Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

YouTube has added new real-time reporting to its analytics dashboard that provides view counts down to the minute for your videos.  The new report is available for channels, groups with less than five videos, and content owners.

 

More changes are coming to Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm. When deciding which posts to show to which users, the social network will now give greater consideration to timeliness and activity-based relevancy. Facebook explains: “There are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game.” Users will now be more likely to see “trending” stories in their News Feed – but only after a “friend” expresses interest in such a story. Early testing showed that this change led to a 6% increase in post engagement.

 

YouTube this week announced that it will begin footing the bill for new videos from some of its top creators. The move is intended to help its homegrown stars produce high-quality content for their millions of fans.  More than 1 billion viewers visit YouTube every month, and daily watch time is growing at 50% annually.

 

Twitter released an internal study this week that found networks and studios that live-tweet during their popular programming can dramatically boost followers and Twitter mentions. Posting from a show’s Twitter handle, like @GameofThrones, increases total Twitter conversations by 7% during television premieres. Having a show’s cast members live-tweet is even better – increasing total tweets by 64%.

Global Social Media

Mobile commerce continues to grow exponentially in Asia. For retail marketers, that means they must develop an effective and transactional mobile presence. China is leading the way when it comes to mobile retail. A whopping 94% of those surveyed own a smartphone and regularly use it to make purchases, redeem coupons, and send gifts.

Noteworthy Campaigns

In the ’90s, Coca-Cola had a “fully-loaded citrus soda with carbos” called Surge. Internally it was developed under the moniker “MDK” or “Mountain Dew Killer.” Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, and the product didn’t last more than a couple of years. But, the soda is making a comeback (a reSURGEnce? Get it? Get it?) thanks to a Facebook campaign called “The Surge Movement,” which has 150,000 followers. Based on the demand, Coca-Cola decided to reinstate the product, selling it exclusively through Amazon at $14 for a twelve-pack (yet another sign that CPG brands are seeking more online sales). Within hours the first batch of Surge sold out.

Headlines & Stuff

Here are some cool things we read about this past week: YouTube Adds Real-Time Analytics  YouTube has added new real-time […]

Culture of Community: Takeaways from Burning Man

Written by: Lindsey Todd
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playaI returned from the Nevada desert a week ago, fresh from my second year of attending the annual Burning Man festival, dust still covering my boots and camping equipment.  Burning Man’s community spirit and the natural beauty of the Black Rock desert, also known as the Playa, never cease to amaze me on what is infinitely possible. As one participant noted, “Burning Man is a reminder of what we are capable of doing when we aren’t so busy with our day-to-day lives, careers, and responsibilities.” It’s a week of community participation, exploration, communication and celebration, with 60,000 of your closest friends.

Here are some of the lessons that will stay with me (hopefully) longer than the playa dust on my tent:

burning-man-2014.petalsCommunity: At Burning Man’s core is the sense of creating community – something from nothing, for one week a year. It’s nearly impossible for one person to bring everything they will need to survive the harsh desert climate – the dust is alkaline, the temperature can range from 40 to 100 degrees. On our first morning, we experienced the temperamental nature of the environment firsthand: a hailstorm.

Commerce is almost entirely non-existent, and participants, or “burners” rely on each other to fill the holes when they need supplies. Standard automobiles are not allowed, instead, participants create “mutant vehicles,” otherwise known as art cars, that act as destinations rather than transportation. One day, an art car broke down in front of our camp. A nearby camp dubbed, “Black Rock Hardware,” had a part they needed, and repaired the car as a gift. Helping those around you and civic responsibility are tenets of this temporary community. Without it, this event could not work.

Get to know the people around you – in the office, in your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to share resources. Know that when in need, you can ask for help, and in turn you are more than willing to lend goods, knowledge, skill, or just plain encouragement. In the process, you’ll likely find out things about people that can help in unexpected ways.

charliecarAwe/Infinite Possibility: The amount of hours, commitment and work that goes into everything created here is impossible to quantify. The awe at seeing it is beyond words. My first night, I hopped on my bike and explored the various art installations – some permanent, some to be burned later in the week, and many several stories high. When I took my first panoramic look at The Playa at night, I was overwhelmed with a sense of amazement and respect at what is possible with dedication, patience and tenacity. From “The Man” himself (the wood sculpture that would culminate in fire days later), to the meticulously crafted Temple, to the Observatory at the far end of the Playa, none of it would be there without dedicated volunteers and participants.

If it is really worth doing, it is worth the effort. With the right minds, hands and hearts, anything is possible. At the same time, it is all temporary. Don’t get too caught up in the end result – continue improving, make it better – every year!

Freedom and Responsibility/Leave no Trace: In the remote desert, many social norms are modified, if not at times disregarded. This can create the perception that Burning Man is a “free for all” – but with freedom comes with responsibility.  The community operates on a principle of “radical self-reliance.” You are ultimately responsible for yourself: your food, water, shelter, and all of your necessities; use what you need, gift what you don’t, and take what’s left back with you. What comes in must ultimately leave, even the greywater you use to wash dishes. You put careful thought into the words “disposable” and “waste” and learn words like “MOOP” (Matter out of place). What is truly remarkable is that everyone participates, it is part of being a socially responsible citizen. It works. No trash and no trash cans. Just pristine desert that is left as it was found.

Take inventory of the items you use and throw away. Reuse what you can. If you see it on the ground, pick it up. Set an example and model a better community.

Gifting: Our camp, the Bubble Lounge, was (blessedly!) very close to the ice statiobubble loungen. Early in the week, in the heat of the day, there were often hundreds of people lined up for something we all normally take for granted.  Helping our fellow burners was always a first thought. We served ice-cold lemonade during the day and “bubbly” at happy hour. Add our bubble machine to the mix and we reveled in turning countless grown up professionals into  children!

I remember feeling disoriented the year before on “Burn night,” the Saturday night of the festival, when they burn the Man. This is when the city is at its peak in terms of population and energy. The rapid change in temperature from the fire, and influx of people, generally triggers a dust storm, which can dramatically reduce visibility. I purchased small compasses on carabiners (made for scouts) and decorated them to give to my camp-mates. They were delighted, and it felt great to give something so meaningful and practical!

This year, the night the Man burned, my boyfriend and I watched from atop the “E” in the LOVE sculpture. It was a challenge to get up there, and there was no getting down without a team effort. We wlove-playaere a mile from our camp. From in front of us, I heard, “People on the E!” I looked up – it was the couple on the “V” – “Would you like a breath mint?” We took two, and thanked them. They let us know to thank the people on the “O,” so we did.  Simple gestures, but welcome and appreciated!

Don’t underestimate how a small token or gift can help in unexpected ways. Embrace the motto, “surprise and delight.”

Immediacy/Participation: As crafters of digital communities, we know that the rate of engagement increases with investment in community. The same holds true in the desert. I found my experience improve greatly the more I participated. I appreciated each gift that helped me survive the often harsh client. And for a week, I abandoned my digital BFF, my trusty smartphone.  I was in my element, with no digital distractions. If I needed something, I had to walk around and ask people for it. All of my connections were face-to-face. It made me realize how much I rely on email and text when face-to-face, or even a phone call, would build a better connection.

Create situations that invite and reward your communities for participation. Invest in human communication. Pick up the phone, or even better, find a time to meet face to face. Spend time connecting, and build more satisfying relationships.

EmbraceI saw friends, new and old, celebrate their love in front of the three story high “Embrace” sculpture. I pondered the universe from Black Rock Observatory and felt my tiny place in it. I enjoyed pancakes and mimosas at “Barbie Death Camp”, danced to mind-blowing performances by artists and toured the Playa with my camp-mates on the “Crisco Disco” art car. I memorialized the year with a photo in “Black Rock Yearbook” and ran into a high school friend, last seen 1500 miles away, giving rides on a modified bike called the “Classy Taxi.”

I returned from my second Burn exhausted and revived at the same time, inspired, and already planning on how I can do “it” better next year, if I’m lucky enough to go again.  In the meantime, I’m maintaining friendship with camp-mates, reliving memories, and focusing on how I can make my own “default world” better with the lessons I’ve learned.

bm2014

Culture of Community: Takeaways from Burning Man

I returned from the Nevada desert a week ago, fresh from my second year of attending the annual Burning Man […]

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook wants to better understand consumer thinking in an effort to serve more relevant ads in the news feed. To that end, the social network will start asking users why they choose to hide an ad as soon as that user does so. Users can select from a variety of reasons including: irrelevant, offensive, spam, too frequent, or “something else.” Taking into account the reasons why an ad was hidden, Facebook said it will show the ad to fewer people.

 

Spotify’s video ads are coming. The music-streaming service will soon roll out its video ad products for marketers, including a mobile product that lets listeners watch a video ad in exchange for a half hour without any further commercial interruption. Spotify will start testing video ads in the fourth quarter with a limited number of brands, and plans to extend them to advertisers in the first quarter of 2015. Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald’s, and Universal Pictures have signed on as the first global buyers. Kraft Foods, Target, and Wells Fargo will be the U.S. only launches.

 

In a question and answer section on Facebook, the company now describes how to set a post you’ve published to expire, a process that allows the message to disappear. The capability is only available on certain posts, currently.  This is Facebook’s attempt yet again to take on Snapchat.

 

This week, Twitter introduced its Buy Now button, a feature that allows users to make purchases directly on Twitter.com and throughout its mobile app.  The company is moving cautiously with the product, which it says will only operate in the U.S. and be seen by a “small percentage” of users. Only 26 nonprofits and musical artists were handpicked to deploy the feature, including country singer Brad Paisley, rap artists Eminem and Wiz Khalifa, and metal band Megadeth (yes, Megadeth).

 

Facebook has reached out to some of Google’s biggest content producers and encouraged them to test distributing their videos on the social network. Facebook’s push reflects a desire to become a bigger competitor in web video and get more content on its site. Right now, content creators use Facebook to promote their programming but prefer people to watch the videos on YouTube and other platforms, where they can make money through ad sales more easily.  Facebook and content creators are discovering how advertising might be incorporated into these videos. It’s likely that some sort of ad product will be rolled out by the end of the year.

 

Global Social Media

China has ordered video-streaming sites to get state approval to run foreign TV shows and films as authorities in the world’s largest Internet market tighten online control. Video sites need to register foreign TV shows and films by the end of March. Starting April 1, unregistered content can’t be shown online. This year, China barred video websites from airing four U.S. TV shows, including “The Good Wife” and “The Big Bang Theory.” The country plans to cap the amount of foreign TV programs allowed on the sites at 30%.

Noteworthy Campaigns

During New York Fashion Week, Adidas showcased their new Fall/Winter 2014 collection dubbed #NeoRunway. The event, which was the world’s first tweet-powered fashion show, was created entirely by teens.  Teens had the power to decide everything from music, lighting, and the set design to styling the fresh new looks of the models walking down the catwalk. Teens participated in the show using the in-card voting mechanic from Twitter to choose between options. NEOLovers voted for two weeks prior to the show to decide what clothing, hairstyles, and makeup the models should wear. Participants could vote right up to the last seconds of the show. In addition, a team of young bloggers were on-site, bringing the show to life across social media channels.

Headlines & Stuff

Here are some cool things we read about this past week: Facebook to Ask Why People Don’t Like Ads Facebook […]

The Marketing Arm Digital – September 2014 Newsletter

Written by: Larry Weintraub
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We published our monthly newsletter! Check it out below, and to see it in all its glory with working links, click HERE.

Sept-Newsletter.2014

The Marketing Arm Digital – September 2014 Newsletter

We published our monthly newsletter! Check it out below, and to see it in all its glory with working links, […]

How To Make Trends and Influence People

Written by: Eric Fransen
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One of the proverbial Holy Grails of social marketing has been to get your brand to trend on Twitter. It signifies scale and social value of your brand, it’s easy to explain, and not everyone can do it. Or can they?

First, let’s begin with some definitions.

What does it mean to trend on Twitter?
It means appearing in the top trends box on Twitter’s home page and mobile app. The trends are tracked and viewable at a global, national and city level.

What are trending topics?
Trending topics represent what people are talking about the most at a given time. But it’s not just a traditional word cloud, tracking individual words — rather, Twitter uses an algorithm to identify the larger conversations related to topics and distill them down to hashtags and keywords. By clicking a trending topic, you can see all related tweets, profiles, and headlines.

How does something become a trending topic?
The most certain way to trend on Twitter is to pay for it using Twitter’s Promoted Trends product. These opportunities are offered once per day at a fixed rate — typically $100,000 – $200,000 for 24 hours. While this is a surefire way to get your brand in front of the massive Twitter audience, what we’re discussing today is how to do it the old fashioned way: organically.

There are a few things to note about organically trending topics. 
First, there’s no telling how long or short their time to trend is going to be. I’ve seen trends last less than 20 minutes and up to a majority of the day. It really comes down to the size and nature of the audience that’s engaging — that is, fans of One Direction and Justin Bieber are incredibly passionate and show up in the millions to create organically trending topics quite frequently.

Second, a big part of the algorithm that causes content to trend is based on two things: frequency and volume over time. That is, the more people are tweeting about a given topic in a shorter amount of time, the more likely that content is to trend. This is why you see topics related to live television like sports and The Voice trending — the viewership is so massive and active on social media that, at any given time, thousands upon thousands of conversations are occurring about these cultural events.

So, what does this mean for me and my brand?
When it comes to trending topics, there’s a lot to do with chance — right content, right time — but there’s an equally important part that can be affected with the right strategy to put your best foot forward. Here are a couple thought starters that should get you on your way to your first trending topic.

1) Live Events
What better way to replicate the momentum achieved by a live television or sports event than to create one of your own? I’m not saying you need to produce a television show or host the next Dodger game. Quite the opposite, in fact. You can create an online event targeting a smaller but passionate audience. The most common example of such an event is a Twitter Party — an event hosted by a popular Twitter personality, centered around a hashtag, and designed to get their audience talking about a topic. Another type of live event that I have personally seen success with is a live trivia event. Working with a gaming client, we devised a program that offered up high value prizes to the first Twitter follower to answer each of a series of increasingly difficult trivia questions using a designated hashtag. We hosted a similar event for four weeks and organically trended three of the four times.

2) Mass Appeal
Don’t have the means to make an event of your own? You can try appealing to the masses with something that holds a universal truth or can be entertaining to everyone. A program I created for the same gaming client was designed to tap into the passion around nostalgia for a particular franchise and the result was the topic trended within the first 10 minutes of publishing the original tweet. It comes down to understanding your audience and their motivations. What are they passionate about at scale?

How To Make Trends and Influence People

One of the proverbial Holy Grails of social marketing has been to get your brand to trend on Twitter. It […]

Google’s Updated Search Algorithm Puts Greater Onus on Social Content Marketing

Written by: Eric Fransen
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What’s changed?
Google recently announced significant changes to their legacy algorithms — Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin, which impact 90% of the world’s searches — that took the war against spam links and black hat SEO to new heights. At its core, the change is putting a much greater emphasis on content relevance and quality by stripping out bad searches (keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and hyperlink manipulation) and clearing the lane for the good stuff.

So what does this mean for digital marketers and brands?
The bottom line is this: great, relevant content will prevail over all else. No longer will marketers and SEOs be able to stack the deck to artificially inflate the presence of bad and/or irrelevant content. If the ever-increasing demand for original, quality content wasn’t already apparent — this is your wake up call.

The good news in all of this is, if you’re already creating engaging, high quality content for your marketing campaigns, this is some of the best news you’ll hear all year. With the clutter out of the way, your content stands that much greater of a chance of being discovered by your intended audience.

As a brand or agency, there has never been a more important time to focus on the creation of original content in real time. By reacting to global events and trends quickly in an authentic manner, you’ll not only ensure your content is original and fresh, but you’ll be poising your content (and brand) for discovery. And the changes to Google’s algorithm have cleared the lane of clutter to make a clearer path to the top of the search engine results pages.

Google’s Updated Search Algorithm Puts Greater Onus on Social Content Marketing

What’s changed? Google recently announced significant changes to their legacy algorithms — Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin, which impact 90% of […]

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Pinterest this week launched its first global business tool in 31 languages that analyzes pinning behavior in profiles and boards. The platform will allow users to search and find specific metrics on profiles, common interests, impressions, highest-performing pins generating social actions, and more. The company’s analytics team worked with “sets” of translators to support local users worldwide.

 

Instagram has launched a new mobile video app featuring tools like tracking shots and time-lapse shooting. The new Hyperlapse app features stabilization technology for creating smooth time-lapse videos, even while in motion.

 

Amazon is taking direct aim at YouTube as the e-commerce giant acquires video-streaming service Twitch for $970 million in cash. YouTube had reportedly been in talks to buy Twitch, whose ad-supported service lets people stream live video of their video game play.

 

Advertisers can now target their Facebook ads based on how strong someone’s phone signal is when they visit the social network. That means advertisers can limit data-heavy ads like video to people with 4G connections and run light-bandwidth text ads for those on 2G connections.  In other Facebook ad news – the company recently expanded event ads to mobile and desktop newsfeed.

 

Twitter recently rolled out an updated analytics dashboard to marketers and verified users. It is now making these same analytics available to all users.  The dashboard lets users see how many impressions each tweet has received, the number of favorites, how many times users have clicked on their profiles, and the number of retweet and @replies.  In other Twitter news, the company has launched a training program for agencies called Flight School, which aims to familiarize marketers and advertisers with the service and help them keep abreast of new features.

 

Global Social Media

Nearly 86%  of Australian mobile customers plan to engage in mobile commerce in the next 12 months, an increase of 11%  over 2013. The rapid growth in smartphone adoption in Australia is creating a new wave of consumer behavior that is changing the mobile landscape. The average Australian mobile user consumes 6.7 hours of media per day, with mobile almost surpassing television in terms of time spent.  Around 55% of mobile web customers now use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of going online, an increase from 40% in 2013.  Also noteworthy – around 55% of mobile users in Australia are now as comfortable with mobile advertising as they are with television or online advertising.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Leveraging Instagram “likes” for dollars,  Nordstrom and Target have launched Like2Buy platforms that look like Instagram and act like Instagram, but link photos directly to product pages on the retailer’s site to initiate a purchase. Instagram has 200 million engaged users who share roughly 60 million photos daily. Curalate, the company that built Like2Buy, and other social platforms are trying to comb through this data to present brands with social engagement metrics that can be interpreted into real-life sales leads.

Headlines & Stuff

Here are some cool things we read about this past week: Pinterest Launches Global Analytics Platform in 31 Languages Pinterest […]

Instagram = Engagement…For Now

A lot of industry attention has been directed at the recent Facebook shift to reach and frequency and the relevance […]

New Instagram Business Tools

Written by: Tom Edwards
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Instagram recently announced they are taking major steps to enable brands by providing greater insight into the performance of both organic and paid content. These tools are a welcome addition to the highly visual platform and will create tighter alignment with business goals as it pertains to tracking impressions, reach and engagement.

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 4.35.56 PM

The tools are built around three primary areas of account insights, ad insights and ad staging.

Account Insights – Account insights is the primary dashboard for mapping performance and engagement of organic content. This includes insights around the weekly performance of content, aggregate impressions over time as well as additional insight into the brands audience.

Here is a screenshot from the Instagram Blog highlighting account insights

Instagram Business Tools

Ad Insights – Ad Insights is the campaign performance hub for Instagram paid media that houses brand analytics (impressions, reach and frequency). Instagram, similar to parent company Facebook, are heavily focused on reach and frequency vs. engagement as a primary value proposition for brands. The Ad Insights dashboard is a quick and easy reference against the current campaign goals and all of the data can easily be exported for additional client reporting.

Q3 brand campaign

Ad Staging – One of the more exciting tools, especially for Social Agencies that partner with Media agencies on behalf of their brands, is the Ad Staging option. This tool will allow cross functional teams to collaborate together to preview, save, and collaborate on ad creative.

These tools will be made available to all Instagram advertisers and will enable tighter campaign integration as well as invaluable data around how the brands target is engaging and interacting with both organic and paid content. Building recommendations on a strong data foundation is a key to maximizing the impact of a visual content strategy.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

New Instagram Business Tools

Instagram recently announced they are taking major steps to enable brands by providing greater insight into the performance of both […]

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Uber Extends Ride Service to Other Apps
Want an Uber rider to go with that grande latte? Through the Starbucks app – and a small group of other third-party apps — people can now request a car without having to download the Uber app. The new feature comes as a result of the ride-sharing company releasing an API that lets developers add Uber features to their apps. Besides Starbucks, other initial partners include Expensify, Hinge, Hyatt, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, and United Airlines.

News and Ads to Debut on Snapchat
Snapchat has held talks with advertisers and media companies in recent weeks about a service called Snapchat Discovery that would show content and ads to Snapchat users.  According to sources, this new service is set to debut in November.  At least a dozen media companies, including newspapers, magazines, and television networks, are said to be on board. The product would let users read daily editions of publications, as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen (like they do with regular messages on the platform).

Google is Planning to Offer Accounts to Kids Under 13
Google plans to offer accounts to children under 13 for the first time. Accounts on Google services like Gmail and YouTube are not officially offered to children currently, but Google is hoping to establish a new system that lets parents set up accounts for their kids and control their usage.

Twitter Timeline Changes
Twitter recently began adding tweets to your timeline that have been favorited by people you follow. The decision is a controversial one, but it looks like it’s here to stay. Twitter has now officially changed its definition of your home timeline to note that it will add content that it thinks you will want to see.

Instagram Launches Analytics Tools
Starting this week, Instagram will begin letting some marketers check out how their posts are performing in real-time, including more detailed measurements, accompanied by a new tool to collaborate on creative with Instagram’s team. The new tools will initially only be available to current and previous Instagram advertisers, but they will be extended to more advertisers later this year.

Vine Adds Mobile Features
Vine is now letting users upload video via their mobile devices, while making it easier to actually capture and edit video. People can now dip into their camera rolls and use existing videos they’ve recorded for Vines. Vine says more than 100 million people now watch video on its platform every month. Loops play more than a billion times every day.

Global Social Media

In Mexico, Internet Users are Young, Use Mobile Devices, and Like Facebook
Three factors stand out in a study and analysis of Internet use in Mexico: young people are the most active users, the device of choice is mobile, and the most popular destinations are social networks. The study by comScore found that one of every four Internet pages was viewed in Mexico on a smartphone or tablet, and that the country had the second largest Internet audience in Latin America. (Brazil is first.)  Mexico also has the highest mobile penetration in the region, with Android being the most common OS.  Also, social media has the highest reach in Mexico. At 98.3% it beats every other country, whereas the global average is 85.4%.  The top five social media sites include Facebook, YouTube, Taringa, Slideshare, and Twitter.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Newcastle Asks for Fan Photos, Which It Promises to Photoshop Poorly Into Terrible Ads
Newcastle just launched a new hashtag campaign #NewcastleAdAid, in which it’s asking for fan snapshots  — and promises to use the wonders of Photoshop to turn them into really shoddy-looking ads.  The brand claims that it must use low-cost, user-generated content because it blew its marketing budget on celebs for their Super Bowl and Fourth of July campaigns.  Check out the campaign video here.

Greenpeace Targets Amazon and Twitter in an Effort to Clean Up the Web
Greenpeace has launched a new online video campaign featuring Reggie Watts to pressure tech players including Amazon and Twitter to get more of their energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power.  The ClickClean campaign follows an April report from Greenpeace that found little progress from Amazon and Twitter toward using renewable energy to power their data centers.  The initiative, which will include paid social media ads, aims to be humorous and positive, though it is a step toward further escalation — including boycotts and protests by the group. Check out the video here.

Headlines & Stuff

Here are some cool things we read about this past week: Uber Extends Ride Service to Other Apps Want an […]