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Facebook introduces Slingshot, the anti-instant gratification app

welcome to slingshotMost messaging and photo sharing apps are all about communicating faster. Send a message to all of your friends at once! Check the photo out now before it dispears! Forget 3 minutes – a 15 second video is where its at.

Then along comes Slingshot, the second app from the Facebook Creative Labs. Send your friend a photo message and he can. . . can’t. . . see it. . . all he gets is a pixelated blur. In order to reveal the true image, the receiver must send a message back to the sender.

I think they should have called it Volleyball because this back and forth can go on and on until someone drops the ball and gives up. (If you choose to swipe the shot away, it’s gone forever.)

Retailers believe in online marketing, so why are they still spending offline?

RetailMeNot contacted 200 marketing decision-makers at retailers that sell both online and in physical retail locations and have at least $50 million in annual revenue to find out how they feel about digital advertising.

75% said they believe that digital delivers a higher return on investment than offline advertising. They believe it, but they’re not putting their marketing money where their mouth is.

Digital spend

Looking at the total marketing budget, 51% is going to the digital side, 49% to offline. Why? Old habits and a lack of confidence. Only 27% of those surveyed thought of themselves as advanced digital marketers. Only 19% said they thought their current multi-channel approach was effective. Which means a whole lot of marketers think they could be doing better if they tried harder or had more training.

Facebook adds trending videos and games to iPad app sidebar

Facebook’s latest iPad app update is all about keeping visitor engaged longer by putting all kinds of trending and entertaining content in the sidebar.

The top corner will continue to feature birthdays you should have remembered and events you thought you’d attend but probably won’t. Below that you’ll find the trending topics, just like on the website. Click one and you’ll go to a curated list of posts related to the subject. This is how Facebook keeps on top of hot topics like the Game of Thrones finale even if none of your Facebook friends are posting on the subject.

Below that is where it gets interesting.

Facebook iPad Update

The third segment is “My Games” and it includes easy access links to the games you’ve played.

Facebook gives users the tools to remove ads based on topic

FB Ad ChoicesFacebook is about to launch a new ad preferences tool that will allow users to block ads by excluding specific topics. They say this will makes ads “better” because the viewer will have control over what they see and what they don’t. They say they’re making this option available because “soon” they won’t just be monitoring what you do on Facebook, they’ll also be including data from “some of the websites and apps you use.”

In case you didn’t know that your movements on the web turn into marketing fodder, Facebook has a detailed explanation of how this works:

I will follow you. . . Twitter launches website tracking tags

We’re all familiar with those ads that follow us around the internet, reminding us of where we’ve been. Now those ads can follow you to Twitter, too!

The secret is in the ultra new, Twitter website tag that matches your recent visitors to Twitter handles.

Twitter Website RemarketingIf you already have a Twitter tag for conversion tracking on your website, you’re good to go. If not, you can create a new snippet in the Twitter Ads UI. While you’re there, build an audience for remarketing then wait for the Twitter users to visit your page. In the example, a surfer dude checks out the new boards at the SoCal Surf Company! (Hey, that’s my neighborhood!) He’s not sure if he’s ready to buy so he leaves the website without making a purchase.  ;(

Pinterest expands search box, adds guided search to the web

With every passing upgrade, Pinterest is becoming more like a visual search engine and less like a social media network. A few months ago, they launched “guided search” on mobile and now that same feature is coming to the web. Kinda bass-ackwords if you ask me but they didn’t. . . .

On the web, guided search looks like this. It’s a series of filters designed to help you narrow down the choices when you’re looking for something specific.

New search on Pinterest

In the sample case, it’s about the difference between bbq (the thing you cook on outside) and bbq (the yummy food you like to eat).

The perils of mixing personal and professional on social media

ohSgCM0_stariSob_rgbstockIf I checked out your social media accounts today, what would I find? Personal updates? Professional updates? A mix of the two? Is there even a dividing line between your personal life and professional life? If you are your business that line doesn’t even exist. I struggle with this concept daily as I try to promote my writing through social media while still keeping up with friends, all while not alienating either one.

Wharton management professor Nancy Rothbard wrote a paper on the subject called, “When Worlds Collide in Cyberspace: How Boundary Work in Online Social Networks Impacts Professional Relationships.” Long title, but interesting food for thought. We’ve seen a number of high-profile CEOs and celebs take a beating over a personal photo or statement posted on social media but there are also plenty of cases of everyday people taking a hit for what seemed like an innocuous posting.