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A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Posts Tagged ‘apps’

Snapchat to charge £50,000 per day for 1 advert!

Posted Friday, January 16th, 2015

With the ability to reach millions of viewers a day, the strong video focused messaging app promotes itself as a TV-style commercial space for the ad world. In late October, 2014, the app started rolling out paid ads. Universal Pictures were the first, advertising their film Ouija.

Sponsors pay for ‘Snaps’, short videos and photos, to show up in users ‘recent update’ feeds. Brands like McDonald’s, Samsung and Macy’s have jumped on the bandwagon early.

Photo and video ads of major events like the American Music Awards appear in the ‘Our Stories’ live feed.

Brands are being asked for a $750,000-a-day commitment if they wish to advertise to Snapchat’s estimated 100 million monthly users.

 

“From a monetization perspective, they are looking for fewer, bigger, better”, an agency executive said.

Advertisers have been told by the Snapchat team that ad placement is reserved for top brand category leaders as their ads could potentially reach tens of millions of views a day.

“We have clients for whom Snapchat works really well, it’s good for a product launch or a rebranding”, the agency executive explained.

McDonald’s and Universal have had success advertising product and movie launches through the app but sources say the program lacks sophistication.

Snapchat is unable to break down who is watching the ads because of its limited reported capabilities. At this stage, brands will never know who is actually watching as there is no way to determine how many women compared to men viewed your ad or age breakouts.

On January 5, Milward Brown Digital released analysis of the first six Snapchat ads and found that viewers enjoyed 60% of ‘Our Stories’ and 44% of ‘Brand Stories’.

Snapchat ad campaigns had a “significant positive impact on key brand metrics including ad awareness and brand favorability”, says the study.

But with rates significantly higher than its competitors, “it is difficult to go forward with Snapchat at the prices they are quoting”, an executive explained.

Do you think the price is too high?


Why micro videos are the hottest trend in 2014

Posted Friday, August 15th, 2014

If 2014 is the year of anything, it’ll be the year of micro-video. The rise of the ultra short form film in 2013 might have surprised many – after all what can you say in a few seconds – but already smart brands are starting to master this medium.

Promise of engagement

Micro-video offers the promise of more engagement than traditional online video, with branded Vines four times more likely to be shared than traditional online video.

Added to this, the mobile-based nature of micro-video and its expansion onto sites like YouTube, means that micro-video may have the potential to further increase a brand’s reach by providing additional touch points within the digital space.

The plus points for consumers is that the time commitment is small, making them more willing to watch, but brands still need to be aware of the following:

  • Micro-video films need to be entertaining, informative or intriguing. This is currently a push medium so entertainment value is critical.
  • Typically, consumer films are shot on a mobile and the lo-tech aesthetic is important; quick rather than slick should be the watch-word.
  • Micro-videos are short and thus brands need to adopt simple visual cues that make the brand clear right from the start. Audi and Samsung place the products they produce at the core of their micro-video, making them a key part of the action.

Will your business be producing micro-videos and for which apps/websites?


15 Apps Kids Are Heading to Beyond Facebook

Posted Friday, July 4th, 2014

Recent reports go back and forth on teens’ favorite digital hangout, but the fact is that the days of a one-stop shop for all social networking needs are over. Instead, teens are dividing their attention between an array of apps and tools that let them write, share, video chat, and even shop for the latest trends.

Twitter
Instagram
Snapchat
Tumblr
Google+
Vine
Wanelo
Kik Messenger
Ooovoo
Ask.fm
Yik Yak
WhatsApp
Omegle
Yo.
Whisper

 

Here’s why they’re so popular with teens:

Twitter
Teens like using it to share quick tidbits about their lives with friends. It’s also great for keeping up with what’s going on in the world — breaking news, celebrity gossip, etc.

Instagram
a platform that lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos — either publicly or with a network of followers.

Snapchat
Snapchat’s creators intended the app’s fleeting images to be a way for teens to share fun, light moments without the risk of having them go public. And that’s what most teens use it for: sending goofy or embarrassing photos to one another. Snapchats also seem to send and load much “faster” than email or tex

Tumblr
Many teens have tumblrs for personal use — sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends. Tumblelogs with funny memes and gifs often go viral online, as well (case in point: “Texts from Hillary”).

Google+
Teens aren’t wild about Google+ yet. But many feel that their parents are more accepting of it because they associate it with schoolwork. One popular aspect of Google+ is the addition of real-time video chats in Hangouts (virtual gatherings with approved friends), and some schools may use Google Docs for classroom assignments.

Vine
Videos run the gamut from stop-motion clips of puzzles doing and undoing themselves to six-second skits showing how a teen wakes up on a school day vs. a day during summer. Teens usually use Vine to create and share silly videos of themselves and/or their friends and family.

Wanelo
Teens keep up with the latest styles by browsing Wanelo’s “trending” feed, which aggregates the items that are most popular across the site. They can also cultivate their own style through the “My Feed” function, which displays content from the users, brands, and stores they follow.

Kik Messenger
It’s fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you just use the basic features, making it decidedly more fun in many ways than SMS texting.

Oovoo
Teens mostly use Oovoo to hang out with friends. Many log on after school and keep it up while doing homework. Oovoo can be great for group studying and it makes it easy for kids to receive “face to face” homework help from classmates.

Yik Yak
Kids can find out opinions, secrets, rumors, and more: plus, they’ll get the bonus thrill of knowing they’ve all come from a 1.5 mile radius (maybe even from the kid at the desk in front of them!).

Ask.fm
Although there are some friendly interactions on Ask.fm — Q&As about favorite foods or crushes, for example — there are lots of mean comments and some creepy sexual posts. This iffy content is part of the site’s appeal for teens.

whatsapp
The price is right — for teens who have a hard time keeping within the limits of a standard texting plan, the ability to send unlimited messages for free is a definite bonus.

Omegle
Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss opportunity to make connections. Its “interest boxes” also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests.

Yo
This admittedly silly concept has taken off big-time since the app’s release in mid-2014. While it may not seem like much, this single word has the potential to let friends and family know you’re thinking of them, and just wanted to say, you know, “Yo.”

Whisper
With all the emotions running wild in the minds of teens, anonymous outlets give them freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment.

Which other apps are you or your kids loving right now? And will Facebook’s new slingshot be on the list soon?

 


Reskinning Apps- the opportunities to reskin differently

Posted Friday, April 4th, 2014

Here’s a blog post I wrote for an app blog which is about to go live and I thought I’d share. It looks at how many indie app developers are reskinning apps with he same old code and having trouble standing out in the app store. Here’s thoughts about a different approach and how reskinning could even help people around you.

Smashing Apps

We’re all in the app reskinning business and hopefully everyone is smashing it! It took me some time to get my head round how it all works and implementing the systems that helped me release quality apps quickly. But as I’m sure many people experienced, I hit some early financial losses when I started which I couldn’t afford and what’s more, I was worried whether the app business would work for me or I would get it right.  It forced me to find a way of making guaranteed income from reskinning before I spent all the money I had to build apps

I’d love this article to be about how I’ve cracked it, instead it’s a couple of thoughts on the opportunities reskinning offers and how I’ve used what I’ve learnt to make alternative revenue. Initially I needed to find a way to cover my costs to reskin my own apps but eventually I realized how reskinning could apply to any new business. Hopefully there’ll be a follow up message on how I’ve nailed it!

The Background

I run a company called SWARMbuzz which helps businesses with their online, social and mobile strategies. I’d been running the business for 3 years when I discovered how to build an app, I love everything mobile so I thought I’d give the app game a go. But I took a massive early hit; I made some poor decisions on my first app, severely overspent and finally got nailed by the developer. It was a disaster. But I tried again and whilst I’d learnt a few lessons, I still made mistakes and made a loss, poor developers and my own inexperience were costing me. By my third attempt I had an app released which saw some good early downloads but it would have needed to be a smash hit to recover expenditure on 3 apps, 2 of which didn’t even get released!

I couldn’t afford to keep losing money but I wanted to continue having a go at building apps as I believed it was a great market and I enjoyed it. I needed to find a way to cover my early losses and get some quick income to fund further projects. I continued to release some small games which were making money but my P&L sheets weren’t looking very healthy and I needed to do something about it

 

How can I play the reskinning game differently?

Initially I thought that the reskinning game was a secret I should keep. As I’d spent the time and money learning only I should know about it. But this didn’t last, partly because I think it’s better to share knowledge and secondly I’m not very good at keeping secrets! The more people I told, friends and clients, the more they were interested and saw the sense in it. Until a friend who owns a successful company asked me to produce monthly games for his business targeting families. He knew they were reskinned apps and he was happy they were, I wasn’t cheating him, I was helping him. He’d been producing apps for his other companies paying tens of thousands of dollars but I was telling him I could produce apps at a fraction of the cost and quicker, he was naturally very happy and I now produce small games for him each month. You may ask why I wouldn’t just produce these games for myself but in the early days the money I charged allowed me to recover my loses, I liked working with his company and we’re about to start new mobile businesses together because it has worked so well

When we think reskinning we think of games immediately because that’s what we’ve seen our teachers do and what we’ve read most about. But I’ve come to realize that the opportunities are truly endless, so far I’ve found a source code that has suited all of my crazy ideas! As an example, my family run a charity to help educate children less fortunate in India and Africa so I decided I could take a wallpaper source code I owned and use it to build a charity app. I wanted to offer it to other charities so I contacted local charities to show them the app I’d built and how I could do the same for them. I covered my costs and time and whilst it made a little money, it was the chance to help charities reach a mobile audience and acquire donations via an app which was all for good causes.

Where are these opportunities?

Networking networking networking! Speak to new people on social media, forums and friends at the bar!. Reach out to new people and speak to your friends to share your app knowledge because mobile is still very new to many people. I made a point of listing the people I knew who ran a business which could best benefit from apps. I sent them an email and just asked if we could meet for a chat. All of them agreed and those who understood mobile liked apps and they loved reskinning because quite frankly, it makes sense! Keep in contact with the people you know who own or work in a small business with a simple email or text message; majority of your business will come through people you already know.

To help my online business I took out a $1500 loan from my family and joined a networking group which could be hard work as it started at 6.30am once a week, but it gave me the chance to meet local businesses and talk about the online and mobile world. Remember we’re tech ninjas, there are a lot of people, even young people, who don’t understand the mobile game and how it’s conquering everything! When I decided to offer reskinning commercially I arranged meetings with fellow members and we discussed how I thought apps could help them. Over the course of my two years with the group I did $25000 in business (a mixture of mobile, social and app work) so I was thankful the investment was worthwhile.

It’s not as though my time is now filled with building other people’s apps, I still have plenty of time to build my own. But it brought in some early money to help cover my mistakes. What I’ve enjoyed the most is being able to help companies build a low cost app that is equally effective as one that would’ve cost far more money. It also started conversations with successful business owners who now want to build other mobile businesses together.

The fighting talk

What’s cool about all of this is that I’ve never written a line of code, I can’t design an icon or implement a chart boost SDK. That’s not what I do, a property developer doesn’t build the walls, they try to spot the opportunity and that’s what I enjoy the most; now and again it pays off!

It might not be your bag getting involved in other businesses; personally it’s what I love to do. If you’re in reskinning just as a passive income then you can still consider how your app flipping knowledge could pay for your first app, your next app or a big app you’ve been dreaming of releasing. You could reskin an app for your local restaurant or even your or your kid’s school and then multiple schools in your area. Charge whatever you’re comfortable with or enough to pay for your next app. Or simply find fun opportunities to utilize your app reskinning knowledge.

How cool would it be to build fun apps, extraordinary businesses and potentially help others, with the app reskinning lessons we’ve been taught, there’s no reason why we can’t!

Good luck to you all!

Get in contact:
Twitter: owhittle

 


Best of 2013 Apps from Apple

Posted Friday, December 20th, 2013

Apple has just published its Best of 2013 page, highlighting some of the most popular music, movies, TV shows, iOS apps, ebooks, and podcasts from the past year. In the music section, Lorde’s “Royals” took the pick for Song of the Year, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist was named Best Album.

Gravity, the box office hit starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, was named Movie of the Year. Despite the confusion it caused when its final season was broken into two separate purchases earlier this year, Breaking Bad was Apple’s pick for Show of the Year.

On the App Store, the language-learning app Duolingo took home the title of iPhone App of the Year, while Disney Animated won the iPad’s version of that award.

You can find the entire list—including more awards, best sellers, and a solid editor’s choice lineup—on the Best of 2013 page in iTunes.

 


Apps to get excited about in 2013

Posted Friday, May 17th, 2013

With thousands of new apps being released daily, it takes a lot to stand out. We’ve downloaded and tried five apps that are creating a buzz and offered our thoughts. Lets us know if you agree….

1. Wanelo

The new… Pinterest
Pinterest allows you to drool over pretty things on a photo-bulletin style site that tells your followers what you’re drooling over. Wanelo (short for “Want Need Love”) takes the photo-bulletin style design that has made Pinterest so popular and made it more practical. Click on one of the freshly styled images and the site redirects you to an online shop, where you can purchase what you’ve just added to your wishlist.

Verdict: 2/5 but that’s only because it’s heavily biased to fashion that doesn’t suit me but may well appeal to younger people

2. Vine

The new… Instagram
The app encourages you not to just take a photo, but to film a three to six second clip, and posts it on a loop.  With GIF-based memes everywhere online, the app is a smart and user-friendly way to create your own; whether that’s for promoting a Hollywood blockbuster or just you taking a sip of your beer.

Verdict: 3/5 I think it’s a great tool and could be very useful for lots of puposes but it hasn’t had the uptake you’d expect which suggests it’s not particuarly popular with tweeters

3. Snapchat

The new… Whatsapp
The photo messaging app is on almost every twenty-something’s smartphone and if not, then they’re all talking about it. The app lets you send photos with added captions and doodles – but the killer function is the ability to set a time limit of up to ten seconds for how long recipients can view their photos for, after which it is deleted from the recipient’s device and the company’s servers.

Verdict: 4/5 snapchat has grown quickly and whilst it took me some time to grow a fondness for it, the number of my contacts and facebook freinds who have joined in recent weeks has been huge. It’s a simple app, easy to use and a lot of fun- what more do you want from an app?

4. Tinder

The new… Chat Roulette
The app will show you people in your area which you can either anonymously like or pass on. It then lets the other person know and if your profile tickles their fancy, they’ll like you back and you can begin chatting within the app. You can take it from there…

Verdict: 4/5 I discovered this app in San Francisco when it had just been released and it had a huge immediate uptake. It’s been much slower in the UK but it’s a great app for people a little nervous about using sites like POF that throws you in the deep end

5. #music

The new… Spotify
After the launch of Vine, the second  new app from Twitter is generating a lot of excitement in the music industry.  The app has integrated recommendations that show which artists are trending as well as up and coming musicians.

Verdict: 3/5 potentially I think this app could be huge but right now it’s not quite there yet- maybe because I’m not willing to accept that that my suggested list includes Janet Jackson, Nelly Furtado and Emma Bunton (busted!). A great way to discover music and like you can preview music in the app. Definitely one for the future and it’s rating is likely to increase


 
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