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

fixation

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.  

order

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.” 

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Web

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. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.