Weekly Digital News Roundup: May 7 – 11
- Mashable reports that link shortening and tracking service, bit.ly, has released new data on the best and worst times to share links on popular social networks, from Facebook to Twitter.
- According to the data, posting links to Twitter between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET (or 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PT) will give you the highest click rank, especially earlier in the week. Avoid sending a link after 8:00 p.m. throughout the week, and after 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. Food for thought: the half-life of a link posted to Twitter is about 2.8 hours.
- On the other hand, Facebook’s optimal posting times are between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. is the best time to post to Facebook all week. Avoid posting ated 8:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m., and if you want your link to go viral, don’t post it on the weekend. “While traffic starts to increase around 9:00 a.m., one would be wise to wait to post until 11am,” bit.ly said in a blog post on its site. “Traffic from Facebook fades after 4:00 p.m.”
Microsoft Redesigns Bing (Again)
- Microsoft announced another redesign of Bing that incorporates more information from social networks. Previously, the company had taken a minimalist approach with Bing’s layout by setting plain links against a white background a la early Google. While this change is another step in the company’s campaign to chase monopolistic Google, the redesign…well, it’s kind of ugly.
- In the latest version of Bing (dubbed “Metallica” by the folks at Mircosoft), search results are split up into three columns. The first shows traditional web links. The middle column, called “snapshot,” includes related searches and a block of ads. The third column lists relevant posts from the user’s social networks.
- Microsoft has put a lot of money into Bing’s new look, but the search engine hasn’t made much of a dent. Google’s share of U.S. web search was 66.4% in March, while Bing held onto a mere 15.3%. In any case, I’m pretty sure this redesign isn’t a step in the right direction. From my point of view, it looks messy because my eye isn’t entirely sure where to start looking. Maybe doing something with a double-column layout would have worked out better, but the current trio is just one too many.
Facebook Tests Highlighted Posts, Channels Craigslist
- Stuff, a New Zealand Blog, recently discovered that Facebook is testing a product called “Highlighted Posts.” The new feature potentially puts the company into the online classified ads arena by letting users incorporate public sales listings (a la Craigslist) into their status updates.
- Highlighted Posts are currently being tested by a small percentage of users, according to a Facebook rep. The fee for using the feature runs from zero to a “couple of bucks,” but details are sparse. When asked who would use the product, the rep gave the example of a small band plugging an upcoming gig or someone selling their car.
- If implemented, Highlighted Posts would mark the first time Facebook has delved into the online classified market. It would probably be profitable, especially since IAB pegged the market $2.6 billion in 2011. Should Craigslist be quaking in its classified boots?