Luke - Digital Marketing Agency

Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages

By | Facebook, Social Media | No Comments

Adage has today reported that Facebook will begin the roll out of its new timeline page design for businesses at the first Facebook Marketing Conference on the 29th of February. Similar to the brand pages that we have recently seen appear on Twitter and Google plus this new design will provide page owners a much larger range of options in the customisation of their page.

 

The new prominence of photos is the major addition that timeline will bring. Currently when you look at a Facebook brand page, after the first few posts on a wall it starts to become a confusing mess of updates and audience interaction. This results in content or important updates potentially being missed by a brands intended audience.

 


Image Source: www.mashable.com

 

The new timeline design not only displays photos and thumbnails in a much more attractive manner, but also includes the addition of a cover photo seen as a header to the page. This new space will provide page owners even more options in regard to the messages that they wish to send to their audience and add to the branding of their page. No doubt many new features will continue to be announced for all the major social media platforms as we move through the year. These will add to the already potent potential for customer and audience interaction that we see today.

 

Google Now Paying to Look Over Your Shoulder

By | Internet News | No Comments

As one of the world’s biggest advertising company’s Goggle’s bread and butter is the collection on data about what users do when they are on the internet and how they can then use this data to help advertisers get their message to the right people. Till now the user data that Google collects (while there are numerous claims otherwise) is broad and unidentifiable stats gained from any Google product that you may use. This changed today with the announcement of Google Screenwise. Google Screenwise is a new program where in their own words Google would like you to;

 

add a browser extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them. What we learn from you, and others like you, will help us improve Google products and services and make a better online experience for everyone.

 

In exchange for this you will receive up to $25 in Amazon gift cards, $5 at sign up, and another $5 every three months for a year. In addition to this there is also a second level to this program involving a hardware instillation (see below) on your home network for which you will receive $100 at sign up, and $20 every month you stay in the program.

 

Screenwise
Image source: www.engadget.com

 

So why is Google doing this? The answer is simple really, they want user data to help improve their various products, and people are willing to submit it for the right price.

 

Like many other web and media companies, we do panel research to help better serve our users by learning more about people’s media use, on the web and elsewhere. This panel is one such small project that started near the beginning of the year. Of course, this is completely optional to join. People can choose to participate if it’s of interest (or if the gift appeals) and everyone who does participate has complete transparency and control over what Internet use is being included in the panel. People can stay on the panel as long as they’d like, or leave at any time.

 

As with most subjects of this nature, there is already a large group of people outraged at Google both at why they need this information and where it will end up. While it would be unwise to jump into this program without first looking into it, the reality of the situation is that it is completely optional and the people involved will be receiving compensation. Looking at it in the most simple way, there is very little difference between this and what Nielsen has been doing with our TV’s for years.

 

Google’s Privacy Policy Change

By | Google News | No Comments

 

The past week or so there has been a lot of angst directed toward Google following the announcement that they would be consolidating the privacy policies for over 60 different products into one global policy that would cover every interaction you have with Google on the internet. In response to this a number of companies including Microsoft and the Technology news website Gizmodo have quickly jumped on the Google bashing ship. Microsoft has published a number of newspaper adds essentially saying Google is evil, come use our products instead. Gizmodo, the eager to be controversial tech news blog that brought us the iPhone 4 leak fiasco a number of years ago also published a piece titled “Google’s Broken Promise: The End of ‘Don’t Be Evil’”.

 

Following this Google has issued a response in the form of a post on its public policy blog clearly stating what they do and do not do. Like two kids having a fight in the school yard Microsoft then replied to this blog with another that in simple English translated to “nah you’re the worst”.  To truly understand the impact of this change and ignore the sensationalist information around the internet you just need to stop and think for a second what Google is and what they are trying to do.

 

Google
Image source http://www.gizmodo.com.au/

 

On one hand (some say the evil hand) you have Google the advertising company who collects information about its users so that it can then sell ad space to other company’s on the chance that people will click or look at the given ad. No doubt the more data Google has about you the more likely that you will be shown an ad that may interest you and thus click earns Google money. On the other hand there is the Google that provides a large variety of free services some of which have indisputably changed the course of the world.

 

So what does this policy change mean to you and I? At its basic level it means that separate Google products can now look relevant advertising data collected about users from other products. For example YouTube can now display ad’s based on what types of android app’s you download. Going back to that good Google bad Google I spoke of before, this change will now doubt make it easier for Google to offer advertisers targeted ad’s that have a higher likelihood of being clicked on. On the other hand Google is providing more relevant information to its consumers (ignoring the medium). For the average person, these changes will have no impact on them at all and the reality of this situation is like for most high profile items of news, there will always be someone there to sensationalise it for their own benefit (selling apps or gaining readers).

Google Launches Schemer

By | Social Media | No Comments

In a week full of news and announcements one that has managed to slip under the radar of most people is Google’s new service called Schemer, a Web site currently in invitation only beta dedicated to getting people sharing ideas and doing things. While this may seem a bit vague dig a little deeper and you discover that what it is in fact is a public idea, goal and objective sharing service. As it is linked to your Google+ account many people have instantly jumped and made an easy comparison to Facebook events. While I understand why, I feel this is too simple of a comparison to make.

Facebook events in their simplest form give users the ability to create and invite people to an event, key details being who, what, when and where. Schemer differs significantly to this in that it only focuses on the what and then leaves the rest up to you. For example a schemer idea could be “go for a bike ride”, you could then use this scheme or idea to organise a bike ride at a given time and place with your Google+ circles. This is where most people seem to get caught in comparing it to Facebook events.

Google Schemer - Find Stuff To Do

Google Schemer Find Stuff To Do page.

Looking at it further, if I submit the scheme “clean out my inbox” you start to see the real potential of Schemer. This activity clearly doesn’t require attendees or a place and can be done at any time. This in itself is the beauty of Schemer. By submitting my scheme it will then be shared with publicly (or limited within circles) on the site as a potential idea for other people to do. When people complete the scheme they tick it off and talk about their experience in completing it and if they recommend the scheme to others.

The real opportunity here would be for businesses to get involved, submitting tasks (non-commercial) and then Google potentially evolving a complete or a new scheme into a form of virtual currency which you could then use for example to get a discount voucher for a store.

At only a few days old it is difficult to gauge how successful this will actually become, but given the deep pockets Google has to support it and the already positive buzz (for lack of a better word) being generated around it, I think that that it does have the potential to entice and interest people who would subsequently make a Google+ account that, without Schemer, they might otherwise not.

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