social media watch

Google+ Ups Its Image Game to Entice More Users

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2013 11:31 AM

After two years of a less-than-impressive existence, Google is shining some much needed light on Google+, announcing 18 new features including updates to Hangouts and new tools for photo-buffs. Most impressive though, was the fact that the site now claims over 540 million active users who upload 1.5 billion photos per week. 

It’s the search giant’s latest move to compete with and differentiate its social network from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and others. 

"We want to be more than just a lightweight sharing service. We want to be the archive of your life," said Bradley Horowitz, Google+ VP Product Management.

To that end, Video Hangouts now include SMS so users can share via text, supports animated GIFs, and offers a one-click geo-location feature that adds a user's location to a message using Google Maps. Video Hangouts now appear in full-screen HD and a new suite of creative tools lets users change and focus the view while chatting in black and white, or use "Spotlight" to make the speaker the primary focus.Continue reading...

social media watch

Pinterest May Look Sweet and Innocent, but It's a Serious Traffic Driver

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2013 08:11 PM

Pinterest—the visual-heavy darling of social media now drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.   

The data just released from Shareaholic, a social plugin service that mines data from 200,000 publishers and reaches 250 million monthly unique visitors collectively, shows Facebook in the lead driving 10 percent of overall traffic to publishers in September, far exceeding all other social networks, with Pinterest second at 3.68 percent—three times more than Twitter.

The four-year-old ‘virtual pinboard’ is aggressively pursuing a path of global expansion with a 66 percent year-over-year traffic increase as evidenced by a new partnership with international broadband provider Telefónica ensuring a new Pinterest widget will be pre-loaded on Android phones sold by the telecom company in Europe and Latin America to the provider’s 316 million-strong customer base.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nespresso, Procter & Gamble, Ford and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Nespresso sees coffee pod patent revoked by European regulators.

Procter & Gamble goes high-brow in fashion collaboration.

Ford teams with University of Michigan for new battery lab. 

Alibaba plans to blow out infrastructure spending on Chinese "e-conomy."

Alitalia set for vote that may bring Italian government back in as an owner.

California Pizza Kitchen rolls out gluten-free pizza effort.

Daytona International Speedway fires up campaign.

Foursquare opens ads to all businesses.

GM opens new stamping plant in Texas.

Google+ users may see themselves crop up in new ad campaign. 

HTC eyes China for survival.

Huawei innovates with rotating CEO system.Continue reading...

brand partners

Diane von Furstenberg, Google Host 'Shoppable' Google+ Hangout

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on October 7, 2013 04:03 PM

Google and high-end designer Diane von Furstenberg have continued to build out their budding relationship since Glass first graced the designer's runway in 2012. Their latest collaboration roped in Google's namesake social network, creating a 'shoppable' Google hangout where participants could click to buy DVF products as the designer fielded questions about her life and career. 

The event, which took place last week, was a first for the network, which is still struggling to make a play for mainstream social users. But the partnership with DVF showed off the site's capabilites well, displaying a window of DVF products for sale to the right of the video window on users' screens. The shoppable hangout is the first of its kind in a string of planned partnerships with other CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) designers, Von Furstenberg being the first as president of the organization.Continue reading...

brand partners

Google Forms Sweet Partnership with Nestle to Promote New OS: Android KitKat

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2013 10:43 AM

Google’s Android team apparently has a serious sweet tooth. Since 2009, each version of its operating system has been named after one sugary confection or another. Starting with cupcake and proceeding alphabetically through such treats as éclair, ice cream sandwich, and jelly bean, the system has announced its latest iteration—and the ultimate product placement: Android KitKat.

Google and Nestle have teamed up for a no-cash partnership that will include co-branding on KitKat candy packaging, as well as a branded sweepstakes. “We couldn’t imagine a better name for our Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favorite among the team since the early days of Android,” said Marc Vanlerberghe, Director of Android Marketing, according to a press release from Nestle.

Android chief Sundar Pichal revealed the new name, which was originally rumored to be Key Lime Pie, in a Google+ post and also announced that Android has passed one billion activations.Continue reading...

app watch

YouTube Co-Founders Debut Video App to Challenge Instagram, Vine

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 8, 2013 02:58 PM

Not so fast, Instagram and Vine. There's a new video app in town, and it's from the hands of the video masters—Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the founders of YouTube. 

MixBit is a video creation app that lets users combine videos—their own and those made by other users. The app is the first major project from Avos Systems, the startup co-founded by Hurley and Chen two years ago, which is partially funded by Google, Innovation Works, Madrone Capital and New Enterprise Associates. 

Users can film a 16-second clip, and then combine it with up to 256 clips into an hour-long video, all shareable on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the MixBit website.Continue reading...

social media watch

It's a Boy! A Social Media Superstar is Born

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2013 03:12 PM

It’s a safe bet that the future monarch born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, has already redefined what it means to be a royal in today's socially-attuned world. 

While the royal couple had kept to tradition as the birth approached, with the events taking place in St. Mary's Hospital's private Lindo Wing, where Princess Diana gave birth to William, the plan took an updated detour when it came to announcing the baby's birth on Monday. According to tradition, birth and death announcements are made by signed notice via an ornate easel set up in front of Buckingham Palace. However, before the notice was posted at the palace, news of the baby boy was released via an electronic press release and on the British Monarchy's social channels, including Facebook and Twitter.

"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm. The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news. The baby is third in the line of succession after His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge. He is styled His Royal Highness Prince [name] of Cambridge."Continue reading...

social media

Facebook Hashtags Present Unforeseen Opportunities for Brand Marketers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2013 03:12 PM

Following the lead of its younger, nimbler social sister, Facebook is rolling out hashtags, aiming to make its social network more conversational and more relevant to search engine optimization. The move will open up more revenue streams for marketers and give user posts a much greater public reach. 

In other words, "public posts with searchable hashtags are truly public and discoverable; they give your posts a larger but less familiar audience," notes Buzzfeed. 

While they jury is still out whether users will appreciate the broadcasting of their posts, brands on the other hand have a unique opportunity to leverage the power of hashtag campaigns on other social platforms by connecting them through Facebook, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Continue reading...

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