SO MOnday

March 11, 2013

Abbey Torrance and Lexi Brown round up this week’s best social and mobile news.

Google reveals shoes offering real-time feedback at SXSW

Google Adidas

Google has upgraded a standard pair of Adidas trainers which they revealed last week in Austin, Texas at this year’s SXSW. The trainer has a small device attached to the trainer tongue which connects with the user’s Smartphone through Bluetooth in order to utilise the mobile’s capabilities. The small connected device includes a computer, a speaker, an accelerometer, a gyroscope (this measures orientation) and a pressure sensor. Once connected, the trainer automatically sends out ‘funny, motivating and timely commentary’ based on the user’s movements and location.

It is part of Google’s wider project called Art, Copy & Code with an overarching aim to craft engagement with everyday objects and online advertising. This could offer a real opportunity to advertisers this year to executive some innovative work and interesting partnerships with brands.

Highlight App

This app was also discussed as one to watch highlighted at this year’s SXSW and has been created to ‘give you a sixth sense about the world around you, showing you hidden connections and making your day more fun’. An iOS only app, it links into the user’s Facebook account to see which of their Facebook friends have also downloaded the Highlight app and continually runs in the background. It will send through push notifications when other Highlight users are in your vicinity and you will be able to view their profile, friends, interests and photos. You can then choose to chat to them and see what you ‘have in common’. It will be interesting to see if this actually kicks off this year; it feels like some users may find it very intrusive and that it could potentially lead to some unwanted attention. However, if it does turn out to be successful, it would be interesting to see if Highlight could collaborate with Facebook or Foursquare and potentially lead to opportunities for advertisers to offer coupons when users check in at various locations.

“Goodbye Clutter” Spring Cleaning for Facebook

Facebook has announced changes to its newsfeed. They have taken the principles already deployed on mobile & tablet platforms and incorporated them in the web experience to bring consistency across all of Facebook’s touch points.

People want more control over the stories they see, so Facebook has done just that, by providing users with the ability to look at different feeds chosen by them. For example a ‘photos only’ feed, so that they can access the information they want instantly.

screen-shot-2013-03-07-at-10-54-50-am

The visuals are now much bigger and it definitely looks more aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. Zuckerberg described his aspirations for the redesign as a “personalised newspaper” and it is certainly the right move for Facebook as they continue to increase relevancy for their consumers.

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With images now much more prominent and the core focus of the ‘enlarged’ newsfeed, brands will have to stretch their creativity, as increased visibility means that brands need to be more relevant than ever to engage the user.

To learn more about the thinking behind the redesign, check out this video from Facebook.

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