Month: May 2014

LOST

I wasn’t a Lost junkie for too long and think I only made it through a couple seasons. I stopped watching after there were polar bears and a smoke monster on a deserted island – a bit too much for me.

Apparently, there was some crazy ending with everyone dying, blah blah blah. I never got into the show too much, but here is an interesting article in which the two creators were interviewed and asked some pretty poignant questions.

Tinder for Business Professionals?

Networkr is a new app that is Tinder-esque, but for finding people who you want to network with a-la-LinkedIn. Should be interesting to see 1. if this catches on and 2. how people will utilize it. TInder has turned into a not-so-realistic gamification app, and I imagine that Networkr will want to be a whole lot more serious. I’d also be curious to see what the target demo/user group for the app is too.

TechCrunch article here

Facebook trying to build new Snapchat?

After Facebook’s failed $3 billion bid for Snapchat, it seems as if they’re now working on their own solution. Since SnapChat updated a few weeks ago, I haven’t used any of the new features at all, and I’m not quite sure how many people have used/understand the new features. In any event, rumor has it that Facebook is stirring the pot, led by fearless leader Mark Zuckerberg, trying to create their own version. It will probably be horrible and fail, just like ‘poking’ did.

Check out the recap here

Foursquare & Swarm…what’s the difference?

A little while back, Foursquare announced that it was going to be splitting into another app, Swarm. I downloaded swarm a couple days ago, and honestly don’t see a whole lot of differences. I’ve also been having major bug issues – app won’t load, load bar freezes at about 90% and can’t pick up my location. Not so say that Foursquare has any idea where I am…the app will say I’m 2 miles away from something, when in reality, I’m in the building.

Swarm is supposedly, trying to aggregate your friends to show you who is nearby, what they’re up to, etc. It also shows you what’s happening in your area – regardless of what your friends are up to. Swarm has no “mayor” or labels, and it seems as if Foursquare is doing slowly getting rid of the feature. I know one of the big draws for people using Foursquare is ‘checking in’ places, so it will be interesting to see what happens to the two apps when that is done away with.

Check out the TechCrunch article here

Mercedes-Benz absolutely crushing Instagram

Instagram engagement is light years beyond that of Facebook – with brands seeing around 60% higher engagement on the photo-sharing app versus it’s big brother Facebook. From a brand perspective, Instagram is interesting in the sense that the engagement ends within the app; there is no linking out to external sites, no hyperlinking, etc. Once you like or comment on the post, that’s the “end” of the engagement. Meaning that IG is predominantly an awareness and affinity-building tool. One brand that is 110% winning on Instagram is Mercedes-Benz. Engagement is through the roof and it’s thanks in large part to unique imagery, working with influencers and using proper hashtags.

Piquora did a study in which they said that brands should be using 7 (SEVEN!?!?!?) hashtags in IG post copy to optimize engagement. Disagree somewhat, but Mercedes is staying true to that belief and using 5-8 hashtags per post. They also tap into influencer bloggers and advocates (with proper tagging). And the most winning aspect of all…..cool imagery. Unique photography wins. The ultimate brand on IG for me is NatGeo, for their unique imagery, but MB is fairly close. They do a great job. Check out the article here.

Brand’s continue to see huge Instagram follower growth

Brands love Instagram, users do too, because of super high engagement and the ability to tell stories in a visual manner. Simply Measured just released some stats that said on average, the top 10 brands on IG saw 160% follower growth in the past year. That’s pretty significant growth, while saying nothing about engagement metrics. Just goes to show that IG and visual content is the place to be.

Simply Measured article here

The Future of Photo

There are tons of apps out there that let you filter, edit and touch-up photos. It’s tough to find one that is user friendly, has the features you’re looking for, and is free. One of my favorite photo-editing apps is VSCO, oddly enough Hypebeast just did an interview session with the founders. A really refreshing take on the app industry, with one of the founders saying that the app is, and will continue to be, based around passion. Every day there is a new app that tries to break its way into the user base – especially with Instagram becoming more and more popular for both individuals and brands alike.

Twitter cards

One way in which Twitter tries to help its users (specifically brands) is through cards. Recently there was a release of a new set of cards, which will hopefully allow brands to see higher engagement and a little variety in the Twitter timeline. There is a summary card, summary with large image card, photo card, gallery card, app card, player card, website card and a product card – each one can be seen here. Just another way for you to try to stand out in the feed and for you give some variety to your followers.

Apple buys Beats

beats-pro-9

Massive news for the music and accessories world this morning/last night as Apple gobbled up notified headphone creator Beats. Beats founder Dr. Dre then went on a solid party outing with Tyrese, who posted a video to YouTube, declaring the super producer from Compton a billionaire. Apple chucked up the $3.2 billion price tag, which ironically might also save HTC. HTC owns part of beats and will surely profit in a big way (to the tune of over $1 billion). HTC is strapped for cash so this might help them stay afloat. It’s also interesting to wonder what Apple will do with Beats…is it buying off a potential competitor? Clearing the market for a bigger play? How was this affect iTunes and Beats music platform? Tons of questions, but time will tell. Dr. Dre got paid, though.

Clowney making moves

clowney

The first round of  the 2014 NFL Draft took place a couple days ago, and South Carolina defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney was the top overall pick; he went to the Houston Texans in a not-so-shocking moment. More of note (for me) is that Clowney signed on with PUMA – the third NFL’er to do so, behind Jamaal Charles (RB – Kansas City Chiefs) and Julian Edelman (WR – New England Patriots). PUMA doesn’t have a deal with the NFL, so Clowney and his fellow PUMA guys won’t be wearing cleats on field, but he will certainly rep them in the training/practice space. An interesting move for PUMA as it continues to invest in NFL players (no way Clowney was cheap – and he wore Under Armour in College), while having no direct affiliation with the sport. Will be interesting to see how PUMA utilizes Clowney (it’s biggest NFL name).