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Sep 29, 2014

If not Ello, something else?

We need a new Gartner Hype Cycle for social networks. For me to even hear about the existence of Ello, get an invite and then read articles about why it won't work, it already sold its users by taking venture etc. it took less than 48 hours. But the Ello-Mania during thelast few days shows one thing: There's a market for a Facebook/Twitter alternative. I don't know if the real name policy is the decisive thing here, like in the article linked below, but people seem to be ready to accept some new platform in their lives. Interesting to think about which concept could prevail.

Imgur native ads

... seem to get a very high engagement. Compared to people I have heard talking about Buzzfeed and Vice and all these others, I hear very little talk about native advertising and branded content. Imgur's integration is a good example, and according to AdWeek, their native ads work pretty well.

Sep 20, 2014

Context as a search preset, here: TV

I had a lot of discussions about how creepy and how great GoogleNow is. It is already using a technology Google just patented to know what you're watching right now on TV. So search may give you different results for keywords when you're watching this or that show. That's context, and it will be the future: Services behaving in dependence to what I am doing, thinking, wanting.

400 miles of cable to deliver WiFi in a football stadium

The 49ers Levi's stadium is an interesting experiment - connectivity over mobile is traditionally bad where tens of thousands of people meet, and WiFi in a sports venue has vast opportunities. Then again, we don't really what people will actually use it for. So observing the 49ers effort may hold some great learnings for others who will offer Internet in a stadium. Here's a story about the guy who built it:  

InVision: The UX app

User experience, in my opinion, is a lot more important than "design" in terms of beauty. There are several sites that look ugly but get their job done properly, and these are a lot more successful than beautiful sites that are just 99% user friendly and not 100%. You cannot overestimate the importance of UX. No wonder there is software that helps app makers to create the best experience possible, and one of those is InVision, portrayed here in Wired:

YouTube drives more sales than Facebook

Says a study. The research from AOL platforms tracked data from 500 million clicks and the stats refer to pais advertising on social media. So it tries to compare YouTube preroll with a Facebook ad or sponsored Tweet. Anyhow, it seems that YouTube advertising can work very well.

Business Insider slide deck: Mobile payments

Apple Pay may become big in the US pretty quickly. Business Insider gives us a (short) slide deck with some background on mobile payment. And I still wonder why I don't have a mobile Amazon checkout in any store (who I trust with my payments a lot more than Apple) and where PayPal wants to be in a few years.

First Vine comedy star

There's a guy on Vine with 4mn followers

and he's making a living on that social network now. Besides YouTube, social networks are becoming distribution platforms for video content, enabling people (and one day, when they get it, incumbent publishers) to earn real money.

How (often) we use apps

Some interesting statistics in this research by Localytics about how often we open apps (in a month) from certain categories and how long the session duration is. Music has the highest increase in sessions length as more and more people use music streaming apps, and social networking is still increasing in number of sessions and session durations. And I think the time spent in apps vs. mobile browser - my last number was 84% apps vs 16% browser - will continue to grow for apps.

Snapchat for Sports

Snapchat hired the former "Director of Digital" from Nike. Apparently to win "Sports partnerships". I think we underestimate messengers as second screens or "one to many communication tools" because communication on them is not visible to the public and concentrated on small "one to one" or "one to some" groups. But the hundreds of millions of people using messengers might enjoy that realtime and non-public component a lot, especially in sports. You Facebook post "goal! yes!" looks awkward like 2 minutes later, but it stays on your profile or on your Twitter timeline forever. In messengers, that's different, which makes them a great second screen tool. Not only for sports. 

In a related story, Facebook tests disappearing posts.

Sep 12, 2014

[Deutsch] Alles über MCN auf Youtube

Ein wunderbarer Überblick über MulltiChannel Netzwerke auf Youtube. Das Ganze kommt aus dem Digitalisierungsbericht 2014 von "die mediananstalten" und ist ein weiterer, schöner Artikel nach dem "Instant Expert"-Muster.


Der ganze Bericht als PDF

Sep 9, 2014

Object recognition in images

This is a highly interesting field. If machines can identify any object on an image without humans being involved, the opportunities - good and bad - are endless. And who came out first in a yearly challenge for image recognition? Team Google.

Deep Dive into Amazon

Nice piece by the Business Insider - an in depth look an Amazon's situation and strategy. I do not subscribe to the skepticism in this article at all. If you make more online sales than the next dozen competitors combined, your position should be good enough. Plus, there's one key sentence hidden in this text: Amazon could make money. It just chooses not to. Because the "war" is not over, it has just begun. If I had a pile of cash on the bank, I would buy their stock. And except for Alibaba, I don't see competitors who could really threaten their e-commerce position.

More "video on Facebook" stats

Facebook's obvious attack on video can be scary for many publishers. These statistics do not make it better:
From May 2014 to July 2014 video views on Facebook exceeded 50% growth. In 3 months. 65% of video views are mobile. More than 1 billion video views per day. Faceboko does not reveal when a video is counted as "viewed", and the autoplay feature may start more videos than users actually want to see. Plus video has been ranked better in the news feed algorithm. But if they figure out (and they will) how to market pre rolls, this will disrupt a few markets.

[German] Games auf dem Smart TV

Smart TVs haben, gemessen an ihrer Verbreitung im Markt, eine relativ geringe Awareness in den Digitalmedien. Dabei wäre durchaus vorstellbar, dass all die OTT-Angebote, die wir derzeit über vieldiskutierte Geräte wie Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV und und und konsumieren können, vielleicht zu gleichen Teilen via Smart TV genutzt werden - finde keine Zahlen dazu. Jedenfalls ist eine Zukunft, in der mein TV auch ein Computer ist und ich keine zusätzliche Hardware dranstecke, sehr gut vorstellbar. Das würde dann natürlich mehr betreffen als einfach nur TV Programm auf Abruf. Games zum Beispiel. Wir stehen am Anfang, aber es gibt Pioniere.

Sep 8, 2014

Who delivers 1 Billion Video Views a day? Facebook

Video Publishers, brace yourselves: Facebook is coming. For a market like Germany, it is hard to estimate the real numbers, but it does not seem far-fetched to assume that Facebook could double the existing video inventory within 12-24 months. Which would mean that everybody and their mother would get into video advertising - and marketers would shift budgets from print and especially TV into Facebook - or that CPM for pre roll has reached its peak during the last 2 years and will come under severe pressure since there's so much more inventory that can be targeted to any audience. 

Sep 6, 2014

Most people use only 4 apps

The world is going mobile, and within mobile, they are moving to apps, and within apps, they just use a few. Makes competition harder.

UK: Shopping sites geht more traffic from mobile than desktop

We will see more and more of these headlines. While actual transactions completed on smartphones and tablets are just a bit more than one third, the visits on online shopping sites on mobile have reached 52%. Still do not offer a responsive site? Or better yet, only offer a responsive site? Think mobile first.

Sep 4, 2014

What will wearables do to luxury watches?

The unbelievable wearable growth, Android Wear and the upcoming launch of an Apple smartwatch will have an impact on a few markets. First of all, just like with cards in my wallet, I do not have unlimited space on my arms. I won't wear three devices left and right and clip a steptracker to my underwear. It will be an all-in-one game, probably. On the one hand, we use to wear fashion accessories on our wrists. On the other hand: status symbols. Watches that cost as much as the car the guy next to you is driving.
Both may come under pressure. Fashion meets tech, but more importantly, luxury gets a new definition. No matter how rich you are, you won't be able to have a better phone than I do. Yours may be in a massive gold shell, but it will weigh more and your Minecraft, YouTube or Facebook will be exacvtly as good as mine. If this happens to watches, the likes of Rolex, Hublot and all those others may sense severe pressure. Personally I believe that the very expensive watches, more used as a financial investment than a timekeeper, may survive this. You don't have to wear your Patek Philippe everyday to value it. and you're simply holding on to it until the next generation takes over (wonderful campaign). But the "up to 5,000USD" range may get into difficulties. Or, as Jony Ive puts it: The iWatch may sink Swintzerland.

full article on wearables:

Elvis goes iBeacons

OK, not Elvis himself. But Graceland embraces new technology. Imagine what you can do not only in museums, but in shops or airports or sports stadiums with this.

Social Networking in the US by Age Groups

Penetration is incredibly high, of course. But now also the age bracket 65+ (in the US) has a social networks penetration of 50%+. Nice stats/research from Business Insider.

Youtube audience: Teens or Yuppies?

Both, of course. And everyone else. But there are some strange numbers circulating. While my impression is that particularly teens and millenials value YouTube higher than TV and anything else - note that 3 of the worldwide top 5 channels deal with gaming, that teens have a YouTube-biased view of celebrities etc., Nielsen statistics say that YT reaches more 18-34 than any cable network - other studies show a different "main audience". A research published by YouTube itself for Germany, where 1500 people were asked, is headlined that the common German YouTube user would be over 30, has a high average income, is digital savvy and likely to go out and spend money on restaurants and gadgets. Sounds strange to me. Very much like a "don't spend money in print or TV, buy YouTube ads"-cry to advertisers as they have teens and millenials in their pockets anyway.

Odd German stats:

YouTube viewership by age group and category like comedy, sports, news, music etc.

30 Old-school high-tech commercials

I love innovation products from the past, especially those that failed, not only for their entertainment value but also for the fact that they remind us to look twice when the next uber-cool new piece of connected something hits the kickstarter market. And in 30 years, people will look at some of today's products how we look at these: check out 30 great commercials on TIME.

Sep 2, 2014

Facebook targeting by network connection

Facebook's ad targeting is insane anyways. You can talk to managers about how important Facebook is, how they have 1.3 billion monthly active users, how 250,000 photos are uploaded there and the like button is being used a gajillion times per minute. All this is so far beyond our ability to understand, you could make other numbers up and they would have the exact same effect, as long as they are huge. If you want to impress someone who is not super-familiar with Facebook: Sit together with them and simply book an ad together. Show them the targeting options and they will understand the platform immediately. And as if targeting would not be good enough yet, they keep adding useful stuff: Now the network connection. Linking to an HD video or your 138 MB app download? Don't advertise to people who are on 3G. Simply great.

Underestimated in Europe: Reddit AMA

I don't know Reddit's exact traffic figures, but I wouldn't be surprised if a large part of their traffic came from Europe. The headline means the business world. I around 1 million social media and business discussions I have had in the last years Reddit maybe came up twice. Especially "Ask me anything", known as AMA, is a great format that should have been copied and applied to their own sites by many publishers already. But since they won't see the difference between a chat and AMA, which requires basic knowledge of marketing, positioning, branding and community management, let Reddit make it bigger and bigger, and rightfully get what they deserve. Now with a dedicated app:

Disney values VICE media at 2.5bn?

I am not so sure about this. Vice is on top of all that "new new media" hype stories, but will they ever even make 2.5bn turnover one day - not to say reach a "real" company value of that size? Maybe I am not smart enough, maybe I can't see the strategic angle of Disney investing in them that will allow saving revenues and profit at other ends of their business, or it's just one of those hypes. Now Fox owns 5% (purchased at a 1.4bn valuation last year), Disney and Hearst (owners of A&E who actually bought the stake) now have 10%. For 250 million. Maybe that's a business model: Sell 10-15 pieces of a few per cent of your company at crazy valuations. Let them deal with the fallout.

CRM future in the light of big data

If you think about how data production and collection evolved over the last few years, it is funny and sad how little you read about the evolvement of CRM - which is based on data collection, analysis and data-driven action. Here's an interesting read from Peter Perera, named "we need an internet of not-only customers", laying out the concept of poly-identity (which i can strongly support) and its connection to graph databases / big data. Great read!

Global app market overview

Here's a nice aggregation of facts from studies, researches and reports from a wide variety of sources, compiled into one nice overview about the app / "mobile" / touchscreen market as it is today.

Activity tracker for football (soccer) goalkeepers

Two reasons for this post:

1. specialized tracking in a B2B context can be a huge market (and also a Union issue, although not for goalkeepers)

2. the lamest and most boring video ever to describe an exciting invention

Great use for computers: read stuff that's too dry for ourselves to read

Especially useful in science. Found this link again via the great John Batelle.

Twitch: Need to know

"Instant expert" articles are a great invention. Here's one for twitch:

Research / Study - The Internet of things: consumer adoption

Interesting report from acquitygroup about the adoption of "the internet of things" from a consumer perspective. Not that you wouldn't think of these things by yourself: huge market opportunities, ease of use decisive for consumer success, providing real vale etc. But it's nice to see that backed up with numbers and statistics. Access to PDF/whitepaper:

Video games become a spectator sport

Twitch sold for a billion, 3 of the five most popular YouTube channels come out of gaming - there is a huge trend in gaming becoming content that you can passively perceive just like watching a movie or a football game. Twitch has more traffic than HBO Go, and half of the visitors spend 20+ hours on the site - per week.

Very nice overview in RWW about video games as the next big thing in content:

Intel's CEO on wearables' near future

Wearables are exciting. They open a new category for computing and will melt many different industries. For example, Intel's CEO tells us to expect new things... at the New York fashion week.

Sep 1, 2014

Past and present of Virtual Reality

Or "The rise and fall and rise of VR", as The Verge puts it. Great read, extensive piece - learn about the ancestors of Oculus Rift and all the other glasses and head-mounted devices.

China's smartphone internet

Great TNW article about China's mobile ecosystem - the biggest smartphone market in the world. iPhone users have an experience pretty close to ours, but on Android - without an official Google Play market, there are six local app markets that are dominating the distribution of apps, WeChat, TenCent and others being heavily involved. Very interesting read.

Smart cars - and the risks involved

Interesting BBC piece about mobility today and how cars are not computers on wheels but more like a network of computers on wheels - and what the risks may be if you fully connect them to the web.

Top 100 YouTube channels make close to 10bn views in a month

Unbelievable numbers again from YouTube. Their top 100 videos made 9.6bn (!!) video views in July 14. That's 80% growth YoY. The most popular channel? A Swedish gamer, running a channel named PewDiePie. Second? DisneyCollector with toy unboxing videos.
Then comes Shakira, then two more gaming channels. No Viacom, no Disney, no ESPN, no huge network.

Will Apple launch mobile payments?

Everyone is expecting the iWatch - and it may very well come. But maybe the time has come for a disruption in mobile payments. Interesting overview with insights in studies and research with regards to market maturity suggests it's about time:

Finally, Swatch gets into smartwatches

15 years ago, I would have bet that Swatch would lead this category (anyone remembers Swatch .Beat?). Well, 15 years ago everything in the digital world was very different. But still, I cannot see a better fit for any watchmaker with regards to brand and positioning and the wearables trend than with Swatch. Keen to see what they will come up with - fitness tracker of course, but what else? - and how the market will look next year.