Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
LinkedIn Launches Video Ads
LinkedIn this week announced the rollout of video ads through its self-serve platform – LinkedIn Ads – which will appear in standard 300×250 ad units across the site. After the 30-second video completes, users will be able to click through to the advertisers landing page or visit their website, just like with current ads.
Gender Targeting For Twitter Promoted Products Now Available
Starting today, gender targeting on Twitter will be available for its Promoted Products platform. Similar to the interest targeting, Twitter will understand gender by taking public signals users offer on Twitter, such as profile names or the accounts he or she follows. Because many Twitter users don’t specify their gender, Twitter must make a series of assumptions when targeting. According to the company, their tests have been 90% accurate across a global audience.
Twitter Testing “Like” and “Star” Instead of “Favorite”
Some users are seeing the term ‘Like’ or ‘Star’ appear on Twitter.com in place of the traditional ‘Favorite.’ The new terminology appears to be showing up for certain users on the service, but not all. Favorites have been a part of Twitter from very early on in the site’s history and the option has been used by tweeters over one billion times. It is unclear how Facebook will feel about the use of ‘like’ if and when Twitter decides to change the current terminology.
Facebook “Collections” Testing Now Complete And Temporarily Unavailable
Facebook’s new “Collections Feature” recently disappeared, causing some speculation that the company had abandoned the initiative. However, Facebook claims that the test has simply been completed and the new product is now being built out, presumably for an official fall launch.
Pinterest Adds Website Verification To Profile Pages
Pinterest is rolling out website verification for profile pages – making it easier for users to find out more about who they are following. It also enables users to highlight their own website on their profile. The company said it would be adding this feature to pages across the site starting this week. To verify a website, visit the Settings page and click “Verify Website.” When your company is verified, people will see a checkmark next to it. They will also see the full website URL. However, Pinterest said it is only supporting top level domains right now – including .com, .biz, and .info.
Global Social Media
Asia Is Way Ahead Of The U.S. and Europe in Social Media Usage
Asian markets top a new global social engagement league table that measures how often and how much consumers use social media platforms. The Social Engagement Benchmark from GlobalWebIndex reveals that consumers in fast-growing economies are more likely to use a social network, upload a photo or video, or review a product, than consumers in more mature countries. The most socially engaged group were high income earners in China (top 25%) while the least active were 55-64 year olds in Japan. China leads with Indonesia and India next. Lagging behind Asian social powerhouses are countries including the U.S., Japan, Sweden, France and the UK – which are traditionally viewed as mature and technologically advanced. In the country list – the UK came in 27th.
Icelanders Approve Their Crowdsourced Constitution
Iceland’s citizens were given a chance to help forge a new constitution for their country through Facebook and Twitter. Some useful background: Iceland’s banking system collapsed at the start of the financial crisis, taking the country’s government with it. The new leadership decided to go the open route, primarily because secretive dealings were largely to blame for the banking fiasco. There were two technologically interesting spinoffs that resulted. One was the creation of the Modern Media Initiative, a Wikileaks inspired free speech drive. The idea here is to turn Iceland into a haven for free speech by inviting media from around the world to host their sites in Iceland’s green data centers and enjoy the country’s strong new protections from whistleblowers. The other was constitutional crowdsourcing. Iceland’s old constitution was based on that of former master Denmark and was seen as out-of-date. Twenty-five citizens were brought into the Constitutional Council to help create a new one. The council took the ideas raised online by their fellow citizens and delivered a draft in July of last year. It took a while to ask the voting public at large what it thought of the result, but Iceland now has an answer to that question. According to reports, nearly half of Iceland’s eligible 235k voters took part in the referendum, and 66% of those people said they wanted the new official constitution to be based on the crowdsourced draft. The result is of course non-binding. The parliament now has to decide whether or not it’s going to turn the draft into reality.
ALDO Uses Instagram To Give Away Shoes
Shoe brand ALDO is launched an Instagram contest that gave participants the opportunity to win free shoes. The brand set up a sign with a bell on it in the middle of a sidewalk. The sign instructed people to take a picture of their shoes, upload the photo to Instagram, tag the photo #aldo with their shoe size and then ring the bell. After two minutes, a mobile shoebox came rolling down the street delivering each Instagrammer a free pair of shoes in her size. The bell was rung over 457 times and over 500 pictures were uploaded. The photos were interacted with 800,000 times.
Follow Pizza Chain Mellow Mushroom on Twitter, And It Will Follow You Back – In Real Life.
Pizza restaurant Mellow Mushroom has recently launched “Follow Me and I’ll Follow You,” a campaign that told people that in return for following the company on Twitter, it would follow you. The catch? They’d follow you in real life dressed as Mellow’s stoned-looking mushroom mascot. The brand stalked 20 Mellow Mushroom followers in a week (with help from the followers’ friends and family) and recording the whole thing with hidden cameras. Check out the short film here.