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At this year’s SXSW Interactive conference, Google’s Timothy Jordan delivered a demonstration on a first look at Google Glass and its supporting Mirror API. In addition, Google showed attendees how it is working with early partners to write dedicated apps for the new device. Path, Evernote and The New York Times have all created a range of “mini-apps” to work with Google Glass.

The New York Times app, for example, shows top story headlines and then lets you listen to the full article by telling Glass to “read aloud”. Google’s own Gmail app has also been ported over to Glass and uses voice recognition to answer emails, as well as a visual indicator of who is sending you email. Along with Gmail, Google+ is also built directly into the Glass experience as a platform for sharing. However, Google’s Jordan stated that developers would be able to add their own sharing options. Glass also features Google’s text to speech technology, a camera for taking pictures and recording video and also voice recognition software built directly into the hardware.

Glass works by connecting to Google’s Cloud servers with a dedicated app, which pulls and pushes data to Glass through Google’s new APIs. All of this data is then presented on Glass through what Google calls “Timeline Cards.” Timeline cards can include text, images, video and rich HTML. Besides single cards, Google has also developed a new concept which it has named ‘bundles’. Bundles are a set of cards that users can navigate using the mini touchpad on the side of glass, or using their own voice to navigate the menus.

As Glass is a new form factor, Google is pushing a new set of rules to make the user experience enjoyable and uncluttered. For example, for a news app, users would not expect to see full news stories; rather the key headline would be pushed in front of a relevant picture from the story. Google’s doesn’t want to make Glass distracting for the user.

There is no confirmed availability of Google Glass, but you can see a full action demo below:

 

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Late last, night just as I was heading to bed I received an email from Twitter asking me to reset my password. At first, I thought it might be a spam or spoofed email. But, confirmation of the compromise came when I checked Techmeme.

Twitter has also released a blog confirming that they have been compromised.

This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users.

As a precautionary security measure, we have reset passwords and revoked session tokens for these accounts. If your account was one of them, you will have recently received (or will shortly) an email from us at the address associated with your Twitter account notifying you that you will need to create a new password. Your old password will not work when you try to log in to Twitter.

The final paragraph was the one that really concerned me

This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked. For that reason we felt that it was important to publicize this attack while we still gather information, and we are helping government and federal law enforcement in their effort to find and prosecute these attackers to make the Internet safer for all users.

So, if you have received an email today from Twitter, please ensure you change your password immediately. You may also want to check your spam folder, just in case the Twitter password reset email is lurking there!

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  • Gen Zers are the most social-savvy generation. The social lives of this group of young adults are intertwined with social media. Not only do 84% of US online Gen Zers have a Facebook account, but they also have the largest social networks — with an average of 306 Facebook friends.
  • Gen Yers lead in technology adoption and usage. Gen Yers own the most connected devices: More than seven in 10 have a smartphone, and a quarter own a tablet.
  • Gen Xers are big spenders. The more than 46 million US consumers in this age group represent a truly high-value audience for companies. They have the highest average household income and spend the most money online of all age groups.
  • Boomers are catching up with younger generations. Making up more than a third of the US adult online population, Boomers are a key audience that marketers focus on. That’s why it’s exciting to see that, over time, they are becoming more comfortable adopting new technologies. For example, their adoption of tablets has more than doubled since 2011 — expanding from 6% to 14%.
  • The Golden Generation still lags behind. Consistent with 2011 findings, the Golden Generation sticks to “old” technologies: It is the generation most likely to own a desktop computer, and its members lag behind on ownership of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and many other devices.

79% of Americans who are online, more are accessing the Internet daily and for longer periods and interacting with brands more, according to Forrester.

Some 45% of people on social networks say they have interacted with a brand through social media over the previous three months. However, just 7% say they’ve followed a brand on Twitter and 7% say they’ve posted feedback on a company’s social networking profile.

Forrester’s Research, polled 58,068 US and 5,635 Canadian adults ages 18 to 88 in April and May.

“Gen Z” (consumers aged 18 to 23) on social networks, 56% have “Liked,” followed, or become a fan of a brand, product, or company, up from 41% in 2011. However, only only 3% of that group have spent any money on a social networking site during a recent visit.

However, members of the “Golden Generation” (consumers 68 and up) on social networks “Like” an average of three brands on Facebook. The average social networker “Likes” an average of nine brands.

Tablet adoption has more than doubled since 2011, for instance and the younger the consumer, the more likely he or she is to be online and engaging in social networks. The study notes that “with 71% of US online adults accessing social networking sites at least monthly, social media is also a normal part of everyday life.”

Research via Forrester

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Techcrunch reports that approximately 126 million mobile MAUs accessed Facebook solely through mobile apps or on Facebook’s mobile website during the month ended September 30, 2012, increasing 24% from 102 million during the month ended June 30, 2012. This confirms that the mobile use trends are growing, as Facebook saw a 23% increase in mobile only users from 83 million in March to 102 million in June.

Developing Markets

Increased mobile browsing does not necessarily prove that users are browsing Facebook less on traditional desktop or computers. Rather, it is likely that there are more users in developing markets such as Brazil and India are using feature phones more to connect to Facebook. Facebook’s key emerging markets kept growing fast in Q3. Brazil’s monthly active users (MAU) hit 61 million, up 13% from 54 million at the end of June, and up 109% year-over-year. India hit 65 million MAU, up 8.5% from 59 million at the end of Q2, and up 62% since September 30th, 2011. Sadly,  for Facebook, growth in both those markets is slowing, as Brazil grew 146% and India grew 84% from June 30th 2011 to June 2012. Some good news is that Japan grew to 18 million MAU, up 218% year-over-year. US Growth Just 1.71%

Mature Markets

Facebook reports that they had 171 million MAUs in the United States as of September 30, 2012, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2011, and an increase of 1.71% from 168 million as of June 30th.

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Pew’s recent research shows that half of all adult cell phone owners in the US, now include their mobile devices into their television watching experiences. Television viewing is being supplemented by multi-screen interactivity. Half of all adult cell owners (52%) have used their phones recently for engagement, diversion, or interaction with other people while watching TV. Pew’s Research measured the importance of these multi-screen viewing experiences by asking the 88% of adults who are cell owners, whether they had used their phone to engage in several different activities while watching television. The findings are as follows:

  • 38% of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching
  • 23% used their phone to exchange text messages with someone else who was watching the same program in a different location
  • 22% used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true
  • 20% used their phone to visit a website that was mentioned on television
  • 11% used their phone to see what other people were saying online about a program they were watching, and 11% posted their own comments online about a program they were watching using their mobile phone
  • 6% used their phone to vote for a reality show contestant

Taken together, 52% of all cell owners are “connected viewers”—meaning they use their phones while watching television for at least one of these reasons.

Smartphone owners use their devices to interact with televised content at far higher rates than owners of more basic cell phones. Fully 74% of smartphone owners reported using their devices in one way or another while watching television in the preceding 30 days, compared with 27% of non-smartphone owners.

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Download Pew’s complete report here

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Pew Internet surveyed 1,005 adults (aged 18+) during August 2012 and discovered that photos and videos have become key social currencies online.

  • 46% of adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created (Creators).
  • 41% of adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people (Curators).

Pew’s creator group is made up of those who have shared photos that they have taken themselves (45% of internet users) and those who have shared videos they have created themselves (18% of internet users).

The curator group is made up of those who have taken photos they found online and posted them on a site that is used for sharing images with others (35% of internet users) and those who have taken videos they found online and posted them on a video-sharing site that is used for sharing videos with others (25% of internet users).

The proliferation of smartphones, and online sharing apps have created a boom for users who wish you share their real world experiences online. Today, photo sharing websites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr and their respective smartphone app versions, make sharing phones easy and a frictionless experience.

The continued growth of Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr

Of Pew’s sample size, they additionally found:

  • 12% of online adults say they use Pinterest, the popular social photo sharing site. Nearly a fifth of online women (19%) actively use Pinterest daily.
  • 12% of online adults say they use Instagram, a popular photo sharing site used by young adults. Some 27% of the internet users aged between 18-29 actively use Instagram.
  • 5% of online adults say they use Tumblr. 11% of young adults use this social blogging service.

The web has indeed become a more richer and colourful experience and marketers who able to find ways to connect to these trends will gain competitive advantages over those that still insist that apps such as Instagram are a passing fad. Women are more likely than men to use Pinterest, while Instagram and Tumblr attract equal shares of men and women

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It has now been nearly been a month since Ogilvy reported that Facebook had made big changes to the way their EdgeRank algorithm worked.  Since then, discussions with fellow Facebook Page admins and media blog posts have all reported that they have seen a sharp decline in their organic reach since September 20th.

Since the introduction of Timeline back in April, many brands have seen their reach decrease naturally decline, as more pages and more users create content. This has an effect on what is seen on News Feed. The more user content that is pushed to the news feed, the less opportunity that your brand content will be seen by people who have liked your page.

Is this a cunning ploy by Facebook to generate more advertising revenue from brands? Or, is this a justifiable change to reflect the ever increasing number of pages and users who fan those pages?

Facebook themselves have been very quiet about the recent changes. However, a Facebook rep recently confirmed the following:

· We’re continually optimizing newsfeed to ensure the most relevant experience for our users

· One of the key factors in our optimization is engagement: the amount of clicks, likes, comments, shares etc. generated by a piece of content

· While overall engagement should remain relatively consistent as a result of our most recent optimization, your organic reach may be impacted

· The more engaging your content, the lower the impact this optimization should have on your reach going forward

· Feed is optimized to show users the posts they are most likely to engage with, where engagement is defined as clicking, liking, commenting, or sharing the post – or in the case of offers, claiming the offer.

· Posts that are more likely to be engaging tend to appear higher in feed. Some of the strongest factors that influence this are how engaging an individual post has been for other users who have seen it, and how engaged a user has historically been with other posts they’ve seen from that page. Feed also takes negative feedback into account, which is the number of people who have hidden a post or reported it as spam.

· Finally, if a page has a piece of content that it feels will be very engaging e.g. A good offer, a great photo, an announcement, etc. then using paid media to “boost” that post to fans in newsfeed can be an effective tool to increase engagement with fans

Before September 20th, all fans were created equal. However, with user numbers beyond the 1 billion mark, Facebook has decided that fans are no longer equal on your brand pages. Some fans are more likely to engage with your content than others and EdgeRank has always reflected that. However, the algorithms have been “turbo charged” more than ever before to reflect what really makes for engaging content.

How does this play out in the real world? Well, EdgeRank Checker did some tests of their own and found the following insight:

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The typical Facebook Page in their data set was experiencing 26% Organic Reach the week before the September 20th. The week after the 20th, these same Pages were experiencing 19.5%. These Pages lost approximately 6.5% of their Reach since the changes.

A reduction in organic reach, and evidence from Facebook that reach drives revenue for online brand marketers, suggests that in order to increase reach, brands will need to consider advertising as one lever of getting a brand message out there. However, it is important to remember that only the most engaging posts will react better. Sponsoring a bad post, will not give it more reach.

Brands are encouraged to experiment more with their content strategies, to understand what resonates better with their fans. Producing better, more engaging content that is “social by design”. In other words, content that people naturally want to comment on and share on will more likely make it to News Feed for longer.

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New research findings from a Nielsen online survey of respondents from 56 countries around the world provide insight into digital influences on grocery shopping behaviour. In the graphic above, trends show that consumers are using social media to help purchase decisions often through recommendations from friends or online reviews..

Nielson reports that one-third of the world’s population is online, an increase of 528 percent over the past 10 years. While Internet penetration rates vary by geographic region; North America (79%), Australia/Oceania (68%), Europe (61%), Latin America (40%), Middle East (36%), Asia (26%) and Africa (14%), they continue to climb steadily—especially in the developing countries of the world.

Connected devices, such as computers, mobile phones and tablets have become a way of life for many, but shoppers are digitally engaged to varying degrees depending on the products they buy. Nielsen examines how shoppers use connected devices (computers, mobile phones and tablets) to aid in their household grocery shopping.

Digital’s influence on grocery shopping is on the rise

  • Online shopping intentions for food and beverage categories
    increased 44% in two years
  • 6-in-10 global respondents used the Internet for grocery shopping research
  • Nearly half (49%)of respondents purchased a product online
  • Globally, 46% used social media to help make purchase decisions
  • 37% purchased from online-only stores most frequently

The influence of social media on purchase decisions is growing across all regions, albeit at varying levels. Globally, 46 percent of respondents said they used social media outlets to help make purchase decisions, a rise of three percentage points from 2010. North Americans were the least reliant on social media at 21 percent, but have increased their dependency by seven points. Asia-Pacific respondents were the most active social media users to aid purchase decisions at 63 percent, an increase from 60 percent two years ago.

Middle Eastern/African respondents increased their dependency on social media the most, rising 10 percentage points to 50 percent in 2011. Forty-four percent of Latin American respondents and 32 percent of European online users relied on social media to help make purchase decisions, an increase of five and two points, respectively.

Social media is levelling the playing field among the competition, allowing smaller brands to compete.  Marketers and brands need to focus and drive  satisfied customers to use online ratings and reviews to share positive experiences, but it is a two-way communication conversation and marketers must engage in active dialogue in keep customers engaged.

Shopper marketing tactics are changing and there are several ways to grow positive engagement levels. Whether customizing the message for the shopper, more narrowly segmenting shoppers, or delivering more ‘authentic’ messages in brand communications, savvy digital strategies must help personalize and integrate value-added content to improve the user experience. First, focus on the right shopper. Not everyone is going to use digital. Nielsen research finds that one-of-four shoppers are considered ‘Trendsetters’.

These are generally shoppers that love to keep ahead, try new things and tell others about them. They are typically younger compared to other segments, have children in the household and are a bit more affluent compared to the general population. Second, engage shoppers with the right message. ‘Trendsetters’ tend to be more digitally engaged, but that is still dependent on what they are buying.

Determine what activities are important to core shoppers and customize the offering. If shoppers are more dealcentric, provide coupon promotions. Third, connect with shoppers via the right medium. An increasingly complex landscape provides consumers with a wide array of choices. Marketers need to focus on the medium that provides the best return on investment. Think about product usage and devise strategies that speak to the needs of consumers.

Pair mobility with need and create apps that, for example, make it easier to create a shopping list, refill prescriptions or navigate a store. Whether the platform is online, mobile, social or in-store, prioritise the medium based on the impact it drives and the feasibility of deploying it.

 

Read and download Nielson’s full report below:

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Photo by Janet E Davis

At this year’s Thinking Digital conference, I had the pleasure of being part of a panel to discuss “What’s trending in social media?”. As you can imagine this not an easy task but fortunately I was in good company. The panel was chaired by Katie Moffat and the rest of the panel featured Christian Payne, Stephen Waddington, Will McInnes and myself.

This session looked at the new ways organisations are using social tools, emerging social platforms and a wider look at where social is heading. I’ve included a Storify feed of the discussion below.


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Mashable has a great infographic looking at the types of people who are scanning QR codes. You can read the infographic below in detail to learn more about who are scanning then, what devices people use to do it, and which brands are running QR code campaigns.

You can scan every QR code below to get more information too, how very cool

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