social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 25, 2012 10:09 AM
Facebook is starting to migrate its "sponsored stories" (user-generated ads) onto other websites, starting with that of social game behemoth Zynga, in order to expand its marketing reach. And in another telling move, the social media giant is backing away from its philanthropic Credits program — launched with high hopes in 2009 as the virtual currency for the social network.
They're the latest steps by a social giant struggling to shore up its revenue model. The site's new partnership with Unilever on Waterworks, a cause marketing app that lets users donate online credits while revealing key ad targeting data, signals how Facebook is evolving its commerce platform in order to boost F-commerce opportunities.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 20, 2012 06:28 PM
Microsoft offered its first look at Windows Phone 8 today, and as ZDNet noted, there's good news and bad news. The good: The new operating system (codenamed Apollo) features include the ability for users to personalize their start screens with "live tiles"; NFC/Wallet support for in-app purchases, double the number of languages supported (to 50), over-the-air updates, better screen resolutions. Chase and PayPal apps are "on the way" to the Windows Phone Marketplace pushes past 100,000 apps. The bad: it's coming to new Windows Phone devices, although a partial update will be available to current users. Find out more in the official blog post, and take a closer look in Microsoft's videos below.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 14, 2012 11:52 AM
You've heard of sentiment analysis of social media. Now, get ready for sentiment analysis of messages directed at you.
We're not sure if Lorraine Chambers ever sported a mood ring, but the Master's student at the University of Portsmouth has created an app that color-codes messages so before reading them, users can get an indication of the message's tone, and perhaps get a heads up on if they’ll feel better or worse for having read them. As you might expect, green is for positive, red is for negative and blue is for neutral.
"The ultimate objective of this application is to make the user aware of the negative contents they receive so they are able to manage their stress in the best possible way,” comments Mohamed Gaber, senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth's School of Computing.
"For example, if most of what is received from social media websites by a user on a particular day was negative, it is important that the user attempts to take an action in order to not get stressed, especially if this may affect the individual's performance at work and/or their behaviour at home."
The app (only for Android phones so far) warns users of negative, angry messages from Twitter, Facebook or texts, or contrariwise, heightens anticipation of good news. The technology is based on a desktop equivalent developed at the Eindhoven University of Technology, and analyzes the sentiment of the message itself.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 12, 2012 10:12 AM
Domino's Pizza is thanking its U.S. digital customers for passing the $1 billion mark in digital sales between April 2011 to April 2012 — that's one billion dollars in digital sales in one year, folks — with 50% off all pizzas ordered online at menu price. The deal is available through Dominos.com and mobile.dominos.com, and iPhone and Android apps through Sunday, June 17 (conveniently, also Father's Day).
"We love our online customers, and have learned so much from them during the past five years about how we can continue to deliver the best online ordering experience in the industry," said Russell Weiner, Domino's CMO, in a press release. "Reaching $1 billion in online sales during a one year time period is a major milestone, and we hope offering this amazing deal for an entire week lets our fans and customers know how much we appreciate them."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2012 06:06 PM
Turns out that maybe American drivers are more sensible than either the U.S. government or automakers give them credit for. New research shows that when it comes to "infotainment" and "telematics" in cars, auto owners are much more interested in Point-A-to-Point-B applications such as navigation than they are in making sure they can feed their Twitter account from the driver's seat.
Mobile applications are encroaching in the vehicle — look at Ford's Sync voice-activated technology, Hyundai's Blue Link, GM's OnStar, the Mercedes-Benz "iPhone on wheels" concept and Apple's iOS 6 announcement that it's integrating Siri voice recognition as an "eyes-free" (from the device, not the road) digital sherpa. Look for Siri voice command buttons on the steering wheels of upcoming vehicles from nine automakers: Land Rover/Jaguar, BMW, GM, Mercedes, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. (Update: the news took at least one of the auto brands by surprise — Fast Company reports that Chrysler wasn't aware of being included in Apple's announcement.)
But for all the push of technology and connectivity into the passenger seat, consumers don't want Facebook and Twitter integrated into the driving experience, nor are they looking for a Zooey Deschanel-style chat about adding reminders or what to listen to (sorry, Siri).Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 11, 2012 05:31 PM
In addition to an even trippier special edition of its tie-dye logo, Apple unveiled more than one dozen new products today at the brand's highly anticipated 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference. While Apple’s main growth drivers remain the iPhone and the iPad, its Mac line remains a cornerstone.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 8, 2012 04:38 PM
Plenty of people are happy just sitting through a television show, zipping through its commercials via DVR, and soaking in the passive experience.
But plenty are looking to be a little more involved in their entertainment and AT&T is taking the first steps to get them there. The brand just launched an action-adventure drama entitled Daybreak as a tale told through five online films, two websites, and, of course, a smartphone app. And the company didn’t stint on the big names involved. Its creator is Tim Kring, whose latest hit on the small screen is Fox’s Touch with Kiefer Sutherland. The director of the first few episodes: Jon Cassar, who helmed Fox's previous TV series with Sutherland, a little drama you might have heard of called 24.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 7, 2012 02:50 PM
Chevy's new TV ad for its Sonic subcompact, "Night Swimming," is one of the industry's best spots so far this year because it effectively targets the Millennial generation whose interest is so crucial to the success of any car in that segment.
There are a few reasons why, including how the commercial highlights the myChevrolet app after the driver has locked his keys in the car. “The all-new Chevrolet Sonic, with the myChevrolet app,” intones Tim Allen in the voice-over, as the spot's happy swimmers drive away. “From ‘close call,’ to ‘best night ever.’”
Two other big reasons are the director, Jason Reitman, and the soundtrack. It's not unusual for automotive OEMs to snag big-name directors for their commercials anymore. For example, Paul Feig (The Bridesmaids) and Rob Cohen (The Simpsons) helped Ford pull off its highly successful Focus Doug online video campaign last year.
Reitman, of Juno and Up in the Air fame, was attracted to the idea of helming the "Night Swimming" spot in part because of the creative possibilities, Matt Scarlett, Sonic advertising manager, told brandchannel.Continue reading...