Social Bento: 27th June 2014

Social Bento

Google Glass ventures across The Atlantic! 

Early adopters in the US have been able to get their hands on Google Glass for a few months now, but Monday marked the launch of Google’s smart-glasses in the UK! Google glass allows users to snap videos and photos via the built in camera, whilst pairing the device to their Smartphone enables hands-free usage via heads-up display.

The gadget brings the connected consumer closer to technology and content that matters to them; satisfying always on needs by delivering information in the right place, at the right time. This customer-centric approach enables a user to digitally explore whilst being active, and living lighter. Google glass is available in multiple shapes, colours and frames; designed around the lifestyle of each user but comes with a hefty price-tag of £1,000.

Google stress the project is still a work in progress, but invite users to join their open beta and help shape the future of Google Glass. Will this be an item you’ll be adding to your impending Christmas list? – At least that way you’ll be giving people a chance to save up!

Amazon Dash

The latest innovation to come out of Amazon Fresh is Dash – an attempt to make shopping easier for the consumer.

Amazon Fresh is a same day and early morning delivery service of fresh groceries and everyday essentials, currently only available stateside. However if this wasn’t good enough, the development of Dash allows effortless shopping throughout the day as the remote control style device enables members of a family to add items to their shopping list from around their home simply by saying or scanning the object. The best thing too, never will you run the risk of forgetting items again as Dash remembers so you don’t have to!

We love this concept, far gone are the days of traipsing around the supermarket with a scraggly shopping list! Although unfortunately signing up is an invitation-only process… ours must’ve got lost in the mail.

Digital Wimbledon

2014 has introduced a digital revolution for the main sporting events, first with the World Cup and now with Wimbledon set to be the most social tennis tournament yet, with 63% of UK Twitter users planning on following the championships. Kicking off this week, Wimbledon’s Twitter feed is rife with real-time coverage, live updates and even a #QueueSelfie competition, encouraging spectators to snap themselves to win goodies from the Wimbledon shop.

The launch of #WelcomeBackAndy came when Andy Murray walked back on centre court to play his first match. The campaign invited all fans to engage with the hash-tag and @Wimbledon profile, to receive one of five signed digital photos of Murray winning the championship last year, personalised to feature a message and their own Twitter handle.

In addition, this year marks the first year where the screens on Henman’s Hill (or if you prefer, Murray Mount…) will feature crowd-sourced social interactions relating to Wimbledon – sharing photos, tweets and votes of those talking about the tournament.

Follow Wimbledon on Twitter, here!

 Brands reactions to Suarez’s shameful bite

After Luis Suarez shamefully bit his third footballer victim on Tuesday night in the Uruguay V Italy match, brands were hungry to jump on the back of the trending topic with real-time marketing ploys. Twitter was filled with brands, unsurprisingly predominantly in the dental hygiene or food industry, tweeting their humorous quips to the apparently hungry footballer.

  • Trident Gum were one of the brands to jump on the hype, tweeting: ‘Chew Trident. Not soccer players. #ITAvsURU’ – @tridentgum
  • Similarly so were mouthwash brand Listerine: ‘We recommend a good swish after grabbing a bite of Italian. #WorldCup#PowerToYourMouth’ – @ListerineGlobal
  • Along with the likes of chocolate giant Snickers: ‘Snickers: more satisfying than Italians. #LuisSuarez’ – @SNICKERS
  • Even the official handle of Major League Baseball’s contributed to the conversation: ‘There’s no c̶r̶y̶i̶n̶g̶#biting in baseball.’ – @MLB

As a result of his behaviour, the football star could be facing a two year ban from the sport. I wonder what relevant witticisms brands will come up with when that verdict is leaked!

Facebook sidebar ads return 

Since Facebook have continually been updating the layout of their pages based upon their growing focus towards visual content, the sidebars on the platform have become largely redundant. The introduction of newsfeed ads was accompanied by larger, eye-catching images which naturally gained more traction than the largely-overlooked adverts pushed to the sidelines. However good news for brands and marketers as times are a changing and Facebook is now introducing enlarging the images in their sidebar ads by over 50%, in a bid to compete with the newsfeed ads. To support this Facebook is minimising the amount of adverts which appear in the sidebar, streaming them down to just one or two as to not over-populate and confuse the user, allowing more obvious discovery.

With these developments enabling sidebar ads to appear more like newsfeed ads, the 20% text to image rule will now also applies across the board, with the ad needing to consist of 80% image. These changes will come into effect come August, so we have a month to organise our new sidebar content. On your marks, get marketing!

Social Bento: 20th June 2014

Another week has passed, and this week we’ve had lots of excitement. From the World Cup, to Cannes Lions and finally the meltdown after Facebook was down on Thursday morning. With so much to choose from, narrowing down topics for this week’s Social Bento was a bit tricky. However we hope you enjoy our picks, and have a great weekend!

YouTube to block indie labels?

This week it was announced that Google are planning to roll out a music streaming service. Listeners can pay to play music without advertising on Google owned YouTube. Google claims that 90% of the music industry has signed up to the service, threatened by the fact that not signing up will result in the videos being blocked on the platform. It’s been said that some indie labels are yet to get on board, with artists such as Arctic Monkeys and Adele at risk of their videos disappearing. There’s no confirmed launch date yet for the service, but it’s being predicted that it will have a graduated roll out later in the year.

Facebook release Slingshot… for real.

So last week we saw Facebook accidentally release their version of Snapchat, Slingshot. After a hasty removal from the app store, we had a sneaky suspicion it wouldn’t be long before the app was released for real. We were right as Slingshot was officially launched this week. With developers saying it’s different to Snapchat as it’s more of a way of sharing what you’re up to at that current moment in time. In addition, it has been said to be more polished than the rival ephemeral messaging site. Find out some more about both apps features in this article by Mashable. So what will you be turning to? Slingshot, or staying faithful to Snapchat?

YO!

A new app got everyone talking this week. Or should I say Yo-ing? Yo is super simple messaging app that allows you to send a ‘yo’ to your friends. That’s all there is to it. A yo. Perplexed? So were we. Of course what your ‘yo’ actually means is down to preference, could it mean when you get to a destination and instead of calling a family member you send a ‘yo’? Or perhaps as Yo themselves suggest, a blogger could Yo their readers when a new post is live. It’s completely up to you how you use your ‘yo.’ With user figures not being released just yet, it has been reported that so far over 50,000 users have sent more than 4 million ‘yos’. The app, which was reportedly created in just eight hours, has certainly has got everyone talking and is ahead of Facebook’s slingshot in the App download chart!

LinkedIn launch Job Search

LinkedIn have launched a brand new app called LinkedIn Job Search which is a free iOS app where you can search and apply for jobs using the platform. But you needn’t worry about your boss seeing your job searches as everything remains completely private and won’t be posted to your network. LinkedIn are reported to have said they want to make job searching easier for applicants. Whilst the app is currently only available in the US, it’s set to be released to other countries very soon.

Twitter now supports GIFs

Some good news to end the week is that Twitter finally supports GIFs! Hoorah. Just in case you’ve been living in a cave, GIFs are moving images that are repeated on a loop. It’s super easy to add GIFs to your tweets; we’ve found ours through Giphy, saved them and then uploaded them to our tweets as if they are a photo. Whoop. Let’s celebrate with a dancing GIF.

giphy (2)

Social Bento: 13th June 2014

Social Bento: A round up of this week’s social news.

Twitter & The World Cup

The World Cup officially launched this week and we are ready (well some of us are) for a football filled four weeks, and it seems that Twitter are too. This week to celebrate the World Cup starting, the social platform has been updated with many new World Cup features, for example Hashflags are back, simply tweet your support for your country, for example #ENG and once you tweet a little flag will appear alongside it. There’s a World Cup twitter timeline, so you can keep up to date with everything that is going on without having to search too hard for content, there’s also a match timeline where you can check in on matches and goals that have (or haven’t) been scored. Even new users can sign up, and provide what team they are supporting, and then follow along with all the world cup activities. It’s safe to say that you won’t miss a minute of action from the World Cup with Twitter.

Facebook Slip Up With Slingshot

On Monday, Facebook made a bit of an error by accidentally releasing their version of Snapchat, Slingshot in the app store. The ephemeral messaging site will allow users to send photos and videos which will then disappear once the recipient has swiped the message. Though it’s not been said how long the messages will stick around for. With no set release date in sight, it was surprising to see the app released in the app store earlier this week. Though only being available in certain countries such as; Russia, India and New Zealand, it wasn’t long till the app was taken down from the app store. Facebook released a statement saying “earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on. With Slingshot, you’ll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It’ll be ready soon and we’re excited for you to try it out.”! For now we guess we’ll just have to sit back and wait for the official launch of Slingshot!

Ticketmaster’s Plan To Increase Mobile Ticket Sales

Ticketmaster released a new update for their app; in fact it was the first iOS update in over 18 months. The update means that the ticket buying process will now be faster by removing steps such as CAPTCHA, which makes getting those concert tickets that bit easier and quicker! The app will be able to tell that a single user is not in fact a robot and won’t need to use the security measure in the process of buying gig tickets. With stats revealing that 16% of tickets bought through Ticketmaster in the first three months of 2014 were bought through mobile, it means that the new update could increase those stats by 10%. Removing CAPTCHA will make buying tickets so much quicker, meaning that for sell out shows you have a better chance of getting tickets before they sell out! Our social media exec Corrie, swears by the Ticketmaster app after it let her buy tickets at ease for a certain well known boyband show at Wembley Stadium. Will you be buying your tickets through the new and improved app?

Uber

This week we seemed to only be talking about two things; first of all the World Cup and secondly Uber. Wednesday saw a mass taxi strike from taxi drivers in European cities such as London, Berlin and Madrid, in protest to Uber. You can read more about the reasons behind the strike here. But on the same day as the cabbies were striking, Uber launched UberTaxi (great timing Uber) which is Uber’s take on the classic black cab. With it being a bit roomier than the average Uber car, it’s perfect for suitcases and has wheelchair access. With the strike and the launch of UberTaxi, Uber was pretty much top trending topic on Twitter all day, and Uber reported that on Wednesday they had an 850% increase of downloads of the app. Hmm we’re not quite sure if the strike went down as well as the taxi drivers hoped. So what are you a fan of? The traditional taxi or the digital Uber app where you don’t need to worry about if you’re hailing a taxi or the rolling fare?

LG’s Anti Theft Phone

Having your phone stolen is probably up there on the list of things we really don’t want to happen. It’s not just about being left without a phone but what about all the personal details that Smartphone’s now store? Log ins, passwords, personal details would all be compromised, and they’d all be in the hands of a stranger. It’s definitely a scary situation. However LG’s latest smartphone, the G3 has an anti theft feature which may help in this nightmare situation. Thanks to LG teaming up with computer security experts McAfee, the two have developed a ‘kill switch’ which means that phone users can disable their phone in the occurrence of a theft. This will erase content meaning that all personal data will be wiped meaning those precious details won’t be compromised. There will also be a McAfee mobile security app installed on the phone that protects against viruses, and other features such as data backup. Other LG users will also be able to download the app as well, to protect their current LG phones. What do you think about this anti theft software? We think it’s a great idea to help protect our personal data, now it’s Apple’s turn to make something similar.

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: 30th May 2014

Google: Smart Drive Car:

This week Google unveiled their smart drive car, a project the company has been working on for a number of years and is finally becoming a reality. The car looks very similar to other cars such as the Fiat 500, but missing one important detail, the steering wheel! There’s also no accelerator or brakes, but there is a big stop button just in case. The lack of these features means that it has more sensors in strategic spots than regular cars.  With some (rather brave) testers, they said it felt like riding a ride at Disney. With a current speed of 25mph, Google are hoping for a 100mph speed once it’s passed safety tests to travel safely at that speed. Google are hoping to have these on the road within a couple of years, and they’re hoping the Google self driving car will be safer than human drivers.

Apple & Google’s Smart Home products:

It seems that Apple and Google are moving into the Internet of Things more rapidly than what we thought.  This week, it was revealed that Apple are in talks with smart home device manufacture’s to develop software that would turn Apple devices such as the iPhone into a remote for household appliances. In addition, Google is also said to be planning to get into home security. Google have apparently been in talks with Dropcam to kick start plans. Whilst there’s not much info out at the moment about either product, we are excited to hear more, as we love the idea of using our phones to check on our homes and power our appliances!

#PizzaOnATrain

Did you hear about this week’s #PizzaOnATrain? No? Okay let me fill you in, Geordie comedian Chris Ramsey was on a train journey and fancied some pizza. After sending out a tweet about whether it would be possible to get a pizza delivered to a train the previous night, Dominos replied to his tweets, and started to DM the funny guy to arrange a delivery the next evening. With Chris’s 292,000 followers waiting with baited breath, through a series of tweets and screenshots, it wasn’t long before #PizzaOnATrain was trending. With followers tweeting words of encouragement, Dominos even told Chris they would be throwing in some extra pizza for fellow passengers on the train! When the train stopped at Doncaster at 10:45pm, there was Chris’s pizza. Of course a selfie was taken, as well as Chris proudly showing off his tower of Dominos boxes. What started off as a joke was made a reality and a very clever thing for Dominos to jump on board with. After writing this though, all we want is some pizza. #PizzaInAnOffice?

Is Snapchat the new marketing tool for brands?

Snapchat is increasing in popularity, and not just with millennial’s but brands too. The ephemeral messaging site is adding brands to its user lists, and brands are seeing the platform as a perfect way to capture the youth audience. The story feature is popular for brands, to post out several stitched together pictures and messages to promote new products and campaigns. The stories then disappear in 24 hours, leaving users with an urgency to read the stories before they expire. Brands have also used the 10 second self-destruct feature to tease new products, to give users a sneak preview and get them excited. Successful brands on Snapchat are; Victoria Secrets, McDonalds and Taco Bell. Will you be adding Snapchat to your social media strategy?

Uber to replace drivers with self driving cars?

One of the most successful apps in recent times, is car/taxi service Uber. As well as Google unveiling their new smart drive car, Uber revealed at Code Conference this week, that in the future they will be replacing drivers with self driving cars in a bid to decrease costs. CEO Travis Kalanick was quoted saying, “The reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car — you’re paying for the other dude in the car.” However this won’t be happening in the near future. Rumours have also circulated this week that Uber have announced a new deal with American phone network company AT&T which would see Uber’s app pre loaded onto 50 million Android phones. How would you feel about being picked up in a driverless car? We’re not too sure here in the office, but we wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years this is the norm!

 

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: 2nd May 2014

Got Some Time? Get Coasting!

The launch of mobile browser Opera Coast (3.0) was rolled out last week and we have spent the last week playing around on the software. In a realm where safari has previously reigned, Opera Coast threatens to disrupt the status quo with its simplistic and clean approach to online surfing. With easy navigation and predictive search, the browser makes the entire web appear like an app and by placing content-heavy sites at the centre of the interface, it makes the process of retrieving snackable content quick and easy for a user. Best thing about it too, it’s free! However are we ready to wave bye-bye to safari just yet?

 

The Verbal Selfie

Two years ago Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls publicised the first ‘verbal selfie’ when he tweeted his own name, assumedly by accident. On Monday, this mistake committed by a then Twitter-novice, returned to rear its ugly head to mark its anniversary. However its head wasn’t too ugly, in fact the topic even began trending when Twitter users far and wide all harmoniously retweeted the tweet at 4.20pm.  Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls himself even joined in and acknowledged the meme on the day, alongside brands like Red Bull tweeting; ‘Red Balls’ and the Oscar selfie being redesigned in Balls’ honour. #EdBallsDay

 

 Birdseye Picture House Instagram Campaign:

This week saw the launch of a new campaign by food brand Birds Eye. The campaign celebrates the opening of Birds Eye’s new Picture House restaurant and coincides with the launch of their new Inspirations range, a premium collection of evening meals. To celebrate the launch, Birds Eye has given customers the chance to win a table at the new Picture House restaurant. Entries to the competition consist of individuals snapping a picture of an inspiring evening meal time dish, upload to Instagram and accompany it with the hash-tag #BirdsEyeInspirations. Three winners will then get to dine at the new Picture House restaurant, where diners are urged to leave their wallets at home by paying for their meals with a simple Instagram photo. The Picture House restaurant opens up for business on 14th may at the Ice Tank in London. We love the idea of a restaurant where you pay for your meal with an Instagram photo, now we just need other restaurants to follow suit!

 

Share Your Secrets Across The Globe:

Popular anonymous Secret app, was rolled out to the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia this week. Previously only available in the US, the app lets you share your deepest secrets anonymously with the contacts in your phone book. With just your location being visible, the app gives away no visible identifying details. With English speaking countries being targeted first for the roll out of the app, co founder Chrys Bader-Wechseler said they are developing ways to bring the app to non English speaking countries. As well as Secret being available in new countries, there will also be a version for Android too. No set date has been set on all these new developments, but reports say it could happen within the next few weeks. So you haven’t got long to start thinking of those juicy secrets you want to share.

 

 Instagram Is Great For Marketers Right Now:

A new report by Forrester Research this week urged marketers to use Instagram right now. As new statistics show consumers are more likely to engage with brands posts on the photo sharing network. With brands generating 58 times more engagement per follower on Instagram then what they do on Facebook, and 120 times more than on Twitter. The reasons behind these stats are that Instagram is ‘less cluttered’ than other social sites, meaning that brands content doesn’t get lost amongst a flurry of other posts. Also Instagram doesn’t filter out brand posts such as other networks such as Facebook do and finally, Instagram’s user base is typically younger than the other main networks, which helps brands because younger users typically engage more with brands on social sites. However the report also said how Instagram will only be delivering these results for a short time. With more marketers and users jumping on-board the Instagram bandwagon, the platform will be forced to filter it’s content so that content delivered is only specific to the user, which would have a knock on effect for brands. So the conclusion from the Forrester Research report is that marketers should be joining Instagram now; that is if they haven’t already.

 

Apple iWatch In Production:

It was only a few weeks ago, that we were getting excited about the new Google watches that were coming out, but now it seems it’s time to get excited again as Apple’s new iWatch has reportedly gone into production. With release set to be in the later months of 2014, with production of 3 million devices in the second quarter of the year then expanding to 14 to 15 million in the third quarter. The watch is set to be a wearable computer; we suspect it’s going to be like having the iPhone on your wrist. However with Wearable’s going down in popularity with a recent poll of 49% of Americans believing they are just a fad, can Apple work their magic on the Wearables market? We are excited to see their version that’s for sure.

 Just Go Do It:

With the bank holiday weekend just a few hours away, we are excited to be having a break. However if you’ve got a goal to do over the weekend for example finally starting those morning jogs in time for the summer, this new website may give you the push you need. ‘Go fucking do it’ is the website (don’t worry we’re not swearing at you unnecessarily!) and the name is pretty much self-explanatory. The new website urges you to enter your goals and when you want to achieve them by and then if you don’t, you have to pay up to a referee that you nominate at the beginning of your goal date. Would this inspire you to get those goals done that you’ve set yourself? With just over a week of the site being live, over $10,000 of pledges have been created! Seems like the idea of paying someone if you don’t achieve your goal is working for a lot of people! Now go on that run!

 

Twitter To Introduce New Whisper Mode?

Although Twitter will remain a public network, this week CEO Dick Costolo announced a new whisper feature that could be hitting our timelines soon. Not to be confused or to replace the DM feature, the new whisper mode, means that you can take a conversation from a string of tweets and use them as a jumping point to start a DM conversation. So if you want to show your friend or more than one friend, something that is being publically spoken about, the whisper mode will make that simple transition from the public to a private conversation. It’s also set tongues wagging that Costolo mentioned ‘more than one friend.’ Does this mean that Twitter will be enabling group messages soon too? As it stands there is currently no release date of when the ‘whisper mode’ will be introduced into everyone’s Twitter feeds, although it has been reported that some may be seeing it already, however it’s reported to be unlikely that it is called ‘whisper mode.’ What do you think of the new idea of a whisper function on Twitter? It’s something, we think we’ll only be able to get our heads round once we’ve actually seen it in action, however the idea of group DMs is something that excites us greatly.

 Snapchat: More Chat Than Snap.

On Thursday, Snapchat released a new interesting feature for users. Chat, now means that Snapchat isn’t just about a quick snap of what you’re up to, you can now Chat face-to-face with your contacts too. By swiping your contacts in your inbox, you can Chat with your friends whilst witnessing their reactions; users able to show them in real life what they were going to snap an image of. After you’ve finished your conversation, messages and pictures viewed by the both of you will be cleared, however you can still screen shot anything that you may want to keep. Snapchat is proving its popularity with users, and the new Chat feature is an exciting one. What do you think of the new Chat? Or did you prefer to snap?

You can also read 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.