Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 19 – 23
Newspaper-Inspired Facebook Layout Will Deliver More Interesting Stories & A Real-Time Ticker
- Facebook is re-organizing users’ homepages. The new look homepage will allow users to “see the things they’re most interested in.” The main elements that will power the new layout are, the revamped Friend Lists, the new Subscribe button, and a real-time ticker.
- One notable change is that the verbiage “post” seems to be completely removed from the Facebook vocabulary. All mentions of content-formerly-known-as-posts are now labeled as “stories.”
- Images will also be much larger and easier to view from the homepage, and in order to combat the News Feed time-lag, Facebook is launching a real-time ticker. This will update posts, photo uploads, comments and friend activity in the right side of the screen above the controversial chat bar. This new element will help users see what is happening in real-time, without losing their place.
Google+ Opens To Everyone, Adds Search, Expands Hangouts
- After three months, anyone who wants in to the Google+ social network can now get in. The company announced the news today on its blog, along with a new Google+ search feature and expanded functionality for hangouts.
- A Google blog post states: “For the past 12 weeks we’ve been in field trial, and during that time we’ve listened and learned a great deal. We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open signups. This way anyone can visit google.com/+, join the project and connect with the people they care about.”
- Hangouts also gained new features. Hangouts give users the ability to video chat with up to nine other people, and now includes the ability to Hangout on the phone and “on air.” This latter option allows anyone to “tune in” to watch a hangout that’s already hit capacity.
Mobile Search Becomes Focus For Yahoo
- Mobile makes up about 20% of searches globally for Yahoo. In the United States that number ranges between 10% and 15% on feature phones and smartphones, according to Shashi Seth, senior vice president of search products at Yahoo.
- In the next 12 to 18 months, mobile searches in the U.S. should account for between 25% and 30%, said Seth. Searches on smartphones contribute between 7% and 8% sequentially. Mobile revenue continues to increase at about 100% year-over-year.
- In the past 17 months, Yahoo has gained Web search market share because of a focus on product features, with nearly 30% of U.S. mobile traffic to Yahoo comes from iPhones. Overall, smartphones, compared with feature phones, produce higher revenue per search (RPS), but tablets are a “work in progress,” according to Seth.