Friday Social Round Up: #GooglePlusUpdate, Facebook New News Feed, and YouTube to Rival Spotify
#Googleplusupdate: profile improvements, revamped Local Reviews and YouTube sync
Yesterday Google+ rolled out a number of visual improvements to the platform. One of these updates is the introduction of much larger cover photos, meaning users must scroll down to see any profile information besides the image. Brands may need to update their cover image to a particularly eye-catching one to make the most of this change, and ensure it is the correct size to avoid pixelation.
Additionally, Local Reviews are now all in one place under the ‘Reviews’ section. Furthermore, there is now a direct link to YouTube on the navigation and the ‘About’ tab has been redesigned and features an ‘Apps’ section. Hovercards have also been revamped: users are able to chat or start a hangout straight from the card itself.
Google+ Product Manager Sara McKinley explained these updates in more detail and claimed they are based on user feedback.
It’s worth noting that Google+ has not yet updated its mobile app and so it remains to be seen how the recent changes, particularly the larger cover images, will be represented in the app version.
Facebook new news feed
Yesterday (Thursday 7 March 2013), Facebook held a press event to launch a major update to its news feed, which gives users the option to filter news feeds to display only specific types of content at a time. Filters include a photos feed (including Facebook and Instagram images), a ‘following feed’ to see updates from the pages and public figures you follow, a music feed showing what users are listening to, and a games feed to see what your friends are playing. As well as these feed updates, the size of images displayed in ads and posts will also be increased. Making the news feed more visually rich is at the forefront of the Facebook changes. Their new news feed promotional page champions this, opening with the tag line: “Goodbye Clutter. Hello bright, beautiful stories.”
These new changes aim to provide users with an updated, cleaner way to read a feed, in the hope they spend longer doing it. This is also a positive for marketers who now have an expanded canvas for in-stream ads, as well as the potential opportunity to target a more engaged audience through placing sponsored posts in specific news feeds. The ‘following feed’ should also be beneficial to marketers (providing people choose to view it), and is a further step towards content sharing, similarly to Twitter and Google+.
The update will be streamlined on mobile and tablet, a bonus for marketers and users alike. Facebook has gone a step further and used its clean mobile design to influence its web updates.
Mark Zuckerberg has previously mentioned that the news feed design has and will continue to evolve to show richer stories. By increasing the size of images further, Facebook might be able to command more revenue from advertisers used to larger, glossy-style ads wanting to grab attention on the news feed.
YouTube planning to launch service to rival Spotify
YouTube is rumoured to be planning to launch a subscription music service similar to Spotify later this year, in a bid to capitalise on its video-sharing dominance. Similar to Spotify, the YouTube service would allow users to listen to tracks for free, but they will be able to pay to subscribe. Once subscribed, users will have access to further features, most likely advertisement-free access.
YouTube has released a statement confirming that this is an area they’re looking into, stating:
There are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads.
If this update does go ahead, it is not clear how this service will fit with the partnership deal YouTube has with Vevo. Nevertheless, it could prove to be a lucrative step for Google-owned YouTube. Spotify continues to report increasing growth, claiming at the end of 2012 it had 24 million active users, a fifth of whom paid to use the service.
We have had goats yelling like humans and we have also had goats yelling like Taylor Swift but now we are granted a true work of genius. Behold: Humans Yelling like Goats Yelling like Humans.
Twitter is everywhere. Part of its huge growth is down to its ever prominent presence in the mobile space. 80% of the 10 million users in the UK now access Twitter via a mobile device. This infographic from @TwitterAdsUK looks at the ever passionate relationship between Twitter and Mobile as it is today.