Headlines & Stuff June 27, 2014

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook’s News Feed Ranking Algorithm Now Considers How Long You Watch
Videos Facebook announced changes to the video ranking algorithm for News Feed. From now on, the company will include whether video clips uploaded to personal accounts and Pages are watched and how long they’re watched when it calculates whether to show the content to others. As a result, users that tend to watch more frequently will have more videos surfaced in their feed. If you regularly skip over video uploads, you’ll start seeing them less. Other factors that Facebook looks at when ranking video posts include comments, likes and shares. Links to third-party video sites won’t be affected by the change.

iBeacons Usher In The Contextual Shopping Era
According to a study by inMarket, the use of beacons (Apple brands these as iBeacons, and has already shipped millions of capable devices) in retail stores caused a 19x increase in interactions with advertised products, a 16.5x increase in app usage in-store and a 6.4x increase in the likelihood that a shopper kept an app that sent them a beacon message on their phones. Beacons installed inside retail stores like Saks or grocery outlets can send proximity-based alerts to shoppers at the precise moment – and location – that they’re enabled to make a decision on a purchase. This is the holy grail of retail advertising, which normally takes a scattershot approach to “pre-advertising” shoppers or tries to guesstimate when they’re in the vicinity of a product. When a beacon knows you’re within a couple of feet of a Zatarain’s rice mix and sends you a coupon, that can be much more effective than trying to mail you a coupon a month earlier in the off chance that you might be in the mood for creole. These initial inMarket statistics are enormously promising for retailers anyway.

Teens’ Favorite Social Network: Texting
Texting is far and away the most popular form of social media among teenagers, according to a survey of 7,000 graduating high school seniors conducted by Niche. Overall 87% of high school seniors said they texted every day, Niche found, considerably ahead of Facebook, with 61% of respondents reporting daily use of the latter. YouTube took third place, with 55% of respondents reporting daily usage, followed by Instagram at 51%, Snapchat at 46%, Pandora at 37%, and Twitter, at 35%. Regular old phone calls (remember those?) were in eighth place at 34%. Google+ was quite a bit further down the totem pole, with 23% reporting daily usage, followed by Pinterest and Vine at 16%, and Tumblr at 15%. Just 1% of teens said they use LinkedIn every day (and 92% don’t use LinkedIn at all).

Global Social Media

Most Pinned Places On Earth
Pinterest shared with Mashable the top most-pinned places on Earth. And while some are instantly recognizable (hello, Big Ben!), others, like Canada’s Abraham Lake, are lesser known. Destinations that broke the top 30 based on more than 750mm place pins include: Paris, Eiffel Tower, London, NYC, Abraham Lake, The Blue Lagoon, Amsterdam, Central Park, Taormina, Venice, Glacier National Park, Rome, The Crags, the Caves Resort, Barcelona, Ennis Bluebonnet Festival, Brooklyn Bridge, The Louvre, Prague, Viewpoint Ingang Jachthaven Reitdiep Groningen, Bagan, Big Ben, Budapest, Westminster Abbey, Portknockie, Instanbul, Santorini, Florence, Yosemite, and Masjid Putra.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Lincoln Lets People Test Drive Their New Model In A High Speed Pursuit
In order to drive interest leading up to a Summer 2014 launch, and to highlight some of the impressive features, both technological and aesthetic, which put the 2015 Lincoln MKC miles ahead of competitors in the Small Premium Utility class, the Lincoln Motor Company wanted to try something new. The result is an immersive virtual test-drive called the Lincoln Dream Ride. Instead of passively watching a commercial, potential car buyers are invited to ride along in an engaging narrative right alongside celebrity driver Sam Page. Thanks to 360 degree cameras one can look around at the vehicle’s interior craftsmanship; the DeepSoft Bridge of Weir leather, French-stitched upholstery, and fine Wolsdorf leather-wrapped steering wheel. Turn to look out the windows at the surrounding world moving past, or see the sky through the Panoramic Vista roof.

General Mills, Whole Foods Generate Buzz For Bees
Count Whole Foods and General Mills’ Cascadian Farms as the latest champions of the challenged honeybees. To raise awareness, Whole Foods stores are busy talking up the powers of pollinator with “Human Bee-In” events and “Give Bees A Chance” promotions. And General Mills, which launched Buzz Crunch Honey Almond cereal exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide back in April, says it is now donating $1 for every box sold, up to $100,000 to the The Xerces Society, an Oregon-based nonprofit and leader in pollinator conservation. Whole Foods and Xerces say they will continue to share the buzz through July 1, raising awareness of the role bees play in food supply through a social media campaign.