Amazon, Twitter, & Google In the Spotlight

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Twitter’s Profile Design Change

twitterTwitter announced this week that they are removing backgrounds from Twitter profiles including on twitter profile pages as well as timelines for all twitter accounts. While speculation abounds as the cause, the general train of thought at the moment seems to be that Twitter wants to refocus attention on the actual content. This could be possibly driven by a desire to avoid going the path of MySpace (launched in 2004) which has seen its meteoric rise (becoming the most popular social networking website in the United States in 2006) and subsequent crash (surpassed in 2008 by Facebook) in both stock value and user adoption but that was known for what became very diluted interfaces as it fell from the auspices of user screens.

Google Retiring Google+ Photos

googleAs one of the undisputed giants of today’s search industry, Google has a tendency to put a fair number of resources behind an idea or a platform but if it doesn’t pan out in user adoption or doesn’t have meet its internal criteria for promoting the larger search business, the company tends to shutter those endeavors. The time has come for Google+ Photos to go the way of many other forsaken Google projects however Google declared on Monday, July 20th, 2015 that photos stored on the service won’t disappear entirely but the service itself would be replaced by Google Photos.

For those that aren’t familiar with the difference of a + sign, Google+ Photos was the integrated photo aspect of the Google+ ecosystem while Google Photos was a relatively stand-alone Google product so it didn’t really make sense to support both systems when they overlapped so much from a user perspective. Regardless of the result, Google continues (as of the time of this post) to promote its Photos service as an unlimited repository for your digital photos.

Amazon Challenges Angie’s List

amazonIn a direct challenge to the presence of Angie’s list as well as other referral-based home service businesses, Amazon is continuing to roll out its Home Services platform in 15 markets around the United States with “light” (lower coverage) in many other metropolitan areas. The service has actually been around since 2014 but it was re-branded from “Amazon Local Services” to its new name today which seems to trend towards the consumer market rather than a general local residential/consumer market.

Regardless of the branding, the move will create waves within the industry as Angie’s list and other service referral businesses may need to reconsider their value propositions or even the pricing that they charge companies to be featured as premium listings in their respective cities given Amazon’s incredible weight with search traffic. This comes during the same month that Amazon has overtaken Wal-Mart in market cap (officially during after hours trading on July 23, 2015). What does this mean for you? As a local service-based business, if your customer base is largely consumer you may want to look into the newly re-branded Amazon Home Services as quickly as possible and think about diversifying your referral marketing dollars.

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