Weekly Digital News Roundup: October 11-15
Google to Put User Photos, Comments in Online Ads
- According to the Washington Post, Google has made a fortune selling ads. Now it’s trying to put its hundreds of millions of users to work as company pitchmen, using the profiles, pictures and recommendations of ordinary people to endorse products and services across the Web.
- The controversial practice, announced Friday by Google, is part of an emerging trend on the Internet. Advertisers believe that consumers place enormous value on product endorsements that come from a friend or family member, and growing numbers of Web companies are trying to capture that social advertising in a systematic way. But critics say tactics that further exploit the data people leave online amount to a bait-and-switch.
- Google said the launch of “shared endorsements” will help consumers make better choices. “We want to give you — and your friends and connections — the most useful information. Recommendations from people you know can really help,” the company wrote in its announcement.“This move by Google reflects the growing and unchecked expansion of online data collection by the industry,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.
Facebook Improves Tools for Measuring Brand Pages
- According to Mashable, Facebook is making it easier for brand marketers to gather insight and engagement metrics surrounding their Facebook pages.
- On Wednesday, the social network released a new version of Page Insights, a dashboard that allows page managers to monitor traffic and engagement. The tool’s newest version breaks down engagement metrics into individual tabs, such as check-ins, likes and the number of people engaged. Managers can also compare these metrics to previous weeks or months to better understand how engagement on their brand page is changing.
- The updated Insights tool also lets managers view positive (i.e. likes, shares) and negative (i.e. blocks, reports) interactions side-by-side to determine which content is performing well with visitors. The hope is that these new features will enable managers to populate their pages with content that Facebook users most want to see, making the experience better for both parties.
Twitter, Comcast sign TV Partnership to Let Customers Access TV Shows from a Tweet
- According to The Washington Post, Twitter and Comcast have signed a partnership that will let viewers access TV shows and buy movie tickets directly from a tweet, deepening the short messaging service’s ties to television programming.
- Twitter Inc. and Comcast Corp. said Wednesday that a new feature that’s part of the deal will let customers of Comcast’s Xfinify TV service tune in to programs by clicking a “see it” button in a tweet. In a statement, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts called it “an instant online remote control.”
- Twitter’s deal with the nation’s largest cable company comes as the company prepares for an initial public offering of stock, which could occur as soon as next month. The agreement is more expansive than the advertising partnerships Twitter has signed recently with TV content providers such as CBS and the NFL. But it does have an advertising component, which adds NBCUniversal’s properties to Twitter’s Amplify program.