Impossible to miss media placement. (Taken with Instagram)
It’s not news that millions of people around the world are using Social Media and making connections new and old. In turn, the visual web has also experienced an explosion as millions share their latest photo via Instagram or latest obsession on Pinterest across their networks like Facebook and Twitter. With ever-increasing data speeds in the smartphone universe, the trend of images as the way to share is being joined by images of the moving variety. Since it’s so simple to whip out your phone and switch on the camera, people are capturing more and more of their life moments in video.
Two smartphone apps currently duking it out to be king of the Social Video hill are Socialcam (iOS and Android) and Viddy (iOS only). Both apps make it a cinch to take quick video snapshots of your life and seamlessly post those videos to Facebook and Twitter. Like Instagram, both also have their own eco-system within the app, highlighting people you follow as well as popular videos. Not sure whom to follow? Simply connecting your Social accounts lets you see who among your friends is already using the app making it easy to build up a newsfeed.
If your company has people capturing video content on the fly, at sponsored events and trade shows for example, it makes sense to capture that content with an app that has social sharing as part of its DNA. The other advantage social video apps offer is the immediacy the medium offers, letting people feel like they’re part of something while it happens. Here is a sample workflow for how a brand could use a single log in from multiple phones to create a unified newsfeed.
A critical guiding principle for any brand venturing into social video (any social networking actually) is using the channel as an opportunity to humanize your brand and reveal another dimension to your personality.
$0 to set up an account. Both Socialcam and Viddy offer ways to integrate brands at deeper levels. For instance, the Vans Warped Tour partnered with Viddy to create custom video filters and Snoop Dogg and other recording artists offer samples of their music to enhance your video. Using a hashtag and geo-location, the Washington Post used the Socialcam API to gather Olympics stories around London.
Step 1: Shoot a new video or select a saved video on your phone. While Socialcam doesn’t limit video length, Viddy only allows clips up to 15 seconds. This seems like a limitation but depending on how you want to use video and understanding your intended audience, 15 seconds could just be the type of restriction that is beneficial.
Step 2: Add filters and soundtracks. Like Instagram, both apps come with a wide selection of filters to enhance your movie allowing you take your pristine HD video and make it look like your parent’s crappy Super 8. The added bonus with a video app is they offer a decent number of music options to give your video another dimension. The volume of the soundtrack can be adjusted, letting you mix in the recorded audio or cover it over completely with music.
Step 3: Save your video to the app’s stream and also share it to connected accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
Similar but different.
I did a quick audit of some key features for both Socialcam and Viddy. In my book, Socialcam gives a better overall experience for the both you, the creator and the people who will ultimately be watching your vids. It’s got more ways to share and it also plays nice with others, working with both Facebook and Twitter to play within the news feeds which is essential to a good user experience.
Want more information? Ask.
For my previous post, I just checked the box “Also send email to Your circles” when I shared to to my Google+ page to see what happens. Almost immediately got an email reply and a +1.
Google+ should give me feedback on open rates for that since I bet it’s better than merely sharing with my circles in the main feed. Not that I’m going to do it constantly, but it’s nice to know there’s an option to amp something I’m sharing if I think it’s important for a specific circle of people.
With apologies to Sean Connery and his notable line from the Untouchables, I sometimes look at online efforts by adverstising and think, “Isn’t that just like an ad guy? Brings a TV spot to the Internet.” We keep hearing that in order for brands to be relevant in today’s time-starved world, they need to create content for people to consume; to keep them coming back. But that’s merely part of the equation.
It’s no longer content that is king, but context.
Brands that are clamoring for our attention, along with their marketing and advertising partners, need to understand that Facebook is not Twitter – one size does not fit all when it comes to how a brand communicates. I alluded to this in an earlier post about the differences between the Social Graph and the Interest Graph, how it’s critical to understand the behavioral triggers that make each site successful.
Just as we don’t approach TV in the same way we do print media, we need to realize that each service comes with its own set of rules and nuances. Success in each channel depends on keen understanding of the motivations for anyone being there. It’s really no different from the “real” world. A Sunday afternoon in November at a sports bar is probably not a place to chat about knitting.
Context is king.
We’re all connected.
It’s all connected.
24/7 news cycles; Twitter; Instagram; Socialcam; supercomputers in our pockets.
The connected lifestyle leaves less room for the ultra controlled approach to campaign windows and push messaging. Instead, we need to realize that a campaign is but one node on a continually morphing communication stream. I first heard the notion of “brand as API” from Farrah Bostic at Planningness 2011. Below is a presentation from the 2012 SXSW Interactive which provides some great examples of brands as API. Personally, I spearheaded a project with Subaru and MapMyFITNESS which led to the launch of MapMyDOGWALK brought to the world solely by Subaru.
Do is greater than Say
While the notion of a TV campaign seems quaint, it still has a rightful seat at the table, along with branded content and a continual presence on Social and Interest graphs. What are you doing to help your clients embrace the notion of open environments that an API affords?
Nike Plans Real-Time Olympics Ads on Twitter -
Great example of diminished cultural latency, a characteristic that’s occurring more often as society’s expectations for immediacy becomes the mainstream. There’s a great (THREE year old) article from Faris Yakob explaining the faster the distribution, the faster the flame burns out. Knowing this, Nike will be taking to the Twitterwaves and riding them during the Olympics. Well played.
Pete, I had this overwhelming urge to share the creepy. :)
30 Days experiment, one week into it… -
Google - King of the web crawler, far outpacing the others in pure numbers but not necessarily quality; they’re also king of the lo-res Wikipedia image.
Bing – So far, lower number of results compared with Google, but relevancy and quality seem better.
Pinterest – Since Pinterest doesn’t display tag words, its search seems to be returning results from any number of sources: title, description, tags. Results of same term, different day will vary widely.
Instagram - People love to take self portraits with their phones. A lot. Results of same term, different day will vary widely.
Flickr – When filtering via the “interesting” option, the first page of results a exactly that. By far the most artistic and thoughtful of the bunch and usually the smallest results pool.
30 Days of Creativity 2012, a set on Flickr.
Played a little catch up today for the annual 30 Days of Creativity. Every year, there is an inspirational calendar in case someone has a little writer’s block or needs a bit of a nudge toward making something.
I wonder about the crazy algorithms concocted by the geeky engineers of Silicon Valley and thought it’d be a fun experiment to run each day’s term through the various search engines. Limiting myself to Google, Bing, Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, I’m grouping the top results into a daily collage. With the latter three, it’s key to note that these images are deliberately tagged by the human being uploading the image. Even only four days into the project, I’m noticing better quality results.
What intrigues me is how disparate the images can be – “Friday” is a prime example. Really Google? And I include the quantities when I could (Pinterest’s native search didn’t return a number), proving that quantity doesn’t equal quality. I’ll take Flickr’s search results any day of the week.
With Facebook’s IPO today, you’d think that social networks are taking over the Web. Look at virtually any website and you’ll see social button flotsam and jetsam: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, and on and on.
Social is everywhere. But it’s far from everything, especially everything about me. While Social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn map who I know – my Social Graph – they so far do a pretty lousy job of mapping what I like or love – my Interest Graph. My Interest Graph encompasses much more than my activity on social networks. It is defined by my affinity to certain music, movies, restaurants, TV, coffee, political leanings, etc. At best, the Social Graph informs the Interest Graph but it does less to define you and what you like. For a concise writeup on the difference, read this excellent post from ReadWriteWeb’s David Rogers. While educating myself on the differences, I also turned to these helpful articles from TechCrunch, Edward Boches, GigaOm, Social Media Today and this fantastic mind blower from the folks at Gravity.
The differences between Social and Interest are not lost on the behemoth that is Facebook and such differences explain the foresight in a string of acquisitions that dip into the Interest side of the equation. The $1B acquisition of Instagram is an obvious one but so was Gowalla (check-ins) and the less ballyhooed purchase of Glancee (serendipitous discovery based on shared interests). The urgent need to tap the Interest Graph is also at the core of Zuck’s concept of frictionless sharing with Open Graph – Spotify and the Washington Post Social Reader are prime examples of your Interest Graph tying back to your Social Graph. Because of these moves, we’ll see a continued blurring of the line separating Social and Interest.
Brands that are clamoring for our attention in this space, along with their marketing and advertising partners, need to understand that Facebook is not Twitter – one size does not fit all. Just as we don’t approach TV in the same way we do print media, we need to realize that each service comes with its own set of rules. In this chart, I’ve tried to indicate the degree to which some of the bigger players in the Social/Interest world dominate, and how some bridge the gap better than others.
The sites that best bridge the divide between who we know and what we like will win in the battle for our attention. Despite the bashing, Google+ is poised to best combine the Social and Interest Graphs because of its dominance in search and the absence of barriers between its Social Network and the rest of the Web.
Any significant connections on Facebook are mutual though you can subscribe to an individual or like a brand. Open graph sharing is Facebook’s attempt at breaking into the Interest Graph. I can see what music my friends are listening to and presumably because we’re friends, I’ll like it too. What’s wonky is that the connection relies on the friendship rather than the social object, in this case music. Facebook’s attempt at connection makes me think of iLike, an early entry in the Interest Graph space that used music as the connector. While I didn’t make any lasting friendships on that site, I did discover some amazing new music and I have complete strangers to thank for that. For a great rundown of social objects, check out Gaping Void’s cheat sheet.
Twitter permits one-way connections, allowing people to follow anyone and anything of interest, as well as friends and family. Mutual following is likely based on shared interests rather than personally knowing each other (though that often happens later). Google+ allows for both one-way and mutual connections. It also employs the easiest method for segmenting social and interest graphs into Circles. LinkedIn’s entire success rests on the foundation of who you know, though with its newsfeed and recent SlideShare acquisition, Interest has small foothold. The other sites depicted here, like Pinterest, are all about what you like, acting as self-expression. It’s worth noting that many of the sites entrenched on the Interest side encourage and sometimes even require a Facebook connection.
Going to be a great day for a rooftop concert. Trampled by Turtles, yo. (Taken with Instagram at Carmichael Lynch)
Yesterday, ReadWriteWeb published an article by Alicia Eler on the rapidly diminishing usage of Draw Something, a mobile app recently purchased by Zynga for a reported $200 million and change. According to Forbes, the app is shedding 5 millions users a month since the Zynga purchase.
To me, the main reasons are obvious.
Beyond the simple fact that drawing with your finger can get frustrating, the Draw Something gameplay is tedious:
Embrace the happy accidents. They are really the result of your life’s experiences bubbling up to the surface. — Me