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LinkedIn Apply Button for Your Website

Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

LinkedIn Apply Button for Your Website

Posted on: September 28th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

Last July, LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, released a new plugin that enables job seekers to easily submit their LinkedIn profile for job opportunities on an employer’s website. It’s only been three months, but we’ve noticed that many businesses are not taking advantage of this button. And they should.

By clicking the new Apply with LinkedIn button on a company’s website, consumers and companies alike will be able to find more opportunities, candidates and insights that will ultimately help them land them their dream job or dream candidate.

“Apply with LinkedIn provides an easy way for job seekers to put their best foot forward when applying for new opportunities and demonstrates a confidence in their professional identity and brand which showcases their acquired skills, experiences and professional connections,” said Deep Nishar, SVP of products and user experience at LinkedIn. “Companies also gain access to one of the most qualified and coveted talent pools of more than 100 million LinkedIn professionals around the world.”

When job applicants click the Apply with LinkedIn button, they will have the opportunity to edit their profile before submitting or they can go directly to the one-click “Submit Application” button, which will automatically send the candidate’s public LinkedIn profile data to the employer or pre-populate the employer’s online employment application. Applicants receive immediate confirmation of their submission and will be prompted with professional connections that they can contact to increase their chances of getting hired at the company. Job candidates will also be able to manage any job submissions using the Apply with LinkedIn button when they go to their LinkedIn.com “Saved Jobs” tab to allow for added efficiency and organization in their job search.

Many companies are posting help wanted information on their websites, but neglecting to add the Apply plugin from LinkedIn. We’re not sure why because it’s free and it works. Try it!

The “Apply” with LinkedIn plugin can be downloaded here.

Who Moved My Cheese? – Facebook Changes Again

Posted on: September 21st, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

This morning I was thinking about Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson’s book about dealing with change. Once again, Facebook has made changes to its platform (and it appears the changes are coming fast and furious these days).

At a networking meeting this morning, a number of people approached me and exclaimed something to the extent of “isn’t it horrible what Facebook has done.” Their visible shock and worried tone would have led me to believe that Facebook now made it mandatory for all users to be subscribed to “Nazi Lovers Who Hurt Cute Dogs” Page. In actuality, all Facebook did was move some things around and change what users see when they first log in to the site. Nothing too drastic there. Last week’s “shocking” change was changing the default on email notifications. People revolted even though the setting can easily be changed back.

People don’t like having their cheese moved. It’s disconcerting once you get used to knowing where your cheese is all the time. However, people should take these Facebook updates in stride. As history has demonstrated, Facebook makes changes to its look and feel and people get upset. After a few weeks they are accustomed to the changes and all is well in the world once again. These updates that Facebook makes are not knee jerk reactions and they certainly are not because some summer intern at the company thought it would be cool to change where the news feed is located on the page. These are calculated updates and tweaks to the platform that are done for a reason. You might like some at first and feel frustrated with others. Ultimately, we will all get used to the changes and the site will be better for it.

One change that I have already embraced is the birthday update. Instead of going to each birthday celebrant’s page separately, one can now click the birthday gift icon and leave a birthday greeting to all celebrants at once. That is a time-saving tool that came about because Facebook recognized the culture of birthday greetings on the site.

Remember, Facebook is a free service to 800 million users worldwide. We pay for our account by allowing advertising. The company has a right to tinker with the look of the site in order to keep us dialed in longer so our eyes glance at more of their paid advertising. Not all of their changes are going to be positive, but for the most part we will learn to adapt. After all, this is still a very young company that is creating the best practices in the field of social networking. Rather than creating (or joining) Facebook groups named “I hate Facebook’s changes” and “Facebook changes too much”, try to familiarize yourself with the new layout.

Here is the blog post from Facebook’s Mark Tonkelowitz explaining the recent site updates.

When you visit Facebook, you should see the things you’re most interested in, like status updates from your family and closest friends. Last week, we announced improvements to Friend Lists and a newSubscribe button to help you see more of what you care about, and less of what you don’t.

But it’s not just the people you hear from that make your News Feed interesting. It also matters how much you visit Facebook. If you haven’t returned in a week, you may want to see a summary of top stories first. If you’ve already visited several times that day, you probably care more about recent news.

Starting today, it will be easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you’re on Facebook.

News Feed: See What Matters at the Top

When you pick up a newspaper after not reading it for a week, the front page quickly clues you into the most interesting stories. In the past, News Feed hasn’t worked like that.  Updates slide down in chronological order so it’s tough to zero in on what matters most.

Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.

If you check Facebook more frequently, you’ll see the most recent stories first. Photos will also be bigger and easier to enjoy while you’re scrolling through.

Ticker: Join Friends in Real-Time

News Feed often has a time lag. Usually when you’re on Facebook, a lot of your friends are too. Until now, there hasn’t been an easy way to see and chat with your friends about photos, articles, and other things they’re posting in real-time. The new ticker helps you do just that.

Ticker shows you the same stuff you were already seeing on Facebook, but it brings your conversations to life by displaying updates instantaneously. Now when a friend comments, asks a question or shares something like a check in, you’ll be able to join the conversation right away. Click on anything in ticker to see the full story and chime in – without losing your place.

If you have a wider screen, slide the grey bar between ticker and chat up or down to adjust how many updates you see at a time. To control who can see your updates anywhere on Facebook, including in ticker and News Feed, adjust your sharing control or apps settings.

Analytics and Insights for Personal Facebook Profiles

Posted on: September 7th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

We do a lot of research on the analytics of Facebook pages by reviewing the Insights section that Facebook provides. But we were thinking… wouldn’t it be great if Facebook provided Insights for personal Facebook profiles too?

As we looked around the Web to see if any third parties were offering such analytics or if Facebook was hinting at a future announcement about personal Facebook profile analytics, we came across this interesting blog post. Kevin Warhouse of StringCan Interactive blogged about this exact innovation. Here’s what Kevin had to say:

Facebook Insights and Analytics are a fantastic tool for businesses and brands using social media to engage with fans. They provide great insight into how users interact with your page and can help indicate what content is best received. While there is no doubt how powerful these tools are for businesses, wouldn’t it be great to see these same resources available to personal profiles on Facebook?

In a previous post I have covered the many tools within Facebook Insights that can help you set goals and measure them for your business page. I think that the majority of these tools such as Inline Insights, Page Views, and Demographics also have great potential value for personal accounts. Wouldn’t you like to know more about your friends and followers as a whole and be able to better determine which content you post from your personal account is best received?

Often it seems that my friends on Facebook will read links or watch videos that I post and not comment on them. It would be interesting to see what content is really preferred despite what the comments and likes may say. If I was able to see information about how each status update, picture, or link was interacted with I would know what my friends are most interested in me sharing.

In the days before Facebook had taken off to be the social sharing center it is today, MySpace used similar personal analytic metrics that allowed users to see how many views they had received on their profile or pictures. While Facebook does not currently offer any sort of personal analytics like this, the desire from users is certainly still alive. There are already many successful third party apps and websites that can calculate certain metrics such as who your most active friends are and what your friends demographics look like. These apps and websites stand as a clear sign to me that Facebook users are interested in having access to this kind of data on their personal profiles.

Facebook is all about connecting people and allowing them to share the things that are important to them, but recently they have taken a turn towards creating a more valuable and customized experience for users. By monitoring activity and spotlighting the content that individual users are most interested in and find most relevant, Facebook has created a more personalized environment for people to be social. Facebook already has algorithms in place to calculate top news for each individual user based on the amount of likes and comments you post on your friends updates. I think there is a great possibility that moving forward this will be taken to the next level by integrating the users total interaction with pages beyond just likes and comments.

It really would be helpful to know just how active ones Facebook profile was and the type of interaction taking place on the profile. Imagine how we could use that type of analytical information.

Biggest Facebook Fan Page Mistakes

Posted on: August 17th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

Brian Carter of AllFacebook.com clearly has his finger on the pulse of Facebook marketing. In fact, we’d even call him the guru of Facebook Pages.

This past spring, Carter delineated the top seven biggest Facebook fan page marketing mistakes. There’s a lot that businesses can learn from these mistakes. Here’s the list (drum roll please!):

Fan Page Mistake #1: Assuming People Go To Your Fan Page (Versus Seeing Your Posts In Their News Feed)

Most people, if they ever go to a fan page, only go there once. Some highly interactive pages get more visitors, and you can bring fans back to the page or to specific tabs with posts or ads, but usually fans see your page’s posts via their news feed.

One of the biggest surprises to me, in teaching Facebook marketing to many audiences, was that most business owners don’t understand how people use Facebook:

When you log on to Facebook, what you see is your news feed, and this is all Facebook is, to most people.

Your news feed doesn’t contain every post from all your friends or all the pages you’ve liked.

You can change your news feed to show more, or everything, or the most recent from everyone, but fewer than 10 to 20 percent of people do this.

If you have a Facebook page, all your fans do not see all your posts. The fans who have liked or comment on your page’s posts will see more of your posts.

If you’ve done a poor job getting people to interact, you may need to rehabilitate your fan base by paying for sponsored stories.

This is also a good reason to look at Facebook Groups, because every time any Group member posts or comments, everyone gets a notification.

Fan Page Mistake #2: Expecting Welcome Tabs To Get You Lots Of Fans

Reveal tabs, aka Fan Gates, are very popular. Some people think they possess magical powers. But they don’t help most businesses very much because:

For a welcome tab to get you fans, you have to get non-fans to go to your Facebook page, because only non-fans see the pre-like version of a fan gate.

If you have a website with a lot of traffic, you may get a significant number of people who do this by clicking on a Facebook icon from your website.
If you use a like box to get fans on your site, these new fans will never see your welcome tab.

If you get new targeted fans the cheapest way there is (via Facebook ads), most of these like the page by liking the ad, so they also never see the welcome tab.

See that big circular diagram from the last mistake? Notice how many fans go to the actual page? That’s the percentage of people likely to see your beautiful welcome tab. Actually, less, because once they’re fans, they’ll go straight to the Wall.

Fan Page Mistake #3: Overestimating Apps and Tabs

Some people also seem to think creating a Facebook app is a magical move that will create all kinds of buzz and engagement. While this may be true for big companies who can get mass media coverage for deploying a clever new app, for most companies this the long way around to less results.
The Facebook app’s fatal flaw is the ominous opt-in page that requires you to share your Facebook data with the App. I can’t find any authoritative percentage of how many people bounce away from that page, but anecdotally, I know the number is high. I only became more willing to allow once I knew where to go to remove App access from my account. But this extra step means at least 25 percent and maybe as many as 75 percent of people who go to try an app will not carry through with it.

What that means is- you spend all kinds of money and time programming a new app (and programming efforts, especially if you’ve never been involved in one, are always more money and time than you expected), and may come out with less results than if you just use the incredible tools Facebook has available.

Think about it, if 100 percent of users already interact with posts and pages and groups, won’t you have a better chance of getting engagement by using those, than by using a weird new app that they have to give up privacy to opt-in to?

Fan Page Mistake #4: No Budget For Ads To Acquire Fans

As discussed above, the cheapest way to get targeted fans for your page (fans who are likely to be good customers), is with Facebook ads. The power, depth and precision of the Facebook ad platform is unrivaled and historic. And you can get fans for anywhere from 1 cent to $1.50, depending on your niche and parameters. You can’t get email subscribers that cheap anywhere, and this is the same kind of owned media.

But so many companies go to ridiculous lengths to avoid spending money on ads, or they just don’t have ad spends in their paradigm. They use a ton of time on roundabout tactics that yield fewer and less qualified fans. They forget about the cost of the employee time required to do so. And then when their fans don’t produce a return on investment, hey wonder why. Well, because you went cheap and you didn’t get good prospects. That’s why.

Fan Page Mistake #5: Posting In A Self Centered Way, Not Trying To Get Likes And Comments

You’ve seen it on hundreds of corporate blogs: post after post about them, them, them, and few comments, if any. Comments from sycophantic employees who want their company to look good. You can see it on Facebook pages too: me, me, me posts, and very few likes and comments, especially compared to the fan base. Your actual active fan base is about 100 times the number of likes and comments you usually get. How does that compare to the number of fans you have?

You would think by now that everyone would understand the lessons of web 2.0; push and pull, conversational marketing, etc. But no. So many marketers have never learned to care about what their audience cares about. You can’t communicate effectively until you know your audience. You can’t get responses if you don’t ask for them. You can’t get enthusiasm until you stimulate it.

And if you don’t get responses, you become invisible.

Fan Page Mistake #6: Not Optimizing For Impressions And Feedback Rate

If you don’t have a metric for every stage of your marketing, you simply can’t optimize your tactics for that stage. Your goals for the fan page should include:

Visibility to as many of your fans as possible, calculated by dividing post impressions by your total fan base
Responsiveness to your posts, calculated by feedback rate, which is the total number of likes and comments divided by post impressions

If you aren’t getting at least a one percent feedback rate, you probably are missing the mark in connecting with the bulk of your audience. Think about what passions and interests your fan base has in common, and speak to those. If you used Facebook ads to grow your fan base, you should know exactly what interests comprise the bulk of your fans and which ones were most passionate (measured by ad CTR).

A couple of caveats: I haven’t seen pages with more than 100,000 fans get one percent feedback rates, but I also don’t see pages that size using best practices in post content. Also, for pages of any size, when you post blog posts or sales-focused discounts, the clicks to your website or blog aren’t counted in this feedback rate. In those cases, a lower feedback rate is acceptable, if you’re getting sales and ROI from your efforts.

Fan Page Mistake #7: Over-Selling and Hard-Selling Without Conversing Or Arousing Desire First

This is very similar to the “me, me, me” selfish mistake discussed in #5.

Think about the typical conference. There’s a reason they have a separate area for vendors: The selling approach doesn’t always jibe with the conversational focus of the main part of the conference. And similarly, a fan page is a bunch of fans who typically are fans of something besides your offering. What they’re fans of is related to your offering. You have to continue to fan the flames of desire around that passion. My rule of thumb is to engage, converse and stimulate four times as much as you sell. Go for 80 percent interaction, 20 percent selling. There’s a wisdom to this that goes beyond Facebook.

Why does Corona sell relaxation and the beach rather than just show people drinking beer? By reaching beyond features and benefits to sell the dream implied by the offering’s benefits, playing with follow-through, focusing on the vision beyond, companies knock the ball out of the park.

Conversely, companies that focus on themselves and selling immediately end up disappointed, much like the college freshman looking for a one night stand. Not knowing the value of romance, he ends up rejected and alone. There’s a reason why it’s called foreplay and there’s a reason that flowers are a billion dollar business.

Brian Carter is CEO of the Facebook Marketing Training Company, FanReach, a social media trainer, and Facebook consultant.

Why Are They Still Printing the Yellow Pages?

Posted on: August 9th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

When I walked into the office today, I started laughing. There sitting on a table was that thick yellow brick. It was the Yellow Pages.

We use “The Yellow Pages” as an example of old media — that thick book full of super thin yellow paper containing ads. Businesses from law firms to chiropractic clinics still pay expensive monthly fees to display their ads in the Yellow Pages even though most people waste little time in moving the Yellow Pages from their front porch to the recycle bin.

We use the Yellow Pages as an example of old media because that’s the old way of marketing. In the old days, there were not many choices for businesses that couldn’t afford park bench ads or billboards over the highway. And there was a time when the Yellow Pages were actually kept next to the house phone and used to look up numbers and decide which plumber to call for the leaky faucet. Today, Facebook pages, Google Ads, Twitter feeds & Yelp listings have replaced the Yellow Pages. New media advertising is inexpensive and has a much better return on investment (ROI).

Maybe we’ll keep that big yellow book around just as a reminder to clients of the marketing medium of a bygone era and how much more effective their marketing campaigns can be in the 21st century. Or maybe we’ll use it to prop open the door every once in a while.

Follow Access Social Media on Twitter at @accesscomputer and like us on Facebook

Businesses Need to ‘Get’ Social Media

Posted on: August 2nd, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

 

Alexis Dormandy writes in The Telegraph about businesses still not quite “getting” social media:

Ticketmaster estimates that every time one of their customers posts on Facebook that they’ve bought a ticket, their friends spend an additional $5.30 with the site. When last year’s Google conference was taking place, they tweeted the morning of the conference: “100 tickets left, 550 bucks a piece, use this promotion code”. 11 minutes later they tweeted, “Sold them, thank you.” That’s $55,000 in sales with one tweet in 11 minutes. E-commerce sales are expected to top $1.4 trillion by 2015. And IDC estimates that in five years, 10-15 per cent of total consumer spending in developed countries may go through sites such as Facebook.

Given the overwhelming evidence that social commerce works, why are big businesses so slow to take advantage? Could it be because senior marketing directors don’t understand it and don’t want to admit it?

Your typical 40-year-old marketing director would have left school in 1988. More than likely their last maths lesson was when they were 16, and they were glad to see the back of it. Computers weren’t even available at school then. The brightest graduates interested in marketing studied English, foreign languages, or history.

The fast trackers went into advertising agencies to do planning and account management. Life was a lot of fun and not a computer in sight. I recall being phoned by an account director friend the night before a big pitch asking me to “explain again how a percentage works”. She was an Oxbridge graduate and it had been 9 years since she’d last had to do any maths.

Our 40-year-old marketing director probably spent four years at an agency, before going to work on the client side. They spent the 1990s pulling together billboard campaigns, debating what they could say with the Advertising Standards Authority, agreeing joint promotions with other big businesses, and sponsoring celebrity sportsman. Life was still a lot of fun.

They turned 30, the dot-com bubble came, and a small number of the more enterprising ones became entrepreneurs. Most kept rising up their businesses, learning to take eighteen months to launch a consumer product, and working with retailers to plan their Christmas sales nine months in advance. The really good ones rose to the top and had teams to look after all this stuff for them.

And all the while, those computers and the maths they thought they’d avoided at school were catching up with them.

Ten years ago marketing meant spending millions on a TV campaign that would be seen by 10m people of whom maybe 200,000 bought something.

Then Google came along with Adwords and let you “buy” customers on a cost per click (CPC) basis – you agreed to pay a certain amount per customer, and Google connected you. Marketeers had to learn about search engine optimisation, paid-for-search, and affiliate sales. Most of them didn’t.

Then Facebook came along and transformed things again. Now you only need to target 5,000 people, and they in turn influence 20,000, who influence 200,000.

Marketing has become all about analytics and maths and measurement and making targeted investment decisions on a daily basis. It’s about data – lots of data.

It requires totally different skills than the senior marketing director spent the last twenty years learning. But the guy who didn’t want to do maths is still making the decisions, and he can’t admit that he doesn’t really understand sponsored stories or Open Graph or hashtags.

The limiting factor in the adoption of the internet and social media by businesses is not the technology, it’s the people in charge.

Most large consumer businesses have someone responsible for social media. They are 26 and have a job title like Community or Social Media Manager. Because they are 26 and they work in a large business, it’s difficult for them to change the way things work. They can see that it’s costing four times as much to get a new customer on TV compared to Facebook, that paid-for search isn’t cost effective, and that the marketing agency is clueless online, but they can’t do anything about it.

I’ve got some good news for those Social Media Managers: you may be exasperated today, but you’re about to inherit the earth.

Why Your Business Needs Facebook Fans

Posted on: July 26th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

The Single Most Powerful Reason To Get Facebook Fans
By Jon Rognerud (jonrognerud.com)

The number one reason for Facebook Fans Revealed
Lots of materials emerging on Facebook every day now. It’s exciting.

From setting up a new profile, optimization of Facebook for search engines (SEO), adding pictures, videos and how to communicate with your fans and ‘likers’. This also includes basic human (one-to-one) communication strategies, how to elicit better/more responses from your audience, how and where to share personal and business-centric information, tools to help you structure an optimal Facebook experience for yourself and others.

Of course, a profile is only part of the journey to Facebook success (defined broadly) for business success. You must also seriously take a look at how to setup and manage fan pages, including different ways to drive traffic there. That of course include paid advertising as well. It’s not uncommon to get traffic for 1c these days, depending on skill-level and marketplace positioning. Some markets, and in the B2B marketplaces, you may apply more of the ninja-like approach, but it’s still doable. Imagine targeting a specific company and/or officers.

However, everybody is focused on getting fans. That’s good, but do you really know why you need fans? What’s the most important reason to get fans to YOUR Facebook world?

It is clear that that while there are pros already doing well with Facebook, the vast majority does not. Different, valuable training programs are becoming available, but this will not useful if you don’t understand the reasons for doing it.

In a sense, it’s back to basics: have a plan in place, and don’t think of traffic or efforts as a one-time event.

Here are the common reasons for receiving Facebook likes/fans:

1) Social Credibility
If people come to your page, and many others have liked the page before them. They have a reason to do the same. It’s social proof. Testimonials and validation is key. People are real. You can see if your friend is a friend too – it’s like “hey, Bill has been here, I better do it too”…

2) Free Status Messages
When you post a message, it goes across the network of friends – and those impressions are free. You might pay for 20,000 impressions at $10.00 normally, but you get it for no cost (except your time). You can obviously scale this up. You get the idea. That’s exciting, but that’s not all.

3) Viral Marketing
People that get excited to share things on their own accord, and with their messages, URLs and pictures, and can be very compelling from both a Facebook and user experience. Things can move very fast.

These 3 above are great reasons, but still not the most important.

THE number one reason to get Facebook Fans:
When somebody fans your page – you can target them with a specific ad that reminds them that you are in business. Any time! And for a very low cost! They are already in your circle of “trust”, so to speak.

So, you get the benefit of hyper-targeting and the ability to display low cost ads, change messages (on pages) for events, seasons, special promotions, helpful training, etc. Imagine having 15-20,000 ads being shown for less than 10 bucks (marketplace and ninja-skills depending).

Facebook and Skype Team Up for Video Chat

Posted on: July 6th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

I just had my first Facebook video chat. Think Skype inside the Facebook platform with your friends who are already connected to you on Facebook.

Google should take note that anyone who is on Facebook already and has a video camera, microphone and speakers hooked up can use Facebook Video Chat. That’s right, no invitations are needed.

This was just announced this afternoon via a joint press conference from Skype and Facebook. Here’s what William Fenton had to say about the new Facebook Video Chat on PC Magazine’s site:

Watch out Google+, the original social networking goliath isn’t about to get KO’d by some circles, hangouts, and sparks. Today Facebook announced asmarter sidebar, group chat, and integrated video conferencing. Some of it’s available today, and some of it’s on layaway—that is, unless you know how to join early. Here’s what you need to know about today’s announcements.

Smarter Sidebar and Group Chat
Last winter Facebook rolled out a new unified Message system that threaded together messages, chats, texts, and emails. Today they’re making itsmarter. You already have a sidebar that features your most frequent chat buddies; now it’ll scale to size of your browser window.

The other addition is group chat. When it comes to planning your next happy hour, Facebook won’t keep you thirsty. You can start with a conversation with one friend and bring more pals into the mix by clicking “Add Friends to Chat.” Facebook even archives the entire multi-threaded conversation in Messages.

Video Conferencing
We think Skype is great, but it’s only as useful as it is accessible. After Skype added some Facebook smarts to its popular video conferencing service, Facebook is repaying the favor by integrating Skype video calling directly into its Chat. This means that you have all your friends (or at least 750 million of them) corralled into one place. Because it’s built into Chat, the process is simple: Just as you’d initiate a new chat, click a friend’s name; when the window appears, click the new camera icon to initiate a video call. Of course, like any good announcement, it’s not available yet. However—and this is a big however—if you click over to this link you can get it now, though you will have to run a quick installer when you launch that first video conference.

Blogger and Picassa to Be Retired by Google

Posted on: July 6th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

Ben Parr, writing for Mashable, explains that Google will retired its acquisitions of Blogger and Picassa and roll those features into Google+:

Say goodbye to the Picasa and Blogger names: Google intends to retire several non-Google name brands and rename them as Google products, Mashable has learned.

The move is part of a larger effort to unify its brand for the public launch of Google+, the search giant’s social initiative.

Blogger and Picasa aren’t going away, of course — they’re two of Google’s most popular products. Instead, according to two sources familiar with the matter, Google intends to rename Picasa “Google Photos” and Blogger will become “Google Blogs.” Several other Google brands are likely to be affected, though our sources made it clear that YouTube would not be rebranded. The technology giant shut down Google Video, its failed web video service, in May.

The move isn’t without precedent; Google acquired JotSpot in 2006 and rebranded it as Google Sites in 2008. In 2007, Google acquired VOIP platform GrandCentral and relaunched it as Google Voice in 2009

Picasa and Blogger were also Google acquisitions, although both companies have been part of the Google empire for far longer. Picasa was acquired in 2004 and Blogger (co-founded by Evan Williams of Twitter) was acquired in 2003 and is one of the top 10 most visited websites in the world. Although the rebranding could upset some existing customers, it also gives Google the ability to completely integrate both services into Google+.

The transition from Picasa and Blogger to Google Photos and Google Blogs will occur “in a month to a month and a half,” we’ve been told. The date aligns with the likely public launch of Google+. Mashable has been told to expect the public debut of Google+ on or before July 31. The date is important because it’s the day all private Google Profiles will be deleted.

We believe Google doesn’t want to have private profiles after the public Google+ launch. Instead, the company is likely to encourage users who want more privacy to use Circles to curate their friend groups.

The brand unification effort will be the largest in company history — it’s never renamed a property as large as Blogger. The popular blog creation service has been receiving a lot of extra love recently. In March, Google announced that Blogger would receive a major overhaul. We doubt many people expected that the overhaul would include a rebranding, though.

Google+ makes perfect sense for Blogger and Picasa — they are both social products that improve as more people use them. It’s important to note that Google+ already has a photos feature, a product that we believe utilizes Picasa technology. It’s also important to note that Google+’s photo feature has no Picasa branding of any kind.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment but have not yet heard back.

Should Google Bring Google+ Out of Invite Only Stage?

Posted on: July 6th, 2011 by Access Computer Technology

When it comes to rolling out the next killer app, beta testing is one thing. There are many apps that remain in beta for a while until the company can iron out all the kinks and be notified of the bugs. Google’s Gmail was in beta for years. But Google’s process of rolling out new apps with invitations doesn’t work.

Remember when you needed an invite to get Google Wave? People were excited about Google Wave until they received their invite and saw what a failure it was. Now, Google is requiring an invite to be part of Google+. It’s a bad process. They should open it up to everyone, but keep it in beta.

PC Magazine’s Lance Ulanoff agrees. He writes, “Google+ will not become the social network it wants to be until Google lets everybody in. Open the doors, Google. Take the heat. It’s going to take some time to reach three quarters of a billion users. Google+ is only a week old, but I’m now on record demanding that the search engine giant open this remarkably polished social-networking playground to the masses.”

Continue reading Lance’s article here.

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