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YouTubesYou might assume that the largest social media platform would have the most effective paid advertising platform, but Facebook’s platform doesn’t hold the title according to a report from VentureBeat.

According to the report based on a study by AoL Platforms, YouTube is actually the champion of paid social media advertising platforms in more than a few key areas, including introducing new products to customers, and helping consumers make purchasing decisions.

The report examined data found within 500 million clicks and 15 million conversions during the first quarter of 2014, using Convertro’s attribution technology to track social purchase interactions. This data was then used to determined which platforms had affected online sales and at what point in the purchasing decision they had influence on the consumer.

Jeff Zwelling, CEO and co-founder at Convertro told VentureBeat:

We believe that YouTube does well in both of these important purchase funnel areas for a number of reasons. YouTube’s own search volume and preferential positioning on Google’s results help drive large amounts of traffic, of course. But when you get to YouTube, the content is rich, descriptive, and usually helpful.

I’ve done this myself. I recently bought a coffee machine. I had the decision down to three alternatives and couldn’t decide which one was best for me. In the end, I watched videos on YouTube of people using all three machines and chose the one that matched my idea of a good coffee maker.

YouTube is the best platform for both introducing new products and helping to close sales, while Facebook comes in second in both of those areas. Google+ consistently came in third.
You can get more information from the full report available here.

Imagine being able to point your phone’s camera down a normal city street and see a video game type environment complete with puzzle boxes and coins up for grabs. That’s the reality that a San Diego based start-up, called Cachetown, hopes to bring to fruition.

The positive spin here is that once you’ve created interactive games for people to play, you can add in an advertising angle and use this “augmented reality” to offer deals and promotions for stores on the other side of a user’s lens. Maybe you point your phone at a restaraunt and see an opportunity to get half off your next meal.

Tom Cheredar has more at this story at VentureBeat, including a commercial produced by Cachetown. The most interesting thing about the video is that it even seems to realize the one, looming drawback to this technology. No one wants to walk around the streets looking at their phone. Whether it’s a reluctance to look like a tourist, holding up your phone in your own town or a fear of walking into a bevy of obstacles, most people would likely be reluctant to fully embrace Cachetown’s current model.

The idea is sound, however, and could have some interesting implementations coming very soon.