Social Bento: 16th May 2014

LG G watch

Another week, another smart watch. This week it was LG’s turn to release new details about their new smart watch. The G watch will go on sale in a few months and an exclusive video teaser has been released with a sneak peek of the new first commercial device powered by Google’s Android Wear platform. The watch will also be water and dual resistant and other features include an always on display and the Google Now integration in Android Wear. All we need to know now is when the G Watch will be released!

The new affordable smart phone: Moto-E

This week also saw some exciting technology news from Motorola with the launch of their new Smartphone. Marketed as an affordable android, Motorola’s Moto E will have features such as 4GB of memory storage, 4.3inch screen with a 540×960 resolution. In the teaser video, Motorola concentrates on three features, a water splash proof body, interchangeable coloured back covers, and each phone will come with Google’s latest software. The camera is only 5 mega pixels but the software is fast and has a long lasting battery. The best bit about the Moto E? The price. In the UK you can get the smartphone f   or £80 without a contract. Will you be ditching your smartphone for the budget version?

BBC’s new infographics for social media

The BBC has released new details on their new social media plans. This week they announced they are going to be sharing daily infographics on current news stories which will be shared on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest. This is set to be a new way for the BBC to connect with their audience and reach out to a brand new one. The infographics are part of the social media experiments that the BBC have been testing out in recent months, such as Instafax, BBC trending, and experiments with Whatsapp and WeChat in the Indian elections. The daily infographics will also be collected for a round up on the BBC website. The aim is to add an insight into a current big news story. We’re looking forward to seeing the BBC’s new infographics and it’s great to see news being taken out of the box and communicated within social media, which is ultimately the fastest place to now get news.

Snapchat rises in popularity

Data released this week showed that Snapchat has become the biggest messaging app by volume in the US. The app is reported to be gaining more traffic every day other over messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Traffic specialist Sandvine carried out the data research and also found that video apps still dominates the charts of network traffic. The new stats how much we are using messaging and video apps. With Snapchat latest update with the new messaging and video feature, the app is technically combining two of the most popular app features right now. This means that Snapchat could easily take over as the most popular app. Sandvine agreed by saying that Snapchats rise in popularity is due to being able to message people using different types of media such as photos and videos, whilst WhatsApp is where you can only message people through plain text. Due to the rising popularity of Snapchat rumours have been circulating about how Google has apparently offered $10 billion for the site. Sandvine found lots of other traffic reports about Snapchat including usage on New Year’s Eve. You can find the rest of the data here.

Gmail reaches 1 billion downloads

This week saw Gmail really show how much they are ahead of other web based email services, when their android app has reached the one billion mark on the Google play store. However the downloads doesn’t actually calculate to accounts, it’s the total number of unique accounts. This means that there could be duplicate or abandoned accounts, but still 1 billion is pretty good going. The last time any usage figures for Gmail were released was in 2012, when the figures were 425 million. However the usage figures have gone up since Gmail is now bundled with Android phones. Reports say that Gmail reached the 1 billion mark on May 6th, and other apps such as Google Search, Face book and Google maps are catching up on the almost 1 billion mark. Gmail is our favourite web based email, are you one of the other 1 billion people who love it too?

Pinterest testing new Q&A

This week Tech Crunch developer Tom Waddington has discovered a new feature on Pinterest. A question and answer feature seems to be currently being tested. The questions would be a dedicated section where pinner’s can get more information about certain pins. A pinterest spokesperson didn’t give too much away about the new feature apart from saying “We’re always gathering feedback from Pinners to make Pins more useful. We’re currently testing the ability to ask and answer questions in a more structured way on Pins, with a small group of Pinners.”The new feature means that we could be able to gain more information about pins, and find out where their original source is from. Waddington also said how he thinks this feature will help to bring back inactive users. Would you use this Q&A feature? We think it’d be great to find article sources from certain pins.

Blog posts get shared most at the weekend

This week Emarketer shared some very insightful information about when blog posts are most likely to be shared over the week. They found that brand blogs are posting over the working week which is when most consumers are working, and may be missing out on posts. An April 2014 study from Trackmaven found that most bloggers post on weekdays, in fact 87% of weekly blog content is pushed out on Monday – Friday. But the data proved that although bloggers post in the week, their sharing figures are higher at the weekend. The report found that blog posts posted on a Saturday or Sunday had a bigger social share percentage than those posted in the week. They recommend posting at the weekend to get a better probability of your post being shared. When do you think is the best place to post a blog post? We personally think a Friday afternoon is the best time ;)

The Internet of Things to dominate our lives by 2025

The Internet of Things and wearable’s are set to be making a huge impact on our lives by 2025. With reports this week of Samsung’s Gear Glass due to be released in September, wearables are becoming more and more popular. Experts from the Pew Research centre carried out the research, to mark the anniversary of the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Experts believe that internet of things will affect our daily lives by being apparent by using them for fitness and health, our homes; we will be able to control appliances through to how often our garden is watered. To communities, with apps being able to monitor pollution, to goods and services and finally to the environment. In 2013, there were 13 billion internet connected devices, but experts expect there to be 50 billion in 2020. We can’t wait to see more Internet of Things devices come out, last week we spotted one for umbrella data which calculates how much rain is falling, and we really think these new devices connected to the internet will change our lives.

Flappy bird is returning!

Good news to all Flappy Bird fans, as it’s returning, but not till August. Developer Dong Nguyen has told CNBC that’s he’s bringing back the app but with a multiplayer feature. Nguyen originally pulled the app after finding its popularity had gotten too much, and he didn’t like the disruption on his quiet life. However his life must have gotten too quiet, as he is bringing it back much too many people’s delight later this summer. Are you excited? We were a bit rubbish at Flappy Bird, but at least we can now have another go!

You can also find this week’s Social Bento as a Flipboard

Headstream’s Social Bento : 11th April 2014

New Twitter Adverts 

new twitter ads

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This week saw the possibility of new Twitter ads being rolled out onto our timelines. According to the Wall Street Journal, 15 new ad types are going to be introduced to the micro blogging platform. Whilst the ads won’t be hogging our timelines, it does mean for brands it’ll be easier for them to promote their products. One ad format that is already being introduced lets you download and install an app with just a single tap. This is something that has been particularly successful on Facebook and now Twitter wants to follow suit. The ads according to twitter are meant to be simple, and subtle, meaning that we won’t feel bombarded with ads.

 

Apps to help you kick bad habits

social bento nails

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Have you got a bad habit that you just can’t kick? Well don’t fear, there’s pretty much an app available to help you quit that habit. There are apps now to help you change your lifestyle, they’re no longer just about Angry Birds!  Whether it’s biting your nails, a $5.99 app can hypnotise you, to stop you putting your talons in your mouth or if you keep skipping the gym, Nexercise which gamifies workouts. There’s even apps for quitting junk food such as Fooducate (definitely one that we need in the office) and even to stop being messy and disorganised (House Clean).

 

Music Dating App

tastebuds dating app

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Talking of apps that can change your lifestyle, a dating app called Tastebuds, matches you to people based on what music you both like. Tastebuds was launched four years ago, but it was just this week that the actual app arrived. The dating app, which lets users log in either via Facebook or email, scans your music library and uploads your favourite artists to your profile, with you being able to add more too. By entering basic personal information and a profile picture, you can start matching by checking out potential partners music tastes and then if you like them send them a message or even a song. How romantic. With music taste being a big thing, the creators thought it was a great idea; “Musical preferences can tell you a lot about a person and having something in common is a great conversation starter. It’s the best way to break the ice.” Though if you have any cheesy music in your library, it might be time to delete it now before joining up to Tastebuds.

Twitter’s new makeover

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This week Twitter’s new design started to roll out for some users. The design which has been compared to Facebook’s profile design has a lot more user information  and has new features. These include a larger cover photo, showing which tweets have the most engagement and you can also pin a certain tweet to the top of your page. There are differences to the Facebook design though,for example photos are placed underneath your followers where’s Facebook is the other way around. The new design has caused controversy in recent weeks with the similar design, the new look has already been rolled out for some celebrities profiles and us mere mortals will have to wait in the following weeks for our profiles to be pimped out by Twitter.

 Marc Jacobs uses Twitter to cast new face of brand

cast me marc

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This week it was announced that fashion house Marc Jacobs are shunning model agencies, by casting the new face of their brand using Twitter. People are urged to send a selfie of them with the hashtag #CastmeMarc in a chance to represent Marc Jacobs. This is isn’t the first social campaign that Marc Jacobs have done, with them opening a tweet shop during London fashion week where users can pay for items by simply tweeting about them. You never know the next Naomi Campbell may be spotted through the twittersphere.

First Selfie from Space

selfie in space

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Okay so you’re probably sick of hearing about selfies, or the word may even slightly repulse you. But this latest selfie is pretty cool. Whilst the first selfie in space happened back in December, astronaut Steven R Swanson is the first to upload his space selfie to Instagram. The photo was shared from the International Space Station and boasts a pretty impressive background. The only slight technicality is that it isn’t really a selfie as it was taken by someone else, but hey we’ll forgive him, it is in space after all.

 

New super duper iPhone charger

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Fed up of your iPhone’s poor battery life?  Us too, so we got pretty excited when we saw this new gadget that claims to charge your phone in just 30 seconds. That’s right 0 to 100% in half a minute. StoreDot is an Israeli tech start up and it premiered at Microsoft’s Think Net event on Monday, and it relies on microscopic magnets called ‘nanonets’ to power up the incredible charger. Sadly we won’t be seeing the 30 second charger available to buy anytime soon, as it’s still in the prototype stage. The next challenges for the start up company are figuring how to shrink the technology so it fits into smart phone devices and how to get the cost down. We just hope they figure these out soon, as we need this charger in our lives!

Facebook prompting users to download messaging app

facebook messenger app

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Facebook are removing chat from their iPhone and Android apps, meaning that users will have to download the separate messenger app to continue having private messages and chats with their friends. Facebook began notifying their users this week, and letting them know that they have two weeks to download the app to continue using facebook chat. Facebook says that “We have built a fast and reliable messaging experience through Messenger and now it makes sense for us to focus all our energy and resources on that experience.”

Best Length for content:

ideal content length

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It’s always been debated what exactly is the right length for content online. This week we enjoyed this article from The Next Web, which measured the ideal content using scientific social media guidelines. The ideal length for a tweet is 100 characters, with the stat that tweets that are 100 characters or less get a 17% higher engagement rate. The ideal Facebook status length is 40 characters, as they receive 86% higher engagement rate than other longer posts. Google+ the ideal length is 60 characters and the ideal blog post is 7 minutes long and 1,600 words long. Well let’s hope that this blog post meets the ideal length!

9 Things That Wowed Us In Social Media This Week

WWW Turns 25:

On Wednesday the World Wide Web turned 25 years of age. It seems very strange to think that something we use and rely on so much is still so young. Just how would we cope without it? We’d have to write letters(!) We can thank Tim Berners-Lee for the invention of the www, who is actually a professor at our local university; the University of Southampton. Pretty cool eh? We found this article and infographic on The Drum which we found very interesting. Check it out for some impressive stats.

SXSW:

This week we have been catching up on everything SXSW. In fact we’ve become a bit SXSW obsessed. Of course if we were to talk about everything, we would probably have to change the name of this post to ‘99 things that wowed us in social media this week’ so in a short and snappy fashion, our highlights were: That Edward Snowden talk and Google announcing that it’s Chromecast is coming to other countries including the UK, whoop! These SXSW vines from The Drum and Ogilvy have kept us in the loop and been pretty entertaining too. Then of course NASA’s interesting talk about their media and comms plan, and this quote from NASA “communicating on social media isn’t rocket science, it’s harder.” This blog post about the 9 most memorable things from SXSW also has some bits that you may have missed.

Date an A-lister on Tinder

Dating app Tinder has announced this week that they are updating the app so that celebrities can have verified profiles. What may seem like a head scratcher to some, surely A-list stars wouldn’t need a dating app to find a date? Apparently so though, as some celebs are getting shot down by fellow users, due to them thinking they are a fake account. This has caused Tinder to rethink their initial Facebook identity check and celebrities will be able to join up using a new way. Although with over 750 million profiles, you may have to do a bit of searching to be paired up with your favourite single celebrity!

The New BBC iPlayer:

Earlier this week we saw a new BBC iPlayer being rolled out. Launched back in 2007, the iPlayer has changed quite a lot since then and is now available across 1000 different devices and serves 10 million programme requests a day! So what does the new iPlayer offer? The new iPlayer is now designed for a multi screen world, so watching on your different devices will now be consistent. There will also be a responsive design and a brand new home screen, and homepages for channels too. The BBC say that the next steps after this new revamp of iPlayer, is launching online only channels, which will start of course with BBC three going from digital to online in autumn 2015. The new iPlayer has been created to improve the user experience, and with lots of new features including collections, we’re sure that it is going to be better than ever. No longer will it just be about catching up on that episode of Eastenders you’ve missed!

Facebook’s New streamlined layout for pages:

This week Facebook announced they were introducing a new streamlined design for pages on desktop. Facebook says the new design will make it easier for users to find information that they want and need. It’ll also be easier for the pages admin’s to find the tools they use the most. So what’s new then? Well the right hand side is a column for all your page’s posts whereas the left will be all your business information; such as phone number, location etc. This new change has caused a debate in the office about the location of tabs which will be in the ‘more’ drop down menu, and if this will change the way people visit apps on brand’s Facebook pages? Food for thought.

Apple bring out iOS 7.1

Monday saw Apple release iOS 7.1, and within a few minutes it was already trending on Twitter. So what’s new about the new Apple update? First of all it adds support for the new Carplay function which was launched earlier this month. It allows your car in dashboard system to control the phone, music, maps, messages and third party audio apps. The update also includes updates to Siri, iTunes radio, calendar, accessibility and miscellaneous updates such as a new camera setting to enable HDR automatically on the iPhone 5s. Have you updated to iOS 7.1 yet?

Wild and Wacky app: Dog TV

Did you know there is now a channel for dogs? Yes you’ve read that right: Dog TV, the network showing 24/7 programmes for dogs. The network is in partnership with Latto and although it is not exactly clear what content will be aired, we do know it is available to watch on a multitude of platforms. You and your furry friend can watch on Samsung/LG smart TV’s, iOS, android or any computer. Dog TV isn’t free however, monthly fees are $9.99. Is this going to be the first innovation in a long line of many animal channels to follow we wonder? We find this quite a bizarre concept but we’re tempted to sign up, just to see what the programmes are like.

The lunchtime Infographic: LinkedIn reach 15 million UK users

This week LinkedIn announced they have 15 million UK members and that sure is a lot of people! To celebrate this, an infographic with some fun facts about the UK members was released. Did you know that London holds the most members with 2.3m, OK so no surprise there? Did you know that Tesco, the NHS and RBS are amongst some of the biggest British employers? Hmm that’s not really too surprising either? Okay well did you know that there are 5 UK mermaids? Okay now we’ve got you, you would of never of guessed that!

The Friday ‘Pick You Up’:

If you’ve reached that Friday afternoon lull, don’t worry. We’ll leave you with something to get you through the afternoon. This article has 25 amazing social media quotes from SXSW; perk up your Friday with some inspiration from some incredible people.

Can the iPhone make you beautiful?

If as a brand, you don’t have an iPhone app, then it would appear you are missing out on something big. At least that’s the impression we are getting from the beauty industry recently, as L’Oreal Paris becomes the latest beauty brand to join the club and get a mobile presence.

The app launched last month, and it’s free to download from the Apple iTunes Store. Not only that, but it has a heap of exciting features, sure to keep beauty lovers entertained as they peruse the shelves. The app allows its users to browse a gallery of make-up looks as inspiration, as well as watch tutorials from professionals to learn the art of application. To make it more exciting and current, it also allows shoppers to scan products on the shelves to bring up information on the product they are scanning. To develop this further, it would be even more exciting, and add to its functionality, if people were able to view real time reviews from the users of the product they are scanning, to help inform their purchasing decision. Even better, if users could see other shoppers’ tweets in the area, who may be talking about L-Oreal!

There are other iPhone apps to help you with your beauty woes, including the Hair Caster app, which uses your location, and analyses the local weather and humidity to enable you to style your hair accordingly. If you like a slightly more brutal app, then the Beauty app, computes the beauty factor of your face, based on how proportional and symmetrical your face is! It will then give you a figure between 1 and 100.

If you have an iPhone, then try them out and let us know how you get on!
@Naomi2303

The shelf life of iPhone apps

According to a recent survey, just two thirds of iPhone applications are used more than 90 days after they are first downloaded. With a relatively short shelf-life for the majority of apps, questions have been raised around the value of iPhone apps and how should they be best used.

The key to longevity is determining which apps offer long-term value to the user. These primarily include any news-based apps that are constantly updated and offer added value, whilst entertainment based apps tend to have shorter shelf lives due to their viral nature.

Whilst there will always be a place in the market for creative and entertaining apps, brands looking to extend the apps value over a longer period of time need to look at being useful and practical to today’s user in order to keep them coming back for more.  One example is a new app launched which lets you broadcast your London location to friends – turning your mobile into a city guide, loyalty store card and social connector.

So do you think this app has the staying power to hold its own for a long time? I say keep it fresh and relevant and you’ll keep the users coming back.

Spotify's Grand Plans

Today Spotify kindly gave up their time to talk us through the service, how it can help those in the communications industry and what their plans are for the future.

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the Spotify band wagon, the site basically allows you to listen and share millions of music tracks for free over the internet. You can build your own playlists and send them to your friends and as the service is paid for by advertising it means it’s free!

For anyone in the communications industry there are a wealth of opportunities available, not only in terms of simple advertising, but for partnership work and video seeding – check out an example of how Sky partnered with Spotify to stream updates from The Ashes.

With over two million people in the UK already using the service, what is next for the music sharing site? They did let us in on the news that they have developed an application for the iPhone which is still in the approvals process.

With that, and a rumoured Facebook app on the way, I’m interested to see how explosive this service is going to become over the next few months.