MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – JANUARY 30: A sign is posted on the exterior of Google headquarters on January 30, 2014 in Mountain View, California. Google reported a 17 percent rise in fourth quarter earnings with profits of $3.38 billion, or $9.90 a share compared to $2.9 billion, or $8.62 per share one year ago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Google took a first step toward a major shift in its social strategy Monday by separating YouTubefrom Google+. The changes were announced on both the official YouTube and Google+ blogs, with the latter putting it this way:
“In the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change.”
Google directly tied YouTube to Google+ in September 2013, at the time requiring users to activate Google+ for their Google account and using their Google+ real names in comments. Starting a new channel also required a Google+ profile.
These requirements were meant to improve comment quality on YouTube, and promote Google+ itself, but were met by resistance by many of the site’s users. YouTube announced Monday that it will de-couple the two services in the coming months, while at the same time adding further tweaks to improve comments on YouTube.
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Google yesterday admitted it was wrong to require Google+ account holders to use the company’s other digital products, marking a significant policy departure for its struggling social media hub that was hailed as a “Facebook killer” in 2011. The Mountain View, Calif.-based player will not force products onto Google+ users and will move some features into other Google services.
The development calls into question whether Google+ is on its last legs, particularly with marketers. So, when we asked a few agency execs to weigh in, we expected eulogies of sorts, more than anything. But instead, we got answers that were quite nuanced.
“Google+ as we know it is dead, but there will be pieces of it, once spun off, that we will use in the future,” predicted Matt Rednor, CEO at Decoded Advertising. “Hangouts, for example, is a much better video-communication platform than [the iPhone’s] FaceTime and could be a successful tool with much greater reach if rolled out as a separate product.”
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Advertising is going to change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 100. If you need proof of that, just look at the patent Google was granted Thursday for a Google Glass-based ad system.
Dubbed “pay-per-gaze,” the content would charge advertisers for the number of times someone literally looked at their ad. The concept is buried pages deep in a patent for a “gaze tracking technique … implemented with a head-mounted gaze-tracking device that communicates with a server.” Read full article here
Google Chrome is the world’s most popular Internet browser, claiming 43% of the global market. Only 36% of Internet users in North America are Chrome users, one of the world’s lowest rates. Oceania is the only continent where an even smaller percentage of users opt for Chrome. Read full article here
When it comes to search, Google wants to provide users with more than just quick hits. The tech giant announced on Wednesday that search results will now return more “in-depth” articles on topics that may not be be sufficiently explained in shorter posts or news stories.
Google explained in a blog post that 10% of all users’ daily information requests require longer, in-depth analysis, which was its catalyst for the change. The new search feature is only available in English for now, but Google plans to expand into other languages in the future. Read full article