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May 2013 'Net Briefs

Posted on 3.31.2013

Facebook's News Feed Gets Personal: 

Facebook has made yet another significant round of changes to its news feed, inching ever closer to a personalized, digitized newspaper for the Internet age. The most significant change to result from the facelift is an even heavier focus on the visual nature of shared stories, which will also extend to Facebook’s mobile applications. Perhaps most notably, however, is that the social network will begin providing users with access to a greater number of specific content feeds (e.g. music or games), as well as more control over how often content from those feeds is displayed. The degree to which these specific network updates will influence brand participation is up in the virtual air, but most expect advertising to play an increasingly integral part; changes which ultimately will bring Facebook ever closer to the big-time profits industry watchers expect.

New Domain Name Extensions Are (Almost) Here:

The most important development in the domain name industry is coming… and coming sooner than you might think (perhaps as early as June 2013). Early reports indicate that many domain registrars are actively, almost feverishly in some instances, preparing to make upward of 2,000 new suffixes (20 at a time or so) available to the general public — although the first few domain extensions to go on sale will likely be non-Roman scripts like Chinese or Russian (Cyrillic). Critics have slammed ICANN and popular registrars over the release of the new gTLDs, likening the development to a shakedown of epic business proportions. One thing is certain though — the new domains are coming, and the savviest brands are getting prepared.

Doing Just Vine?

Twitter’s new service, Vine, is taking the mobile world by storm. Since its Jan. 24 release, 2.8 percent of Twitter’s “highly active users,” utilized the app, according to a study released by RJMetrics in March. This is significantly higher than its pre-existing competitors, Viddy and Socialcam, which clocked in at 0.5 and 0.2 percent of the market share, respectively. This makes the most popular video sharing tool on Twitter. However, video sharing still has a long way to go, as just 4 percent of highly active users have shared a video on the site.


The hot new app on the block is undoubtedly Vine from Twitter, which allows users to record short, looping videos and share them on Twitter, as well as Facebook. Clips are given a maximum length of just six seconds, providing an interesting creative opportunity for digital marketers. Like Instagram, Vine users are also able to find, follow and interact with others, exploring trending posts, featured hashtags and editor’s picks. Vine is available free as an iOS app in the iTunes App Store and supports the iPhone 3GS and higher, as well as the iPod Touch.

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