27
39
Gini Dietrich

Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ News

By: Gini Dietrich | April 12, 2012 | 
69

It’s been a busy week in the PR/marketing/social world!

On Monday, Facebook bought Instagram for $1B. That’s billion. With a “B.”

On Tuesday, LinkedIn announced they’re rolling out some new features.

And yesterday, Google+ launched a new design that looks scarily similar to Facebook.

All three changes are exciting for marketers, but are driving fear in the hearts of most users. Is it because we truly don’t like change or is all of this really bad?

Let’s take a look at each and you can decide.

Facebook Buys Instagram

The fears from loyal Instagram users (31 million users at the time of purchase) is their privacy will be invaded because Facebook will harvest their information, their streams will be full of ads, or – worse – the company will be shuttered.

I, personally, don’t get why everyone is in an uproar about this. Facebook says they’re going to let Instagram continue running independently. We have nothing to go on, but that. The Zuck has never given anyone any reason to think he’ll go back on his word. And, unlike the CEO of Groupon, the Facebook founder seems to know what he’s doing. If he says he’s going to let it be, I believe him.

But let’s be real. Anything you put online is being harvested. If you don’t want your personal information used in Big Data, don’t use the Internet.

As for ads, I can see that happening. We all have to make money. It’s great we get to use Instagram for free so, if you don’t want ads, you’d better be ready to pony up a monthly fee to use the app. It’s ridiculous to think we can have it for free.

LinkedIn Features

LinkedIn is launching two new features, which are of particular interest to marketers: Targeted updates and follower statistics.

Targeted updates allow companies to segment their followers, just like you can do both on Facebook and Google+.

Now you can create lists by industry, job function, company size, and geography. Then you’ll be able to set updates and discussions to specific groups.

Follower statistics is an analytics dashboard that allows companies to see how effective their updates have been.

Right now, the features are available only to handful of companies, but will be rolling out to the rest of us in coming months.

I can’t see why anyone would be upset by these changes. They sound good to me. Sign me up!

Google+ Design

I like the new design, but I also think they used no internal creativity and, instead, turned to their biggest rival to create it.

It’s nice, don’t get me wrong. I like it a lot better. I’d just like to see Google do something innovative, rather than trying to catch Facebook all the time.

Other than the navigation being on the side (it’s on the top for Facebook) and there being a lot of clean, white space, it could very well be Facebook. There is a sidebar with “people you may know,” friend chatting (messaging on Facebook), trending topics, and people I might like.

I think I like it better. It’ll be interesting to see if it creates an opportunity for more engagement.

What do you think about all of these changes?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

69 comments
Mark_Miller
Mark_Miller

Your thoughts on G+ are spot on in terms of the service lacking innovation.  Looking back at how Facebook took market share from MySpace as the social networking service of choice, it was through changes and providing users with a feeling that they were using a newer and better service.

 

Acknowledging the similarities you pointed out between Facebook and Google+ the only main difference that users are going to notice currently is that none of their friends are networking on G+.  Sure, many have logged onto the service and created an account, but that's about it.  I'm not seeing anything Earth shattering there.

 

The one key innovation that Google has the potential to tout over Facebook is the potential integration of YouTube, Picasa, Blogger, and maybe even search engine functions.  Regardless of what they decide to integrate as unique features, they will remain a copy-cat of Facebook as you've already pointed out Gini.  That's not getting them any new users.

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

Well, it's years that Google doesn't innovate and just buys or copies from competitors. If the only thing they see is money and making more money that's what happens. And the main reason why Google is going to fall. Imho.

 

I'm not on LinkedIn so I don't really know what to say.

 

As for FaceBook Instagram users are right, they'll be scannerized to the bones and everything will be sold, in a way or another. I don't use it so I don't really care but, as a principle, it isn't correct. While it's true that we have to give back something to use something for free this doesn't mean someone has the right to do what he wants with my personal data. One thing is to have your data clustered and anonymized, another one is that someone in a country, probably not in the USA, will have access to a database which has everything about me. The more companies and corporations use data mining the more they know about you, and you don't get to know who sees these information and what they'll do with them. This is not strictly connected with being online. I think that if I'm online I want to have the right to decide what kind of information to share and who can see them. Otherwise phishing should not be considered a crime anymore given that it's routinely done by corporations (not the impersonating others part but the stealing of personal informatons), and by those who like to know everything about you like some goverments.

 

Also given that they make money using my data I want a share of the profits. It's my life that they are screenin and selling, am I wrong?

 

So Zuck will probably let Instagram be more or less as it is, but the Instagram users' souls, so to say, will become his own property and he will do what he sees fit with them, whatever the users think. Reason why I guess Instagram will be live for a year, or slightly more. At least as what it is now.

 

I don't know if it's true but beside ads I've heard that the bulk of money FB is making, and will make, is by selling users' data to companies. But which companies, and how they will be used? Who knows.

 

The fact that everything is mined doesn't mean that it's right, correct, ethical or legal, otherwise many crimes and offenses should be seen as common behaviors.

 

Always imho. :)

Latest blog post: Real Psychic Abilities

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

You know how old couples that have been together for decades start to look alike? That's what's happening to the social platforms. 

The End.

 

TheJackB
TheJackB

I don't care about FB purchasing Instagram because I assume that anything I put online is being used. I assume that any time I use FB some machine somewhere is taking my information and trying to find useful and actionable data.

 

As for G+, well I am not bothered by their changes either or the lack of innovation. Sometimes there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Latest blog post: Pools of Blood

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

Excellent point about ads in Instagram- people no longer seem to assign value to intellectual property, especially in the digital space.

 

Will these new LinkedIn features be for the paying customers only, or for all?

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

Let's point out something...FREE...it's all FREE. As @MichaelSchechter said in his blog yesterday and some others, WE are the product...we either come or go, say yes or no. It's business; all in a day's work. No secret that G+ views FB as its chief rival; if it takes features that make it look more like that to bring in the masses...sigh...OK. Personally, I love G+ (when I get there) as the heavy hitters are playing in my stream.

TedWeismann
TedWeismann

Nice pointing out the LinkedIn changes @ginidietrich . Of the three pieces of news this week, the LinkedIn features have me fired up the most. As someone focused on the B2B world, I scratch my head at how much LinkedIn gets the short shrift. 

 

And I agree with you on take the money and run. Do you think the Groupon guys now wish they took the $6B from Google?

wabbitoid
wabbitoid

I don't get Instagram, especially at a Bill, but take the money and walk (don't run), guys!  More power to ya!  LinkedIn has been in danger of losing its place in anyone's heart, so their updates were very much needed and should help some.  I'll always root for them as well.

 

But google+ .... sigh.  I am guessing that there is an internal debate as to what it is supposed to be because there is so much they should be integrating with it - and it's not happening!  Google has all these "object projects" (to use an urban planning term) that are scattered around on their own that cry out to be integrated into one seamless package that appliance users can make use of.   And it is just not coming together.  

 

Look at what they've done in the last few months - roll out "Play Store" as yet another stand-alone app/site and re-work google+ in the most derivative way possible.  This is not even close to what they need to do, IMHO.

 

Their position with android is impressive, but it will probably never make a ton of money on its own - what it has is an amazing ability to leverage loyal users forever.  They are in the position Microsoft was in circa 1998, except they also have the goods that Microsoft spent years trying to develop - mail, search, news, et cetera.  It should all come together in google+ - but it does not.  

 

Meanwhile, the coolest potential tool for curating, PostRank, is being allowed to wither and die after their buyout.  Google reader is just ... there.  So many great things and one really obvious place to bring them all together ...

 

... and they give us Basefook Lite.  Thanks.

TonyBennett
TonyBennett

I touched on google yesterday but I'm not opposed to making it work, just gotta figure it out. You're right though, Google did get a facebookier look. Kinda like when G+ came out and Facebook copied stuff off them. We ought to create a new platform called Googface. And happy anniversary!!!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I just sold Mark Zuckerberg 7000 acres of prime beach front property in Arizona that I don't even own! I love when suckers are identified. As AOL proved using inflated overvalued stock to buy other businesses can win deals (Time Warner) but they often fail to succeed. So grats to Instagram! And for those freaking out did you really think it would remain ad free and free to use? They had to monetize right? The only misstep for the Instagram folks? They gave away stock at half the facebook sale price to venture capitalists 2 weeks ago.

 

I haven't checked out the changes yet for LinkedIn or G+ I am sadly not well versed in LinkedIn.

bradmarley
bradmarley

One of the first things I was told when I started in the communications industry was that the only constant is change. And that certainly applies to the technology we have at our disposal to do our jobs.

 

As the so-called "experts", we owe it to those who we support to acknowledge the changes, and learn how they affect the work we are doing, even though it's in our very nature to reject change.

 

Forbes recently ran an article about five lessons we can learn from the late Mike Wallace. #2 was to embrace the possibilities of new mediums. I think that's totally relevant in this case.

 

(And, really, they're going to change again in six months, so why get bent out of shape?)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @TheJackB ANYTHING we put online is mined. Anyone who thinks differently is wrong. I had an attendee in a session I presented to tell me everything he puts on Facebook is secure. I proved him wrong...in front of 200 people. 

Latest blog post: In Search of My Voice

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  There is no reason on earth we expect things to be free without some sort of company targeting us with ads. Either we can pay for the service or expect to be targeted. People have to make money. That's how it all works.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @TedWeismann I like what LinkedIn is doing...I think I'll use it more if, especially when I can target different groups. It'll be really good for speaking engagement follow-up. Create a list of the people who attended a particular presentation you did and send them information, based on what you discussed. I like it!

 

Boy...if I were Groupon, I'd be really mad for making the decision I did. I know they gambled on making more with the IPO, but they failed. Miserably.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @jasonkonopinski Would you, or would you not, jump if someone offered you $1B? I would. And I wouldn't care who was upset about it because I'd be in Tahiti drinking fruity drinks and getting foot massages from a cabana boy.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @SociallyGenius I still contend Google+ is for search only. It's not really a social networks. But maybe these design changes will create more engagement.

TonyBennett
TonyBennett

@HowieSPM I'm a noob when it comes to linked in as well. I thought it was a place to look for jobs :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @HowieSPM I said this to you in email last night...if someone offers me $1B for my company, I will ask them where to sign. I wouldn't care if I gave away stock at half price. I'd be laughing all the way to the bank.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @bradmarley I had a speaking engagement yesterday and one of the questions from the audience was, "Why aren't you telling us how to use some of these new tools?" My response is always that technology is changing so quickly, you can't be a master of the tools. You have to be a master of strategy and of measuring your return...and then use the tools that are available right now that make you the most efficient.

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

 @ginidietrich I see, but first they should state in capital letters upfront something like "This service is free but in exchange we'll track everything you do and everything you say and sell this stuff to anyone we want" or "If you want to use this free service please sign this piece of paper with your blood",

 

Well, it doesn't really matter as I'm going to close everything soon except Twitter and StumbleUpon. :)

 

Happy weekend!

Latest blog post: Real Psychic Abilities

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

 @ginidietrich Thanks! Also, I was very aware of defending the right to charge for intellectual property, then asking if this LinkedIn update is free. :)

bradmarley
bradmarley

 @ginidietrich That's a good point, Gini. When Pinterest really hit it big, it started showing up in a lot of decks as a tool that we wanted to use in our campaigns. But it was solely because everyone was using it. And we thought our clients would want to use it.

 

It can be tricky to walk that line between a master of the tools and a master of the strategy behind it. We can only do our best. :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @jasonkonopinski I don't think it's all him. The two investors at the top are just complete jerks. I've never heard anything nice about either of them.

bradmarley
bradmarley

 @jasonkonopinski @Lisa Gerber @ginidietrich I was just about to type the same thing. That's essentially what it is.

 

Full disclosure: Springpad's CMO is also the chief innovation officer at the agency I work for. But I would recommend checking it out regardless. I dig the redesign.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

 @bradmarley  @ginidietrich I thought Springpad was more like Evernote? I need to spend more time with it. I 've had it on my phone for some time.... 

 

bradmarley
bradmarley

 @ginidietrich Have you played with Springpad? I like the layout and the usefulness for work items, but it's very similar to Pinterest. It's like a place to keep all of your "notebooks" on the web.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @bradmarley I LOVE PINTEREST! But I also don't think you should have a Pinterest strategy. Let's be real...it's not exactly hard to use. You can easily test a few things in a few minutes a day and then decide if it's something you want to incorporate in your marketing strategy.