Google+ Upgrades Hangout with Recording and More

Google+’s multi-person, webchat tool, Hangout, just got pushed to the front of the line, with a variety of new features that make it more prominent and useful.

The biggest boost for marketers is the upgrade to the Hangout On Air system. On Air allows a person or brand to livestream a performance, chat or presentation to a large number of people. Right now, the service is only available to a select group of celebs like The Muppets and the Dalai Lama but it’s slowly rolling out to others with a large following.

With the new upgrade, broadcasting On Air will be completely self-service and it will have a record option thanks to YouTube. Press the record button when the livestream is underway and a recording will automatically be uploaded to your account.

Almost Half of All Adults Say Couponing is a Thrill

When you offer a coupon for a product, you know you’re helping consumers save money. But did you know you’re also giving them a thrill?

A new survey by CouponCabin.com shows that 49% of US Adults felt a thrill or a rush when using a coupon. The survey doesn’t elaborate on why but from personal experience I can say that watching the numbers drop on the cash register is akin to seeing coins drop out of a slot machine. Kaching, kaching — that’s found money.

Retail Therapy

Shopping isn’t just a necessary evil, it’s also a source of fun, a reward, and a form of therapy. 53% of adults surveyed said they have “celebrated good news by buying something or going shopping for themselves.”

How to Recover from a Social Media Blunder

What do Gilbert Gottfried, Kenneth Cole and GoDaddy’s CEO Bob Parsons have in common?

They all made the 2011 list of Marketing’s Biggest Social Media Blunders. The list, which was put together by AdAge, details the worst missteps and mouth-offs from celebs and brands who are smart enough to know better.

In some cases, it was the brand who suffered the damage after an underling Tweeted without thinking, but sometimes it was the brand itself that messed up (we’re looking at you, Ragu.) And sometimes it was just living proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Google+ Invites You to Play ‘Find My Face’

Just in time for the holidays, Google+ has thrown the switch on facial recognition for photo tagging. Now, you won’t have to spend hours identifying all those relatives who you won’t see again until next year — Google+ will do it for you.

Matt Steiner, the engineering lead on Google+ photos, announced the new feature a few days ago on his wall. They call the tool ‘Find My Face,’ which is both childlike and creepy. Like a game of Where’s Waldo, only you’re Waldo.

It’s an opt-in program that you switch on and off from your profile settings. Even after you turn it on, the tool still asks for your approval before it tags photos with your name. So, yes, you can avoid being associated with the karaoke crew at the office Christmas party.

Majority of Moms Are Influenced by Blogger Reviews

A couple of days ago, we were discussing book bloggers, reviews and their place in modern marketing. Though blogging may not be as hot as it used to be, it sounds like blog reviews are still worth the time and money.

Fleishman-Hillard and ModernMom.com, surveyed 700 mothers in regard to their online brand interactions.

Overall, the moms said that social media was changing the way they shopped both online and off because it made them better informed about products, deals and coupons.

Where are moms getting all of this info? 84% said they subscribe to brands on Facebook, but 69% said they’re getting branded info from blogs. Online communities came in a close third at 63% and Twitter fell short of the majority with only 48%.

Facebook Users Expect Privacy but Don’t Know How to Get It

Keeping things private on the internet is like having a personal chat with a friend in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. You can try to find a safe haven. Pass notes instead of shout. Chances are it won’t matter anyway, since 99% of the strangers couldn’t care less about what you have to share. Still, it only takes one person to overhear and spread the word and private goes out with the old year.

Still, people keep saying they expect privacy on social networks. Look at these numbers from eMarketer.

I get that people want photos to be private, but 53% expect comments they leave on other people’s posts to be private? Have these people never been to high school where everything you say can and will be used against you?

Asian-Americans and Hispanics Top the Early Adopter Chart

14.4% of Asian-Americans use tablets on a regular basis. Not a huge number, but when you compare it to the only 10% of blacks and whites, it presents a different picture.

A new study from eMarketer shows that Asian-Americans are on top when it comes to the early adoption of both tablets and ereaders.

Asian-American adoption rates are expected to stay high for the next few years. Felipe Korzenny, Ph.D., stated that this is likely due to the fact that Asians are more educated than average and they have higher incomes. But what’s driving the early adoption among Hispanic users?

Hispanics come in second for tablet ownership with 12.6%. eMarketer predicts that it will be 2013 before Non-Hispanic whites catch up and 2014 before they take the lead.