Pinterest Tops Facebook in Driving Ecommerce

If you can’t stop yourself from buying accessories, clothes, handbags, apartment decor and recipe ingredients after seeing them all in pins, you’re not alone.

A recent survey of 7,431 online shoppers, conducted by BizRate Insights, reveals Pinterest motivates more online purchases than Facebook.

More than 70% of Pinterest’s 10 million users told BizRate that they turn to the social pinboard for shopping inspiration and to keep up with trends. There’s also better user engagement with brands on the photo-sharing website: 66% of users regularly follow and repin retailers. Only 17% of Facebook users said they rely on the social network for purchasing inspiration. But while Pinterest’s 10 million users drive more purchases to retail websites, Facebook still dominates in reach and sending traffic to third-party websites. Read more…

Imo Is More Than Free Messaging

Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Skype, AIM, the list of messaging platforms you probably use includes at least a few of those. Message service imo does more than let you text for free from all of those services: It streamlines group messaging, photo sharing and voice messaging into one application.

The app allows you to connect to 11 different messaging platforms in one space, and its founders have plans to further expand the service into bigger social spheres.

Brothers Georges and Ralph Harik left jobs at Silicon Valley’s top tech companies to launch the free messaging service five years ago. Georges was one of Google’s first employees, and Ralph previously worked at Oracle. Both have advanced degrees in computer science and joined together to launch their own communication company shortly before the release of the first iPhone in 2007.

Initially a web platform, imo allows users to link multiple accounts – including Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Skype and others — under a single sign-on, keeping messages all in one place.

“Our goal was fast and easy communication,” Ralph said. “Remember having conversations on your desktop at home, but then go to a friend’s house and being unable to look up your chat history and find that phone number you desperately wanted? Our goal was to make chats widely available and work across different browsers and machines.”

Keeping imo open on a phone or desktop means only one app is needed to communicate with friends across platforms – something that seems to be more useful on mobile devices or tablets, as leaving Gmail open on a computer means messages will be pushed to both devices at the same time.

Imo also incorporates speech-to-text conversion (if part of the phone’s software), though you need to speak slowly and enunciate. You can leave brief voice messages for friends through the app. “Sometimes, you just want to hear the person’s voice so you can pick up things like tone: Are they angry or did they just hit all caps by accident?” Ralph says.

In August, imo.im announced free calling for iOS users over data plans, a feature that has been available on Android phones since February. The app is also compatible with iOS 6, and the speed of phone calls over the LTE network is incredible – users typically save about eight seconds.

Some of the coolest features of the app include group chat within which a photo album is created and filled with all photos shared, similar to a smartphone’s native photo app. It’s more convenient than scrolling through numerous messages to locate one image. The Harik brothers are equally excited about a social discovery feature currently available on the web and coming soon to mobile. The feature allows users to connect with others based on similar interests and geographic location.

“It’s a Twitter-like system where you don’t have to explicitly follow people,” Georges says.

Imo currently boasts approximately 700,000 daily users, and 50 million messages are sent per day. Users can upgrade to a premium version that offers some small perks.

Kate Abbott is a news intern based in Mashable’s San Francisco office. She’s a current Stanford Graduate Journalism student.

Why You Should Keep Facebook and Your Job Search Separate

Can Facebook help or hurt your job search?

Most employers are looking you up online — and most job seekers are aware of this. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 37% of employers are looking up candidates’ Facebook profiles, and while they may not intend to look at your profiles for reasons not to hire you, they could find them. Most look to see if the candidate is a good fit for the company, whether or not they conduct themselves professionally, and how well rounded they truly are. However, 12% say they look up candidates’ Facebook profiles in order to find reasons to not hire them.

This is interesting considering Facebook is sometimes rumored to be launching a job search platform. Although most Facebook users tend to use the site for their personal social lives, the addition of a job search platform may blur the lines between the personal and the professional, making job seekers unsure of how to balance the two distinctions. Read more…

New iOS and Android Google+ App Brings Support for Pages

October 11, 2012 by Stan Schroeder

Google has rolled out a new version of its Google+ app for both Android and iOS, bringing the current version number to 3.2.

The new version brings support for Google+ pages, enabling page owners to post, comment and interact with their followers using their smartphone.

Other improvements include an updated widget and a new design of the “Find People” feature for the Android version, while the iOS version gets iPhone 5 and iOS6 support, as well as the ability to edit posts.

The app is available in Apple’s App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Will Brands and Users Want a Facebook ‘Want’ Button?

First, Facebook adapted Twitter’s @ replies into its platform. Now, it’s looking in Pinterest’s direction.

Social media’s king of the hill is rolling out a new “want” button for a few retail brands so users can add items to collections, not unlike Pinterest’s pinboards. The feature is in a test phase right now but will probably roll out to other brands soon.

Retailers and social media experts are divided on whether the new button is a handy tool for users and brands or simply adds clutter to a platform that financial analysts worry advertises too aggressively. Read more…