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Google+ Rolling Out 18 New Features Today

Google-Plus-Glossy-IconGoogle+ is a ghost town, right?

That sounds so cool at a conference. It’s edgy. It’s definitive. It’s a little nasty. It’s anti-Google. It’s also completely misdirected.

Google+ is something we have not seen in the world of social media. It is a productivity tool that has been mistakenly cast (by our industry for the most part) as a social network. Sure, there are the social elements that mimic or recreate other social experiences that support the ‘kitten sharing’ side of the social web.

Thankfully, though the true Google+ is about bringing people together to get stuff done. Today Google released 18 new features around mobile, photos, hangouts and more. Oh, and the main thing that makes it different from other ‘social networks’? It’s funded by a seemingly endless well of cash by a company that can afford to wait for it to evolve.

Google Looks to Prevent Accidental Ad Clicks in Mobile Environment

Finger treadmillOK, you can step away from the desktop finger treadmill. Even if you have obese fingers Google is working to keep mobile users from clicking on ads accidentally (also know by the not so PC phrase of having ‘fat fingered’ an input).

Of course, while the end user experience is in mind here the real reason for Google addressing the problem of accidental clicks on ads in the mobile space is to keep the advertisers (the ones who pay to keep the lights on at the Google Plex) happy. Like click fraud in PPC, paying for clicks that weren’t really clicks can make advertisers a bit testy.

So how are they doing it? Take a look at these screen shots from the Google Mobile Blog.

Screenshots for Mobile Ad Bad Click Prevention

Google Maps App for iOS Released

Tired of being taken to desert locations in Australia when all you wanted to do was visit a nice little town?

Scared that your use of Apple Maps will bring to the Google Plex when you really wanted to go to Apple’s HQ (there is absolutely no record of that happening but it would be very funny, wouldn’t it?).

Well fear no more because the Google Maps app for iOS is in the App Store. Think we are misguiding you? Take a look! The video is pure marketing so don’t expect much.

The introduction in the App Store description reads

Yahoo Introduces a Faster, Cleaner Email Interface

Today I learned that Yahoo has more users than Gmail and almost twice as many as Hotmail – the former reigning king of internet mailboxes. That’s in the US. Gmail wins when you go international but we’ll let that slide for right now.

Yahoo may have the numbers but my gut tells me that more people are actually using their Gmail account for email they want to read. It’s sad but true, Yahoo. Everyone I know with a Yahoo account uses it as a repository for junk mail, including me. I just visited the account I opened ages ago and found that Old Navy loves me to the tune of 500 messages. I have an additional 1500 messages from various other marketing entities, 365 of which Yahoo categorized as Spam.

Study Shows Mobile Holiday Email Opens Nearly Equal Desktop Opens

Have you ever opened one of your own marketing emails on your smartphone? How about on a tablet? Android? iPhone? You may not be doing it, but your customers are.

New numbers from Knotice (say that three times fast) show that mobile opens have risen dramatically in the past year, to the point where they almost match desktop opens.

Cyber Week is the term they’re using to cover the dates beginning the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and ending on Cyber Monday. Mobile opens are up from 30.50% to 44.75% year over year.

The breakdown goes like this: Smartphones 28.22% / Tablets 16.54%.

Police Down Under Warn Against Using Apple Maps

I thought this ‘issue’ had gone away especially since many in the US report that their Apple Maps experience has been more than just fine but apparently there are still some worms in the maps that are Apple’s.

Normally I wouldn’t even bother with reports of bad Apple Maps directions at this point. The furor has died down and people either accept their maps or are using the Google Maps web version for mobile (which many see as a major step down from the native app).

But when you have a police department issue a warning against using Apple Maps based on the need to rescue several people as a result of being misled, well, you gotta share that, right?

MacRumors reports

Google Releases Major Gmail and YouTube Updates for iOS

When Apple removed the native YouTube app after their latest iOS update, I was very, very unhappy. I honestly didn’t realize how often I used the app until it was gone. (Ain’t it always the way.) Google fired back with an iPhone app that you could use on the iPad but it was truly horrible. You had to search in portrait mode then turn to landscape once it started playing and the controls were wonky. Not good. Not good at all.

Last night, I did a round of app updates, went to use YouTube and got an incredible surprise! It was in landscape mode and all pretty and useable again. Yeah! So much yeah, it actually makes me want to spend more time watching videos.