Bing Spreads Facebook “Liked Results”

Posted on: February 27th, 2011 by Lina

People who use both Facebook and Bing should soon become more familiar than ever with the concept of “social search.” The integration of Facebook “Likes” into Bing’s results is continuing so that searchers can see which sites have earned their friends’ approval.

 

A post on the Bing Search Blog explained this morning, “A few months ago, we announced an exciting partnership with Facebook to make search more social. As part of that work, we introduced Liked Results, which promotes links your friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Today we are extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by our algorithmic search results to all users in the US.”

 

So here’s the bottom line: “If your friends have publicly liked or shared any of the algorithmic search results shown on Bing, we will now surface them right below the result.”

 

Of course, this development calls into question whether you trust the opinions of your friends more than those of professional reviewers, but that’s a problem for individuals, not Bing, to resolve. The initial “cool” factor of seeing that your friends liked a certain search result is considerable, regardless.

 

Indeed, it’s not hard to imagine that more people will now give Bing a try, at least when conducting certain types of searches (for restaurants or bands, maybe). Google and Yahoo don’t have anything that can really compare to the “Liked Results” feature.

 

The Bing blog post promised that additional changes are on the way, as well, so something even more interesting related to Facebook and social search may be introduced in the near-ish future.

 

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Matt Cutts Changes Advice,How Google Uses Twitter, SafeSearch

Posted on: February 27th, 2011 by Lina

Matt Cutts posted a new Webmaster Help video in which he answers his own question rather than a user-submitted one (like usual). Specifically, he asks if there’s any advice that he’d like to change from what he’s said in the past.

 

“I did a video back in May of 2010, that said we don’t use, for example, Twitter at all in our rankings other than as a normal web page, and the links are treated completely like normal web pages,” he says.

 

He then references a recent Danny Sullivan article which breaks down how both Google and Bing use Twitter. He notes that Google worked with him to ensure its accuracy. “It says that in some cases we do look at, for example, how reputable a particular person on Twitter might be, and we can use that in our rankings in some ways.”

 

And another thing that Cutts wanted to update…

 

“SafeSearch, when I wrote the very first version, years and years and years ago – whenever you’re not able to crawl something – so for example, if it’s blocked by robots.txt, since people have deliberately said, ‘I would like a safe version – a family-safe version of Google, we would say, ‘oh, if we haven’t been able to crawl it, then we don’t know whether it’s porn or not, so we’re not going to be able to return it to users,” says Cutts.

 

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Facebook Privacy Policy,”Re-imagined”

Posted on: February 27th, 2011 by Lina

Facebook announced today that it has started a new version of its privacy policy to make it easier to understand. I could’ve swore they did that before, but now they’re going even further. This one is relying on user feedback before the company even considers implementing it. Facebook says if users like it, they’ll consider making it the official policy.

 

This is an “attempt on what a privacy policy written for you could look like,” Facebok says.

 

“It’s important to note that this draft is outside of even our regular process of notice and comment,” the company said in a note. “Because we’re tackling a challenge that matters to so many people — and doing it in a way that is so different from what we’ve done before — we’re giving you a look even earlier in the process. If people like what we have, we’ll put it through our regular notice and comment process at a later date.”

 

“Finally, we’ve tried not to change the substance of the policy but, in our effort to simplify, we have added some new things that were elsewhere on the site (like our help center) and have made some other concepts clearer,” the noted added.

 

Facebook says the new policy should be easy to understand, visual and interactive, and should focus on questions people are most likely to ask.

 

The company says it plans on “more innovations” with regards to privacy in the coming months, but would not get into specifics.

 

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Is Email Really in Danger Because of Social Media?

Posted on: February 26th, 2011 by Lina

Is Email Really in Danger Because of Social Media?

 

I’m not sure which came first, the idea that social media is killing blogs or social media is killing email. Both arguments are brought up every so often, and both are equally ludicrous if you ask me. Earlier this week, we examined the former, and interestingly enough, the latter was also brought up by recent data from comScore and the Pew Internet Project.

 

Actually, it was The Discovery Channel, who looked at the data and asked, “Is email dead?”

 

Is Email dying at the hands of social networks and texting? Tell us what you think.

 

“Overall, when you look at how many teens have ever sent an e-mail, it’s most of them, so it’s still being used,” said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist with the Pew Internet Project. “It just isn’t used for communicating with people you’re primarily communicating with in your life, namely your friends, and it’s absolutely true that text messaging and messaging through social networks has supplanted e-mail messaging to friends.”

 

People might turn more and more to social networks for casual conversations, link sharing, and things like that, but call me when your banking and all your professional communicating are done through Facebook. In fact, call me when you receive notifications from all the social media sites you participate on are sent to your Facebook account (unless you count Facebook’s new email service). The jury’s still out on Facebook’s new messaging system, but let’s not forget, it launched with Facebook.com email addresses.

 

Is mobile killing email? Not so much. Recent data, also from comScore finds that mobile email usage is seeing significant growth.

 

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Fashion Brands Using Facebook To Best Effect

Posted on: February 25th, 2011 by Lina

Lots of companies have a strong presence on Facebook, with Chipotle, Ford, and NBC all making significant moves just this week. But when it comes to effective marketing in the UK, new data from Experian Hitwise indicates that fashion brands know how to use Facebook best.

 

Robin Goad, who shared that finding in a corporate blog post earlier today, arrived at it by examining which sites people search for after leaving Facebook. Then he “created an Index score which measures searches for a brand after Facebook compared to searches for a brand in All Categories.”

 

You can see the results for yourself below, and Goad explained, “An Index score of 100 would be an average, but any score over 100 indicates that a brand is getting a much higher proportion of its searches after a visit to Facebook than it does in normal search.”

 

Not familiar with those names? Jack Wills, Republic, Topman, Topshop, River Island, Asos, Miss Selfridge, and New Look all make or sell clothing. (Play.com deals in CDs, DVDs, books, and the like.)

 

Marketers should take a close look at how fashion brands build up and interact with their audiences on Facebook, then. Perhaps not every tactic will be applicable elsewhere, but it looks like everyone has plenty to learn.

 

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Social Media, More than Twitter and Facebook?

Posted on: February 25th, 2011 by Lina

The following post is based on a discussion at the Cincinnati Social Media LinkedIn Group.

 

In what seems to be a race to oversimplify EVERYTHING, we’re creating misdefinitions. In many cases there’s simply (a lot) more to the story.

 

Social media provides the latest example. Do you know anyone with “T&F Tunnel Vision?” This unfortunate condition involves the assumption that the social media landscape starts and ends with Twitter and Facebook.

 

I’ve ranted about this before — more than a few times. And I’m taking this well-worn soapbox with me down to SXSW for a panel discussion I’m on with David Binkowski and Krista Neher about influencers. Simple math shows the folly in T&F Tunnel Vision and Geoff Livingston deconstructs Twitter in a recent post.

 

Recently I was reminded about an uber-important site for any local strategy — Yelp.

 

Think Local, Act Social (with Yelp)
Alex Shebar and I connected recently so I could get up to speed on his role as Yelp’s Cincinnati community manager as well as some functionality to the site of which I was unaware. I’ve used Yelp before. But until recently I had not visited frequently/regularly.

 

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Twitter Poaches MySpace’s Director Of Business Development

Posted on: February 23rd, 2011 by Lina

Depending on your perspective, Twitter’s recruiters have either succeeded or struck again. After luring employees away from Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, they’ve now also brought Rita Garg, Director of Business Development at MySpace, onboard.

 

Garg has a rather impressive resume. For starters, she attended both Stanford (getting a BA in Economics) and the Harvard Business School (earning an MBA).

 

As for her work history, Garg spent a short time as an intern at the Walt Disney Company, a longer period at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and a few months at Dow Jones Online.

 

She was employed by Google for a short while, too, before finally winding up at MySpace and spending most of three years there.

 

All that experience should put Garg in a good position to help Twitter establish new partnerships and form stronger ties with developers (she’ll continue to deal in business development at the microblogging company).

 

A big hat tip goes to Marshall Kirkpatrick, in any event. And Kirkpatrick noted, “According to its page listing official staff members, Twitter appears to have hired at least 36 people in the last 3 weeks.”

 

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Ford….“Electrified Vehicle Facebook”

Posted on: February 23rd, 2011 by Lina

Ford said today it has launched an “Electrified Vehicle Facebook” page in an effort to educate and share information with people about its electric offerings.

 

The Electrified Vehicle Facebook page offers users links to videos and photos of Ford’s electric vehicles. Users can participate in discussions, take polls, and ask the company questions about its electric offerings.

 

“People who are passionate about electrified vehicles or just interested in learning more about the technology are using the Internet as the source to participate in discussions or gather information,” said David Finnegan, Ford electric vehicles marketing manager.

 

“Launching a Ford-specific Electrified Vehicle Facebook page allows us to create a forum for discussion and a place where we can interact with fans.”

 

Ford says it plans to launch five electric vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013.

 

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Because of Social Networks, is Blogging really in danger?

Posted on: February 23rd, 2011 by Lina

Here we go again with another one of those silly social media vs. blogs debates. The New York Times stirred the pot this time with an article called, “Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter.”

 

Can you imagine ever reading only social media updates and no blogs? Share your thoughts.

 

“Blogs were once the outlet of choice for people who wanted to express themselves online. But with the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter,” writes Verne G. Kopytoff. “They are losing their allure for many people — particularly the younger generation.”

 

This idea that blogs are dying has been around practically as long as either Facebook or Twitter, and it almost always gets dismissed as a ridiculous notion.

 

WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg took some issue with the piece: “The title was probably written by an editor, not the author, because as soon as the article gets past the two token teenagers who tumble and Facebook instead of blogging, the stats show all the major blogging services growing — even Blogger whose global ‘unique visitors rose 9 percent, to 323 million,’ meaning it grew about 6 Foursquares last year alone. (In the same timeframe WordPress.com grew about 80 million uniques according to Quantcast.)”

 

In fact, in 2010, WordPress had over 6 million new blogs created in 2010, and pageviews were up by 53%.

 

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Facebook Chat In Hotmail Goes Live

Posted on: February 22nd, 2011 by Lina

Facebook Chat In Hotmail Goes Live Worldwide

 

Five months ago, Microsoft announced that Hotmail users in Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. could begin to chat with their Facebook friends while checking their email. Now the integration of Hotmail and Facebook Chat is complete in every place where Facebook is available.

 

We’ll admit: this may not sound like a big deal insofar as it’s pretty simple to toggle between a Hotmail tab and a Facebook tab. But the development at least goes to show that relations between Microsoft and Facebook are as good as ever.

 

Also, a slight increase in usability is something, and the change could come in handy when access to Facebook is restricted (by employers, for example).

 

Finally, a post on the Inside Windows Live blog pointed out, “Since announcing the availability of Facebook chat in Messenger worldwide two weeks ago, nearly 2.5 more million people connected their Facebook accounts to Windows Live, bringing the total to over 20 million customers. And with three out of four Hotmail customers using Facebook, we expect that many more people will want to take advantage of this feature . . .”

 

So if you’re interested, the post later suggested, “[F]irst connect your Facebook account to Windows Live and make sure the ‘Chat with my Facebook friends in Messenger’ box is checked to give your consent to Facebook. We’ll link your accounts (this may take a few minutes), and you can start a chat from Hotmail just by clicking on the name of a Facebook contact. If this doesn’t work right away, sign out and back in again, and you should be good to go.”

 

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