Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 8 – 12
Google+ Adding Games to its Social-Networking Service
- Google is adding games to Google+ from developers like Zynga Inc. and Rovio Entertainment Oy, creator of the hit “Angry Birds.” The new social network will start rolling out the games feature gradually before making them fully available.
- The idea is to “make playing games just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life,” senior vice president Vic Gundotra was quoted as saying. “That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.”
- Separately, Facebook recently said that it is improving the way people use applications on its site, making them more engaging for the site’s 200 million game users; Facebook will now display bookmarks for top apps along with activity updates from friends on other games.
Facebook Enables Zip Code Targeting for Ads
- Facebook recently introduced zip code targeting, which has special value for local advertisers as well as political advertisers looking to reach specific voting districts.
- Advertisers can now target ads including Sponsored Story campaigns down to the zip code level throughout the U.S., said a Facebook spokesperson. Until now, they could target geographically only to cities, states, and provinces. Advertisers can target individual ads to as many as 2,500 zip codes.
- Advertisers can now also upload several zip-targeted ads in bulk using the company’s Power Editor system. Facebook is still working on the zip-targeting feature, which will be available to advertisers in the coming week.
Video Game Consoles Top Internet-Connected TV Device
- Online video is enjoying explosive growth. Leading industry news sources project the US online video audience will reach 158.1 million users this year and US online video ad spending will jump 52.1% to $2.2 billion.
- Although the vast majority of US consumers (89%) still use PCs and laptops to view online video, research from Frank N. Magid Associates showed a sizable percentage of consumers watching online video on additional devices, such as mobile phones and TV sets, connected to the internet.
- A large number of users appear to be accessing the internet through other connected devises – specifically gaming consoles. In fact, 19% of viewers who have access the internet through their TV have used a PlayStation 3, and 13% an Xbox 360. With this surge in video game console popularity, these devices can now be leveraged for multiple media consumption purposes.
Google+ May Pass Twitter Among U.S. Adults Online
- Google+ may grow to claim 22% of online U.S. Adults in a year, passing Twitter and LinkedIn to be the second-most used social site after Facebook, a survey found.
- Google+ has signed up 13% of U.S. adults and will add 9% over the next year; in the same period, Facebook will lose about 2 percentage points of U.S. adults to keep 69% of that population, while Twitter and LinkedIn continue to grow their portion of users.
- Usage of the new social network is likely to take away from the time people spend on Facebook, the survey found; some 30% of people who use both services said they plan to reduce the amount of time they spend on Facebook.