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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Making big news in the past couple of weeks in the Wearable Tech space is that Nike has laid off all of its FuelBand team. Everyone. That’s a pretty big play considering how much Nike pushed the product and created a 2.0 version less than a year ago. Rumor on the street is that Nike is focusing all of its wearable efforts on a collab with iWatch – yet another Apple product to incorporate Nike. Should be interesting how that plays out and what the shift means for the wearable tech space (which no one has quite figured out yet).
Verge story here
This kid is about 357x smarter than I am. He took a bunch of junk and turned it into a FM radio transmitter. He wants to make a solar-powered electrical system to provide heat/electricity to his community. The kid got a three-week grant to work at MIT, work with tools, trinkets and some fellow geniuses – a really inspiring story. The video is 10 minutes long, but is super inspiring. He’s also 15 years old…