Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
YouTube Testing a Moodwall to Help Users Find Videos
YouTube is reportedly testing a new content discovery feature dubbed Moodwall. The new tool enables users to select videos based on their mood. Moodwall features a series of video thumbnails categorized by moods including ‘funny,’ ‘cool,’ and ‘adorable.’ Clicking on one of these categories will direct users to an endless stream of videos that match the particular feeling users are trying to discover. It is currently available for only a few users, and there is no word on when YouTube plans to roll it out wide.
You Can Now Bing Search Your Friends’ Facebook Photos
Bing’s social search integration with Facebook just got deeper. You can now search your Facebook photos and those of your friends after authorizing the Bing App. When you use the search engine to search photos, you will see the results arranged in a Pinterest-style waterfall layout. The new Bing search feature also introduces something you can’t even do on Facebook itself – search for specific keywords in photo captions or album titles. For example, if you search for “Italy” on Facebook, there is no way to find friend photos with related captions. Search Bing and see all the captions of photos of friends in Italy.
Facebook and CNN Launch Hub for Election Insights
CNN and Facebook have teamed up to launch a new tool that tracks buzz on Facebook leading up to the November 2012 presidential election. The tool, which lives at CNN.com/FBInsights, displays a slick layout of maps, charts and other visualizations to show how many people are talking about President Obama and Vice President Biden, as well as Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. You can sort the analysis by state, gender, region and time period. The data hub uses Facebook’s Page Insights tool and its “People Talking About This” measurement combined with mentions across the social network to measure how much buzz candidates are generated on a given day.
Twitter Enhances Ad Targeting Capabilities
Twitter is looking to harvest the content of tweets by giving advertisers the capability to target people based on what they’re saying and whom they follow. Its new product, which was beta-tested by brands including Walgreens, launched this week and consists of about 350 specific interests in 25 broad categories. Those categories are populated with users based on the content of their tweets (but only retweets or mentions that Twitter classifies as “engagement”), whom they follow, and Twitter’s own algorithms that can make educated guesses about user interests. Keyword targeting had previously been available for promoted accounts and for promoted tweets in search, but not for promoted tweets in user timelines, which is Twitter’s core ad product. Those could only be targeted to a brand’s followers and users that Twitter deemed similar to them.
Facebook Rolls Out Email, Phone Number Ad Targeting
Facebook has confirmed that next week it will roll out ad targeting that uses email addresses, phone numbers and game and app developer user IDs to larger advertisers, who will work directly with a Facebook sales rep. The company says it will protect consumer information through a process it calls “hashing,” which allows user data to be matched without allowing Facebook users data to be intelligible to advertisers, or advertiser data intelligible to Facebook. Marketers have long grumbled about the fact that they have no way of bringing their customer data inside Facebook’s walled garden, but new ad targeting gives them the ability to market to Facebook users who have already purchased products from them. For example, a game developer like Zynga could hypothetically take its collection of user IDs and market to players of its past games when rolling out a new game. Or a retailer could take its collection of emails to target ads about an upcoming sale to Facebook users who are established customers.
MTV Honors Viral Videos With New VMAs Category
Video parodies, lip-dubs, remixes and covers transformed catchy pop songs into the Internet’s most discussed viral sensations this year. To pay homage to this viral culture, MTV launched a Most-Share Worthy Video category for the September 6 Video Music Awards. From now until showtime, people can vote in the category using Twitter hashtags and see what’s winning in real time. Vying for the crown are Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Beyonce’s “Countdown,” Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”
Zappos Suggests Purchases Based on Pinterest Posts
Zappos has created a service that recommends purchases based on what users post on Pinterest. The new page, called PinPointing, suggests Zappos products including shoes, dresses, and swimsuits, based on Pinterest posts. Zappos got approval from Pinterest to launch the site, but the companies have not officially teamed up. Yet, despite the buzz around Pinterest, preliminary results of Zappos’ new product have been mixed. The director of Zappos Labs has noted that Pinterest users are far more likely to share a purchase than Twitter or Facebook users – but that shared items generate far less revenue than Twitter or Facebook.
Campbell Cans Solute Andy Warhol
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s iconic works “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans,” Campbell Soup is releasing four limited-edition cans of its condensed tomato soup with labels featuring vibrant, Warhol-like color combinations. The cans, produced under license from The Andy Warhol Foundation, will be available at most U.S. Target locations for $0.75 starting September 2. Campbell’s is also offering a “15 minutes of fame” app Art of Soup, which enables users to turn their photos into Warhol-inspired “works of art” that can be shared with their friends. Some fan photos will be featured on the Campbell’s Facebook page.
Google+ is Growing in Brazil
New data from Experian shows some recent impressive growth for Google+ in Brazil. According to the study, Google+ saw a 5750% increase in market share of visits to all sites between July 2011 and July 2012. In the UK, Google+ saw a 476% increase.
Japan May Use Twitter for Emergency Calls
Last year’s devastating 8.9 earthquake and tsunami overtook Japan, toppling buildings, causing widespread power outages and clogging up phone lines. As victims struggled to communicate, they turned to Twitter, the last reliable method of communication they had. Now, Japan is considering standardizing Twitter’s user for emergency communications. During a government panel in Tokyo this week, Twitter Japan head James Kondo tweeted that he hoped users would soon be able to place emergency calls using the network. If the Japanese government makes it possible for citizens to reach 119 (Japanese equivalent to 911) through Twitter, victims won’t need to rely on other users to pass along their tweets to the right person. They’ll be able to get help, even without access to power or telephone service.