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The future of social media? Look at dating sites. No, seriously.

The future of social media, in my humble opinion, rests in the following key concepts:

• Customisation (of products, experiences, services)
• Niche
• Tailor-made and personalised options

These points can be seen already on dating sites. Dating sites will give you a forecast of what the future of social media look like. Yep.

From Match.com to Badoo and OkCupid, we’ve seen them all, from ‘Sweet girl looking for Mr. Nice Guy for serious relationship. Must love cats and cupcakes’ to ‘Let’s get smashed together!’, and so on and so forth.

BECKY

We’ve seen also people documenting and collecting evidence for the future generations – look at this: ’26 Completely Unexplainable Dating Site Pictures’.

datingmonnezza

Then we saw things turning into something more specific. Not just person seeks person, but more niche, “spacialised” kind of sites.
Dating sites for “attractive, wealthy and desirable people” (http://sugardaddie.com/), dog owners (http://www.doggydate.com/), young, educated – and maybe a bit pretentious… – professionals (Guardian Soulmates), guys looking for “cougars”, and vice versa – here’s the meaning of cougar, if you don’t know it, according to a popular dictionary: /ˈkuːgə/ noun 1. North American term for puma. 2. Informal – an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

Date a hipsterdate a hippiedate a emo, or a goth, or a girl that is spending time in jail, you can really find anything and everything, nowadays.

And, finally, the project everybody’s talking about – Carrot Dating.

As reported by Mashable: ‘Carrot Dating App Lets You Bribe Your Way Onto Dates’.

Here’s what the website says:

‘GIFTS = DATES

Messaging may get her interested, but bribery will get you a date. Don’t waste time contacting countless singles in hopes that one will say “yes.” The Carrot Dating app gives you the power to date your first choice, not settle for only the ones who replied.

Gifts are the greatest “ice breaker.” Carrot Dating turns “fat chance” into “why not?” From flowers to jewelry, there’s a bribe for everyone’s budget. You can have anyone! All you have to do is dangle the right carrot.’

carrotdating

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Photo sources: Carrot Dating, Badoo, BuzzFeed

3 reasons we are VERY excited this week – Featuring the app that will change EVERYTHING FOREVER!

Now that we have your attention, we would like to say that said app is great, although we really don’t know if it will change everything forever. But yeah, it’s a great app.

So the new iPhone came out, gazillion Apple fans queuing for hours outside the Regent Street store, excitement and confetti everywhere, Samsung ripping off Apple again – see below – and so on and so forth.

samsung-galaxy-s4-gold

But we are excited for other reasons. First and foremost, the app in the title: PicPlayPost. CNET says: ‘Finally, a photo-framing app that stands out. PicPlayPost offers video integration in an otherwise photo-only app-frame landscape, complete with sequential and simultaneous playback along with other unique features.’

Wow. And I mean, WOW! We all know video is something that still doesn’t quite appeal to the average user – unless it’s about cats or it’s something like the latest Masterpiece from Chanel, which cost gazillions to produce, anyway. With this app, things could change for good, as it allows you to feature photos and videos at the same time. See the example below.

A post shared by @thin_red_line on

Now imagine a brand using this thing, for Paris Fashion Week: a video from the runway, a full body picture showing the product and another picture of La Tour Eiffel – or something less obvious, but you get the point.

The second reason why we are as excited as a man who just found a forgotten Picasso under his bed, is that we are going to take care of the social media presence of a huge brand. We can’t say much at the moment…Stay tuned for more, folks!

The third reason? Oh, well, nothing…it’s just that one of our projects has been featured on http://www.webdesignserved.com/. Yep.

webdesignserved

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Witty Twitter Wars / Feat. Apple, Lotus, the Royal Family and toilet paper.

‘What do Nokia and Denny’s have in common? Apple envy’, says an article on The Verge. As usual, when Apple launches a new product, the hype level goes through the roof, and, after what we can call the “Oreo Effect”, brands started to react quickly on social media channels, trying to ride the wave and win the users’ attention.

There you go, then, with Nokia, Motorola, HTC, Windows Phone and the rest of them, trying to come up with a funny response to the Apple event.

nokiaapple

Even brands that have nothing to do with technology join the Conga line. Here you can see McDonald’s and Kit Kat’s version.

mcdonaldsapple

 

kitkatico

 

And here’s one of Kit Kat’s recent tweets, showing how Twitter is becoming the wittiest, fastest and – maybe – smartest social network around.

kitkat

Even when good taste is kind of lacking, somehow.

Examples? Charmin, always talking about, well…things with a bathroom-related twist, like they did for the birth of little Prince George.

charmin

And, last but not least, yesterday’s Masterpiece. Raikkonen leaves Lotus for Ferrari, and, as Metro reports, ‘Following the announcement, the British-based outfit tweeted a picture of two bunnies getting busy (we’ve decided not to show you the rampant rabbits…use your imagination if you really want to), accompanied by the message: ‘So Kimi is off to Ferrari for 2014; it hurts a little bit… #F1 #Raikkonen’

We decide to show the bunnies, by the way.

lotus

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Photo sources: Twitter, Kit Kat (http://www.kitkat.com/#/home)

Instagram Video, Vine, and Other Animals: The Beginning of the Video Era?

“Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.”

Jean-Luc Godard

Although YouTube is definitely one of the most popular things on the Internet, it still looks like the average social media user prefers still images. In fact, the most effective way to get “likes” and “shares” and the rest on Facebook, right now, is by using the good ol’ artwork/image + copy combo.

But now things are going to change for good. If you were stuck in a cabin in Hammerfest, Norway, in the last four days, then you probably don’t know that we now have Instagram Video. Yep. It’s kinda similar to like Vine, which belongs to Twitter, which is Facebook’s worst enemy, nowadays, which means Zuckerberg wants to take over the Internet and get richer then Donald Duck, Donald Trump and Donald Glover put together. Anyway, here’s an article explaining how the Instagram Video vs Vine works.

When it comes to Vine, a few brands/companies are already producing seriously cool things. Wired is one of them.

wiredvine
General Electric, as usual, plays with science and turbines like nobody else.

gevine
Oreo’s videos are sweet, too.

oreovine
A handful of brands already started using Instagram Video, as well. Here’s the omnipresent Burberry.

A glimpse behind the scenes of the #Burberry Prorsum Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 show, #London

A post shared by Burberry (@burberry) on

General Electric, again.

And Michael Kors.

Michael Kors meets @Instagram video. So excited! #InstaKors #congrats

A post shared by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on

So, what does it all mean, in a nutshell? We don’t know yet. Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff implores ‘Instagram Video: Don’t Make Me Love You’ as he likes Vine but – reluctantly – recognises Instagram Video’s massive potential.
Another article reports that the guys at Vine are well aware of the competitor’s power, therefore “One day before rival Facebook is rumored to announce a Vine competitor, employees of Twitter’s video-sharing service teased several of its new features.” Meanwhile, some analysts warn: ‘Get Ready For TV-Like Ads On Facebook (Eventually) As Video Comes To Instagram.’

The bottom line is, anyway, that things are going to change, once again, and I personally think that video will now become something we have to deal with every day. Finally.

Think about the potentialities of the medium, for brands:

  • Events can be shown and shared through moving image; see fashion shows, gigs, vernissages and the rest.
  • Teasers can be used in order to create suspense for a new product or event coming up.
  • Storytelling is better with video, as the medium is psychologically more engaging and captivating.
  • It’s easier to communicate brand identity and values, with video.

What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Is social media good for sales? We don’t really know. But it is good for revolutions, that’s for sure. #OccupyGezi #Turkey

Every time a social media strategist goes to a meeting, she/he will face the scepticism and diffidence of yet another client, who will eventually ask: “Yes, it sounds cool and everything, but how can I make money with it?”

A difficult question, indeed. How do we measure ROI and benefits and impact of social media marketing? There is no infallible tool/Oracle for that, I’m afraid.

So, what it the real purpose of social media? By looking at the Arab Spring, and now at what is going on in Turkey, we could say that social media can indeed have a purpose: to allow people to show their indignation, their anger and frustration, to organise and come together, for a radical change.

Traditional media won’t show the facts on telly? Who cares, for we’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and a few other weapons.
And you know what? Governments can’t control them (at least in full).

So, here’s a random collections of headlines, links, videos and pictures that show how people, once they realise the real power of social media – no, I’m not talking about sharing a can of Coke with your friends and then post a pic on Instagram – can really change the world.

Erdogan vs Social media
From Wired UK: ‘Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called social media “the worst menace to society”, saying that it has been used to spread lies about the current anti-government protests taking place in the country.’

Twitter
Mashable: ‘Turkey Protesters Take to Twitter as Local Media Turns a Blind Eye’

main_hashtags

Al Jazeera: ‘At least 24 people arrested in #Turkey for tweeting “misleading and libellous information”.’

Tumblr
http://turkishpolicebrutality.tumblr.com/ features (often very disturbing) pictures of the unrest.
Other blogs are helping spreading the word and key images; “The woman in red” is already an icon of the unrest.

womaninred

couple

Bringing it offline
Mashable: ‘Turkish Protesters Crowdfunding Ad in ‘The New York Times. The Istanbul protesters who drew out riot police over the weekend have some overseas admirers, it seems. Inspired by the demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a handful of New York-based supporters are raising money online for a full-page ad, to be placed in either the New York Times or the Washington Post.’
ad

Anonymous helps out
‘Hackers access email accounts of PM Erdogan’s staff’

emailhack

Banksy helps out, too

banksy

YouTube
‘Entire staff of Turkish Airlines in Guy Fawkes masks, in choreographed protest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x56qCv5AgA&feature=youtu.be … #OccupyGezi #Turkey’

Instagram

‘Stunning, overwhelming @instagram collage of the #Turkey protests http://nowembed.jit.su/?size=150&event=RRR5xekKrR … via @digitalhoarding #occupygezi’

What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Web Design Now / Digitise EVERYTHING. Even Uselessness.

‘All art is quite useless.’

‘It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.’

Oscar Wilde

There are plenty of useless things in the world, in our lives, on our walls, in our pockets, in and on our heads, in supermarkets, elevators, fridges, cars and museums.

Here is a very short list of useless things I can think of off the top of my head: Segways, Pizza Cones, Animal Paper Clips, Socktopus, lists of useless things, a pen that doesn’t work, solar-powered flashlight, water-proof teabag, 4 Non Blondes, and the thing you see below.

iarm

On the other hand, our mission is to digitise everything. Even usefulness. And it can be rather beautiful, when translated into digital forms.

Appnova digitised drink brands, luxury brands, beauty, finance, sounds, colours, experiences and more, therefore we understand how paramount the concept is nowadays.

But, personally, I never thought I could be so amazed by such digital uselessness.

If the Earth were 100 pixels wide…

Here I am, though, spending hours floating in space. Because if we see it on a computer screen, suddenly even the unfathomable infinity of the Universe makes sense. The bizarre paradoxes of modern life.

(http://www.distancetomars.com/)

mars

Digitise the noise of the coffee shop.

Remember than movie in which a guy from New York goes to a quiet place, and brings with him a tape with traffic and police sirens sounds, as the silence of the rural area makes him freak out? Here’s something similar.

‘Research shows it’s pretty hard to be creative in a quiet space.

And a loud workplace can be frustrating and distracting.

But, the mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing.

Our team has delivered the vibe of a coffee shop right to your desktop, which means when your workspace just isn’t quite cutting it, we’ve got you covered.

Coffitivity Enough noise to work.’

(http://coffitivity.com/)

coffivity

Digitise serendipity.

According to Wikipedia, ‘Serendipity means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.’

Welcome the the Uselessweb. Be ready to spend your long weekend looking at useless stuff. Genius.

(http://www.theuselessweb.com/)

useless

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

R.I.P. Tumblr or: How Yahoo! Just Killed the Kids’ Favourite Social Network.

We still don’t know what will happen to Tumblr, but history teaches us that whenever some big label signs an underground indie banjo player, things are going to change, and suddenly everything turns into a grandmother-friendly, honey-voiced bunch of pointless songs the same kids who helped the artist go big will hate. The end.

This is my opinion, of course, but the vox populi on Tumblr seems to confirm the theory.

But let’s start with the news, as reported by the Financial Times: ‘Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, has made her first big bet to jump-start growth at the stalled web portal company with the $1.1bn purchase of New York start-up Tumblr. Announcing the deal on Monday, Yahoo said that “per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up”, Tumblr would be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp, Tumblr’s 26-year-old founder, will remain chief executive.’

Of course, the fact Marissa Mayer said they promise “not to screw it up” means that they will screw it up, big time. Moreover, it seems like they already started to apply martial rules; as a user said, as a comment to her post: ‘ahiahi, poor marissa: we want to communicate with u, why there’s no ask or fan mail button on your tumblr? U seems not to be “online” with tumblr style, and we don’t need any chat, flickr, smiles or “family style”, poor us…’

 

Here’s how they will screw up:

  • Tumblr was an unregulated, intimate space for the Generation Yers’ deepest thoughts and weirdest and wildest ideas. They had chosen Tumblr instead of Facebook – on which they have their parents and teachers as friends – as their Speakers’ Corner, unpolluted by brands, ads, and other animals. It was uncensored – pornography is big on Tumblr, and, as we stressed elsewhere, it is part and parcel of every 15-year-old daily life, nowadays – and pure. It had a wild and rough angle, and an aftertaste of anarchy and poetic “fuckedupness”. This, obviously, has to change now
  • Very few brands were on Tumblr; that absence of big players meant absence of branded content, and, ultimately, an absence of ads, AKA the enemies of social media, as they are invasive, nosy and interfere with feeds made of bona fide posts and real user-generated content
  • Say hello to EdgeRank, or: the “algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed—and how high—on the News Feed.” It will be introduced to control and legislate the platform, introducing a rather violent sense of manipulation, averse to the nature of Tumblr. ‘I want to see every post from everyone I follow, in the order that they were posted’ said a user, and that pretty much sums it up. In a few words, they will kill the ethos the platform is famous for.

And here’s the aforementioned vox populi:

1

2

3

4

5

And now, the epitaph, posted by a perplexed kid: ‘Yahoo Pays $1.1B for Tumblr? Where is the new “wild west” of the Internet going to be?’

That is indeed an interesting question.

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Facebook Graph Search: a guide for brands and Page admins. Plus, everything you did before will be used against you.

Remember when Facebook was just the coffee in our lives – you use it three or four times a day, during the break, and you quite enjoy it, even if it makes you feel a bit agitated? Before turning from coffee to a rather hard drug we have to assume all day every day, Facebook was seen as a quasi-innocuous medium to snoop around friends’ and ex boyfriends/girlfriends’ lives; we had fake identities, nicknames and silly Hotmail and Yahoo! email accounts, and, above all, we used to laugh at pages users would come up with, way before brands would realise the potential of it. Therefore, we wouldn’t think twice before giving away an impressive amount of “Likes” to pages called ‘Can this Potato get more fans than Justin Bieber?’, ‘”Drunk, I’m home from the honey, I’m not pub.”’ and ‘”Ya i am reaching in 5 minutes”.*1 hour later* “Im almost there,only 2mins”’.

vodka

(picture taken from ‘”I love youuuu” “You’re drunk, shut up”‘)

Good ol’ days.

Now, the Dark Lord Baron Zuck von Facebook came up with a way to monetise on all the personal info we gave away during these years: say hello to Facebook Graph Search.

What is it? “People use search engines to answer questions,” Zuckerberg said “But we can answer a set of questions that no one else can really answer. All those other services are indexing primarily public information, and stuff in Facebook isn’t out there in the world — it’s stuff that people share. There’s no real way to cut through the contents of what people are sharing, to fulfill big human needs about discovery, to find people you wouldn’t otherwise be connected with. And we thought we should do something about that. We’re the only service in the world that can do that.”

Check Mashable for more info.

What is the inside story? Read this article on Wired, and pay attention to this shred: ‘Rasmussen (the engine’s father) joined Facebook’s existing search team. The company already had truckloads of information, but it was hard for users to access. Who are my friends in New York City? What books are my friends reading? Is there anyone nearby who loves Wilco? What’s an Italian restaurant that people really like? The new search product would answer such queries. But Rasmussen’s team faced a tough quandary: whether to focus on the most popular kinds of questions — or take on the tougher challenge of building a smarter search engine that would let users ask Facebook pretty much anything.’

So, apparently, these are the challenges brands will have to face, in order to ride the big wave, and make a few quid out of it:

  • Facebook Graph Search looks pretty user-centred. Therefore, brands will have to come up with a more personalised and tailored Facebook experience, and try to obtain and use UGC (User Generated Content) even more.
  • Companies will have to read the situation in a much deeper way, identifying and pinpointing top influencers. Then, they’ll have to make them talk about the brand. Socialbakers already offers a feature that helps page admins understand who the most active and influential fans are.
  • Facebook will become a way to discover new things – e.g. restaurants or bars your friends liked, in a certain area – or to find out who’s doing what where, who is single, and so on and so forth. Therefore, brands will have to adjust their strategies, and integrate lessons learned from other platforms, such as Foursquare, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and even some dating websites’ tricks.
  • Search will go local. No more global pages with 434m fans, one language, all aboard. From now on, one size doesn’t fit all, and pages will have to go smaller, local, and parochial.
  • Perhaps the most important thing brands will have to consider is that “Likes” are coming back, BIG TIME. There will be an important shift from “Share” to “Like” again, as the latters influence heavily the results on Facebook Graph Search. Read more here, on Business Insider.
  • Finally, there will be no excuses anymore: brands will have to create better and stronger content – better content, more likes, right? Right.

The last thing: in case you are not the CEO of a brand, nor the admin of a brand page, and this post worried the hell out of you and your fear for your privateness, you poor little vulnerable Facebook user, whose only fault was to give away too many information about yourself, your family, friends and anything you know, like, and do, then you can change your privacy settings, following the instructions you’ll find on CNET’s article ‘Now’s a really good time to update these Facebook privacy settings’.

Mark_Zuckerberg_at_Facebook_Graph_Search_EventNEWTAROCCA

(Picture taken from Mashable, then remixed)

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Google Street View maps the Grand Canyon? Cool. ‘The Nine Eyes of Google Street View’? AMAZING.

Google brings Street View to the Grand Canyon. Impressive.

But have you seen the series of Street View discoveries made by Canadian artist Jon Rafman?

‘The Nine Eyes of Google Street View’ / See more here: http://9-eyes.com/

Read More…

Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic space jump / A collection of the best memes.

The guy jumps, the Internet goes crazy. Easy.

Here’s a collection of the finest memes dedicated to the man who doesn’t get nervous if his Ryanair flight is hit by turbulence.

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.