Facebook's Big Announcement and Europe's Google Backlash

This week’s online articles FSC landed upon were all about new developments in new media. In response to Google’s seemingly totalitarian approach to search results, the European Commission proposed amendments that would not place the limitations on its online consumers. In addition, Facebook makes a groundbreaking announcement, new government and business apps are created and yet another incentive to go mobile. All of this and more in this week’s FSC reading list.

Brooke: This is an old article (from 2010) but it popped up in my Newsfeed today and it was definitely worth re-reading: KFC Offers $20K College Scholarship For Best Tweet. Using 140 characters (actually 129 with the mandatory hashtag #KFCScholar), high school seniors had to tell the Colonel why they deserved the scholarship. The $20k Tweet was judged on its quality, creativity, ability to tell a story on why they should receive the award, and the entrepreneurial drive and desire to pursue a college education. I personally think this is an awesome idea!

Kristin: The fight for web data rights continues…As Google announces its new privacy policy that asserts their ability to track users across all the Google properties such as Gmail, Youtube, and Google+, the European Commission is proposing regulations that give more rights to European consumers. Should the European regulations come into effect, consumers would be able to claim more ownership of their Web browsing data.  Companies would need explicit consent from consumers for the use of their data and consumers would be able to request that their data be deleted.

Sally: Facebook’s most recent big announcement is that it will be switching every user over to its new Timeline profile in the coming weeks. This Facebook initiative makes it so every individual’s profile tells a story, beginning on the day their account was created. While Timeline is not available for brand pages yet, it will be inevitable with Facebook’s progression.  This article discusses the revolutionary repercussions of brand Timelines, and how companies will have to adapt and use the function to their advantage, like by posting visually pleasing and highly shareable content.

Andy: If you’re one of those people who still think that Social Media is nothing more than playing around on Twitter and Facebook (and now pinterest), think again. Social Media can be a useful tool, not just for agencies like FSC Interactive, but for industries like education, retail and law enforcement. In fact, the FBI is developing a Social Network Map Alert Mash-up Application which will act as an early warning system based on material “scraped” from social networks. The application, in theory, will help identify potential domestic and international threats based on the information found from the  scrappings from Twitter, Facebook and other online networks.

Tiffany: Another big step for mobile – the Googlebot-Mobile has adapted, introducing “crawlers’ new found ability to specifically seek out content created with smartphone users in mind.” What this means for you, is that Google will give priority to Web sites with mobile pages over those that don’t. So, if you are the only shoe store within 100 miles with a mobile site, that gives you a huge advantage over the competition to show up in the top results for people looking for “shoes” as they stroll down the street shopping. Learn more about how these new bots make mobile-friendly Web sites even more important.

Sadie: With the rise of the smart phone and birth of applications such as the new Amazon price check, the future is bleak for big box chains. There is an inevitable deterioration aimed at yesterday’s big businesses one I hope our “Mom and Pop” shops can capitalize on. Online consumers have endless resources to secure the best price on merchandise and won’t blink an eye at the 3-5 day waiting period for shipment. Though not likely, a possible upside of the down slide of the big box chains is that our communities reclaim the convenience and charm of our neighborhood corner stores. In the name of balance, these businesses can bring us the essentials along with the authentic relationships and personal exchanges that aren’t as easily acquired online.

Ashley: Beyond Facebook advertising, companies are always looking for ways to turn Facebook user engagement into profit and brand awareness. A new wave of Facebook marketing is set to launch as major chains like Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Quiznos and Red Robin partner with Plink, a loyalty marketing startup, to create a Facebook Loyalty Program. They’re hoping to leverage the popularity of social games like FarmVille, CityVille and The Sims by offering Facebook Credits for money spent at these restaurants. It’s an interesting way to use social media to drive actual foot traffic and direct revenue to their stores.