The latest in emoting, merging, personalizing and awards from the Golden State, the Tri-City and the Swinging City.

Facebook Showing Mixed Emoji

That is, it does if you live in either Ireland or Spain.

Those two countries will be beta testers for the pilot program of Facebook’s long-awaited update to its “Like” button.

“It’s not a ‘dislike’ button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly,” wrote Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer for Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook in a post yesterday. (Instead of an un-inspired varying level of thumbs, the more contemporary options in the testing will be six emoji: Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry.)

According to Cox, the feedback will be used on improvements to the new feature, which the company “hopes to roll out to everyone soon.” The news should elicit more than a few “Wow” emojis.

At a public Q&A session in September, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained: “What [people] really want is the ability to express empathy. If you’re expressing something sad…it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post, but your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand.” (Cue the “Yay” emoji on that one.)

But don’t say farewell to that old familiar appendage just yet. For the time being, the new animated “Reactions” buttons will only appear when the “Like” button is held down. (Would that bring out a little “Love” for nostalgia?)

What’s the “Reaction” thus far? As of early this morning, Cox’s announcement on Facebook had garnered over 12,000 “likes.”

facebook reactions

Vidyard’s Switch Hitter

Video marketing and analytics platform Vidyard announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based Switch Merge for an undisclosed amount. It’s the first such move since the company received $18 million in Series B funding in a round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures in January.

In addition to the acquisition news, the company also launched Vidyard’s Personalized Video which officials claim will “help sales and marketing teams cut through the noise and engage audiences one-to-one with the power of video” by integrating technology from Switch Merge.

The new platform will support Vidyard’s integrations with marketing automation and CRM solutions such as Salesforce, Marketo, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Act-On, but, according to company officials will also give sales teams the ability “to auto-generate personalized videos for targeted prospects and customers with the click of a button.”

Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, boasted: “We’re continuing to blaze the trail for video by integrating video personalization into our video marketing platform.”

Vidyard screenshot

Personalization Best?

Jon Noronha, senior product manager at Optimizely, a San Francisco-based A/B testing and personalization company, claims there are three things marketers and product managers know about personalization in online marketing:

  1. Customers expect personalized experiences
  2. Their attention is precious
  3. If you don’t provide the most relevant experience, your competitors will

And with that in mind, Optimizely announced general availability of its Experience Optimization Platform: Optimizely Personalization, which, they boast will allow retailers to “personalize experiences at scale - without hiring an entire staff or deploying countless resources.”


Some of the key capabilities of the new product include:

  • Behavioral targeting with visual tagging
  • Powerful Audience Builder for advanced targeting
  • Audience recommendations
  • Measurement and analytics
  • Elegant workflow for managing complexity

Noronha stated: “We built Personalization to help all of our customers finally see value from personalizing on web and mobile.”

The company also announced integration with Demandware, which officials boast: “will further enable joint retail customers to harness data and provide optimized, delightful experiences to consumers.”

Is Experience Management the Best Teacher?

The folks at London-based Qubit seem to be releasing their British hearts out lately. In July, it was Qubit Mobile – an app data and targeting service. And this week, at the 2015 Digital Summit in Philadelphia, officials added three new solutions to their Experience Management Platform.

Those solutions include:

  • Social Proof – Creates a sense of urgency through messaging via real-time notifications based on the activities of other site visitors.
  • Voice of Customer – Automatically analyzes customer feedback and exposes topic trends and the associated sentiment.
  • Product Recommendations – Applies “other people have looked at this” logic to recommendations and encourages visitors to explore more of the product portfolio.

According to company officials, the functionality will enable the Qubit platform to “provide deeper insight into consumer behavior allowing customers to create a compelling and engaging customer experience.”


An Award-Winning CDO

Tanya CordreyThanks to the CDO Club, Tanya Cordrey, Chief Digital Officer at Guardian News and Media will need to find some space in her office. Cordrey is this year’s recipient of the United Kingdom’s CDO of the Year award at the second annual CDO Summit in London this week.

In the two years since Cordrey was promoted to CDO, the Guardian has:

  • Launched multiple digital products both independently and with partners including Apple, Google, Facebook and Pinterest
  • Grown its global audience to 114 million monthly uniques
  • Increased annual digital revenue

CDO Club founder David Mathison said Cordrey has served in increasingly critical roles at Guardian News and Media, “spearheading innovative, digital-led growth in a sector that has been hardest hit by the digital disruption now facing every organization today.”

The US-based version of the award was presented in April to Adam Brotman, CDO of Starbucks Coffee.