YouTube has merged G+ functionality within the commenting field of its pages. It does so, with the hope that it will turn its previously one-dimensional, vertical commenting forum, into a social platform, inducing social conversations and sharing.
Comments you care about move to the top: You’ll see posts at the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles. You can still see the most recent comments by switching from “Top Comments” to “Newest First.”
Join the conversation publicly or privately: You can choose to start a conversation so that it is seen by everyone, only people in your Circles, or just your bestie. Like Gmail, replies are threaded so you can easily follow conversations.
Easily moderate comments: If you also post videos on your channel, you’ll have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans.
Because YouTube videos are so easily shared upon other social platforms, it didn’t seem that YouTube was in any rush to implement a social aspect to its own sharing functionality. However, with G+ still looking for ways to increase its popularity and YouTube’s previous commenting section, generally, providing nothing more than a vertical line of negativity, it appears they felt the time had come to advance their communication forum.
Though, the hope is that these changes will provide a more robust video sharing experience, the real motivation behind it might not be anything more than an attempt to boost traffic on a slow-growing G+ platform. With that said, YouTube is an increasingly important site for auto dealers and car buyers alike, so it is our recommendation that you follow the effectiveness of these changes closely.
Why is Google looking to now collect on Google offers? Well, besides the obvious, Google is hoping to see a big uptick in Offers clicks. Google Offers was recently integrated within Google Map searches and it is safe to say, that with money now a motivating factor for Google, that they will begin delivering the Offers icon even more throughout Google search activity.
One new update to the Google Offers mobile app, is a function which allows you to save the Offers of your choosing to the “My Offers” section of the app. Then, it utilizes the GPS within your phone to notify you whenever you are close to a location where you can redeem an Offer.
Offers are becoming an even larger part of online searching. Consumers will, without a doubt, choose one place over another looking for a good deal. Make sure your dealership is prepared to update their search, review, and social sites accordingly.
The seamless new feature is a turnkey way for dealerships to leverage familiar customer touch points to build review volume on Cars.com, one of the top review platforms consumers turn to when selecting a dealership, as ranked by car buyers in the 2013 Automotive Social Media Trends Study.
This solution automatically generates a survey after a patron buys or services a vehicle at the dealership. The dealership’s Dealer Management System (DMS) triggers a survey with the option of seamlessly leaving feedback on Cars.com within 24 hours of each customer transaction, thus making the reviews generated “verified customer reviews”. For dealerships, this new product will help increase the number and frequency of reviews on Cars.com, providing a more robust view of their overall sales and service experience. For dealership customers, the integration provides an easy, automated way to share their experience on Cars.com, informing future customers about what they can expect if they choose to visit the dealership for sales or service.
Last week, Yelp launched its new Customer Activity Feed. This new feature allows business owners the ability to see specific Yelp page activity as it happens (one-hour delay). Currently, the activity feed updates every time there is a phone call, directions request, map view or website click. These activities are filtered on a one-activity per person, per hour basis and each post includes the date and time of the information request, as well as the device from which it was made.
Even though this new activity feed is still a far cry from the idealistic “dealer world” scenario, where Yelper contact information would be included, this new activity feed does allow a dealer the ability to see which days and times they receive their peak Yelp page activity. The numbers could potentially assist a dealer with things like, measuring the success of ad campaigns, assist with employee scheduling, or even help to tailor specific website offers around high or low volume Yelp traffic days.
Apple’s newest iOS operating system was launched this week. The new system features a radically updated interface, including a more colorful and lively design, an easily accessible shortcut menu, an updated notification center, camera & Siri updates and a new feature called “AirDrop”, which increases device compatibility with Apple’s iCloud.
The following devices are able to receive the upgrade (not all features will work on older Apple models): iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Mini, and the iPod Touch 5th generation.
To upgrade, simply open your Device Settings, click on General, then Software Update; tap on Download when prompted and then click Install.
Facebook has begun testing a new auto-play video feature that injects life and movement into users’ news feeds. This feature allows users to see silent previews of videos prior to the videos being clicked and viewed in full-screen with audio.
As of right now, auto-play video previews will only launch on videos that are uploaded directly to Facebook or that are shared with your page through Facebook friendly apps like Instagram. Because of this, you will not be able to generate auto-play previews using links to external video hosting sites, such as YouTube.
The testing of this new feature seems to be further proof that video ads are on the horizon and that Facebook is looking for ways to warm their users up to the idea of unprompted video being played within news feeds.
If done properly, the transition to auto-play video could end up being a win-win for user and advertiser alike.
Have you had a great event, party, or vacation and would like for others whom shared in the experience to be able to add their photos to your Facebook album? With Facebook’s new shared photo albums, you can!
It’s said that each album can have up to 50 contributors, with each person being able to add up to 200 photos, allowing for shared albums containing as many as 10,000 photos.
Though, Facebook owned Instagram is a photo sharing platform, it appears that Facebook is interested in allowing Instagram users to focus on the artistic alterations and sharing of singular photos, while Facebook will continue to cater to a user’s desire to share photo collections and documenting larger events—i.e. weddings, parties, and vacations.
So, make sure to keep an eye open for this new feature and make sure to keep it in mind when you’re planning your next great event!
Turning a cheek on prior hesitations, Yelp has decided to launch a mobile upgrade that will allow mobile users to create and post reviews directly from their mobile devices. This mobile review feature was launched today for iPhone users and is said to be available soon for Android users (10/14/13 – Update: Android users are now able to leave reviews from mobile devices).
Prior to the launch of this new feature, Yelp had offered mobile users the option to compose notes or tips from their mobile devices. However, if the user then wanted to convert them into reviews, they were then required to log onto the desktop version of the site to finalize. This new feature, which is already a function offered by rival review sites, has been a long time coming for most Yelp users.
With an obvious demand from Yelp users and competitors already offering this mobile option, many wonder why Yelp has been so hesitate to launch this new feature. Many assume that Yelp had been trying to avoid encouraging heat-of-the-moment reviews, which in theory, would be made more possible by a mobile review feature. Another worry, which was affirmed by Yelp themselves, is that the level of content produced by Yelpers might be lowered as users could revert to SMS shorthand when composing their mobile reviews (example: OMG I just had the best Cfood ever! It was gr8!).
It appears that all of these fears have been thrown out the window as Yelp looks to compete within a rapidly growing online review market. Launching this new feature also makes sense, as Yelp looks to increase mobile app traffic and grow mobile advertising revenue.
How does this new change affect your business? Well, customers are now able to post reviews while sitting within a lobby or waiting room. For those dealers whom actively push their customers’ to share their positive experiences on Yelp, this should be a great opportunity to increase positive reviews upon their Yelp pages. Though, it is true that this new feature does allow additional access to the frustrated Yelpers whom are always eager to voice their displeasure. The hope is that the number of happy customers that forget to post a review or decidedly loss interest during that lag time between transaction and desktop, will out-weight those unhappy customers whom face the same dilemma. Regardless, this new feature will more than likely result in dealers seeing an overall increase in customer reviews across the board and it is important that dealers have a plan to manage them accordingly.
Tuesday August 6th—Facebook announced that they have made changes to their News Feed algorithm. These changes will affect the exposure Facebook posts receive based on post and page interaction.
This means that posts with a high number of interactions (Likes, comments, and shares) will be elevated within users’ News Feeds, allowing them a second chance to view posts they might not normally scroll down to.
This new front-of-the-line treatment is called “story bumping” and Facebook is reporting that during testing, they saw a 5% increase in post interaction and a 13% increase in the number of posts read.
This new filter, which gives precedent to the posts that are deemed “most valuable” by way of Facebook user interaction, seems to be even more evidence that Facebook is moving toward a social and review site hybrid. I mean…Likes, comments and shares are just ways to review a post, are they not?
Facebook’s new approach on delivering content has altered the landscape of what a Like, comment or share once was. Instead of a simple public display of approval, chance for witty banter with friends, or a piece of information you would like to share within your Facebook circle—the Like, posted comment and share has now morphed into a recommendation made to droves of Facebook users.
So how will this new filtering system affect your business? It’s clear that even more emphasis has been placed on creating interactive inducing content and that the size of your audience (Likers) plays an even bigger role, as you battle for Facebook screen-time.
But as friend circles grow larger and Liker pools continue to increase, it only makes sense that opportunities to perform on the stage that is Facebook, will continue to become even more scarce. This new News Feed update is just one in a line of examples, proving that a comprehensive social strategy is no longer simply a benefit, but rather a necessity.
Are video ads on the horizon for Facebook? The rumors hitting the web say yes. According to Bloomberg, beginning later this year, advertisers will be able to purchase 15-second spots (commercials) that automatically appear within a person’s newsfeed. This additional advertising platform, yet again proves that Facebook is focused on leveraging its enormous user base to increase opportunities for revenue growth.
The report states that these video ads will possess some of the same age and gender targeting available to current Facebook ad types. Though, unlike current ads, video ads will not be delivered to a user more than 3 times within a given day.
So how exactly are these ads going to be delivered? Will they be auto-play ads, forcing the user to view without granting the ability to skip by an ad once delivered? If so, Facebook is betting on the fact that their social platform is head and shoulders above any competitors and that new features, like Facebook Graph Search, will keep users glued to their screens.
If the rumors are true and Facebook is looking to dive into the video advertising market, this could mean a sizable shift toward increased viral advertising budgets for many companies moving forward.