Digital Marketing News Update – Google+ App, Facebook and Skype and the MySpace Deal

 

Facebook and Skype team up

Well the “awesome” announcement finally revealed a partnership with Skype to add video chat to Facebook. Err didn’t we already know that? Regardless, it seems the announcement was a little overshadowed by Google+ and Facebook was peppered with questions comparing the two networks during the launch on Wednesday.

True to form though mark Zuckerberg didn’t miss the opportunity for some sideways digs at his competitors. As a nod to Google+ plus he thanked them for vindicating Facebook’s vision for the social web (ouch) He then followed it up by expressing his desire to partner with products that were the best in class as opposed to “other internet companies out there who try to do everything themselves” (double ouch).

However users have been quick to point out that the new video features isn’t as good as Google+ due to the fact that its limited to two users, however both Facebook and Skype have hinted about some new features which may be added soon.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that Facebook has reached 750million users, that’s 1 in 7 of all people on the planet use Facebook which is pretty impressive. However Zuckerberg quickly dismissed this figure stating that numbers were no longer important. Easy to say when you’ve got so many. Instead his focus is on encouraging users to share data, photos, video etc and connect via the IM, messages, status updates and now the new video chat.

The news has certainly helped to boost both companies and the number of likes on Skype’s Facebook page increased by 13,000 after the announcement. According to a software engineer at Facebook, the new video calling will be easier and faster than Skype’s current service but no detail has been given about when the new service will be available or what will happen to the current Skype service.

It’s an interesting battle going on between these two and while Zuckerberg’s comment appeared offhand I doubt he’s taking the competition lightly.

If you’re interested in how the new feature will work, check out Skype’s video intro.

Google+ app awaiting approval

Will they, won’t they? Apple is currently deciding the fate of the Google+ app which will enable users to access their account on the iPhone or iPad. This is a vital step for Google who need the app to gain crucial exposure. If refused, Google will be restricted to Android platforms like some of its other products.

However Apple haven’t been known for their positive response to previous apps from Google and I’m guessing this is a nail biting time for them.

MySpace sale

Poor MySpace, once the cool thing to be seen on and now being passed around like a hot potato. Following it’s incredible sale to Rupert Murdoch for $580m only six years ago, it seems MySpace has continued to drop in the popularity stakes to such a point that it was sold on for just $35m (£22m) last week to a company specialising in online user behaviour and advertising.

And even worse, News Corp can’t even cut their losses and run, with part of the payment coming in the form of shares in the new owner, Specific Media, and News Corp still have to hang on to a minority stake. But it still gets MySpace off their books and it’s now somebody else’s problem.

It’s still a little sad though to see its demise as it had such promise in the early days and was the first introduction to most of us into the world of social networking. It’s intention to become a hub for band and musicians was really superceded by YouTube a long time ago and it seems now it’s only use is to provide intelligence for targeted advertising.

Though Specific Media aren’t so quick to write it off yet and have revealed some initial plans to try to regenerate the site and improve upon its current 34.9 million monthly visits. According to a statement released, Justin Timberlake will be taking a stake in the company and leading a development team in coming up with new products which will improve the sites popularity.

For those currently working for MySpace it’s a bleak outlook and the firings have already begun. But with the right team behind it, there looks to be potential for a MySpace to find a niche for itself and return to a level of its former glory.

Dear Photograph….

Anyone who hasn’t been sent a link to this site yet is missing out. It’s a very sweet and touching collection of old photographs overlaid in the same location. Images include snaps taken on main street in Disneyland from many moons ago overlaid on the same street now and a very sweet image of a man gazing at a bench with an image showing he and his wide laughing together in the same spot.

Dear Photograph was started by Canadian Taylor Jones, who stumbled across the idea while rifling through old photos. The site is now a bit of a global phenomenon and has so far had around 3.5 million hits and receives 30 new photos a day from all over the world.

Each image comes with a caption from its owner which hints at what the image means to them. Warning to those of you how may be prone to the old sniffle at anything even remotely emotional as some of them are seriously blub inducing.

While the popularity of the site may turn out to be short lived, it’s always heart-warming to see creativity in social media come from us everyday folk and that we are still suckers for a bit of slushy gooeyness.

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