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.

Bloggers Get Upset Over Book Review Requirements

One of the perks of being a blogger is you often get free items in return for a review. DVDs, food, gadgets, new tech — a good review is an excellent marketing tool, so most companies see these freebies as part of the cost of doing business.

Book publisher, William Morrow, however, is looking to reduce that cost and they want to see a bigger return on their investment.

Earlier this week, the LA Times published the text of a letter that was sent out to book bloggers. It outlines a new system where, instead of getting random books in the mail, bloggers will be asked to choose their review titles from a list.

Nothing wrong with that. It’s more work on the publisher’s part, but it’s targeted so it should make for more and better reviews.

Marketers Plan to Invest More in Social Media and Email

With the end of 2011 nearly upon us, it’s time to take a look at 2012 and from here, it’s looking pretty nice.

StrongMail has published the results of their marketing trends survey and we’ve got it all right here. The most encouraging sign is the fact that 92% of businesses surveyed said they plan to increase or maintain their marketing spend.

For those planning to increase, email was awarded the biggest bonus with 60% of respondents saying they’ll increase spend in that area. Social media was a close second with 55%.

But take a look at mobile. Only 37% said they’d be spending more marketing dollars in that area and that’s both surprising and not. Surprising, because mobile is one of the fastest moving trends in both marketing and for consumers. With so many people turning to mobile to shop, it’s an avenue that has to be explored if a company wants to stay current.

IAB’s Lists Top 15 Mobile Shopping Cities

Which US city has the most mobile savvy shoppers? I’ll give you a hint, it’s a big city, but not one traditionally known as a shopping mecca. Cross out New York (#2) and San Francisco (#11).

Give up? It’s Houston, with a mobile shopper savviness index of 122. Apparently, the stars at night aren’t the only thing big and bright in Texas. They have the highest percentage of consumers with mobile phones (67%). They also score the highest for retail and social media apps and they love mobile coupons. So, if you run a business in Houston, take note!

This information is part of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence.

Click through to see the entire infographic which is pretty cool.