Changes Ahead for Gmail — Google Acquires Sparrow

Google has acquired the social email startup Sparrow to put its team to work on improving Google’s own email solution, Gmail.  Sparrow announced the deal to its users on Friday.

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.emineomediasparrow-google

Now we’re joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

Google has already made email more social by connecting Gmail to its other products through Google+ for a more integrated experience.

Sparrow’s email app for Mac computers and iPhones similarly combines the best of both worlds.

On Sparrow, inboxes look more like Twitter feeds through truncated messages; emails look more like text messages thanks to a “quick reply” button.

The app also connects to Facebook so that messages pop up with the sender’s picture, but it retains the feel of a private inbox.

Sparrow handles large files through Dropbox. (The lack of file-sharing capabilities on social networks is another reason that they haven’t made email obsolete.)

TheVerge reported that Google acquired the company for under $25 million. Although the team will be working on new projects for Google, Sparrow users will still have access to their accounts.

Source Social Times


Smartphones, tablets set to win a silver medal for Olympic viewing

Emineo Media London2012Olympics
A new poll shows that 40% of U.S. adults planning to watch the Olympics will live-stream events on their smartphones and tablets.

TV will win another “gold” as the primary way viewers plan to tune into the London games which start next Friday, but the so-called “second screen” of smartphones and Emineo Media London2012Olympicstablets is catching up fast.

The poll, sponsored by mobile marketing firm Velti, also found that 35% of U.S. adults will turn to their tablet for news and coverage, while 27% will use their smartphone. This is the first year the Olympic Games will stream all 32 sports live. The poll was conducted by Harris Interactive in June among 2,088 U.S. adults.

Of those using a smartphone to follow the games, 45% will access video clips and replays, while 41% plan to stream live coverage via a browser. Fifty percent of tablet users will watch videos and replays on their browser, while 45% will stream live coverage.

“This survey reveals that a significant number of Americans are choosing to consume Olympic content on the go, and while doing so they’re overwhelmingly turning to mobile browsers,” said Krishna Subramanian, Chief Marketing Officer of Velti. “Further, the Olympic audience is becoming more fragmented. For brands that want to reach Olympic viewers, this is an important finding as it highlights the ability to look beyond TV and focus on secondary devices such as smartphones and tablets.”

When it comes to gender, overall the poll found that 83% of men between the ages of 18-34 plan to follow the Olympics at all, vs. only 71% of females in the same age group.

Sources Tabtimes


What Are Marketers Spending on Social Media?

When it comes to how much money to spend on social media, most marketers have less than 20% of their marketing budget set aside for outreach on social sites—including advertising and maintaining a social media presence.

Advertising Age and Citigroup spoke to US marketers in June 2012 and found that half of them (49.5%) said their company spent between 1% and 10% of their marketing budget on social media. An additional 19.0% spent between 11% and 20% and nearly one-tenth (9.7%) set aside nothing out of their marketing budget for social.

While these percentages may seem small, marketers reported that budgets were increasing. AdAge and Citigroup found that 72.9% of respondents said they expected their overall social media budget to increase over the next year. This is in line with data from Useful Social Media, which, in April 2012, found that 54% of US companies planned to increase their social media budgets by up to 25% in 2012.

As budgets for social media grow, marketers are also figuring out how to best measure the success and ROI of this tactic. AdAge and Citigroup focused on how marketers measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads and found that 27.2% of respondents placed the most importance on clickthroughs, while 15.8% preferred assigning a value to Facebook “likes,” and 10.7% were using a GRP-like metric. An additional 12.9% said they were not really sure how to measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads at all.

Although these marketers have a handful of metrics to choose from, they are not necessarily satisfied with the measurement tactics available from Facebook. AdAge and Citigroup found that 61.3% of marketers said they were somewhat satisfied with the data and analytic tracking they received from Facebook, while 10.1% were very satisfied. Over a quarter of respondents were somewhat or very dissatisfied with Facebook data and tracking.

All of this leaves room for Facebook to improve its insights and measurement offerings. By doing so, marketers will be more willing to participate on the site, and on social media in general, and increase budgets along the way.

Source eMarketer