Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 24 – 28
- AllThingsD reports that pictures beat words: In August, U.S. smartphone owners visited Instagram from their smartphones more frequently and for longer periods of time than they visited Twitter. That data comes from comScore, via a new mobile measurement report: It says that throughout August, Instagram had an average of 7.3 million daily active users — or DAUs, in Facebook parlance. That tops of Twitter’s 6.9 million DAUs over the same period of time.
- What’s more, the average Instagram user spent 257 minutes accessing the photo-sharing site via mobile device in August, the data claims, while the average Twitter user over the same period spent 170 minutes viewing.
- For a number of reasons, this is a pretty big deal. That the barely-two-year-old Instagram could rocket up in user engagement and retention in such a short amount of time, eventually surpassing Twitter in the process, speaks to the sheer momentum of the photo-sharing product. Above all else, it speaks to the ongoing mobile issues of Facebook, now the parent company of Instagram. The massive shift in user traffic to mobile devices is a real thing, and Facebook seems to now hold an asset in the highly popular Instagram. The trick now, however, is to figure out a way to effectively monetize Instagram and the Facebook mobile experience.
Just In Time for the Holidays, Facebook Gifts
- According to Marketing Pilgrim, Facebook is rolling out a service called, creatively enough, Facebook Gifts which allows Facebook users to buy gifts for friends from inside of Facebook. No, it’s not a virtual gift and yes it can be done from a mobile device. So Facebook appears to have killed two previously unwanted birds with this one deal.
- The LA Times said: “The social networking giant announced a new service Thursday afternoon called Facebook Gifts that will let users buy and send each other presents they can enjoy in real life. To start, these presents include Starbucks gift cards, stuffed animals and cupcakes, but Facebook said it will continue to add more options every day.”
- The company said users will have the option to send gifts from birthday reminders or when they visit their friend’s timelines. Payments can be made as soon as users send the gift or they can choose to pay later. Their friends, meanwhile, can provide their address once they choose to accept the gift and it “will show up on their doorstep a few days late.”
Twitter Ad Revenue Play: Now Allowing More Search Engine Indexing
- ClickZ reports that Twitter has updated its robots.txt file to allow search engines to crawl more of the site. Specifically, Google, Bing, Yandex, and others will now have access to Twitter’s search results pages, which display Promoted Tweets where available.
- The change will allow search results pages to show up in Google’s index, though user search is still disallowed. For example, the results page for a search on the Olympics becomes indexable and therefore could show up in Google search results to users seeking information on the event.
- With the new indexing direction, searches for keywords like “Ford” could potentially direct Google/Bing searchers to Twitter’s internal search for the term. This is different from the way real-time search operated in that users were apt to see actual tweets on the topic displayed in Google’s results. They would see Google’s ads on the search results page, then click on a Twitter result and go straight to a user page, where there are no ads. With this change, the results appearing in search engines would direct the user to a Twitter search results page, which displays a Promoted Tweet embedded in the feed (when available).