searches. Google+ members or those just signed into Google will be able do a regular search of the web as well as their own Google+ network – circles, photos, posts and more. Jack Menzel, product management director of search at Google explained this as, “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web.” For example if you searched “Nars,” you will be given their company website, product offering, company history, etc. and if anyone in your Google+ network had any thoughts on the brand, maybe loved their Winter palette, that post will also appear. In addition to these results, public profiles of those that aren’t in your circles will be recommended for you to follow that may be experts in the topic you are searching and you will conveniently be able to follow them right from the search results. But if you’re not into this, you can switch it off by selecting the world icon in the top right, as opposed to the person icon.

 

Among competitors, Twitter has been most verbal about their thoughts of this announcement, saying that further integrating Google+ into regular search results is “bad for people.” But Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt addressed this in an interview with reporter Danny Sullivan that it was Twitter’s choice to not continue integrating its data in Google searches by not renewing their agreement that gave the search engine access to public tweets. Check out the rest of the interview below:

What are your thoughts on having Google+, Twitter or any social media data showing up in your searches? Would their inclusion make your results better or would they just be unnecessary noise?

Mashable is running a Poll:

MySpace Making a Comeback?

comScore‘s latest social media report reveals some interesting data – MySpace is bigger than Tumblr and Google+! People are even spending more time on MySpace than they are on Google+.

 

Justin Timberlake, who partnered with Specific Media in June to purchase MySpace from News Corp, said “We’re ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience.” Is JT bringing MySpace back?

Sponsored Stories in the News Feed

Facebook launched Sponsored Stories in the News Feed this week but there are a number of controls around them to ensure that the user experience is respected. As promised, the ads are marked as “Featured” and they will only be showing up in the Ticker or Feed of user’s that have already liked the page. But these Sponsored Stories will also find a way to promote growth for a Page by highlighting fan activity, such as a Page Like or a Post Like. These ads will be shown to the friends of the person who did the action. ‘Page Like Story’ – ad will show to friends of people who liked your page, and ‘Page Post Like Story’ ad will show up when people like a specific Page post.

Facebook is slowly rolling these out to avoid user backlash and disrupting the user experience, so you will likely only see one Sponsored Story per day and they will not yet be appearing on mobile devices.

If you are a fan of Ben & Jerry’s Page, you likely saw this:

Listen to Music with your Friends – Even if you’re not with them!

Also announced this week from Facebook is a new feature called, ‘Listen With,’ enabling you to share the songs you are streaming via Spotify and Rdio. Users were already able to see what their friends were listening to but now they can listen together in a virtual environment and even sing along together. In the next few weeks you should start to see a music note in your chat sidebar and this will indicate who is listening to music. If you hover over their name you can hit “Listen with x,” which will play the song via the service your friend is using. When your friend changes the song, yours will change accordingly and more than one friend can listen in on the music so the entire group can chat about it together.

Facebook’s $100 Billion IPO

Facebook’s rumored April – June IPO is drawing nearer and its looking like it will be the biggest of any technology company in history (six times that of Google’s!) – its expected to be a $100 billion IPO! Accounting Degree Online has put together an Infographic breaking it down for us.

 

SoundCloud and The Battle for Music-Based Social Network Supremacy

A Place for Music?

Although the MySpace of today looks as if it’s barely holding on by a thread, there was a time when it proudly wore the crown of social networks.

At its core was music, a key component in both its initial growth and the tail end of its usefulness. At the time, MySpace’s approach to music was incredibly innovative. They were one of the first web services to allow anyone making music, be it major, indie or an unsigned act, to upload their work to “the cloud” free of charge. Once uploaded, the music was streamable for audiences to enjoy.

This revolutionary approach to online music helped launched the careers of countless artists and forged new networks of friends connected through a shared fondness for a band or genre.

In fact, music played such an important role in the rise of MySpace that the site’s motto was simply “a place for music” for the better part of its glory days.

As the cons of using MySpace started to outweigh the pros, users began to naturally seek alternatives. Facebook offered a superior social experience and a mass migration soon followed. It’s a story we’re all familiar with, only there’s one thing missing. What happened to music on Facebook?

To be fair, Facebook hasn’t completely abandoned music. They’ve experimented with apps, artist pages and have recently started integrating services like Spotify and Rdio into profile timelines. It’s a nice start, but for the most part, it’s clear to any user that uploading and streaming music is not a significant part of the Facebook experience.

Enter The Void

Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, MOG, Turntable FM, Last FM and Ping are just a few of the new services currently looking to fill the online music void left behind by MySpace. While the theme of “listening to music” is common to all of these services, their methods of delivering the experience differs dramatically among one another.

Spotify, Rdio, and MOG rely on licensing deals to secure the rights to streaming content, Turntable FM requires similar rights yet adds an element of gamification, Last FM and Ping depend on capturing and sharing existing listening habits in an effort to pair like minded individuals based on similar taste.

Closely mirroring the model of MySpace, SoundCloud stands out from the pack by allowing any artist the ability to upload their music to the SoundCloud servers free of charge, the result being a clean, intuitive streamable audio portfolio of their work.

SoundCloud

I was lucky enough to participate in Soundcloud’s beta program back when I was writing my music blog. Their dropbox feature was a new, superior alternative to email for accepting demos by the public. Now looking back on this early sign of ingenuity, it’s no wonder the service has gone on to grow at a staggering rate.


In a few short years, SoundCloud has grown to a network of over 8 Million users and now comes in a variety of mobile, tablet and desktop app flavours. Unlike services that depend on licensing deals to secure content, SoundCloud relies entirely on user-generated content, often leaving people to describe it as the “Flickr of Music”.
Like Flickr, SoundCloud’s wonderland of content offers an incredible experience to the listener. By simply following artists of interest, listeners are rewarded with an endless stream of free music including forthcoming releases, demos and rough takes.

Moving Forward

Looking past simply dominating the space of music, SoundCloud has recently expanded into the areas of podcasting and live recording. Possibly, the most interesting development is their recent interoperability venture with Tumblr. Through the partnership, artists are able to seamlessly embed SoundCloud content directly in to their Tumblr blogs, resulting in band pages eerily familiar to those of MySpace.

As we inch closer towards an age of streaming music libraries in the cloud, choosing a go-to service becomes increasingly murky when confronted with issues of copyright, licensing and delivery. I for one prefer the “open” model of SoundCloud, not simply because it’s free, but because its model helps put the control of content back in the hands of the artists.

A perfect example of this creative control is shown below. Taken from Matthew Dear’s forthcoming EP is the song Headcage. Uploaded by his label Ghostly International and made free to stream and download for all.

Enjoy!

Social Media Roundup for January 29, 2010

Apparently Apple released a product Wednesday

Is it just me or did the iPad feel like old news before it was 30 minutes old? The advance rumours were (in some cases) so accurate this time and so far ahead of the actual announcement that it was hard not to feel a bit let down by reality. The perennial Apple Fanboy Vs. Hater debate aside, the new iPad device tries to fill a gap between the portability of a smart phone and the bulkiness of a laptop or netbook, all with Steve Jobs trademark flair for the stylish. Buried in all the hoopla is that Jobs said when you consider MacBooks as “mobile” devices, Apple generates more revenue from mobile hardware than any other company in the world. (via John Gruber’s Daring Fireball)

New Social Media Use Stats

Neilsen released some new statistics on usage of social media showing that Facebook is continuing to eat MySpace‘s lunch, Twitter use has exploded and the global audience spending 82% more time on social media platforms than they did last year. Mashable summarizes the results and offers up fresher month-over-month stats that show Twitter use in decline.

CBC Charges for Article Embeds

The publishing industry continues to struggle with a profitable online news model, focusing particular attention on the wide gulf between outright piracy and fair use of their copyrighted content . The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) among other news organizations have been using the iCopyright system to help monetize their content. The Torontoist breaks down how it is being used.

An Incovenient PR Truth

According to a video by RealWire (an online news distribution service), irrelevance is to the PR industry what pollution is to the environment. Breathe in that irrelevance, baby.

Social Media Roundup for December 4, 2009

The Social Media Roundup: It’s like a gang of ninjas attacking you with awesomeness.  Be sure to get a good seat, and keep your eyes peeled.

Our Shuriken are Shaped Like Maple Leaves
An article in the Vancouver Sun citing a recent Forrester Research analysis claims that Canadians are the social networking ninjas of the world. While I appreciate the sentiment, if they were able to measure us then we’re clearly the worst ninjas ever.  Forrester merely claims Canadians are the most active social networkers in any of their surveyed markets, which is still pretty cool.

Extreme Makeover: Friendster Edition
In the ‘Whatever happened to…” category, we have news from Friendster this week that there’s a makeover being rolled out.  In a video where they call out Facebook and MySpace as being plain and boring, they trot out a new interface that looks like a direct mashup of the two juggernauts. So boring + plain = awesome?  Seems that somebody thinks so, as the site is rumoured to be sold by month’s end.

Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists of the Year
It’s December, the time of eggnog, yule logs, and year-in-review features.  So what was the buzz this year?  What were we all talking about? Well, according to the top 3 search engines, it seems some guy died, a movie about emo vampires was released, and it all happened in 140 characters or less.

Es Una Gran Fiesta!
Ford’s groundbreaking Fiesta Movement went out with a bang this week, clocking the Guinness World Record for largest tweetup at the conclusion of the Movement and the unveil of the 2011 Fiesta.   Can’t wait to see what’s coming next with Fiesta Movement Chapter 2.  [Disclosure: Yes, Ford's a client, but the Movement's not our baby.]

Would You Like Some Cheese With That?
A new study has apparently proven the Greater Internet F***wad Theory [language NSFW], concluding that otherwise pleasant people can be whiny jerks online.  Up next, proof that trolls don’t just reside under bridges.