Back after a well earned break, I’m going to have another bash at providing a weekly round-up of tech, media & marketing.
Twitter had a busy week, launching a new product and two updates to its ad systems.
Twitter #Music is an app, built off the back of acqhired Australian start-up We Are Hunted, which is designed to help people find and connect with new and upcoming music. It’s a lovely use of Twitter’s platform which understands, and makes use of, how people are using that to connect to music. Importantly, it builds off of existing music services, in the form of iTunes, Spotify & Rdio: this means it’s in the interest of the latter two for this to succeed, and helps ease the pain of Apple after closing Ping.
At the same time Twitter announced that it is to allow ads to be targeted at Twitter users based on words in their tweets or tweets they have interacted with, and it was rumoured that Twitter is trying to tie-up deals with TV networks so that it can monetise video content within tweets.
Whilst the #Music announcement is a smart effort to drive deeper audience usage of the product, whilst creating lots more lovely user data in the process, the keyword launch, and TV rumour, show that Twitter also wants to get much better at making money off of the audience it already has. Tie the two together and you can imagine a scenario where TV stations target their video content based on what other TV shows people have tweeted about, and then Twitter gets to monetise it. Meta.
Home And Dry?
Last week also saw Facebook Home hit the streets. It’s since seen 500,000 downloads which is impressive, but not a patch on Instagram which saw ten times as many downloads in the same amount of time after launching on Android.
It’s early days yet, and, to be honest, in some ways it’s hard to understand exactly what Facebook Home does for people. Perhaps the fact that one of the main features of Home, Chat Heads, is now part of the iPhone app, will help to really kickstart Facebook’s mobile landgrab. At least that would mean they wouldn’t have to rely on this ad doing the job.
Race To The Bottom
Finally, and a lot more seriously, the web showed its darker side in the aftermath of a tragedy in Boston. reddit, which likes to call itself the front page of the internet, decided to try and capture the bombers. And failed.
Which would be fine, if it’s misguided attempts to play Sherlock didn’t result in plenty of innocent people being named as terrorists. It was, to repeat one memorable turn of phrase, like a racist Where’s Wally. To be sure plenty of people have pointed out that ‘traditional media’ is hardly blame free, and they’re right. But reddit has history, and it’s not as pretty as its cheer-leaders would like to claim.