beautiful bytes – Google+ and the living dead
In the face of declining traffic, Google has released a series of new features aimed at keeping its users more engaged. The new features include:
What’s hot on Google+?: This needs little explanation, only to say that this new feature shows you what posts are popular at the moment from the Google+ world as a whole, rather than just those you follow.
Google+ Ripples: This feature allows you to see how your posts are shared by subsequent +‘ers. The tool shows you which of your friends shared your post, which of their friends shared it, and so on. This could add a great deal of value to posts from an organisation as they will be able to see the reach of their post beyond their existing followers.
Google+ Creative Kit: This is a new set of easy photo editing tools to help users share the most beautiful versions of their pictures as possible.
Google+ Profiles for Apps users: Perhaps the most significant update, everyone with a Google Apps account can now have a Google+ profile – something that was highly requested during the social network’s launch.
These aren’t the only improvements we’re seeing from Google. A redesigned Android Google+ app has hit the Android Marketplace in an attempt to create a more streamlined user experience.
Refreshed interfaces for both Calendar and Gmail are also a welcome addition to their service offering. If you can’t see them yet, log in and there should be a small link at the bottom of the page if you want the new designs now!
Internet Explorer used by less than 50% of surfers!
It appears that browser preferences are continuing to change. Less than 50% of web usage now occurs in Internet Explorer.
As you may recall from reading other beautiful bytes, we aren’t particularly fond of Internet Explorer because of the compatibility issues faced when producing work for the web; however, this new benchmark hopefully means a step towards more consistent development standards.
What we still don’t understand though, it that there is still almost 50% of people still using IE. What gives?
Mobile internet browsing however is dominated by Safari, which accounts for around 62% of traffic.
On your to-do list: Increase post interactions on Facebook. Ticker.
New research carried out by AdAge has found that brands are achieving higher levels of engagement thanks to the new Facebook News Ticker. According to AdAge, brands are seeing 152% more traffic; although we’re not sure as to where this traffic is referring.
Supporting research by PageLever has also found that while page views saw a small drop (0.4%), unique visitors rose by 24%, meaning content is reaching newer audiences at no extra cost.
Facebook Timeline and Brand Page designs
Hopefully, we aren’t the only ones thinking about how to make our Facebook page beautiful when the new brand pages are available. So, if you want to be ahead of the curve and have your organisation showing its true colors, you may want to have a look at these designs for inspiration.
Since details of what the new brand pages will be like are sketchy at best (nothing has been confirmed by Facebook yet), Mashable shared a few designs on what the new pages could look like.
If the overhaul of brand pages is half as cool as these, we’re in for a whole world of opportunity on earth’s favorite social network.
Zombies eat brains and…raise money for charity?
Somehow, in the last couple of years, zombies have become fashionable. Large numbers of people are finding joy in dressing up as zombies, and walking through towns en masse. The latest trend though is to do all this to raise money for charity.
The popularity of this phenomenon seems to be, erm, infectious. More and more people are taking part each year in these fundraising walks and raising more and more money for charity.
So, the big question is, will your next event die on its feet, or be living dead on its feet?!
Comedy 4 Charity
While reading Mashable’s recent post about the seven deadly sins of social good and not finding anything particularly groundbreaking, I did enjoy this video.
We’re working on a couple of exciting projects at the moment with charities who take a similar stance in their messaging, and we’re having a lot of fun working on them. What’s great about this type of campaign is that it gives people a reason to watch or engage with it, and an online environment is the perfect place to test what drives the greatest response. Come and talk to us if you’re interested!