All posts in “google”

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.

 

Social Media Roundup for November 18, 2011

 

Google+ Pages continued…

Last week, Google announced new Google+ Pages for companies. Since then, top brands, including Pepsi, Hugo Boss, and Toyota have started to build their Google+ communities. What’s next?

This week, Google announced a series of new features that will make Google+ Pages even more attractive, and easier to use for brands.

Third Party Tools To Help Manage Google+ Pages

For those companies using platforms like HootSuite and ContextOptional to manage multiple social networks now integrate Google+ Pages. This feature will help populate Google+ with more brands as many organizations already use Social Media Management tools for their daily social media activities.

Trending topics and other improvements to the Google+ search

According to Mashable, Google+ has quietly rolled out trending topics within Google+ search this week. Just like Twitter trending topics, Google+ lists the top 10 most discussed topics within their platform. In addition to that, there have been other improvements to Google+ search as well. Users are now able to search within their own posts, their circles or their entire Google+ network.

Google+ Search

Google also tweaked the search page slightly. One thing that caught my attention is that Google+ Search now defaults to “most recent” rather than “best of”. This is Google moving back into real-time search (since their high-profile split with Twitter in July).

Average Facebook User [Infographic]

The average age of a Facebook user is now 38. New stats and facts from a new Infographic designed by JESS3 that looks at the average Facebook user’s daily activities. The Infographic shows that Facebook users are still the most engaged  – 52% of the users use the platform daily, and more than 20% of users are engaged with other people’s content.

Future Steve Jobs?

At TEDxManhattanBeach last month,  a 12-year-old boy named Thomas Suarez impressed with a speech about his journey to become an app developer and how he founded his own company. The video came out last week and has received over 1 million views on YouTube.  People are referring to him as the next Steve Jobs, as he shows charisma rarely seen in people, let alone people his age.

From the YouTube introduction:

Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles. When Apple released the Software Development Kit (SDK), he began to create and sell his own applications. “My parents, my friends and even the people at the Apple store all supported me,” he says, “and Steve Jobs inspired me”. Thomas points out that it’s hard to learn how to make an app. “For soccer you could go to a soccer team … but what if you want to make an app?” He’s started a club for fellow students at school, where he shares his knowledge of programming. Thomas articulates his vision that students are a valuable new technology resource to teachers, and should be empowered to offer assistance in developing the technology curriculum and also assist in delivering the lessons.



Social Media Roundup for November 11, 2011

Google+ Business Pages

The big news this week has been the much-anticipated release of Google+ Business pages. The pages function in a similar way to that of a regular Google+ profile, allowing the administrator to add people to circles, share, +1 comments and photos and host and join Hangouts. As with a profile, the owner can perform all of these activities and only the owner. The rule of only one person “owning” your business page makes it hard  for your company’s social media team to distribute duties since only one person will be able to update the account. As one blogger put it, “if the brand needs to say something to customers in a high-touch, high-service business like ours (we have customer service people posting and answering phones and talking on chat 24 hours a day 365 days a year) they will need to wake me up to get me to post something? Really?”

Another drawback for the business pages is the inability for fans to directly post on your wall, as currently they can only offer comments on a post that you have already made. Isn’t one of the main initiatives of business pages that customers can interact with you?

Pages can follow people but can only do so once they have been followed. But once you have been added, you can add them to a specific circle and tailor your communication based on location, interests or other relevant categories, which is a great feature. You can also lock posts within a certain circle, making the content exclusive to them. Another way of making content exclusive is by hosting a Hangout with say your breaking stories, enticing people to want to be a part of your Hangouts if they want the inside scoop. The Muppets got creative with this feature by offering a chance for followers to chat live with Miss Piggy.

What will you offer in a Hangout with your company? Get creative, the possibilities are endless!

I do think that Google+ business pages have really great potential to be a strong brand communication tool. Facebook pages obviously have a head start with their already existing communities, but Google+ pages have a one up with its search features, I mean its parent company is Google! Google+ Direct Connect will immediately take you to a Google+ page just by putting a “+” in front of your search query and once you are there you are given the option to add the page to your circles.

Although this feature is not widely available to all pages yet, once it is, it will be a very direct and easy way for fans to get information right from the brand, creating the opportunity for Google+ business pages to be a strong source of information and brand communication.

As for hosting giveaways and contests, Google+ has banned these actions and are currently only allowing you to display a link to where your promotion is hosted. I can understand that Google+ is doing this to protect themselves from any potential liabilities associated with promotions but since Facebook is now allowing Apps for hosting promotions, it will be interesting how long this policy lasts and how it will unfold.

Videos on Social Networks

How often does your company create and share videos? What kind of content are you putting in them and are you seeing positive results in return? If not, check out this Infographic for some insights.

Also getting a lot of attention this week has been the use of social media for bullying. Teens have a very dominant presence on social networking sites, which opens a new channel for them to be bullied; sadly making it a reality that bullying doesn’t end when the school day does. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in partnership with the Family Online Safety Institute and supported by Cable in the Classroom found that the majority of teens using social media are having positive experiences but unfortunately there are still those that are facing negative experiences. Below are some of their findings.

It’s unfortunate to see that younger teenage girls and black teens are having the hardest time on social networks but its not all bad news: 27% of teens online will defend the victim who is being harassed and 20% will tell the person to stop being mean and cruel.

Social Media Roundup for November 4, 2011

Gmail’s New Look

Google seems to be ever-changing and upgrading these days. This week they released the new Gmail and Google Reader layout. The new layout is supposed to be about making your view more streamlined and efficient, although some users have a different take on this. Eventually, most of us will get used to the new layout, but lost functionality is a different story. Negative posts and reactions have been voiced, mostly pertaining to the changes to Google Reader, where you can no longer one-click share to social sites unless it’s to Google+. Check out the tweets that turn up when you search for @googlereader in Twitter:

Not only are people angry about this change for future sharing, they were also given no warning and so people that have used Reader to push content to their sites or blogs have lost that content. A little heads up would have been nice! The root issue behind this change is that it is disrupting the communities that we have formed and people can no longer communicate and share with their community, at least not through your Google Reader. And having to +1 something before it can be shared can even make people not want to share at all. How do you feel about having to share publicly first if you want to share with your network? A former Google employee even offered his services to come back on a contract to fix the Google Reader.

Google’s New Search Algorithm

Another update from Google this week is talk about their new infrastructure, Caffeine, which makes crawled content available in our search results more quickly because as soon as a page is crawled, it’s made available in our searches. Now it is reported that not only will results be “fresher,” it will also change 35% of your search results. This will impact your searches related to recent events or trending topics because Caffeine will be able to crawl those news stories or posts that people wrote maybe only minutes ago while they are at an event like Occupy Toronto. This seems a bit like Twitter where your searches will always be updating. If you search something in the morning, your results could very well be different by lunch.

Because I use Google often for research, I’m excited about this change. For example, if I want to know the best practices for measuring social media engagement, I can type this in and Google will now pull up the most recent reports and studies on this topic. If I did the same research a year from now, I would not want to see those same reports, because they are now outdated.

Another type of search this “freshness” factor is great for is when you are searching an event that is regularly occurring. Now, Google will know that when you type in “Who went home on America’s Next Top Model last night,” you will see highlights from this week’s episode and not say from Cycle 7, several years ago. Now you can make your searches with less thought, you don’t have to think about dates and specific keywords because it’s like Google is in your head, it knows what you want to see and read about.

This seems great – who doesn’t want the most recent news? But there is a potential downside, too. Although a story may be the most recently posted, this doesn’t always mean it is the most up-to-date. Think about people reading stories and then sharing them on their own blog. Their blog post may occur a few days after the original story, making it more “fresh,” but there is no promise that there haven’t been more updates to the story since the original story. So we must be careful.

Social Timing Insights Infographic

Speaking of “freshness” and timing, check out this Infographic for insights in social timing.

When your brand is posting on Facebook and Twitter, are you thinking about what your customers are doing at that moment? You wouldn’t want to post when most of your audience is busy and your update just gets pushed down their News Feed, so they may not see it. This Infographic gives us insight into when customers are most receptive so that you can reach the most customers and achieve maximum engagement.

Social Media Roundup for Sept 30th

As Facebook has been on our front page for the past two weeks,we feel like we’ve missed out some big movements in the social media world.  We certainly have some catching up to do, so does Google.

On September 20th, two days before Facebook’s f8 conference, Google+ announced it is now open to the public, and has 9 new features, which added up a  total of 100 updates since it launched three months ago.

  • Hangouts on your phone finally works on Android(version 2.3 or greater) powered mobile phones. We can now video chat with friends from our Circle or join other people’s conversation while on the go.
  • Hangouts On Air allows us to speak to a large audience, or alternatively, view as a spectator.
  • Hangouts with extras include several net new functions which enable us to do things more than chatting.
    • Share screen with our friends through Screensharing
    • Draw, doodle or just scribble together on Sketchpad
    • Google Docs is now supported on Google+
    • Named Hangouts for when we want to join or create a public a private hangout about a certain topic
  • The Hangouts API is now available to developers to build new apps and games off of
  • Search in Google+ lets us search for relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web

After Google+’s announcement,  research estimated that the site has received about 15 million U.S  visitors last week, which was 13 TIMES more traffic then the week before!  Furthermore, according to a Google+ statistician Paul Allen:

“The growth rate has skyrocketed to rates we only saw during the first week of its field test”

Registered users on Google+ went up 30% in two days to an estimated 43.4 million – the biggest growth since its first beta launch three months ago.

Now let’s get back on Facebook,  as today is the day Timeline is going to be rolled out to regular users (if you have signed up earlier).  Be prepared!

Social Media Group’s upcoming webinar with Social Media Today!

We are proudly to present our next webinar with Social Media Today. Tom Foremski and Steven Rosenbaum will join us to discuss:

Is Curation the New Journalism?

Where journalists used to be the trusted agents for reporting on the ground and fact-checking stories before publication, every Web user is now a potential journalist.  And as the deluge of user-generated information gathers strength, finding out what’s important to people in their private and working lives becomes more and more challenging. How to sort between truth, half truth and falsehood? Technical filtering can’t (yet) match human capacity to discriminate between useful content and garbage. This is the increasingly vital role of the online curator. The discussion will examine to what extent curation is becoming integral to journalism, and whether bloggers and tweeters can adequately play the the reporting role of journalists.

We’ll cover the following questions, as well as your own:

  • What’s the difference between curation and journalism?
  • How does factchecking work in the blogosphere?
  • What are emerging best practices for online curators?
  • Can the hive mind of the Internet match the formal editorial structure of a traditional news organization when it comes to producing accurate reporting and analysis of current events?

Register to the Webinar and  join us on October 4th  at 12pm EST/9am PST. It’s free!

 

Facebook Rules, Rolls Changes: Social Media Round Up for September 16, 2011

This past week in the world of social media was all about Facebook

Facebook rules. Stats released this week show it continues to be the dominate social network. According to the latest Nielson Social Media Report (Q3, 20011) released this week, U.S netizens have spent over FIVE MILLION minutes (equivalent to approximately 102 years) on Facebook up until May, 2011. Time spent on Facebook is far more (100 times) than the time spent on Twitter, or any other websites.

This week, Facebook introduced several significant updates on their social network services in order to keep its crown as the top social social network in the world. From the Facebook blog:

#1 Improved  Friend Lists

Smart Lists are a new improvement to the existing friends list feature on Facebook. It helps to easily group friends into different lists, and receive updates from or share to different lists of friends. The best part is, Facebook even does the grouping for you!

  • You will see smart lists that create themselves and stay up-to-date based on profile info your friends have in common with you – like your school, work, family and city.

Facebook will also allow you to create your own Close Friends and Acquaintances lists, which allows you to see more updates from your best friends, and see less from the not-so-close ones.

The platform now makes Better Friend Suggestions for you to add friends into your  friend lists.

#2 Subscribe button

If the new friend lists are Facebook’s answer to the Circles from Google+, then the brand new Subscribe Button would be their move against Twitter. The Subscribe Button allows users to do three things:

  • To choose what type of content you want to see from your friends news feeds
  • To see certain types of updates from people whom you are not friends with
  • To share content with people whom you not friends with

Generally speaking, the Subscribe Button is very close to the functionality of  the “Follow” Button on Twitter.

#3 “View Share” button

The View Share option hasn’t been officially announced by Facebook yet, however, we heard that Facebook is currently conducting closed testing of this feature. The View Share option will appear on the comment box which allows user to see how people shared your content.

It is not hard to recognize that Facebook forward looking and gearing itself  up for the long haul . What do you think, should we now call it Facebook+?

Social Media Roundup for August 26th, 2011

August is certainly not a quiet month in the tech and social media worlds. This week was a busy one. On the 24th, Steve Jobs, again, successfully announced his latest “mind-blowing” product called “iQuit”… but I think everyone has already seen this news in their feeds and across the front pages, so we won’t spend too much time on that subject!

On the social network front, Facebook and Twitter both made announcements this week.

Lets take a look at Facebook first:

Facebook has made some significant changes to its privacy settings. Users now can now share to specific people or groups, essentially increasing user control over who see what.

Privacy

They also updated their location services. In addition to the existing Places check-ins, users can now add location information to wall posts and photos.

Facebook Location

From allfacebook.com

Here’s a list of the major improvements.

  • The privacy settings are moving toward individual post windows and profiles.
  • Users are gaining the ability to approve tags of themselves in others’ posts and photos.
  • All tags will include an attribution of the person who did the tagging.
  • Places no longer require physical check-ins, so people can add locations to posts, even from the desktop.
  • You don’t need to be friends with someone to tag them in a post or photo.
  • You don’t have to like a brand to tag it in a post or photo.
  • Facebook has changed the word “everyone” to “public” in privacy settings, for clarity.
  • You can customize privacy, or visibility of information, on a post-by-post basis.
  • Users can edit the visibility of individual bits of content anytime after they post.
  • The changes don’t affect mobile users, at least not for now.

Speaking of Twitter:

Twitter has begun its new photo sharing feature to its users. The new photo service allows users to attach photos with their tweets, which could pretty much replace the similar functions provided by 3rd party vendors such as TwitPic over the past years. It means that users can now generate richer content on Twitter than merely text. But on the other hand, the new function makes Twitter feeds resemble a Facebook wall post, which has always allowed users to share many types of media content.

Twitter photo

Are we forgetting about Google+?

Last week at a Social Media Today Webinar, Our CEO Maggie Fox presented some of the latest stats of Google+ as it approaches its two-month birthday. Instead of going into detail on people’s reaction to functionally, I think it is better to let the numbers do the talking.

From singlegrain.com

  • 74% of Google+ users are male

Top 10 Occupations of Google+ users

  1. 10.05% Software Engineer
  2. 10.77% Designer
  3. 13.57% Developer
  4. 24.56% Engineer
  5. 4.88% Writer
  6. 4.23% Web Developer
  7. 3.67% Software Developer
  8. 3.05% Programmer
  9. 3.05% Photographer
  10. 2.79% Artist

Google+ has gained over 25 million registered users in about two months. But the question is, how many active users are there?  Or let me ask you this, when was the last time you checked your Google+ account and saw new feeds from anyone of your circles?

It is not hard to recognize that some of the latest changes Facebook and Twitter made align to the aesthetics of Google+.  So do people really need Google+ if other platforms are offering the exact same services? I think we are all still looking forward to see what Google will do next in the social space battle.

What is Google+?

Recently I’ve been thinking that social networks are getting a little too messy. I’ve felt it’s time for another big shift in how people communicate, and I’d love to see companies start to pull all the small pieces together – That’s why I’m so interested in the new Google+ project.

Google + image

Google has attempted many things to encourage users to spend more time using Google products doing activities other than searching. While Gmail, Chrome and Android have been very successful, we all remember the flop known Google Wave. On Tuesday, June 26th, Google started a very limited field test for their latest social network project, Google+,and unveiled the first five features: Circles, Hangouts, Instant Upload, Sparks and Huddle.

Please see the video below for a quick tour:

>

Everyone is saying that the project is Google’s answer to Facebook. However, there are couple of signs showing that it could be much, much more than that. Google+ could be the centerpiece to Google’s entire strategic map to link search, social, and mobile together in a seamless and intuitive package.

Google+ was developed by Google’s internal team, unlike Google Wave, which was outsourced to an Australia-based team in 2009. Google+ is the result of a year-long project led by Google’s SVP of Social, Vic Gundotra, and hundreds of Google engineers. It involves almost EVERY Google product. Google is already showing a very strong commitment to this project.

Google made significant changes to its user interface (UI), likely in order to accommodate Google+.  And remember, historically Google has been really conservative in changing their minimalist webpage, adding a black navigation bar at the top is definitely a big step for them.

Google+ is also a mobile app. By making use of Android’s dominance in the mobile OS market, Google+ has the potential to become an integral part of the Android experience, and will easily end up in the hands of all the existing users.

The key for Google is to figure out how to leverage the huge number of Gmail users. They have to identify and focus on people’s real needs for a social network, while providing the best product experience that links social, search and mobile together.

Here is the question I’ll leave for everyone: Do you think you that you will ‘hang out’ more on Google than Facebook?

P.S. Check out the Google+ virtual tour to see more videos and experience it yourself !

 

Best of 2010: Social Media Stats & Year in Review

Our SMG social media roundup this week is all about the year that was 2010. I hope you had an amazing year filled with much awesomeness and that you have a happy and healthy 2011.

Off the top, a hat tip to Steve Harris who helped out with the research for this post.

Sharing in 2010

Social sharing service AdThis shares some insights in this handy infographic about how, when and where we share. Facebook represented 44% of all sharing (up from 33% in 2009). Gmail and StumbleUpon had the greatest growth with increases of 394% and 254% respectively.

2010 AddThis Trends Infographic

(via Web Analytics World Blog)

Bonus: Mashable’s 19 of the Best Infographics from 2010

Top Search Terms 2010

In the no-big-surprise department, Experian Hitwise’s analysis of the top 100 search terms for 2010 shows “Facebook” was the top-searched term overall accounting for 2.11 percent of all searches. When you factor in four variations of the term “facebook” also in the top 10 terms, Facebook accounted for 3.48 percent of searches overall. Compared to last year “Yahoo! Mail” and “google” are the two terms that fell out of the top 10 for 2010.

The top 10:

Related: Google’s intereactive global search Zeitgeist “captures the spirit of 2010”.

Top YouTube Videos of 2010

Via TheNextWeb:

“The most-watched YouTube videos of 2010 reflect the people, places and events that captured our attention and imagination throughout the year,” said Mia Quagliarello,  YouTube Community Manager.  “YouTube has become the world’s town square – a place where culture is created and shared.  It’s a sign of YouTube’s growing importance as a platform for content creation that six of the top 10 most-watched videos globally were made-for-YouTube originals.”

Check out this year’s most-watched YouTube videos of 2010.

Bonus: Time’s Best Blogs of 2010 & AVClub’s The Best Podcasts of 2010

Twitter’s 2010 Year in Review – the 10 most powerful tweets of 2010

Nice work from Twitter on this review of powerful tweets. If you have a short attention span, or want a refresh on some of the biggest and most important stories of the year, check out this list. This has impact and drives home how incredibly powerful Twitter is as the real-time information network.

Bonus: The New York Times: 10th Annual Year in Ideas

2011 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch

The smart folks at trendwatching.com have identified 11 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011. A number of them are directly applicable to social media marketing in 2011.

A few of the trends we’re watching out for in 2011 include UrbanomicsPricing PandemoniumOnline Status SymbolsSocial-lites and Twinsumers and Planned Spontaneity.

Social Media Roundup for December 10, 2010

Welcome to your all-kids themed weekly roundup.

Starting Kids Off Right

Boing Boing posted this picture of a homemade baby quilt designed to look like the iPhone. You can’t ever start them too early! If this is the child’s first blanket, will his first toy be an iPad?

Kids Watch the Darndest Things

Continuing on the kiddie theme, check out the great video we stumbled on this week. From The Fine Bros., the guys who brought you 100 Movie Spoilers in Five Minutes, comes this video in which children are shown some of the most popular recent viral videos (including Double Rainbow) and asked for their reactions, some of which are amazing.

If You Can’t Play Nice, I’ll Take My Caps Lock Key and Go Home

This last one isn’t about actual kids, but rather Google treating its customers like ones. Google announced this week that all their new notebooks made for Chrome will come without a caps lock key. Google’s stated goal is to improve the quality of online conversation, by taking away the choice to use all caps in online conversation. While I can appreciate the effort, people will obviously find a new way to indicate raised voices and outraged tone. Also, this move really makes me want to type in all caps, which I never do, JUST TO REBEL.