Eye-tracking software shows how Google+ ads could line up against Facebook’s


The Facebook versus Google+ debate is endless. Since Google launched its take on a social network in June, the comparisons have continued: Every thing from privacy issues to applications has been explored, but there’s one element both sites care about a great deal that hasn’t been overly discussed–advertising.

At the moment, Google+ is ad-free. But assuming that changes fairly soon (and we have to expect it will), there are claims that the site will be able to ably compete with Facebook. One of those claims comes from EyeTrackShop, which is an eye-tracking ad engagement company, which uses the technology to analyze how precisely consumers see online marketing.

We recently spoke with Senior VP of Client Services Jeff Bander, who says that eye-tracking research has hugely benefitted from the Internet. Now instead of bringing participants in to a controlled facility to research their reactions, a link and installed webcams mean EyeTrackShop can get results while people look at ads in their natural environment.

“Eyes don’t lie – it’s not like we’re getting opinions,” Bander explains. “They either looked at something or they didn’t.”

EyeTrackShop tested 54 people to see how they reacted to Facebook ads versus Google+ ads. Using a mock Google+ page that placed ads similarly to where they are placed on Facebook, the data shows that consumers took in the sites and their ads in almost exactly the same order. Which isn’t to say Google+ should stop there: Facebook users tend to recognize ads more slowly than on most websites.  


Of course Facebook has the user numbers that Google+ doesn’t. A Facebook exec recently told Fortune why he isn’t worried about the recently launched Google+ Games application, saying that Google+ charges its third party publishers a measly 5-percent for transactions because “they don’t have any users.” Facebook, on the other hand, charges 30-percent.

But Bander thinks Google+’s advertising potential is promising. “To me the biggest thing is that Google has so many venues to drive users there: Chrome, Android, YouTube, AdWords, now Motorola. And eight out of 10 Americans have a cell phone, and that’s going to be a venue to drive people somewhere.” 

Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."