While You Were Away
One of the challenges of real time social media is that users also have real lives and even the most devoted mobile users sometimes get distracted from their screens. This week both Twitter and Facebook revealed tactics aimed at keeping the sporadic user up to date and engaged.
Twitter announced a refresh of Twitter.com, which is targeted at what they view as a large, unmonetized audience of logged out users. The Verge analyzed Twitter's strategy of a new curated content home page that can encourage greater use and, more importantly, function as a real time search engine, supported by advertising.
Facebook is testing an effort aimed at logged in with users with 'the away message'. The main newsfeed is increasingly cluttered by paid promotions and messages from distant acquaintances, the 'away message' seeks to algorithmically surface messages from close friends that the user might otherwise miss.
Also this week, Google again served notice about the increasing value of mobile app content by announcing that it will list content from mobile apps in mobile (Android) searches, even if the user has not installed the relevant app. Search Engine Land explained the major breakthrough in app discovery while Website Magazine published a 'need to know' on the basics of deep linking within apps.