The Case For Deleting All Your Apps

The Case For Deleting All Your Apps

“You are a hoarder, and it’s a problem”

Although this is not the type of hoarding that once can actually see, Charlie Warzel claims that most people are hoarding apps and that their smartphone home screens are a mess and it’s a problem.

His solve for this? Delete your apps. All of them. Every last one of them that you can delete.

His reasoning comes from a result of when his developer version of iOS 7 had expired, causing his phone to deactivate. He then wiped out his phone and deleted all his apps. As he recalls, he took a look at his clean home screen with no twitter; no email; no contacts or push notifications and had a feeling of tranquility.

As reality set in, he realized he needed certain apps (i.e. Gmail, Twitter, Google Maps, Instagram etc.) but he only added the ones he felt he needed or really wanted taking a more lean approach. For him fewer apps meant for distractions and times that he checked his phone and the more he actually enjoyed using his phone. He suggests everyone at least try it to see what happens even if they re-download all their apps

Why I’m Curious
YOLO, FOMO are definitely good descriptors of today’s culture. People want to see and partake in every interesting moment in real time. As a result of tech + these movements, I think we are starting to see a culture that is obsessive in their activities (i.e constantly checking Facebook and or whether they got a text etc) and tools such as smartphone only enable that behavior to its fullest degree. Just like when social media first became popular and out of fear people naturally became more private, I am curious to see if there will be a movement on dialing back on not letting all the notifications rule ones life–a digital detox so to speak.

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NFL Tackles Online Gaming to Score Sales

Home Depot is once again making a bid to win over college football fans by bringing back a newly updated mobile gaming application from 2012 that lets consumers challenge their friends and family in games for a chance to win prizes.

In conjunction with Carrot Creative, they’ve launched the iPhone game app called Corso’s Cornhole Challenge in which fans compete against ESPN virtual personas for impressive prizes. In the 8 weeks since the campaign relaunched, the number of mobile game downloads has topped 55,000 with over 450,000 games played and growing. Engagement levels have been extremely high, with the average user playing 13 games.

To complement the iPhone game with a social element, Carrot created the Home Depot College GameDay Facebook application to serve as an additional hub for fan interaction. The Facebook application includes tailgating tips, an Instagram contest and DIY projects so fans can build their own cornhole sets – bringing the mobile game to life.

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Carrot Creative Video 2012: http://carrot.is/creative/college_gameday

Why I’m Interested:

Brands of all kinds are trying to find ways to engage consumers. Using branded mobile games is an often-subtle (see Chipotle and “The Scarecrow”) way to attract customers , raise brand awareness and ultimately drive sales. Home Depot is leveraging college football fans’ loyalty and passion to promote their brand effectively.

Mobile gaming has not caught on with all online retailers yet, but Home Depot’s app is a great example of effective brand-related mobile gaming. If designed to be a fun and addictive experience,  a branded mobile game can be an effective means for a retailer to stay in the forefront of a consumer’s attention.

I’m particularly impressed with Home Depot’s integrated approach to bringing the whole campaign full circle by not only building the game but using social media and sweeps to further incentive users and create bus. Furthermore, they’ve provided CTA’s back to the Home Depot website for DIY tips to build your own cornhole game, thus providing users with real-world applications and a reason to shop for specific products.

Mess up you’re prfect Facebok status with a tpyo or 2? Just edit it.

Here’s a feature a lot of people have been waiting for, especially grammar nerds like me. Starting yesterday, you can edit your already-published Facebook status updates. Sometimes it’s a typo, or maybe a “they’re” instead of a “their.” We’ve all had it happen. You craft a clever update, post it, and let the likes and comments flow in. And then, OOPS! Until now, you would either have to live with the public humiliation of letting everyone know that you’re a human capable of mistakes or delete the status and lose all that precious engagement. According to TechCrunch, the feature is now available on the web and on Android, with an iOS update coming soon.

Why I’m Curious

While this update is a long time coming, I understand why Facebook was hesitant to make the change. They didn’t want people to make a status that says “Like this if you think puppies are awesome” to bait people into engaging with it and then edit the post to say “Everyone who likes this post owes me $100.”

I’m interested to see if this will also extend to brand pages as well. The ball is in your court, Zuckerberg.

Faces of Facebook Aggregates 1.2 Billion User Profiles

Ever wonder where you fall amidst Facebook’s 1.2 Billion Users?   I was actually the 2,551,647th person to join the social network.  I found this out using Faces of Facebook, a website built by a freelance technologist that catalogs and arranges user profiles chronologically.

http://www.thefacesoffacebook.com/

Via Mashable:

Got some time on your hands? You can spend 36 years scrolling through Faces of Facebook.

The site, created by freelance technologist Natalia Rojas, aggregates all 1.2 billion or so Facebook profile photos and claims to arrange them chronologically, starting with Mark Zuckerberg.

You can also log in to see where you fit into the picture. (The author of this story, who joined Facebook in 2008, was No. 249,759,340, but an unscientific analysis by Mashable employees suggests the numerical rankings may not be accurate.)

On her site, Rojas offers the following explanation:

Because there we are, all mixed up: large families, women wearing burkas, many Leo Messis, people supporting same-sex marriages or r4bia, chihuahuas, Indian gods, tourists pushing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, selfies, newborns, Ferraris, studio black and white portraits, lots of weddings but zero divorces, ID photos, faces framed in hearts, best friends, manga characters, political logos, deep looks, love messages, eyes memes, smiles, sweet grandparents and some not-yet-censured pictures.

 

Why I’m Curious:

I think this is a really interesting use of data. 

 

Facebook Testing Auto-Playing Videos in the Mobile News Feed

Facebook is testing auto-playing video in your mobile News Feed. These videos are similar to the auto-playing videos on Instagram, except they start playing silently.

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Facebook said in their Newsroom:

“…we’re starting to test an easier way to watch videos on Facebook. Now when you see a video in News Feed, it comes to life and starts playing. Videos initially play silently, and if you want you can tap to play with sound in full screen. Scroll past if you don’t want to watch.”

For now, the only videos that will auto-play are posts from individuals or musicians and bands. Facebook says over time they will explore how to bring this feature to marketers.

Why I’m Curious:

While Facebook is billing this is as “an easier way to watch video,” I think most people had the same reaction when hearing this news. Everyone assumes this is just opening the door for in-stream video ads. It will be interesting to keep an eye on how Facebook develops this feature to create an experience that can both benefit brands and provide a seamless, non-distracting experience for users.

Lexus: Trace Your Road

To promote the new Lexus IS Hybrid, Lexus created “Trace Your Road,” an experiential life-sized video game event featuring Formula 1 driver, Jarno Trulli. To make the experience even more engaging, the series of improvised racetracks were sourced from 10 lucky Facebook fans who traced their tracks on an iPad while sitting next to Trulli.

Why I’m Curious

This is one of the most innovative and eye-catching ways to use technology to showcase a car’s handling abilities. The concept on its own is brilliant, but the way it was visualized makes it hard to take your eyes away.

Custom Phone Color Based on Facebook Photos

A new Facebook application allows users to create a custom Moto X phone based on the colors in photos from their Facebook page. Once users find the ultimate personalized color, they can finish the process using Motorola’s Moto Maker and have their custom creation sent right to their doorstep.

Below are some sample “creations” from the app:

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Source: Mashable

Why I’m Curious: 

Personalization isn’t new, especially when it comes to our phones. I was curious about this app because you are essentially picking a phone color – that’s it. Yes, your photos dicate the direction of the color chosen by the app, but do your photos shared on your Facebook page really highlight your favorite color? No. I don’t really understand the relevance of the color selected being guided by your Facebook photos. Maybe I’m being too critical, but I think some brands are stretching it too far when it comes to social integration. Can you think of any other examples of this off the top of your head?

Volkswagen Banner Challenge

Volkswagen Netherlands has created an online campaign called GTI Bannerbahn that connects paid banner ad space with the real world by challenging the online user to catch a moving Volkswagen Golf GTI.

GTI BannerBahn is a circuit race across banner ads on Holland’s four biggest websites. The home pages of these four websites were painted on the runway of an airport. A Volkswagen Golf GTI was then filmed as it zig-zagged across the runway. On race day, September 13, participants will be chasing the GTI as it speeds through the banner spaces of each site. The fastest person to catch the GTI wins the car in real life.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a neat bridging of the digital and real worlds that encourages users to interact with banner ads in an innovative way. I’m also intrigued by how the team used radio-powered drones to create video streams that will match the player’s viewing experience on the banner ad.

Facebook Testing ‘VIP’ App for Celebrities

In an effort to get more celebrities interacting on the platform, Facebook announced a new VIP app that would allow them (or their handlers) to monitor chatter about themselves on their mobile devices. How this differs from the current app for regular folk is still speculated, but it’s clear this is an effort to steal share from Twitter, where most celebrities interact with their fans.

Why I’m Curious

When there are already applications that help celebrities interact with fans, like WhoSay, which behaves much like HootSuite for Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook, it’s interesting that Facebook decided to try to reinvent the wheel rather than partner. But it wouldn’t be the first time. In addition to trying to steal some of the thunder from Twitter, this app also could affect the tabloids. Channing Tatum and his wife Jenna Dewan recently released their first public photo of their child via Facebook rather than a tabloid. If this app works by bringing celebrities one step closer to their adoring fans in a non-intrusive way, I’m all for it.

Porsche Fans Rally Brand Support Among Network to Win Grand Prize

To celebrate Porsche’s 5 million Facebook likes, they made it possible for each and every fan to contribute to the design of a fan version of the 911 Carrera 4S model. The initiative began Feb. 4 with Porsche asking “the best expert panel in the world: our fans” to choose an exterior color. In the following weeks, fans voted on additional features from the specific wheel to the car’s interior color. Porsche revealed the final product in on Facebook on Aug. 2.

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With the car designed, the brand is now offering one fan and a friend the chance to get behind the wheel at the Porsche Experience Center in Silverstone Circuit in the UK. According to the Mashable article, “In order to participate, fans need to show Porsche how many public Porsche fans they have in their friend lists. The user with the highest number of Porsche Facebook fans will win the trip.”

Source: Mashable

Why I’m Curious:

It’s not new for brands to elicit fan input for their products. Whether the brand ultimately releases the “fan designed” offering can vary, but social is the perfect place to ask for this type of consumer input. It makes your community feel like you value what they have to say. However, what I find interesting is how fans enter to win the grand prize trip/test drive. Not only must you like Porsche, but your friend network must like Porsche as well. Your ranking ultimately relies on your Facebook friends. You must rallying your network to support the car maker. Would you rally your friends to “Like” Porsche so you could win?

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Go on an Italian Vacation with SanPellegrino

With the help of Ogilvy NY and Deeplocal, SanPellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages launched its latest campaign called Three Minutes in Italy. The Facebook app allows users decide between two live experiences and take a tour of Taormina in Sicily through the eyes of a robot.

From PSFK,

The first is through a ground-based robot that the users can control for three minutes. They can drive the robot around and even interface with passers-by through a two-way audio and video connection. The robot has built-in language translation capability to help the ‘virtual tourists’ talk with the village locals. The face of the robot will display the Facebook user’s profile picture. The second live experience is through a Skybot, which can show the Facebook users stunning views of Sicily from high above.

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Why I’m Curious

When I initially came across this my eye automatically went to the robot and I couldn’t help but think that a better looking robot could be made. I was also curious if utilizing a Facebook app is the best platform for something like this, until I fully read the description. I think the coolest part of this campaign is that it’s not visual, but also allows for two-way audio using a Facebook profile picture. I’m curious to see how the results, and how many people in Sicily are willing to interact with a robot (and if they speak English!).

What’s in your News Feed?

It looks like Facebook may be trying to demystify one of the most essential, yet frustrating aspects of their network: the News Feed. According to TechCrunch, the social media giant sent out an invite to a press event on August 6 to clear up confusion about what appears in the News Feed, announce a ranking algorithm change, and preview the future of the feed.

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Why I’m Curious:

This move is very unlike Facebook, which has been very tight-lipped about the methods behind what you see in your News Feed. But it seems the time has come for the team to open up and tell everyone what’s behind the curtain. Have you ever wondered why it seems like you keep hearing from the same friends over and over, while others you haven’t heard from in months? You’re not alone. For years, both Facebook users and brands have been wondering why certain updates show up the News Feed and others don’t.

Hopefully this event will provide some clarity. So stay tuned at 10 a.m. PST Tuesday to see what Zuckerberg and crew have in store.

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone Suggests $10-Per-Month Ad-Free Facebook Premium

When Biz Stone recently scooped up a bunch of ex-Facebook employees, he started using Facebook again. And like many users, he’s not happy about all the ads. Recognizing that ads are what keep Facebook free, he proposed a premium version that would allow super users the option to pay $10/month in order to hide the ads and potentially gain access to special features.

Biz goes on to say that if only 10% of the user base wanted to upgrade, Facebook could generate $1B a month in revenue.

Why I’m Curious

Despite my involvement with in-stream advertising, I agree this could be a beneficial improvement to Facebook’s UX for the users that want an ad-free environment. This model has been successful for apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Words with Friends, so it would be interesting to see if Facebook would be open to the experiment. Pandora can already confirm this model is working for them.

While in-stream ads are great for reaching a large number of people, they’ve begun to bloat my News Feed to a level I’m not loving. And while this approach could potentially make my job easier, the end result will be an elevated industry. Now ads/branded content will have to be that much better and engaging in order to transcend the proposed restrictions. I think that’s something we can all get behind.

Be Happy! There’s an App for That.

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Happier is an app that launched in February aimed to make a community centered around happiness.  Nataly Kogan is the founder of the small start up and was inspired by her quest to feel fulfilled.  She found that a social network can make you happy and the concept spread pretty quickly.  In the short time that it has been available to the public, there are over 100,000 users who have shared over 1 million happy posts.

The app is similar to Twitter and Instagram in terms of feed and brevity.  If you like a post you simple hold down the smiley face and spread your positive feelings.  Kogan chose this platform because it seems to be, “more personal and less braggy.”  Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter gives the user the ability to have an online persona that could be completely different from that offline.

Why I’m Curious

I am curious to see how many people have tried the app and if they find themselves having an enjoyable user experience.  Studies show that if your expressions intensify your emotions, so if you are smiling for say 10 minutes while reading Happier posts then you could possibly be happier.  This is only the first step in Kogan’s discovery for happiness she plans on developing a media company and lifestyle brand focused around it.  I think happiness spreads fast and people would like to see a network that is completely selfless and geared toward pursuing a better life.  It will be interesting to see if the app grows rapidly in terms of users and posts in the next few years, like similar networks have.  Maybe in a year looking at Happier when you wake up will replace your morning routine.  Ten minutes of smiling could be a world of a difference.

Mentos Creates Personalized News For Facebook Users

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As part of their “Stay Fresh” campaign, Mentos has launched the Fresh News Facebook app which allows users to create personalized video news reports based on their Facebook activity.

The bulletins make up a 24-hour news channel that serves up a constant stream of humorous news reports by pulling in material from users’ updates on Facebook and connected social media accounts, including Foursquare. Two news anchors present a satirical show highlighting a user’s recent escapades, and emphasizing how “fresh” the subject may or may not be, depending on what he or she has been posting lately.
Create your news here. (Source: AdAge)

Why I’m Curious:

As Adage put it, Mentos is clearly “capitalizing on the narcissism that fuels social media”. And they do so in a humorous, sharable way to create a one of a kind experience for the user. The app allows also Mentos to access a huge list of data that can then be used in countless ways to learn more about their target and create future content and initiatives that will appeal to them.

Text from the app permission: Mentos Fresh News would like to access your public profile, friend list, friend requests, News Feed, relationships, relationship interests, birthday, work history, education history, events, groups, hometown, interests, current city, photos, questions, religious and political views, follows and followers, website, personal description, likes, music activity, games activity and your friends’ relationships, birthdays, events, current cities and religious and political views.”

Become Friends with a Toast (Facebook Friends That Is)

Budweiser recently embedded microchips into beer glasses, with each glass synching to the drinker’s Facebook account. When two people toasted their glasses, they became Facebook friends. To learn more, watch the video.

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Source: Ads of the World

Why I’m Curious

As the advertising industry moves toward a more integrated ecosystem that’s less digital versus traditional, this campaign showcases the potential to produce creative content that seamlessly blends multiple disciplines. Social media is also so often approached on a post-by-post basis, but taking the time to brainstorm and think creatively can clearly produce communications that break through the typical advertising clutter.

Little Caesars Takes Credit for 4th of July Fireworks

It’s no secret that brands often ask fans and followers to share photos. “Show us your baby photos, your home, your left hand’s pinky finger…” (You know the list could go on.) But Little Caesars set forth with a rather lofty request on July 3rd and 4th, asking fans to set off fireworks in celebration of their deep deep dish pizza. “Now who’s really going to do that,” you may be asking yourself. That, my friends, was exactly the point. 

In a tongue-in-cheek twist, Little Caesars began to take credit for epic 4th of July fireworks displays. The result? Well, you’ll have to see for yourself.

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Why I’m Curious

With massive amounts of content competing for eyeballs, it’s becoming imperative for brands to think big picture and buzz-worthy when it comes to breaking through social media clutter. This Little Caesars campaign, while small and fairly low budget, is a fantastic example of how brands can be more creative without a massive ad buy, leading to earned media via press. Now who’s going to complain about that? Probably not Little Caesars.

Outback B-Day Chair

Outback strikes back!  Outback is taking back personal birthday experiences by using social media.  Outback has taken social media offline and has installed a B-day chair for some of their Brazilian locations.  The birthday boy or girl logs into to Facebook and every time someone wishes them a Happy Birthday on their page the B-day chair will give them a hug.  Outback worked with ad agency, Lew’Lara\TBWA, to create this offline experience and is set to launch in all Brazilian locations by the end of the year.

Why I’m Curious

What a great way to get people into your restaurant and build brand advocacy online.  By using the Facebook app to connect with their friends odds are they are liking the Outback Facebook page and so are their friends.  Outback is bridging the gap between offline and online and this is a great campaign to attract more fans on Facebook and keep existing customers.  Who wouldn’t want to head to an Outback Steakhouse only to receive the utmost birthday respect and be truly appreciated by a brand?

Facebook Facelifts

How important is your Facebook profile photo to you? In India it’s critical to your identity. India is reportedly experiencing a growing trend in which social media users in their 20s and 30s are have surgical procedures to enhance their appearance… for Facebook. Facebook users are getting laser skin treatment, chin augmentation and rhinoplasty, just to name a few.

For a country that invented the rhinoplasty and pioneered body and face piercing, they are no stranger to enhancing their appearance through “artificial means.”

Why Am I Curious?

Of course we all want to look our best whenever we can, especially via our social networks. Our profiles define our personality and being within the social realm, but isn’t a flattering photo enough? In India… no. You not only need to look good, but look good in person (or like your profile photo). Many are using the social network to find a mate, but I can’t help but wonder is going under the knife so your chin looks good during a skype session worth it? How much do you care about your social identity when it comes to photos?

Article from Mashable

Kia’s Techathlete Games

The 2014 Kia Forte is the car for geeks – Prove your geekiness in the Kia Techathlete Games, and be entered to win a Forte yourself.

The Techathlete Games are a series of five Facebook-based mini games that incorporate different items in your tech arsenal: the webcam, microphone, smartphone, keyboard, and mouse. Each game is based on demonstrating a “mastery” of each individual piece of hardware.

See video for more detail:

Why I’m Curious?

Key does a pretty good job here at nailing this target. The tongue-in-cheek sense of humor is pretty spot on, and the gameplay (at least for the keyboard game that I demoed) is smooth, responsive, and actually kinda fun.