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.)

YouTube to block indie labels that won’t sign: Bob’s Tank Army on standby

XL RecordingsThis is one of those stories that sounds so wrong that I thought it was a rumor blown out of portion . . . hard to say since most reports on the subject all lead back to one article from the Financial Times.

Basically, it goes like this. YouTube is about to launch a beta test of their new streaming music service which would compete with Spotify and Amazon’s new music service. In order to offer streaming music, record labels had to sign a licensing agreement but several indie labels say the agreement isn’t fair and have refused to sign.

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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.

Trackur turns the social media monitoring dial to 11

Insights-DownloadAs you know, and by way of disclaimer if you don’t, I am the CEO of the social media monitoring tool Trackur. So, in a blatant act of self-promotion, allow me to share with you some upgrades that I’m pretty excited about.

First up, we’ve made our Insights charts fully downloadable to PDF. Customers will no longer have to navigate Excel to re-create the charts and analytics displayed in their dashboard. Trackur will do all the heavy-lifting, allowing you to provide pretty reports to your clients or boss.

Negative email alertsNext, we announced a new email alert option that will only trigger an email alert for an item our sentiment algorithm has determined to be negative. This is the perfect option for being notified of any reputation attack, while away from your dashboard.

Edelman survey says consumers want their entertainment selfie-style

Entertainment-in-the-Era-of-the-SelfieMe. Me. Me. It’s all about the me! A new survey from Edelman shows that consumers are taking control over what they watch, when and how they watch, rendering the old TV Guide virtually obsolete.

Binge-watching online is up from 86% to 94% here in the US. In China, 99% of respondents said they’ve binge-watched their favorite shows. 72% do it because they simply want to know what happens next. (This is me, binge-watching old seasons of 24). 57% said they do it to feel “caught up” and a handful simply want to avoid being spoiled by friends who have already seen it, so they hop online and get up to speed.

Looking for something? Go Google My Business

At some point, not to long ago, Google went from being a proper noun to a verb. Has that ever happened before?

Google, googling and googled are also words that you can look up in the dictionary and they all refer to the action of searching for something online. It’s pretty amazing. Does anyone ever say I’m going to “Bing” it or “AltaVista” it? No but I digress, as I often do.

This post is all about the new “Google My Business” dashboard which will soon be taking the place of “Places for Business” and the “Google+ Dashboard.” If you were using either of those two services, your data will automatically migrate over to the new platform. If you weren’t using those services – why not? Go now and sign up for Google My Business – it’s free and it makes it really easy to keep your information up-to-date across multiple channels. (I can’t stand it when Google says a business is open until a certain time and I drive there only to find the place actually closes two hours earlier!)