Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Facebook Unveils News Feed Redesign
Facebook announced a redesign for its News Feed this week. The social network will begin slowly rolling out the new design to users in the “coming weeks.” The new look includes font changes and more prominent photos that span the entire feed. The new look will not impact the ways stories or ads are surfaced. Images for both ads and organic stories will be the same size.
Facebook & Drones?
Facebook is in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, which makes drones. Facebook wants to build a fleet of solar-powered, high-altitude drones, capable of staying aloft for years without having to land or be serviced, in order to bring wireless internet to under-serviced regions around the world.
Twitter Bans Sexy Vines
Vine has been overrun with bite-sized chunks of amateur and professional porn since it first came on the scene, which has prompted Twitter to update their policy to ban sexually explicit content. According to a blog post Twitter stated “for more than 99% of our users, this doesn’t really change anything. For the rest: we don’t have a problem with explicit sexual content on the Internet — we just prefer not to be the source of it.” Vine’s new policy forbids videos depicting sex acts, provocative nudity, and any art or animation that is sexually graphic.
Instagram Inks Ad Deal With Omnicom
Instagram has inked its first major ad deal with a big agency. The photo and video sharing site is rolling out a paid advertising program with a year-long commitment from Omnicom to spend up to $100 million. The arrangement means that users will start seeing ads in their streams from brands that work with Omnicom’s media and creative agencies.
Global Social Media
LinkedIn Launches Beta Version of Chinese Website
LinkedIn is pushing into China, launching a beta version of its new Simplified-Chinese website, branded to offer a more localized experience. The social network has also established a join venture with Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital to explore expanding its Chinese activities.
Oscar Mayer Creates Wake-Up App With Bacon Smell
Oscar Mayer’s latest innovation for building brand buzz is an iPhone plug-in that emits the smell of bacon, serving as an olfactory alarm clock. The scent-emitting plug-in will only be available to 4,700 winners of a contest which users can enter at WakeUpandSmelltheBacon.com. For those that don’t win, a free Wake UP & Smell The Bacon app, which wakes users with the sound of sizzling bacon, can be downloaded from iTunes.
Twitter-Powered Vending Machine Creates 3D Oreos
Two custom-made vending machines at SXSW will enable attendees to create and eat 3D-printed custom Oreos based on trending Twitter conversations. To use the machines, users browse a selection of trending flavors displayed on a large touchscreen panel on the front of the machine. They choose from among whichever of the flavors and color of the crème are trending, then watch as their cookies are built, in under two minutes.