Recent digital industry news: Facebook’s lost teens and a new David to take on Goliath Google

Here are some recent interesting or notable goings-on across the various industries The Internet Works areas of specialisation.

 

News: Tracking down Facebook’s lost teens

After recent reports of a decline in Facebook usage among teens, it seems these fickle kidults have been swarming into messenger, video and photo apps.

GlobalWebIndex found the main beneficiary was WeChat, with global usage (excluding China) having grown an astonishing 1021% between the first and third quarters of 2013. WeChat is catching up with WhatsApp, which has over 350 million monthly active users globally and is the most popular messaging app in the UK, installed on half the country’s iPhones.

Next fastest growth among teens has been enjoyed by Twitter’s newish video app Vine, which has soared 639%, and then Yahoo’s photo app Flickr, up 254% after being tweaked, refreshed and relaunched by CEO Marissa Mayer.

Will this lead to the death of Facebook? Perhaps, but Facebook is far from shuffling off its mortal coil, it still has 56% computer penetration with 16-19 year-olds and 43% on its mobile app.

 

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Opinion: Uniques are not enough

Providing unique user information is not enough for Rob Norman of WPP’s GroupM. He wants four extra data points to be made available as standard measures, to paint “a far more textured view of the web’s leading properties than exists today and infuse audience data with real meaning”.

You can read his explanation via the link but he thinks more pertinent data, in addition to monthly unique visitors, would be:

- Daily unique visitors

– Average time spent per daily unique (in five quintiles)

– A frequency distribution with geo-demographic and device data by user quintile from the heaviest users to the lightest users

– Volume of content shared to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube per unique visitor

 

News: New top level domain name for London

TheInternetWorks.london has a good, if somewhat unwieldy, ring to it. But this could soon be reality, when London gets its own domain name in 2014.

The UK capital will be one of the first cities with its own top level domain name (TLD), when the “.london” suffix is launched in 2014 by Icann, the overlords of the internet. You will be able to register for the domain with London-based Minds + Machines.

But businesses should not feel obliged to splash out on an unnecessary domain name they don’t really need just to prevent a competitor buying it instead, as Icann offers a trademark claims service to let trademark holders prevent third parties squatting on a new domain.

 

Opinion: Web designers, stop trying to be so clever

In every web product you create, you should prioritize effective over clever, writes Etsy’s creative director Randy Hunt on FastCoDesign.com, who admits that with designers sometimes the equation gets reversed.

He sets out several ways to recognise cleverness for cleverness’s sake and reminds that the web designer’s role is to reduce a product design solution to an idea that’s as familiar and understandable as it can possibly be and still ensure that the product works as intended. “Your usability filter should be turned way up as you design. Every design choice you make should be viewed through that strict filter. Does this choice help the user? Does that choice improve her experience?”

 

News: UK search startup challenges google

A new London-based startup has picked a fight with Google. Only one winner? Probably, but you’ve got to admire their balls.

David in this Goliath-challenging scenario is Seevol (a combination of the words ‘search’ and ‘evolution’) has been working for two years on developing a high-quality search engine to compete with the industry’s gorilla. While Google’s algorithm selects the most relevant pages for the top results, the Seevol engine does not calculate who should be in the top of page one, it calculates “who should be allowed in the search engine and who should be excluded completely”, so there’s no affiliate or Adsense websites as they are “low quality” and “just noise”.

According to founder Frank Kristiansen, the idea is to only index websites that have proven themselves to deliver high quality results, and then run an algorithm similar to the Google algorithm on these sites in order to find the most relevant to the search a user makes. While links are the gold-dust on Google, because Seevol excludes all low-quality content links will not be a part of the ranking factor.

Says Kristiansen: “Using links as a ranking factor was developed by Google to find the “trusted” pages. We don’t need that because we trust every single pages that is in our search engine.”

“The use of links as a ranking factor was needed when the Internet was young and a wild. But things have changed and everything is structured now, so by still using links as a factor you only give low quality the opportunity to compete on equal ground. It’s like giving the terrorist a chance”

The look of the website – once it is up and running in early 2014 – promises to be completely different from the current paradigm, which Kristiansen points out has been the same since search engines began: “we live in an age of private space travel, 3D holograms and computer games operated by brain waves, but we still display search results in plain text with blue links like we did 18 years ago”.

 

Twop tweets

‏@IABUK Online video ad spend grew nearly 100% in H1 2013. Are you making the most of this popular, consumer-centric channel?

@gigaom Twitter has released a new feature for power-users: Custom Timelines… Storify takes a deep breath. http://bit.ly/1dmw32G

@HubSpot 9 Reasons No One Is Reading Your Blog hub.am/182Ftwt

@TechCrunch Amazon is reportedly eyeing up London Underground ticket offices as delivery drop-off points http://tcrn.ch/1bXn9cN

@Econsultancy iPad, iPhone or Android: what’s right for your company app? ift.tt/1aT67eD

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Written by

TIW's head of content. He writes things, mostly content for clients but also TIW blogs. Client content ranges from bespoke web copywriting to business and sports journalism for the likes of ITV, Digital Look, Reuters and the Olympic News Agency.

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