Google upgrades My Maps; quite the nifty marketing tool

If you’d like to know all of the cities in the world James Bond has ever visited, there’s a map for that. You can even specify which Bond; Connery, Craig or Moore. Check the box and watch the location markers appear and disappear.

James Bond Map

With the new Google My Maps (previously Google Maps Engine Lite), you can create a map for just about any location-based data set with  images, descriptions, custom icons, and more. If you have an Android phone, you can even create and update your maps with the My Map app. (Say that 3 times fast.)

This isn’t a totally new concept, but Google recently upgraded the tool to make it more user and viewer friendly.

New features include the ability to:

Google lets new users say ‘no thank you’ to Google+

No ThanksFor the past few years, Google+ has been building up the user numbers the easy way – by requiring people to have an account if they want to use Gmail, YouTube or other Google service. It’s been an issue for many, especially when they hooked their wagon to YouTube and forced people to use their real names on their video uploads.

People yelled and Google backed off, a little, but now it looks like they’ve taken a big step back. Larry Kim of The Wordstream Blog, discovered a change in the way Google is doing business. Now, when you create a new Gmail account, you no longer have to open a matching Google+ profile as well.

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Friday Social Round-up: Facebook Media, Pinterest Halloween and More

Facebook MediaIt’s Friday. Time for another round-up for stories that were too late or too small to digitally print. I hear the weekend calling my name, so let’s get to it.

Facebook Media

Facebook thinks celebrities can use some help getting started on Facebook, so they’ve created a new portal called Facebook Media. The portal is aimed at musicians, authors, actors and studios so when they talk about “fan” engagement they mean it in the truest sense of the word.

The site is filled with inspiring success stories from Game of Thrones, Donald Trump, and Stephen Amell (The Arrow) who wins the award for most authentic content written by a celeb.

Facebook ad revenue: more money for less time

A lot of people spend a lot of time on Facebook. That’s a given. But when eMarketer broke down the numbers, they found something very interesting. When you compare time spent on site and ad dollars as a percentage of the whole, it simply doesn’t add up.

eMarketers Facebook Digital Ad Dollars

Looking at all digital activity in a day, Facebook users spend about 21 minutes on the site (that’s a lot!) which is 6% of all digital time. (That’s not so much.) Let’s be clear, those numbers are for the entire population, about half of which doesn’t go on Facebook at all. When you look at just adult Facebook users, time on site jumps to 39 minutes – feels longer. . . .

Twitter says they have more impact on tech sales than any other social network

Samsung TwitterAs Facebook warns marketers about less exposure, Twitter invites tech marketers over for celebration. A new survey (paid for by Twitter) shows that tech shoppers are 40% more likely to discover new products on Twitter than any other social network.

I don’t doubt this for a minute. But I don’t think it’s happening for the reason Twitter wants you to believe it’s happening. This isn’t about Twitter’s amazing ability to reach tech shoppers – it’s about the social media landscape.

Pinterest is an excellent discovery engine but it doesn’t favor techy items. If you’re looking for a lamp or a sweater for fall – Pinterest is the place to find what you want.

Facebook changes news feed again, warns page owners this might result in ‘less distribution over time’

Facebook just made another change to the News Feed algorithm and this time they’re being upfront about the fact that it may (will) cause another drop in Page engagement. Points for honesty?

This update is all about the trending post. The average person often posts about TV shows and movies and news when it’s a breaking story. You’ll see a lot of this over the next few weeks as the TV networks roll out their new season. Oh look, Kristen Wiig is trending. . . .

Facebook_trending_headlineUnder the new rules this post will show up higher in your news feed than that random post from your mother. If Caroline were to post this same update two weeks from now, it wouldn’t rise to the top because it’s old news – sorry Kristen – you only get a few moments in the Facebook sun from now on.

In two years, mobile video viewers have increased 400 percent

There’s a very good chance that your customers are watching a video on their smartphone or tablet as we speak. Ooyala says that mobile video views have increased 400% in the last two years, doubling in the last year alone. Right now, 25% of all video views are happening on a mobile device and that number is expected to double again by 2016.

For those who prefer a visual representation, here’s one from the Ooyala Q2 2014 Global Video Index Report:

Ooyala mobile video growth

Look at that! That’s quite a climb.

There are a number of factors that contributed to this pretty picture; devices with bigger screens, more access to fast connection speeds, an increase in the number of videos being uploaded every day and then there’s the young millennial factor.