Facebook Places Tests Multiple Locations Feature

One of the benefits of owning a franchise is the use of a well-known name. If I’m looking for lunch in a new neighborhood, I know what I’m going to get at a Subway, where Joe’s Sub Shack could be a hit or a miss. Now, Facebook is going to help you solidify that connection with their new Parent-Child update inside Facebook Places.

According to Inside Facebook, the company is testing an app which will allow parent companies to easily connect to the Places pages for all of their local locations. On the user side, these “child” companies will show up on a Locations tab on the parent site. Geo-location markers will automatically list the nearest locations, or users will able to submit a zip code for different results. Child pages will be auto linked to the parent page.

Comparing Prices Tops List for Social Media Product Chatter

Hear that? That’s the sound of potential shoppers talking about your product online. What are they saying? According to a new study by ROI Research, mostly, they’re talking about the price.

eMarketer made a nice bar graph that explains it all.

I’m not surprised that “deal” talk is high on the list, but I am surprised that “compare prices” landed so high. I shop online all the time, but I don’t usually go to Facebook to ask if anyone can beat the price of the laptop I want to buy. Apparently, others do, so if your pricing isn’t competitive, you might as well get out of the game.

The big takeaway here, is that nearly half of all respondents are talking about products and services on social media. They’re talking, but are you listening?

Stanford Security Lab Tracks Do Not Track

The folks at the Stanford Security Lab are a suspicious bunch. Since they’re studying how to make computers more secure, I guess it comes with the territory. Their current interest is tracking cookies and the Do Not Track opt-out process. Using “experimental software,” they conducted a survey to see how many members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), actually complied with the new Do Not Track initiatives.

What they found is that more than half the NAI member companies did not remove tracking codes after someone opted out.

NAI member companies pledge only to allow opting out of behavioral ad targeting, not tracking. Of the 64 companies we studied, 33 left tracking cookies in place after opting out.

Ah, but we all know how stats can be twisted, so let’s keep reading. The next line says:

Will Tablets Eventually Make Computers Obsolete?

Ten years ago, TV commercials were all about food, cars and deodorant. Now you can’t get through an episode of MasterChef without seeing at least one ad for a mobile phone and more recently, a tablet.

As connected devices become more popular and accessible, what will become of our old friend the desktop computer? For the June edition of the Millennial Media Mobile Mix, tablet owners were asked to quantify the shifts in their digital behavior and here’s what they got:

The numbers aren’t huge, but given that tablets are only just becoming something an average person would own, it’s a hefty shift.

Auto-Ad Scheduling is Coming to Twitter

Twitter fans have noticed the increasing number of ads that are slipping in mid-stream, above the stream and to the side but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

According to Reuters, Twitter is about to test an automated system that will allow clients to schedule their own ads. Currently, an advertiser has to talk to a human in order to get that Promoted Tweet in the stream, but this new offering will allow clients to set up ads on the fly and change them on a whim.

For Twitter users, this isn’t good news. Twitter is a relatively small system. There are only a few places where you can insert an ad and for those who don’t follow a thousand people, an influx of Promoted Tweets is going to be very noticeable. I’d hope that there is a safeguard that would keep the ads from being the majority of any stream, but maybe not.

To the Thousands of Businesses That Applied for Google+

“To the thousands upon thousands of businesses that applied to be a part: THANK YOU! We won’t be able to accommodate everyone, but your interest has got us very focused on accelerating our development plans”

And then Christian Oestlien of Google+ follows with, we’re taking down the business application on Friday, July 15, and we’re still “actively” shutting down business profiles on the network. So basically, forget marketing your business on Google+.

Or not.

Yesterday, I got an invite from a mysterious soul (thank you kind sir) and I took my first steps into this wonderous new world. I spent a half hour poking around then threw up my hands and said, “huh?”

Majority of Working Folks Can’t Resist Sneaking a Peek

Think about the last time you were in a business meeting. Did you sneak a peek? Be honest? Did you hide your mobile phone under the table or go to the restroom for a quick look?

According to a recent Harris Poll, 63% of American’s surveyed believe that people sneak-a-peek at their cell phones during work meetings. The most popular methods of sneakery are:

  • 47% – Hiding their mobile device under the table
  • 42% – Excusing themselves to go to the restroom
  • 35% – Hiding their mobile device in their folders/notebooks/papers
  • 9% – Pretending to tie their shoes
  • 8% – Creating a distraction

Creating a distraction! What an image. “Look, Carmen Electra in a helicopter!”