Yahoo! has announced that it will work with Twitter to include tweets in the site’s newsfeed section. Yahoo! has long been a source of news about world events, sports, politics, entertainment and more, and the move seems to show that Twitter is becoming more recognized as an important news source.
In a Yahoo! blog post, CEO Marissa Mayer stated: “Updates direct from politicians, celebrities, media outlets, and other publishers have become an important source of real-time news and information.” The statement seems to reiterate a common theme in social media circles: traditional news sources can’t keep up with breaking news the way Twitter can.
Changes to the Yahoo! Website
Visually, the update is relatively small. In the stream of news articles, users will now also see tweets that contain breaking news or announcements. The tweeted news will include the Twitter handle of the person who shared the post underneath the headline. These posts will also include a “Follow” button, allowing readers to easily follow newsy accounts.
It’s not yet known what kinds of businesses and whose tweets will be highlighted in the Yahoo! newsfeed. It’s likely that tweets from big corporations and news outlets, as well as tweets that are popular and newsworthy will be shared.
More and more people are using Twitter as a source for news, whether it is hard news regarding local, national, or international topics or news from brands, businesses and groups. This means that it is more important than ever that your business shares news through Twitter.
You probably already use press releases, blog posts and earned media coverage to promote your business and share your latest news with your market. But, are you also using Twitter to share news? If you aren’t, now is the time to start.
Even if your tweets aren’t featured on the Yahoo! News page, the move signals a change in the way people expect to be informed about news, and your business needs to follow by using social media to inform its followers. Consider tweeting breaking news, links to blog posts that announce a company change and even finding ways to relate current events to your business.
The idea of using a current event for marketing purposes is known as real-time marketing. You can use Twitter to execute these strategies by staying up to date with current events in your industry and community, and when these stories relate to your business, leveraging them to promote what you do. Be careful not to take over a story, or be insensitive to a situation, which is known as news hijacking, since this approach will only backfire and hurt your company’s image.
Social media and the way news is delivered is always changing, and the latest Yahoo! feature may be one of the first glimpses into how the two mediums could be used together. Businesses can take note and adjust their social media marketing strategies to allow them to leverage the newsy aspect of Twitter.
As Twitter becomes a more common news source, how will your business react? If you don’t already have a solid Twitter following, will this industry change prompt you to build a bigger presence on the site?
It’s a grand, sweeping claim, but Yahoo thinks they’ve “redefined what it means to surf the web”; specifically in relation to the way we search and browse. At the moment, if I want to search for something, I head to my favourite search engine and then type a few search terms into my search bar. The search engine returns my results and I have to scan keywords to determine which site will be most useful to me. I then click on the link and I’m taken to a new page where I have to find the information I’m looking for.
On Yahoo! Axis, I type my search terms into the bar as usual and, just like Google Instant, it starts to generate search results based on predictions – but this is where the similarities end. Yahoo! Axis removes the link scanning aspect by making the entire process more visual. Rather than returning a page with URLs and snippets, I’m presented with popular search terms to the left, and thumbnails of webpage search results which I can scroll through to find the right content.
It may seem odd to use this type of search on a regular computer, but as we migrate over to tablets and mobile devices, it’s easy to see how this particular interface would be a delight to use. Granted, when I tested this out, I did find it rather slow and laggy, but this is more likely to be down to the age of my computer.
What will this mean for SEO?
Already we can see major problems on the horizon if this type of search were to become popular. The users decision to click on a site would no longer be based on a meta description, but would instead be determined by the website meeting the visual expectations of the user. Web design would be just as vital as content. However, it’s important to remember that this is only a front-end design update, and the behind the scenes search would still function in the same way.
Search engines have come a long way since the days of old school Google and AOL, now we’re seeing search trends leaning in the direction of semantic search. Rather than looking at the keywords you’re using, search engines are learning to understand what you mean when you use search terms, and what it is you’re hoping to find with those particular keywords.
You can see an example of this with Google’s auto correct, while it used to just offer spelling suggestions, it can now determine what you mean when you mis-spell words. Search for ‘icland is an icland’, and you’ll see the following suggestion.
Rather than pulling keyword relevant links every time, Yahoo! search scientists have built a new search engine from the ground up which is able to learn your interests and preferences. Over time the search engine will understand what kind of links you want to find when you search and will know what interests you over what you ignore.
So far, this system is only functioning within searches for breaking news and entertainment as these are two areas which fare incredibly well when subject to individual preferences. If a user were to submit the same search query throughout the day, Yahoo! search can update the results based on advancements in the story, or changing relevance, based on user behaviour.
The question is of course, do we want this kind of personalisation, as this relies on a huge amount of loyalty to one search engine, and it also raises privacy issues. And what would this mean for SEO? Surely this would be another way to filter out keyword stuffing sites and promote valuable content creators.
Facebook is engaging users! After all the concerns that Timeline would suck the interaction out of the experience, data is slowly trickling out that suggests the opposite. Here’s a list of the most engaging brands on Facebook, kindly compiled by Mashable. Not surprising, nearly all of the top 5 spots were occupied by food or beverage brands. We do love to talk about food!
Facebook isn’t the only one of the rise, with Google+ making headway in the fight to become a top social networking site. A study released by Simply Measured has revealed that brand engagment among the top 100 brands has been increasing enormously in the past 6 months.
Twitter hit the 10 million users mark for the UK, making it the fourth largest tweeting nation. This is a measure of actively tweeting users, and the data revealed that around 80% of them tweet on the go from a mobile device, which makes us the most mobile nation. Proud moment for all.
You may also have noticed that Twitter has rolled out summary e-mails, which ties in with their acquisition of Summify. You can now expect a round up of your most relevant tweets delivered weekly.
Google has received 3 patents for the Project Glass “wearable display glasses”, bringing us one step closer to having Google integrated into every aspect of our lives.
Introducing Wajam, the company bringing enhanced social search results to Bing and Yahoo. It works as a browser plugin, which integrates the companies social media results from your networks into search results. Allowing you to see what your friends thought of whatever you’re searching for.
And what has the potential to go viral? Well, some people are getting all hot under the collar about this spoof iPhone app for Dutch Shell. It’s difficult to stomach because viewers spend the first 20 seconds wondering if its real. It may stop short of going viral just because it’s so controversial and almost misses the mark of being well-played satire.
Reports coming from across the pond suggest that the FBI may be the next person to friend you on Facebook; but you won’t have any choice in accepting or declining this request. Just as we all got a little more savvy about what information we share and with whom, the FBI has decided they want to create a backdoor in our social networks to enable Government surveillance.
Image from dbaldinger.com
This move would be intended to replace the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, which covers telecommunications companies, but not Internet companies. As worldwide communication shifts in favour of social networking, VoIP and e-mail, the FBI wants to make sure they’re still able to snoop, and they’re asking Internet companies in the US not to resist the new law.
The FBI has drafted a proposal which would cover Social Networks, VoIP, and e-mail providers with over a certain number of users; Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook would all be affected. These companies would be required to make alterations to their code which would better enable them to wiretap suspected criminals.
Back in February 2011 the FBI reported that networks were ‘Going Dark’, which poses a problem for surveillance. As technology advances, the way we communicate is changing, and as a result we’re less easy to monitor. In the UK we saw an example of this during the 2011 riots; rioters were utilising the blackberry messenger service to fly under the radar and arrange meeting places and communicate on the whereabouts of the police.
This is scary enough for Americans, but what does this mean for the rest of the world? If my social networks and e-mail account are owned and housed in the United States, does that mean they’ll have a backdoor to snoop around my personal information too?
“The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes.”
Not content to only implement this for future patents, this new agreement will apply to everything; past, present and future. This is a significant step forward for developers and designers, who can now rest assured that their hard work will never become the source of bitter dispute.
Or will it? TechCrunch found a patent attorny, Leonid Kravets, to shed some light on the legal mumbo jumbo going on behind the scenes. Accorcing to him, this could be little more than a PR stunt as a reaction to the ex-Yahoo employer who found his patent at the heart of the Facebook Vs Yahoo debacle. Kravets suggests that the definition of ‘defensive’ is questionable, and could be entirely open to interpretation.
Similarly, he suggests that although the employee may have control over the patent, if that employee is still working for the original company then they may be swayed or influenced by their employer.
So, it’s an almost heart-warming piece of news which makes you want to quit your job and become a developer for Twitter; but it could also just be a PR stunt to gain a little exposure of the back of the current patent disputes. Either way, kudos Twitter!
(Story found via Wavii – I think this may be my new Pinterest)
Yahoo has started its downsize by cutting its workforce by 2000, these changes will be felt across the whole company, but will hit the product division hardest. These job losses are expected to save the company $375 million.
For those who like to keep up to date with their memes, there’s a new guy on the block: ridiculously photogenic guy has been cropping up on Reddit this week.
Breaking News this week—I got another dog! He’s a terrier mutt from the rescue centre; his name is Kiko, and he is awesome.
And on to the SMM and SEO news, which is probably what you expected to find here! SXSW was in full swing this week, and the internet was awash with news, product updates, hands on demos, and start-up buzz.
Reminiscent of the mobile patent wars, Yahoo is seeking legal action towards Facebook for alleged patent infringement. Facebook isn’t the only one in trouble, as the patents in question affect most social networking sites.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at Google, this 8 minute video gives you an insight into the kind of effort that goes into making Google search wonderful.
Unless you’ve been hiding out under a rock for this past week, you must have seen something about the Yahoo/ Facebook debacle. Just to bring you up to speed, Yahoo is suing Facebook over alleged patent infringement. The short of it is: Yahoo patented social networking. Yes. You read that correctly, as ridiculous as it sounds. Trust me, it feels silly just writing it.
The reaction across tech blogs and social networking sites couldn’t be less divided. We’ve sided with Facebook, and everyone is looking at Yahoo with a mixture of pity and, in some cases, contempt. Randi Zuckerberg, ex marketing director of Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg’s big sis broadcast this particularly venomous tweet via her personal account: “This Yahoo stuff feels to me like the business equivalent of when celebs do “Dancing With The Stars” in a last-ditch effort to save a career.”
She later commented that she wanted to take this tweet back, since Dancing with the Stars is at least a good form of entertainment. (This tweet has since been removed, so I can’t be sure of the exact wording.)
Facebook is accused of infringing 10 patents held by Yahoo. Speculation seems to be that Yahoo is vying for an out of court settlement, which is perfect timing, since Facebook has a whopping pile on money lying around following the IPO.
What makes this case more interesting is that Facebook is not the only social networking site guilty of patent infringement. As reported by TechCrunch, other sites could be equally at risk of being Yahoo’s next victim.
Is this just a case of Yahoo refusing to go down without a fight? And will this mark the end of the company?