Friday Wrap #125: The Special Thursday Edition

Happy Halloween from The Friday Wrap!Warm greetings from London! My travel schedule made it impossible to produce the Friday Wrap on Friday, and for a while, I considered just skipping an edition. But there are so many interesting items to share, I opted instead to post a special Thursday edition of the Friday Wrap. (If the NFL could have special Thursday Night Edition of Monday Night Football, why can’t I publish my Friday newsletter on a Thursday?) As always, I’ve bookmarked all the various items I found intriguing on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

HTML 5 is a done deal—It has taken eight years, but the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has wrapped up work on the HTML 5 standard, which makes the web adaptable to the world of mobile devices and cloud access. While elements of HTML 5 have been used for several years, the comprehensive and complete standard ensures what developers create will work as expected over the next several years. Read more

Park Service crowdsources vandalism investigation—A 21-year-old New York resident has been identified as the US National Park vandal thanks to a crowdsourced investigation. Casey Nocket is accused of painting images on rocks and boulders in several national parks. People who have seen her vandalizing the parks have shared photos online, leading a Parks representative to ask for help identifying her on Reddit, where users rallied to help. Read more

Twitter launches a new business site—Twitter has revamped its business site (http://business.twitter.com), designed to help brands make better use of the micromessaging service. The new site features six sections, including information on driving clicks and conversions, increasing tweet engagements, and finding leads on Twitter. Read more

Guardian redesigns US website to attractive native advertisers—The UK-based Guardian has introduced a new design for its US website. The goal: attract more native advertising with a format that supports a wider range of advertising options than just the traditional banner ad. “People come to us for content and we want to create a platform where marketers can share their content,” according to a company spokesman. Read more

Marketers embrace Instagram—Instagram is more popular than ever among marketers, with 86% of top brands weaving the mobile-focused image-sharing service into their strategies during the third quarter of the year. The number of brands that have posted daily has doubled in the past year, and 73% have posted to the platform at least once a week. According to Simply Measured, brands that maintain an Instagram presence increase user engagement. Read more

AARP rolls out a tablet—If your elderly relatives haven’t embraced tablets yet, AARP is coming to the rescue. The association of Americans over 50 is introducing the RealPad, based on a need it saw nobody else fulfilling. It comes with 24/7 customer service, a year of free AARP membership, and a simplified interface providing one-tap access to pre-installed apps, all for $189. Read more

Trends

How to correct a social media blunder—The more social media becomes a routine communication channel, the more likely it is mistakes will be made, particularly given the real-time nature of the medium and the involvement of so many different content contributors. Hootsuite’s Mackensie Smith argues you can overcome these mistakes. You can remove an offensive post or update, though you should thoroughly explore the pros and cons of such a move. While deciding, though, suspend other social media activities. But you should know about conversations that focus on the mistake in order to take ownership of it. And the best think you can do, Smith says, is offer a genuine apology. Read more

Mobile

A third of Facebook’s users are mobile-only—One third of Facebook’s 1.35 billion monthly active users access the site solely through mobile devices, up 29% from last year. The company also announced that 864 million people are daily active users. Since mobile accounts for two-thirds of Facebook’s revenue, Facebook’s transformation into a mobile-first business is instructive for other businesses looking to solidify relationships with users online. Read more

Taco Bell really, really wants you to go mobile only when connecting with them—Concurrent with the launch of its mobile ordering and payment app, fast food chain Taco Bell has blacked out its website and social media channels—including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—which now display only a link to the app download. It has also deployed the hashtag #onlyintheapp in an effort to drive all customer online engagement through its app. Read more

Businesses are desperate for app developers—If you’re looking for a new line of work, learning how to create mobile apps may be a smart move. As the world shifts to mobile, businesses are finding it hard to hire enough app developers. According to one survey, 85% of businesses have a backlog of between 1 and 20 mobile applications thanks to the “critical shortage of mobile developers.” Read more

Workers like the idea of wearables, but no so much in the US—Nearly 75% of workers worldwide could name a benefit of wearables in the workplace, and most like the idea. That number drops to less than 50% in the US, though, where less than 20% of adults have tried out a wearable, where only 5% have worn a fitness monitor or smart headphones. That compares to 60% in China and 52% in Mexico. Read more.

Google aims to make its wearables compatible with other platforms—Currently, Google Wear—the platform for wearables—only works with Android devices, but Google is working to ensure its watches and other wearables will be compatible with iOS and other standards. According to product manager Jeff Chang, “We always want as many users as possible to enjoy our experience, so in terms of enabling more people to use Android Wear we’re very interested in making that happen.” Read more

Research

One-fifth of US adults get news from sites they don’t trust—This one’s a puzzler: 19% of Americans said that, when it comes to news about government and politics, they get news from a source they distrust. Those sources include cable news stations, news magazines, and news websites. More conservatives distrust their news sources than liberals. Read more