beautiful bytes – Piictu this!
Google+1 goes mobile
Google+1, an approval button that appears on Google search engine results, is now available for mobile. People use Google+1 show others which pages they like or recommend so when you search you can see how many of your contacts have +1ed a certain site. Google also uses the button as part of its search ranking algorithm and shows popular sites higher in the results.
According to the update, the Google +1 button will appear automatically to anyone using Android version 2.1 or above and iOS 4.0 or higher browsers.
Users can also now share their +1′s immediately in their Google+ circles, using the Google+ mobile app.
Using mobile could propel the +1 button to become a more mainstream method of social referral. Currently, just over 1 million websites have added the widget, but this is sure to grow over the next few months with the addition of mobile and the growth of Google+.
Has anyone spotted the +1 button on any charity websites yet? A couple of websites we’re working on have it built in (and of course, our own). We think that it’s a brilliantly simple way of capitalising on the social referral trend.
New start up, Piictu, has been coined this week the new ‘Twitter for pictures’. You may have noticed that there have been quite a few ‘new Twitters’ in the tech press as of late; Google+ is ‘the new Twitter’, Heello is (literally) ‘the new Twitter’, so what’s the hook for this one? Piictu has one distinguishing feature, updates have no words, conversations take place entirely through the exchange of images.
Wordless updates (though groups of photos can have short titles) mean that if you want to respond to someone’s photo, you have to snap one in response. It seems like a fun, artistic way to converse in the smart phone era.
If it takes off, I think it’ll be great for brands and organisations to become even more personal and creative in the way that they are interacting with people who are talking about them. We’ve seen many charity campaigns that ask supporters to take a picture of themselves in certain situations or with appeal signs and often its hard to get people to join in, but regular users of this type of ‘snappy’ photo sharing might be a bit more inclined to get involved.
Facebook check-ins for non-physical events
Facebook has quietly added the ability to check-into events that do not include a physical address this week. Some are musing that its down to Foursquare’s announcement that it was releasing events check-ins, but I’m guessing it has more to do with the fact that it scrapped its Facebook Places feature two weeks ago and events check-ins were tied to that.
We posted in April that attendees could check-into Facebook events if they were within a certain distance of the location, but this is no longer the case as you can now check-into Facebook events wherever you are, even if they don’t physically exist.
There are a lot of online campaigns that this could benefit. It would’ve worked well for Operation Cup of Tea, the post riot peace campaign that implored everyone to stay in and drink a cup of tea and stay out of trouble. It’s a way for people to easily aggregate themselves to show support for your cause and share it with their friends.
Geosocial check-ins are still on the periphery of mainstream use, so opening up check-ins was a great move by Facebook.
Checking up on checking in
It was released this week that location based social networking is the least popular activity among smartphone users, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
According to the study, which it must be remembered was carried out in America, just 5% of mobile phone owners are likely to use location services on their phone regularly. The study goes on to note that 9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services.
Whilst this is still quite a lot of users, and check-in campaigns can open up new innovative marketing ideas, it must be remembered that not everyone aspires to the mayor of their local coffee shop just yet.
Twitter gears up its advertising plan again
We somewhat enthusiastically and perhaps niavely posted a few weeks ago that Twitters ad plan was quite unobtrusive to the user experience, that it was really simple and maybe a bit too easy to ignore.
Now, Dick Costolo and his team have ramped it up a little with the announcement that it is going to start letting marketers place ads in front of people followed them. Users won’t have the ability to opt out of the ads either.
Technically, it’s just an extension of the advertising product that Twitter pushed out in April, but it is quite a significant move for the business.
It will allow advertisers to place ads in front of people who follow similar Twitter accounts to them. For example, if you were following a cancer charity, then a competing cancer charity would be able to market to you.
We’re not sure how it will go down with long term users of the microblog. The current system has gone down well, but this move is a bit bigger than an incremental step towards really monetising the site, which Twitter has been so keen to do.
AllthingsD posted that Twitter may generate more than $100 million in ads this year because of the new feature, but with a $8.4 billion valuation over its head, we’re only expecting more ads to come.