Headlines & Stuff July 2, 2012

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week

Google+ History API Will Bring In Past Updates From Around the Web
Google+ History is a new API that lets users add past statuses, updates, purchase, pictures and more to their Google+ timeline from a variety of social and mobile services. These objects are displayed in tiles called “moments.” With History API-enabled apps, a user will be able to browse through their Google+ linked accounts (i.e. Foursquare and Twitter) and pick and choose from past events, images, updates, check-ins, etc., pulling those items into your Google+ profile.

Google+ Launches Events
Google announced another new feature for Google+ – called “Events.” Google+ Events is fully integrated into Google calendars. When you set up an event, you can choose a theme, called cinegraphs that was custom built by Google. There are subtle animations in them that carry over to the invitation in your Calendar. During the event, the feature switches to “Party Mode,” which takes all the photos and videos that you shot during the time period of the event and uploads them to your event page.  During the event itself, you could toss the event page on to a big screen TV using its “slideshow” feature for photos. Imagine having all of the people at your wedding reception taking photos that are automatically shared on a big screen at the event.

YouTube Launches Marketplace to Connect YouTube Stars to Brands
This week, YouTube announced Video Creation Marketplace, a platform that will connect content creators on YouTube with marketers or agencies looking for viral buzz. The idea is to create a more formal revenue stream for the long tail of YouTube creators. The platform will allow partners to set up profiles indicating what they do, their past successes and the demographics or types of brands they want to work with. Agencies will be able to search by parameters, such as content type, target demo and keywords, to find the right YouTube star for their campaign.

Instagram Updates Page Design
Instagram has quietly updated its Web presence to allow for comments and likes, which the company calls “the new Photo Page.” It’s a clear sign that Instagram is expanding beyond the phone and onto the Web. Note that this update does not unify all of your Instagram photos together. There is no discovery or profile element yet. Check out an example here.

Facebook Testing a “Want” Button
Facebook may be testing a “Want” button that would allow you to add products to a virtual wish list. Facebook has not confirmed or commented on the Want app, which was discovered by a web developer in Facebook’s list of social plug-ins. If it does launch, a Want app would allow Facebook to collect a lot of information about member interests. The move would also allow merchants greater integration with Facebook without having to build their own apps or platforms.

Path Adds Seven New Languages
Back in April, Path adopted a Twitter-like approach to globalizing its service when it announced plans to crowdsource the translation of the private social network into 20 new languages. Now, two months later, it has added support for seven additional new languages from across the world, broadening its appeal to new users. The service is now available in Dutch, Norwegian, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Bahasa, Indonesian, Malay and UK English.

New York Times China’s Weibo Account Gets Suspended
This week, the New York Times announced a significant move when it announced plans to introduce a fully Chinese version of the newspaper’s website, with an accompanying account on Sina Weibo.  The website was live for just two hours when the Sina Weibo account was suspended. It was restored several hours later, but it remains unclear why the account was suspended. It is most likely because the recent content of the feed was found to be “too risky” for Sina, leaving it to get “benched” temporarily. Sina Weibo has 300 million registered users.

Nissan Looks to Facebook to Launch Five New Models
Nissan’s self-proclaimed “Most Innovative Year Ever,” began last week with the first of five vehicle launches in the next 15 months, all of them with a heavy emphasis on social media. Nissan has in depth social media plans for all five launches – including an “Innovation Garage,” an interactive space on the Altima Facebook page where consumers can offer their own car ideas for possible development; a contest asking entrants for a 100 word essay on why they should be one of five to be chosen to test drive the new Altima at the automaker’s Arizona headquarters (five people were chosen and their videos and photos will be featured across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube); a partnership with a “well-known comedy troupe” who will drive the new Pathfinder and share their experiences via social media; and a heavy emphasis on Facebook advertising (Nissan has added 700k “likes” since 2011 and is poised to go over 1 million by July for less than a $500k budget). Nissan was recently found to have the highest consumer engagement rating of any automotive company.

Shazam’s App to Expand Olympic TV Spots Into Social Media
Discovery media company Shazam will provide NBC Olympics with a social TV experience during the 2012 Olympics. On NBCUniversal properties – NBC, NBC Sports, MSNBC, Bravo and CNBC – U.S. viewers can use the Shazam app on their mobile device to view polls and share on Twitter and Facebook, unlock unique content about athletes, and gain up-to-the-minute information on results and medal counts.