Tag Archives: Uber

3 Things to Consider After 72 Hours with the Apple Watch

Written by: Tom Edwards
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Seventy-two hours ago, I was among the 22 percent of lucky customers whose orders were fulfilled for the Apple Watch. Many have asked I summarize my thoughts about what I like, what I think needs work, and what marketers should consider when creating an Apple Watch experience.

What do you like about the Apple Watch?

From Apple’s first announcement last September to receiving it on launch day, I have consumed a significant amount of information about what to expect from Apple’s latest technology. Yet, all of my research did not prepare me for the full experience.

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The watch is beautifully designed and the 42mm face is just the right size. The interface is very smooth and responsive, and I am getting a good feel for which elements add the most value for me and how I want to extend my iPhone experience.

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Setup was incredibly easy and primarily facilitated through the Apple Watch app on my iPhone. After language selection and visually pairing the Apple Watch and iPhone, I dove into setting up my application preferences.

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The key thing to consider if you are looking to invest in an Apple Watch is to understand that it is NOT an iPhone on your wrist, but it is an extension of the iPhone experience. It WILL streamline lightweight tasks such as messages, notifications, and quickly reviewing email.

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I like the flexibility of the interchangeable watch bands; it literally takes seconds to completely change the look of the watch. Third-party band options are already appearing on eBay, and I have ordered a second Apple Watch band myself.

Tom Edwards Apple Watch

What needs work?

Outside of the passcode keypad, there is not a consistent input mechanism beyond voice. Responding to messages either consists of predetermined phrases, emoji, or voice response. This is fine 90 percent of the time, but for those times when it is not convenient to speak your response it will require you to pull out your iPhone. #FirstWorldProblems

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The same goes for making and taking calls on the Apple Watch. Be prepared to look like Dick Tracy when you are speaking into your wrist. Calls are better meant for taking on your actual iPhone.

Dick-Tracy

One surprise was Facebook was noticeably missing from the Apple Watch app store on launch day. You still receive notifications from the app, but there is not a native Facebook Apple Watch experience as of yet.

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One additional missing element is a browser experience. There are third-party apps that provide an abbreviated browsing experience, but there is not an official Apple Watch browser. Siri is voice-based, and any search query that is not tied to an existing app function is handed off to the iPhone.

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I have experienced accelerated battery drain on both my Apple Watch and paired iPhone. Also, Handoffs between the watch and app can be awkward in some third-party apps. Upon initial setup, a number of applications have to be preconfigured via the iPhone prior to working with the paired Apple Watch.

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How can marketers benefit from the Apple Watch?

For brands that have a native app in market, the Apple Watch can provide a way to extend the value of the application if marketers focus on creating utility. From a shopper marketing standpoint, Target’s focus on list creation is a good example of taking a single element of the app experience and using the Apple Watch to drive a specific user behavior.

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Target’s Apple Watch app initial user experience

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Target app example of highlighting item location via Apple Watch

I have used the Starbucks app extensively over the past 48 hours. The “glance” tells me how close I am to a Starbucks location as well as extends their loyalty program, and I can leverage Passbook for quick payment for my morning Americano. I have been impressed by the ease of use and the value the app is bringing me through a simple experience.

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The key areas of focus for marketers are understanding how to leverage both short and long notifications to influence certain behaviors while also leveraging the most relevant data to visualize – via a glance – to sustain ongoing wrist engagement.

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American Airlines is simplifying the boarding experience

By focusing on extending apps through the lens of consumer value and lightweight interaction, marketers can capitalize on staying at the top of mind through a user’s wrist.

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Uber’s Apple Watch experience

 

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

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

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

Twitter Launches New Advertising Options
Twitter is remodeling the way it charges advertisers. Twitter currently receives payments if a user interacts in any way with its sponsored ads. This includes retweets, replies, “favorites,” and clicks. Twitter is now introducing a new fee structure that gives advertisers the option to pay based on performance. For instance, a retail store may choose to pay Twitter only when a user clicks through to its website to view a fall collection. Other options include paying specifically when an advertiser gets new followers, has its app downloaded, or gets a user email address.

 
Facebook Bans Incentivizing Users to Like Pages
Facebook announced two important changes this week to its Platform Policies under games and proper use. The first requires that games which include mandatory or optional in-app charges must now disclose in their app’s description, either on Facebook or other platforms it supports. The second, bans users from incentivizing people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.

Facebook Starts Building Ad Links to Instagram
Instagram is conducting a test with Mercedes-Benz that allows the luxury car brand to effectively target Facebook users who previously saw one of its Instagram ads. Brands will soon be able to use Instagram and Facebook to work their way up the purchase funnel. One of the purposes of a test like this is to A/B creative on Facebook and Instagram and glean insight into what images perform better on each platform.

Twitter Just Dropped a Huge Hint that It Will Introduce Shopping Services
The evidence that Twitter is planning a move into e-commerce is stacking up, after a handful of users noticed a new setting for “payment and shipping” on the company’s Android app.  This is the latest in a stream of hints that Twitter is preparing a foray into commerce.

Uber Unveils UberPool
Uber announced a testing option that enables users to split fares on rides with strangers who are traveling on a similar route. UberPool works like the regular Uber service, except it pairs users up with another rider, and notifies them of their co-rider’s first name.

Global Social Media

The new law requiring Russian bloggers to register as media entities and hold themselves to the same standards as full media organizations has come into effect this week. The law is applicable to all blogs that manage to attract more than 3,000 unique visitors per day. Bloggers will need to register with relevant authorities and will be required to cite their physical location. Bloggers will also be required to do more fact-checking before publishing. They are not allowed to use obscene language or produce material that incites criticism from its online audience.  Bloggers that don’t comply will be slapped with a fine of between 10,000 and 30,000 rubles ($80 – $840 US).

Noteworthy Campaigns

Tinder Hijacked to Help Rescue Dogs Get Adopted
Tinder is doing 750 million swipes per day and over 10 million matches per day, with close to a billion total matches since it’s founding in 2012.  The average users spends about 60 minutes per day on Tinder, and logs in around seven times. 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters each year. Like people searching for relationships on Tinder, these animals are searching for caregivers.  To raise awareness, and ideally, make some matches, animal rescue organization Social Tees hijacked Tinder. Profiles and photos were created for 10 adoptable dogs, with their age manipulated so they would show up as matches for Tinder users. So far, over 1,500 matches have been made, though the number of dogs adopted based on the hijacking has not been confirmed.  Some Tinder users expressed outrage over the initiative via Twitter. Though most think it’s for a worthy cause – especially because 1.2 million dogs each year are euthanized.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook’s Buy Button Lets You Purchase Products Directly From Page Posts and Ads
Facebook’s new Buy button, which is currently being tested with select small business partners in the U.S., lets you make a purchase directly on the site. Once you click the button, a pop-up will prompt you to confirm payment and shipping info, then complete the purchase, all without leaving Facebook. The tool is only available to select merchants for the time being, including Modify Watches, though it could roll out to more companies if this trial is deemed a success. In other Facebook news, the platform debuted ‘Mentions’ for celebrities, a new iOS app that gives actors, athletes, musicians, and other influencers the ability to join popular conversations and see the latest posts from those they follow.

LinkedIn Buys Newsle
LinkedIn wants to overtake Twitter and Facebook as executives’ social news service of choice. On Monday, the platform added to its news arsenal, acquiring people-centric news aggregator Newsle to bolster its burgeoning media business.  Newsle crawls a person’s list of LinkedIn, Facebook, and other email contacts and surfaces articles mentioning those people.

Twitter Acquires Payments Startup CardSpring
On the same day Facebook announced its new Buy button, Twitter said it planned to acquire CardSpring, a startup that allows developers to write applications for credit cards, discount coupons, and other payment systems. Its platform is aimed at linking e-commerce with brick-and-mortar sales. Online shoppers can collect sales offers, sync them with their credit card, and then collect them at stores. For Twitter, the company offers an existing payments infrastructure that is not built solely around impulse purchases.

Snapchat Adds Filters That Unlock Art Based on Your Location
Snapchat users can now add specific art and labels to snaps taken in certain cities and destinations. For example, if you’re taking a photo at Disneyland, you’ll be able to swipe right to see art related to the amusement park; if you’re passing through NYC, you can add an overlay label to your picture based on the neighborhood you are in. It’s also possible to add a drawing of a roller coaster and Ferris wheel while visiting the Santa Monica Pier, a SoulCycle lemon logo when you’re at one of its cycling studios, and a TV, movie, or theater mark near the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Twitter Tells Brands They Can Reach 30% of Their Followers for Free
Twitter is telling brands, “Come to us if you want to reach fans freely.” The company said today that marketers can hit an audience equal in size to 30 percent of their followers in a given week with a consistent and free tweeting strategy. That level of free exposure contrasts with Facebook, where brands have to pay to be seen by more than 5 percent of fans.

Global Social Media

Twitter’s New ‘Everyday Moments’ Tool Launches in the UK
Twitter aims to help marketers in the UK create real-time content around “everyday moments” and aid an always-on approach to the platform. According to Twitter, 55 percent of UK users tweet about what they are doing at any one moment.  These are predictable moments that brands should be harnessing, as they are just as important as national or global events. The online tool, called ‘Everyday Moments,’ will aim to help marketers tap into the rhythm of conversations. Alongside a map of the UK, there will be a list of 30 terms, emotions, activities, and TV shows. Each term has a color and when selected will appear on the map as a series of large or small spots, indicating where a cluster of conversations is taking place around a term. Marketers can then track mentions of it in real-time and analyze where it was used most during the day or week. The tool will only be available for UK marketers in the short term, though there are plans for a wider roll out.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Uber’s Ice Cream Delivery Service Goes Global
To kick-start celebrations of National Ice Cream Day this Sunday, July 20, Uber is delivering ice cream on demand through its app, TODAY, July 18.  The summer-time initiative is live in 130 cities, spanning 38 countries and six continents, and is a significant rise on last year’s ‘Ice Cream Day’ initiative, which ran in 33 cities. The ability to order ice cream from the Uber app will provide thousands of Uber users with their first experience of a paid-for service from the company that has nothing to do with cars. Uber has offered other non-taxi services before (lion dances, kittens on demand), but ‘Uber Ice Cream Day’ 2014 will be its largest roll out of ‘alternative’ services to date.  This is a sign that the service might harbor ambitions to go beyond providing taxi services.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Foursquare Now Lets You Order From Over 20,000 GrubHub Restaurants
Foursquare recently announced it has partnered with GrubHub Seamless to offer its mobile users access to more than 20,000 restaurants in hundreds of cities across the U.S. In the app for Android or iOS, all you have to do is tap the GrubHub or Seamless icon and place your order.

Wikipedia Adding Celebrity Voices to Wiki Pages
A new project called WikiVIP was announced this week that seeks to add the voice of celebrities and other notable people to the online encyclopedia. The project sets out to make sure there is a public and freely reusable record of what notable people sound like for “current and future generations.”

Facebook Partners With Social TV Analytics Firm SecondSync
This week, Facebook announced a partnership with UK-based social TV analytics company SecondSync. The two companies will work together to help marketers understand how people are using Facebook to talk about TV.

Facebook Announced The Launch of Paper
Facebook announced that it will soon launch Paper, a mobile application that re-envisions how Facebook users discover and create content.  Paper heavily emphasizes the tools you use to post to Facebook. For example, you will be able to see what your status update will look like before you post it. Stories on the platform are also different than what you are used to in your main Facebook app; photos are full-bleed and navigable and videos take up the entire screen.  Paper also splits up different sections based on story topics like technology, cute animals, photography and top headlines. The sections contain a mix of stories from outside sources like the New York Times as well as status updates from Facebook users.  These stories will not be solely algorithmically based. Editors from Facebook will be picking out stories they think are best.

LinkedIn  Channels Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
LinkedIn introduced a new tool that’s a twist on the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game – but for professionals. The social network launched “How You’re Connected,” a visual enhancement that explores your path to a contact.  When looking for an introduction to someone you may not know yet, you will be able to see who in your network knows them, and also how they know each other to help you decide the best contact to request an introduction from.

Global Social Media

Sina Weibo Users Set New Messaging Record
China’s Sina Weibo has broken its record for messages sent per minute, after 863,408 tweets were sent during the first minute of the Chinese New Year. The record surpasses the previous best of 731,102 posts for last year’s Lunar New Year.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Uber Offers On-Demand Halftime Shows For New York Fans
Uber and Pepsi recently teamed up to bring Super Bowl “half-time shows” to the streets of Manhattan. The free shows appeared as an icon on the Uber app and users were able to request them between 11am and 5pm Tuesday – Wednesday of this past week. When a user requested a show, a 12-person team including a band and a cheerleader arrived by bus and put on a four–minute show.

Marc Jacobs Opens Pop-Up Shop Where Fashionistas Pay With Tweets
Marc Jacobs plans to open a pop-up shop during New York Fashion Week where dollars will have no value. All transactions at the Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop will be carried out based on customers’ user of the hashtag #MJDaisyChain across various social platforms.  The store will be open to the public February 7-9.

2013 SXSW Recap

Written by: Larry Weintraub
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I’ve had a few days to digest my SXSW Interactive journey so here is a recap…

If I had to summarize this year in 3 words it would be, Don’t Fear Failure. That was a mantra I heard from mega venture capitalist, Vinod Khosla and echoed (in his own subtle way) by SpaceX / Tesla founder, Elon Musk. Both were inspirational speakers and when merged with the question asked of Musk, “You will be disappointed if _______ doesn’t happen in your lifetime?” and the chalkboards I saw around an Austin hi-rise construction site that stated, “Before I Die I Want To _______” I came away with an urgency and a confidence to take on the world.

Yes, this year was more crowded than ever. Trying to get into a panel meant missing other panels because it required a 45 minute pre-session sit-in to guarantee a seat. And parties, well, there were plenty, but again, if you wanted to go to the big ones, count on showing up well ahead of the start time. And I heard a lot of negativity. “This is my last year.” or “wow, this place is ridiculous, I can’t get into anything.” But if you’ve been coming to SXSW for a few years, then you learn how to navigate Austin for these few wonderful days. Flexibility is key and you want to give yourself room to end up on an unplanned adventure that might put you on a bus or cab ride to something you will never forget. And the food, believe it or not, Austin’s food gets better every year. It is already my favorite food town in America but each year I discover even more, often from a truck or at a party. Rarely from an actual sit down restaurant. (Not knocking Austin restaurants, I just rarely find myself eating at one during SXSW).

In addition to the great panels, parties, food, and inspirational speeches, I also observed a lot of trends and new technologies. I paid close attention to how brands were vying for attention and gleaned valuable insights into where we’re headed as interactive human beings.  Here are some of my highlights (and thanks to my friends Brad, Tom, Bryon, and Jeff at The Marketing Arm for helping to compile this list):

MakerBot

Bre Pettis, the founder and creator of the 3D Printer opened the conference by explaining all the ways that 3D printing is changing our lives. In addition to telling us how easy it is to replicate missing toy train tracks and create shot glasses, he debuted the new 3D scanner which literally spun a garden gnome on a plate while lasers captured all aspects of the object.  While we all don’t need a 3D Printer today, at a reasonable cost of $2,200 (relative to its magic-like capability), it was easy to see how these could be a home staple in the coming years.

Google Glass, Talking Shoes, and Popcorn

The new futuristic Terminator-style Google Glasses were all the rage at SXSW. There were demonstrations and a handful of friends of Google were spotted donning their glasses about town. Personally, I can’t wait for these. Meanwhile at the Google Playground popcorn, candy, and mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches kept me satiated as I did the obstacle course wearing talking shoes that told me to keep going when I really wanted to rest and have a root beer float.

3M’s Virtual Concierge

If you were wondering where to go and what to do at SXSW, never fear, Jennie, 3M’s hologram-ish virtual concierge was there to answer your questions and make you uncomfortable with her Disney Haunted Mansion-like eyes that followed you as you strolled the Austin Convention Center. I actually liked this display and saw it again at JFK airport welcoming me to the Big Apple. If you make your living as a greeter, you may want to start expanding your skill set.

Brand Activations

Chevy provided the best utility once again with their Catch A Ride activation enabling people to test drive everything from an electric Volt to a sporty Corvette. Need a lift in the rain, try flagging down a Chevy. No really, try. Needless to say, I got pretty wet on Saturday.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick spoke at the conference and told us all about the trials of bucking up against the old world of taxi driver cartels. Meanwhile Uber sports cars were seen driving people around along with Uber pedicabs which offered free rides to Samsung Galaxy phone owners.

Ford could be spotted showing off their open source programming for their vehicles with a collaboration with Glympse. If you don’t know, Glympse is an app that can show your friends where you are when en route to meet up. It may sound a bit creepy, but think about how many times you’ve wondered what’s taking your buddy so long to get to you.

Getting a drink in Austin is not that hard to do. Local vodka company, Tito’s made it even easier by providing the Tito’s Trolley that circled downtown Austin while whetting your booze whistle in the process. A simple activation that ironically stood out in a crowded field of brand activations.

Award for Standout Brand

Meanwhile, this year’s award for most visible brand was Samsung. There were numerous activations including pop-up stores, rooftop party decks, the aforementioned pedicabs, old-school phone booths, and even a giant building enabled with NFC which offered up cupcakes, drinks, and snacks when your Galaxy Tab phone was tapped against the bricks.

Crowdsourcing in Action

Merging branding with innovation, American Airlines and AT&T combined for a Hack to create the next great travel app. We didn’t get to see the results, but we were told that over 50 developers participated in the event.

Apps and mCommerce Aplenty

In the App world, there were some previous year favorites hanging around such as Highlight and GroupMe both geared to encouraging people to get to know each other a little better amongst the crowds of people. While mobile payments could be felt from Square, Level Up, Intuit, and others. It was actually hard to pay with cash at times and nearly every food truck in Austin was ready to swipe your credit card across their iPhone.

Content Galore

Content was king at SXSW this year. TV networks were prevalent and at any moment you could find yourself posing on the Game of Thrones throne, meeting the stars of Deadliest Catch, checking out with SyFy Network and Warner Brothers had to offer, or learning the secrets of the new Netflix season of Arrested Development.

Also showcasing in the quickly growing field of digital content was the comedy troupe JASH, made up of Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Reggie Watts, and Tim & Eric. Underwritten by Mountain Dew’s new energy drink Kickstart and built on the YouTube Channel platform, JASH made quite the splash. If the teaser they provided at SXSW was a sign of times to come, we should see some great comedy coming our way and some incredible brand integration that feels relatively natural and  not forced.

So much to see, so little time, so much fun, so much inspiration.