Launches Business Pages
Overview: Companies will now be able to create Business Pages on Pinterest, which allows them to enter just a business name (rather than a first and last), as well as verify their websites to receive a verification badge on their profile page. Businesses that already have a personal account on Pinterest will be able to convert it to a business account. During the sign-up process, companies will be encouraged to add Pin It and Follow buttons to their sites, as well as embed widgets showcasing their pins. (Note, widgets are an entirely new feature, and will be available to both individuals and businesses.) Pinterest is now also offering how-to tips for business, plus case studies from businesses that have used the network effectively.

Impact on : Business Pages won’t impact consumers, initially. However, this shift in differentiating consumers from businesses suggests a plan for continued separation in both communication and experience. Currently consumers interact with in a very seamless environment; there is very little difference between a brand’s page and a consumer’s pages. The launch of Business Pages points to a future Pinterest platform in which a clearer distinction is made, meaning the interaction between brands and consumers will potentially become more targeted.

Opportunity for Brands: Although the launch of Business Pages suggests the beginning of Pinterest’s segmentation of business and individual users, it’s still a little early to tell what the long-term benefit for brands will be. While the need for promotion and analytics still leaves brands wanting more, the new widgets functionality for profiles and boards certainly seems to be a step in the right direction. The profile widget, for example, allows up to 30 pins to be displayed on a brand’s website; a valuable tool for any brand that is trying to drive initial traffic from their website to their Pinterest page.

A Smarter Television
Overview: Throughout 2012, Google’s Android platform has grown its share of the smartphone market. In fact, ComScore’s MobileLens report published in September reported that Android continued to own the subscriber majority (52.5% versus Apple’s 34.3%). As the smartphone market continues to innovate, with the release of the iPhone 5 and Google’s Nexus 4, Google is looking to become competitive in other spheres as well. As CNET reports, a recently launched version of Google TV features powerful voice search and improved sharing from devices to the big screen. Many in the industry, including GigaOm, see this feature as a competitive move against Apple’s AirPlay media sync technology.

Impact on Consumers: Included in the new release is the ability to send YouTube videos directly from an Android mobile device to a Google TV. To explain this process, Google created a microsite guide featuring web series videos like H+. Google claims these enhancements and capabilities are just the beginning.

Opportunity for Brands: Brands also stand to benefit from technology like AirPlay and Google TV. In the near term, these technologies could increase viewership around web-based series that brands either create or have a targeted media buy with. What’s more interesting, though, is what the future may hold for the technology. Google product manager, Timbo Drayson, shared with GigaOm that “the new protocol makes it possible for data to flow in both directions, which would enable developers to build second-screen experiences that correspond to what’s happening on live TV as well. Also on the roadmap: beaming content from your laptop to your TV screen.

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