This Week in Social (Week of May 27)

This Week in Social is a weekly digest of some of the biggest stories in social media marketing news. These stories are the show notes for the Brave Ad World Podcast. Each story is discussed at a deeper level on the podcast.

Facebook Launches Verified Pages and Profiles (Read more at The Next Web)   

Facebook officially launched verified pages and profiles for public figures with large audiences. Some have already been given the small blue icon check mark to show they’ve been verified.

This is very similar to Twitter, which pioneered the idea of verified accounts after fake accounts for celebrities started showing up on the platform. Facebook takes a similar approach to Twitter in that users cannot request verification. It’s left to the discretion of Facebook.

All of this could mean Facebook wants to make another push to get celebrities on the platform as it has in the past.

But it also heats up the head-to-head competition between Facebook and Twitter. The two platforms work to add features to create parity. Facebook pushing for celebrities. Twitter pushing to include more media, such as dynamic photos to compete with Instagram.

The New Gmail is Here (Read more at CNN)

Google continues to revamp its products, and the latest facelift goes to Gmail. The new look comes to the Web, iOS and Android versions of Gmail.

One of the biggest features is automatic labels, which include Primary, Social and Promotions as default options. Primary is where the most important emails go. Social aggregates messages from social networks. Promotions includes newsletters, announcements and invitations. Messages can be moved from one tab to another, and users can add additional tabs for things like bills and forum messages.

The design is intended to be as touch-friendly as possible and to make it easier to sort through messages, determine which are important and take action as quickly as possible.

The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

Gmail has remained stagnant until now as other apps like Mailbox and even Microsoft’s Outlook.com have entered the scene to add new ways to manage emails. This is by no means revolutionary, but for users who have not taken the time in the past to set up inbox rules, this does make Gmail an attractive platform. It’s at least attractive enough not to switch to other services that have started to emerge.

First Post-Yahoo Acquisition Tumblr Ads Emerge (Read more at AdAge)

Tumblr announced that it will roll out Sponsored Web Posts into user’s main content feeds.

According to Tumblr, “These posts will simply blend in with the posts from the blogs you follow.”

These ads follow Tumblr’s existing ads, which include ads located on the right hand side of posts on a user’s landing page called Radar. Tumblr has also launched sponsored posts in content feeds on its mobile app.

Now, in the same way users see sponsored content on their Facebook Newsfeeds or Twitter feeds, up to four ads per day will appear on Tumblr and will be marked with dollar signs to indicate them as ads.

According to Tumblr, the new ads are not related to the two-week old Yahoo acquisition.

The ads bring new opportunities for brands to leverage the platform. Brands have expressed a degree of skepticism in the past on using Tumblr, but some brands like Denny’s, Viacom, Ford, Capital One and AT&T see them as an opportunity to reach a different type of audience with a different type of content.

Even though Tumblr has indicated that the Yahoo acquisition is unrelated, users will likely view the introduction of ads differently. The question is if they see this as a slippery slope to a more ad-driven platform and shift their attention elsewhere.

News Quick Hits

  • Google+’s iPhone app was updated to include a feature called “Auto Awesome” and other options for improving photos with auto-enhancement features, viewing and backing up shots stored on a phone’s camera roll automatically. Other features that were added to the Google+ Web experience such as related hashtags have also been added. (Read more at CNET)
  • Facebook apologized after saying its systems did not effectively identify and remove hate speech after coming under pressure to remove pages supporting violence against women. Facebook advertisers threatened to remove advertising from the site following scrutiny from feminist groups. (Read more at The New York Times)
  • Twitter settled a lawsuit with TweetAdder this week after a court sided with Twitter. The ruling bans TweetAdder from using certain versions of its service or risk steep fines. The tool was being used by spammers. (Read more at CNET)
  • Wikipedia has launched a new Nearby Page that invites and allows editors to add information and photos related to articles about locations they are close to using their mobile devices. (Read more at Mashable)
  • Twitter updated lists. Now users can create more lists and add more people to those lists than they could before. Previously, you could have no more than 20 lists. Now, you can have 1,000. You could also only have 500 accounts on each list. That number has been bumped up to 5,000. (Read more at Mashable)
  • LinkedIn is following the lead of Twitter by launching two-step verification, which allows users to add additional security to their profiles using SMS text messaging. (Read more at Mashable)