Jun 15 2010

Twitter Places vs. Google Places

by Andrew DiFiore

Google asserts that 1 in 5 searches are location based.

This gave impetus for Google Places (formerly Local Business Center). Google Places expands on Place Pages, which allows a business to “claim” their own MerchantCircle-like listing that feeds Google Search and Google Map (e.g. California Pizza). In addition to such banal things as hours of operation and coupons, Google Places supports customized QR Codes (via Favorite Places) and — for just $25 per month — businesses in select cities can make their listings stand out with Google Tags.

Aside: For the uninitiated, Google automatically generates these pages regardless of whether or not you have a physical business address so it would be wise to claim your listing if for no other reason then to ensure the information is accurate. It is free for one location (city).

Twitter Place

Yesterday, Twitter announced you can tag Tweets with specific places and create new Twitter Places. You can also click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location.  A really cool feature here is you can publish check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla directly to Twitter. This means that if you click on a Twitter Place you’ll see standard Tweets and check-ins from these location-based services. Twitter will be rolling out Twitter Places in 65 countries over the next few weeks so expect to see a “Add Your Location” link below a Tweet box near you.

As far as Twitter challenging Google? Not really. Incorporating hyperlocal features has been a big trend in social media and online marketing at large. Both Twitter Places and Google Places are powerful weapons for any marketer to have in their arsenal.

Jun 1 2010

Yes, I’ve Googled Myself…

by Andrew DiFiore

Apparently, so have you.

According to a new Pew Research Center study Reputation Management and Social Media, 57% of adult internet users in the United States said they have entered their name into a search engine to assess their digital reputation. This is up from 47% in 2006 when the survey was last conducted.

Given the recent hoopla around Facebook privacy, it is no surprise people are concern over their online reputations, including young people contrary to popular belief (71% of social networking users ages 18-29 have changed their privacy settings to limit what they share with others).

The Pew Research Center study, which took place by phone between August 18 and September 14, sampled 2,253 adults 18 and older. You can download the full report here.

May 30 2010

In-Stream Advertising Belongs to Twitter (for Now)

by Andrew DiFiore

Last month (4/13 to be exact) Twitter announced their long anticipated advertising platform: Promoted Tweets.

This month (5/24 to be exact again) Twitter announced a ban on all in-stream ads by third-party advertising networks like ad.ly, twad.ly, 140 Proof, PayPer Tweet, and TweetUp (not to be confused with Tweetup the somewhat generic Twitter meetup project). TweetUp, the new kid on the block is the latest start-up of Bill Gross from Idealab, literally launched just hours before Twitter’s announcement.

Twitter decided to ban all third-party in-stream advertising networks in order to “preserve the unique user experience “ and ensure the “long-term health and value of the platform” according to Twitter’s COO, Dick Costolo. In addition, Twitter “bears all the costs of maintaining the network” and therefore deserves to be first in line for advertisers. Makes sense. If anything, Twitter has been late to the table monetizing their micro-blogging platform. Twitter started only a few weeks ago leveraging Promoted Tweets for its advertisers such as Best Buy, Red Bull, and Starbucks. You can read how Twitter’s Promoted Tweets work here .

Although I’m sure the third-party ad networks are not too happy about Twitter’s decision (as are the advertisers that use them), there is plenty of room for these networks, especially those that do search and analytics better. With an estimated 40 million registered users, expectations are high. There are going to be growing pains.

I wouldn’t be surprise a partnership (or a merger) takes place between Twitter and someone like TweetUp. After all, last year Google allowed video ad management company FreeWheel to deliver and monetize third-party video ads within YouTube.

May 24 2010

US Internet Ad Spending Revised Upward 10.8%

by Andrew DiFiore

eMarketer revised its forecast last week for US. Internet ad spending upward to 10.8% growth this year compared with 2009 (versus 5.5% it had predicted in December). This means US Internet ad spending will total $25.1 billion this year, after declining 3.4% last year.

Google’s reported 21% jump in net US ad revenue for 1Q10 (compare this to the 5.3% gain in last year’s Q1) was a the impetus for eMarketer to re-evaluate how fast the sector is rebounding. eMarketer said it anticipates that search spending will increase 15.7% this year, while banner ad spending will jump 8.2% and video spending will increase 48.1%.

In addition, in both the US and Europe, emphasis on accountability and return on investment (ROI) are causing more marketers to turn to search engine marketing and optimization tactics.

Mar 26 2010

Last Call for Google Fiber

by Andrew DiFiore

Through the Google Fiber Community initiative, Google is bringing ultra-high broadband networks of more than 1 gigabit per second to a few lucky communities across the US who elected to participate in the experiment. Google networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans currently have available to them today, according James Kelly, product manager for Google’s Infrastructure Team.

Within the last hour (of this post) there were 1141 tweets! Time is running out! So, if you want to nominate your community, follow this link.