Net Briefs - October '14
Email Reigns Supreme
Email is still the king of B2C communication, as a new report from BlueHornet Networks reveals that 70 percent of consumers prefer communicating with brands via email rather than through direct mail or text messages. The study also emphasized the importance of optimizing email messages for mobile, as the findings showed 87 percent of consumers will delete or unsubscribe from an email list if the messaging does not display properly on mobile.
Instagram and Pinterest Get Down to Business
The Web’s top visual social networks have beefed up their business offerings. While Pinterest unveiled a new analytics dashboard (wsm.co/metricspin), Instagram was busy releasing a suite of business tools for advertisers (wsm.co/grambiz).
WordPress Unveils Benny (Version 4.0)
With nearly a quarter of all websites leveraging its platform, WordPress is one of the most used content management systems (CMS) on the Web, which is why ‘Net professionals will want to take note of the company’s latest update. WordPress 4.0 includes a variety of revamped features, such as a new grid view in the Media Library and a new enlarged image-preview feature. In addition, WordPress’s plugin install experience has been updated. Now, users will no longer see plugins displayed in a list view but a more visually appealing multi-column card view.
Now Trending: Social Commerce
Social commerce has arrived. Twitter announced it is officially testing a “Buy Now” button that enables users to purchase from select merchants and musical artists directly from their tweet stream. While not widely available yet, many speculate that the feature will arrive in time for this year’s holiday shopping season. In addition, visual marketing platform Curalate launched a feature called Like2Buy (wsm.co/instashop14) that makes the Instagram feed shoppable. With the feature, brands and merchants can feature the Like2Buy link in their Instagram profile’s about section, enabling consumers to pull up a gallery of Instagram photos, featuring products for purchase.
SlideShare Scratches its "Freemium" Model
As of Aug. 20, SlideShare stopped all subscription fees – doing away with its “Freemium” model and making all of its tools and features free. Former PRO subscribers will still have access to their accounts and all the tools they did when they were paying for the service.
Display Dominates the Web
The bulk of marketers’ advertising spend is going to display ads (63 percent), and that choice is paying off. In fact, a report from Neustar revealed that display ads drove 89 percent of actions in Q2 2014. Comparatively, social drove just 10.5 percent of actions. That said, social isn’t as costly as other forms of digital advertising, as the report showed that the price of social advertising came in 70 percent below the industry average. This is likely due to the growing use of efficient demand-side platforms to purchase social impressions.
276 Million Domains and Counting
Five million domain names were added to the Internet in the first quarter of 2014 according to Verisign, which represents a growth rate of 1.7 percent over 2013’s fourth quarter. The addition of these domains has brought the total number of worldwide registered domain names to 276 million as of March 21, 2014. That said, new .com and .net registrations were down in the first quarter of 2014, which could be directly related to the increase in new gTLD acquisitions.