Here are some cool things we read about this past week
Facebook Testing a New Pinterest-Inspired Design For App Stories in the News Feed
Facebook appears to be testing a layout for Open Graph app stories that is similar in design to Pinterest, with boxes for individual items that allow “likes”, comments, and other app-specific actions. The change makes app stories even more prominent in the News Feed. Clicking on a photo takes users to the third-party app page or website. When a user hovers over a photo, they have the option to comment on the item, which wasn’t available in the old layout. Also on hover, users can take in-app actions without leaving Facebook. For example, in the case of the Foodspotting app, users can “want a dish” directly from the News Feed.
Timeline for Facebook Pages Rolling Out For Mobile
Facebook has started implementing its Timeline design to Pages on mobile platforms. When you view a brand page on your mobile device, you will now see the brand’s cover photo, information from the Page’s About section, and a larger “like” button. Smaller icons below the “like” button will allow you to navigate to Photos and Events for the Page, and see how many “likes” the page has.
Foursquare Adds Local Updates
Foursquare is rolling out “local updates,” a messaging service that allows businesses to tell customers about specials and new products. The tool is free and available now. Businesses can already offer deals through Foursquare, which appear in the venue information page when users check in. With the new offering, businesses can notify people more proactively about deals at favorite stores and restaurants. Foursquare users who regularly check-into a place, or “like” a venue via the app, will get updates from them automatically when they are in the same city.
Facebook Begins Testing Sponsored Results
Facebook is testing a new format of search ads called Sponsored Results, that lets advertisers show ads in the Facebook search field to users looking for a particular Page, app, or Place. This allows businesses the opportunity to divert traffic from one another. For example: a competing game company could target Zynga’s CityVille, so anyone searching for “CityVille” would see an ad leading to their game alongside the organic search result for Zynga’s game. Sponsored Results will look just like organic results, but will be marked with “Sponsored.” They will be sold on a CPC basis, can be targeted to people searching for any Page, app, Place (and possibly Event), and without that business’ permission.
Twitter Rolls Out Targeted Tweets for Ads
Twitter has rolled out an enhancement to Promoted Tweets that lets advertisers target a subset of users. Called targeted tweets, the feature lets advertisers send tweets to specific audiences. Promoted Tweets already has that feature, but the difference is now a marketer doesn’t have to first send the tweet to all of its followers. Advertisers can segment by location, devices and platforms.
YouTube Rewards Channels for Reaching Subscriber Milestones
YouTube launched a program this week to reward channels that surpass 1 million or 100,000 subscribers. Dubbed YouTube Partner Rewards, the program just honored its first batch of channels: nearly 80 channels with some 1 million subscribers each and more than 1,400 channels with at least 100,000 subscribers each. Those channels, which will receive a gold plated play button, gift cards or camera cases, have a combined 500 million subscribers and 251 billion views. YouTube says that amounts to 36 views for each person on earth.
China’s Internet Population Reaches 537 million
China is already the world’s largest Internet market, and driven by increased smartphone sales, that vast ocean of Web users has grown 11% year-over-year to reach 537 million according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The data shows a slight decrease in the rate of growth, but China added an impressive 25 million new Web users since the end of 2011 – taking Internet penetration to 39.9% China now has 388.25 million mobile Internet users. That’s 39% of its 1 billion plus phone owners. That figure means that the number of Internet users that have access to the Web on their phone has passed 70% for the first time.
YouTube Rolls Out New Monetization Initiative With Ramadan TV
YouTube has launched a new channel dedicated to Ramadan TV specials, incorporating a new ad platform, which allows premium partners to monetize their videos. Viewers across the globe will be able to see more than 40 Arabic TV shows the same day they air during the month of Ramadan, through the dedicated hub YouTube.com/Ramadan. This hub is the product of a joint venture between YouTube and Unilever, who is the main sponsor. YouTube use in Mena (Middle East/North Africa) generate 167 million video views on YouTube every day – a 112% increase since last October. Saudi Arabia has the biggest Mena audience with 90 million YouTube views per day.