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Facebook Nearby Gives Local Searchers A Strong New Option

Facebook Nearby in NavigationI will be really honest with you here. I hate the idea of writing this post.

Why? Well, I have been wanting to get away from Facebook for a while now and it seemed to be getting easier and easier since most “innovation” that was coming from the social media giant was geared toward advertiser experience and not end user experience.

That is until the latest release of Nearby, the local search / discovery feature that is rolling out to Facebook users for both Android and iOS devices. Couple that with an Android app that actually works much better (just released) and I may have to consider sticking around. Crap!

So why the change of heart? Well, Nearby makes sense and it provides useful information. Even in my little town I ‘discovered’ things I was completely unaware of (it should be noted I don’t get out much unless it’s to an event related to my kids so be mindful of that as you read) and the presentation of the information was easy to read, manageable and made sense. Crap!

Here is a really big screenshot to give you an idea

Pandora Asks: For the Holidays, Are You Current, Classic or Country?

Pandora let’s you listen to customized music channels from a variety of internet connected devices so you can have a wide selection of music on hand at all times. Since music is such an important part of the holiday season, they conducted a special survey to see how Americans feel about the wintery wonders of Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Mannheim Steamroller.

pandora map

We begin the northeast corner of the United States where 52% of the people care more about the music than the food at a holiday party. Keep that in mind before you splurge on gourmet treats for your next gathering.

The midwesterners are the earliest adopters of holiday music on Pandora and I’m not surprised. It’s so cold and snowy up there, they get in the holiday spirit while the rest of us are packing up the bathing suits and buying back-to-school clothes.

December SMART Report Shows Explosive Growth in Mobile Advertising

millennialmedia dec vertical explosionI know that mobile is the hottest trend in advertising, but I’m still bowled over by the growth numbers in the latest Millennial Media SMART report.

Look at the Year-Over-Year Spend. In total, 10 categories increased their spend more than 100%. Four grew more than 400% and look at automotive – 574% growth? That’s insane.

I’m also surprised to see Government Services on the list. Apparently this comes from advertising related to the recent elections.

Ranked by spending alone, Telecommunications took the top spot, just as it did 10 months out of the year. Retail and Restaurants came in second with Finance and Automotive in third and fourth place.

Looking at branded apps, the top three rearrange themselves – Finance, Automotive and then Retail.

What’s the Goal?

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.