Here are some cool things we read about this past week
Instagram Adds Photo Maps to Help Users Explore New Cities
Photo Maps, a new feature for Instagram 3.0, provides users with a different way to browse photos in the app. Geotagged photos can be placed on a map that appears on users’ profiles, allowing friends to learn about new areas. Photo Map lets you showcase where you’ve taken your photos, or explore where others have taken photos on a map. Users will be able to select which photos they choose to add to the Photo Map by viewing photos they’ve geo-tagged in the past. Users can then edit out the photos they don’t want to include on their map. Check out the video walk-through here.
Now You Can Tag Facebook Friends From Other Apps
This week, Facebook added the ability for people to mention friends on the service via Open Graph apps. When people mention a friend in an Open Graph app, the story on Facebook links the person’s name to their timeline, and their friend will receive a notification. The story will be added to the friend’s timeline, or if enabled, to timeline review. This new feature, called Mention Tagging, is designed to be used when someone wants to reference a person in a particular post. For instance – tag friends in a photo or suggest that a friend check out a restaurant where you’re eating dinner.
YouTube Launches New Elections Hub
This week, YouTube launched an Elections Hub to provide extensive online campaign coverage. The new channel will feature political reporting and analysis from sources including ABC News, Al Jazeera English, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Univision, along with popular online sources Philip DeFranco and BuzzFeed. The hub will offer live coverage of the Republic and Democratic national conventions, and for the first time, provide live streaming of the presidential and vice presidential debates. Viewers will be able to select the coverage they want to follow from a menu of options. Once they’ve made a choice, they will be able to watch live and on-demand campaign coverage. Though most Americans get their campaign news from cable TV outlets, the number of people going online to keep abreast of political news has nearly tripled since 2000.
Facebook Rolls Out Studio Edge for Agencies
Last year, Facebook launched Facebook Studio as a platform for agencies to showcase their social campaigns and interact with one another. The social network has recently finalized the site’s educational aspects with the launch of Facebook Studio Edge, a platform that features courses in three Facebook marketing categories – Pages, Ads and Technology. Agency employees can take these courses to educate themselves about things like Page Insights or the company’s platform policy. Facebook plan to add one to two courses per month. Each course takes about 15 minutes to complete and agency employees can earn badges for completing courses.
Google+ Widens Rollout of Custom URLs
Google+ started rolling out the custom URLs it first announced earlier this month to select users and brands – but the company says it may start charging for shortened addresses in the future. Instead of profiles being identified with a randomly assigned number, the new wave of custom URL receivers are able to switch their profiles over to a simple, easy to find and easy to remember URL. The Google+ team began notifying users this week of the option to claim a pre-approved custom URL or apply for a different one. A look at the service’s updated Policies & Principles page, however, shows that Google+ users may eventually have to pay for their convenient, easy-to-use custom URL.
Facebook Officially Launches Sponsored Results Search Ads
Facebook has launched the Sponsored Results search typeahead ad unit this week. It lets marketers target users searching for specific apps, Pages and Places and insert a link into the typeahead results that points to their own app, Page, custom Page tab or post. Businesses cannot direct users off site through the ads yet, though they can appear above the top organic result, making them more powerful for diverting traffic from competitors. The ads will appear in a separate, black-bordered section in the typeahead results, making it clear that they are paid. Users also have the option to hide the ad by clicking a small ‘x’ in the corner, which pops up a question about whether you hid it because it was uninteresting, misleading, offensive, or repetitive.
Emerging Markets Lead World in Social Networking Growth
eMarketer estimates that the number of social network users around the world will rise this year from 1.18 billion to 1.4 billion. The fastest growth will come from the emerging markets of the world, especially the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Latin America will also grow its user base by 18.5%, slightly below the worldwide average. Growth in Facebook users will follow a similar pattern. eMarketer forecasts that Facebook will have nearly 826 million users around the world this year, up from 605 million in 2011. Penetration among internet users will remain the highest in North America, followed closely by the Middle East , Africa and Latin America. Facebook user growth will come the fastest from Asia-Pacific, where adoption rates in India, Indonesia and Japan far exceed the worldwide average growth. The Middle East, Africa and Latin America will also post higher-than-average growth rates.