Mozilla Firefox users, if you realise your browser has been acting up of late, it may be because Firefox has disabled Adobe Flash from its web browser. This means that rich content, and animation (i.e., web banners) will cease to function.
Steve Jobs, the Founder of Apple and thought leader for innovation, had long predicted the demise of Flash with the emergence of mobile devices, “…the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards — all areas where Flash falls short.”
Firefox has taken similar steps to what Google did recently after it announced that it would pause Flash animation to prolong battery life. In addition, Adobe, the parent of Flash, suffered a huge blow after YouTube switched to HTML 5 on all browsers.
Alex Stamos, Chief of Security for Facebook rightly tweeted recently that “It is time for Adobe to announce the end- of-life date for Flash.
After 8 years in Google, Vic Gundotra announced that he would be leaving the company, leaving the internet rife with speculation on where his departure will leave Google+ which is his pet project.
A Google representative has responded to the rumors, citing that there is a team which will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos. Also, the Google Hangouts team will be moving to Android. Basically, talent will be shifting away from the Google+ department and toward Android as a platform.
That being said, there are a ton of really interesting things going on in Google+ like its efforts in imaging. Having the photos team integrate the technologies backing Google+ photos tightly into the Android camera product, for instance, could be a net win for Android users.
With mobile penetration rates increasing at a steady pace, WhatsApp has literally replaced SMS.
Although there is a roman Urdu keyboard, a dedicated Urdu version of WhatsApp could be a welcoming sign for people who don’t know English.
The help of volunteer translators also proved that there is love for the language, making Urdu the 18th language in which WhatsApp for Android has been fully translated.
This could increase Whatsapp’s market share, not that they need to with their massive take up rate globally.
Perhaps, this is really goodbye for SMS.
New video tools available for Facebook Page admins
In the next few weeks, Facebook will roll out new tools for publishing videos. The tools will give Page admins the ability to customise who sees a video by age or gender, as well as being able to exclude videos from the News Feed and Timeline and publish only to their Page’s Videos tab. Admins will also be able to allow or disallow video embeds on third party sites as well as labelling videos based on specific interests, such as news or entertainment.
Instagram improves its web page search
Finally, after a long three year wait, Instagram users can search for hashtags, locations, and user accounts through the platform’s web page. Although Instagram has stated that the web is not their main priority, the new search features are a welcome change to someone who might be stuck at a desk all day, looking for cute pictures of cats.
Twitter makes it easier for brands to plan event activations
Twitter is the go-to place when it comes to following real time events and now the platform is making it even easier for brands to plan ahead for live campaigns. Its newly introduced event targeting is broken down into three areas: the ‘event calendar’ identifies major global events, ‘event insights’ allows marketers to gain access to learnings from audiences who followed an event last year and, finally, ‘event activation’ allows marketers to target relevant groups of people following this year’s event with just a couple of clicks.
New look for YouTube’s mobile site and app
YouTube has been making various changes recently. Not only can you now watch vertical videos in full screen on its app, but it has also introduced a new mobile interface. Now, when users visit the platform on either web or app, they will be greeted with three new tabs. The three-panelled look is designed to make it easier for people to find different videos by showing content based on their past viewing habits, the channels they subscribe to and their account activity. This is only currently on Android but will be rolled out to iOS soon, and highlights the importance of mobile in YouTube’s growth strategy.
YouTube makes ads more interactive
Always keen to skip an ad on YouTube? Well, now the platform is trying to hold your attention as it introduces 360 degree video advertising, following on from the launch of 360 degree videos in March this year. YouTube claims the more interactive videos have a 36% higher view rate than average. Here’s Bud Light taking advantage of the new feature.
LinkedIn ramps up business marketing
LinkedIn is keen to develop its business marketing from its premium subscriptions and job ads. Now, it’s bringing paid-for lead-generation to its Slideshare service, allowing companies who have uploaded documents to block their content until a user has provided their contact information. Marketers will be charged on a pay-per-lead basis. It’s certainly not the last we’ve heard from SlideShare, with its head of marketing stating that lead-gen is “laying the foundation” for more updates to follow.
The Rick and Morty interactive games comes straight to Instagram
One of the sci-fi fans – Instagram has released a new interactive game based on the world of Rick and Morty. Through 80 linked Instagram accounts, fans can explore up to 11 planets in the ‘Rickstaverse’ to find hidden objects. If this sounds like a lot to take in, take a look at the video below which explains it all pretty well.
Earlier today, I presented a session for the IAB in Singapore on ‘How to Build a Connected Strategy‘, and I thought it would be useful to share it here too.
Regular readers will recognise some of the thinking from the Marketing in the Connected Age research that we conducted in partnership with the WFA, and our Social Brands ebook, but this new presentation brings together a few of their different ideas in one convenient deck (you can download the PDF by clicking here).
The presentation focuses on the 4Ps of ‘connected marketing’ – check out the SlideShare above for full details, or read on for a short summary:
The app is as irreverent as it sounds. It’s been described as “Instagram blended with WeChat and Line stickers”, and it’s just launched in China.
Users of “Fork” get to edit photos with all sorts of outrageous, anarchic stickers to desired comic effect. It’s weird, rebellious, quirky, and of course like any good social media tool, you get to share these photos with your friends. Score.
India will have 500 million Internet users by 2017: new report
IAMAI-KPMG estimates a total of 500 million Internet users in India by 2017, up from 350 million currently. They’re attributing the jump to cheaper smartphones and more 2G subscriptions boosting Internet usage rates in the country.
Interestingly, even though India has the second highest number of Internet users in the world (after China), online penetration rate is still at 19 per cent.
Twitter removes background wallpaper from users home pages
No official reason was given for this.
Some are suggesting that this was done so Twitter would have more control of their ad display experience. For instance, if a company wanted to do a full homepage advert on Twitter, it would be able to do so now. Twitter backgrounds are currently completely blank, with “a very slight hint of blue”.
For the opening keynote in the Social track at ad:tech last week, I shared our vision for how brands can achieve far greater social success without investing a single penny more in content or media.
That might sound like a lofty promise, but the logic behind that vision is actually very simple: enduring success in social is determined by what other people say about you, and those third-party conversations are driven by what you do, not just what you say.
So what should you be doing differently?
The answer lies in adopting a ‘whole brand’ view of social: using everything your brand does to inspire organic social conversations that broaden brand awareness and increase social engagement.
More specifically, brands need to adopt a socially optimised marketing mix: we need to explore how we can use activities such as packaging, advertising, customer service, HR, and even procurement to drive social success.
You can read the full story in the SlideShare embed above (or read it here), where you’ll also find a whole host of great examples from brands in different industries around the world.
We’re always looking for new examples to support this vision too, so if you’ve spotted any great ‘non-social’ marketing that’s driving social conversations, please let us know – just share a link in the comments below, or drop us a note on Twitter: @wearesocialsg.
Dating app Paktor secures a whopping $10 million in funds
Singaporean founder, Joseph Phua, believes that their “understanding of the local market” gives Paktor an edge in the dating app space. The app includes a virtual gift exchange and group chat function, which mimics the possibility of meeting love interests through mutual friends.
Paktor has already expanded to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. We are rather impressed at this initial success, but unconvinced with how it is differentiated from existing applications. By encouraging both romantic and friendly relationships, Paktor seems to be straddling uncomfortably between Tinder and Facebook. Do we smell a new social network in Asia? Will it only be Rihanna who finds love in a hopeless place? Questions, questions.
Weibo’s role as a content distribution platform for brands
Weibo is facing stiff competition, with WeChat attracting over 500 million monthly active users in China. However, spiralling market share does not imply that brands should depart from Weibo.
Audiences use these platforms differently and Weibo remains critical in breaking real-time news. While Facebook only features newsworthy actions in its “What’s Trending” section, brands can pay to be in Weibo’s “Hot Topics” listing. A new feature called “Fan Pass” also sends alerts to audiences, who may choose to follow various brands. The opt-in element potentially distills inactive users and identifies fans with a genuine interest in brands.
For now, Weibo ties WeChat with a score of 1-1. Yawn.