Tag: gmail

Scroogled followup: Pawn Stars and Chromebook

microsoft-google-chromebook-scroogled-gmail-pawn-starsRemember the Scroogled campaign in which Microsoft ridicules Google’s way of showing ads on Gmail content?

Well, there’s a new episode in that saga (or drama). You’d though we were past this finally, but no, apparently Microsoft can’t get enough of it yet.


There’s a Pawn Stars inspired Scroogled video over at Bing video which shows the following:

Well ain’t that great. A woman holding a Chromebook takes it into the Gold & Silver pawn shop. Rick Harrison, one of the Pawn Stars stars, asks why the woman thinks it’s worth a ticket to Hollywood. Rick calls it a brick in a behind the scenes scene after that. He then goes on that it’s not a real laptop, as real ones have Office and iTunes that work offline.

I guess it’s time someone woke Microsoft up and told them this Scroogled campaign isn’t doing themselves a favor. First there was the Gmail man, then there was a Scroogled website. It’s all becoming pretty childish and lame – it was like that already from the beginning.

A quote from a post on Marketingland about this:

Again, there haven’t been a lot of horror stories about Chromebook phoning home about everything you do. Certainly the Chrome browser will fetch ahead for certain types of content; I’m fairly sure that Internet Explorer does the same.

If we’re talking ads, Windows 8 has new giant “Hero Ads” that show up baked into the operating system, an extension of other ad options in Windows 8 that people can buy. You can’t buy ads baked into Chromebooks. You just get them the old-fashioned way — in your browser.

At least Google sold a Chromebook to Microsoft for this Scroogled video, that’s a win.

Talking about sales, here’s how the Chromebook has been doing, for instance for Acer:

By January 2013, Acer’s Chromebook sales were being driven by “heavy Internet users with educational institutions”, and the platform represented 5-10 percent of the company’s U.S. shipments, according to Acer president Jim Wong. He called those numbers sustainable, contrasting them with low Windows 8 sales which he blamed for a slump in the market. Wong said that the company would consider marketing Chromebooks to other developed countries, as well as to corporations. He noted that although Chrome OS is free to license for hardware vendors, it has required greater marketing expenditure than Windows, offsetting the licensing savings.[99]

Over the summer of 2013 sales of Chromebooks increased to 3.3% of the market, while sales of Windows and Apple laptops declined. Between June 30 to September 7, 2013 computer sales in general were down with chromebooks the only category that were increasing, with 175,000 units sold.

So wait, in a market plagued by tablet and smartphone sales, Chromebooks were the only type of laptops increasing sales? Hmm, they must be bad indeed. Or is Microsoft just Miscroogsofting us? That sales info came from the Chromebook Wikipedia page.

See the Scroogled – Pawn Stars video here, titled ‘Want laptop value? Know what to look for.’

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Gmail account hacks in Iran, Google warns

Rising hacking activity in Iran have led Google to warn of Gmail account hacks. Leading up to the elections, Eric Grosse, Google’s security engineering VP, noted of the Gmail account hacks.

Many phishing attemptst have been coming out of a specific internet cafe in Iran, according to a post on the Google Online Security Blog.

A quote:

For almost three weeks, we have detected and disrupted multiple email-based phishing campaigns aimed at compromising the accounts owned by tens of thousands of Iranian users. These campaigns, which originate from within Iran, represent a significant jump in the overall volume of phishing activity in the region. The timing and targeting of the campaigns suggest that the attacks are politically motivated in connection with the Iranian presidential election on Friday.

The phishing emails look like the one below. The technique used is quite common, apparently. A link in the email is provided to the user to perform account maintenance. The link itself leads to a spoofed Google sign-in page. That page will then steal a user’s username and password when they attempt to log in.


Google noted that the Chrome browser is used to detect such phishing attacks, including Gmail account hacks. The attacks seem to be originating from the same group which was active in 2011. The presidential attacks are taking place tomorrow in Iran.

Gmail account hacks and phishing attempts happen all the time, but this presented a significant surge in a specific region, Grosse notes in his blog post.

Grosse ends his post pointing out some security measures users can apply to keep their Gmail accounts safe. One of the measures noted is the two-step verification method: it involves both your password and a phone on which you will receive a code to be able to log in to your account.

Back in 2011, we posted some tips on keeping your email address as secure as possible. Check them out: you’ll never know when they’ll be useful to you.

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Follow brands on Google+ from the Gmail inbox

Google is strengthening the integration of its services with the option to follow brands on Google+ from the Gmail inbox. This seems to be intended by Google to have businesses take more interest in Google+ and expand their activities there.

The change involves the Google+ people widget, which will show up besides emails you receive from people you’re connected with on Google+:


The people widget shows a compilation of communications you’ve had in recent past with a person, and the things they shared. Both photos, emails, calendar info and documents are shown as well as the circle that they are in.

Here’s an example of Toyota USA showing how it will look in the Gmail inbox:


And here’s a video showing the basics. The description:

We’re expanding the +Gmail people widget to include brands and businesses (http://goo.gl/wx2mI), making it easier for your customers to connect with you on Google+. This way: when people receive emails from your domain, they can follow your Google+ page directly from their inbox!

You can’t just put a special bit of code in your email to make this work though. There are some requirements:

– Emails you send out need to be digitally-signed (DKIM and/or SPF).
– Your Google+ page needs to be verified.

As a bonus, it’s possible to have your Google+ posts appear in the widget besides your email message. You can read more on the requirements on this Google Support page.

It seems social networks are all broadening the options to market and connect to its users from a brand point of view. Just recently, the lead generation card option was announced by Twitter. It allows a Twitter user to directly subscribe to a brand’s newsletter from a tweet with the click of a button. 

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Gmail action buttons: making email more interactive

Gmail action buttons are here! The post on the official Gmail blog notes that people use email to get things done a lot. The new Gmail action buttons will help in planning events and handling other to-do’s more easily.

An example below of an event, where the receiver has the option to select Yes, Maybe or No right from the inbox, without having to open the email. This makes using email a lot more efficient!


Another example is having a flight confirmation email in the inbox. The important information will be displayed on top of the email. You get the ability to check-in, again without opening the email:


This gives marketers a huge opportunity for email marketing. Gmail action buttons now mean that marketers don’t have to worry too much about the design of a CTA button, or if people will know what action to take on an email. For Gmail subscribers, life will get easier. But for marketers communication with those Gmail subscribers it will open up possibilities yet unseen in the world of email marketing.

To see the how and what of the Gmail action buttons, head over to the Google Developers page here: Schemas in Gmail.

The announcement of the new feature was made at the Google I/O event recently. Here’s a video of the announcement:

If implemented correctly, marketers should be able to see a lift in engagement from Gmail subscribers. The reason for this is that they don’t need to open the email anymore to understand what action is expected from them. This means they will spend less time handling email, which in turn makes it more fun for the subscribers to go through their email. Open rates may drop because of this new feauture, but then again: open rates are just a small factor in the success of an email campaign, right?

As a marketer you’re expecting your subscribers to take action, regardless of what that action is. I can’t wait to see real life examples from marketers implementing the new Gmail action buttons: I’m curious as to what they’ll do with it.


Official Gmail blog

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New Gmail interface leaked, tabbed webmail client

During a Google I/O session recently it seems the new Gmail interface was leaked. Be it accidental or on purpose, here are some screenshots showing the new Gmail interface:


The new Gmail interface for mobile compared to the old one (old on right):


Quite a difference there: the triple dots top left of the screen, called the navigation drawer. Also, the bottom navigation buttons are gone. Next to that, switching between the Inbox and Priority Inbox is much quicker than the old interface. We already reported on a smaller Gmail interface update back in March.

There will be a new Gmail interface for the webmail client too. It will change into a tabbed interface showing four tabs. These are Primary, Social, Promotions and Updates. A big change to the inbox for the first time in ages. This will mean a split between type of emails before the user has anything done with them (filtering / foldering, labeling and such).

Here’s a screenshot of the tabbed Gmail webmail client:


As you can see, social updates and notifications are dropped in Social. Promotions is where email offers will land and Updates seems to contain product news and/or transactional emails.

This is a big change from the current interface, and will become a challenge for email marketers. If this new Gmail interface will mean email will automatically land in one of those separate four tabs, reaching the Primary inbox will not be standard. Marketers will have to make sure their email offers such good content, relevance and value that the subscriber will want to view it even if it ‘hides’ behind a different tab.

There’s no information about when these new interfaces for mobile and web will be rolled out. But it’s safe to say that it’s one of the biggest changes in recent years for Gmail. It could be that the Google engineers are feeling the Gmail interface needed an overhaul after the general ‘Google +’ update last year. Outlook.com has had its rollout and so far, the response has been generally positive by the users.


The Next Web
Android Police
The Verge


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