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!

 

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 :)

 

Social Brands 100 Q&A: The Royal Mint (part one)

After over 1000 years in business, The Royal Mint joined the world of social media in 2012. We spoke to Social Media Marketing Manager James Owen. In the first part, posted today, James talks about what the Mint learned in its first year of activity. Continue reading

Kick starting the Digital Economy

A hot topic during the party political conference season has inevitably been how to reinvigorate the UK’s economic growth. There are lots of initiatives out there, but IOHO one of the most exciting opportunities for the UK is to translate some of its leading academic work around technology, digital and computer science into commercial success. After all why shouldn’t the next Twitter, Pinterest, Rovio, or Google come from UK shores?

We believe a good way to make this happen is to bring together academic and commercial networks, and create the conditions for collaboration to bloom. That’s why Headstream is sponsoring and taking part in the Creative Digifest event at Southampton University on October 11th.

Sir Tim Berners Lee – Inventor of the World Wide Web

The presence at Southampton University of global thought leaders like Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Wendy Hall and Nigel Shadbolt has created a vibrant environment for digital innovation to flourish. Headstream has been working with the Digital Economy Group at the University, and South of England industry body, Business Solent, to help bring together the business community with the academic world at the Digifest event.

If you’d like to come along all the details of the day are here, and tickets can be booked here. The keynote will be delivered by Andrew Keen, CNN contributor, entrepreneur and author of Digital Vertigo, and there are plenty of networking sessions, workshops and demonstrations from technology start-ups.

Our very own Julius Duncan will be on stage, and Head of Innovation for Headstream Tom Chapman will be running a workshop on how interactive technologies are set to change our lives

If you are looking for inspiration and potential partnerships it’s set to be a great day. You can also follow the action on Twitter @sotonDE and via the #sxsc2 hashtag.

Helping retail marketers build a social brand

Here at Headstream we believe that getting social media included as early as possible in the business and marketing strategy process is key to its success. With this in mind, and to help out those retail sector marketers who are embarking on strategy planning for 2013, we’ve created the ‘Building a retail social brand’ white paper.

It is an essential guide for any retail marketer, and through a combination of case studies, analysis and trend spotting sets out to answer the following questions:

- How can retail brands get more out of social media, and increase return on investment?

- What does social media best practice amongst retail brands look like currently?

- What is the next social innovation that will impact the retail sector?

- What immediate steps should you take to ensure your social media planning and execution is successful?

Retail has been transformed by the move to e-commerce since the advent of the web, and continues to be one of those sectors most rapidly affected by social media innovation. The increasing penetration of smart-phones and tablets that allow shoppers to access their networks while in-store ensures that this pace of change will continue, and that there are exciting times ahead.

We hope you find our white paper useful, and as ever we’d love to know your thoughts.

In conversation with Jeremiah Owyang

Headstream had the pleasure of meeting Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) last week, partner at social business and technology advisory firm Altimeter. We’ve always been big fans of Jeremiah’s work, so it was a real privilege to hear some of his thoughts on the future of social business and technology. Here are five key-points we took away:

 

Open will beat closed

The business models that will thrive are those which “work with the internet rather than against it”. Jeremiah believes that “open will win” and cited as an example Altimeter itself, which makes all its research openly available, compared to other research firms that charge for access. He sees Altimeter’s  business model, which gains its revenue from follow-on advisory fees, as more sustainable than the paid-for content model.

 

“Make the market your marketing department”

By adopting an ‘open’ business model, distributing content widely, and providing individuals with the tools to link back to your content, the entire market can become your marketing department. A business like GiffGaff is a good example of a company where the customers are working for it in this way. (GiffGaff ranked highly in Headstream’s Social Brands 100 listing, published in March)

 

URLs will go away

As we enter the era of the social web i.e. an internet built around people rather than machines, the traditional architecture of the internet will change radically. Jeremiah sees a future where “corporate web pages go away, URLs go away, search as we know it goes away. We will know so much about customers that we won’t need those things. Data will be used so well that we can predict and anticipate what the market wants.”

 

Europe vs. the U.S

Jeremiah had two observations. First, Europe is 24 months behind the U.S. when it comes to adopting social business practices, and second, Europeans are much more decorous when it comes to conversations on Twitter, in the U.S. the Twitter ’noise’ is much greater!

 

Teaching people to shout

If you respond to unhappy customers on Twitter without a co-ordinated and in-depth social CRM strategy in place, you are simply “teaching them to shout at you some more”. Only those companies that are prepared to introduce a service culture throughout the organization e.g. Zappos, will be able to handle customers successfully. Jeremiah is wary of any company that says it wants to undertake social CRM if the executives aren’t prepared to get personally involved.

 

These are a few highlights from a wide-ranging and excellent conversation over a lunch organized by Neville Hobson @jangles, and supported by Dell’s Kerry Bridge @kerryatdell. Many thanks to them for making it happen, and to the other guests @sheldrake, @benjaminellis, @jas, @abigailh and @sophiebr, who made it such a great conversation. Lovely photo here.

Event: Social Media Strategy

We’ll be at Brandrepublic’s Social Media Strategy conference next Tuesday.  Jules Duncan will be setting the scene by talking about the importance for brands to have not simply a Social Media Strategy, but a long term Social Communications Plan.

We were there last year, so it’ll be very interesting to find out how the conversation has changed over the last 12 months. Let us know if you’ll be coming along.  We’ll be tweeting from the event using #brsms.