The roundup enjoying the
‘best Summer ever’
Summer: there’s a blanket of white mist outside, and I walked home yesterday through a torrential downpour, complete with thunder and lightening. But I’ve just been on holiday in 40 degree temperatures, so peaks and troughs.
However, every time it’s pissing it down I walk past an annoying ClearChannel advert that makes me remember that it should probably be more sunny. It is most definitely not the greatest ever summer.
Apple and Google Maps have messy breakup, Maps keeps the CDs
After the rumours of strife comes the split – Apple are going their own way with maps. Google Maps has for so long been the utterly dominant maps resource and app, but Apple weren’t too happy that they were losing out on monetisation and having to admit inferiority to one of their biggest rivals. So in iOS 6 Apple Maps takes over.
Apple announced the split by proudly displaying their lovely-looking 3D flyovers: that Google Maps then also announced, alongside internal building mapping and improved streetview, so as not to let the ex get the upper hand. Streetview is a big missing element from Apple Maps, which also just doesn’t have the same level and depth of information as Google Maps. Gizmodo have done a nice comparison of the two iPhone apps alongside each other.
Bing’s launches So.cl, relies upon slightly dodgy pronunciation
MSN have jumped into the social media sphere with their new social network So.cl, which kind-of sounds like “social” if you’ve a mouth full of sweets.
They’ve taken so long to launch their own social network you have to wonder whether it really stands a chance of catching on with users used to Facebook, Twitter and even Google Plus, and the product from the big rival Google is particularly relevant as, like Plus, So.cl is looking to integrate social media into search to make it far more personalised. The concern is that the lack of market share for Bing and slow launch will leave So.cl too far behind to really have an impact.
Twitter expanded tweets cause anger, plays cards with Open Graph
Having launched ‘expanded tweets‘ (shown below), Twitter are apparently becoming more and more controlling in the use of their platform and API and there are many developers becoming less and less happy with Twitter’s new attitude. A huge amount of Twitter’s success is based upon it’s open platform and the apps and ideas that others have generated on top of the micro-messaging service – remember things like retweets were invented by users, and Twitter ended up buying TweetDeck because it did a job better than they could do – and while control might mean more money making opportunities for Twitter it’s not always good for users.
Expanded tweets are also being questioned by media owners, with sites being warned that Twitter may be reducing the need to leave the site and thus monetising other people’s content on the sly. It’s a similar complaint aimed at Google, and while predictable it’s something advertisers and content generators need to be very, very wary of.
Twitter is making it easy to set what expanded content is shown in expanded tweets with ‘Twitter Cards‘. Jumping onto the basic Open Graph protocol settings used by Facebook and Google+, it’s currently in Beta and you can apply here. Luckily Joost de Valk at Yoast, the daddy of SEO/social plugins for WordPress, has integrated it already into his plugin and discusses Twitter Cards integration on his site. Like many he’s hoping they all agree on a fully-shared protocol soon, otherwise every site will end up having their own code. I can’t be doing with that much code.
Facebook realise ‘credits’ are rubbish; fleece with subscriptions
Facebook credits were never really used and seemed a fairly unnecessary layer of complexity, especially given that many applications just bypassed it with specific in-app/game currencies, or even (I’m looking at you Zynga…) required users to covert money to facebook credits, then credits into an in-game currency. So they’re now gone.
However, if you really can’t wait to get the latest ‘cow variety no.204′ update to your odd farming game then there’s now the ability for app developers to add a subscription option so you can watch your money leave your account on a monthly basis. Yay! Read all about it.
Ad exchange for FB, offers, mobile ads trump desktop
In potentially exciting news for display advertisers Facebook is opening up an ad exchange, so your ads from across the web can now be pushed through Facebook and use a whole load more behavioural targeting options to stalk people with ads on their favourite social network.
Also there’s now Facebook Offers for your pages, which I won’t go into too much depth about here but is certainly going to be an interesting avenue for generating revenue.
In mobile news, an early report from SocialCode has suggested that the new Facebook sponsored story ads (the ones that recommend you ‘like’ somebody or a post) for mobiles receive a better clickthrough rate (CTR) than the same ads placed elsewhere. Mobile received 0.79% CTR, compared to 0.148% CTR across the other tested platforms (desktop etc), although the CPM costs were suspiciously high for mobile. Are people clicking because it’s new, or is it following the trend of mobile performing better for display advertising? Something to bear in mind either way.
You have to post to be a blogger
In a bit of “well duhhh” news, a study of European and US bloggers released in June has confirmed that they think the best way to drive traffic is to post regularly and promote the content through social and other sources. There are some noticeable differences between Americans and Europeans but most post 2–3 times a week, while US bloggers are quicker to adopt new social networks like Pinterest. Interestingly American bloggers are far more likely to post about products or companies, which is very much in line with the idea of the American ‘mummy blog’ reviewing products and running competitions.
Google Analytics social media tracking
Want to know most of what there is to know about Google Analytics social tracking? Read the KissMetrics guide then. But remember it doesn’t markup any actually popular social sources, just Google+. Boom boom!