Every year, about this time, I look forward to this 3 minute film Google puts together – looking back at the year in search. As a marketer, it was amazing to see how much brands were involved in the events of the year. From Red Bull to Adidas, to NatGeo – 2012 was definitely the Year of the Brand.
A look back at the events of 2011… Well done Google.
In light of all the news at today’s f8 conference, that lead is only going to grow… some really cool stuff rolling out by Zuck and friends. Timeline will be a game changer for the user interface of Facebook. What’s interesting is that Google+ is not factored into this grid (probably due to the June ’11 data cutoff – prior to G+ launching). They, too, are rolling out some interesting changes in their service – not to mention opening up the flood gates to all users who are interested in signing up. The gloves are coming off, for sure. Steve Rubel (EVP/Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman) says in a tweet today:
“Story of the day: Google+ and Facebook are escalating a features arms race, while Twitter is aiming to streamline <– a good move”
Not sure I agree 100% with Steve. Sure, there is something to be said for streamlining but the prevailing theory out there is that Zuckerberg is interested in ensuring that his user base does not get bored with his service. Thus, the bevy of changes that you are seeing being instituted by Facebook this week. Perhaps from his perspective, the trade off for pissing off his users is that they remain engaged, because they are forced to come back and engage with the platform – hopefully leading to them learning something new and discovering elements to facebook they weren’t aware of before. Mostly smart – unless he does something so egregious that people flee and stay away. I personally don’t see that happening. It’s a service that has become a fabric of our everyday lives… which is what he was banking on.
Introducing Google Wallet – Brilliant…
Now, if your in media you know that Google doesn’t typically advertise on TV – yet they’ve come out with 2 spots within the last week promoting Chrome. The first one I saw was entitled “It Gets Better” and the theme of the ad spot focused on bullying. Great spot, great message – discussing a very relevant topic in the news today.
The second spot I saw really hit its mark with me. I’m a new dad to my son Brooks. A few nights ago Danielle and I were watching TV and saw the spot entitled “Dear Sophie“, about a new dad that used all the tools from Google (in his Chrome Browser, of course) to communicate ‘forward’ to his daughter at various stages of her life. It was basically a time capsule of her life, through Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Picassa and any other tool from Google that was applicable. Brilliant. I think it’s just inspired me to do the same…
Anyone see the irony in this image? If I were Google, I’d be a ‘little’ bit upset with the name of the service (for the uninformed, see: Google Places). The supposed ‘Foursquare killer‘ has launched – another great example of Facebook letting others pioneer technology and then implementing a ‘copy exact’ model to a significantly larger user base. One difference? Your friends can ‘check you in’ if you allow it. That could have some interesting implications and you better really trust your ‘friends’ on Facebook to be considerate when showing you at a venue you might not be comfortable with.
Looking at the social graph tonight, I’m not sure this is quite out of beta. Only available in the United States (Foursquare – International), and many users are getting the ‘Fail Whale’ of Places – meaning… ‘This service will be available in your region soon’ note when they try to check in.
Their advantage – adoption. As ReadWriteWeb says on it’s Twitter feed:
“once I see Places, probably all my friends are on FB, only a few use 4sq. for visibility, it’s an obvious choice”
Sadly, I think they’re right. Personally, I’m still a believer in Foursquare – but I’ll probably use Places as well.
Today, Google announced that they are adding a great new feature to their real time search capabilities – the ability to ‘replay’ a moment in time in Twitter, via it’s Twitter search capabilities, to see what people were saying on Twitter at any given moment – literally, to the minute. For now, Tweets are being indexed back to February of this year – however, according to ReadWriteWeb, they will soon be able to index back to early 2006. The power of the internet ‘archive’…What a great way to find out how, when, and by whom news was broken on the social graph…