Category Archives: Things That Make You Go Hmm…

Things That Make You Go Hmm…

Why Google Has the Best Shot at Making the Killer Smartwatch

Written by: Larry Weintraub
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Saw this on Wired and had to share.  I’m only massively enamored with “wearable tech.” First watch the video, then read the article. I think you’ll want this too!

Why Google Has the Best Shot at Making the Killer Smartwatch

Last week, Google unveiled its vision of the smartwatch, the elusive Next Big Gadget. It takes the form of Android Wear, a new version of the mobile operating system designed specifically for on-the-body devices. It’s a good deal more sophisticated than the smartwatches we’ve seen hitherto, relying on the company’s unparalleled voice recognition for registering simple commands and promising to serve up the “info and suggestions you need, right when you need them” thanks to the same predictive, personalized algorithms that power Google Now on Android phones.

Amidst speculation that Apple’s long-fabled iWatch might in fact be a health-specific wristband, Android Wear is clearly aiming for something much bigger. And that makes sense. If there’s any company today that has a chance to make the multipurpose smartwatch we’ve all been dreaming of, it’s Google. But it’s not just heaps of data and algorithmic might that make Android Wear promising. It’s also Google’s approach to the endeavor–its willingness to let third-party developers deeper into the stack and, potentially, to let users define the experience for themselves–that could help make it a hit.

Context Is King

Context is the holy grail of wearable devices. With the limited real estate of a watch face, knowing what app, service, prompt or data point a person needs at a specific moment becomes paramount. The shiny promotional videos Google released this week show how context plays out in Android Wear in a number of situations. On the bus, your smartwatch might show you the next few stops; if there’s a meeting coming up, it’ll remind you who it’s with, and offer directions for how to get there. The video suggests a few less obvious use cases, too. If your Android Wear watch feels itself shaking around and its microphone hears music, it might figure out that you’re dancing, and tell you what song’s playing.

But context isn’t just about using sensors to intuit your environment and activity. It’s also about tying your scattered digital existence to your actual, physical self. It’s about looking at your calendar, your inbox, and your contacts in concert, cross-referencing them, and coming away with a more human understanding of your schedule, your to-do list, and your circle of friends. When it was released in 2004, Gmail did away with the hassle of organizing email by letting you search through your inbox. At its best, a contextually-savvy operating system like Android Wear takes the next step, doing away the hassle of search by surfacing the stuff you need automatically when you need it.

It’s this second, more intimate type of context that Google is so uniquely poised to conquer, according to Nick de la Mare, principal of design consultancy Big Tomorrow. De la Mare, who worked extensively on wearable projects as Executive Creator Director at Frog, sees Android Wear signaling a move to contextually-driven simplicity over the “maximalist,” computer-on-your-wrist approach of watches like the Galaxy Gear.

“There are very few companies that have that repository of data to provide that simplicity,” de la Mare says. “Google is one of the only organizations that can take the management away from you and provide something meaningful.”

Revisiting Our Assumptions About Apps

Image: GoogleContextual awareness is the key to a functionally robust smartwatch. What will make one truly useful, however, is how easy it is to use. The metric for success is simple: for a smartwatch to make sense, it has to let you do things more quickly than you could by pulling your smartphone out of your pocket.

This is where a lightweight user interface is key, and it seems like Google’s got a promising foundation, mixing concise, swipe-able cards with optional voice commands. From one perspective, it’s the logical continuation of the card-based UI that took root with Google Now. From a different viewpoint, however, it’s something considerably more radical: a reinvention of mobile apps as we know them.

The Android Wear UI is based on two core functions: “suggest” and “demand.” Suggest is the term Google uses for all the notification cards that make up the watch’s “context stream.” These could include urgent notifications, like text messages, that buzz your wrist when they come in, or morsels of data that get silently added to your stack, like scores of sports games.

But these aren’t “notifications” in the smartphone sense–hollering flags that pull you back into a third-party app. On the watch, they serve as the apps themselves. Google lays out strict guidelines for how these should work: “Omit needless text from your notifications. Design for glance-ability, not reading. Use words and phrases, not sentences. Show, don’t tell: Where possible use simple icons, glyphs, and visualizations to convey your message.”

A smartwatch has to let you do things more quickly than you could by pulling your smartphone out.

Notifications can be supplemented with additional “pages,” which people can access by swiping sideways on their smartwatch screen. These can add additional information or actions users can take on the data. The example Google gives is a reminder for a picnic. The notification itself reminds you that you have a picnic scheduled with a friend; the next page tells you that you’re responsible for bringing bread, cheese, and wine; and the third gives you a button for navigating to the spot.

It’s worth reiterating: This is Google’s idea of a smartwatch app. Timely notifications and relevant actions, all bundled up in a relatively strict visual language. Apps, in this vision, become much more homogenized; they’re about utility, service, information and action more than anything else. In this new model, you don’t tap icons to summon apps. Instead, they just pop up when you need them, triggered by contextual cues like location, time, or activity.

The other part of the Android Wear interface is “demand,” encompassing something Google refers to as the “Cue Card.” This is a list of commands that can be spoken or tapped on screen. From the look of things, it seems like these will include a preset list of actions for calling cabs, taking notes, sending messages, setting alarms and the like. These can either be triggered by tapping the screen, or by saying the command aloud. In Android Wear, apps aren’t to be thought of as discrete programs but rather as actions you can take.

Here’s an important bit: Google’s developer documents state that users will be able to choose which app corresponds to these demands. This is where Google’s willingness to let users choose could be a huge boon to their smartwatch efforts. Presumably you could pick whether saying “call me a cab” triggers Uber, say, or Lyft.


Compare this to Siri, where Apple decides which third-party services get folded in and dictates what information you receive. Think about what happens when you ask Siri what movies are playing that night. You get a few seemingly random movie times, with zero opportunity to fine-tune the results, sorting by reviewer rating or by a preferred list of movie theaters. Hypothetically, with Android Wear’s more flexible model, you could map that same “what movies are playing tonight” command to whichever movie times app worked best for you.

We can say little with certainty when it comes to what we’ll want from smartwatches and the apps that run on them. But the approach Google’s seemingly taking with Android Wear–to let third party apps in, under strict UI and UX guidelines, and to let users choose which they want to rely on–seems like a smart compromise.

Humility and Flexibility

Android Wear is a compelling vision for smartwatches. But for now, it’s just that. Google and its partners have been mum on hardware details, and much remains to be seen about how they’re planning to power a full-color, always-on display. Even if they do figure out the hardware, there are many ways in which Google’s smartwatch efforts could falter.

For one, let’s not forget, these are the people that make Google Glass. The scene in the promotional clip that shows a guy on a crowded bus talking to his watch says it all. Google continues to live in a world where wearables are an inevitability, cyborgs are cool, and talking out loud to your gadgets is as normal as striking up a conversation with the person next to you. “Google is sometimes a little bit tone deaf in terms of the social mores,” de la Mare says. And wearables, as much as anything, are devices can live and die with social acceptance.

There’s also the question of balancing utility and personalization. Google’s already working with a number of hardware partners, promising a diverse range of looks for potential Android Wear devices. Watches, at day end, are accessories, and having different styles will be a big draw. But is Android Wear itself going to be as flexible? Will users be able to pick what watch face is showing? Or to tweak the predictive powers of the “supply” stack? A mainstream smartwatch won’t likely be a one-size-fits-all solution, and having software that can accommodate different types of users and use cases will be important, too.

That gets to the more foundational question, of how much people really need a smartwatch in the first place. Is a wearable screen, as Google shows it, viable as a mainstream product? The video shows many of the vanilla use cases we’ve talked about for years: reminding you about appointments, showing you how long it takes to get to work in the morning. But not everyone has a packed calendar and a potentially gridlocked commute. Right now, Android Wear is a purely utilitarian endeavor, leaving little room for the do-anything magic that sparked the smartphone’s huge success. “There’s definitely some poetry that can happen with a smartwatch,” says de la Mare. “That’s something they’re not really exploring.”

Of course, the fact that Google is exploring at all, and inviting developers to explore with them, seems like a shrewd course. Where the multitouch wonders of the smartphone were quickly obvious, it stands to reason that finding the perfect fit for a smartwatch will take a greater level of trial and error. Apple will refine and rework its wearable device, whatever it may be, until it feels like it’s figured everything out. Google, it seems, is more inclined to do that process out in the open–like they’ve done with Glass, for better or worse. That willingness to feel things out, to see what makes sense, could be the key to its success. “If they tell everybody what the answer is, they probably will fail,” de la Mare says. “But if Google does this with humility, there’s every possibility of it becoming ubiquitous.”

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook Updates Design For Business Pages
Only days after debuting a new look for the News Feed, Facebook this week began rolling out an updated design for brand Pages. Among the changes, all posts now appear on the right-side column of the Timeline, so all updates appear the same on a brand’s page and in the News Feed. The left-hand column will feature information about a company’s business, including a map, hours of business, phone number and website, as well as photos and videos. Also noteworthy –  Tabs are now hidden behind the “More” option, which is yet another step towards Facebook’s quest to focus entirely on the News Feed. Apps are still present but are featured on the left-hand side and are much less prevalent.

Tumblr Lets Bloggers Dial-In to Add New Content
Tumblr’s latest feature allows you to call a toll-free number and record a short audio message that becomes your latest blog post. The feature is easy to use – just add a telephone number to your Tumblr settings that you want to be able to record a message, and then dial 1-866-584-6757. As soon as you hang up, the message will get posted to your Tumblr account. Watch the fun video explaining how it works here.

Facebook Introduces 15-Second Video Ads
Facebook just introduced 15-second video ads, which will start playing without sound as they appear on screen and stop if you scroll pass. If you tap the video, it will expand into full screen view with sound. Users can expect to start seeing these ads over the next few months.

Pinterest Debuts Gifts Feed
Aiming to boost e-commerce activity, Pinterest this week introduced a new Gifts Feed showcasing all things that users can buy through the platform. This feed only shows Product Pins and includes pricing and availability details. The new feed also indicates price range through a system of one to four dollar signs.

Google Changes Search Results
Google is rolling out a new design of search to desktop users that includes changes to both organic search results and ads. The new design removes underlines, increases font size and changes the way ads are labeled in search results. Google’s AdWords-targeted ads no longer have the pink shading. Instead they are preceded by a small yellow box labeled “ad.”

Vine’s Hottest New Trend: #Whaling
Vine stars are looking to get in on the platform’s newest trend: #whaling. Whaling has even enticed news anchor teams to join in. Much like planking, whaling involves contorting your body into a shape resembling a real-life creature: in this case, a whale. More specifically, a breaching whale.

Global Social Media

China’s Sudden WeChat Crackdown
The social networking app, WeChat, also known as Weixin in China, fell victim to a very abrupt and unexpected crackdown this week, with dozens of politically active accounts deleted. Politically active users driven from censorship on Weibo, are finding the relative oasis of WeChat not as safe from the government as previously thought. Some of the squashed accounts had hundreds of thousands of followers. Some new sources were also shut down.  WeChat is slowly approaching the 300 million user mark, but if censorship like this continues, it may have a huge impact on the app. China’s crackdown on Weibo resulted in a 10% decline in users last year.  37% of those users that left Weibo flocked to WeChat.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Starbucks Begins Testing Mobile Orders, Payments
Starbucks plans to begin testing a service that lets customers place orders ahead of time via smartphone at some of its U.S. stores later this year. The coffee giant plans to let customers choose coffee or food while inline or before entering an outlet through the Starbucks mobile app. The step would build on Starbucks’ mobile payments business and loyalty program. The company currently processes almost 5 million mobile transactions a week through its payments app, which boasts 10 million monthly active users.

Social CRM: Leveraging Peer Pressure

Written by: Michael Fein
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Your best friend is the best marketer in the world.  It’s true!  Don’t believe me?  Did you see the movie she suFeinFamggested?  Could your best friend convince you to buy a new wardrobe?  Lease a new car?  Join JDate? Without a doubt, the people who are closest to you are more influential than a Google search or a banner ad.  Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is arguable the most powerful form of marketing.

As the smartest person in your organization, you are probably asking yourself the smartest question: how should you invest your money to increase sales?  As a company, it is difficult to make the case to write a check to your best friend.  Or at least it used to be.  With the amount of big data floating around, it increasingly makes sense to leverage your friends to market to you.   Social networks allow analysts and marketers to eavesdrop on those influential WOM conversations.  Certainly the depth of measurement varies on Facebook, Twitter, and others such as SnapChat.

Quick aside: this is why the multi-billion dollar valuation of SnapChat makes sense.  Yes the photos disappear, but SnapChat knows about your connections.  Since people generally send snaps to their closest friends, marketers will pay a lot to advertise on that network.  Now imagine integrating that same data with your existing CRM databases.

socialcrmSocial CRM is here.  Many companies already grab data from social networks to understand what you, the consumer, are likely to purchase.  The more advanced are customizing your web experience based on your friends’ purchases.  Such bullies! Is this nothing more than peer pressure?  Your friend Bobby bought a new video game so you should too… by clicking on this red button that we A/B tested with copy to ensure the strongest CTA… 

Despite my dramatization, I am in no way cynical of Social CRM.  On the contrary, I view social media as the lens to true consumer insight.  There is no other medium that moves so quickly and rewards marketers with such immediate response.  In my capacity as Director of Insights, Analytics, and Measurement at Fanscape/The Marketing Arm, I oversee a cross-vertical team of analysts whose task of proving business value begins with understanding people, their relationships, their passions and their conversations.  We look at the Social Graph, the Knowledge Graph, and all the other “Graphs” to turn social media data into predictive analytics for our clients.

Let me level set as there is no value in overstating capabilities.  Politico reported that social media can be used to predict senate elections with more accuracy than traditional polling.  Others have shown they can predict personality or even intelligence.   We work with our more advanced clients to provide recommendations to R&D for new products, track B2B influence within private social networks, and make product recommendations in-store at the point-of-sale.

At its best, Social CRM allows for integrating measures of social media influence into existing CRM databases for real-time omni-channel marketing.  Unfortunately, on the agency side, I frequently see three challenges impeding organizations from moving towards Social CRM: money, time, and a lack of vision.  If vision is your issue, put your glasses on.  Anyone who struggles to see this wave of marketing probably struggles to understand why digital content now has to be “thumb stopping.”  As for the issues of time and money (i.e. technology), this seems to go back to the same question: how should you increase your money to increase sales?

Let me try to convince you:

  • 43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it on social media. (Nielsen)
  • 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. (Nielsen)
  • 81% of U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts (Forbes)
  • 49% of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness, up from 43% in 2009. (Jack Morton)

Still not convinced.  Then start small.  Start with trying to understand how you gather information. Forget the micro-pieces of data for a moment.  Even at a macro-level, understanding the clusters of influence in online WOM will provide direction insight for your marketing and, if executed properly, provide a self-evident business case for larger Social CRM integration.  If you’re still skeptical, let me help you earn your bonus by challenging you.

Be the person with the vision.  Be the game changer.  Will it be easy to get there?  No.  Social CRM requires a data-driven organization that uses evidence-based decision making to get results.  It is not a technology issue that is stopping you, it is a cultural issue.  And hey, we’ve all been there.  Surely you have faced that moment when you believed something was so good, so right, that you knew you could be influential.  You know, like that time you recommended that movie.


Excerpt from my keynote on Social CRM: Connecting Word-Of-Mouth to Sales, presented on February 4th, at the Digital Analytics Association’s Los Angeles Symposium to address the importance of Social CRM.   You can follow me on Twitter @DigitalStats.

CES 2014 Recap

Written by: Larry Weintraub
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cesI returned yesterday from a fairly quick jaunt to Las Vegas for my annual CES pilgrimage.  Each year I go with high hopes, seeking technological inspiration, and this year did not disappoint.

The big guys like Panasonic, LG, Samsung, and others had massive sections but I tend to spend a little more time navigating the areas a little less traveled. CES did a good job this year of creating clusters around new technologies with areas dedicated to topics like Wearables, 3D Printing, Health and Fitness, and Robots in which multiple companies playing in those spaces were situated together.


Last year I saw the dancing robot from TOSY. The robot was there again this year, but I’m not sure he has become much more practical since he first debuted. That said, what if a robot could clean your BBQ grill while you are inside enjoying your meal? Grillbot to the rescue! I actually stood there watching this little robot clean a grill and I inundated the guy with questions like, “Can it work on a hot grill? “Do the brushes last long?” “Does it shut off automatically?” And the guy answered all of my questions in a way that made me think it might just be worth the $119 to be a little lazier.  Look, it’s not as sexy as a moonwalking robot, but if it can get me back to watching the Super Bowl that much sooner, I’m in.

(See my video of the Grillbot HERE and watch the company’s fancy version below.)

I love the idea that robots are being created to solve simple problems vs. trying to become my friend. First the Roomba swept my floor now the Grillbot cleans my grill, we’re on the right track!

Connected home

This is what I am most excited for, but it’s still not there.  I don’t necessarily need my fridge to talk to my dishwasher who in turn talks to my vacuum cleaner, but I would like an automated system that helps me manage my life a little better.  All the big guys like Samsung and LG had Connected Home areas. But when I asked the guy at Samsung if he could point me to the refrigerator that scanned my food as it went in and then sent me a text when I needed more eggs, he said, “I don’t know about that, but we have a cool fridge over there.” Needless to say, the technology we all REALLY want from our connected home still has a ways to go.

Below you can see how LG’s “HomeChat” is their entry into the Connected Home concept and what they explain as a way to text with your appliances.

Trending closer to the “make my life better” concept, I did like some of what I saw at the Cisco booth. They were showing some examples under their “Internet of Everything” banner wherein you can control and track all of your appliance usage and the corresponding bills.

ciscoWhat we really need now is for someone like Apple to make all of this stuff simple, intuitive, and elegant. The products being created by Nest are more of what I was looking for and sadly if they were there, I didn’t see many of them (though I did notice there were suddenly a lot of companies making Thermostat’s that synced with your iPhone).


Wearables could be seen in full effect in the Fitness Tech area. A plethora of companies were showcasing all the ways to track your health and workouts using bracelets, chest straps, and head gear. All of it synced with your smartphone and provided reasonable utility, but nothing on the floor cried ‘must have!’

Patrons wearing Google Glass and sporting their Samsung and Pebble connected watches were seen in large quantities.  The latter announced it’s new Pebble Steel watch at CES which appeared to be well regarded.

pebble-steel-3qtr-trio-zoomI know there is a lot happening in this space, but I left CES feeling like the real innovations are being kept under wraps because what was being shared openly wasn’t in line with what I’ve been reading about.

Solar electronics

A large part of my Vegas trip was spent attempting to stop my iPhone’s battery from dying and looking constantly for ways to charge it.  I was excited to see several smaller manufacturers offering products powered by the sun. (I hope someone from Apple was as excited to see this as I was.) Portable Bluetooth stereos at one booth caught my fancy and said products even had USB ports to charge your (previously referenced) phone and tablet while you tan to the sounds of your Spotify playlist.


Every year the televisions get larger and thinner. This year they curved, bended, and produced 4K images dwarfing the already impressive HD that we just got used to.  My question is, “do we need this right now?” You can tell me all day long how the curved TV is a more immersive experience but I heard a friend say that now it won’t fit in his entertainment center! Meanwhile, while the 4K picture is truly amazing, unless the networks are planning to roll out a slew of programs filmed with 4K in mind, you will be watching Game of Thrones with a picture so clear it actually takes away from the Hollywood magic.

Without a doubt, the most conversations around Curved TVs centered on the Michael Bay meltdown at the Samsung press conference!

3D Printers

My business partner, Terry, was enthralled with the 3D Printing area. Numerous manufactures showcased their printers and peripheral 3D scanners for an approving crowd.  The future for this sector is truly inspiring and we should be seeing great things from this in the years to come. If I had one critique for this area, I wish there had been more examples of how 3D printers are churning out actual useful household, automotive, and medical items and less examples of dolls and figurines.  That said, the band playing the classic rock soundtrack using instruments generated from 3D printers was quite impressive.

Photo: Ben Pimentel/MarketWatch

Photo: Ben Pimentel/MarketWatch


Another favorite was less about the technology and more about the creative integration of existing technology.

TreadmilliFit showed off their “Everything Inside” concept which came to life in the form of a flat screen television positioned above a NordicTrack treadmill enabling the exerciser to virtually tour the world via Google Street View maps.  The idea that you could “hike” the Grand Canyon without leaving your house was almost inspiring enough to, well, not leave the house.

Overall it was a good CES and I’m glad I was there. The promise of what is to come was more impressive than what I actually saw, but as a creative dreamer always looking for inspiration, there was plenty oozing from the Las Vegas Convention Center this year.

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
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Every week (or so) we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what we learn with you in these posts.

kickstarterKickstarter recently shared some stats from 2013 which we thought we’d summarize for you here:

In 2013…

  • 3 million people pledged $480 million to Kickstarter projects
  • That works out to $1,315,520 pledged a day or $913 a minute
  • Backers came from 214 countries and territories and all seven continents (even Antarctica)
  • 807,733 people backed more than one project
  • 81,090 people backed 10 or more projects & 975 people backed 100+
  • 19,911 projects were successfully funded

Some of the highlights of funded projects included:

  • Pebble arrived
  • Oculus Rift changed the way video games are played
  • Ouya video gaming system powered up
  • Goldieblox inspired young girls
  • A Delorean hovercraft cruised the San Francisco Bay
  • A human-powered helicopter took flight

Source: Kickstarter


Stats of the Week

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what we learn with you in these posts. Recently Forrester published a report called, “The Facebook Factor: US Online Youth” which dives into the impact Facebook has on young consumers in America.

Below is a post from Forrester’s blog where author Gina Sverdiov explains what you can expect to see in the report:

The “Facebook Factor”—What You Need to Know About Youth Social Media Marketing

Posted by Gina Sverdlov on September 19, 2013

It’s been more than a year since Forrester published its original Facebook factor report, which quantified the impact of a Facebook fan on brand interactions for US online adults, and social media has only become a bigger part of consumers’ online experience. Social media is engrained in the lives of US consumers, and we found this to also be true for US youth. Our latest report, “The Facebook Factor: US Online Youth” answers the question, “How much more likely are youth Facebook fans to purchase, consider, and recommend brands than non-fans?” We also analyzed youth engagement with brands on other social networking sites like Twitter and Google+. As in the original report, we used logistic regression modeling to uncover the effect of Facebook fans or Twitter followers on brands for the youth market.

In the report, we analyzed the “Facebook factor” for four brands that are popular with youth: Converse, Disney, iTunes, and Starbucks.

We found that US online youth who engage with these brands on social media are much more likely to have made a purchase from, consider, and recommend each of these brands than non-engagers.

As the graphic below shows, US online youth who engage with Disney on social media are significantly more likely to have made a purchase from, consider, and recommend the brand than their peers who don’t engage with it. Our youth data and models also reveal that Disney Facebook fans are the most likely to consider making a future purchase of a Disney product or service, while Disney Twitter followers are the most likely to have made a past purchase.

But there’s a lot more to engaging with youth via social media than just having a Facebook page or Twitter following. The youth market is unique for many reasons: These young people grew up with social media; they depend on their parents for their spending; and they’re incredibly connected. They also have a completely different set of expectations when it comes to social media marketing. To get more insight and data, clients can read the full report here.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Twitter Says Tweets Boost CPG Sales
According to new research from Datalogix, Twitter can help lift offline CPG sales. Twitter asked the company to conduct studies for 35 CPG brands measuring the impact of organic and paid Twitter activity across beverages, food, wellness, household products and alcohol. Among the key takeaways, users who engaged with a brand’s Promoted Tweets bought more from that brand than an identical control group, resulting in a 12% average sales lift.

Facebook Testing PayPal Rival for Mobile App Purchases
Facebook will attempt to give in-app commerce on the platform a boost with an upcoming mobile payment system. The company plans to test a new payments product that would allow online shoppers to make purchases on mobile apps using their Facebook login information.  JackThreads, a men’s clothier, is the pilot partner for the effort.

Advertise Your Facebook Post Within 24 Hours or Don’t Bother
If your brand just posted a status on Facebook, don’t waste time waiting to amplify it with an ad buy. If you don’t do so within 24 hours, you will likely lose a great deal of the engagement and viral impressions that would have been generated by posting earlier according to a new study.

Facebook Partners with Open Table
Facebook this week, announced partnering with OpenTable to allow users to make restaurant reservations through their mobile devices. Starting this week, U.S. users of Facebook iOS and Android apps can visit a restaurant’s Page and book a direct reservation.

Twitter Teams with Viacom to Sell Its Ads to VMA Sponsors
Viacom wants to turn buzz-generating moments from the MTV VMAs into new ad impressions for sponsors and is teaming up with Twitter to make it happen. The two companies are selling packages or Promoted Tweets to five sponsors including Unilever and Pepsi, which will see their brands attached to videos posted to Twitter before, during and after the 8/25 broadcast.

Global Social Media

WeChat Surpasses 100 Million User Accounts Outside China
Messaging service WeChat announced that it has surpassed 100 million registered users outside of China, double the figure from just three months ago, as its International presence grows due to aggressive global marketing. WeChat has already been well-received in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. In July 2013, it became the most downloaded app in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Facebook Fans Determine Design For Limited Edition Porsche
More than 54,000 Facebook fans became responsible for designing a special edition Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. The social design process happened as a celebration of the German automobile manufacturer reaching 5 million fans on Facebook. After putting features and specifications to a vote, the end result was a Facebook blue 911 with black and white racing stripes. The doors also feature the words “5m Porsche Fans” and an aluminum dashboard displays the phrase “Personally built by 5 million Porsche fans.”

I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook

Written by: Digitally Approved
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We read this article on Mashable and just had to share it!

I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook

I’m a teen living in New York. All of my friends have social networks — Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc. Facebook used to be all I could talk about when I was younger. “Mom, I want a Facebook!” and other whining only a mother could put up with.

But now, at 13, I’ve been noticing something different. Facebook is losing teens lately, and I think I know why.

Part of the reason Facebook is losing my generation’s attention is the fact that there are other networks now. When I was 10, I wasn’t old enough to have a Facebook. But a magical thing called Instagram had just come out … and our parents had no idea there was an age limit. Rapidly, all my friends got Instagrams.

Now, when we are old enough to get Facebook, we don’t want it. By the time we could have Facebooks, we were already obsessed with Instagram. Facebook was just this thing all our parents seemed to have.

This leads me into my next point: Although I do have a Facebook, none of my other friends do. My friends just thought it was a waste of time. I decided to get a Facebook just to see what it was all about. I soon discovered that Facebook is useless without friends. My only friend is, like, my grandma.

Teens are followers. That’s just what we are. If all my friends are getting this cool new thing called Snapchat, I want it, too!  We want what’s trending, and if Facebook isn’t “trending,” teens won’t care.

All of our parents and parents’ friends have Facebooks. It’s not just the fact that I occasionally get wall posts like, “Hello sweetie pie!” But my friends post photos that get me in trouble with those parents.

Let’s say I get invited to a party, and there’s underage drinking. I’m not drinking, but someone pulls out a camera. Even if I’m not carrying a red Solo cup, I could be photographed behind a girl doing shots. Later that week, the dumb-dumb decides to post photos from that “amazing” party. If my mom saw I was at a party with drinking, even if I wasn’t participating, I’d be dead. This isn’t Facebook’s fault, but it happens there.

Facebook is also a big source of bullying in middle school. Kids might comment something mean on a photo of you, or message you mean things. This isn’t Facebook’s fault, but again, it does happen there. If my mom heard I was getting bullied on Facebook, she would tell me to quit right away.

When I was younger, my mom had a Facebook. I would always go on it. I would take quizzes, play games etc. Facebook used to be its own, unique thing. It was kind of big but at the same time, cool.

As the years went on, I always wanted a Facebook I could call my own. But once I got it, everything started changing. There’s too much going on. The change from the old Facebook to the Timeline was very all of a sudden.

Look at something like Twitter, where it’s four buttons — people like the “simple” design better.

It also became a huge marketing mouthpiece. Facebook takes your interests based on what you’ve “liked” and put ads on your feed. No offense, but when I’m looking through my News Feed I don’t really care about Pantene’s new product.

It wasn’t the Facebook it was when I was seven. It got complicated — it was just kind of like, “We liked it the way it was. Why are you changing it?”

In the end, Facebook has been trying too hard. Teens hate it when people try too hard; it pushes them away. It’s like if my mom told me not to do something — I immediately need to do it. When she forces something on me, I really don’t want to do it.

Teens just like to join in on their own. If you’re all up in their faces about the new features on Facebook, they’ll get annoyed and find a new social media.

Facebook needs teens, because we’ll be the people keeping it going very soon. And teens can see that, which freaks them out.

I love Facebook, really I do. I hope they can make a comeback and appeal to my peers. I think it’s a great idea for a website, and I wish Facebook the best of luck.


Ruby Karp

Ruby Karp is a 13-year-old New Yorker trying to figure out how to survive middle school. You can find her on Twitter @rubykarp, her Tumblr or via her weekly articles on HelloGiggles.

Stats of the Week

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape. Here are some we thought we’d share with you from this past week:

How We Hear About New Products

Global market research company, Ipsos published a report based on interviews with over 18,000 adults between the ages of 18 – 64 in the US / Canada and 16 – 64 in other countries about how we actually hear about new products.  The main takeaway from the report is this:

  • The top 3 ways we learn about new brands and products are:
    • The Internet (68%)
    • TV Advertising (61%)
    • Friends and Family (53%)

Source: Ipsos

Social Networking Kids

For those of you who prohibit your kids from using social networking sites, you may want to stop reading this now.  Turns out a lot of kids are finding their way onto the Facebooks and Tumblrs despite your best efforts.  There is a pretty infographic below, and here are some of the top line stats:

  • Over 5 million users below the age of ten use Facebook
    • Over 200,000 of them are aged 6 or younger
  • The average age for a child to start regularly consuming online media is now 8 years old

Source: Letterbox

Just For Fun

As our favorite TV show, “Breaking Bad” prepares to air it’s last 8 episodes, we figured we’d list some little known facts about the show (thanks to THIS blog post for the info):

  • Breaking bad was originally supposed to be set in Riverside, CA but instead is based in Albuquerque, NM.
  • The formula for Meth is C10H15N, as can be seen in the opening credits
  • Jesse Pinkman was supposed to be killed off in season 1 but Aaron Paul’s performance was so good, they kept him around.
  • Bryan Cranston has “BR BA” tattooed on his ring finger (If you’ve seen the show, you know what this means)
  • The scene where Walter throws a pizza on the roof was done in one miraculously perfect take.
  • Walter’s alter ego, Heisenberg, is a tribute to 20th century physicist Werner Heisenberg, a key creator of quantum physics.
  • Aaron Paul was on an episode of The Price is Right.



Stats of the Week

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape. Here are some we thought we’d share with you from this past week:

Internet Advertising

There is a great article posted on PSFK recently called, “Is it Time for Utility Marketing?” in which they post the following stats about Internet Advertising:

  • The average internet user is exposed to banner ads 1,707 times in a month. (ComScore)
    • There is such an advertisement abundance in the online spheres, that people have grown indifferent to them.
  • The rate of banner clicks is below 0.1%. When it comes to the most popular size of internet advertisement, 468 x 60 banners, the rate goes below 0.04%. (DoubleClick)
  • 8% of all internet users account for 85% of banner clicks (ComScore).
    • Advertisement click rates are not meaningful on their own. Statistics show that it’s always the same people who click on advertisements.
  • 31% of average advertising displays are not even seen by internet users. (ComScore)
  • Almost 50% of mobile advertisement clicks are made by mistake. (GoldSpot Media)
  • While 29% of people trust TV spots, the rate is less than 15% for the ones who trust banner ads. (eMarketer)

Other stated in the article:

  • Today, the lifespan of your messages on social media is shorter than half an hour and only 4% of your online community actually views your message.

Source: PSFK

The Reddit Audience

The Pew Research Center’s Project on the Internet & American Life has taken a closer look at the Reddit audience, finding it equates to 6% of U.S. online adults. For comparison’s sake, a Pew survey at the end of 2012 found 16% of people online used Twitter, and 67% used popular social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

  • 15% of male Internet users aged 18-29 say they use Reddit
    • Compared with 5% of women in the same age bracket and 8% of men 30-49
  • Men are twice as likely to use Reddit.
Source: MediaPost

Gaming Time Doubles on YouTube

The amount of time people spend watching gaming videos on YouTube more than doubled last year, compared with the prior year. In fact, the growth rate of time spent viewing gaming videos was greater than YouTube’s overall growth in the U.S.

YouTube analyzed anonymous views of gaming content on the site in the U.S. from 2011 and 2012 to learn how gamers behave, what they value, and what this means to game marketers, according to a white paper titled “Gamers On YouTube: Evolving Video Consumption.”  Here are a view of the highlights:
  • Viewing spiked during the summer months, with views in June growing by 17% sequentially.
    •  About 32% of views occurred between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM
  • Gamers had a preference for viewing certain types of content on certain screens.
    • Pre-launch, 63% of announce videos and 69% of launch videos were viewed on desktops, which have larger screens that demonstrates the cinematic quality of this content.
    • Post-launch, the second screens supplemented the gamer’s experience on their PC or television, whereas about half of game tutorial videos were consumed on smartphones or tablets.
  • Viewing peaks during weekends, summer, and prime time.
    • In 2012, game views grew 18% day-over-day on weekends and 17% month-over-month in June. About 32% of game views occurred during prime time TV hours.
  • Gamers are more likely to share comments on brand-released and third-party videos.
  • Some one in three views of gaming-related videos occurred on a tablet or smartphone in 2012, up nearly double from 2011.
 Source: MediaPost

Just For Fun

We were so enthralled with Andy Murray’s victory at Wimbledon yesterday that we thought we’d share some stats:

  • Murray became the first British player win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.
  • Murray joined Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Lleyton Hewitt as the fifth active player with multiple Grand Slam titles.
  • It was Murray’s 18th straight grass-court match win.
  • The “Big 4” (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray) have now won 33 of the last 34 Grand Slams (only other winner in that span: Juan Martin del Potro at 2009 US Open).
  • It took Murray eight appearances at Wimbledon to win his first title. The only mens’ player to take longer was Goran Ivanisevic, who won in his 14th appearance in 2001.
  • Murray also became the first player to win his first Wimbledon title the year after reaching his first Final since John McEnroe in 1981.

Source: ESPN