This Week in Social (Week of September 16)

This Week in Social is a weekly digest of some of the biggest stories in social media marketing news. These stories are the show notes for the Brave Ad World Podcast. Each story is discussed at a deeper level on the podcast.

Google Acquires Bump (Read more at TechCrunch)

Google revealed this week that it acquired Bump, a service that lets users tap their phones together to share information, including contact details. The deal has been speculated to be worth $35 million. Bump will continue to work as it does now.

Bump makes sense based on Google’s latest focus on organizing and sharing of information as we see with platforms like Google+, but this could also play into Google Wallet in that Bump allows users to exchange information by tapping devices. It’s a bit more seamless than NFC.

With Google behind it, Bump could gain a lot more attention from users as it has the potential to be integrated into Android devices.

Tumblr Sells Firehose Access to DataSift (Read more at CNET)

Tumblr has signed a deal with DataSift. The deal gives DataSift access to Tumblr’s real-time and historical data firehose.

The move follows Yahoo’s acquisition of the platform for more than $1 billion and paves the way for more advertising on Tumblr. The deal will give advertisers deeper consumer engagement analytics, which can be used to evaluate the platform better for brand opportunities. DataSift is a proven partner for doing just that, being one of Twitter’s preferred partners when it comes to data.

Much like Twitter, Tumblr is full of a lot of social data that can be leveraged. DataSift is already selling Twitter data to social applications, and it can now do the same with Tumblr. While the move opens up more opportunities for advertising, it also allows Tumblr to monetize its data.

YouTube to Allow Short-Term Downloads on Mobile Apps (Read more at The Guardian)

YouTube is prepping for an update to its mobile apps coming in November that will allow users to download videos onto their devices for offline viewing. Users will be able to save videos for a short period of time to their devices, which means users catching a flight or who will be out of reach of a stable Internet connection will be able to download the videos without worry.

This is an about face for the video sharing platform because downloading is currently against the rules even though many extensions allow users to get around the rule.

This seems like a small feature, but it could be specific.  YouTube is continually pushing for users to subscribe to channels, so this feature could allow for more binge viewing behavior. You can stack up on your favorite show and watch without interruption.

Pinterest Launches Promoted Pins (Read more at The Wall Street Journal)

Pinterest has been around for nearly three years, and investors have patiently waited on a more robust monetization plan beyond its affiliate links program, which it stopped doing in 2012. The wait is over.

Pinterest announced the launch of promoted pins. Promoted pins will allow businesses to pay to show certain pins at the top of search results and category feeds.

According to Pinterest founder and CEO Ben Silbermann, the goal is to create ads that are “tasteful” and “transparent.” There will not be pop-up ads or flashy banners. Silbermann provides the example of a costume shop promoting its products in a search for “Halloween.”

The tool is only available for a handful of early partners at this time but will be rolled out to more in the future. The initial testers will not be charged a fee for the test.

Pinterest has 25.6 million unique monthly U.S. visitors per month according to comScore, and the site has quickly become a social media marketing darling. Now, the site is offering brands more opportunities, and the tool makes a lot of sense. This is a perfect example of native advertising done right because it’s content users will find valuable. The integration feels natural with how both users and brands are using the platform.

News Quick Hits

  • Rdio is launching a free, ad-supported music service in partnership with Cumulus. The deal gives Rdio more access to Cumulus’ programming to allow it to better compete with Spotify and Pandora. Until now, Rdio has charged $5 - $10 per month for access. (Read more at The New York Times)
  • Twitter has added a new feature for only verified accounts that allows them to toggle their mentions to view all mentions, filtered mentions chosen by an algorithm to cut out spam and mentions from other verified accounts. (Read more at Twitter’s Blog)
  • Facebook joined many other apps by pushing an update to coincide with the rollout of iOS7, the operating system for iPhones, iPods and iPads. The update includes design elements to fit within the new operating system as well as navigation by tapping along the bottom of the screen. Users can also tap the bottom right of the screen to see different options for timeline, groups and other features. Users can also swipe left to right to get back to the News Feed after viewing a story. (Read more at AllFacebook)
  • Tumblr updated its Android app to add push notifications, offering pings when people gain new followers and get comments. (Read more at Engadget)
  • Feedly is opening its API to all developers interested in building RSS-based applications. This follows Feedly’s early agreements with app makers, including Reeder, Press, Newsify and others. The API is currently used by fifty developers. (Read more at TechCrunch)
  • Klout has launched a new app called Cinch that allows users to ask a question and then receive an answer from someone Klout identifies as an “expert.” The service is a combination of Quora and Klout. Anyone can ask a question, and then Klout users its data to identify the best person or people to provide an answer. (Read more at The Next Web)