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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

Twitter continuing to experiment

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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.

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.

Best Kanye West songs…

Thought Catalog did a breakdown of Kanye’s top 25 songs ever…one might say I disagree. I’m a huge fan of older Kanye –> College Dropout and Late Registration Kanye – before he went all Yeezus and Kardashian on us. TC says his #1 song ever is Runaway. NO WAY. That barely even cracks the top 25 in my book.

Here is my top 10 with Thought Catalog’s top 10 here

10. All Falls Down
9. Diamonds
8. Slow Jamz
7. Gold Digger
6. Jesus Walks
5. Stronger
4. All of the Lights
3. Good Morning
2. Family Business
1. Touch the Sky

Cole Haan, Pinterest and the FTC

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Don’t pull a ‘Cole Haan” if you’re a social media manager – that’s soon to be a thing. Here is a quick article about how a ‘content’ by Cole Haan was being investigated by the FTC and how that ‘case’ has led to a new standard that Social Managers should adhere to. If you’re having a contest with “substantial financial incentive” you have to let it be known that these people are posting and a “material connection.” Moral of the story (as far as I understand) is that you have to tell consumers “when they’ve been compensated or incentivized to endorse a product.”

One tidbit I continue to wonder about is how does one discover what constitues as “substantial financial incentive” and in turn how to tell the audience of this change.

Digiday Article

Twitter Engagement

Engagements on social are an ever-changing landscape, and in this article, twitter tries to shed some light on how they see engagement on their platform. Here are a couple highlights for fellow social media noobs:

  • Tweets with photos see 35% increase in RT
  • Videos: 28%
  • Quotes: 19%
  • Numbers: 17%
  • Hashtags: 16%

Just goes to show how content within twitter is vital to engagement success.