Facebook gets real, Foursquare taps to tweet and I’m confused

Oculus RiftWelcome to the end of the work week (for some). I thought I’d wrap up my part with a look a few stories that totally confused me this week. For example. ..

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

Oculus is an amazing company. They created The Rift, an awkward looking but very cool piece of technology that lets you move around inside a virtual world by simply moving your head. It’s the next generation of gaming technology but what does that have to do with Facebook?

I’m not the only person mystified by this match-up. Here’s a quote from the Oculus blog:

New LinkedIn tool will let you know if your content is on target

Linked In Content MarketingLinkedIn believes that content = marketing and for the second time in a week, I got to check the “Content Marketing” category box here at Marketing Pilgrim. Two times in one week doesn’t sound like much but with all the social, mobile, social, mobile, it’s nice to see companies talking about what people are talking about!

That’s what content marketing is – articles, infographics, reports, presentations, videos loaded with information that people can use, engage with and share. In the broadest sense, even Tweets and Instagram updates are forms of marketing content but for the purpose of this discussion, we’re going to talk “long form.”

LinkedIn just released two new tools to help companies figure out what to talk about and then gauge the effectiveness of the content that was released into the wild.

Freemium app biz flourishes while paid apps take a dive

appsAt least once I week I think about building an app. With the wide range of options and explosive growth, it reminds me of the early blogging days. We all jumped on the wagon to tell our tales. Some fell off along the way leaving behind a final blog post dated 2009, others turned their blogs into a successful business.

Along come apps and we’re doing the dance all over again – with one difference. You don’t need any technical skill to blog, with apps you need at least a little bit of tech know-how just to get started and a lot of know-how if you want to swim in the big pond.

You could hire someone to build it for you but that leads us to the big question – can the average guy make money with an app?

Teen Vogue says the future belongs to Instagram

Teen VogueInstagram just crossed the 200 million monthly active user mark. That’s 20 billion photos shared with an average of 60 million photos per day. Personally, I can’t see the allure of this image blasting app but my son swears by it and so do the girls of Teen Vogue.

The magazine asked 1,000 members of their “It Girl” community about how they use social media and how it affects the way they shop. The sampling was made up of all US women between the ages of 13 and 29.

Across the board, one word kept popping up again and again – Instagram. Teens labeled it the number one platform for inspiring purchases.

“If you had to pick just one social network to use, what would it be?”
#1: Instagram 

Twitter expands their image options with multiples and photo tagging

It’s a big day for images. First Bing launches their new image-centric Product Ads and now Twitter is making their world more visual with two new features.

We begin with tagging. You can now tag up to 10 people in a Twitter photo without eating into your 140 character limit. That’s crazy huge and it sounds a little bit like what we were discussing earlier about Twitter becoming more Facebook-like. . . I mean. . user friendly.

Phototagging on TwitterWhen you upload a photo, you’ll get the “who’s in this photo” prompt. Type a name, choose from the suggestions and go. The people you tagged will get notifications just as if you “@” mentioned them. Twitter realizes that this could get annoying if you’re a popular (or extremely unpopular) person, so you can switch your privacy level from “anyone can tag me” to “only people I follow.” If you don’t want to get tagged at all, don’t let people take your picture in the first place.

Bing makes a visual splash with new Product Ads for search

In case you haven’t noticed, visual imagery is in like Flynn. Pinterest, Instagram, expanded photo options on Twitter and Facebook – it’s a byproduct of our lightening fast, mobile world. If we can see it, we’re more likely to choose it and buy it. So Bing is bringing that idea over to the search page with their new Product Ads.

Bing Product AdThe Product Ad can combine with the traditional text ad as well as an organic text result for a pretty big 1-2-3 punch. In this example, we have fresh flowers from Contoso Floral. Your eye goes right to the beautiful bouquets on the right.

Companies struggle to keep up as more customers turn to Twitter for answers

This past January, Simply Measured monitored 32 dedicated customer service Twitter accounts. They tallying up the number of incoming and outgoing Tweets, calculated response times and posted their results in a brand new report.

Lucky for you, they gave me some of the numbers so you don’t have to do darn thing right now but keep on reading.

The first thing they found was a  44% increase in customer service handle mentions year-over-year compared to the monthly average during Q1 of 2013. Not good with numbers? Just look at the blue boxes.

Simply Measured Customer Service TweetsClearly, people have learned to turn to Twitter when they’re unhappy. And this is just a small portion of the big picture because Simply Measured only looked at dedicated customer service accounts such as @NikeSupport, @AskAmex, or @AmazonHelp. Just imagine if they’d be able to scoop up all of the customer service questions and complaints they found on Twitter in one month. The number would be ten times bigger. Maybe more.