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.
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.
It’s no secret that location is quickly becoming one of the key decision points when it comes to marketing to an ad receptive demographic. The newest trend is on the mobile platform – ala Foursquare and Gowalla. However, the offline practice is still very relevant (think the Zagat and it’s restaurant ratings – side note – they just integrated with Foursquare this year). Web based companies are starting to make it more relevant and more ubiquitous with their signage in local businesses. Yelp was one of the first in the growing the trend of sending out stickers to local businesses that integrate an offline analog experience with your favorite social network. Google was quick to follow with their ‘Favorite Places‘ decals. Facebook continues the trend of letting others pioneer and then swoop in to dominate an established practice due to the sheer size of their user base. Who wins moving forward? Mashable bets on Facebook.
“…one decal will prevail and we tend to think Facebook’s more than 400 million userbase and the value of an instant Fan will make Facebook’s offering especially appealing to local business owners.”
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…
This was passed along to me this morning by a trusted contact who has a keen eye for interesting tidbits on the Net… Our own Any Grove gets a mention, being quoted as saying “Google is a company on steroids, with a finger in every industry”. He couldn’t be more right – we’re seeing that every day.
At the beginning of March, there were several stories published by major news networks, around how one town in Kansas renamed itself (temporarily) ‘Google, Kansas’ in an effort to claim one of the few spots available for the beta version of Google’s Fiber Network. That did not go unrecognized by Google, and today they exacted their ‘revenge’ by renaming their campus and homepage as an April Fool’s joke. Well played Google, er ‘Topeka’.