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.


On the face of it the arrival of Instagram video means bye bye Vine – but, Twitter’s video platform isn’t bowing out just yet.

Within the first eight hours of launching video on Instagram, the community shared more than a year’s worth of footage.

The news makes the sector very interesting because it will not only excite users, whether they’re Vine devotees or Instagram addicts, but also give brands a potentially super-fast turnaround creative goldmine with a pre-built mass audience.

Vine has already attracted a solid user base. In fact, Vine posts are now shared more than Instagrams on Twitter despite the fact Vine has just 13 million registered users against Instagram’s 100 million active users.

The growth of Vine may be influenced by the deep integration it has with the social network as a Twitter-owned app, whereas Instagram images no longer auto-expand.

But I also think the limits placed upon Vine users towards brevity makes Vine much more creatively challenging.

Whereas Instagram has built a video-sharing product for the masses.

The generous 15-second video allows plenty of time to shoot, therefore not forcing the creator to think outside the box to tell their story succinctly.


Instagram, unlike Vine, will let users erase the last clip they shot in a series, meaning less thought needs to go into lighting and exposure as they’re filming it because bad takes can simply be deleted.

While Instagram’s mass market appeal may drive Vine’s niche, it will force users to become more creative and pioneering with their Vines.

A challenge that will no doubt be of interest to the Vine aficionado but much less so to the marketers and creative agencies looking to get their advertising messages across.

I can’t help wonder why you’d go for a 6-second second one shot option when you have 15 seconds of editable space. Here’s a nice example from Burberry, showing a 15 second glimpse behind the scenes of the Burberry Prorsum Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 show.

But, as always, competition drives innovation. A new tech product launch, cleverly put out the same time as the Instagram news, from Unruly Media may give Vine an edge over its Instagram rival.

The company has launched the industry’s first end-to-end social video product set that allows brands to amplify, optimise and analyse the success of their Vine campaigns across the social web.

Unruly COO and co-founder, Sarah Wood, said: “Brand marketers who are serious about their content marketing strategy understand that there’s more to social video success than a YouTube view count. The social video ecosystem is developing rapidly to meet changing consumer habits and brands can now embrace a multitude of platforms across a fragmented media landscape to reach and engage their audiences wherever they’re discovering and sharing videos.”

What it also means is that while there may not be as many seconds of video for your idea, there is now a host of ways to measure the success of your campaign and how to improve on it next time out – something that is not offered on Instagram so far.

If Vine can begin to capitalise on this it may gain the impetus it needs to edge ahead of its Facebook-owned rival.

Since Facebook acquired Instagram for almost $1billion just over a year ago, we have anticipated substantial changes to the service. However Facebook has yet to monetise the platform through paid advertising placements.

Some brands and celebrities, for example Beyoncé and Pepsi have taken it upon themselves to produce their own promotional content, from which Facebook gains no revenue. This suggests the time has come for Facebook to monetise the service.


A recent internal people move suggests that the time may have indeed come for Facebook to roll out advertising and revenue generating features. Emily White, Facebook’s director of mobile partnerships, will now head business and partnerships at Instagram, according to a report from AllThingsD. Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said of the move: “I’m excited to bring Emily White onto the Instagram team. As we continue to scale our operation to support over 100 million active users, her experience with partnerships and business operations will play a major role in our future success.”

Instagram reached more than 100 million active users in February and unquestionably has plenty of potential to generate revenue if White can find a way without alienating the strong and devoted userbase.

Photo sharing was pivotal for Facebook’s growth and by purchasing Instagram it has the opportunity to control the future of mobile and social photo sharing. Therefore, White needs to strike the balance through keeping the appeal necessary for growing the business whilst rolling out revenue-generating features that are friendly and unobtrusive. Overtly changing the Instagram user interface is a definite no go.

Instagram came treacherously close to crossing the line and upsetting users when it updated the T&Cs, giving the business the potential to license users’ photos. Instagram quickly backtracked but the outcry over the new terms exemplified the danger in trying to profit directly from users’ photos.

Although Facebook has yet to monetise Instagram as a service, it has been sabotaging the competition with some dirty tactics. Instagram has disabled support to Twitter Cards, effectively meaning that Instagram photos no longer ‘pop out’ when you click to view a tweet. Instead, users are presented with a link to the Instagram website if they want to view the image, successfully driving people away from Twitter and onto Instagram.

This has resulted in a fewer brands sharing Instagram photos on Twitter due to a significant loss in engagement. Twitter has reacted promptly by tying up with photo editing app Aviary but it can’t really compete with the substantial growth Facebook has experienced with integrating Instagram into its Open Graph.

It will be interesting to see what direction Facebook takes as a business, but for now we will just have to watch this space.

Jamie’s commercial cutesy grin definitely swayed me to buy his first foray into speedy cooking, “Jamie’s 30 minute meals”. Apparently he sold a colossal 1.7million hardback copies despite a barrage of criticism from those (clearly useless people in the kitchen who don’t even know that cooking spaghetti requires water) that his 30-minute time frame was unrealistic. So, to further prove that his timings are achievable by the average family cook, he’s halved the time and is soon to be back on our TV screen with his latest TV series “Jamie’s 15 minute meals”, obviously accompanied by the recipe book. So will halving the time result him in selling his book twice as fast? If his latest advertising campaign is anything to go buy I’d predict a definite number 1 place on the chart this Christmas.

Jamie has exclusively released two recipes from his new book, Seared Asian Beef and Ricotta Frittas to his Facebook fans. Fans are encouraged simply to “cook it, snap it, share it”. So cook it – obviously means have a go at actually cooking one of the dishes in 15 minutes. Snap it, using Instragam and apply a filter (to make it look as professional as possible) and tag it with #Jamies15MM. And finally, share your masterpiece on Facebook not only for your entire social graph to see that yes you, an average cook has made a delicious Jamie Oliver meal in 15 minutes, but also for your chance to have your attempt featured in above the line advertising, such as these digital 6sheets spotted on the underground. 

This is shareability and validity from your social graph at its best and loads of people are already giving the recipes a go. Interestingly, Jamie has agreed to product placement in his new TV show. Products from Uncle Ben’s and Yeo Valley will both feature in Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals and Uncle Ben’s will also sponsor the show. This is Channel 4’s first product placement deals for a cookery programme and the added extra of celebrity endorsement of Jamie Oliver is sure to provide some interesting results, as he inspires his audience on how to use the particular branded products throughout his series. Similar to Delia and Heston’s partnership with Waitrose, Uncle Ben’s and Yeo valley will be looking to harness the commercial clout of Jamie in the kitchen.