twitter boosts world cup integration

Twitter is making a real effort to stake out real-time conversations around the World Cup. While I don’t think anyone would debate Twitter’s status as the go-to social network for real-time discussions around live events, over the last few days Twitter has taken steps to enhance the platform’s ability to service these conversations with the following updates:

  • A step-by-step supporter’s guide to Twitter that walks users through how to follow their team – This appeared on both desktop and mobile versions (screenshots below from desktop)

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  • Upcoming match call-outs that link through to dedicated pages housing match-related conversation, a scoreboard, and links out to player handles (although it appears as of today that the pages aren’t as “customized” as they were earlier in the week)

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  • Team “hashflags”

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 4.31.01 PM Why I’m Curious? This move is all about usability – It’s awesome to see Twitter go to such lengths to ensure it’s as easy as possible for users to navigate/enjoy the one thing they know everyone will be talking about. For a platform who’s core strength is real-time conversation, the move seems a no-brainer, which makes you wonder why they haven’t pursued similar modifications, say for the Olympics. It’d be interesting to get a sense for how they’ll be gauging the success of the new features. I’ve got to imagine they made the move to facilitate more conversation, and to increase usage on a user-by-user basis…it’ll be tough though to say that the features impacted either KPI without any kind of baseline for comparison…Perhaps they didn’t roll the features out to everyone? Anyway, assuming the features are a success, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not they decide to do stuff like this for future big events, and whether or not they’d ever consider handing the reins for something like this over to an advertiser.

Tweeting Bra for Breast Cancer

The tweeting bra is a project by Nestle Fitness for their breast cancer awareness campaign in Greece.  The way in which the bra works is that every time an individual unhooks their bra a special hidden mechanism sends a signal to a cell phone—then notifying a server that will generate the tweet.  The hashtag for the campaign is #Tweetingbra and users can also follow the twitter handle @tweetingbra to see more information. 

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Why I am Curious:

Tactics for breast cancer have really gained traction in awareness and usage in the last couple of years (i.e. pins, clothes, ribbons etc), and while I think a “tweeting bra” is interesting it feels invasive and annoying in the amount of tweets that would be going off every time a person hooked their bra.  I’m curious to know if people would actually do this.

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.

Cable Subscribers Can Watch TV Shows Via Tweets

The partnership made between Comcast and Twitter today marks a pivotal point in the entertainment industry. For the first time ever, Comcast Xfinity subscribers can tune in to a TV show directly from a Tweet. Comcast developed a new Twitter feature called See Itwhich will allows Xfinity customers to watch On Demand shows, change channels, set the DVR and show reminders all with one click. They can also buy a ticket via Comcast-owned Fandango.

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The concept of See It is fairly easy to grasp. Trending tweets about a show will feature a See It button, which enables users to activate the menu options, allowing them to connect to that specific show either on TV or a mobile device.

Starting November, See It will be available with shows on NBCUniveral’s networks, including NBC, NBC SPORTS NETWORK, MSNBC, USA, BRAVO, and many others. Both Twitter and Comcast have intentions of expanding See It to other networks in the future.

Why Am I Curious?

Social and TV has been merging for quite some time now and I think this initiative really starts to blur the lines and bring a real-time element to tv programming discovery. I do wonder what kind of incremental advertising opportunities would come along with this and/or if this will give way to different ad formats on Twitter.

 

MTV Allows Fans to Unlock Miley

This past week MTV aired Miley: The Movement, a documentary on Miley Cyrus.  Following the premiere, the network encouraged fans to tweet using the hashtag #Unlock Miley.  When fans tweeted enough with the hashtag, two exclusive videos would be unlocked.

Unlock-Miley

From Mashable:

If her rabid fans — dubbed “Smilers” — post enough Twitter messages with the hashtag #UnlockMiley, they will unlock two videos that can be viewed only on MTV’s iOS app. MTV launched the #UnlockMiley challenge immediately after the documentary aired. The bonus footage (one involves her conversation with Britney Spears) will eventually also appear in the 90-minute deluxe edition of Miley: The Movement, which will air on Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. ET.

Why I’m Curious:

MTV drove increased interest in their documentary by creating a post- “event” experience. Providing fans with additional content (and a site that tracks their collective progress) continues the conversation in the social space post the premiere date.  MTV also positions themselves as fan advocates, giving Miley’s fans what they want – more Miley. I’m curious to see how this resonates with her fans and if it translates into increased awareness/TV ratings.

Urban Outfitters Rewards Social Savvy Customers

Urban Outfitters, teenage hipster retailer heaven, is integrating marketing and social media with a new rewards system to revamp their Urban On app, thereby killing two birds with one stone. The social networking app allows users to upload photos of themselves in Urban merchandise and syncs with their social networks. Now, every time a user mentions the company on Twitter or Instagram, they are awarded points and these reward points provide exclusive perks such as advanced warning of sales, early access to merchandise as well as concert tickets.

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The intention is for the app to provide the company data about its customers while also giving them something in return.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a great win-win for both Urban Outfitters and the customers that shop there. The incentive aspect is a great way for UO to obtain the data they need, while giving shoppers what they want. I’m going to get the app now!

Cite That Tweet Properly

Writing an academic paper? Need to cite your sources? Especially that oh-so-relevant tweet from “x”? Now you can. The Modern Language Association suggests this formula:

cit1

Citing multiple tweets? There’s a site for that. Web developer, Ben Hedlund has built Tweet2Cite.com, a free resource that can take the URL of any tweet, extract the requisite information, and, with one click, generate citations in the MLA & APA format.

Article from Mashable

Why I’m Curious: 

It’s fascinating to me that we have now come to a time when tweets not only have a proper way to referenced, but are an actual viable source to educators. Will this lead the way to other social content citation guidelines? To me, this just goes to show how social content (branded or personal) has become such an integral part of live and culture.

Verified Twitter Accounts Get New Feed

Twitter has rolled out a special feature to only verified accounts – two additional filters on the “Connect” tab. Now users (with that little blue check) can view mentions from All, Filtered, or Verified. The ultimate goal? To make conversations between celebrities easier while eliminating spam. On the “Verified” tab, users will only see other verified accounts they follow (aka other “celeb status” individuals). Fancy, right?

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Why I’m Curious: 

I get it, Twitter prides itself on being a place where celebrities, athletes, musicians, etc. can share their daily happenings, but did we need to create new functionality for them? I find it interesting that Twitter has taken an extra step to create a better user experience for their “top” users. I’m curious to see if this will decrease engagement with fans/common folk in the space or help it – fans are still housed in that “Filtered” tab with less spam!

I did some exploring on our own @RealLunchables brand page and the functionality (rolled out yesterday) appears to be a little glitchy. The “Verified” tab didn’t filter as expected… we will see!

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There’s Something In Your Tweet

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Colgate Slim Soft

Colgate Canda just launched a new campaign for the new Colgate Slim Soft toothbrush.  The campaign is called There’s Something in Your Tweet and allows users to send an anonymous tweets directly to a friend who might just have something stuck in his/her teeth.  When the friend receives the anonymous tweet there is a link attached that will direct them to the Colgate site for a $1.00 off coupon.

Why I’m Curious:

I am curious to see how many people will use the app on Twitter.  I myself have tried out the app to prank my friend but when I checked with her she didn’t receive any tweet or DM.  As a user this makes me wonder if they are still tweaking the app or just trying to get me to go to the site.  I really like the concept and I think it’s funny because we all know that we have been in that situation where you would like to tell someone that they have spinach in their teeth but you are too afraid to.

Honda’s Twitter/Vine Auction

As part of Project Drive-In, Honda hosted the first ever live Twitter Vine auction yesterday with proceeds going to preserving drive-in theaters. Famed film critic Leonard Maltin served as the auctioneer for the one-day event where available items/times were posted via Vine on Honda’s Twitter and users could bid via tweet and #DriveInAuction hashtag.

Why I’m Curious: We’ve seen everything from fashion shows to democratized with the help of digital and social media. Major auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s could certainly learn from this initiative and open up their offering to a wider base.

Coca-Cola Integrates Live Tweets into TV Ad

Busy schedules, smartphones and on-demand entertainment has gotten in the way on family bonding time, especially at dinner. In Romania, 60% of people do not eat meals together, instead they eat dinner alone in front of the TV. Coca-Cola wanted to change this, and enlisted the help of MRM Worldwide to integrate live tweets into a TV spot.

From PSFK,

At the bottom of the ad, there was a text bar that hosted tweets from fans featuring the hashtag #LetsEatTogether.  MRM live-edited the tweets as they flowed in and chose up to seven tweets to show each time the ad was played. Most of the tweets were addressed to specific people, with friends inviting friends to have a meal together and enjoy each other’s company.

As a result, Coke’s Twitter base in Romania increased 15% and the ad garnered over 1 million social media impressions. Placing live Twitter mentions into a pre-recorded ad presents an incredibly innovative way to combine traditional advertising formats with today’s social media, and proves that you can really invite someone over for a meal through your TV.

Why I’m Curious

While we see tweets show up during the broadcast of live TV shows, This ad not only made people look forward to commercials, but also interact with an ad, and of course, it can’t hurt that it resulted in increased sales. I do wonder how successful this would be in the U.S. when so many people do DVR shows and skip commercials as well as those who opt for services like Netflix rather than have cable.

What color underwear are you wearing?

Hanes is asking [female] Twitter users to post tweets revealing the color of their underwear, along with links to cheery color-specific pages from a campaign website. The website also showcases underwear color trends by region and individual color pages for yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue and green.

#undercovercolor

Branded content: 

Hanes

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User generated content: (140 characters would have been sufficient!)

Hanes 3

Why I am Curious:

Purple is trending in NYC today!

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The Undercover Color campaign is about looking for a fun, easy way for women to get involved. It is a great conversation starter, captures the attention without being disruptive, and offers an excuse for users to engage.

Missed opportunity: they did not include the campaign hashtag on the TV spot:

Fans Jump for D Rose Sneaks at Adidas Pop-Up Store

The London-based D Rose Jump Store gave fans a chance to jump with the Chicago Bulls point guard to get a pair of Derrick Rose signature Adidas sneakers. The idea was simple – fresh pairs of Rose’s sneakers put up at a height of 10 feet, with fans having to jump up and grab them to take home a pair. Using the hashtag #jumpwithdrose, fans were able to submit their own footage of their time with D Rose and track the conversation on Twitter, Vine and Instagram.

 

Why I’m Curious

I thought this was a great use of a pop-up shop to generate buzz around the Adidas and Darrick Rose sneaker collaboration. Not only did fans get to win a new pair of sneakers, they were able to interact with D Rose himself and share the experience on social media.

 

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.

Chipotle Stages Fake-hacking on Twitter

Chipotle has admitted to a fake-hacking this past Sunday, July 21st. According to Fast Company’s article, “The idea was to generate some column inches and maybe increase Twitter followers.”

Why I’m Curious: 

We all know hackings of any kind with any brand can generate buzz (think back to Burger King earlier this year). Most hackings leave a mess for brands to clean up with controversial tweets/posts being shared unapproved by the brand. The controversial and unexpected content is part of the draw… so why stage your own hacking with nothing but boring, meaningless tweets? According to Chris Arnold, a Chipotle representative, “It was definitely thought out: We didn’t want it to be harmful or hateful or controversial.”

I think we can all agree, the content below is bland and meaningless.

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Isn’t it more worthwhile to create a unique campaign or killer content to generate buzz about your brand/company? I would think so. Chipotle has done nothing but embarrass themselves and demean their social credibility.

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.

Everlapse Launches As Digital Flipbook

Video is beautiful but tough. Photos are easy but boring. Everlapse is something new in between. Built by the former CoTweet team, Everlapse launches today so you can compile photos into digital flipbooks, let friends add their own shots, and view the evolving creation as a rapid-fire slideshow. The free iOS app combines the visual communication of Snapchat with the stop-motion of Vine.

What can you make with Everlapse? The exciting part is its flexibility. Stitch together a few photos of a landscape or skyline from the same spot to make a time lapse. Create a “current status” flipbook by asking friends what they’re readingeating, or doing right now. Start with your own book, meal, or activity, and your followers will fill the slideshow with their own perspectives. Tell a tale with stop-motion photography or a story board. Or just take a bunch of photos from a night out to create an album that moves on its own.

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“People will come up with totally new ways to use it that we can’t predict”, says Aaron Gotwalt who’s the CEO of Seesaw, the studio behind Everlapse. Gotwalt and his team launched CoTweet for scheduling Twitter blasts back in 2009. They sold it to ExactTarget, which was later bought by Salesforce for $2.5 billion. CoTweet stagnated and the team drifted away from the acquirers. Gotwalt tells me he eventually “got the band back together” to build out Seesaw, which lets people loop their friends in to make decisions

They created Everlapse as a hackweek project to blow off some steam. Gotwalt, husband of VentureBeat writer Jolie O’Dell, says “It started out as a silly experiment. If it goes well we’ll keep building on it”. Luckily they’ve got some help. Back in November Seesaw raised a little over a million dollars in a round led by Freestyle Capital, and joined by Baseline, First Round, Joe Fernandez, Hunter Walk, and Desiree Gruber. Seesaw is also in the BetaWorks accelerator, and will use their 5,000 strong beta testers email list today to pull in the first users for Everlapse.

The app is pretty straightforward, but it has some brilliant flourishes. It’s built on Twitter’s login and social graph. To get you started, you’ll automatically be following anyone you follow on Twitter who joins Everlapse. The flipbooks they produce called clips will show up in your Everlapse home feed along with the clips you’ve made or modified. The globe icon shows off a featured set of the best Everlapses.

To start a new clip, press the + button in the top right and then pick photos from your camera roll or shoot some new frames. It’s easy to shoot stop-motion or keep your Everlapses from looking jerky thanks to the ghost feature. It shows a faint outline silhouette of your last frame so you can line up the next one. Give your clip a name and share it on Everlapse and Twitter to get the ball rolling.

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Clips automatically play as slideshows with each photo shown for a quarter second, or drag your finger back and forth on them to control the flow. Anyone you’re following can then instantly tack their own frames onto the end of your clip. In fact, friends don’t even have to join Everlapse to participate. They can just reply to your tweet of a clip with a photo and the #everlapse hashtag and that shot will be added as a frame. Settings let you demand to approve any frames added to your clips, or mute notifications if your Everlapse goes viral.

I think that’s a distinct possibility because Everlapses aren’t static things you make alone. They’re inspiring collaborations that evolve with time. One employee is taking a photo of his daughter every morning and adding it to a clip to watch her grow up. Like Snapchat, it’s a way to communicate with images rather than words. Why asks friends what they’re doing with text when they can show you with Everlapse while creating something?

Gotwalt and crew view Everlapse as a side-project, but it could become a lot more. The explosive growth of apps like Vine and Instagram shows that we’re craving new ways to share. Everlapse is an open sandbox just waiting to be explored. What will you create?

(via TechCrunch)

Why I’m Curious

I really like the wave of visual storytelling that has emerged and this next-gen Instagram has really cool features that I’ve been playing with this week. It’s still early days for this app, but it’s interesting to think how how brands could leverage this platform.

Virtual Pride Parade

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In June 2012, Moscow courts ruled to uphold a ban on Pride marches for the next 100 years. So in honor of Gay Pride Month this past June, NYCPride and RUSA LGBT created a virtual parade at VirtualPride.org to support Russia’s LGBT community.

To show support, users could send a tweet with hashtag #virtualpride. As the 2.02 mile New York City Pride parade proceeded on June 30, the march’s progress was mapped virtually onto a Google Maps street view of a 2.02 mile route through Moscow. The tweet would then appear in a voice bubble along the sidelines of the online parade route.

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Why I’m Curious

One of the defining aspects of social media is the power to foster community. I like how this project uses social to unite a Global community of supporters around a cause. By design, the project relies on social engagement to create the full experience.

As we continue to see the roll digital/social media plays in galvanizing sociopolitical movements around he world, it’s interesting to see how these mediums are employed to amplify the voice of the people.

Vine Talent Agency; Looking for Vine Talent

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A creation of a new talent agency called Grape Story was created by Vaynerchuk, because he thought it took a very creative individual to have a serious following on Vine due to the fact that their needs to A) be a story- with a beginning, middle, and end, and B) it can only take over a span of 6 seconds. In the eyes of Vaynerchuk, for a Vine user to have a following of 314,000 people, is a series reflection of Vine Talent.

Via Fast Company

“Even though it’s six seconds, it still has to have a beginning, middle, and end whether it’s explicit or not,” Mancuso says. “So I think, okay, how can I deliver some kind of six-second progression with a bang that delivers something.… The fact that it loops actually gives a lot of flexibility for comedy.”

Why I’m Curious:

It amazes me how talent scouts are now even looking at Vine to track down and locate the social media entertainer experts. When Jenna Marbles became a YouTube sensation heads were turned- but now it’s even come to Vine Personalities. I wonder how the scope of famous internet personalities will turn out.

Michael Kors Propels Ecommerce via Fan-inspired Holiday Blog.

Looking to further tap into ecommerce market growth, Michael Kors recently created a new blog called “What’s in your Kors?” that focuses on fashion accessories for certain holidays and allows customers to shop selected items by hovering over images.

Michael Kors Propels Ecommerce via Fan-inspired Holiday Blog.

The initiative is focused primarily on millennials and also utilizes Instagram and Twitter—using the #WhatsInYourKors hashtag– to show off items that consumers can purchase strait from the brands website. The blog feels much more lifestyle focused and gives users a glimpse of what owning these accessories will look like in real life at specific events.

Why I am Curious:
I am curious to see if leading with a more lifestyle approach with millennials will lead to increased ecommerce sales for Michael Kors. I think users are looking for an experience that helps them to imagine/better see the lifestyle they can have with these accessories.