Twitter wants to help you plan out your marketing for the year with a new, free calendar with tips and ideas for your 2019 marketing strategies.

The calendar identifies the biggest, most hotly anticipated events of the year so you can plan your marketing ahead of time.

Additionally, Twitter provides some extra motivation to tweet during these big events with an estimate of the number of Tweet impressions each event is expected to draw.

The calendar doesn’t just highlight the obvious holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s day, either. It includes niche holidays such as Talk Like a Pirate Day, major sporting events like the March Madness final game, and cultural events like Coachella.

No matter what industry you are in, you are bound to find exciting opportunities to make your mark somewhere among the major and minor events.

For example, running accessory brands may plan their marketing around some of the major marathons included on the calendar – like the Boston Marathon which is predicted to drive an estimated 73 million tweet impressions.

Meanwhile, bars or restaurants may be more interested in taking advantage of the quickly approaching National Pizza Day on February 9th and National Margarita Day on February 22th, which are estimated to inspire 34 million and 14 million tweet impressions respectively.

View and download Twitter’s 2019 Marketing Calendar here.

Twitter is trying to bring back the good old days when you could explore your feed chronologically.

The social platform announced it has changed how the option to “Show the best Tweets first” function, removing the “In case you missed it” and recommended Tweets from people users aren’t following.

By stripping all this away, it leaves users with a pure, reverse-chronological feed from people they are following.

“We’ve learned that when showing the best Tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful. However, we’ve heard feedback from people who at times prefer to see the most recent Tweets,” reads the company’s statement. “Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent Tweets with the best Tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right.”

Since the release of the default algorithmic feed in early 2016, many users have been relying on workarounds to access their feed in a chronological way. Unfortunately for those users, Twitter has recently been limiting the amount of access available to third-party developers, restricting the possibility for plug-ins or automated tools for accessing a chronological timeline.

That led to the past few days when things reached something of a boiling point. A trick to get the algorithmic feed from user Emma Kinema went viral with more than 15,000 retweets and almost 40,000 likes.

While Twitter says it has been working on this update for some time, the tweet helped underscore the demand for a simple way to access a chronological feed without all the “curated” content that Twitter had been including.

The change to how the “Show best Tweets first” option works is a temporary solution according to the company, which maintains that many users still prefer the algorithmic feed. In the meantime, it is working on a more accessible way to easily switch back and forth between “Tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest Tweets.”

The company says it will launch within a few weeks.

Hashtag YouTube

Hashtags are coming to YouTube. The video platform has begun displaying hashtags on videos to help users search and discover other videos on similar topics.

The hashtags appear on any video that has been optimized with the tags in web browsers and the YouTube Android app. So far, the hashtags are not being shown in the iOS app.

Up to three hashtags can be shown in blue text above videos’ titles and can be clicked on to open a search containing related videos.

Hashtags can be used to conduct manual searches for any video containing that hashtag, even if it is just in the video description. Hashtags can also be included in video titles.

There are a few restrictions on how hashtags can be used on YouTube, most of which are common sense. YouTube’s policies explicitly prohibit using hashtags to promote harassment or hate speech, as well as to mislead people about content.

Additionally, the platform discourages users from over-tagging their videos, which would be defined as using 15 or more tags on a single video.

Breaking these rules could lead to a variety of punishments depending on how severe the infraction is or whether someone has committed a previous offense. These could include having your hashtags be ignored, videos being removed from search results, or a video being removed from YouTube altogether.

For now, using hashtags to search provides pretty limited search results. But, I expect that will change as creators begin to optimize their channels.

It seems like everybody these days is going crazy about fidget spinners, especially teens. Well, you can save yourself a few dollars – if you haven’t already bought one. These “spinners” are now just a search away, thanks to Google’s latest Easter egg.

By searching “spinner”, you can play with a virtual version of the fidget spinners that are everywhere.

Technically, there are two different spinners available. There’s the classic spinner that’s become so ubiquitous it is getting banned in schools, as well as one with up to 20 spinning numbers. Aside from Dungeons and Dragons players who forgot their 20-sided dice, I’m not totally sure who that’s supposed to be for.

Fidget Spinner

Google’s fidget spinner functions pretty much exactly as you would expect. You can swipe either direction to send it spinning, or just tap the convenient “spin” button to watch the thing go. It will match however fast you spin it and stop when you tap.

Number Spinner

Unlike the fidget spinner, this option is more like something you’d see on a game show. You swipe to send it spinning, and it eventually comes to a stop on a specific number. You can choose to customize the wheel with between 2 and 20 numbers, making it a sort of limited number generator.

Whether you love or hate spinners, there’s no denying how popular they are. Once Google puts you in the search results, you know you’ve made it!

Google’s decision to constantly make their search results more personalized for every user has often been criticized for veering into the “invasion of privacy” area from time to time. Its latest experiment takes that to the extreme, with a whole new tab devoted just to you.

The search engine now allows you to filter search results for your personal information collected from Google’s apps, including Gmail, Photos, and Calendar.

The new experiment can be found for most users by clicking “More” on the search results page, which will drop down a list of search options. Click “Personal” and you’ll find only information directly related to yourself, such as events you have in your calendar or recent emails.

Most of this isn’t too eye-raising. It could even be useful in the right circumstances. Where it starts to get weird is when you search for pictures. The personal search feature finds photos that are not necessarily on the device you’re using. It also finds pictures based on the content, even when you haven’t labeled the picture.

To give you an example, I’ve taken a lot of photos of my cat on my phone. I’ve never labeled any of them as being of my cat or shared them to my computer. But, when I search “cat” within the results, I am shown my collection of pictures of my cat Magnitude.

Like this picture

The tool can also be used to find photos of people you know on your phone, as Kevin Murnane reports for Forbes.

Unsurprisingly, the “Personal” search results tab also includes ads at the bottom of the page. Reports vary between one and three ads on any personal page.

Since it is just an experiment, there is no telling whether the feature is around to stay. It first appeared a few days ago, but went offline for a period before reappearing today. It has only been spotted on Chrome for desktop devices, but it could be rolled out to other devices at some point. It could also be removed entirely, if people respond negatively to having Google snooping through their emails.

Year in Search

Google has finally released its annual year in search list, breaking down the biggest stories and searches of the past year. As usual, it is broken down into several categories and countries, making it easy to see what was trending in 2016 in your area or around the world.

Google’s Top 10 Worldwide searches of 2016:

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball
  6. David Bowie
  7. Deadpool
  8. Olympics
  9. Slither.io
  10. Suicide Squad

The top searches for the US are almost identical, except for a few changes. “Powerball” bounces up to the top slot, because it can only be played in America. Meanwhile, “iPhone” slides entirely off the list.

Google’s Top 10 US Searches of 2016:

  1. Powerball
  2. Prince
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Pokemon Go
  5. Slither.io
  6. Olympics
  7. David Bowie
  8. Trump
  9. Election
  10. Hillary Clinton

While the iPhone 7 didn’t make the top US searches, it does lead the worldwide top tech searches of the past year. Apple also dominates 3 of the top 4 searches for consumer technology. Considering its recent reveal, it is also somewhat surprising to see the Nintendo Switch also makes the list at number 9.

Google’s Top 10 Consumer Tech Searches Worldwide:

  1. iPhone 7
  2. Freedom 251
  3. iPhone SE
  4. iPhone 6S
  5. Google Pixel
  6. Samsung Galaxy S7
  7. iPhone 7 Plus
  8. Note 7
  9. Nintendo Switch
  10. Samsung J7

Of course, there are plenty more interesting categories in Google’s Year in Search 2016 to look through including beers, fashion designers, GIFs and much more. Check out the lists for yourself.

Image Source: Pepsi

Image Source: Pepsi

Earlier this year, Twitter rolled out a new feature known as #Stickers that let users add searchable emoji to their photos posted on the social platform. Since then, Twitter says millions of photos containing #Stickers have been tweeted and shared around the world.

Initially, the emoji available for these “virtual hashtags” were limited to the options Twitter created. However, the site is starting to open the door to allow brands to create their own #Stickers as an ad type called Promoted Stickers.

As Twitter says in their announcement:

“Brands can design four or eight stickers — like accessories and other props — for users to add to their own photos. Photos with a brand’s stickers are shared with all of a user’s followers, allowing brands to be featured by their fans in a truly authentic way. #Stickers act as a visual hashtag, meaning that photos with your brand’s sticker will be connected and discoverable to anyone who taps your brand’s sticker. This allows a brand to see and engage with the people who are using their stickers in creative ways.”

Pepsi is the first brand to use Promoted Stickers, with 50 custom “#PepsiMoji”rolling out to 10 countries, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Russia. The stickers are part of a larger “Say It With Pepsi” campaign and can be found in the Twitter #Stickers library.

The company has already begun sharing tweets with the stickers, like this one from Pepsi Canada:

Since Twitter is initially keeping the Promoted Stickers limited to a select number of brands and managed accounts, it is unclear how much they cost or what tools may be available to help create new branded stickers. It is also unclear when or if the social platform plans to expand the service to more brands in the near future.

Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

March Madness is upon us and everyone is getting into the spirit, including Bing. The search engine has launched their smart answers in the search results for March Madness and other related searches to see brackets, scores, and predictions.

Users get three options above the normal search results for the basketball tournament. The default view shows the current bracket results, but users can also build their own brackets and see Bing’s predicted outcome. On top of all of this, Bing also offers the schedules and teams playing in the competition.

Below you can see a screenshot of the default view for bracket results, which expands by clicking on the down arrow or the results button:

MarchMadness1

If you choose to view Bing’s predictions, the window gets even bigger. Barry Schwartz captured a large screenshot, which you can click to enlarge:

bing-march-madness-predicts

Bing said:

Now that the bracket has officially been announced, our data scientists are in the lab, working tirelessly to perfect their models so our smarter bracket is powered by Bing Predicts and ready for you to access by Monday morning. Stay tuned for an updated analysis of the Bing smarter bracket on the Bing blog tomorrow.

Google Logo

Christmas is almost here and the New Year isn’t far behind, which means it is time for the annual end-of-the-year lists to show us what people were searching for this year. Yesterday, Google released their “Year In Search” video and list to highlight the most important topics of 2015.

The most searched for topic of the year is also possibly the most tragic; Google counted over 897 million searches about Paris this year, largely due to two major terrorist attacks in January and November. Particularly, in the immediate wake of the November attacks, Google saw the most searches about the city ever performed in the search engine’s history.

The Year In Search list also features several top news events such as Hurricane Patricia, the discovery of water on Mars, the terrorist group ISIS, and the earthquake in Nepal.

While the end of the year list features several events that united us through tragedy, it also shows the more lighthearted topics that caught our collective hearts and minds over the past year.

“Star Wars” was a huge topic of discussion for the internet, with more than 155 million searches before its world premiere. However, the most searched for film of the year was actually another highly anticipated sequel. “Jurassic World” took the lead spot, although Google didn’t detail exactly how many searches it received.

With all the focus on Donald Trump these past few months, you might expect him to lead the most searched for public figures, but The Donald only came in seventh place behind Charlie Sheen and the Orange Is The New Black character Ruby Rose.

Instead, the three most talked about public figures of the year were Lamar Odom, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, and Caitlyn Jenner, who saw a huge spike in interest following her gender transition announcement on ABC News’ “20/20” in April.

You can see Google’s inspirational Year In Search video below, or you can browse all the Year In Search lists at Google Trends.

YouTube Logo

2015 is coming to a close, and Google has begun their end-of-the-year celebrations by highlighting the most popular videos of the year. The past year has been an especially big one for YouTube, which has been celebrating its 10th birthday all year long.

It has also been the first year that YouTube has seen true competition. Facebook’s video platform has given the service a run for its money, by giving videos a wider platform and more prominent place in news feeds.

Despite this challenge, YouTube continues to be one of the largest platforms in the world, and is still synonymous with internet video. The past year, the service has helped drive a dance craze that swept the nation, become the new home of Super Bowl ads, and helped promote equality with these videos:

Google’s Top Trending Videos of 2015

1. Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) #WatchMeDanceOn by Tianne King

2. Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official Super Bowl TV Commercial) by Clash of Clans

3. Crazy Plastic Ball PRANK!! by RomanAtwood

4. Love Has No Labels | Diversity & Inclusion | Ad Council by Ad Council

5. Lip Sync Battle with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvRypx1lbR4

6. Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke by The Late Late Show with James Corden

7. 6ft Man in 6ft Giant Water Balloon – 4K – The Slow Mo Guys by The Slow Mo Guys

8. Golden boy Calum Scott hits the right note | Audition Week 1 | Britain’s Got Talent 2015 by Britain’s Got Talent

9. Dover Police DashCam Confessional (Shake it Off) by Dover Police

10. Mean Tweets – President Obama Edition by Jimmy Kimmel Live

To help reminisce about 2015, YouTube also gathered over 150 YouTube creators for the latest installation of YouTube’s annual Rewind video, showcasing everything from dance prodigies, TV personalities, and even an insane plastic ball fight.

YouTube is certain to be a huge part of all of our lives for the years to come and these videos show the wide variety of videos you can find across the site. If you have a video you want seen in 2016, especially business related videos, YouTube is the place to look.