Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Facebook Expands Ad Targeting Based on Purchases
Facebook has launched a new ad program called Partner Categories. The offering is a new way to target ads to more categories of people. Partner Categories builds on Custom Audiences, a program it launched in September and then augmented in February using third-party shopping data. That February expansion let advertisers target by broad categories, including people who are in the market for a car. Now, advertisers can target 500 specific segments, including “Dairy and Egg Buyers,” and customers looking for a full sized sedan rather than just any car. The system does not identify users by name to Facebook and Facebook does not identify users by name to advertisers.
With Pulse, LinkedIn is Becoming the Newspaper of the Future
LinkedIn is sending a clear message with its acquisition of news-reader Pulse (purchased for $90mm): it’s a media company. Pulse makes an app that allows readers to browse articles from a variety of sources, including social networks. LinkedIn wants to broaden how users think of it beyond job-hunting. Already, LinkedIn publishes articles by high-profile business figures like Richard Branson and Michael Lazerow. “We believe LinkedIn can be a definitive publishing platform,” LinkedIn Product Chief Deep Nishar wrote in a company blog post.
Twitter’s Music App Set to Launch Soon
Twitter Music will reportedly launch as soon as this weekend. Twitter’s standalone music app will suggest tracks based on data gleaned from users’ accounts, including accounts that they follow. The app will allow users to listen to music using third party services like iTunes and Soundcloud.
Adults in the UK Spend More Online and Own the Most Devices Out of Any EU5 Country
Adults living in the UK are some of the most connected citizens in Europe and own more devices than any other European Union Five country, according to Forrester. 83% of Brits aged 18 and above access at the Internet at least once a month, the highest online penetration in the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK). The study also found that UK adults were most likely to own a laptop, a smartphone or tablet, leading to higher engagement with online retailers.
China’s New Social Media Fad: Dogs Wearing Pantyhose
Gou gou chuan siwa, or “Dogs wearing pantyhose,” is a controversial practices that is catching on within China’s social networking sites. After a few memes of the dogs appeared in China earlier this month, more and more users decided to try what some call ‘pet shaming.’ The trend is said to have originated with a single image posted to Weibo (China’s Twitter) on April 2.
Ben & Jerry’s Celebrates Local Heroes With Free Ice-Cream
Every year, Ben & Jerry’s celebrate the opening of their first business by giving away free ice-cream for the whole day on April 9. To celebrate this year in the Netherlands, Ben & Jerry’s asked people to vote for their local heroes through a Facebook app. In return, everyone in the community has the potential to receive sweet treats on Free Cone Day. The campaign asks fans the question: “Who deserves a free cone day?” Users answered on Facebook and pinpointed their local heroes on a map. These virtual pins turned into “potential free cone day locations and reminders for people to vote for their local hero.” In each of the 12 regions in The Netherlands, three local heroes were chosen based on their initiatives and votes. One hero included a woman who wakes up every three hours to feed neglected dumped kittens and has been doing so for the last 30 years.
Hunky Plumbers Are Coming to Snake Your Drain In The Liquid Plumr “House Call Sweepstakes”
After the success of last year’s Double Impact commercial, featuring two hunky beefcakes who arrive at a woman’s door to fix a clog, the Clorox brand is launching an actual “House Call Sweepstakes.” Now you can win a visit from a similarly endowed beefcakes along with real plumbing and fix-it professional to give your bathroom the business. Winners will be selected each week through May 20 and will receive $1000 in addition to a visit from some sexy guests. You can enter on the Clorox Facebook Page here.