Twitter Severs Ties to Instagram: Smart Business or Bad Move?

These past few weeks, Twitter’s been the two-year-old jumping up and down next to mom while she tries to work. They announced targeting for Promoted Tweets, covertly revealed their plans to make a web series and as of tonight, they’re all over the Olympics.

But you know how those toddlers can get into trouble and Twitter has been true to form. On Thursday, the site went dark for more than an hour, the second big outage in under two months. They say it was a server issue and that even their redundant systems failed. I think it’s a conspiracy to test the reaction to a nation left without social media and specific internet services because on the same night, Amazon, IMDB, and Netflix all went down. Coincidence or carefully planned madness?

New Study Says Moms Rule on Facebook, But Dads Rule Everywhere Else

I am now convinced that you can find a study on the internet to prove anything you want to prove. Case in point, this slide from the new Performics Life on Demand study.

Top of the chart is Facebook. More women visit the site than men and 95% of users pop in at least once a day. That makes sense.

Moving on to YouTube, men and parents visit more often than women. I’ll buy that.

Twitter has more men than women. . . .I would have called that a toss up, so okay.

On Pinterest, parents especially DADS are more likely to visit daily. Dads? As in the male members of the species, visiting Pinterest more often than moms. And not by just a little either, 71% vs. 55%.

Google Adds Handwriting Recognition to Search

Google has just released a new feature that falls into the “cooler than it is practical” category of updates. It’s called Handwrite, and it’s the ability to search Google simply by writing on your mobile phone or tablet screen.

When I saw this, my first thought was, ‘wow, we’re moving backwards.’ Think about it. We developed voice recognition to get the hands out of the process. Driving? No problem, just tell Google what you want. Carpel Tunnel? No handwork involved. Easy.

But Google insists that there are times when voice activation and even keyboard use is impractical.

“Say you’re standing on a busy street corner, in a bumpy taxi ride, talking with a friend, or sitting on the couch with your tablet.”

Twitter Goes Hollywood and Gives You a Chance to Relive the Past

Twitter has also been on a “new and improved” rampage over the last few months and it looks like there’s even more in store. Yesterday, I wrote about how Twitter is pushing to become more of a news maker and less of a news aggregator with their Olympic hub site and interactive content.

Now, I see that Twitter is talking to Hollywood producers about producing video content for the blurby network. As crazy as that sounds, we’ve already seen a Twitter account turn into a TV series, so why bring the TV series to Twitter?

This week on Law & Order: Special Tweeting Unit, the team investigates a series of death hoax Tweets in #justinbieberisnotdead

Foursquare Adds Another Option for Marketers: Promoted Updates

Oh Foursquare, you’re making me dizzy with all these new changes and options! Last week it was the Local Update, this week it’s the Promoted Update.

What’s the difference? Dollars.

The Foursquare Local Update option is a way to communicate with your fans via short posts that appear on their wall, kind of like that other social media network. These posts are free to send but they only go out to people who have checked-in to your location.

Promoted Updates go out to any user in your area who might be interested in what you have to offer. For example, if I search for lunch venues in Laguna Beach, I might see a Promoted Update from a new cafe I’ve never tried. So, basically it’s Adwords for Foursquare, which is pretty neat.

Why Twitter’s Olympic Coverage is Good For All Marketers

Later this week, a huge portion of the world’s population will be tuning in to watch the Olympics on TV, on the internet, and on their mobile devices. Riding high on this media wave is Twitter, the official digital communication partner for NBC’s coverage.

In the past, we’ve seen Twitter streams integrated into sites for events such as The Super Bowl and we’ve seen Twitter rise to the top as the source of information during a natural disaster. This time, though, Twitter isn’t just reporting the news, they’re actually becoming a part of the experience.

The Twitter hub at NBCOlympics.com is like nothing we’ve seen before. Here’s a partial screenshot. The full site is so big and so deep, I’d need at least ten shots to cover it all.

Banner Ads Give Way to Rich Media as Mobile Monetization Continues to Climb

A year ago, it was social media marketing that was growing and changing right before our hours. Now that the dust has settled somewhat, it’s mobile’s turn.

The State of Mobile Advertising report from Opera shows big changes in a short period of time as advertisers learn to take advantage of the mobile landscape.

Opera cataloged the ad types on their network comparing January of this year to June. Take a look:

In six short months, expandable banner ads decreased by half and video more than doubled. The big news is in HTML5 Rich Media ads, which are slowly taking over mobile advertising. These are the ads that feature video, slideshows, music, and interactive elements. This is good because interactivity equals engagement and that equals more time spent with your brand.