Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Facebook Debuts Reusable Gift Card
This week, Facebook introduced a reusable gift card that people can give to friends through the Gifts program for use at four partner companies: Target, Jamba Juice, Olive Garden and Sephora. After receiving a Facebook Card in the mail, subsequent card gifts will be automatically added to the balance for one or more of the participating stores. People can see gift balances in their account settings on Facebook in mobile or on the desktop.
Twitter Rolls Out Updates for Viewing Photos and Videos
Twitter announced several enhancements to the platform to make it easier to view photos and videos. Users can now click a photo from a profile page or in search results to see a larger photo without leaving the page. Media galleries now include videos from Vine, YouTube, Vimeo and other Twitter partners. Also, Tweet pages now let you see more of the conversation related to a Tweet.
Pinterest Introduces ‘News’ Feature to Improve Content Discovery
In place of Pinterest’s activity feed, the company has installed a new tool called “News.” The feed displays boards where you recent pins have been repined, creating a feed of potentially relevant content that users can peruse from their own profiles or those of others. Pinterest is also testing out a new look, aiming to make navigation more intuitive. More on this here.
Foursquare Launches Dedicated iPhone App for Businesses
Foursquare has just launched Foursquare for Business, an app specifically designed for business managers. The new app allows managers to post local updates, view recent visitors and their tips, deactivate/activate specials and track analytics.
YouTube Set To Introduce Paid Subscriptions This Spring
YouTube is prepping to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels on its video platform in its latest attempt to lure content producers, eyeballs and advertiser dollars away from TV. YouTube has reached out to a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access. The first paid channels will cost between $1 and $5 per month. YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
French Twitter Users are Saying “Au Revoir” to the Word ‘Hashtag’
In an effort to protect the French language from Anglicism’s, the word ‘hashtag’ will be replaced with ‘mot-diese,’ meaning “sharp word,” in English. The change comes from a French government agency responsible for promoting the French language.
Twitter is Now the Fastest-Growing Social Platform on the Planet
New research suggests that Twitter is now the fastest growing platform on the planet, beating Facebook and Google+ for the top spot. The number of active users on the microblog grew 40% from the second quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012 – equal to 288 million monthly active users. Overall, 21% of the worldwide Internet population now actively uses Twitter on a monthly basis.
Super Bowl Ads That Enlist Viewer Help
Advertisers are finding new ways to get viewers into the game during Super Bowl XLVII, which airs on CBS on Sunday. Some campaigns that enlist viewer help include: Coca-Cola’s ‘The Chase’ (highlighted in last week’s Headlines) asks viewers to vote on the commercial outcome; Pepsi’s Halftime Show (also highlighted in a previous Headlines) asks viewers to upload photos to be featured in a video announcing Beyonce; Toyota asked users to submit photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #wishgranted to win a spot on their upcoming Super Bowl ad; Lincoln enlisted the help of Jimmy Fallon to crowdsource road trip stores from Twitter for the commercial storyline; and Audi let users choose one of three possible endings for its Game Day spot through an online vote.