Facebook rolls out changes to Sponsored Stories ads

Via Scoop.it - Branded Entertainment and Digital Marketing



Facebook is rolling out changes to its Sponsored Stories ad formats, which it claims will provide advertisers with greater distribution among its 800 million users, as part of a major overhaul announced yesterday (23 September).

 

One of the changes announced by Facebook chief executive and founderMark Zuckerberg at its annual f8 developer conference, was the latest version of its new “open graph”, the system that  links Facebook users to items on the web outside of the social network via the “like” social plug-in.

Actions can now be customised to include any verb, such as ‘watch’, ‘listen’ and ‘read’ which Facebook claims will create “more authentic” ways for users to talk about a business and for brands to share it with their friends.

The changes will have an impact on Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad format. Introduced at the start of this year, Sponsored Stories show a user’s interaction with a brand, such as Likes and check-ins, which are displayed on their friend’s profile in the form of a display ad.

Marketers can now target ads and Sponsored Stories to people based on the stories they have shared from apps.

For example, Sony pictures can reach users who have watched a specific trailer for a specific film with an ad on the day of the release.

Th service is currently in beta with no brands using it currently. It is only available through Facebook’s direct sales team, which it claims will ensure “proper controls”.

Brands should also benefit from increased ‘stickiness’ on the social networking site. The new entertainment apps, along with the timeline, will mean that its 800 million users will be spending more time on the site and posting more information about their activities.

This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk

 

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►Mini Matmian:

Seems like there is something new on Facebook everyday now. I can see how this change MIGHT be beneficial to brands and advertisers. Time will tell.



10 reasons why Google+ is a better platform than Facebook for game developers as well as for gamers.

►Mini Matmian:

Aabid Siddique (Game Producer and Creator of Geek Games) wrote an interesting article on why he believes Google+ is a better platform than Facebook for game developers as well as for gamers. 

In short the 10 points are:

1) Soured relationships:

Facebook created a lot of bad blood with smaller game studios early last year when it started throttling its notifications sharing feature. According to the newer rules, a player could only view a specific game notification on his/her Newsfeed if he/she had already logged in and played the game before.


2) High cut of revenues:

In comparison, Google+ is breaking ground here by initially charging only 5% of game revenues. This move has been welcomed by studios and there is a lot of excitement in the industry, especially among fledgling game developers eager to build the next great social game idea.

3App Store:

Google already has its Chrome App Store live in its browsers and on its Android mobile OS. It’s a no-brainer that eventually it will make the app store available on its social networking system too.

4) Favoritism:

Atleast as of now, Google has shown a solid commitment to the industry by making its platform equally accessible to all. And it makes sense for Google to continue the same way.

5)  Intentions:

 Facebook was never the most game developer friendly platform in the social networking space. And from the way things have gone, its gaming system has only benefited the biggest companies. Google, for that matter has made gaming a very strong priority. It’s launching its gaming service at almost the same time as the public launch of Google+ itself and has shown a lot of commitment to building out a robust, no-strings-attached platform for game developers.

6)  Innovation:

A lot of the newer games are incorporating innovative features like location-based gaming, voice activated menus, live game-room chats, video streaming etc. In each of these segments, Google+ can provide a much more powerful platform than Facebook. 

7) Presence of an excellent games catalogue:

Interestingly Google has already started featuring its games much like how it features them on its app store. It has a cute little games icon on top which automatically shows you its existing games catalogue.

8) Cloud gaming:

As games get more and more sophisticated and start offering much more powerful graphics and playability, all these games will start functioning more predominantly from extremely powerful cloud-based servers. Google has always been at the forefront of Cloud Computing and has a much better understanding of this technology than most of the competition.

9)  Facebook marketing:

Advertising on Facebook is a funding nightmare. The costs per acquisition have skyrocketed in the past year from a low of a few cents per acquisition to close to $10 as of now. It’s no longer a feasible platform for many studios. 
Google, on the other hand has two methods of advertising that it can leverage to help smaller developers.

10) Tight integration with mobile, tablet and browser OS:

This is probably the most important aspect of Google+. 500,000 Android devices are getting activated every single day. The Android mobile OS is now the most popular platform on earth. The Android tablet and laptop OS’s are slowly catching up. And companies like Wild Tangent are already launching gaming portal systems designed specifically for Android mobile.

[For a more detailed explanation of the above points, read the full article here]

Would you agree with these?



Facebook Announces New Feature - Subscribe Button

 

Facebook has annouced the new Subscribe Button which helps you stay connected to people who you know but are not friends with.

It does happen that often you want to stay connected with individuals, public figures, celebs, journalists and stay up to date. Not all of them have a Page, and prefer communicating via their personal profiles. So, how do you connect with them? Facebook answered this with the new “susbcribe button” which you can see on the top right side.

Here’s some more information by Facebook:

Only people who allow subscribers will have a Subscribe button on their profile. If you don’t see the button, you can’t subscribe.

After you allow subscribers, a Subscribe button will show up on your profile. Your public updates will appear in people’s News Feeds once they click this button.

Subscribers can see only the things you share publicly. They can also choose how many and what types of these public updates they get.

As more and more people enable this button, more public data will be avaulable on Facebook, something which was missing all this time.

►Mini Matmian:

Features, features, features. I wonder why Facebook has started rolling out so many all of a sudden. A mystery.



100 Million People have Klout

Klout Logo 

100 million people now have Klout Scores. While this is an exciting metric for our team, I think it’s important to recognize the broader implications of this milestone. One hundred million people with Klout Scores means that there are 100 million voices effectively leveraging the social web to share their opinions, hopes and dreams and shaping the decisions of the billions of people now listening to them.

If you look back at the last 100 years of mass communication, you can begin to truly appreciate the implications of this diffusion of influence – from corporations and the media elite to the masses. Just this year we have seen this power play out in revolutions around the world fueled by individuals leveraging their influence on the social web to change history. Increasing numbers of people are finding their voices online and, as a result, we are now adding millions of influencers to our index every few days.

►Mini Matmian:

I have yet to truly decide for myself how much stock to place in my Klout score. However, I must say I do get a certain sense of satisfaction to see it increase so I suppose I have been slightly taken in by it; probably due to an innate sense of competitiveness and an intrinsic need to succeed/to find a qualitative value in what I do. Good old Maslow and his hierarchy of needs :)

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Facebook Smart Lists Automatically Group Friends

Facebook Smart List

Facebook is currently testing a new feature called Smart Lists that automatically groups friends with common characteristics into Friend Lists that dynamically update themselves over time. Previously, Friend Lists had to be manually assembled and updated — a chore that contributed to them being used by only 5% of the user base. First spotted by Nick Starr, Smart Lists are now being created for the coworkers, classmates, and friends who live within 50 miles of users in the test group.

►Mini Matmian:

Facebook ‘Smart Lists’ hey. Automatically grouping your contacts and dynamically updating them. Not sure I like this. Another privacy issue I feel. It’s a pretty obvious tactic to combat Google+ cirlces but maybe taking it a step too far. 

Facebook seem  more reactive than active these days. Bolting on things to match their competitors rather than creating new, innovative ways to communicate.

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Zuckerburg and Facebook

During the last two months since Google + launched Facebook has been pretty quiet (apart from the Skype video calling and new Messenger app) but all signs are that as early as this week they are about to roll out a whole series of new products and features to firmly reinforce their number one position.

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Google+ Adds Angry Birds to their Social Gaming feature.

Google+ have already attracted some of the big boys in casual online gaming by adding Rovio’s Angry Birds to the new Google+ Games button (as well as the age old ‘Bejewelled’ game).

So Google really is taking the fight to Facebook with adding an easy to access social games ‘tab’. Users can invite contacts from their ‘circles’ to play games online AND together! At the same time, the page will store the gaming data to make it easy to share/view scores.

Vic Gundotra, senior vice-president of engineering at Google, said:

"The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life."

The Google+ games feature only started rolling out yesterday so fear not if you can’t see it yet. So far there are only 16 games but you can be sure that this number will increase dramatically once the feature is established and developers get their hands on the API. With the likes of Zynga already behind it, I don’t think this will be far off.

However, Facebook is Facebook…the behemoth of social networks and will not be out-done. They too have recently released a myriad of updates such as the Games Ticker. This will transform your chat space into a newsfeed of your friends’ gaming activity.

Clearly both networks are really going all out to gamify (add a game mechanics layer) their respective network. Knowing that social/casual online gaming is a huge (and growing) market. Don’t be surprised to see Google+ start adding a personal ‘acheivements’ or ‘badges’ feed in the foreseeable future. 

The social gaming wars continue…