We check into Facebook while at a concert. Tweet during the sporting event we’re watching. Instagram a picture of our dinner from the restaurant. Now, we can even post a video to Vine of us eating the dinner. At what point will we put the phone down and say “enough”?
Last weekend I was out to dinner with some friends. As I reached for my phone to tag us all at the restaurant, I realized I didn’t want to be “that person”. We all know who that person is. The one who is always on their phone at any given event, and who sometimes misses out on what’s going on because of it. I’ll be the first to admit I am a prime offender.
Hello. My name is Kathleen and I am addicted to “Instagram-ing” any event I go to.
The ability to be connected is one of the great things about technology. But do we really need to be that connected all the time? When we’re out enjoying the company of friends and family, we should be doing just that; enjoying the time with them. Yes, taking a picture every now and then and uploading it straight to Facebook is fine. But don’t miss out on your friend’s joke, an important part of a movie, a sick goal in the hockey game, or a valuable family moment because you’re too busy trying to share on the social channels what you’re doing.
The next time you’re out, I challenge you to keep your phone in your pocket or handbag the entire night. I know it’s hard. Even as I’m writing this post, I want to check my phone and even tweet about how much I enjoy writing blog posts. But that would be one step forward, two steps back, wouldn’t it?
Over breakfast on Monday, April 15th, I excitedly told my fiance “its Marathon Monday!” When I got to work, I went to watchlive.baa.org to stream the marathon coverage for free – I even tweeted how excited I was the website existed since it wasn’t on local TV in Baltimore.
So where does this excitement come from? I have been running for a few years now, and completed my first marathon last fall. As all runners know, Boston is the Holy Grail –I’ve definitely dreamt of a BQ (Boston Qualifying time) and love watching as runners in my community train and work so hard for theirs. I was excited on Monday to track the everyday runners I knew were running, as well as to see how American Elite runners Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher would do.
As I was keeping up on the women’s race via the stream, I was also keeping up on Twitter via the #bostonmarathon hashtag. Towards the end of the women’s race, I tweeted my excitement for Shalane Flannigan as she was in the 4th spot – and so close to placing in the marathon. After the elites, I continued to monitor the hashtag throughout the morning and saw when the runners I was tracking finished around the 3:20 mark.
Within the hour, my Twitter feed changed completely. It went from tweets of excitement about a cherished event to tragedy and confusion. ...
Remember, if you will, back in December when Instagram unveiled their new terms of service that caused such a backlash that users either quit, threatened to, or posted every article they could find about how bad the new TOS were. Many interpreted Instagram's new TOS as giving them (and their parent company, Facebook) the right to sell your photos to advertisers so they could use them in ads or as a way to promote their brand on Instagram.
As a result of the outrage, Instagram temporarily reverted back to the old TOS, before drafting a new and less confusing one, the revolt ended and business went back to normal. This, ironically, is when I started thinking about the other social networks I’d been obsessed with and then fallen out of love with.
This thought quickly turned into a Sunday afternoon’s undertaking - I took a deep dive into my social media app folders, really looking and thinking about how and why I used these apps in the first place. I landed on three networks that had recently become irrelevant in my mind, but held the promise of becoming ‘the next big thing.’ Unfortunately, their time had come. ...
Big brands, blackouts, Beyonce and the Lombardi Trophy in Charm City? Havas Discovery (and friends) provided a running commentary on it all. If you’re logged into Twitter, check out our Super Bowl 47 tweets by searching for #DSCBowl.
Here's a sample of some the tweets from Team Discovery and friends:
Now that's an ad! Coke does it again. #DSCbowl. Peace
— DanDawes (@DanDawes) February 3, 2013
Tired of the black crown ads already #DSCBowl
— Kathleen Wilcox (@kathleen_wilcox) February 3, 2013
— Norm Yustin (@normyustin) February 4, 2013
— M. Chase Whittemore (@mcwhittemore) February 4, 2013
— Andy Locke (@Andrew_B_Locke) February 4, 2013
Party time at Havas Discovery in Baltimore. #DSCBowl
— Miguel H Gonzalez (@miggon) February 4, 2013
— Andy Locke (@Andrew_B_Locke) February 4, 2013
Since 2010, the world insta-ntly became a trendy and professional photographer. This mobile app has created a lot of buzz within the social space and users. Facebook made its largest acquisition by buying out Instagram in April forming a bond between two very powerful social networks. And Instagram hasn’t slowed yet. On 12/17 the company updated the ‘Terms of Service’ to allow Instagram to use personal photos in ads. More is to come!
Facebook IPO (May)
On May 18th, one of the biggest social networks for possibly the biggest technology IPOs was broadcast. High debate arose on the company’s profitability immediately after. After weeks and months, the IPO price saw only a decline, shocking almost everyone.
YAHOO’S CEO (July)
Marisa Mayer threw a curveball by leaving Google and heading to Yahoo. This high powered CEO took on a challenge by jumping ship to the second most valued search engine and is beginning to turn things around. Mayer has set her plan to get Yahoo to deliver and distribute the search engine’s information that people want on their phones via apps.
Amongst all the mobile software updates, iOS6 was the winner in upgrades. Between the iTunes makeover, a smarter Siri, enhanced GPS, and passbook, Apple had made some big changes and anticipation of this release was timely with the iPhone 5. But now that leaves us wondering, what’s going to be in round 7?
WINDOWS 8 (November)
Microsoft has shifted to touchscreen. The market for touchscreen laptops and tablets will become heavily populated due to the software’s capabilities. The new menu is a completely different navigation system that is supposed to replicate a smartphone layout and design. In the next coming months, Microsoft will need to prove whether the software is worth the bite.
Time to grow your Mo! Movember, a worldwide initiative, designates the month of November for men to grow a mustache. These mustaches are the staple of Movember to drive conversation about men's health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer. At Havas Discovery, we are taking on the challenge and participating, so ask us about our 'stache'.
We have gathered a number of men (Mo Bros) and women (Mo Sistas) to take action this month. The team will work together to grow out mustaches, spread awareness about men's health to family and friends, and raise money for the team's charity donation. ...
This time of year is big for advertising, digital, and social media conferences all around the US. It’s the perfect time to recap what’s happened so far in 2012 and start planning for 2013. Tomorrow, the search team at Havas Discovery will be heading up to NYC to attend this year’s SMX East at the Javits Center on the lower east side.
SMX (Search Marketing Expo) is one of the world’s largest leading search engine marketing conferences. The main goal for all the attendees is to learn tactics on how to increase website traffic, acquire conversions, and ultimately make more sales! This three-day show is full of sessions that cover Internet marketing topics, from SEO to paid seach to local and mobile search, and finally, social media. ...
Path – “The journal of your life,” as they call themselves, is a mobile private social network where you share your life “moments” with only your closest friends. By design, Path limits you to only 150 friends; their mission is dead-set on you sharing with only your closest and best friends. Path isn’t the first social network to take a more private approach to social; Google + has “circles” for specific groups of people in your life, while Twitter & Facebook now have very tight privacy settings that allow you to lock down who sees your content and profile. But still, Path’s approach just feels different – the commitment to privacy & intimacy is in their bones.
A Social Media Boxing Match
Once heralded as Facebook’s biggest threat since MySpace or Twitter, Path’s mainstream success has been mediocre at best. Many of their core users consider it the best thing to happen to social media – a chance to completely start over from scratch.
Path’s biggest critics think the 150 rule is too limiting, the use case too narrow and the effort to remake your entire social graph way too difficult and time-consuming. Two things that no one can disagree with, however, is Path’s incredible design (it’s one of the most gorgeous mobile interfaces I’ve ever seen) or their commitment to user privacy.
The Great Privacy Debate
Path is a very interesting company in that they are basically the “anti-Facebook” to their users; you share incredibly personal and intimate “moments” in your life; be them the music you’re listening to, the movie you just saw, or the time you woke up this morning (more to come on that in a second). The biggest fear with openly sharing this type of information publicly is that eventually the social network you’re active on will turn your private moments and thoughts into advertising dollars.
The best example of this was Facebook’s Beacon fiasco a few years back which involved the automatic publishing of user's data from their browsing of third party sites directly onto Facebook. The issue wasn’t that Facebook knew your habits (say, a 26 year old man was looking movie times or restaurant reviews), but that it was publishing these events directly on your Facebook Wall without explicit permission – a big privacy no-no.
Data For All
In Path’s very vein of existence, they have taken the complete opposite direction with some of their data and shared it with the world – but not in a way you’d normally think. Path took an interesting approach with one of their more interest-based slices of user social data – they published a completely anonymous study of their users sleep habits.
The study highlights some really interesting, intimate findings, like: Path’s users go to bed after midnight, 12:27am to be exact, rising at 8:24am; they average 7h 56m of sleep a night; women go to bed before men; and the more athletic Path users are, the earlier to bed and the earlier to rise. You can read Path’s full post about Sleep Habits on their blog.
The point here isn’t to vex on the data itself, but discuss what Path has done with this data, publishing an infographic and a blog post on the topic versus creating an advertising product around it. I can’t recall the last time any other social network did something along these lines; imagine if Facebook or Twitter were to publish weekly stats on the most seen film or downloaded album by their users. What Path’s done here is more or less the complete opposite of selling advertising based upon information or intention; it’s returning it to the community in an interesting, enlightening, and educational way.
Will Path Survive?
One concern I have with Path is if it will actually survive. Will their service hit critical mass and become ubiquitous with social networking? All businesses need to grow up one day and make money, so they can keep the lights on and keep fulfilling the needs of their users and advancing their service forward. We just saw the Facebook IPO & Twitter turn up the heat on their advertising products. Where’s Path in all of this? I don’t think it’s the right time for them to even think about this, as they are still heads-down developing and building a product they hope will revolutionize how we live our social media lives.
If Path sounds interesting to you, fire up either the Apple App store or Android Play and give it a whirl.
Mixed-media microblogging platform Tumblr is experiencing a great deal of success. Although it might not be the social media darling that Pinterest is currently, with 23.7 billion posts across 56.8 million blogs, Tumblr’s popularity is undeniable.
You know you are on the right track when actors, artists, musicians, national news organizations, and even the POTUS utilize your blogging service. I attribute their success to providing users with just enough features, and a well-developed app.
Tumblr is frequently compared to Twitter, but I find Tumblr gets more things right. The ability to add audio-visual posts just as easily as text gives Tumblr the clear advantage. And posting on the go might actually be easier than through the desktop. Both aspects help provide Tumblr's content creators and consumers with seamless experiences.
Easy posting means that fresh content is continually pouring in, as are the viewers. Of course, quantity does not equal quality, so here are some of my favorite Tumblr blogs:
● PBS Arts: Off Book - a discussion on art in the modern world
● NPR - a little bit of everything from National Public Radio
● Brand Spirit - photos of branded items painted white
● Peabody Wunderkammer- interesting images from around the stacks of the George Peabody Library
● The Kitten Covers - the Internet wouldn't be what it is today without cats or music, this combines both
● Hungover Owls - adorable owls with sometimes profane captions
● This Advertising Life - a collection of gifs on working in the ad world
● MDHS Photographs - images from the Maryland Historical Society's collections
● Bmore Type - photo blog of text around Baltimore
● Atomblr - a hodgepodge of posts from local shop, Atomic Books
You can also follow along with what I'm currently cooking over at Food Pal Friends, my photoblog of baked goods accompanied by silly sketches.
There’s a whirlwind surrounding the Facebook IPO today. How will trading go when the Book becomes public? Will there be major success? Or will it be a flop? In beginning to write this post, I have come up with more questions than answers. And even the answers to my questions are questions!
GM has pulled their ads from Facebook, and P&G is going for the social media marketing strategy of a brand page approach because it is free advertising. How then, if big advertisers begin to stray away from Facebook, and others follow, will Facebook be able to make a profit? Would they start charging for brand pages? Zuckerberg has gone on the record saying he will not charge for brand pages, but will this change if Facebook somehow needs to look for other ways to turn a profit? If he stands by his word, what other ways will Facebook make money?
My second question: What would the benefits be of investing in Facebook?
Well, that depends. Facebook has said it is looking to integrate a search engine that is comparable to Google. Will people feel the need to search within Facebook? How will that search be measured? What other start-ups, if any, are going to be acquired with the new revenue coming into Facebook? Zuckerberg bought Instagram without consulting his board members. Should I as an investor put my trust in someone making sole decisions like that?
To counter those questions of uncertainty, Facebook makes no money off of advertising via its mobile app. By buying stock early, and letting Facebook grow in its mobile efforts, you would be able to tap into that revenue when it starts coming in…if they can figure out a good direction for the mobile strategy.
Going back to the whole GM ordeal, with the company pulling its ads, stock prices may dip after a few days of trading. This would open up opportunity for us to go after that stock at a lower price. But is it worth it to invest when the price goes down if there are so many uncertainties? That brings me to my last question.
My last question: Where will Facebook be in 10 years?
That’s impossible to tell with any company, especially a social media company. In my opinion, a social media platform is even more at risk than a regular company looking to go public. With all of my questions generating new questions, that is one big gamble. Then again, isn’t buying stock in anything just one big gamble?
Do you have enough information to take the gamble?
What are your thoughts on Facebook going public? And what do you think the outcome will be?
About Havas Discovery
App-toberfest 2012 Wrap-Up
- Winning Customer Loyalty From The Passenger Seat
- So, What’s Next For SEO In 2013? Quite A Lot According To Google’s Matt Cutts
- DSC Lingo: What Does SSH, SEO, Parallax, and Landing Page Mean?
- New DSC Team Members
- Mobile Etiquette in Today’s Society
- May 2013 (4)
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