SO MONDAY

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.

SO MONDAY

April 14, 2014

Does Twitter make TV better?

Media scientist Deb Roy has told audiences at the MIPTV conference in Cannes that Twitter and TV are “a shared synchronised social experience”.

“The biggest, most pervasive medium ever invented – television – is being intertwined with a global social medium, Twitter,” said Roy. “Twitter makes television better: it is in fact a force multiplier that can enhance the impact and possibilities of television.”

Roy gave some examples of TV shows and events that have sparked conversation on Twitter, including this year’s Oscars awards, when more than 5m people sent 19m tweets that were seen by 37m people.

Can Facebook keep up? It seems not. Twitter is working with research firms like Nielsen to pursue strategies of involving broadcasters with data indicating that Twitter buzz can persuade more people to tune in.

Millennials tuned in to social TV and multitasking

Research by Deloitte reported that 86% of US consumers flipped between tasks while watching the telly – further research from The Council for Research Excellence/Keller Fay Group also found that Millennials were the age group most likely to engage with social media while watching TV. Those engaged with TV and social media were identified to be particularly, older Millennials; 9.6% of 25- to 34-year-olds said they used social media while viewing primetime TV.

Younger Millennials ranked second after their older counterparts, those ages 15 to 24, with 9.2% using social media at the same time.

Xbox co-funds first UK TV drama

Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing a sci-fi series called Humans, based on the Swedish series Real Humans. This is the first time games a console maker has partnered with a UK broadcaster to co-fund a major series.

The eight part drama series will be produced by Kudos, maker of The Hour, Broadchurch, Utopia and The Tunnel. It will air on C4 in the UK and via Xbox in North America.

 Social and email are equal for conversation volume

The latest IPA TouchPoints5 data has been released, concluding that we now have as many conversations through social media as via email; 12% of all daily conversations occur through each medium. The research also found that 49% of all adults use mobile phones for activities other than texting or talking, doing so on average for 1 hour 30 minutes per day. Unsurprisingly, younger users were more mobile: 78% of 18-24s use their phone for activities other than texting/talking; they do so for an average of 1 hour 52 minutes a day.

The Sun – first newspaper to introduce hashtags to their hardcopy version

While nearly every newspaper, if not all, now have an online presence, The Sun is going one step further by bridging the gap between their loyal print readers and their online readership.

Each day in the printed paper, a selection of hashtags will be published alongside particular stories where the readers will be asked to continue the conversation by giving their thoughts online using the hashtag ‘what do you think?’

It is clear to see that The Sun is making a concerted effort to drive traffic to their paid-for online content which has so far struggled to rival the success of their upmarket counterparts.

YouTube pushing stars with TV adverts

YouTube is planning a TV ad campaign in the US to promote some of its biggest stars, after agencies requested a further push to merit their clients’ ad spend. The adverts will feature three YouTube celebrities with over one million subscribers each: make-up artist Michelle Phan, beauty/fashion vlogger Bethany Mota and baker Rosanna Pansino. YouTube is also extending the campaign to Rovio’s Angry Birds mobile game with rich-media ads pointing to one of the YouTube stars’ channel.

Britain also has a growing cadre of young YouTube stars reaching mass audiences. Twins Finn and Jack Harries are good examples: their JacksGap YouTube channel has 3.4 million subscribers, with their latest show documenting a rickshaw ride across India.

Gamer Joseph Garrett has 2.3 million subscribers – many of them kids – for his Stampylonghead channel, with its daily videos of a virtual cat exploring the Minecraft game. He’s now spinning off a new education channel.

Twitter redesigns profiles

New Twitter profiles are here, with a brand-new, yet oddly familiar, look as Twitter looks to help users show who they really are. (The new design is rolling out slowly, unless you’re a celebrity or a new user). This new design is more visually appealing and definitely aimed at attracting more users to the platform.

All the elements on the page are ‘big’, from the Twitter profile picture to the full-width header image and, of course, tweets. They get larger depending on their popularity (tweets that have seen more retweets, replies or favourites). One of the new Twitter profile’s most exciting features is the ability to pin a tweet. Now you can click on the little More menu in every tweet and select “Pin to your profile page” so that everyone will see that tweet first.

To get an idea of these new profiles, check out @ZacEfron, @flotus or @JohnLegend

Twitter’s new Own The Moment planning tool

The #OwnTheMoment tool contains a number of events that Twitter deems worthy of creating conversation around. I don’t know whether these are based on past or predicted volumes of conversation, but Twitter is pointing to these isolated moments as thought-starters for conversation planning. They will have most likely distributed this tool to clients and agencies, meaning that now everyone will be planning to capitalise on the same conversations. And that means that it will be a very crowded marketplace as everyone competes to own the real-time conversation. In reality, we need to plan for the process so that when you spot something that others aren’t seeing you can move quickly and champion your own conversation.

Kids are causing the biggest changes in TV

The average six- to 14-year-old in the UK still spends 10.4 hours a week watching linear TV, according to research firm Dubit. But the growth of tablets is startling: the percentage of children with access to a tablet at home has surged from 20% in 2012 to 51% in 2013 and 84% now.

Angry Birds maker Rovio is one of the companies capitalising on this: it has quietly built its own kids’ TV network within its mobile games, generating billions of views for shows by other companies – including Fraggle Rock – as well as its own cartoons. Meanwhile, British startup Hopster has an app blending shows with educational games. “For the first time this new, alternative ‘first screen’ is going to establish a relationship of equals with the TV,” said Hopster founder Nicholas Walters.

MTV makes mobile ad deal with Mobsta

MTV have announced that all their premium ad-sales will be handled by Mobsta. With Mobsta already handling all mobile ad-sales for the ad2one group, this deal will not only give MTV a premium sales house but also give Mobsta extra generated reach. MTV have emphasised the importance of mobile following a recent surge of traffic coming through mobile devices. The Mobile share has now reached a quarter.

MTV’s UK head of digital sales Duncan McCrum said: ‘TV is delivering ever-higher levels of engagement with its entertainment and music content via new viewing screens and platforms. The way we sell advertising is constantly evolving in line with these changing patterns of consumption to make it easier than ever before for our clients to connect with these hard-to-reach audiences via mobile.’

The industry was slightly perplexed with Facebook’s unexpected purchase of virtual reality startup Oculus VR for $2 billion. It stands in stark contrast to other recent technology acquisitions, such as WhatsApp and Nest. There is no obvious marketing application, no instant access to an established user base, no hidden trove of patents. Instead, Facebook is finally using its riches to help realize Mark Zuckerberg’s idealized future in which people can “experience the impossible.” And they couldn’t have picked a better place to start.

So what are the implications of this bold purchase?

Facebook’s IPO afforded it the luxury to make bold acquisitions such as this one. But its new found position as a publicly-traded technology titan also brought its future under scrutiny. Facebook has acted with its purchase of WhatsApp and its failed bid for Snapchat. Those acquisitions collected headlines, but arguably lacked vision, and for some exposed some scrambling to quell concerns over its ability to maintain relevance within a fickle teenage demographic. The purchase of Oculus foreshadows a different Facebook, a more confident Facebook, one prepared to boldly move beyond its roots to deliver on Zuckerberg’s vision.

It isn’t clear where Facebook will go first with Oculus. Initial predictions range from monetized gaming to virtual reality “hangouts,” but both would require Facebook to develop well outside of its comfort zone. Indeed, it is folly to predict the future of Oculus, because its future does not lie in the hands of Facebook. Rather, it lies with a community of tens of thousands of developers and hardware startups who see its potential as a medium for their visions. Already, those visions are spectacular, e.g., simulated skydiving, tactile response and treadmills that let you physically walk in virtual worlds. Facebook are now a key part of this innovative sandbox.

In one sense, the closest parallel to the Oculus acquisition may not be a hardware startup like Nest, but instead an open community such as YouTube. In much the same way that Google receives credit for the innovation and content development which happens on YouTube, Facebook can grow its brand simply by fostering an environment that is conducive to innovation. As this community grows, Facebook gains access to more content, more data and ultimately more advertising revenue.

For advertisers, the Oculus ecosystem is a new frontier, and Facebook’s acquisition heralds the start of a gold rush. The easy thing to do is to sit back and wait until Facebook identifies the quickest paths to monetization. But realistically, traditional advertising opportunities on Oculus are years away. Forward-thinking companies should become the innovators, not wait for them. The possibilities for proprietary development are enormous: virtual showrooms, remote tours, customizable environments. Virtual reality is the most immersive experience available to developers today, and thanks to the vision of Oculus and the deep pockets of Facebook, consumers are finally ready to experience the impossible.

SO MONDAY

March 17, 2014

Asap54 app – the Shazam for shopping  

Have you ever admired someone’s outfit when they’ve walked past you on the street but you’ve been too shy to ask them where their clothes are from? Asap54 is now allowing you to scan someone’s outfit in order to buy the item through the app or something very similar. The app is powered by ‘visual recognition technology, a social community and a team of fashion experts to trace items’. This is great news for retailers and they should definitely make sure that they link up with app to ensure users can easily purchase their clothes.

tech_innovation10_970

Facebook Premium Video Ads

Premium Video Ads are designed for advertisers who want to reach a large audience with high-quality sight, sound and motion. Each 15-second video ad will start playing without sound as it appears on screen and stop if people scroll past. If people tap the video, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start. People can expect to begin seeing these new ads over the next few months.

With Premium Video Ads, brands now have another way of engaging people on Facebook with compelling video experiences.

Guardian Snakes & Ladders game educates you about the evolving history of the web

The Guardian has released a game of Snakes & Ladders to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the web. With every roll of the virtual dice, you can uncover an interesting titbit about how Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s creation has changed over the years. For those who want to go straight to the game, you can find it right here.

In addition to the board game, The Guardian interviewed Sir Tim Berners-Lee to find out what he thought about the increasing amount of influence exerted on the Internet by governments and corporations. In it, he calls for an online Magna Carta that would secure the rights of Internet users in each country. If you have any interest in online privacy and how it could evolve in the future, you can read; “An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web” here.

Mondelez partners with Facebook

mondelez fb

Mondelez has announced a ‘global strategic partnership’ with Facebook, amounting to a 52-country ad deal that includes the USA, UK, France, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the Gulf States. Mondelez’s VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Bonin Bough, commented:

“For the first time, we’ll be able to incorporate Facebook at the core of our media investment plans. This isn’t just about having a social-media strategy; it’s about digitizing our entire approach to communications”.

The Dentsu Aegis Network was involved in negotiating the partnership, which includes 52 countries, including the UK, the US, France, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the Middle East.

Twitter rumoured to develop ‘click to call’ brand engagement tool

Twitter is reportedly looking to explore a direct response offering and is ‘testing a direct response button for sponsored tweets that will enable users to speak directly to brands’. Although there is no indication as to if and when this will be rolled out, this is a really exciting development for brands, as they can reach out to those who are venting their frustration on the social network and offer a friendly voice on the end of the phone, rather than tweeting back and forth. Brands should watch this space.

Wake Up & Smell The Bacon App

This is a novel idea from an FMCG brand whose main product is bacon. They have created a simple alarm clock app that sounds like their yummy bacon ad and also emits the bacon scent, giving their fans a ‘multi-sensory alarm experience’ based on bacon. This plays on their tag line of ‘Wake up and smell the bacon’ superbly. This is a great example for FMCG brands to think about using the capabilities of smartphones moving forward.

SOMO Interesting read- Interview with Steve Jobs in 1985 

tumblr_inline_mju5qnoR5U1qz4rgp

The above quote from Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has led to the creation of a tumblr where women can speak out and share their fears. Women, in particular, hold themselves back by fear of the unknown; fear of failure, fear of speaking up, and fear of being judged. Being afraid stops all of us from dreaming and from reaching our goals. Last night Bloom kicked off their first event of 2014 with a panel debate about how we can overcome our fears to pursue our ambitions and achieve our personal potential.

The Panel

The Panel

The panel took it in turns to tell their personal stories about how they had overcome their personal fears and defined their own success. Dr. Dawn best known for her work on Channel 4′s award winning Embarrassing Bodies was a great example of how she jumped on each opportunity given, but also never gave up when faced with setbacks. Being a full time GP in Gloucestershire with her family, happy and enjoying life – most would already consider this woman highly successful with the perfect work/life balance. During her early career she started answering patient’s questions as an online doctor, which also led her to write for a women’s health magazine and then to being approached to audition for a Channel 4 programme. But she didn’t get the job. Dr. Dawn didn’t want this part of her career to end, and decided to take things into her own hands; approaching Sky to be their resident doctor on ‘Sunrise’. She secured the gig, which required waking at 3am to be in the studio for 6am for her 5minute slot, before heading back to Gloucestershire for her GP patients. After 6 months of this exhausting routine, Dr. Dawn sent off her video clips to an agent who had previously turned her down, got signed and has been leading her double life ever since. A true tale of determination and saying yes to every opportunity on the table, even if it results in short-term failure.

But seriously, what have we got to lose in taking risks?

Steve Hatch, ex-chief executive of WPP’s MEC, who is set to become the first regional director of Facebook in the UK and Ireland, took a risk just agreeing to be the only man on the Bloom panel (and pretty much the only man in the room). He also took a risk in 2004, when he told his line manager he wanted to spend 28 days retraining as a therapist. It was here that he realised that his ability to succeed was directly correlated with his ability to deal with conflict after a run in with an ex-SAS German man who proudly voiced his dislike for him on the therapist course. But Steve stressed how you need to be assertive and not aggressive. This is something that has been recently highlighted by the #banbossy campaign, currently trending on Facebook and Twitter. When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Steve even admitted how he has had to re-think the language he uses with his two children to encourage his little girl to grow up with the confidence and support she needs to reach her potential.

Steve finished with a great quote about boldness from William Hutchinson Murray, “until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back…Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Someone whose dream came true was Maria, a guest speaker on the panel from Eaves who was a victim of sex trafficking but is now successfully working and managing a store in the retail trade. Her story was empowering and put so much of our lives into perspective. This girl fought hardships neither I nor you could imagine from such a young age and she truly represented, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. She spoke assertively about how her best friend had sold her for $50 to the sex trade in South Russia, to being illegally imported into the UK, to finding the strength to run away and having to work tough jobs with long hours and no breaks to earn her way before being caught by our immigration services and held in a detention centre for over a month. Eaves reached out to her and offered her support to build her back up again into the wonderfully successful person she is today.

Following Maria’s story was a hard act to follow for Janet Hull, IPA Director of Marketing for fear of her story sounding shallow. But quite the contrary, as Janet’s rich tapestry of career experience and commitment to the industry led her to develop the creative pioneers challenge, which is an industry-wide hunt for digitally native school leavers to not only give them an opportunity to achieve their potential, but also a chance to infiltrate and change our industry.  This initiative quite rightly awarded Janet with the coveted accolade of an OBE. But her achievement was down to persistence. Shortly after taking (only!) 3 months maternity leave, new management made her redundant. Instead of just accepting her fate, Janet made a stand. She didn’t want redundancy to be a label for unlucky talented individuals so placed an advert in Campaign calling out for other redundant people. The ad got her notice as someone with a point of view and the courage to voice it. She stood up for what she believed in, unafraid and took a risk which could have easily been a career ending moment.

It was a great evening that inspired all and I urge those of you who could not make it to get involved with Bloom’s mentoring programme. The programme offers junior women (up to 3 years’ experience) in the communications industry the chance to be mentored by a Bloom UK member for 10 months. The launch event takes place on Wednesday 9th April at Facebook in London and if you are interested in being mentored, contact Bloom at bloommentoring@gmail.com

SO MONDAY

February 24, 2014

Cara Delevinge posts first ever live catwalk Instagram videos

Cara has made history as she becomes the first super model to upload Instagram videos live from the Giles Deacon Runway show for London Fashion Week. “It’s about to happen, it’s about to happen,” she says before the first video. “Oh my gosh, the first live video from a catwalk’. With almost 4.5million followers on the social network, it is a great way for consumers to access the exclusive world of fashion.

Cara films herself live during Giles Deacon Runway

Cara films herself live during Giles Deacon Runway

Perhaps next year the models will all be wearing Go-Pros down the runway to capture all the action.

Mobile Advertising reportedly four times as effective as desktop

…For affluent people. Supposedly ‘affluent people are significantly more receptive to mobile advertising that the general population’, an insight drawn from a global survey carried out by the BBC.

‘The study revealed clear evidence of the increasing importance of smartphones to affluent consumers, particularly in their working lives and for consuming news, and showed that users of newer top-end handsets were significantly more receptive towards mobile advertising.’

For luxury brands, this study simply reinforces the importance of having a mobile strategy front of mind when planning.

Players can tweet to create new levels in gaming app

Due to be released this summer, developers are working on a game called Dungeon where players can have ‘complete control over what challenges are generated during their own playtime’. #Dungeon will allow players to ‘add new content into different levels such as monsters and traps by tweeting code tagged as #HastagDungeon, creating a whole new experience with new challenges and new rooms every time’.

This takes social gaming to a whole new level utilising platforms such as Twitter in order to help develop the gaming app. For coders it is exciting as they will be able to get involved straightaway, however the creators of the game are looking to open this out to non-coders along the way.

Facebook, WhatsApp $19 billion deal dwarfs the $1 billion Instagram buy 

As you’ll probably have heard by now; Facebook announced its largest acquisition, saying it would pay at least $16 billion ($4 billion in cash and $12 billion in stock) for WhatsApp, a messaging application with 450 million users who pay little or no money for using the service.

This acquisition signals the lengths Mark Zuckerberg  will go to remain as the dominant social network on the Web. Facebook’s Messenger app has been around for some time, but it hasn’t gained as much traction as the standalone instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.

Facebook has spent a considerable (and somewhat obscene) amount of money for WhatsApp, but it’s getting a lot for its money. WhatsApp has 450 million monthly users and over one million new registered users every day. According to GlobalWebIndex WhatsApp has grown by 175% globally and shown a 230% increase in North America in the last 12 months. This is significant growth that Facebook couldn’t ignore if it wants to remain a leader in the social networking space. Mark Zuckerberg obviously has big plans for the messaging service, as he said “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.”

Facebook will now be able to tap into a huge wealth of data about real-time social interactions, especially communication on the go, allowing them to understand more about the fluid dynamics between people in a way that its existing platform currently doesn’t provide. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Facebook use this data to enrich its Custom Audience ad targeting.

Facebook connects UK flood victims with local volunteers

The feature arose out of the UK #floodhack held by the cabinet office and Tech City UK on Sunday. At the event, more than 200 developers from Facebook, as well as Google, Twitter and Microsoft joined forces to devise digital solutions to help communities and individuals affected by the floods. Developers were provided with data from the Environment Agency on a short-term license, and spent eight hours hacking together software that would help the public.

“At Floodhack, it was clear that the biggest challenge was getting people who need help connecting to people who can help,” said Alec Muffett, one of the Facebook engineers behind the feature.

Prime Minister David Cameron voiced his support for the drive by tweeting over the weekend.

Brit Awards most tweeted about TV show in UK

This year’s Brit awards has shattered social media records by being the most tweeted about TV show in the UK, despite the fact that the TV audience slumped to its lowest since 2006.

The previous record holder was last year’s Comic Relief, which had 1.5m tweets, but the Brits were clear winners with 4.17m tweets. There were 2m tweets about the first awards Twitter vote, for the best British video, with One Direction‘s Harry Styles the king of retweets notching up 155,000 for a post thanking fans for voting.

Apple iPhone 6: most anticipated phone of 2014?

The rumour mill is churning about the release of Apple’s next iPhone. The biggest rumour is that Apple will develop its established iPhone blueprint design with the introduction of larger screen sizes.

There have also been reports that the iPhone 6 will pack a Lytro-style camera capable of capturing layered images that can be manually refocused afterwards.

Apple historically has launched its iPhones in the summer or autumn with a release taking place just a few weeks after the announcement, so still a few months to wait until all is revealed.
Can you go on a digital detox to provide water to those in need?

Now in its 8th year, the UNICEF Tap Project seeks to bring clean water to the 768 million people around the globe who go without it. For this year’s campaign, UNICEF is encouraging people to disconnect from their smartphones.

For every 10 minutes that a person does not touch their phone, UNICEF partners will donate one day of water to children in need. All users need to do is access uniceftapproject.org on their smartphone, and when they are ready, set their phones down – the site detects whether the device is moving or is steady to see if it is being used – and then a ticking clock begins.

This campaign is really emotional as it makes the user understand that our addiction to our mobile devices is so insignificant to those millions of people who have a basic need for clean water. Beyond keeping you away from your phone, the site also encourages donations – with as little as $1 providing 40 days of clean drinking water for a child.

The campaign will run until February 28th – how much clean water can you provide in that time?

SO Monday fun: #SingItKitty

SO MONDAY

February 17, 2014

Qipp – the companion for all the things you care about

The Swiss service keeps an online record of all your favourite real-life things and possessions. You can add information to their pages, like reminders, product info, insurance or warranty expiration dates, essentially creating a digital profile for each possession. Users can make specific items public and allow friends to borrow or rent the item, allowing the owners to keep better track of who has their items. The app has several other functions, such as calculating the resale value of the object and a lost-and-found tagging feature (Qipp Labels).

Virgin America launches first in-flight social network

Passengers can download the Here On Biz app before they travel, to be able to use their flight as a social networking opportunity, and “network on the fly”. With a growing following of always-connected, tech-forward business travellers, Virgin Atlantic are offering their customers the ability to connect with one another through their LinkedIn profiles and build or renew their professional contacts. To launch this new service, Virgin Atlantic is running a social media competition #planepitch where users must tweet their 140 character business pitch to the entrepreneur of their choice.

I opted for tweeting this: Sit with @acton & tell him to create a Moshi app 4 entire family that lets children learn through play & accomplish life goals #PlanePitch – after my Google Squared Online business pitch module for Jungo. Read more here.

Instagram publishes physical handbook to inspire brands

The Instagram handbook explains how brands can reach their audiences through visual media by taking you through some ‘best in-class case studies’ such as those from @Disneyland and @chobani. The handbook profiles eleven companies who have successfully posted engaging content on the platform. Check out this video which showcases how some of the best brands on Instagram (@nikerunning@benandjerrys and @imaginedragons) bring their stories to life and constantly connect with their communities. The underlying message from Instagram is that advertisers producing content for the platform should make sure that it fits into Instagram’s philosophy of ‘finding beauty everywhere’.

Twitter tests profile redesign

The new format is quite similar to Facebook and Google+ profiles with the focus on images being the biggest change. This is great news for advertisers, as it gives them more space in order to reach eyeballs with simple imagery. Will this mean that brands will have to rethink their Twitter strategy? Not necessarily – advertisers should continue to think about their personality and ensure that their voice and images correlate in a way that engages fans rather than annoys them.

Messaging app ‘Viber’ acquired by Rakuten, the e-commerce company

Japan-based Rakuten, which owns Play.com, is making its move into the ‘digital content space’ through its recent acquisitions of Kobo, Wuaki.tv (the on demand streaming site) as well as Viki (a video streaming site). The Viber app has a ‘user base of 300 million registered users’. Whether or not the app will have any changes made to it is unclear; however it will be interesting to see what happens this year.

Ad of the day #catandbudgie