(Covering the social news from 11/14 through 11/24)
With 2010 just on the horizon, we’re beginning to hear social media predictions and the new strategies that advertisers will be rolling out next year. Here’s a quote I liked from Chris Bruzzo, VP of brand, content and online at Starbucks: “People are saying this is going to be a big year for social media and we’re a microcosm of that. Whereas last year it was a curiosity, this year it’s a core part of the program.” Starbucks is planning to cut back on its TV spend and invest quite a bit more in social media. Read about their strategy in this story from Ag Age.
LinkedIn has been busy working on sweeping changes to its features and services. Earlier in the month Social Marketing News reported LinkedIn’s plans for a homepage redesign and the new ability to link Twitter with LinkedIn updates. On Monday, LinkedIn announced that it will open its API to third party developers, a strategy that has been critical to the rapid success of other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Last week, LinkedIn announced a new program for advanced group pages, called Custom Groups. Currently, LinkedIn group pages are little more than discussion forums. With Custom Groups, organizations can transform their group page to a central, multimedia social hub that will allow groups to post videos, white papers and feeds. The program costs $50,000 a month, however LinkedIn will include advertising support to drive traffic to the custom groups. Lastly, LinkedIn and Microsoft are joining forces to sync Outlook contacts with LinkedIn information. In the 2010 release, Outlook users will be able to quickly view LinkedIn user activity and information of their contacts as a subpane of the email window. These are very smart updates to the LinkedIn product offering, and will ensure that LinkedIn becomes an even more powerful business social networking tool for individuals as well as businesses and organizations.
A couple small updates on the Twitter front:
The Twitter Geolocation API has been officially released, however we won’t see anything new on Twitter.com just yet. For now, the release is significant for several third party developers that have built applications that will utilize the Geolocation feature, like Foursquare and Seesmic.
Twitter has also made a small improvement to its new Twitter Lists feature, allowing users to add descriptions to their Lists. It’s a nice-to-have, but personally I can’t wait to see Twitter roll out the ability to search Lists. I believe the lack of a search feature is the single most crippling disadvantage for Twitter Lists.
HootSuite is a Twitter publishing and management tool preferred by many, including myself. New updates launched this week allows HootSuite users to connect their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for the first time. In addition, HootSuite users can create new columns to pull in their Twitter Lists feeds.
YouTube also released new updates this week:
YouTube Direct is a new platform for professional news organizations to solicit and utilize video content from citizen journalists. It’s an API that news media can incorporate on their existing websites to allow individuals to submit video coverage around current events. The news organization’s moderate can preview submitted material on a backend interface, then choose whether to approve the material to be linked from their site. Get the details from MediaPost.
Google has matched its speech recognition technology with YouTube’s caption feature to unveil a new automated video captioning service. Laurie Sullivan from MediaPost explains how the new service will have a big impact on SEO.