Digital Bytes: Facebook to move into Search?

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at Facebook’s possible move to Search and the launch of the new iPhone 5…

Facebook look towards Search

Facebook could branch out into Search as it continues its hunt for increased profits. The company has been in uncertain financial waters since its troubled £65bn floatation in May and shares in the company have collapsed by 50pc. Mark Zuckerberg has been looking for ways to expand Facebook’s offering to put them on a surer financial footing, and it seems Search may be one of the answers. “When you think about that, Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned,” he explained at the annual TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. “I do think that’s one obvious thing for us to do in the future. We do 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying.” Zuckerberg also spoke about Facebook’s mobile offering, pledging to explore the advertising potential of mobile browsing in greater detail. “[For every] person who’s using Facebook on mobile, there’s more engagement and they’re spending more time. We think we’ll make a lot more money than on the desktop.”

Google move into price comparison

Google have launched a car insurance comparison service that allows users to compare around 120 insurers when they type the words ‘car insurance’ into the search engine. The service, which comes a year after Google’s acquisition of BeatThatQuote, will be strictly monitored and Google have insisted they will not sell personal details on to third parties. “We will also publish a provider code of conduct that we expect them to meet,” Google said. “Persistent offenders will be removed from the panel. We will encourage users to identify offenders through a complaints procedure.” John Paleomylites, Google’s price comparison product director, added: “We want to help users find the best car insurance in the fairest and most honest way possible and above all while respecting their privacy.” The company has previously launched comparison tools for credit cards and bank accounts.

New iPhone hailed by experts

The new iPhone 5 has been hailed as a “cornucopia for app developers” by analysts and experts following its launch on Wednesday (13th September). The new device is lighter and taller than previous models and features a wider screen size. It is equipped with an A6 chip, which doubles the speed of the CPU and graphics, helping make it, in the words of CEO Tim Cook, “the most beautiful device we’ve ever made.” IDC analyst Al Hilwa agreed, telling The Drum that “the actual level of engineering and design that has gone into it is quite amazing. The power of the chip and the new graphics capabilities alone will prove a cornucopia for app developers in the ecosystem.” Technology magazine T3 agreed, writing that Apple have “worked wonders”, while The Guardian add that “the iPhone 5 is definitely the most integrated phone out there.” The iPhone 5 will be released on September 21st and will cost £529 (16GB), £599 (32GB) and £699 (64GB).

Microsoft revamps adCenter

Microsoft has continued to develop their ad offering by renaming their adCenter advertising platform ‘Bing ads’ and introducing the Yahoo! Bing Network. The change has been made to give advertisers more control over their adverts and ultimately increase ROI. David Pann of Bing Ads said in a blog post: “Bing Ads isn’t just a new name, it is a reimagined and improved way for our customers to manage their campaigns on the Yahoo! Bing Network. Our team is committed to streamline the experience of buying search ads and to provide a unique platform to reach new customers when they’re ready to make a decision. In addition to an optimized experience, Bing Ads gives advertisers increased transparency into the auction process, helping inform them and take critical actions to improve their campaign performance if needed.”

Facebook and Twitter expand ad targeting

ATYM have gathered together some interesting statistics on iPhone use and iPhone5 anticipation for their new infographic. The stats show that suring the web and checking email are the third and fourth most popular activies performed on iPhones (behind sending texts and making calls) and that around 40% of people in the US live with someone who owns an iPhone. The infographic also shows that around 75% of current iPhone users are looking to upgrade to iPhone 5 before the end of next year. More facts and stats can be seen on