beautiful bytes – Google news and it’s hip to be Square.
Google has been making more waves in tech news this week. Some of it good, some not great but all of it interesting.
Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt, announced this week that Google TV will be coming to Europe early next year. According to its website, Google TV is a “new experience that combines TV, the entire web, and apps” and leverages Google’s existing products like Android and Chrome. Whilst we’ve dabbled in internet TV in the UK, this announcement teamed with the release of the Apple TV, points us towards a steep progression in innovation in web enabled television. Google TV allows you to access the whole of the internet, watch TV whilst searching and change the channel with your phone. Beyond sounding like fun, it hints towards a bigger movement in internet TV. Is your website ready for the small screen?
Google+ is an identity service
Google’s reasons for being so strict about pseudonyms became apparent this week as it was released that Google+ isn’t simply an effort to take on Facebook: “it’s primarily an “identity service” that Google will use to help build other services.” Business Insider posted.
An identity service could prove useful for a number of reasons, easing the hassle of signing in and out to various accounts and making it more secure to make payments (or donations!) online, it will make ad targeting easier and also be easier for you to treat people like humans online.
However, some people have been wary that Google+ is simply a way for Google to get people to feed it precious data and this news seems to back this up. Something that could threaten its success is that this news will also spark a lot of (admitedly well founded) conspiracies.
Are people losing interest in Google+?
This morning data for Google+ traffic of Google.com traffic showed a huge decline since the beginning of the month. It is significant and steady as this chart from DreamGrow shows. There could be a number of reasons for this, the ‘it’s new and I’m curious’ appeal has gone, it could be that it has waited quite a long time (in digital years) to allow businesses to create profiles and it could be that Google+ still doesn’t allow all email addresses to sign up. Perhaps usage will pick up again when they sort out these problems but it isn’t a great sign for the identity service/social network.
Facebook reaches 1 trillion page views per month
Facebook statistics continue to boggle this week as the world’s most popular social network hit 1 trillion page views per month. According to DoubleClick, users view around 40 pages per visit and 1,160 pages per month. Though there have been mixed reviews about the reliability of this statistic, it demonstrates the huge hold that Facebook has over its users.
It is an impressive statistic that would challenge the most ardent luddite in your organisation and could end up being a powerful number to put in your digital marketing proposals.
Joint enables you to group chat in Twitter
When Google+ was first released, many speculated that it was more of a Twitter rival than a Facebook rival and that Twitter will have to hit back with a more robust user experience to compete. Tom Anderson (of Myspace fame) advised it to, “give the viewer an input box by which to leave a comment and easily discuss tweets without flooding followers‘ streams with one part of an on-going conversation.”
New start up, Joint, is doing just that on Twitter’s behalf. It turns any hashtag into a IRC (internet relay chatroom) – a real time hashtag stream. According to TechCrunch, users can, “pull the hashtags directly into the group chat, or invite the people who wrote the tweets into the group chat from the chat room, or simply hang out and enjoy synchronous chat.”. It’s basically a way to carry on the conversation with @replies or DMing.
Of course you might not want to hide the hashtags you spend so long trying to get people to use, but it seems like a great idea for Q&A’s and events that might only affect some of your supporters or beneficiaries. For example, I know that many people who are coming to the NFPtweetup are keen to chat to other attendees beforehand without alienating people they know who aren’t coming by filling up their streams with #NFPtweetup talk. And afterwards, you might like to bring back some of the key findings or discussion points into the mainstream for other people to follow.
And Finally …
Square is Jack Dorsey’s (Twitter co-founder) credit card dongle company that allows you to process card payments through an iPhone. It was built in 2009 and took a while to get off the ground, but a recent report has shown that it is quickly becoming a mainstream payment method in America. It is a small device that fits into the headphone socket of your iPhone that allows you to accept credit card payments instantly. Money is transfered the following day and Square takes 2.75% of each transaction.
One of the great things about Square is that, so far, it has proved really useful for small businesses like farmers markets, taxi companies and nurseries. It is easy to set up, easy to use and portable. We’ve been talking a lot over the past few weeks about the potential of mobile payment systems for charities across all types of fundraising but Square seems, from a merchant perspective, to be the most likely to be rolled out in the UK, and quickly. iPhones are popular in UK business but NFC phones are very thin on the ground. We’re hoping its success in the US will allow people to trust this type of payment and get on board with it, because its portability and simplicity could have huge implications for the sector.
We’d also love to congratulate Beyonce on her brilliant news this week – that’s right, the diva broke a world record as tweets about her MTV Video Music Awards performance reached 8,868 per second! Amazing (oh, and something about being pregnant?).