Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Twitter New Search & Sharing Capabilities
Twitter introduced this week, the ability to email a tweet directly from Twitter.com – a feature they will be rolling out to everyone in the coming weeks. You can email a tweet to anyone, whether they use Twitter or not, right from your Twitter stream or from the details view of any tweet. Twitter also announced improved search results to highlight photos, videos, and news. Three new elements Twitter searches will find include: 1. Photos and videos will appear first. 2. Headlines and photos will appear on iPhone and Android. 3. Results will be tailored for context.
Pinterest Launches Brand Pages
Pinterest unveiled business accounts designated for marketers this week. These new business accounts – which are free of charge – aren’t brand pages in the tradition of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., since they don’t look any different from other pages. They also don’t possess any enhanced functionality, apart from making the new feature of authenticating a website a streamlined part of the sign-up process. Another easy-to-grasp difference is that business pages allow brands and merchants to simply enter the name of their business when registering instead of having to work around the first name – last name sign-up format.
Facebook Adds a News Feed Option: “Pages Only”
This week, Facebook began rolling out an update to its users that allow them view a Facebook feed in “Pages Only” mode. The new option reduces your news to updates only from the Pages you’ve Liked – good news, in short, for businesses, consumer brands, sports teams, media and politicians. As soon as you have it, you will see a “Pages feed” option on the left hand side of your homepage. ‘Pages Only’ arrives just as some companies are getting increasingly frustrated with the News Feed.
YouTube Will Pull the Plug on at Least 60 Percent of its Programming Deals
YouTube has helped fund about 160 channels as part of a new strategy to make the video sharing site more ‘TV-like.’ And just like the TV world, YouTube isn’t going to renew all of last season’s programs. This week, YouTube will start offering new contracts to some of the channel programmers/creators it signed up last year – but not all of them. YouTube will reinvest in up to 40% of its original channels when the renewal process is complete. Engagement with programming, total “watch time,” and cost will determine who makes the cut.
Facebook Tests Ranked Comments to Boost Engagement
Facebook is testing a new comment format on brand and subscriber pages by replacing the most engaging comments up higher on posts. As reported in last week’s Strat Facts, Facebook will also start allowing users to comment on other user comments. Brand Pages that are currently participating in the test (Tim Tebow & Fareed Zakaria) include ranked comments based on Likes, responses and hides. Those with the most engagement appear higher on the list.
Two-Thirds of Asia-Pacific Consumers Look for Brands on Social Media
Around 66% of social media users in Asia-Pacific turn to social media to learn more about brands, products and services. Nearly two-thirds of Asia-Pacific consumers are also actively researching the positive or negative experiences of fellow social-media users at least once a week and 58% are actively seeking deals online. Brand presence on social media also affects users at point-of-sale, as around three in five users in Asia-Pacific are using their mobile phones to interact with social media – more so than the global average of 47%. Mobile social media usage was most pronounced in Singapore and Indonesia (70% and 65%). Another important trend to note: Close to half of Asia-Pacific consumers interact with social media while watching TV, slightly more than the global average of 46%. Filipino, Hong Kong, and Indonesia residents are most likely to engage in this cross-platform behavior.
NARS Cosmetics Makes Over Facebook Profiles in Warhol Tribute
NARS Cosmetics has developed a limited edition product line inspired by Andy Warhol for the holidays. The NARS Andy Warhol Collection includes a range of cosmetic products including eyeshadow palettes with Warhol’s portrait and an essentials kit packaged in a film canister. To promote the new line, NARS created a Profile Makeover App for their Facebook Page, which allows users to ‘Warholize’ their own profiles. Users can pull images from Facebook, their desktop, or take new pictures using a webcam. They can then assemble the images and templates that combine Warhol’s artistic touch and NARS branding.
Pin and Share Wish Lists Directly From the IKEA Holiday Catalogue
After IKEA introduced an interactive catalogue earlier this year, it has now launched a digital holiday catalogue that lets you click on the product and pin or share them to Facebook. You can also change the furniture and accessories on the page, or create wish lists directly from the catalogue. The ‘Celebrate Brilliantly’ catalogue is compatible across multiple devices, allowing consumer to watch videos and click through images to find additional information and tips.
Walmart Launches Goodies Co. Social-Powered Subscription Service
The @WalmartLabs unit launched Goodies Co., a $7/month box of gourmet, organic, ethnic and specialty snacks hand-selected by its own employees. Subscribers who are active enough in rating, reviewing, posting photos and otherwise and touting the products can get Goodies boxes for free. Later this month, @WalmartLabs plans a wider rollout of last year’s experimental Shopycat gift-recommendation Facebook app, to be promoted on Walmart.com as “Walmart Gifts.” Facebook users who download the app can use it to mine data on friends’ likes and posts to generate gift recommendations from Walmart.com or elsewhere.