September 8, 2014

Apple ramps up iCloud security after celebrity photo hack

The company will now alert iCloud users whenever someone tries to change their account password, restore data stored on iCloud to a different device or logs into the account for the first time.

While Apple already notifies users of password changes or first-time logins, this is the first time it will send notifications about iCloud data. Users will receive both email and push notifications.

The changes will affect iPad, iPhone and Mac users.

Hello! launches monthly fashion magazine

The first issue of Hello! Fashion Monthly (HFM) were distributed free at large shopping centres this weekend, as well as at London Underground and mainline stations, this morning; 8 September.

The standalone magazine is aimed at 18-35 year-old women who are interested in fashion but do not have the time to invest reading the traditional high-end fashion magazines.

The first paid-for issue will be available from 30 September and will be priced at £1 and the 12-day print deadline will allow it to offer more up-to-date news and fashion content in contrast to many competitor monthly titles.

Each issue will contain latest high-street offerings alongside catwalk trends, style and beauty tips alongside interviews with designers and industry figures. The title will also have a mobile version for smartphones and tablets as well as a new website.

Ikea parodies Apple’s iPad for launch of 2015 ‘Bookbook’ catalogue

With the iPhone 6 just about to launch, that means it’s only approximately 52 weeks until the iPhone 7 launches! IKEA have taken to the stage to launch their 2015 Catalogue just as if it was the world’s best gadget, in a complete Apple Spoof, filming the explanation of how their catalogue was engineered to perfection… Including classic language like ‘tactile touch technology’, ‘eternal battery life’ and ‘crystal clear pages load instantly with zero lag’. Watch their video here.

Sky’s Now TV arrives on Chromecast

Sky’s Now TV service has arrived on Google Chromecast, giving users access to a range of Sky films, live sport and 13 pay TV channels on their main TV screen. Now TV customers with the Entertainment Month Pass will also have access to ITV’s brand new channel, ITV Encore, which launched in June.

70% of smartphone users check device before getting up

70% of UK smartphone users frequently check their device before getting up in the morning, according to research from digital market research and tech company Toluna. Using a sample size of 1,000 Brits, the survey revealed that in addition to checking their mobile first thing in the morning, 32% look at their device if they wake up in the middle of the night, while 58% do so immediately before going to sleep.

The Latest on Facebook Video

Video is one of the most engaging and immersive ways to tell a story so to prove to advertisers and the world that it’s not just YouTube that has massive video engagement online, Facebook announced it now delivers 1 billion video views per day and will begin showing everyone view counts on videos posted by Pages and public figures. When people see high view counts, it can reassure them a video is worth their time.

65% of Facebook’s video views are coming from mobile where Facebook’s user base is shifting, and views grew 50 percent from May to July, in part thanks to the viral ALS ice bucket challenge finding a home on Facebook.

Facebook is also letting video publishers include a “call-to-action” link that viewers can click at the end of a video, push them to another video or to a website for example.

Pinterest’s Chrome Extension lets you decorate your new tabs

Pinterest wants to insert itself further into its users’ every day. The company has rolled out today a new way to jazz up your Google Chrome web browser with a little bit of “inspirational” imagery. With its second Chrome extension, Pinterest can now insert a full-colour Pin onto your New Tab page. Pinterest is using professional quality, high-res images from a variety of sites, including art-collecting and education resource Artsy, photo community 500px, and National Geographic’s photo community Your Shot In addition to the full-screen photo, the new extension will also include a small calendar on the bottom-left, a clock in the middle, and a greeting.

KLM: Live High Five

Last week KLM connected hundreds of people in Amsterdam and New York live, through high fives. For one day, two interactive installations provided a live look through across the ocean. This created spontaneous interactions, letting people on the street come face to face with another citizen from New York or Amsterdam. Whoever could achieve the “perfect” high five with their counterpart across the Atlantic was rewarded with KLM tickets to the other city.

SO MOnday Fun: Simpsons ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


September 1, 2014

The 2014 Gartner Hype Cycle is out

The most notable is how Internet of Things is right at the top of the hype curve, and wearable UIs and 3D printing on their way down.

The Napa earthquake woke up 93% of locals

The South Napa Earthquake was the strongest to hit Northern California in 25 years and Jawbone wanted to quantify its effect on sleep by looking at the data recorded by Jawbone UP wearers in the Bay Area who track their sleep patterns.

Amazon acquires Twitch

Amazon continues to explore ways to grow its digital portfolio with its acquisition of Twitch – the world’s leading streaming video platform and community for gamers for $970 million. At first glance, this acquisition looks like a move for Amazon to bolster its streaming footprint by combining it with Prime Instant Video and Fire TV to take on YouTube, Netflix, and set-top boxes. Although the set-top box market is cluttered, Amazon set itself up to stand out amongst the other competitors by incorporating gaming capabilities along with its previous investment in its own in-house gaming studio. Amazon eventually could take on GameStop by utilizing Twitch as a one stop shop for all things gaming by allowing users to review content and simply make the purchase with one-click ordering.

Outside of streaming and video games, there are still more profitable avenues Amazon can capitalize on with this acquisition. Twitch brings with it a young demographic (18-35) of 55 million monthly unique visitors, of which 58% spend more than 20 hours per week on site. Amazon is aligning itself with a young engaging audience, which could be extremely profitable when coupled with its rich source of 1st party customer data.

Twitter launches Objective-Based campaigns

Objective-Based campaigns will allow advertisers to pay for the actions that most are aligned with their marketing objectives. Objective-Based campaigns have been designed to make creating and optimizing successful marketing campaigns as simple as possible, generating the highest ROI from any campaign. Twitter’s new pricing model will allow advertisers to more efficiently achieve specific objectives by only paying when users perform the desired action, for example clicking through to a website, downloading an app, or leaving their email to find out more. For example, if your goal is to drive video views on Twitter, you’ll only pay on a cost per view basis via a player or video card.

Objective-based campaigns have delivered positive results in early test phases and are currently in Beta, they’ll be rolled out to advertisers in the coming months.

Radio 1 to hire ‘YouTube-famous’ vloggers to broadcast online

From September, some of the hottest young video bloggers (vloggers) in the world will join the station to present a new weekly show alongside Dan and Phil that will be fully visualised and streamed on the Radio 1 website.

The show – the first of its kind – will see vloggers Zoella aka Zoe Sugg (5.7 million YouTube subscribers), Tyler Oakley (5.1 million), TomSka aka Thomas Ridgewell (3 million), Troye Sivan (2.5 million), ThatcherJoe aka Joe Sugg (2.7 million), Sprinkle Of Glitter aka Louise Pentland (1.6 million), BritPopPrincess aka Patricia Bright (0.5 million), Marcus Butler (2.9 million), Caspar aka Caspar Lee (2.9 million) and Jack and Dean aka Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs (360,000) guest presenting each Monday between 9-10pm.

MailOnline records best ever month for video

The MailOnline recorded its best ever month for video in July 2014 with more than 50 million video views across its website and apps for the first time.

During July there were a total of 50,647,444 global video views, representing a month-on-month increase of 35.8% and a year-on-year increase if 74.7%. Daily video views averaged at 1.6 million for the month, with three days achieving more than 2.5 million views each.

#Foreverfaster hijack

Puma’s #foreverfaster social media campaign has been hijacked.

Users were encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #foreverfaster in order to receive a personalised message from one of Puma’s famous brand ambassadors.

All went awry when pranksters found that by changing their Twitter handle, they could make it look as if famous sports stars such as Usain Bolt and Cesc Fabregas had signed crude messages.

Instagram unveils new time-lapse app

Instagram has launched a new time-lapse app called Hyperlapse, allowing users to capture high-quality videos while the user is on the move, thanks to in-built stabilisation technology.
It’s free, (and pretty cool) but currently only available on iOS. See it in action with this 15 second tour of The White House.  This is a fantastic opportunity for brands to showcase their products. For example, it would be great to seed out teasers of a new product by only showing parts of it in a Hyperlapse video, or it could be used to show how to use a product, like a make-up product. It could work really well for an airline company, showing the journey from A to B through the window of a plane. Brands should look to incorporate Hyperlapse into their social strategy to post interesting content.

Doctor Who returns

To celebrate the return of Doctor Who, and the arrival of new lead actor Peter Capaldi, the BBC launched an interactive game allowing users to pilot the Tardis. The Masthead allowed users to play an interactive game to unlock additional content. They also reported the story of how the new Doctor Who title sequence designer was spotted on YouTube after posting a speculative concept piece to showcase his talents to potential clients.

Vine update allows users to import videos 

An update of the Vine app now allows users to import videos from their phone camera, and then edit them to create their 6-second Vine. This new feature is prominent when users are about to capture a Vine. Vine users now also have the ability to create a mash up of videos, instead of only publishing one clip.



June 23, 2014

Twitter Adds Translated Tweets to iOS Apps

With World Cup coverage underway, people from all over the world are tweeting about the same topic in many different languages. Twitter wants to make it easier for everyone by bringing mobile translations to its iOS app in partnership with Microsoft.

After downloading the Twitter iOS update, users can click a small globe icon within each tweet to have it displayed in their native language.

Facebook Slingshot

Facebook has launched a photo-messaging app, known as Slingshot. The app’s features include sharing photos and videos with friends in a similar fashion to Snapchat. However, Slingshot’s point of difference is that it is built around a two-way interaction. It uses an unlocking mechanism, whereby photos received from friends must be unlocked by “slinging” a different photo back to the original sender. Like Snapchat, all images are deleted once sent and users can scribble or type over their photos.

On the social media page for the app, the creators said: “With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator.”

The Slingshot launch comes as Facebook is trying to fight off threats from other social networking agents, which also contain messaging and photo-sharing tools.

Jelly adds replies to its Q&A app, offering back-and-forth conversations for the first time

Previously, all communication on Jelly was either a question or an answer in response to said questions, but now users can keep the conversation going to add context or just maintain a dialogue.

Jelly launched in January of this year as an answer to crowdsourcing information from your social networks, adding location-based answers in March.

Facebook’s iPad app becomes more of an entertainment hub

On the right side of the new Facebook iPad app, social notifications for Facebook games both native and on the web, along with video trailers of games that users have yet to play, trending videos and new articles will be served.

Facebook’s pick of videos will be based on the most-shared footage across the site, filtered by those in the same general demographic. Similarly, a popular games section will include casual titles that are getting greater than average attention from friends and Facebook users in general.

Amazon Fire Phone

The company debuted its first-ever smartphone at a mystery event held in Seattle on Wednesday. Its US release date is 25 July, although global distribution has yet to be confirmed.

The device has a 4.7in screen, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and an innovative system of cameras and sensors on the front of the phone to track head gestures from users, and change the display accordingly.

The Fire Phone also has a feature called Firefly, which combines a range of media-identification capabilities into one app, for example, Firefly can recognise (similar to Shazam) songs, movies and TV-shows. It uses the microphone to listen into a scene of a show and identify which episode you are watching, (similar to Facebook’s recent app update), and then it also directs people to buy the series from Amazon.

Twitter to buy video sharing site SnappyTV

Twitter is extending its drive into video after it announced the acquisition of SnappyTV, a video sharing website. The social media network has already started to embrace video with its Amplify programme, which allows sponsored video excerpts of televised content to be easily viewed on mobile.

In a statement, Twitter said: “One of the best ways to follow events as they unfold is through real-time videos on Twitter. As we continue to invest in video, it’s important for us to provide tools that make it easy for TV broadcasters, businesses, and event producers to share high-quality videos. To that end, we’ve agreed to acquire SnappyTV.”

The theory is that as people talk about certain TV shows on Twitter, others who see those tweets will be compelled to tune in.

Mobile and tablet video viewing up 532% YoY since 2012

The Q1 2014 Global Video Index revealed that in the first quarter of 2014, mobile and tablet viewing accounted for 21% of all online video plays, up from 3.4% in Q1 2012 and 9% in Q1 2013. Since 2012, mobile and tablet viewing has increased 532% year on year (according to new research from Ooyala).

While the majority of plays on tablets were short-form videos, viewers clocked 48% of their overall viewing time watching videos of 30 minutes or more. Viewing time of live video on connected TVs was 11 times more than on-demand content.

Sky IQ’s new viewing panel is providing data from more than 500,000 Sky homes across the UK

As TV has changed and technologies have evolved, so has the way viewers plan their viewing. Measuring overnights gives us a valuable first impression but can’t provide an overall picture of a show’s success – and the myriad of ways that viewers engaged with it.

Sky IQ’s aggregated and anonymised viewing panel aggregates data from over 500,000 Sky homes in the UK – and offers us a view of exactly how content is consumed – be that live, playback, on demand or via Sky Go.

Figures from Sky IQ viewership for Game of Thrones have recently been published, which I have summarised below:

Last year:

  • Nearly 1.5 million households engaged with the Season 3 premiere, with 85% of viewing via linear (either live or playback).

This year, however, Sky Atlantic did something unprecedented: on 7th April 2014 it simulcast the first episode of Game Of Thrones season four between the US and the UK at 2am, prior to the more traditional 9pm transmission later that evening.

  • Overall, 1.9 million households watched the premiere – up 26% on last year, accounting for 1 in 5 of all Sky households.
  • Linear viewing, both live and playback, is still king, accounting for 85% last year and 82% in 2014, although the increased proportion of catch-up might be due to that 2am simulcast.
  • Sky Go views were up an impressive 139% on last year, increasing share of overall viewing from 4% to 7%.
  • The other main growth area was Sky’s on-demand push service “Showcase” which saw an 89% increase in household viewing than in 2013, from 7% to 9%.

Because viewers can choose from a variety of transmission times and different ways to engage with the show, we can see how viewing of the 1st episode played out across different platforms during the week of the transmission window.

Monday 2am:

  • In total, nearly 60,000 watched the 2am broadcast via their Sky box or on Sky Go.
  • Just over 450,000 set their Sky+ boxes to record the 2am broadcast in order to watch at a time that was more convenient for them.

Monday 9pm:

  • Over 490,000 households waited to watch the episode live when the show re-aired at the more sleep-friendly time of 9pm on Monday evening – perhaps because watching live at the same time as half a million others enables synchronised social commentary via the second screen.
  • In addition, nearly 680,000 subsequently viewed this showing on playback.

In total, half of those that recorded either the 2am or 9pm showing had caught up on the same day, ready to discuss at work the next morning.

Wednesday 10pm:  a repeat of the episode on Wednesday evening attracted a further 165,000 households viewing live.

  • Of those who recorded the show, 20% caught up the following day after the premiere with the remaining 30% watching two to six days after transmission.


June 2, 2014

Facebook can automatically identify music and TV

iPhone, iPad or Android microphones to automatically identify music and TV programmes, which can be shared as updates using the normal ‘listening to’ or ‘watching’ format. Check out the Vimeo here.

Nielsen Twitter TV Rating to provide demographics

Nielsen’s Twitter TV Rating service now includes demographic information on tweet authors. So far, the data collected varies hugely between programmes: sport skews 79% male, reality 65% female. The youngest audience counted 98% of its members under 35, while the oldest saw 85% over 35.

YouTube expands its offering for creators

While YouTube is the most trafficked streaming-video site in the world, it has struggled to find ways to help its creators earn money beyond simply giving them a cut of advertising revenue. Over the last two years, Google committed millions to promote original content from YouTube channel partners, rolled out a monthly channel subscription feature, and opened up production studios that channel partners can use. But, they believe this still isn’t enough and over the next few months they will also be introducing:

  • A separate standalone mobile app that puts the creator features in the palm of users hands.
  • A feature that allows fans to fund their favourite creators on YouTube, enabling fans to donate money to their favourite channels without leaving the site. (It’ll be interesting to see if this is something YouTube users are willing to do, especially since the general public doesn’t usually associate the site as a place where you enter in credit card numbers to pay for stuff).
  • A way to harness the power of the crowd to create captions and subtitles for creators videos in 60+ languages and a larger selection of audio tracks for Youtube’s library of royalty-free music.

These features will join a few recent updates, including new comment management features, a way for artists to share in revenue from eligible cover song videos, and their ever-expanding Creator Academy.

Google Play Creates U.K.’s First Ad Break To Feature A Live Music Performance

British Singer Sam Smith, who’s single “Stay With Me” is currently number one in the U.K. charts, sang his song live from one of London’s most famous music venues, The Roundhouse, on Friday night. It was the U.K.’s first ad break to air a live music performance. It was broadcasted on Channel 4 at 10:45pm during Alan Carr: Catty Man.

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2014

Mary Meeker’s data dumps have become a highly anticipated event in the tech industry, as her research helps everyone else level up. She shared a new deck at the recode conference and whilst there is not that much new, it’s still hugely influential. The stats on growth no longer surprise but her thoughts on the changes caused by this growth are always interesting. The whole deck is worth spending time on, but if you want a quick take on the key points this Guardian piece is a good cheat sheet.

Below is a quick summary of the key takeout’s:

  • Internet Access Growth Slowing, But Not on Mobile
  • The total number of Internet users is growing less than 10% a year. Smartphone usage continues to see strong growth though slowing with mobile data traffic growing most aggressively; video is a strong driver of that growth.

o   30% of all mobile users are smartphone users.

o   Tablet shipments increased 53% in 2013

o   Mobile now accounts for 25% of all web usage (up from 14% a year ago)

o   Google’s average revenue per user is now 6X Facebook’s, and Facebook’s is 2X Twitter’s.

o   People spend 20% of their media time on mobile, but mobile gets just 4% of ad spend

o   Social Networking Is Changing From Broadcast to Private Sharing

o   Photo Sharing is up 50% over 2013 in just the first half of 2014 (1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared everyday on Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. In 2012, it was roughly 300 million showing a trend towards a visual culture)

There is also a good summary of the recent Deloitte New Digital Divide report covers some really interesting trends around technology and media consumption (multi-screen, TV, which is here and the full report is here too).

Apple Beats Deal Confirmed

The news is finally out — Apple is buying Beats for 3 Billion Dollars.

Headphone sales? Music streaming service (Beats Music)? Wearables? Music label deals? It is not about what Beats is today, but what it can become in the future.

Although the buy might not be as ‘exciting’ as Facebook purchasing WhatsApp it, like Google’s purchase of smart-thermostat company Nest, arguably makes more sense and gives a more interesting view of where consumers are heading.  It doesn’t have an immediate impact on advertisers as Beats Music doesn’t have an ad-funded free version. If however the streaming service does become more popular it will be yet another avenue advertisers could potentially use to connect with people, similar to Spotify and Pandora but powered by the wider Apple ecosystem.

2014 World Cup: What a Difference 4 Years Makes

With Brazil’s opening game of the World Cup tantalisingly close, this article is packed with some great search insights and a look at the competition’s global impact. Big fact for me: the World Cup has more global Google Search interest than the Superbowl, Olympics and Tour de France combined.


May 19, 2014

‘Secret’ app lets you be anonymous amongst friends

Secret, a new app recently launched in the UK lets you ‘share with your friends,  secretly’ creating a forum where people can feel free to speak their minds about one thing or another that a social network with more identification and accountability like Facebook or Twitter may hinder.

Secret AppTwitter Website Cards

Twitter is making progress on its promise to surface new types of ads this year, with the launch of the new website card ad format, which allows brands to showcase their website content within a pre-expanded Tweet.

Twitter says that in tests they saw higher engagement and lower CPC because anytime you give a person a large preview they’re more likely to click. It’s why photos and videos do better than straight text, especially on a highly ‘skimable’ newsfeed.

Twitter believes this combo of an image and a call to action will help drive more traffic for advertisers than a simple image and URL pairing.

Twitter Website Cards

Twitter Website Cards

The new ad unit comes less than a week ahead of Twitter’s Q1 earnings announcement. The company is not yet profitable, and investors who helped balloon the company’s stock following a late 2013 IPO will be anxiously awaiting news on the Twitter’s ad performance. News of better, more efficient ad units should help appease investors.

Would you be willing to abandon your flight plans to take a free trip to a mysterious location? 

Heineken Departure Roulette asked travellers in JFK’s terminal 8 to take a leap of faith and press a button on a specially-designed “departure roulette” board, which would assign them a new destination at random — effective immediately. They were also given $2,000 for expenses, along with two free hotel nights for their trip.

This is a great example of a brand tapping into the risky mindset of the millennial generation. Millennials, having witnessed the financial crisis of 2008, the ensuing global recession and the general failure of governments and institutions, view risk as simply as a fact of life, to be tolerated or even embraced.

According to Protein’s Risk Survey 2014, 62% of Millennials would quit their current job tomorrow for a life-changing adventure. Such excursions are of course highly gratifying for the participants but they also have the added benefit of providing social kudos in the online world.

Tumblr adds blog editor to mobile app

Tumblr has added a built-in blog editor to its mobile app, which allows users to customise the look and feel of their profile, demonstrating the importance of creativity and individuality users crave on the web.

American Express Example

American Express Example

It’s no surprise that brands have already started to embrace the changes. Notable examples include American Express, Lipton, Axe and L’Oreal.

Here’s a quick glimpse at the World Cup official FIFA partners, Coca Cola, Sony and Hyundai digital strategies for the tournament.

Sony – Social Sony

Sony announced on 12th May the launch of ‘One Stadium Live‘, a one-of-a-kind social network site dedicated to football fans around the world.

Sony One

Sony One Stadium Live

‘One Stadium Live’ is the latest of Sony’s digital initiatives to unite football fans from around the globe to share in the excitement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, hosted on its portal site and optimised for smartphone, tablet, and personal computers.

Coca Cola – iBeacon of happiness 

Coca Cola has indicated that it will be incorporating the growing iBeacon technology into its marketing plans around major fixtures at the World Cup. Coca-Cola has also invited fans from across the globe to be part of the largest flag mosaic ever created and show the world the power of football to bring people from different backgrounds and beliefs together. The flag is actually a giant mosaic, the largest ever created, constructed from photos and tweets submitted by fans from around the world.

Hyundai – Social team 

As part of Hyundai UK’s social strategy, the car giant has teamed up with Copa90, a large independent football channel on YouTube.

The strategy allows the company to place itself upon an established social channel, reaping the rewards of an already focused consumer base and engage with football fans and “add value” to its FIFA World Cup partnership.


May 12, 2014


‘Netflix Roulette’ For When You Don’t Know What to Watch

Like social media, television too has seen a shift towards digestibility with the advent of DVRs such as TiVo and Sky+ and the rise of Netflix & Blinkbox with a catalogue of backdated series and films. Yet, people still constantly moan about having hundreds of channels and nothing to watch, and the ability to find the stuff you want using the site’s own algorithms aren’t always on the money. Enter Netflix Roulette, a new app by Code USA’s Andrew Sampson. Spin the wheel, and find results and suggestions of what to watch. You can filter results by limiting genres, or search the library in its entirety.

Facebook in review: Q1 2014

Facebook has announced its figures for the first quarter of this year. The platform now has 1.28 billion monthly active users and 802 million daily active users, up from 1.23 billion and 757 million in the last quarter of 2013.

Facebook Active Users

Facebook Active Users

A large proportion of new users came from mobile. Over 1 billion people now access Facebook via mobile at least once a month, compared with 945 million in the previous quarter. Mobile-only users have grown from 296 million to 341 million in the same period.

Facebook FAN

Later this week, at its annual F8 conference, Facebook is expected to launch Facebook Audience Network (FAN). Facebook Audience Network is a way for the platform to massively extend its advertising inventory, specifically beyond just the Facebook platform into other mobile apps. FAN is further proof that Facebook is expanding its reach into a portfolio of directly owned, or aggregated, mobile destinations, to become the world’s most powerful mobile media network.

Facebook revealed that over 1 billion app installs had been driven through Facebook, and over $3 billion in payments managed, whilst pointing out that their own apps represent more than 20% of the total time spent by users on their phones.

Advertisers will be able to buy advertising across a number of new mobile media platforms, using two different types of ad format. A standard drop-down mobile banner, that layers Facebook audience data into the targeting system, and a custom-built unit that is completely tailored to the environment that it’s placed in, and is likely to use a lot more of the contextual data that Facebook holds, such as location data, and interest-based data.

Video ads are coming to Instagram

Instagram is soon to introduce video advertising, according to AdWeek.

Tumblr better for social TV than Twitter?

Tumblr has argued that it hosts more conversation about television than its rival, Twitter. In a study published last week, the platform accepts that more live mentions happen on Twitter, but only marginally so – and the figure is easily made up for in the following days on Tumblr.


Tumblr Vs Twitter

Peugeot races against Twitter followers

Peugeot is offering Twitter followers a chance to win a driving experience for two in Germany, in order to promote its new model, the RCZ R. Entrants have to complete a 140-character tweet more quickly than the car can accelerate from 0-90mph on a track.

Live Video Conversations With Your Friends On Snapchat

Snapchat launched new features on Thursday that will allow users to send text messages and video chat live with friends. “Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence,” Snapchat said on its blog.

Snapchat users can enter a chat conversation with friends by swiping right on their name on the inbox screen. If both users are chatting simultaneously, a blue circle will appear notifying one another they are both online, at which point users can have a live video conversation.

You can find out more about the update here.


Filling your Amazon shopping cart just got easier now that the online retailer has launched Amazon Cart, which allows consumers to add products to their list of purchases via Twitter. Now, shoppers simply need to tag a link to a product link on Amazon with the hashtag #AmazonCart and they’ll be added immediately. This is seems to be another example of Twitter looking to find and build out new revenue streams, but whether this is enough to attract new Twitter users remains to be seen.

Facebook launches new video metrics

Facebook is launching new ways for admins to measure the effectiveness of their video campaigns. Currently, page admins can only see information such as the number of views a video has received. With the new video metrics — rolled out over the coming weeks — marketers can see the average duration of video viewed and the amount of time that a person watched 95 percent of the video

Video Views

  • A view of 3 seconds or more of a video. You can also see the portion of your video views driven by paid advertising.

Unique Video Views

  • The number of people who viewed your video for 3 seconds or more.
  • You can also see the portion of your unique views driven by paid advertising.

Average Duration of Video Viewed

  • The average amount of time people spent viewing your video

#WeWereThere Spotify partnership at Coachella

The novelty of the share everything social media ethos is well and truly dying for Millennials. In 2009 the social network Chat Roulette gained notoriety for its ability to anonymously pair two random people over video chat. Now in 2014, social media anonymity is pertinent once again but, rather than web cam gimmicks, this time it’s the results of emerging concerns about online privacy and the need for transparency.

Spotify partnered up with Coachella to offered festival goers a new interactive experience (#WeWereThere) through embedding every Coachella wristband (essentially your festival ticket) with an RFID tag giving it the ability for Coachella attendees to “connect, collect and share” their festival experience. This wristband was able to track your every step and dance move, Check-in all over the Coachella ground from concert stages to the art installations, and collect yours favourite songs along the way.


Coachella and Spotify Partnership


At the end of the festival, #WeWereThere creates an all-encompassing review of your Coachella experience from distance travelled in footsteps, number of artists seen, playlists collected, and more. This is great example of how a brand has been transparent about using your data and offering a valuable personalised reward in return for your participation, allowing users to relive the weekend, share their “Coachella Story” with friends and ultimately strengthen the relationship they have with Spotify.


April 28, 2014

@SummerBreak; reality TV aired exclusively on social media

Summer Break aired entirely on social media over 10 weeks across TwitterTumblrInstagram and YouTube. The show followed the lives of eight LA teens in their last summer together before leaving for college.  While fans are used to following the daily lives of their favourite celebrities, releasing entire storylines and thickening plots exclusively on social media is a completely unique viewing experience and turns the idea of what a reality show can be on its head.

From an audience’s perspective, an online show is ideal. It’s non-committal, but there’s always something new when fans refresh their streams. From a production standpoint, this innovative format removes the traditional multi-month lag in most production and distribution cycles. The series can also be readjusted and calibrated in real time based on analytics of which characters and storylines are resonating the most with the audience.

@SummerBreak cast members & their Twitter Handles

@SummerBreak cast members & their Twitter Handles

@SummerBreak ditched conventional 30 and 60 minute TV formats, and instead played out a 24/7 stream of tweets, photos and video content. Additionally, 60-second daily YouTube webisodes were posted, with weekly longer form wrap-ups from 3 to 15 minutes.

Casting has begun for the second series of the show and is expanding onto both Snapchat & Vine. This is due to the first season generating 10 million “engagements,” which encompass viewers reacting in tangible fashion, such as an outreach on Twitter or a “share” of some sort.  Data provided by AT&T last year said consumers viewed @SummerBreak content 644 million times by accessing Twitter feeds of the show, the sponsor, the cast, influencers affiliated with the show and sponsored hashtags; Tumblr; YouTube channels; AT&T’s Facebook page; advertising around the show; and social-media conversations.

FB Newswire

Facebook has joined forces with News Corp-owned Storyful to launch FB Newswire, which aims to make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to “find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook” in their work. It’s clear that this development is to make Facebook not only become your digital newspaper but compete with Twitter in the realm of breaking news. Subscribing to the newswire is easy; simply like the FB Newswire Page, and those stories will appear in your News Feed.

Google+ updates ads

Google+ has made three updates to its ad offering. Firstly, +Post ads, which turn G+ content into display ads, are now available to all pages with 1,000 followers or more. Secondly, brands can now choose to automatically promote their most recent update and only pay once it receives engagement. Finally, it is possible to promote a Hangout to a +Post ad, allowing users to either RSVP, watch live or watch a recording.

Esquire premieres show on Facebook

Esquire TV has premiered the first episode of its new US programme ‘Lucky Bastards’ through Facebook. The series, which follows six rich entrepreneurs around New York City, was broken up into three parts for Facebook users to watch. Watch them here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. The actual content is questionable, but the strategic thought of premiering on Facebook has been tactically deployed for their target audience.

Netflix to become real TV and get its own ‘TV channel’ 

Netflix announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement with three cable TV companies to make watching Netflix as easy as changing the channel.

The deal will add Netflix as an app to certain set-top boxes giving subscribers of those companies the ability to watch the Netflix content they would otherwise be able to get only on their PCs, tablets, and phones, or with a third-party set-top box.

The agreement is part of a much larger trend in which traditional television is merging with internet video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Just this week, HBO unveiled an unprecedented partnership with Amazon to offer unlimited streaming of its older series on Prime Instant. Meanwhile, Amazon has just released its own set-top box, Fire TV, which allows users to stream shows onto their televisions from Netflix, Prime Instant, and other services.

Pinterest launches Guided Search to navigate you through its 30 billion pins

Pinterest launched Guided Search on Thursday, a new mobile-first tool that taps into Pinterest’s massive user collection to bring the things you’re really looking for right to the forefront.

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann claims that about 75% of Pinterest’s traffic now comes from mobile devices, so a truly mobile-first search tool is essential to the visual bookmarking site’s future. Pinterest is massive. The site now hosts some 30 billion pins, nearly half of which, it says, were created in the last six months alone. The feature is aimed at users who do not yet know exactly what they are searching for, but are rather exploring options. It’s incredible powerful and also very simple. Check out how it works here.

Guided search signposts a slow, gradual shift in Pinterest’s broader mission. Where it was once about collecting, Pinterest now focused is helping people discover, even when they can’t articulate what it is exactly they’re trying to find.