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The week in social: Lobster on YouTube, the reality of Peeple, and verifying the Obvious

Twitter expanding “Buy Now”

Twitter is ramping up its effort to close the loop on sales-over-social by extending their partnerships with Shopify, Demandware and Bigcommerce. These expanded relationships will bring opportunities for more vendors to enable “Buy Now” functionality to their posts. Best Buy, Adidas and PacSun are all rumored to be on board to provide social ads that don’t just redirect, but cut down on steps and friction along the purchase process.

Read more at Tech Crunch

Lobster partners with YouTube

Lobster has succeeded in placing themselves at the intersection of content creators in the wild, and companies seeking media assets. If you think that picture of a pumpkin patch on Instagram is perfect for your fall campaign, Lobster will contact the rights holder and negotiate the contract for you to do just that. This week, the company has made a huge step forward by confirming a deal with YouTube.

Read more at Tech Crunch

Twitter won’t verify the Obvious

A coffee retailer’s latte has a verified Twitter account. A brand’s concept of disorder and chaos has a verified Twitter account. A cereal cartoon has a verified Twitter account. Even a media company’s broad caricature of a human has a verified Twitter account. Despite all this, Captain Obvious continues an unanswered campaign for Twitter to verify and legitimize his identity. Note: this author, Captain Obvious, and The Most Interesting Man in the World all continue unverified, demonstrating a 3-point trend of bias against truly great beards.

Read more at AdWeek

Edward Snowden joins Twitter

In 5 days, Edward Snowden has amassed 1.34 million followers on Twitter. His first tweet “Can you hear me now” earned 120k retweets. Snowden has kept up a strong initial content push, trading tweets with Neil deGrasse Tyson, poking fun at the NSA, and complaining about 47GBs of notifications in his inbox … and yes, his account is verified.

Read more at The Next Web and Twitter


Klink is a new photo sharing social platform that has recently wrapped a 3 month beta. The company is promoting the app first and foremost as a social sharing channel, while promising users $2 for every 1,000 unique views to an image. Meanwhile, users can pay $.99 to feature their images and lift content above the noise floor. This type of pricing model will be an interesting study as the demand for promotion interacts directly with the supply of attention.

Read more at The Next Web

FourSquare and OpenTable

FourSquare and OpenTable have had a long standing relationship, and they’ve recently improved their user experience. An update released this week will enable OpenTable reservations to be secured directly within the FourSquare app. It’s a small feature that cuts down on clicks, and demonstrates the demand for companies to simplify the conversion process on mobile.

On the other hand, OpenTable is also experimenting with Uber-style surge pricing for hard-to-get reservations. The intersection of providing easier usage while also raising prices based on demand represents an interesting company picture.

Read more at The Next Web

Peeple, the answer for a problem no one has

At last, a place on the internet where people can judge others without recourse. No doubt you’ve heard already of Peeple, the Yelp-style rating app for humanity at large. The app promises users the ability to rate other human beings with the same ease and care with which they rate their local taco stand. While the predictable (and perhaps valid) backlash has been widely covered this week, some are speculating that the whole idea is simply a hoax gone wrong.

Read more at The Washington Post and Newsweek

Google acquires Jibe

Google is betting heavy on Rich Communication Services (RCS) to pick up the slack where SMS has left off. “The features in SMS have not kept up with modern messaging apps” says Android’s Minister of Messaging. RCS handles rich media such as high-resolution photo and video, and can be expanded into applications like screen sharing and location mapping. Jibe has been working on RCS since 2010, and appears to be saddled with the responsibility of integrating RCS into Android along side Google Voice and Google Hangouts.

Read more at Silicon Angle

Mobile timeline facelift

Facebook is rehashing the look and feel of the mobile timeline, creating more robust opportunity for identity expression. Users can create a featured photo gallery, produce a short bio & detail section, and elect to display their friend gallery above their activity timeline. FB is also testing the waters with replacing the profile pic with a short looping video.

Notably, the option to produce and post brief animations with minimal effort follows the social trends set this summer, like the Live Photo feature announced by Apple, and the GoPro’s recent addition of Trim & Share.

Read more at Social Times

Facebook ad updates

Four new ad options have surfaced at Facebook this last week. Most interesting among them is the introduction of Brand Awareness Optimization, which is said to target viewers that are most likely to recall a brand’s ads. There has long been a need for this type of targeting, though the methodology for finding these viewers is vague at best. FB’s feature updates also include the addition of video to carousel format, TRP style ad buying for cross-platform planning, and mobile polling.

Read more at Facebook Business