Google 'revamping' some features

Thu 12 March 2009 10:56, Bas van den Beld

Google 'revamping' some features

Somehow Google has a habit of introducing new tools or new features all on one single day. Yesterday seemed to be one of those days.

We reported about the introduction of the interesed based advertising possiblities yesterday, but Google also announced the 'revamping' of some features and a new feature: the renewed contextual gadget ads, an adittion to YouTube insights, Google Voice and comments on Google Reader. A quick overview.

Contextual gadget ads
Contextual gadget ads is part of the announcement Google made the interesed based advertising possiblities. This feature is meant to help advertisers have their ads stand out in a website. Google will automatically change (some of) the colors of the ad when the original color is making the ad 'dissapear' in the targeted site. Ad owners can select which colors Google can choose from.

The Gadget ad will also understand the context color of the website an adjust the ad to that automatically. Therefore you won't be getting ads for a theatre-show in Barcelona when living in Madrid for example.

Google already rolled out this feature in August 2007, but it never really got 'hot'. That's why Google pimped it up a little.


YouTube insights
Another feature which is not new but got an adittion is YouTube insights. YouTube has got a huge reach of audience so advertising on YouTube should probably be a lot more florishing than it is right now. You can now advertise on the homepage, the search results and a watch page of a content partner.

YouTube introduced the Brand channel and contest platform (like the Symphony Orchestra) before and now gives those who own a channel like this the opportunity to analyze their visitors and videos.

You can take a look at the demographic background of the visitors, see where they are coming from and see where video's are embedded. An interesting feature is 'hot spots' in which you can see which parts of a video score best. Part of these stats are also available if you have a 'regular' account.

Google Voice
Google Voice is the 'revamp' of the in 2007 acquired Grandcentral. The service, for now only available in the US, will include automated voicemail transcription service, sending and receive text messages, and integration with Gmail.

With Google Voice you can call numbers from around the US and be able to do free conference calls. See this video about placing calls to find out more.

Comments in Google Reader
Finally the only actual new feature is the possibility to make comments on shared items in Google Reader.

When you see a shared item by one of your contacts you can now tell your contacts what you think of the shared item. It's a nice feature which could potentially stirr up the discussion on subjects, but if it will be used a lot remains to be seen.


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