Search Marketing & Technology News Roundup, Oct. 4, 2011
Google Testing New Circular-Style Ads
Google is testing new ad units called “Circulars” in hopes of mimicking the full-page inserts found in Sunday newspapers. These new ads will reportedly act as custom landing pages with attractive ad copy and large pictures. The circulars will appear when users click on search or display ads. Google is introducing these new ads in response to retailers’ desire to drive online visitors into physical stores.
The new ad format is scheduled to be unveiled later this week.
Napster Acquired By Rhapsody
Rhapsody will soon be acquiring the once infamous online music subscription service Napster.
Napster experienced tremendous popularity during its bad-boy days of P2P music sharing. Although Napster has never regained its former glory since shutting down after numerous lawsuits and re-launching as a pay service, the name still carries weight, and it’ll be interesting to see what Rhapsody does with it.
New Facebook Metrics, Ads, and Timeline
If you already feel overwhelmed by Facebook add-ons, this news won’t come easily, but like it or not, Facebook continues to make major changes.
Facebook is adding some helpful new features to its Page insights. You’ll be able to see your total likes, a “Friends of Fans” metric, and the weekly total reach of a Page, among other things.
Folks are talking a lot about the new creatively named feature, “People Are Talking About This Page.” This enables you to see the conversation about your brand beyond your immediate fan base by examining all stories about your brand across the Facebook universe, incorporating Likes, comments, tags, etc.
Facebook is also rolling out a new expanded Premium ad unit “that combines Page posts with social context from your friends when available.” Basically, the ad expands if a friend “liked” the brand.
On top of all this, Facebook Timeline is a new profile layout that organizes content in a scrapbook-style collection of past updates, memorable photos, and general hodgepodge-ry.
While the layout is fun and crisp looking, it will undoubtedly overwhelm many users. Considering there is a large contingent of Facebook users who fly into a tantrum with every slight alteration, this might not go over well with everyone.
With most folks still adjusting to Facebook’s newer features like updated lists, ticketing, and feed subscriptions, I expect plenty of moaning and groaning about the Timeline. I imagine it’ll be preferable to the mess Facebook is now – when I log on currently it looks like my living room was attacked by a hoard of pixie-stick-ingesting-kindergartners armed with glitter and a jumbo box of crayons.
Apple’s Next iPhone
With the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event now upon us, iPhone junkies everywhere anxiously await the expected unveiling of the next-generation iPhone. Fans doubtlessly are already lining up to sell their firstborn for Apple’s newest shiny phone.
UPDATE: The iPhone 4S has been officially unveiled, boasting a better camera and voice controls.