Is Google+ Getting Ready to Add Ads?

It’s been awhile since I’ve visited Google+. They redesigned the site back in April but I only saw it for the first time today.

The navigation ribbon on the site is excellent. So much better than the crazy navigation Facebook provides. What I’m not sold on is the whole box within a box post set-up that drifts to the left of the page. What’s on the right? A great, big, mostly empty sidebar that would be just perfect for ads.

Looking at other examples, I see that the sidebar is designed to hold a list of of friends who are currently online and available for chat. But that’s kind of a waste of good real estate, don’t you think?

Who You Gonna Call? Facebook Hopes it’s Your Friends

Facebook, the king of unannounced changes, has added a Call button to some profile pages. There’s no picture on the button and no description of what will happen when you click it – so I did and got a box saying I need to set up Video Chat in order to chat with the person whose button I pushed.

As usual, the rhyme of reason of who has the button and who doesn’t eludes me. According the the Facebook Video Calling FAQ page, two of my friends have video calling enabled. Neither has a Call button. Only one friend had a Call button even though he apparently doesn’t have video calling enabled.

Oh, the madness.

Twitter Expands the In-App Experience

While some people do use Twitter simply to make a statement, many of us use it to share photos, videos, and links to articles (one’s we wrote and otherwise.)

To keep up with this trend, Twitter added an Expand feature that lets you preview a photo or video without leaving the Tweet.

Now, they’ve expanded Expand to include rich content from some of the top content providers on the web.

When you expand a Tweet linking to a news article by The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle or Der Spiegel Online, you can see a preview with the headline, the introduction and sometimes the Twitter accounts of the publisher and writer. You can continue to read the article, follow these accounts, and reply, favorite or retweet the Tweet.

Bing Increases Yelp Content in Another Attempt to Get You To Use Them

Bing reminds me of that old Avis slogan, “We’re only number 2, so we try harder.” It seems like they’re always out trying to make a great impression with fun and innovative campaigns.

The newest pitch involves a partnership with Yelp. Starting right this very moment, a venue search will return a column full of Yelp reviews, photos, and other data sitting right beside your main results. Thusly:

Very pretty. If you choose Local from the navigation bar, it opens up a more comprehensive page, also Powered by Yelp. The pages are well designed and easy to read, so kudos to everyone involved.

Now, if I may take a moment to address the folks at On The Border, check your Yelp listing. It says you’re only open 9-5 and closed on the weekends. Yikes. Brand managers, seriously, review these online pages!

What Country Puts Their Trust in the Internet and Which One Thinks it’s All a Sham?

How do you really feel about the internet? Do you feel safe when you surf? Do you believe what you read? Do you think it’s fast, stylish, or behind the times?

Webreep posed those questions to 36,000 folks across seven different countries and they found that different cultures had very different views.

The most startling revelation? “Americans feel more safe on the internet than the rest of the world.” Who knew?

American’s were 23% more trusting than China, 30% more trusting than Spain, 33% more trusting than Russia, and 45% more trusting than the Australians. So Aussies are a suspicious lot, are they? Again I say, who knew?

Here’s a look a that results across the board:

June S.M.A.R.T. Report Says Mobile’s Got Game

Sound the horns and unfurl the flags, it’s time for the June 2012 S.M.A.R.T. Report from Millennial Media. The report takes a look back at the trends of Q1 and it’s Sports for the win!

Sports apps nearly doubled quarter-over-quarter, landing at number six for Top Mobile Applications. The category didn’t crack the top ten for spending, but it took the prize for the biggest spending growth.

I’m not a sports person, but I’ve depended on my NHL iPad app to keep me up to date on the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Yeah, Kings!) and I’m anxiously waiting for the new Olympic apps from NBC. So if this category got me hooked, then it’s got real potential.

Apple iOS6: What’s in it for Marketers

Yesterday, Apple execs took the stage at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) with a huge announcement about upcoming products and services. They dazzled the audience with a powerful laptop that is thinner than your finger. They’ve added PowerNap which allows your computer to update while it’s asleep and they’ve updated Safari and iCloud so you get a more seamless experience across all of your Apple devices.

The biggest news? The coming of iOS6 with more than 200 new features.

For those who don’t speak geek, iOS5 is an operating system that runs your iPhone and iPad. When Apple switches over to iOS6, probably this fall, current users will be able to upgrade for free by simply accepting the download. The new system will work on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (fourth generation). But be aware that not all features work on all products, so don’t get too excited if you’re working with older equipment.