Weekly Digital News Roundup December 14-18
Google Maps Puts Apple Maps to Shame
- According to Mashable, when the Google Maps app for the iPhone was finally released late Wednesday night, there was a collective rejoicing from Apple fans worldwide. Not at all surprisingly, the app quickly soared to the top of the free apps list in the Apple App Store.
- Google Maps has years of experience perfecting data accuracy and the latest app shows it. The interface is sleek and more organized than ever before. Apple Maps, however, was slammed for accuracy issues right out of the gate in September. Additionally, as a bonus for developers — and app users alike — Google announced Google Maps SDK for iOS, which gives app developers the opportunity to use maps within apps for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. This will help users easily search and get the directions they want while using other apps and ultimately strengthen Google’s maps reach.
- While Apple Maps excels in some ways (3D rendering in particular) there are just too many arrows in Google Maps’ quiver — especially now that it’s brought turn-by-turn navigation to its iOS app. Public transit, Street View and easy searching propel Google to a clear victory — for now.
Facebook Confirms: Ads Are Coming to Instagram
- Business Insider reports that Facebook vp/global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson tells us that yes, “monetization” will be coming to Instagram. Thus far, the photo-sharing app has been ad-free. But ever since Facebook acquired the company, speculation has been rife that the service’s big, broad, relatively uncluttered palette is ripe for sponsored pics and posts.
- “Well, Instagram continues to grow incredibly fast and we’re still a very small team when you think about the amount of people they are reaching,” said Everson at BI’s Ignition 2012 conference. “There are many brands that use Instagram right now to try to get a feel for how to engage with their followers. We will definitely be figuring out a monetization strategy. When that will happen, I can’t comment, but it’s going to happen.”
Twitter Adds More Keyword Targeting Options and Trending Topic Matching For ‘Promoted Tweets’
- According to TechCrunch, Twitter will now let Promoted Tweets customers match their tweets to Twitter searches via exact match, phrase match, and basic keyword matching. More importantly for customers, people promoting tweets will now have the ability to use something called “negative keywords,” i.e. pick the words they don’t want to advertise against. This solves a huge relevancy problem as far as ads on user-generated content are concerned.
- The company is also offering automatic import of preexisting search keywords and a novel feature that automatically matches your Promoted Tweets to trending hashtags. With the exception of that hashtag matching, Twitter is basically catching up with what’s been standard in ad tech with these developments.
- Promoted Tweets operate on a real-time auction model. Advertisers enter a bid for the maximum amount they’d pay per Twitter engagement — an @Reply, Retweet or Favorite — and wait until that bid is accepted. The less engaging your tweets are, the more you have to pay. Cost also depends on factors, such as the popularity of a given search term, because popular search terms tend to attract more auction participants, making the auction more competitive. As a testament to the program’s efficacy, even Google itself partook, advertising a Promoted Tweet about its Google Maps app on (ostensibly its competitor) Twitter.