Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Facebook Nixes Sponsored Results
In an effort to further streamline its advertising offerings, Facebook is planning to phase out Sponsored Results – the ads it had served up for searches. The company plans to stop offering the unit to advertisers in July. Later that month, users will stop seeing them.
Twitter Launches #FollowMe Video Service
This week, Twitter launched a new tool that allows users to instantly create sharable movies depicting their social footprint – top tweets, photos and followers. The videos will include a large section of licensed soundtracks from a catalogue of over one million songs, thanks to a partnership with Rumblefish. Twitter is dubbing the venture #FollowMe.
Facebook Adds Hashtags
Borrowing Twitter’s signature feature, Facebook this week announced adding support for hashtags on the social network. The long-rumored move allows Facebook users to add a hashtag to their status updates or comments to connect to conversations around the same topic. When you click a hashtag on Facebook, you will see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic. Marketers can also use hashtags to amplify existing campaigns including advertisements.
From Japan, The Biggest Social Network You Never Heard Of
Nine months ago, Twitter was all the rage in Japan (topping 20 million users). But now, there’s a new platform in town – Line. The mobile social network was launched in 2011 after the Tohoku earthquake. The name refers to the lines that formed outside of public phones after the disaster. The app, which provides free IM and calling via smartphones, tablets and desktops, is the world’s fastest growing social network, reaching 50 million followers in just 399 days. In January 2013, Line had 40 million Japanese followers, and 60% of Japanese women in their 20′s and 30′s use the platform every day. Brands have a presence on the social network – but they must pay. There is a fixed-rate card and the number of messages they are allowed to send is strictly controlled. A four-week campaign with five messages will cost 8 million yen ($81k), while a 12-week campaign with 15 messages (max two per week) will set you back 15 million yen ($151k).
Pinterest Launches Localized Version for France
Pinterest is picking up more global momentum. This week, it announced the launch of a new website in French, with users in France getting pushed more localized content and more French site links in both their search and category feeds. The French version is being launched on the web, iOS and Android. The news follows the launch of Pinterest UK in May.
Kellogg Gives Free Cereal For Instagram Photos
Kellogg’s is once again experimenting with social currency – this time using Instagram. You may recall that the brand launched Tweet Shop last year in London to promote Special K Cracker Crisps by giving them away in exchange for tweets. This time, the Special K store in Stockholm is offering a free box of new cereal to anyone who takes an Instagram photo and tags it with #nyaspecialk (which translates to “New Special K”). Customers simply snap a photo, tag it, post it, and then show the cashier. The company chose Instagram because it is more popular in Sweden than Twitter.