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.



December 2, 2013

Amazon Plans To Deploy Delivery Drones

Prime Air: Amazon's Delivery Drones

Prime Air: Amazon’s Delivery Drones

Amazon could be making 30-minute deliveries by using delivery drones. Branded Prime Air, this new delivery system is currently in development in Amazon’s R&D lab. However, for this to become a reality it would require, a massive reworking of regulations around unmanned aviation.

Prime Air in action

Prime Air in action

Facebook in real life

Are you ‘Facebook friends’ with people that you don’t actually know in real life? How would you feel if they turned up on your doorstop? One guy has tried this out.

It is scary to see how much information people share online but when faced with this in real life, it can make them feel really uncomfortable.

Apple win case to ban Samsung in America?

Apple and Samsung are fighting legal battles dealing with patents worldwide. The new federal appeals court order could lead to an injunction against sales of a host of Samsung devices in the United States

80% of Brits are now multi screening

A study by GAME, suggests that 8 out of 10 Brits now use a phone, tablet or laptop to share their opinions online about the programme they are viewing. Reasons for the trend in multiple screening included 30% of people saying they were so busy felt the need to do all these things at once, while 36% admitted it’s down to the fact they get bored if they only watch TV.

Android Global market share at 80%

Data from IDC shows that Android’s smartphone market share rose to a record 81% in Q3 2013. This figure amounts to a total of 211.6m Android handsets being sold, of which nearly 40% were Samsung devices. Microsoft’s OS saw the largest year-on-year growth up 156% to 9.5m. This growth is due to Nokia Lumia devices, which accounted for 93.2% of all shipments. Apple however, saw its market share decline from 14.4% to 12.9%. Despite the fall in market share, Apple retained the highest average selling price by quite a margin. Blackery has seen the fastest decline overall in the market (41.6% decline) leaving its market share at just 1.7%, compared to 4.1% a year previous.

iBeacons explained

Why has Apple not adopted NFC in their latest models? The Answer; iBeacons. Beacons have been used for centuries, connecting communities in times of war and national celebration, anyone remember the Queen’s jubilee? Now a new kind of beacon is making headlines: iBeacons.

iBeacons is a core-location technology that’s been enabled in iOS 7 to help pinpoint exactly where a device is on a micro level, even if that device is deep underground. Rather than using GPS, cellular and wi-fi to locate the device, iBeacons use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to look for beacon signals from other BLE emitters.

iBeacons is also the answer to indoor location mapping, as well as also being used to push content to users in apps, based on their proximity to other beacons. Delivering targeted content to consumers when they are in specific areas of a store is where much of the buzz surrounding micro-location technology is coming from.
This means that users will be able to enter a retail store, café etc and find out about product information, receive offers or possibly even make a purchase eliminating the need for them to proactively scanning a QR code or tapping their device.

Google and PayPal are also getting in on the action, showing that this innovation could really be a game-changer. Read more here.

Will data replace religion?

New tracking technologies are giving rise to a new type of culture around the power of information. The Curve Report states that 88% of Gen Xers and Ys agree that personal tracking and documenting web sites and devices have made them more self-aware, and 64% say technology makes them a better person.

Are we using data and technology to add meaning to our existence? This new faith is becoming a religion unto itself, quantifying every aspect of our lives to answer life’s larger questions. Given this opportunity, brands are stepping in to help consumers reach a certain level of enlightenment and give them the tools to help visualise their personal data in new and meaningful ways.

SO Monday Fun: Vacuum wake up

This blog was first posted on The Wall Blog here.

F-commerce was hailed as the future of online shopping, and there was a lot of anticipation that Facebook would turn into the destination to stop and shop. But the results were underwhelming, Facebook’s efforts to get ‘e-tailers’ to build shop-fronts on its pages fell flat. According to Brian Solis “F-commerce gets an “F” because brands used Facebook as yet another digital catalogue for selling products and not as a platform for activating new experiences based on the nature and the psychology of the relationships that define the network”.

Amazon has turned f-commerce on its head, by bringing the power of f-commerce to Amazon. After receiving the below email from Amazon today, it is clear that the world’s biggest online marketplace is integrating Facebook to create a social discovery feature into its shopping experience.

Amazon Email: Lexi Brown

Amazon Email: Lexi Brown

If Amazon users connect their Facebook account to their Amazon account they can see personal recommendations and suggestions of products based on your Facebook likes and friends’ behaviour. Personal recommendations have always been a part of ecommerce and when Amazon first introduced it using data from purchase behaviour shoppers were given recommendations on similar products determined by what others had bought on Amazon. The toughest hurdle to innovate in personalisation is to have enough data on an individual to tailor the experience. By plugging Facebook’s social information into its own recommendation algorithm, Amazon can now make even better recommendations, translating into increased purchases and profit margins.

This integration of Facebook is likely to increase the propensity to purchase because Facebook’s social graph creates social incentives to buy, often impulsively. By bringing in my friends’ likes, birthdays and wish lists into my Amazon experience it increases the opportunity for me to browse more products and gives me more occasions to buy for. My friends are, after all, the people I care about most and consequently who I spend my money on, so if I could access their Amazon wish list and see what products they’ve purchased before, I’m guaranteed to give a birthday present that won’t get returned!

Obviously this innovation in data-driven discovery doesn’t come without privacy concerns, but without data, there is no personalisation. Consumers both on Facebook as well as Amazon will have to be willing to give access to key data like purchase history, likes and other social actions, to get the best recommendations.  Amazon will only make public wish lists available and your shopping history will not be shared on Facebook so your friends won’t know what their birthday gift is before you give it to them!

This is a wise move by Facebook and a great way to utilise its data for enhancing the online shopping experience. I think this is the beginning of changing how we shop online and I can only imagine it won’t be long until all my friends are fleshing out their wish lists for birthdays, Christmas and wedding presents.

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