YouTube Creates Paid Subscription Service for Brands
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This week's need-to-know social-media news.
YouTube, Google's monster video publishing platform, has created a paid subscription service that will allow content creators to charge viewers to watch their videos. The service creates a new revenue stream for YouTube as well as its contributors. Monthly subscription fees start at $0.99 and go up from there. Brands and other content creators will keep more than 50 percent of the revenue from subscription sales. YouTube will keep the rest. Channels will offer a 14-day free trial for viewers and can also offer discounted yearly rates.
Eventually this might be a significant opportunity for brands that have a large number of people following their channels. For now, though, the subscription service is only in "pilot" mode with just 30 brands and content creators launching 50 paid channels. Among them are Sesame Street, National Geographic TV and Ultimate Fighting Championship. YouTube says it will be rolling out paid channels more broadly in the coming weeks. -- Wall Street Journal
Facebook's user growth skyrockets in emerging markets.
While Facebook's user growth is slowing down in areas such as the U.S., U.K. and western Europe, "emerging" regions are expected to see significant user adoption, according to a report from New York City-based digital marketing research firm eMarketer. This year, for instance, Facebook's user base is expected to jump 34.4 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, 29.5 percent in Latin America, 31.8 percent in the Middle East and Africa and 29.3 percent in central and eastern Europe. That's compared to just a 3.6 percent jump in North America this year. If an increasing number of your Facebook fans are based in countries in these regions, consider tailoring some of your content for them and posting during times when they are typically online. -- AdAge
LinkedIn expands its news hub with 'Channels.'
If you regularly check into LinkedIn's news site, LinkedIn Today, you're likely to see something new. This week, the professional networking site launched "Channels," a new way for users to discover and share content. Previously, LinkedIn members could follow companies or industries, as well as LinkedIn's collection of high-profile "influencer" contributors. With Channels, users can follow broader topic areas across multiple industries, such as "social impact" or "the economy." The new LinkedIn Today with channels is rolling out to all English-speaking members this week, LinkedIn says. -- ReadWrite
Yahoo buys a social polling tool, and shuts it down.
Yahoo's buying spree continues. A week after acquiring mobile task-organizing app Astrid, Yahoo purchased GoPollGo, a real-time social polling tool that lets brands collect and analyze feedback. Earlier this year, GoPoll Pro released a beta version of a service called Promoted Polls, which allowed pollsters to insert their questions into a stream of other polling questions, for a fee. The GoPollGo team is joining Yahoo but the service will be shutting down. According to TechCrunch, Yahoo hasn't said why it's closing GoPollGo or how it will use the technology behind the service. -- TechCrunch
McDonald's takes flack for an insensitive (smart?) tweet.
In one of the biggest news stories this week, three abducted women were discovered in Cleveland. Charles Ramsey, a neighbor of the abductor, emerged as the courageous hero who helped rescue the women. In video interviews about the rescue -- which have subsequently gone viral -- Ramsey offered this stirring detail: he had gone to McDonald's before the rescue. The fast-food giant jumped at the marketing opportunity, tweeting, "We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey- we'll be in touch." Was it a social media faux pas or brilliant marketing angle? The jury is still out as news outlets have hailed McDonald's for recognizing a local hero and criticized it for latching onto an otherwise disturbing story. -- Huffington Post