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Apr, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: Google +Post Ads, Facebook Profits, Pinterest Guided Search

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It’s been a short two weeks so we are going right ahead and mashing the two up into one. Quite a lot has happened, especially in the Google+ universe. The departure of the Google+ chief, Vic Gundotra, in particular has got people talking today. Last week Google+ opened +Post ads to all advertisers. Meanwhile, Pinterest introduced a new way to search on its mobile apps. Read on to see what more went down in the digital space.

Head of Google+ leaves Google

Google Senior VP and head of Google+ Vic Gundotra has left Google. In a Google+ post (of course) he announced the departure with a very heartfelt story. Vic has been at Google for almost eight years, starting Google I/O, overseeing all mobile applications and creating Google+. He credits Larry Page’s encouragement and support for these milestones. He however does not say where he is going. As expected, the reporters have gone crazy with their deductions but I guess we will have to see how this goes. The new head of Google+ will be Dave Besbris, the former Vice President of Engineering for Google+.

Google +Post ads

First of a little introduction. +Post ads allow a brand to take their public Google+ posts like photos, videos or Hangouts and turn them into display ads that can run across the millions of sites in the Google Display Network. They were rolled out in December to a few brands on Google+. Now, they are available to every brand worldwide provided it meets the following criteria:

  • Your Google+ page must have at least 1,000 followers.
  • Your post should contain content that’s relevant to your audience.
  • You have opted in to shared endorsements for Google+ pages.

According to Google Inside AdWords, the select partners who ran the +Post ads during the test period saw higher engagement levels and on their creative campaigns than on other media ads. The partners included Toyota USA, the European Parliament and Cadbury UK. Yet another reason why you should not ignore Google+ in your marketing strategy. It goes beyond the network itself.

WhatsApp hits 500,000,000

WhatsApp is now at half a billion active users around the world. Yep. It was going to happen anyway, amidst the acquisition hype. WhatsApp also says that these people are sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day. How is that for Dark Social taking over? We know for a fact that WhatsApp is the most popular app in Kenya right now, topping the Free apps chart on Google Play Store. That is not about to change any time soon.

Pinterest Guided Search

Pinterest is rolling Guided Search on mobile in English through its iPhone, iPad and Android apps. This feature helps you find the best ideas according to Pinterest. It will help you explore pins whether you know what you want or just browsing. “There are more than 750 million boards with 30 billion Pins hand-picked by travelers, foodies, and other Pinners, so the right idea is just a few taps away,” reads the blog post. When you search, a horizontal list of descriptive guides you can scroll through appears and you can tap any that look interesting or that point in the direction you want to go. Try it out. It’s already on in the latest app update.

Facebook Posts Record Profits in Q1

Facebook has made a great start to the year, not just in acquiring Whatsapp, but in posting a 72 per cent increase in revenue to $2.5 billion and profits of $642 million (Kshs. 58 billion) in the first quarter of 2014. Zuckerberg and co seem to have finally figured out the mobile ecosystem with mobile ads contributing 59 per cent of the ad revenue compared to 30 per cent a year before. These are exuberant results considering the first quarter of the year is often characterized with less spending – post holidays hangover.

Other key takeaways are:

1. Daily active user stand at 802 million, a 21 per cent increase

2.  Mobile daily active users on both smartphones and tablets increased by 43 per cent to 609 million

3. Monthly active users stand at 1.28 billion, a 15 per cent upsurge

YouTube TrueView Ads Get an Update

While you may routinely click “Skip Ad” on YouTube and curse while at it, TrueView Ads are capable of effectively reaching large demographics at affordable costs. To enhance this, Google has rolled out a feature that will offer advertisers a full of set of targeting preferences. Additionally, advertisers will be able to chose between two Ad formats, that is:

1. TrueView In-display

These type of Ads appear above the suggested video list on the right column or top of YouTube search results. Advertisers will pay on a cost-per-view basis.

TrueView-in-display2. TruView In-stream

These ones play before a video from a YouTube partner. Viewers see 4 seconds of your video and then can keep watching or skip it. Advertisers only pay when a user watches at least 30 seconds of the Ad.

youtube-trueview_in_streamOther News

LinkedIn introduced three new SlideShare products for mobile purposes: the first mobile app, a redesigned mobile web and a mobile preview feature for uploads on desktop. LinkedIn holds that the products will make it easier to access, view and share your presentations on-the-go. You can download the SlideShare Android app here.

Twitter agreed to acquire Gnip, “a leading provider of social data and a long-standing Twitter data partner”. Gnip has been collecting Twitter’s public data and delivering it to partners. The two plan on offering better data enrichments to drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter.