Digital Marketing News Update – Google+ 1 Month On, Unclear Cookie Law and iPlayer Goes Global


Google+ – one month on

It’s been a month now since Google launched it’s G+ social network and it appears to be a rather glorious success. While there are a few criticisms, the massive growth in users and the generally glowing feedback is placing the network as a very real threat to other services.

While the service was pegged as the new Facebook, it appears Twitter may be the service in the frame at the moment to be taking a hit. Being able to post short comments and generate discussion around them is something G+ is doing really well. However I’m unconvinced that Twitter is in any real danger as it’s still the best place to get fast updates and links to really useful information. But if you’re looking to generate conversations from your posts then G+ is definitely the place for doing that.

I think what really makes G+ a winner for me is the fact that it reflects much better the social make up and diversity in our interactions. We’ve all had that awkward moment where we discover a “friend” request from a work colleague or one time acquaintance. This is great if you’re truly friendly with all your colleagues and make friends at the drop of a hat but for most of us it usually leaves us feeling a bit awkward with the choice of either declining the request or ignoring it leaving the request just hanging there.

Being not quite of true Facebook generation, I am still an avid user. But a new friend request always makes me ask “am I ready to share my entire online persona with this person?”, childhood pictures, family Christmases, and when it’s a work colleague am I giving the right impression with my profile. Google+ for me takes away this pain completely and means I can interact online in the same way I would in person, adapting my relationships depending on who I’m with.

Handled right, Google+ could easily make having separate profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin no longer necessary, I can create individual networks within one system and speak to them with my different hats on. And for those people who sit across different groups, being able to add someone to more than one circle is so simple. It’s true that the lines between the different elements of our lives are more blurred today but I still think there is value in not sharing everything with everyone.

There is mush speculation as to where Google is going to go with G+ but with the amount of talking that’s going on it’s clear that Google have really hit the mark with this one and hopefully have some interesting developments in the pipeline.

Editor: Some tools that help you integrate LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook with Google+ will really help things along – anybody using anything useful?

New EU cookie laws still not clear

The EU Comission has admittedly recently that advice and guidance given about the new laws surrounding the use of cookies is inconsistent and unclear. It seems that every solution offered so far still contravenes the directive which calls for all cookies to be denied unless the user chooses to opt in.

Usually renowned for their slow uptake of anything technology related, the public sector appears to have taken the bull by the horns and it’s IT governing body, Socitm, has launched a service offering advice and information on how to comply with the new laws.

Socitm is offering a full audit of organisation’s websites, detailing every cookie and its location as well as a monitoring service which alerts users before a cookie is placed.

While this is proving to be a tough nut to crack, it’s great to see so many different sectors having a real bash at it and trying to come up with joint solutions.

As far as the ICO goes, information appears to have come to a crashing halt with the website still carrying messages that are months old. I guess we can stop looking to them for any assistance then.

Editor: I interviewed the IAB on this topic this week. Look out for the interview very shortly on the Digital Marketing Podcast

BBC iPlayer goes global and ITV launches new paid for service

BBC have announced it will be launching a version of its online viewing platform which will be launched across Europe as an iPad app. The service will require a subscription and users will have access to a range of BBC series both old and new. Users will also be able to download programmes and watch them offline when an internet connection is not available.

BBC claims the service will provide additional income to supplement income from the license fee. While it makes sense to open up its programmes outside of the UK I can’t help but feel a bit miffed that we in the UK aren’t getting the same level of service. Being able to access the BBC archive series and the added bonus of downloading and watching programmes offline would be a real plus. And after all it’s the UK users who pay the license fee in the first place, shouldn’t we get a better service than everyone else?

ITV are also dipping a toe into running online subscription services, allowing users to pay for and watch it’s back catalogue of programmes and dramas, as well as special web episodes of its popular drama shows. Customers will still be able to use the site to catch up on their favourite shows and ITV are said to be trialing the service in the first instance and are looking to launch in the new year.

Editor: Personal rant time. If I’m in a Novotel in the UK the BBC thinks I’m in France (as Novotel use Orange France for their Internet) and I therefore cant access iPlayer. Its also a pain whenever I travel. Surely as a license payer we should be able to use the service anywhere. I’m a huge BBC fan and believe in the iPlayer (which goes against my feeling generally on anything that is part government funded!) but lets be fair on the people that actually pay for the BBC!

My comments weren’t very fun this week so….. Advertising watchdog has banned touched-up make-up ads for being misleading. L’Oreal was going to appeal but decided it wasn’t worth it. 😉





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