Author: Ben Verrill

Slingshot hits the App store

A couple days late here, but still post worthy. I downloaded Slingshot and deleted it after the first usage, wasn’t impressed with Facebook’s attempt at competing with SnapChat. I get what they’re trying to do – get people to stay in the app and have a constant flow of exchanging messages. That being said I think the concept is horrible. Are we so compulsive to open messages we receive, that we are willing to send a blind message/image to a friend. For instance, I start a conversation with a friend with an image about my dinner. I send a picture of my food to my friend who has to reply with a message before he/she can respond. So let’s say they respond with a picture of a funny face or their car – simply because they have no idea what the conversation is about. It’s pretty much having two conversations at the same time – pointless in my opinion. That being said, I’m going to keep an eye out on other’s experiences and if it actually catches on…just like the ‘poke’ did!!

Check out the Verge article here

Engagement on Facebook continues to drop

All social folks know how Facebook is…pay to get your content seen, or (more than likely) don’t get seen at all. A recent report from Contently reveals just how much brands are struggling with engagement, despite posting more. Sure, there is a happy medium between number of posts pushed out and pieces of engagement, but one would think there would be a linear relationship between the two – Facebook is giving exactly the opposite. More posts, mean lower engagements. Check out the report here.

Snapchat adds ‘My story’

As SnapChat tries to stay relevant, they’re gone through a number of updates, each with middling success. Private messaging is not something that people are really looking for in the app, so SnapChat went with another update – ‘Our Story.’ The component in the app opened in conjunction with Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) and aimed to get people to submit their images and videos to this stream – a public stream. I think the overarching goal was to give those who weren’t there, a “live” experience. ‘Our Story’ was released in collaboration with world-renowned DJ, Tiesto, and while I think it’s a great idea – to bring different perspectives together – I’m sure there will br growing pains.

In addition, SnapChat was rumored to be giving people access to free WiFi at EDC, as long as you used the app as well as the EDC App…the problem was that no one could connect! SnapChat’s trying to be too ambitious, but they have the right idea – service/reception sucks at festivals, and they tried to remedy that. B+ for effort, D- for execution.

SnapChat reveals branded filters

There are a few brands on SnapChat – Taco Bell, New Orleans Saints, GrubHub, etc. – to name a few, and even fewer that do it well. Brands are having a difficult time figuring out what the role of SnapChat can be; and in turn, are steering clear of using the app altogether. However, SnapChat is now working with bands on creating custom filters. VICE was one of the first brands to jump on this – having their logo in the top corner of their story. Seems like an easy way for brands to get into SnapChat, but yet to be seen what the impact is. Sample image here

Twitter continuing to experiment

twittersketch-300x225
Twitter recently revealed a couple of experiments to the platform that are viewed by some as minor, but what I view as pretty cool alterations.

First, Burberry pushed out a twitter card that doubled as a calendar invite to one of its fashion events. It’ll be interesting to see what other brands (product-based) will do with this feature. Check it out here.

Secondly, there is a pretty cool change to how people can comment on retweets – twitter announced that people who wanted to do a quotable RT could do so, but the original tweet would be in image form, allowing the user to use more characters towards commenting on the tweet. Before, people were running into the issue of having to RT the original, while also commenting, and staying within the 140 character count. Check out the Mashable review here.

World Cup ref who is worth $10 mil

Pretty awesome story about Swedish referee, Jonas Eriksson, who sold his stake in a media company, making out with $10mil in the process. Even better is that once he made his fortune, he decided to follow his passion and pick up a new hobby – refereeing soccer. He is making his debut at the World Cup and is probably the last guy you would ever accuse of fixing a match, based upon his fortune. His move away from the business world is a shining example of how you should always follow your passion(s). Sure, not all of us have that opportunity to put $10mil in the bank and pursue our passions, but we can do so to a lesser degree.

YouTube to buy Twitch for $1 bil

I’m not a Twitch guy…don’t really understand the appeal, but there are tons and tons of people who watch it and play it. Personally, I see no reason to participate, but apparently YouTube see’s something in it. YT is rumored to be buying twitch for $1 bil – will be cool to see what they do with twitch and it’s user base.

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