Archive for “April, 2012”

Social Media Roundup for April 13

Facebook Bought Instagram

On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Timeline that Facebook bought popular photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion. This was a great acquisition for Facebook since photo sharing is such an important part of their user experience, so what better way to improve the user experience than to buy the best and most viral photo app?

“Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook” said Zuckerberg, “and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.” There has been mixed feelings from Instagram users. Take a look at this Mashable Poll:

What do you think about the acquisition, will it make Instagram for the better or worse?

Google+ Redesign

Google+ launched their redesign this Wednesday in an effort to create a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing user experience. The redesign is said to resemble Facebook’s Timeline, including the addition of a cover photo that stretches across the top of the profile, a bigger photo and video displays. The redesign also features a new Hangouts page and a new Explore page.

 

Yammer Buys OneDrum

Yammer acquired OneDrum, a Scotland-based startup enabling users to co-author, file share and instant message within Microsoft Office documents in real-time. Adding this business functionality to Yammer will bring the enterprise social networking platform full circle to not only be a communications platform but to providing business functionality as well.

Pinvolve – Turning Facebook Pages into Pinterest Pinboards

Bazaart, a fashion catalog for the iPad, launched a Facebook app called “Pinvolve” to convert Facebook pages into Pinterest pinboards The app creates a new section on your Facebook Brand page to present all of your photo posts on a pinboard and it also allows you and the page’s fans to re-share on Pinterest. Bazaart’s co-founder Dror Yaffe says that the app has increased their re-pins by over 150% and that early adopters have seen the same. See Audrey Kitching’s Page below.

 

Caine’s Arcade

9-year old Caine Monroy builds an arcade from a big pile of cardboard. This video is worth the 10 minutes, it will melt your heart.


Closed for Good Friday

Social Media Group’s offices in Toronto are closed Friday April 6, 2012, for Good Friday. We’re back in the office on Monday April 9, 2012.

Have a safe and happy long weekend spending some quality time with your families!

Photo: El Frito

Instagram for Android: Love at first download


James Cooper is a strategist on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

Follow @jamescooper

I’m at a loss for words to describe how happy I am to finally have the Instagram app for Android. For months, I’ve listened to my iPhone-toting colleagues rave about Instagram. All this time, I have felt alienated while eking out a meagre digital photo existence on my Samsumg Galaxy SII.

No more. Now I have the power of Instagram in my hand.

Instagram app for Android on screen of Samsung Galaxy SII in palm of hand

Instagram in my hand (Photo: Karly Gaffney)

The app is one of the most anticipated releases in Android history. If you use your Android phone as a camera, you should definitely take it for a spin.

After using the app for a couple of days, I must admit that, as Alexia Tsotsis puts it in her TechCrunch post, “the app is pretty simple, and that’s what makes it amazing.”

To summarize my current knowledge of photography:

  1. I know which way to point the camera
  2. I know that lighting matters
  3. I know that cameras should not be used after the first hour of any cocktail party

That said, I think this app has the potential to turn me (and many other Android users) into a hobbyist photographer extraordinaire.

What does Android mean for Instagram?

After only 18 months on the market, Instagram has surpassed 30 million registered users. With Android at 500 million activations and accounting for 50 percent of smartphone market share in the US, the mobile OS has huge implications for Instagram.

As Tsotsis points out, “Facebook took about four years to reach its first 100 million; The idea of Instagram becoming the world’s first formidable, mobile-only social network is extremely compelling.”

What does Instagram mean for brands?

Lindsay Stanford made a case for Instagram as a content machine for brands in a previous SMG blog post. In her post, she provides some great examples of how brands and bands have used Instagram to drive engagement with friends, fans and followers.

Now that Instagram is available on both Android and iOS, I think that marketers, if they’re not doing so already, should put some serious thought into how they might work Instagram into their strategies.

Here’s one of my first Instagrams, which was taken in SMG’s back alley:

Street art graffiti of woman's head on octopus body on brick wall in alley

Armoured Soul street art in SMG's back alley (Photo: James Cooper)

Here’s my Instagram of SMG’s nameplate in our Toronto office:

Social Media Group nameplate with reflection of office in glass

SMG's nameplate with reflection of office in glass (Photo: James Cooper)

Download the app for yourself — it works with Android version 2.2 and higher and it’s free.

What do you think of Instagram for Android?

Opt-in Email Offers Consumers Consent and Value

Leona Hobbs is Vice President & Partner at Social Media Group. Follow @flackadelic

Email remains a killer app. Despite working on the cutting edge of social media and integrated digital marketing we frequently find ourselves considering the role of email. Given the coming revolution in mobile advertising, permission figures prominently in our thinking about the best way forward for our clients as they seek to earn attention and engage (and re-engage) customers.

Yesterday’s feature release from eMarketer: Opt-In Email Offers a Lesson in Loyalty Creation highlights research conducted by eMarketer analysts.

eMarketer chart

From the article:

Internet users’ favorable feelings towards email advertising stem largely from marketers contacting only those recipients who have granted them permission to do so, as well as from the personalization and relevancy common to such messages. Those efforts leave consumers with a greater sense of control over their relationship with a brand and a perception of having gotten reciprocal value from the interaction. Savvy marketers are applying that lesson to their other principal digital touchpoints—brand websites, social media and mobile—in order to more effectively reach customers and further encourage loyalty across channels.

“Generally speaking, neither brands nor customers want to connect through a single channel,” said Hallerman. “Proliferation [of digital touchpoints] has created both opportunity and complexity for marketers, who face challenges figuring out how and when to communicate with customers … Consumer acceptance of opt-in email exemplifies what happens when brands offer [consumers] … control.”

Read more on eMarketer and check out the full report: The Lessons of Email: Using Digital Touchpoints for Customer Loyalty (subscription required).

 

How Content Marketing is Changing Everything – SMG Webinar Recording

Recently, SMG’s Leona Hobbs hosted a webinar, How Content is Changing Everything. Drawing on SMG’s experiences and expertise, she explored how content marketing is emerging as a major challenge (and opportunity) for marketers, how progressive programs and partnerships are changing the way branded content moves across the web, and how it can effectively be used to earn attention and shift marketing from push to pull in a billion-channel universe.

For all the details and to watch the recording, check it out here.

If you’d like to be the first to hear about upcoming webinars from SMG, pre-register now!