Pinterest Launches Measurement Tool

Pinterest is showing signs that it will soon be unveiling a monetization plan as it unrolled new tools this week for businesses to measure the effectiveness of their Pinterest efforts. The analytics tool is available to anyone with an account linked to a verified website. It allows users and brands to measure: unique pinners (number of different people who have pinned from a site), impressions (number of people who have seen a pin), referral traffic (number of people who have visited site from Pinterest) and popular pins (the most repinned, clicked and recent pins).

It’s worth noting that Pinterest is launching this tool behind other third parties like Pinfluencer and Curalate, which already have Pinterest analytics tools that are arguably more robust. Regardless, marketers will still need to measure their site analytics to get an accurate view of conversions from Pinterest. Going to the site is one thing. Actually making a purchase is another.

Last year Pinterest introduced business accounts and now it’s followed up with an analytics offering. This will be a big step in terms of helping businesses to better understand what Pinterest is doing for them.  With big brands already having a strong presence on the platform, giving them more data will certainly improve their ability to invest more in the platform, which would likely include some funds going directly to Pinterest in the form of paid content promotion and maybe even ads.

Read more about Pinterest’s new measurement tool at AdAge.

FTC Lays Out Mobile and Social Disclosure Guidelines

The US FTC updated its guidelines for online advertising this week to catch up on the changes brought on by mobile and social media marketing. In short, mobile and social ads have to follow the same rules as traditional ads with full disclosure and the same standards of honesty. The challenge is the limited space available on some platforms, particularly Twitter. If you’re challenged by that, then those platforms might not be for you.

According to the FTC everything from celebrities paid to tweet or posts intended to promote a product’s effectiveness need to make room for full disclosure, such as including the word ‘Ad’ at the beginning of a post or the word ‘sponsored.’ Shortening words or having abbreviations for these disclosures is not okay. They must be very clear. It’s also important for marketers to ensure the locations of their disclosures are conspicuous and don’t go missed by consumers.

These updates seem to make sense and they follow the FTC’s previous guidelines for brands working with online influencers that are compensated in one way or another. While implementation may be simple enough, there will certainly be challenges when it comes to execution. However, the important aspect about all of this is that the rules are now clearer than ever, which means legal will have more information to approve campaigns and to get things moving forward within an organization.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

Facebook Rolls Out New Timeline

Following up on its News Feed revamp, Facebook has quietly started rolling out a Timeline redesign. The format removes the two-column format and replaces it with a main column featuring life events and a left-hand bar with a user’s ‘About’ information along with info on music, photos, app activity and so on. Users can customize this bar to share the activities and the content they want, such as their latest Instagram photos. Users can also show not only what their favorite TV shows, books and movies are but can also now showcase what they want to watch and read in the future.

The update removes a lot of clutter and makes content easier to read as users no longer need to shift focus from column-to-column. The update does not affect brand pages at this time.

The update certainly makes Timeline content easier to consume but it also really showcases apps. Users can easily highlight content from Pinterest, Etsy, Instagram and others. This gives developers more reason to build on top of the platform because they’ll get more exposure via that left-hand bar. It’s also worth noting that users are more in control of their Timeline than ever before, and that’s also one of the primary features for the News Feed update. Users control the experience.

We’ll see if Facebook continues in this direction because by giving users more control, it’s also better able to identify motivations and preferences, which means more potential for ad targeting.

Read more about Facebook’s new timeline at MediaPost.

News Quick Hits

  • YouTube co-founder Chris Hurley has plans to create a competitive service. He sold YouTube to Google in 2010. He describes his new project as a video-based product that “gives flexibility for people to work together and create content.” (Read More at Gizmodo)
  • Facebook acquired the storytelling service Storylane, which will be shut down so the Storylane team can join the Facebook team. Storylane will provide tools for users to migrate their content and data. (Read More at AllFacebook)
  • SoundCloud launched a new tool called ‘Moving Sounds,’ which allows users to create slideshows with images and audio. SoundCloud, a service primarily used for uploading and distributing audio files, will make the service part of its Pro Partner package to promote their profiles to users in the site’s ‘Who to Follow’ section. (Read More at SocialTimes)
  • Tumblr launched a stand-alone app called Photosets for users to create photo collections last year. Photosets has now been rolled into Tumblr’s official iOS app. Users will now be able to create and share photo collections through the Tumblr app, which will soon have promoted content according to a recent announcement. (Read More at Apple Insider)
  • Google has announced that it will be shutting down Google Reader, its RSS aggregator. Google cites declining usage as the reason. Although it notes that it has a very loyal following. Users will be able to export their information to another platform. Marketers with blogs should explain to their Google Reader users how to use the alternatives and encourage them to switch RSS readers or subscribe to email newsletters. (Read More at Mashable)
  • Congress has finally changed the 1988 law prohibiting a video tape service provider from revealing customer information, and Netflix has responded by adding social features powered by Facebook’s social graph. Users who authenticate with Facebook will be opted in to sharing viewing information, which can be turned off. They’ll then be able to see lists of friends favorite videos as well as what they’re watching. (Read More at Bloomberg)
  • Vimeo has launched a new update to allow creatives to charge for access to their content called Vimeo On Demand. Previously, they were only able to accept donations. Now, the content creators can set the price, geo-fence content and create custom landing pages and trailers to entice views. Vimeo will take 10% of sales. (Read More at TechCrunch)
  • Twitter may be launching a music-sharing application for iOS devices this month. This would allow users to follow bands, discover music and share recommendations. This follows Twitter’s 2012 acquisition of We Are Hunted, a music service start-up. (Read More at The Guardian)

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