Touché

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Google+, News | Posted on Sep 12, 2012

0

I’ve never been a big fan of Google+, but I’ve got to hand it to them here. Not only are they tying themselves to what is bound to be a huge property, but they’re making themselves an integral part of the fan/artist relationship. It feels all kinds of wrong to think that Google+ might actually have a future on the web, but a few more power plays like this and they might have themselves a legitimate market. Well played, sir.

4 More Social Media Statistics that Should Bother You

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Google+, Opinion, Pinterest, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on May 16, 2012

0

Social Media

4. You Watched 435 Youtube Videos Last Year

And that’s just an average. Evenly divided among all internet users, GLOBALLY, the number of views per person in 2011 came in at just over 434.7. What were we watching? Was it important? Probably not.

Rebecca Black

The good news about this statistic is that it teaches us exactly how widespread and influential YouTube is. More than ever, companies need to be focusing on how to best leverage their visual presence online (Facebook Timeline, Pinterest, etc.), and YouTube is a great place to continue that expansion.

3. 5% of Tweeters Produce 75% of the Content

Some of you probably don’t find this that surprising. It seems like people who use Twitter are often split between rarely posting updates and spewing tweets like some sort of greasy, bit.ly-crusted faucet. If you follow anyone like that, you know what I mean, and that overflow of information can often be counterproductive when looking for useful or relevant material.

Confused Bird

Why is this such an issue? Because Twitter encourages it. The more a person posts, the more exposure they get, and, as long as they keep the content varied and original, they get distributed through retweets and similar posts. Basically, it’s a numbers game, with over-tweeters betting that their visibility will make up for how annoying they are. On the plus side, the need for fresh topics does keep things at least a little interesting, and there are always more than one way to connect with someone online…

2. Pinterest Shrunk by 10% Last Month

For those of you with active Pinterest accounts, this stat should come as no surprise. Posting has slowed dramatically since the site’s initial hype in March, and many casual users have stopped visiting all together. It’s not hard to see why it’s happening; pinning is fun when you first start and have a lot of fresh ideas, but generating new content can become a chore once those ideas are used up. For example, I’m a huge fan of craft brewing, and most of my personal page is dedicated to posting about beers that I’m trying. Early on, I was able to draw from my experiences and easily come up with drafts and images that fit the Pinterest style. However, after only a few weeks, I had basically run out of old ideas and my posts became dependant on new material. At an average of one new beer a week, posts on my Board slowed to a crawl, and traffic responded likewise. Once that happened, the value of posting wasn’t worth the time and effort it took to generate the content.

No More Drinking

Since March, Pinterest has lost over 150,000 active users. This isn’t great news, but the lasting impact may be better than people expect. Pinterest is a fad, but a very functional and useful one. Their meteoric rise in popularity was bound to result in fading interest down the road. All we can do now is wait and see if they’ll be able to hold their fans’ attention over the summer.

1. Britney Spears Runs Google +

Britney Spears is, by a wide margin, the most popular person on Google+. Why? I have no idea. What does it mean? It means that now, more than ever, I want nothing to do with that social media trainwreck.

Britney Spears

Looking for more disturbing facts? Check out the original.

4 Social Media Statistics that Should Bother You

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, Google+, News, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Feb 29, 2012

0

4. Half of Twitter’s Users Were Never Even Active

Before you start thinking this is a gross exaggeration, think about the people you know and how they interact online. How many of your friends have signed up for Twitter? Of that number, how many are still posting regularly? Is it difficult to believe, with so many people you probably know now dropping off, that most users never got beyond trying Tweets on for size? Consider this graph, created by Twitter’s own API in mid-2011:

Twitter Following Graph

From this, we can clearly see that, by Twitter’s own admission, most tags created in the last 5 years have generated little to no traffic since they were activated. How does this affect us? For one, this inactive user pool is a huge drain on resources for Twitter itself, making it more difficult to police and update services efficiently. Secondly, that pool of 500 million users we think we’re interacting with is probably closer to 200 million. Impressive, yes, but not what we expected. Luckily for everyone, recent expansions in membership are indicating strong increases in user activity, so we’re likely to see this situation improve. In the meantime, we can turn to more established methods to getting our messages out there…

3. Facebook Ads Have a .001% “Success” Rate

Take a second and think back to the last time you were on facebook. Right now? Great. Look to the right side of your screen. How many of those ads are relevant to you? Most of them, probably. But how many times have you ever clicked on one? If you’re like most facebook users, the answer is never. This is a common trend on facebook and by and far the biggest problem facing their investors today.

Terrible Facebook Ad

All in all, this isn’t as big a problem as the numbers would make it out to be. .001% of 845 million active users is still 8,500 customers. Also, .that statistic is a blanket figure applied generally to all facebook advertisers. In reality, well-known and respected companies often have much higher Click and Conversion rates. Still, small businesses face the obstacles created by this low success rate on a constant basis.

To counter the ill effects of low ROI, many small businesses are now investing in the drawing power of their Pages. By creating attractive Landing Tabs and Like-Gates, they can secure Likes and reach a larger and more interested audience for their products. For many small businesses, this is becoming the solution to Facebook marketing and other dwindling Social Media prospects.

2. YouTube Generates More Hours of Content in 1 Month than all Major Television Networks Combined, Ever

How many hours of TV do you think exist? Think about every season of every sitcom you’ve seen or every football game you’ve watched. All of that footage could be uploaded to YouTube in the time it would take to set your DVR. Currently, people upload videos to YouTube at a rate of 48 hours per minute. That’s over 25 million hours a year and growing. While this is great for YT, it doesn’t do much for their users, who have to struggle daily to stay afloat against ever-growing tidal waves of rival content. There aren’t even enough people to watch all of that footage, even with Google creating accounts for all of its members. Yep, they’re doing that.

1. Google+ Members Average Less than 5 Minutes of Use per Month

We’ve all heard the dismal reports about Google+ usage: Growth is slowing down, people aren’t connecting as well as expected, etc.; but our hopes have been kept afloat by the reported increases in membership, the array of new features being introduced, and the relentless television and internet advertising. Now, research firm ComScore Inc. has revealed that that optimism may have been misplaced, releasing a study this week claiming that active Google+ members spend, on average, 3.3 minutes on the sight per month.

Google+ Meme

Keep in mind, this isn’t all members we’re talking about. If ComScore had factored in all the accounts created since G+’s release, the numbers would probably have been even worse. No, this is a study of people who have accessed their accounts recently, and it’s telling us that the average user spends about 8 seconds on G+ per day. To put that in perspective, most people spend a 2 full minutes a day brushing their teeth.

Obviously, decisions need to be made about the future viability of Google+. Despite the lack of prolonged use, it still has a powerful backing and a variety of user and business-friendly tools, and that has to factor in to any major consideration. In the meantime, it would be best to focus on more popular media.

Google+ Your World

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Google+, Opinion, Social Media | Posted on Jan 23, 2012

0

Should Search be Social?

This picture makes sense if you read the post

This picture makes sense if you read the post

I know I am a little behind the ball on getting a post on Google Search Plus Your World out, but it was inevitable that I write about this eventually. When I was out at Affiliate Summit West, I had some scathing words for Google+ when asked about the social network during my break out session on Social Media Marketing tactics.

My main issue with Google+ is that it is an incredibly niched network, that doesn’t add a whole lot of value to the individual user as a social network. When Google+ was initially released, I had predicted that Google was regarding their social network as the glue that will completely close the digital marketing loop, i.e., have accurate analytics in real time for both search and social. Since the release of Google+ it is obvious that this is what Google is trying to do, but they are falling short for one very simple reason:

YOU CAN’T GIVE A ROBOT FEELINGS

I’m sorry if that example sounds like I am talking to you like a ten year old, however this statement holds a lot of weight. By adding the social aspect (the feelings) to Google (the robot) there will be inevitable issues. The first thing that comes to mind is privacy. When Google unleashed the ‘not provided’ section in keywords, marketers were furious (and rightfully so). Not provided keywords show up in your analytics when the person who visited your website access your page through Google while logged into Google+. I am all for maintaining privacy, but since Google ultimately wants a successful adoption rate of Google+, marketers will undoubtedly get screwed.

Essentially at Affiliate Summit I concluded that if you are a business you absolutely need a Google+ page, but you should be incredibly upset about this. I gave this presentation on January 8th, just two days before Google announced the release of their attempt at further integrating Google+ with search.

After reading the official release notes on Google’s blog, I am astounded at the shallow attempt to integrate social and search. I think there are major problems posed by Search Plus Your World, one is a marketing issue and the other is a societal issue.

The marketing issue is simple, a monkey wrench has been thrown into traditional digital marketing tactics. A site’s search results will be altered when personal search is switched on. Companies put in a lot of hard work to rank first in a Google search, and this hard work is getting thrown out the window for the sake of social.

The societal  issue that follows from Google Search Plus Your World, is an advocacy for group think. If I am only being shown articles, images, videos and any other form of media that is within my cohort group I am missing out on an incredible amount of information including dissenting opinions. Search plus your world is turning your search results into your own virtual ‘yes man’ by adding the images of your social connections and serving you the ‘relevant’ information.

Maybe I am being too hard on Google+, but there are so many wrinkles to iron out before it starts to flourish. I mean look at how much response a user gets on Google+ as opposed to that same post being placed on Facebook. Google+ is still an emerging network, but I think that it exists for the wrong reason. Search and social are separate and should remain that way. What are your thoughts?

Social Media Wars

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Google+, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Dec 12, 2011

1

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – Are they Really in Competition

On the surface people  look at Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and think that they are in direct competition. I get where people are coming from, they are all social media platforms so they must be in competition. However, this is a very simplistic view of these tools. As social media expands in popularity there is a more nuanced approach to each tool.

Facebook – Social Connector

Facebook is a media machine, it is great for marketers and brands. Facebook provides targets ads that are incredibly precise and have become  more effective with the inclusion of sponsored stories. On top of the appeal for advertisements, Facebook is an incredible way for brands to connect with their audience. Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm encourages brands to post various types of content, e.g., pictures, videos, and links, to increase interaction.

For personal accounts, Facebook is the leader in promoting personal interaction. Facebook stores an incredible amount of data about you and the people you are connected with. The new ‘Timeline’ feature shows your entire history on Facebook. To put things in perspective, I have been on Facebook since 2005, so Facebook has 6 years of information on me and everyone I have been connected with on their network. No other social network can claim to have this type of information, which is why Facebook is in the Social Connection niche of Social Media.

Google+ – Niched Knowledge base & Social Search

Google+ has become a great spot on the internet to discuss in depth topics with leaders in your industry. The platform reminds me of Twitter, but without a 140 character limit. There is a lot of collaboration occurring on this network, and gives its user base a familiar place to discuss topics within their niche.

Google+ is not a direct competitor with Facebook or Twitter. Google+ is Google’s attempt to connect search and social. Think of Google+ as the glue between your website ranking, analytics and adwords. Google+ could become the answer to one of the most elusive questions in social marketing ‘What is the ROI of social media?’

Twitter – Content Aggregation & Collaborative Approach

Twitter has an amazing user base from a marketer’s perspective. it is incredibly transparent and by design all of the content needs to be to the point. Twitter users have to take complex ideas and break them down into 140 characters, when you are in the middle of a hashtag chat, this becomes a great drill for writing short and coherent ideas.

Twitter could likely become one of the best ways to share news. If I am following someone that I trust, when they post a story/article, that article is brought right to the top of my ‘to read’  list. Since I started using Twitter, I always feel like I am on the cutting edge for the latest developments in marketing and Social media.

To Conclude

Each social media platform has a different goal. Some of the other big players I didn’t talk about like LinkedIn and YouTube are clearly major social networks, but obviously far more niched. Rather than comparing Twitter, Facebook and all of the other social networks to each other, look at how they are different. When you understand that they aren’t all the same, you can start to design a better social strategy and properly use these tools.

Online to Pass the Time

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, News, Social Media | Posted on Dec 02, 2011

0

A Recent Study Showed 74% of Online Adults use the Internet to pass the time

A recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that adults use the internet for ‘no particular reason’ and as a way to pass the time. People browsing the web lack purpose, and this is something marketers need to keep in mind while crafting their next campaign. Since adults view the internet as a ‘destination for fun’ it is imperative that companies and marketers utilize some of the fun outlets online in their attempts to grow their business.

Key Takeaways

There are a few things you should take away from this study. The first being that the Internet is immersing itself as a major aspect of many people’s lives. They interact with people, watch videos, read articles, search Google, create shareable content, share content, and the list goes on and on and on. If this is how people are spending time, marketers need to find a way to catch the attention of people ‘just looking to have fun’.

It is no wonder that funny videos go viral, these videos are shareable content that people want to see. This is also why people continually share images and info graphics. The second key take away from this study is that you need to make your company ‘Shareable’. Social networks are the medium by which people share the latest findings online. Your company needs to market itself in ways that make people want to pass the word along.

Social begets Sharing

During a twitter hashtag chat the other day, #smmeasure, one of the questions was ‘Do you expect to see more social networks emerge in 2012’. Most people quickly said ‘yes’ or ‘Of course, let’s see them’. I took a much different approach to the question. Companies shouldn’t try to build social networks, Facebook, Twitter Google+ and LinkedIn are covering the market pretty well.  Not to mention, people still use specialized forums to discuss various topics in depth. Companies need to find a way to utilize social marketing, but more importantly craft services that are a their very foundation social.

What do you think of this study? How would you design products/services that are social by nature?

Who is Google+ Competing With?

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Google+, Opinion, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Nov 17, 2011

0

Brand Pages Look a lot like Personal Pages

Google+ Initial Release

On the initial launch of Google+ it was being referred to as the ‘Facebook Killer’. At first it looked like the buzz around it could have lead to it taking a lot of Facebook’s users. Google+ is the fastest growing social network in comparison to Facebook and Twitter, and things looked promising for Google+.

However, after people logged in for the first time they never seemed to log in again.  The culture was taken over by tech specialists and marketers who are trying to be on the cutting edge. Essentially, Google+ didn’t have the social clout that Facebook had, and anyone who thought it would beat out Facebook in even 5 years was foolish.

As more and more people started using Google+ it started to resemble Twitter. more status updates and syndicated content. Since more tech specialists were on Google+ it looked a lot more like old school forums that have a near ‘cult’ following. The ability to post and comment past 140 characters made Google+ a great social forum, along for self expression and focused discussion.

After Google+ Brand Page Release

Google announced the release of its brand pages and there was quite the backlash by the marketing community. The pages resemble a personal page exactly*. A few of the major disadvantages come from the lack of vanity metrics as well as no promotional capabilities or custom pages.  After seeing the lack of differences between the Brand and personal pages I really started seeing that Google+ resembles doesn’t resemble Facebook as much as it does another social media platform.

Why Twitter Should Worry

Twitter is used by many marketing professionals to discuss topics and syndicate their content (sound familiar to the earlier description of Google+?). Google+ provides a more robust way to share content and is perfect for particular verticals. As more and more people are looking for ‘authenticity’ in the people who post, Google+ looks like the best option. Twitter is often filled with automated posts and bots, which can really hinder discourse. Google+ on the other hand, has an active, albeit smaller, community.

Why Twitter Shouldn’t Worry

Twitter shouldn’t worry because it has more than just tech specialists and marketers in its user base. Twitter is used for personal use all the time, in fact in most cases is used primarily by individuals to express themselves. Google+ doesn’t have that sort of draw, and in my opinion will never have that type of draw (as long as Facebook and Twitter keep their doors open).

Google+ has become a pretty big joke in the social media community, and has a long way to go to escape these criticisms. A colleague of mine sent me this photo earlier, and this is just one of many photos that really take a shot at the future and functionality of Google+.

 

*Note that in the personal picture I provided I didn’t add the 5 images under my name, just because I don’t login to Google+ at all

Do you measure social influence?

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Google+, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Nov 01, 2011

1

Welcome to the new wild west of social metrics

Influence is the new buzz word surrounding different social media marketing circles. There have been increased developments on how to identify influential users and why you should be identifying these users. Influence is important, but you have to pay attention to what the person is influential in. I could be best friends with Patton Oswalt (Klout Score 78) but I doubt he would get that many qualified leads from him.

Personally I feel that it is completely foolish to only regard ‘online’ influence. This seems to be the trend going on in the main influence ranking websites, especially with the introduction of Kred and the changes Klout has implemented. Last week there were some major changes to the Klout algorithm, which upset many people, but from what I have noticed people are more or less where they should be on the influence scale. Just remember when measuring influence to take into account the things that the Internet cannot measure, these things can be pretty easy to ‘game’.

Here are a few of the top sites for measuring social influence:

Klout

Currently Klout has cornered the influence market. You can read a little more about Klout in a previous post. Basically they look at 10 different social networks, and then gauge how influential you are based on three main metrics:

  1. True Reach
  2. Amplification
  3. Network Impact

Klout is great for looking at how active people are online, but that is really as far as they go.  There are plenty of things people do that exist outside of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other network you have connected your Klout score to. For example, I know a lot about music, comedy and philosophy. I happen to brand myself online as a marketer, so I don’t talk about these things in the digital world. I have been pretty influential in all of the interests I listed above, but Klout would never know this. You get only one part of the picture with Klout.

Kred

Kred is an attempt by PeopleBrowsr to collect both digital and real life influence.  your Kred score is updated in real time and also offers some interesting metrics and analytics.  Currently you need to request your Kred on their website, but you can get a look at your score by visiting this TechCrunch article here’s mine:

It doesn’t go into that much detail about the specifics, but the score is broken into two pieces: Influence and Outreach. The influence score looks to be similar to how Klout measures your activity and is based on a scale of 1 to 1,000. Kred looks at the number of mentions, retweets and followers your account receives.  The outreach score shows how often you retweet other people’s content. It gives an idea of how active YOU are in the digital space.

Outreach scores are an interesting concept, obviously you aren’t generating all of the great content on the Internet (as much as you would like to). So it gives some transparency of how often you give credit to others for their hard labor of scrounging the internet for interesting tid-bits in your vertical.

Kred claims to be more transparent than Klout, which has led to some controversy. Kred is also attempting to take some of your off line influence into account, like different accolades in your life including your degree and other awards.  The company has been in ‘invite only’ status since September, and I am not completely sold that it can loosen Klout’s stranglehold on the market.

ProSkore

I just found out about ProSkore today, and on my first impression I thought it was pretty lackluster.  It ias a Pro+ option that tries to get more information and charges you for the service.  I am not convinced that this will be a viable option to both Klout and Kred. This is the first example of an influence site that is trying to make money off of their users, thoug hI think Kred might move to this model.

Klout has been able to remain a free service because they are not trying to make money off of the people they score, but from the businesses who are offering perks. A very interesting business model to say the least.

PeerIndex

Peerindex is definitely worth talking about, however I have never used it.  I actually signed up for an account today and connected it to all of my live accounts.  I like how they take blogs and my favorite Q/A site Quora into consideration with your score.

Unfortunately PeerIndex does not update in real time, so it will take a while for me to actually see my score. What has your experience been like with PeerIndex?

 

To conclude, influence has always been important but these tools only crack one part of the influence code. Do you think these tools are a good measure of someone’s true influence? I think I know the answer to my own question, but would like to hear what you all have to say.

Affiliate Summit in Review

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Affiliate marketing, Conferences, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Aug 24, 2011

4

Affiliate Summit Review – Social Media & Affiliate Tips

You all may have noticed that our blog activity has been lacking so far this week.  The reason I haven’t had time to tell you all about the latest and greatest going on in the social and email world is because I spent the last three days in New York City at the Affiliate Summit.  This conference is an amazing way to jump start your affiliate program, you will meet some industry leaders and get tip top advice in topics like Social Media, SEO, and Affiliate Marketing Management.

I was fortunate enough to speak at an expert roundtable during this summit, and I had an amazingly attentive crowd who genuinely wanted to learn how to leverage social for their marketing efforts.  Anyone who attended my session  I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments section!

If you have never attended an Affiliate Summit, I would highly suggest going. If your company has not yet developed an affiliate program or has not taken it seriously, the Affiliate Summit will give you the knowledge and the tools to develop an amazing affiliate program. For everyone that didn’t get the chance to attend this years Affiliate Summit East, here are the top 5 tips I learned at affiliate summit

1. Twitter is Your Friend

Twitter is an amazing way to start finding new leads, partnership opportunities, and back links. During the keynote on Monday morning, Will Reynolds from SEER Interactive discussed new ways to build back links using Twitter and third party tools.  His suggestions showed just how powerful Twitter can be, especially if you can build an active following.

Think of your Twitter followers like this, they are people who are genuinely interested i n what your brand has to say.  Now that you have their attention they are more likely to post your content on their own website getting you those oh so important back links.  Will had suggested using the export.ly tool to find out who follows you on Twitter and the SEOmoz tool to find out who isn’t linking to you.  Twitter followers have already shown an interest in your brand, and if you reach out to the users who do not link to you and convince them to.  View Will’s presentation HERE

2. Use Third Party Tools

There are all sorts of great tools out there to help build your social presence as well as generate leads from this presence.  Here is a list of the top tools you can’t afford to miss:

  1. SEOmoz
  2. Export.ly
  3. ROWfeeder
  4. TweetReach
  5. Ubbersuggest
  6. TweetAdder

I think these tools should get you off to a good start.  Utilizing both tools in conjunction with one another works will too.  Try cross referencing different types of data to really supercharge your targeting efforts.

3. Affiliate Marketing is all About Relationships

If you are developing a new affiliate program, this concept is fundamental to your program’s success. Affiliates want to work with people they can trust and they want someone to talk to when they have questions or concerns.  I would suggest having a dedicated affiliate manager, who works directly with affiliates.  Some services you could provide are banner ads for affiliates, some content they could use in their reviews, box shots, data feeds, and most importantly a direct email and phone number where the affiliate manager can be reached.

Essentially affiliates are another type of sales force for your company.  They build their livelihood around developing new niche site and content, make sure to make their job easier and more pleasurable and  you will turn your affiliates into product evangelists that will drive more traffic and conversions to your website.

4. Social Media Requires Forward Thinking

My talk at the expert roundtable was initially supposed to be about creating and designing Like Worthy Facebook Pages.  We did discuss the best practices, but the discussion turned into a piece about social media and the mindset you need to have while using social media.  Google+ came up a lot during the conversation, mostly companies asking ‘Why bother using it right now?’ This is how I replied:

“You don’t want to be second place on social media. Social media is all about forward thinking, it is imperative that you utilize all of the tools available in order to stay ahead of the crowd. If you are not on Google+ yet because it is not ‘business’ oriented yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. You have the opportunity to create an engaged community on Google+ and when (mind you not if) Google includes businesses to their platform you will be one step ahead of all the other people who said ‘Why bother?’.”

5. There is always a crowd for your product, no matter how lame [you think] it might be

There are always people who will think your concept is cool, no matter what the topic is.  During one session Joe Soussa talked about the incredible size of the knitting community online.  The name of the group escapes me, but he gave an example of a message board of over a million people who LOVE to knit. Now I know I don’t get excited about knitting, but just because I don’t get excited doesn’t mean no one else will.  It is your job as a marketer to sniff out these leads, and leverage different types of marketing efforts to tap these lead wells.

http://www.slideshare.net/wilreynolds/affiliate-summit-keynote-no-shortcuts

Social Media in the Last Week

Posted by Dylan | Posted in Facebook, Google+, Social Media | Posted on Aug 12, 2011

0

Here is a collection of social media related trends from the last week.

 

London Riots and Social Media

As I wrote a few days ago, social media has played a part on both sides of the London riots. Rioters have been using Twitter and Facebook to organize mobs to attack new targets, and manage to stay a step ahead of the police. However, the police have started to use social media as well to identify suspects in the various looting and destruction that has been ongoing. In a third use of social media, other British citizens have begun to organize cleanup efforts across all the affected areas. Civilians have also started websites to identify looters and thieves. Prime Minister David Cameron has even suggested banning people accused of being involved in the riots from social media.

Facebook Chat List

Facebook has made many changes to its chat component recently, and has a history of making changes that users do not take too kindly to. This time around, Facebook has decided to put friends whose profiles you frequent at the top of the chat window, and the rest of those online under the title “More Friends Online.” I think that Facebook got it half right. People generally have a lot of friends on Facbeook, so having them in alphabetical order is not very conducive to getting people to chat using Facebook, which is of course what the company wants people to be doing. However, it also includes some friends who are not online, which just pushes those who are online lower down the list.

Facebook, Google, and Games

This is basically two stories in one. First Google yesterday rolled out a feature that we knew was coming: gaming. A large part of Facebook is it’s gaming, and whole companies have built themselves up creating games for the Facebook platform, so it stands to reason that Google would want to get in on this as well, and so they have. Games on Google+ made but a brief appearance, but Google did accompany it with a blog post including 16 titles like Zynga Poker and Angry Bird, so you know that Google already has big players (Zynga and Rovio) signed up, which is a great start. In oddly specifically related news, Facebook has added some features to its gaming, including a sidebar on the right side with a news feed of your friends’ game data like high scores. Facebook games also now include a full screen option for those that want to take advantage of every last pixel on their screens.

Facebook Advertising by Zip Code

Advertising on Facebook has always been a fantastic tool due to its level of specificity. With all of the information that users freely give to Facebook, advertisers can target detailed groups, like “20-30 year olds who like the movie iron man.” However, Facebook has added to the ability to take that detail to the level of a zipcode, which of course can be quite small. Cambridge, Massachusetts, where TemplateZone has its headquarters, has five zip codes. This will give increased power to small, local brick and mortar shops, as well as to politicians looking to convert a few more voters.