Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Google Spices Up Search Data with Nutritional Data
Google announced that users can type to ask the search engine questions about calories, carbohydrates and other information. This means you can now ask how many grams of fat is in a banana or how many calories are in an egg, and the results show on a panel above linked results, similar to how Google’s calculator search works. The feature is live now.
FourSquare Testing Paid Promotions With NYC Small Businesses
Foursquare has started allowing a handful of local NYC merchants to promote their store listing within the service, meaning they will be able to target Foursquare users within the vicinity. Until recently, promoted listings were limited to large national merchants.
Twitter Releases Vine for Android
Twitter has released Vine for Android, bringing the 6-second video sharing service to Google’s mobile OS for the first time. The Vine app is available for Android smartphones now and is a free download for anyone running Android 4.0 or higher. The Vine app for Android arrives five months after it arrived on iPhone. It has managed to amass an impressive 13 million users on iOS alone.
Amazon Launches Online Grocery Delivery
Amazon has been quietly testing their online grocery business for years, and now it seems that they are ready to start rolling out the service in cities outside of their home territory. Initial plans are to offer grocery delivery in Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco later this year. Depending on the success of the program, Amazon may expand to other urban areas in 2014 – some of which may be international.
Facebook Drops ‘Sponsored Stories’ As it Pares Down Ad Formats
Facebook announced today that it’s reducing the number of available ad products from 27 to less than half that amount over the next six months. One thing that’s on the chopping block is “sponsored stories,” as a standalone product. The feature will be integrated into other ad offerings, it is not disappearing entirely.
Twitter Strikes Another Big Ad-World Deal With WPP
WPP Group has signed a global strategic partnership with Twitter meant to let WPP take advantage of Twitter data to inform more effective campaigns and enhance ad targeting. The company’s plan is to introduce new data products and services and to integrate Twitter data into WPP media and analytics platforms.
Google Adds Social Features to DoubleClick
Google has finally added new social capabilities to its DoubleClick online display advertising system, even as it faces new questions from the Federal Trade Commission over its growing dominance of the $36B U.S. digital ad market. Google is incorporating social features made possible by the acquisition of Wildfire. The new social marketing suite will allow advertisers to plug into the new version of DoubleClick to track the performance of non-paid social media campaigns such as polls and promotions along side display and search campaigns.
Turkish Twitter Users Arrested
This week, several dozen Turkish Twitter users were arrested for allegedly spreading misinformation and making “libelous” comments on the microblog, as well as “inciting rebellion,” which may or may not refer to simply using Twitter to organize protests against the government. Up to 25 Twitter users have been detained by police, and 13 more are being sought.
Russia Today Hits One Billion Views on YouTube
Russia Today (RT) celebrated reaching one billion views on YouTube this week. The government funded broadcaster, which describes itself as an “autonomous non-profit organization,” launched a YouTube channel in 2007, as since then has delivered a range of video content including documentaries and interview-style programs. Russia Today has an engaged audience on YouTube. Compared to a traditional broadcast audience, the audience accessing video on YouTube is younger and more technologically progressive. Because of this reason, RT is much more interactive. Every video posted is meant to provoke a response.
Electric Car Powered by Social Media Rolls Across USA
An electric car fueled by social interaction completed a 1,000 mile journey from Kansas City, MO to Washington, DC yesterday. A group of 17 high schoolers and eight mentors left KC on May 31 in a restored 1967 Karmann Ghia to travel across the country. They were members of Minddrive, an educational non-profit program that uses hands-on projects to teach at-risk kids about math and science. The social good endeavor, dubbed the “social fuel tour,” was about social media and awareness. The car, rebuilt with an Arduino device that monitored social media activity, triggered the vehicle’s motor based on the number of tweets and posts about the project.