Social Bento: 6th June 2014

 Instagram’s New Editing Tools

This week saw Instagram unveil a new update, that we are sure will please Instagram enthusiasts. With ten new tools and seven updated ones, you will be stuck for choice when it comes to editing your photos on the image sharing site. You can now adjust the intensity of the filter you apply to a picture, sharpen images and use other tools such as adjust, saturation, warmth and highlight. The new update has very similar features to other separate editing tools such as VSCO cam which may now be redundant for users. What do you think of the new Instagram 6.0 update?

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference

Monday night saw Apple’s 2014 WWDC roll round. The twittersphere was rife all day with rumours of what could be announced, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t checking the hashtag repeatedly for news! So what actually came out of WWDC? First of all a lot of information was released about iOS 8, and it was revealed that most Apple devices will be working with the new update, except for the 2010 iPhone4. This means that all devices will also have touch ID; a feature that only the iPhone5 has at present. It was also revealed how SMS messages and phone calls will now pop up on your Mac, meaning you never have to miss a text or phone call again if you’re phone isn’t near you. There were lots of other iOS 8 features revealed, such as a quick type keyboard, and interactive notifications.  The keynote also announced details about their new Health app, and their plans for HomeKit.  We love the idea of HomeKit, it’s exciting that we are a step closer to being able to control most of our household appliances through our iPhones. Though now we all are eager to hear about the iPhone 6!

Is Tinder trying to be like Snapchat?

This week Tinder announced news of their latest update, with a certain feature which seemed rather familiar. The dating app, which shows you single people in your local area and lets you like their profile and talk to one another, has a new feature that means you can also share photos with one another that will self destruct in 24 hours. It’s supposed to allow the users to show another side to themselves as well as their profile picture. The ‘moments’ will be sent out, and the recipients can either ignore the photo or like it. There have been talks that there may be a block button for unwanted photos such as body shots. With the new update, it seems that most platforms are trying to get on the Snapchat bandwagon, with Apple also revealing familiar Snapchat features in new iOS 8 update.

Google Maps New Transport Options

Google Maps have added some unusual forms of transport to their platform.  With their Easter Eggs popping up every now and then, it was found that both the Loch Ness Monster and the Royal Carriage are among the transport options for journeys. With the mythical monster, being an urban legend for years, between Fort Augustus and Urquhart castle, Nessie will take you on a 28 minute trip, which is definitely a speedier than the bus! The Queen’s Royal Carriage is also featured, when looking for routes between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, but you will need to practise your royal wave first! In Wales you even have the option of travelling by dragon between Snowdon and the Brecon Beacons. Which mode of transport would you prefer? The girls in the office are opting for the Royal Carriage, whilst the boys are definitely more interested in travelling by dragon!

IFTTT

This week we found a genius app that will change the way you use social platforms. IFTTT (which is pronounced ‘gift’ without the ‘g’) is all about making the internet work for you; allowing the user to create ‘recipes’ between platforms. Say for example you want a tweet to be sent out every time you publish a blog post, or you want your instagram photos turned into a twit pic automatically, IFTTT takes care of all this. You can also configure recipes such as muting your phone as soon as you get into the office! We have been playing with the website all week, and now have recipes applied for all sorts, but we’re yet to find one for putting the kettle on!

 

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

Social Bento: 9th May: A Round Up Of This Week’s Best Social Media News..

Tesco’s New Smartphone To Rival Android?

This week Tesco proved they are so much more than the place where we do our weekly grocery shop. With the supermarket chain already edging their way into the technology game with the release of Hudl, a tablet which has seen sales of over 550,000. With the success of Hudl behind them, Chief Executive Philip Clarke revealed that a Tesco phone is on the way and should be launched by the end of the year. It’s also been reported that the handset will be based on Android, but there haven’t been any confirmations of any further details such as prices of the handset. The only details we do have is that the phone will be loaded with Tesco services such as Blinkbox video streaming, a music/books/movie e-store, and general Tesco shopping services. Clarke also revealed how they are also releasing a follow-up to their tablet, Hudl 2, in September. We’re intrigued to see the new Tesco phone; will it really rival Android? We guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Amazon Lets You Pay With A Tweet

This week saw Amazon launch a new feature to their e-commerce website. After connecting your Twitter account to your Amazon one, using Twitter you now can add items to your basket using the hashtag  #amazonbasket. It’s targeted at users who don’t want to go through the trouble of clicking links and then manually adding products to their basket. Amazon has created #amazonbasket to provide ease for their customers, stating that “no more switching apps, typing passwords, or trying to remember products you saw on Twitter. Save it to your cart now, and check out later when it’s more convenient for you.” Reports state how this new feature benefits Twitter more than anyone else. An Amazon spokesperson says ““Twitter offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands and friends. #Amazonbasket was designed to help customers add products to their cart now without leaving Twitter and come back later to shop and buy on Amazon.”  Will you be using the new #amazonbasket feature? We’re sure that our basket is probably always going to be full to the brim!  Shopaholics beware!

Police Love Pinterest Too

Some of us in the office are big Pinterest fans. This week we learnt that it’s not just us who love Pinterest, in fact so do the police. No not Sting and pals, the actual police force who are using the pinning inspiration platform as a way to solve crimes. Yes really. Redwood City’s force in California used the site to list stolen jewellery that had been found in a bag. After just eight hours, the police force received details from three different people about owners of the stolen jewellery. Including a charm bracelet that had been stolen in 1983 and was a mother’s keepsake and 30 years later, it was reunited with the rightful owner. In addition Pottstown’s force have created boards of criminals mug shots and have seen a 57% increase in arrest rates for offences since the boards were created. Police have also been using other social platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to help find criminals and a revolutionary new pre video advert on YouTube showing missing people. How do you feel about Police forces on social media? We think it’s a great way for them to connect and help solve crimes.

 

Everyone To Get New Twitter Profile This Month

If you thought you’d got away with not having the new Twitter profile, we have bad news. It’s coming for you. Twitter announced this week that everyone will have the new profiles on May 28th. The new design has come under criticism in recent weeks for its similarity to Facebook. With not everyone having the new profile yet, it won’t be long before everyone has the new features including larger profile and header images, new timeline views and the ability to pin a tweet to the top of a profile page. So if you’re a hater of the new design… you’ve only got 19 days (and counting!)

Vine Gets Accessible

It’s been announced Vine have revamped their website to show it’s more accessible for viewers to search and watch their favourite six second videos. The best thing you don’t even have to be logged in to see videos, or even have an account for that matter, making the new shift a very similar one to YouTube. You’ll even be able to see different channels, popular videos and trending tags. The move shows a real segregation between Vine and Instagram who still have a limited online website, and moves towards becoming closer to being a YouTube competitor. The developments of the website means that more people can enjoy Vine’s and search for them a lot easier, which will do nothing but boost the platforms popularity. We have had hours of fun searching for our favourite Vine’s, will this new update mean you’ll spend more time on the six second video site or stay faithful to the giant YouTube?

Mink: The 3D Printer That Prints Make Up 

This week we saw an innovative new product launched that got the girls in the office pretty excited. Okay no, it’s not a Ryan Gosling clone. However Mink a new 3D printer that allows you to print out make up was revealed at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt event by Harvard business school student Grace Choi. So how exactly does the printer work? Well, the printer works as an inkjet to mix colours to the user’s preference then print, the custom make up. You can select colours from any digital image, whether you want to copy a look from YouTube, a photo or a colour found on the internet. Creator Choi says “”The inkjet handles the pigment, and the same raw material substrates can create any type of make-up, from powders to cream to lipstick.” With no specific release date apart from later this year, Mink has an enquiry list you can join to be first in the know about the revolutionary new printer’s launch. Reports are the printer will be roughly $300 and materials will be ‘competitively’ priced. We love the idea of having a printer to print custom ideas, our Social Media Exec and beauty blogger Corrie is literally beside herself at the idea.

 

Yahoo Launches News Digest App For Android

This week Yahoo launched their News Digest app for Android, and made the current iOS version available for all users worldwide. The app which gives daily news updates for users was previously only available in the UK or US. The app was launched earlier this year, and was based on news app Summly, started by British teen Nick D’Aloisio started up before Yahoo acquired it  in 2013. Yahoo also released some latest stats on News Digest, with D’Aloisio revealing that 40% of users use the app every day. With News Digest going worldwide, will you be downloading the app?

5G Trials In Japan

Word on the street is that Nokia and Samsung have joined in with trials of 5G in Japan. However it seems we can’t get too excited as 5G is still years away, in fact 2020 is the predicted year that we’ll get internet speeds up to 10Gbps. Current tests are being carried out to see if high frequency bands (higher than 6GHz) which can support speeds up to10 Gbps even if there are lots of devices using the same bandwidth. It’s reported that the first tests will be held in an indoor research facility and later in outdoor field trials next year. We guess we’ll just have to carry on with 4G for the time being!

Tumblr’s New Features For Mobile:

Tumblr have announced they are rolling out a fully customisable update to their mobile versions. In the past, users haven’t been able to change the background of their blog or customise it due to logos and backgrounds not being available on the mobile version. Peter Vifani, the creative director at Tumblr says “this is our biggest launch in the past five years. We’re allowing customization and theming to occur in mobile apps, which is huge, because mobile takes up half of our total traffic and it’s rapidly growing.” Updates now sync instantly between the desktop and mobile versions so changes made to one another are then reflected on each device. We love the idea of being able to customise whilst on the mobile app, seeing as we are all such big fans of Tumblr. What do you think about the new update?

 

Remember you can also find Social Bento as a Flipboard too!

 

Headstream’s Social Bento : 25th April 2014

Are the young ones really down with the IoT?

Voxburner has carried out new research over March and April on the youth audience’s opinion towards the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IoT describes the revolution which began decades ago – although only being named in 1999 – which involves ‘Things’ such as animals, people and objects being assigned an IP address, allowing them to be internet-enabled and able to communicate with one another.

The new data released shows that little of the 16-24 age group (6%) had a fully comprehensive understanding of the concept, with 53% claiming to have never heard about it. Despite the initial unawareness, once explained, 75% of the youth market were excited about the development in technology, predominantly as it may contribute towards them saving money.

Waitrose invest in Content Marketing Strategy

Tomorrow morning, Saturday 26th April, will mark the launch of Waitrose’s new TV show, Weekend Kitchen. The show will be co-hosted by the attractive team of Lisa Snowden and Steve Jones, whose back-catalogues both comprise of a history of modelling and TV and Radio presenting. Lasting 60 minutes, the program will boast celebrity guests, chefs, recipes and cover the latest lifestyle trends and emphasises the brand’s shift from selling to inspiring their customers.

An investment into branded entertainment content like this sees Waitrose expanding on their existing content marketing strategy of the brand as a publisher. Already Waitrose hold the title for the first ever supermarket newspaper Waitrose Weekend, with their 40 page publication which can be picked up in store and now the TV show is an inspired extension of this.

Weekend Kitchen will air at 9am on Saturdays on Channel 4, undercutting BBC’s Saturday Kitchen by one hour. Our mouths are watering already…

Earth Day Selfies

This week saw the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, held annually on April 22nd. To mark the occasion, as well as their upcoming launch of five missions into space later this year to find out more critical data about our planet, NASA launched the #GlobalSelfie event.

NASA invited the planet to, “get outside and show us mountains, parks, the sky, rivers, lakes,” NASA suggests. “Tell us where you are in a sign, words written in the sand, spelled out with rocks.” The event is part of the larger Earth Right Now campaign, with the intention being to compile all the images sent to NASA across social platforms together to create one astounding mosaic of our home planet.

Unclaimed baggage?

Although we’d expect it would become apparent rather quickly if you returned home after your summer holiday and were not equipped with your luggage in tow however, this might not be the case. Ever wondered what happens to all the unclaimed baggage? A novel idea was devised out of just that. From these items, a retail outlet was derived in Alabama, USA which sold anything from formal wear to technology and gadgets and is so large in size it even has a cafe inside it.

Desperate to grow their customer reach organically, Unclaimed Baggage used a strategy of outreach marketing. Opposed to getting more clicks-through to a website, the store’s objective was instead to drive more physical footfall in store. To achieve this they tapped into the sphere of local family and retail bloggers, all within a 2-3 hour radius of the store. By offering incentives such as free breakfast, lunch, gift cards and store tours Unclaimed Baggage received significant brand uplift whilst only working with 30 bloggers; proving quality prevails over quantity.

Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

This week saw #HappyBirthdayShakespeare trending, as the great English playwright celebrated his 450th birthday. Widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, Shakespeare’s birthday notably falls on St George’s Day and Twitter, as a result, witnessed masses of patriotic and commemorative tweets celebrating the life of the Avon Bard.

The day saw a series of activities such as a Q&A held by The Royal Shakespeare Company as well as a series of jokes, like this one from Waterstones:

Shakespeare: Pint of beer to celebrate my 450th birthday, please!

Barman: Sorry we can’t serve you, you’re bard.

Attention was also drawn to several Shakespeare-inspired apps. ‘What Would Shakespeare Say’ is the app that trumps it for us, a free app made available by Windows which gives the user the opportunity to impress by paying a compliment (or even an insult!) in Shakespearean tongue: ‘thou balmy life-rendering sweet-meat’ ;)

Twitter as a recruitment tool?

The newly rolled out Twitter redesign is receiving mixed reviews. Main criticisms centre around the fact that the new desktop-orientated developments ignore the 76% of Twitter users that use the platform on mobile. However the progression has now seemed to move Twitter towards acting as more of a tool to be used in recruitment. For instance new additions to the platform now include best tweets and pinned tweets. Best tweets will be all of the posts which receive the highest engagement levels and thus will appear larger and more prominent on a twitter profile, providing a snapshot of the user at a glance. The latter, will give the user an opportunity to choose one specific tweet and ‘pin’ it to the top of their profile to instantly characterise themselves; making the process a lot easier for potential future employers.

Many an hour will now surely be spent painfully deliberating over how to correctly sum up your whole existence in one sentence. From now on, better think before you tweet!

Whatsapp notches up half a billion regular users

More celebrations this week, but this time they are taking place in Whatsapp HQ after the instant messaging service successfully acquired 500,000,000 active monthly users! Facebook purchased Whatsapp back in February this year for $19 billion, and now the company is over half way to the active monthly target of 1 billion users set by Mark Zuckerberg. It is thought that significant growth of the service in Brazil, Russia, Mexico and India – countries where Facebook is not such an omnipresent force, has greatly contributed to their rapid and continuing expansion.  So what’s next? Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp has reported that the service will be moving into voice calls within Q2 of this year, so stay tuned.

As a cheaper alternative to SMS messaging and with the ease and immediacy of sharing images and videos, Whatsapp’s success comes as no real surprise.

Uber reaches its 100th city

Uber is a private taxi service centralised around a mobile app, which this week launched in Beijing, totalling its presence to 100 cities worldwide within the four years since its conception.

The app connects a user to a driver within a tap of the button. It finds your location via geo-targeting and immediately notifies you not only where your nearest driver is, but his name, his contact number and the vehicle he is driving – all before it picks you up within minutes! The best thing about the whole experience however is not the reliability, nor the great customer service (the cars I have travelled in usually have USB charging points and bottles of water available to passengers for no extra cost) but the fact all transactions are carried out via the app either by debit card or PayPal, with a detailed invoice being sent to the user via email straight after the journey.

The service began in San Francisco but can now be found within 35 countries, running in London and Manchester as it stands here in the UK, but we can’t wait till it reaches us down here in Southampton. No more whistling, no more haggling, no more walking home because you have no cash on you – just an effortless and comfortable ride in style!

Stephen’s story

An overwhelmingly emotional story of a teenage boy diagnosed with incurable cancer rose up from the depths of social space this week, flooding our screens with the story of an inspirational 19 year old.

Ever since being diagnosed, Stephen Sutton found the best way to channel all his grief would be to compile a bucket list of 46 things he wished to achieve before he died. Amongst going to Wembley, completing a sky dive and getting a tattoo, above all Stephen wanted to raise £1m for the charity Teenage Cancer Trust.

With the help of Jason Manford and an army of celebrity comedians, a text domain for donations was soon circulated across Twitter, accompanied by the hashtag #ThumbsUpForStephen and the floodgates opened for donations to pour in and they did, in their millions. The target of £1m was soon reached and the donations have since exceeded the £2m mark, accompanied by the running commentary from Stephen in his hospital bed, ‘hanging in there’.

Much a kin to the #NoMakeUpSelfie movement last month, both the power of social media and the generosity of the British public are again emphasised.

Please get behind this inspirational individual and text STEPHEN to 70500 to donate £5.

 

*This week’s Social Bento is also available via flipboard here: http://flip.it/JnSno

Headstream’s Social Bento : 17th April 2014

Headstream Social Brands 100 Youth report 
After many months of planning, this week we successfully launched our Social Brands 100 Youth rankings report. We had two great partners for this report: Voxburner, an insight company who provided us with the source list of the 100 Youth Brands, and Socialbakers who provided the data that enabled us to rank the brand’s engagement. We examined three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. We will not tell you who came in at no.1 or any other juicy details here, but find out for yourself by downloading the report at http://www.socialbrands100.com

Giraffe Kicks Go Pro
Go Pro cameras and their branded videos make headlines all over the world. Many of us have watched people jumping out of a plane, riding down steep hills, playing football or climbing up high skyscrapers, the clips have a habit of producing smiles or looking through one eye as we can’t watch what happens next. One thing is for sure, as this Giraffe demonstrates in this clip here, the Go Pro hasn’t won over the animal kingdom just yet!

The restaurant that Googles you before you go! 
Picture this; you are going for a meal in a 3 star Michelin restaurant with family, friends or loved ones and when you arrive your waiter already knows who the members of your party are, whether it is your birthday or an important anniversary. You would probably think that someone has called ahead and made sure that the staff of the restaurant knew in advance, well, you would be wrong. Well for one restaurant the maître d’ is simply Googling its customers and finding any social data enabling them to profile their clientele. Smart but slightly creepy, it reminds us of Jack Vale’s fantastic social media experiment last year.

Arby’s actively listening
Pharrell Williams is one of the most talked about musicians in the world, and receives a lot of attention for his taste in fashion. If you remember on the 26th of January, Pharrell turned up on the red carpet for the Grammy’s with Vivienne Westwood’s Buffalo hat. As a result of that, Arby’s Digital & Social Media Director decided to tweet Mr. Williams asking if they could have their hat back to which he replied. It has since transpired that Pharrell Williams placed the hat on eBay to raise money for his charity ‘From one Hand to Another’. Arby’s continue to receive praise for their real-time tweet and active listening which marketers can learn a lot from.

App that tells you if you’ll have a good hair day
For those obsessed with their hair there is now a smart phone app that will tell you how the current weather will affect your curls. The new app called ‘How’s my Hair’ will help you avoid any mishaps with your hairstyle by providing a daily forecast that includes humidity and wind levels so your hair wont misbehave. All in all, the app is designed to make our hair day better.

Facebook to release more apps
Facebook announced this week it is going to releasing more apps through its Creative Labs. The announcement follows on from Paper, their news app released earlier this year. The multi-app strategy is Facebook’s way of adapting to the platform’s user behaviours displayed on mobile and makes total sense. Facebook has invested heavily acquiring apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp, but their own IP such as Messenger has struggled to compete, therefore they need to grow a successful app organically.

Google Glass 1 year on
Exactly 1 year ago Google announced that Glass would be available to the public. This week Google for 1 day only opened its online store to the US public selling units at $1500. Within 24 hours the store had closed and all stock was sold out. The sale was a test to understand customer demand and probably to clear our Explorer Edition stock.

Line ‘Creative Marketplace’ now open for business
Messaging app Line is now unlocking its 400 million subscriber base to anyone selling sticker packs within its ‘Creative Marketplace’. Brands in Asia have already paid for the privilege of creating stickers for the platform, tapping into the user behaviour of 1.8 billion stickers sent each day. We will wait to see whether or not Line’s new revenue stream will be emulated in the future by Facebook’s WhatsApp.

Watch or record a show on Sky with a tweet
Sky+HD subscribers can now watch or record a show directly from Twitter by simply interacting with the ‘Watch’ or ‘Record’ icons whenever #watchonsky appears within a tweet from Sky. Currently the functionality is only available through Twitter on mobile, but the feature is an innovative way of further allowing users to control their TV viewing experience and tapping into 2-screen behaviour.

 

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

new twitter design

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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

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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

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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

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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:

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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!

Headstream’s Social Bento : 21st March 2014

Carlsberg happy hour with Instagram

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Beer Company Carlsberg brought a brand new meaning to the term ‘happy hour’ this week with their new Instagram campaign. Urging visitors in participating bars to post a picture to Instagram with the hash tag #HappyBeerTime , they‘d then get a Carlsberg or Tuborg beer for half price. The bars were fitted with a dongle which streamed the photos to a TV screen meaning that staff and participants were updated on new content in real time. Carlsberg said this campaign would benefit everyone, the punters as they get cheap beer and the bars because they would receive word of mouth buzz over Instagram. The campaign is going to be trialled in Denmark, but could extend to other countries such as the UK. When asked if they thought that the promotion was encouraging binge drinking, Carlsberg’s vice president of group digital, media and content said “We’re extending the time-frame people can drink beer [at a discounted price] so they are not under pressure to drink excessive amounts in a short period. When combined with the social media mechanic, ‘Happy Hour 2.0 is much more about promoting the time people are social and happy together versus drinking.” Well that’s us told.

Twitter make a faves list

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Do you follow hundreds of people on Twitter and miss out on those all important tweets from your favourite people? Fear no more, Twitter has introduced a new favourite list where you can tap a star next to a user and have them popped into a favourites list. You can even go that step closer to be a stalker by choosing to get alerts when they send out a tweet. Of course it’s all very similar to the list option that Twitter currently have, but we now have a little star. The feature is currently being tested on a small group of Android users, and when asked for a comment Twitter, kept their mouths closed, but we all know that Twitter likes to regularly test out new features on the down low. The sneaky scamps. Who will you be adding to your favourites list? It better be Headstream or we’re not friends anymore.

YouTube to make a kids friendly version?

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YouTube is rreportedly going to be making a kids friendly version for under 10’s. Free of adult themed videos and comments, the site is to eventually become a platform that parents can trust. The goal is for parents to be able to access a special app on their devices or TVs that just shows children friendly videos. Hopefully there will be content created just for children too. If this excites you, then maybe don’t get your hopes up just yet. The project isn’t anywhere near to being finished yet, but with internet users becoming younger, this could well be a platform that would be very popular with not only under 10’s but parents too.

The new anti- social app:

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Ever had that awkward situation where you’ve bumped into someone you know when you’re doing your weekly food shop, and then crept round the rest of the shop like a burglar so you don’t see them again? Or when -this one is for the girls, you pop out and you have no makeup on, and you’re wearing food stained clothes *not a pretty sight I tell you* you always bump into at least one person you know. Why is this? Well thanks to new anti social app Cloak, we can now avoid this happening.  The app pulls in location information from our friends social networks connecting with Foursquare and Instagram, and then provides you with a map that tells you where certain people are. You then flag the person you want to avoid and then the app will alert you when you are in close radius of that person. At the moment the app is just connected with Instagram and Foursquare but will be connecting with other location services in the future.  So if you want to avoid that certain someone make sure they are using those two networks, or you still run the risk of bumping into them whilst buying loo roll.

Twitter removing its mentions?

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This week the word on the street was that Twitter is once again making some more cheeky changes, by possibly getting rid of @ mentions on the android app. Twitter’s head of news Vivian Schiller recently told a media event that “hashtags and @ mentions are arcane” and hinted that they may be reworked to create a new streamlined look for twitter. This means that @ mentions may be scrapped in favour of a similar Facebook commenting system. It’s said that the change is happening due to new users being put off by the sites scaffolding conversations. How would you feel if Twitter went through with this change? We personally don’t know why Twitter would want to change this, how would this impact our timelines? Would we just be able to comment on other people’s tweets? Something we’d be interested to hear Twitter discuss further.

#Nomakeupselfie

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This week we saw a sudden influx of makeup free selfies pop up on our Facebook and Twitter timelines. This trend which was sparked off by author Laura Lippman showing support for actress Kim Novak who was criticised for her looks, has now transformed into an awareness campaign for Cancer Research. Although the campaign didn’t come directly from Cancer Research themselves, they sent out a tweet saying ,“We’re loving your #cancerawareness #nomakeupselfie pics! The campaign isn’t ours but every £ helps #beatcancersooner.” It’s been reported that the charity has seen a surge in donations and have even raised more than £1 million pounds through 800,000 text donations. Although it wasn’t an official campaign, the no makeup selfie has raised a great deal of money for Cancer Research and the website has had a huge surge of traffic, which to us means that a simple no makeup picture has raised a huge amount of awareness for a great cause.

Android Wear

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Wearables have started creeping up on us within recent years. But earlier this week Google showed us that they were really getting into wearables. Android Wear is a system specially designed for smart watches.  With LG reported to be the first brand to manufacture the watches, other brands such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung have also been working with the company to bring out versions as well. The wearable will have many key features including fitness being a main one. Adding  ‘real time speed, distance, and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk,” say Google. Other features include Google Now, which brings you all the information you need at the right time, whether it’s the weather, directions or reminders; it’s all ready for when you need the information. The watch will also be connected to your android phone (if you have one obviously) so any notifications from apps that you have on there will come through on the watch too. There will also be voice command so you can do voice searches (make sure if you’re searching for something dodgy you do it in private though!) You can even get a song to play from your phone using your voice. You can say ‘OK Google’ to do things such as order a taxi, send a text or reserve a table in your favourite restaurant. Google hope that the first Android watches will be out later this year. Exciting times, we can’t wait to see these start to be rolled out as we love the idea of having the world on your wrist!

Google ChromeCast

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Google’s Chromecast Wi-Fi dongle is officially available to buy in the UK! The dongle which can stream music, videos and games through your TV went on sale on Wednesday.

Priced at £30, the dongle which is connected through the HDMI port, acts as a receiver for media such as videos and games, sent from Android smart phones and tablet apps, including Apple devices as well as computers via the Chrome browser. We love this little dongle, the hassle of connecting many wires or downloading apps just to watch YouTube or Netflix on your TV is now solved. Phew. Now where’s the popcorn?

The Lunchtime Watch

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This week’s lunchtime watch is one of the videos we all enjoyed this week in the office. Our resident Superman aka Creative Director Darren found this funny video of what it would be like to spend the day flying round like Superman. Wearing a GoPro we see him rescue ladies from burning buildings and chase bad guys. The only thing is now is that we really wish we could fly :(