What We’re Reading: September 13, 2012

Of course, we’re all atwitter (see what I did there?) over yesterday’s iPhone5 announcement.

The hype leading up to the announcement was almost bigger than the announcement itself – but not quite. Now we know what the iPhone5 is – light, fast, and even more integrated.

The bigger display, thinner design, more refined camera, smarter Siri, and Apple maps are all fabulous. But the two things that make this phone remarkable and that will help make our online world ever more mobile?
1. iPhone5 will connect with LTE, as well as additional other cellular networks.
2. iPhone5 has an A6 chip that makes launching apps, loading web pages, viewing email attachments, and graphics performance in games up to twice as fast – along with the battery power to go 8-10 hours.

It is exactly this experience, where things just work well, that results in greater use. Websites that are device agnostic – that work and display well on desktop computer monitors, laptops, tablets, and smartphones – are more important than ever.

Elsewhere, we learned that Twitter will now provide advertising directly targeting their users based on interests revealed in tweets. Icing on the cake for advertisers? Promoted tweet prices are also going to be slashed in an effort to draw more interest. This is great news for advertisers who have been wanting a more intimate way to get in front of active Twitter users. But, what will the twitterverse think? The attempt to only deliver promoted tweets that are directly compelling to a user could be promising, but will it work?

CEO Dick Costolo has said in recent months that his company’s value lies in its ability to mine its flow of information to build “an interest graph” showing its users’ preference profiles — which could be used by marketers to deliver targeted and relevant ads.

As part of its new targeting feature, Twitter will now allow advertisers to send paid ads, in the form of tweets, to users who are interested in any of the roughly 350 topics on a list curated by Twitter itself.

For instance, sports apparel retailers can target soccer fanatics for promotions, or film distributors might send tweets directed at keen Bollywood fans.The new offering will allow companies to reach a “very narrow, very specific and incredibly focused audience,” Kevin Weil, a Twitter director of product management, said in an interview.

Infographic: Pinterest is getting a lot of credit lately for driving qualified traffic to retails sites. This infographic gives great insight at the  mix of traffic that is driven by Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Key take away: Facebook still drives the most traffic. Pinterst users spend more $$.

What will Mark Zuckerberg do with Search? People are expecting him to try to rival Google and Bing, but it is looking more like he will use Facebook to tap into his users’ specific queries – more in line with the Ask.com model.

‘Facebook members will type in more than a keyword and ask for something relevant in return. “I have a specific question; answer this question for me,” he said. “Facebook is well-positioned to answer questions, such as what type of sushi restaurant have my friends gone to during the past six months in New York, and liked?”’

Finally, Google has come out with possibly the best search operator ever created for any reason anywhere.

No, it’s not a label that meatpacking companies assign to their pork products. It’s actually a new tool that calculates the connection between actors and actresses and the most famous actor never to have been nominated for an Academy Award.

Or as we know it: the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

To use it, type in the words ‘Bacon number’ (without quotes), followed by an actor or actresses name. Google will come back with how closely he/she has been to Kevin Bacon.

The only way this gets any better is when Google figures out a way to calculate the Bacon Numbers of the general public. Bring it on.