Monday, January 26, 2015

Google creates "Your YouTube subscriptions" Circle for you

This is new to me. I noticed that my Google+ Circles collection had been extended. This is significant because until today all my Circles had been created by me.

The new Circle is called "Your YouTube subscriptions". It does what it says on the tin; it's a collection of all my YouTube subscriptions.

I rather like Google+ and as it happens this Circle turns out to be pretty useful. Just select it from "More" across the top menu, just next to "Mentions", and you have a clutter free way to scroll through the latest videos from the channels you're watching. Fewer ads, even.

In theory I could even put on alerts for when there's a new video in the Circle. That might be an effective to notice new content before other bloggers and curators do.

Oddity: A Bing result with no "normal" results

This is an odd SERP from Bing. The chances are high that this is a glitch and not the result the engineers would want to show.

We see that there are results for the [Attack on Titan] search. None of the results are found on webpages, though. At least that's the interpretation of the categories applied here by the search. Matches are restricted to either images or videos.

We can safely conclude this is a glitch because the rich media results are good for the search. That's what I'd expect to see. Furthermore, Bing clearly knows a lot about the search as it provides related search terms which are pretty much appropriate too.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Missguided show how affiliate and native advertising can merge together

UK retailer Missguided have launched the “Missguided Active” sports range. To kick off the campaign they’ve emailed affiliates. This is a good start. When you’ve a new range; tell your affiliates.

What’s caught my eye is that Missguided have taken it a step further and are looking to marshal affiliates into the realm of content. This starts to become native advertising or perhaps even a form of Outreach & Engagement more commonly associated with SEO.

This is what the affiliate newsletter said;

We´re super excited to announce the launch of Missguided Active, and to celebrate we´re looking to team up with our top content partners to create amazing editorial to showcase the collection. We´d love to discuss any opportunities you may have available to promote Missguided Active to your readers.
With commission increases available, we´d be happy to discuss options to make this a successful collaboration.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!
The Missguided Affiliate Team

I like the approach but there are some pit traps the Missguided team will have to watch out for.

They’ve used the word “editorial”. That’s what brands want as editorial pieces have the credibility and coverage that advertorials don’t have. Advertorials are regulated as ads whereas editorials are not.

Right now the implicit default is that an editorial piece from a site that earns money from affiliate activities is still an editorial piece. In fact, it’s generally the case that a blog post can link through an affiliate tracker, straight to the brand or product in question, and still be considered editorial. I won’t be surprised when this starts to be challenged.

In contrast, when a blogger is paid a flat rate to review or write about a product or brand this needs to be disclosed

In this case Missguided are stepping deeper into the grey. They’re tempting affiliates with the possibility of affiliate increases.

So does this count as incentivising coverage?

I suppose it might but I’m still not sure whether regulators will get their heads around this space any time soon and, if they do, what their decisions as to whether these posts would become ads will be.

For now, I think projects like this need to be carefully managed but could work very well.

Disclaimer: This very post uses Skimlinks. This program turns some brand and product mentions into affiliate links.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dubsmash boom reminds me we're all publishers

I thought it was interesting that a two-month old video-messenger hybrid app called Dubsmash did amazingly well over Christmas. As highlighted by App Annie the app made it into the top 10 on iOS downloads for December and saw Google Play success as well.

Dubsmash lets users record a video selfie and mash it up with a popular song or quote from celebrities.

Otherwise the top 10 on iOS was dominated by the huge players; Apple, Facebook, Google, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Microsoft, etc.

It reminds me that we're all publishers now. Not only is it easy to create content with apps like Dubsmash - it is more personal to do so. Christmas, I'm sure, played a roll in boosting Dubsmash over December as people had reason to message each other with something a little different.

Dubsmash allows sharing from the app to popular messaging apps like Facebook or WhatsApp. It had reach built in. All that it needed was publishers.