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IKEA Virtual Weddings.

OK this is just absolutely brilliant. Thanks to Swedish agency Akestam Holst you can now have a virtual wedding courtesy of IKEA. The new “Wedding Online” is a service where users can choose from a variety of locations, that have been decorated with IKEA products. Designed to showcase the latest and greatest trends from IKEA, the service works by having you connect via Facebook, and then live stream the event to your friends and family. The wedding is recorded and stored online so you can relive the memories again and again. This is absolutely brilliant, and pretty hilarious at the same time. Part of me wants to think this is a joke, but based on some of the amazing promotional stuff IKEA has been doing on the web and in social media lately, I’m pretty sure it’s not.

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The Social Media Life Cycle.

The image below from the Social Media Center provides an insight into the process of converting content and conversations – via transactions – into recommendations. The graphic shows that the real power is found in earned media. With 92 percent of trust recommendations coming from friends and relatives. In addition to that 92 percent, another 70 percent of social media content viewers trust online reviews by other consumers according to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report 2012. If you do anything with social media in the world of marketing and advertising, the image below is worth taking a look at.

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I’m Addicted to “Dots”.

iconDots is a nice little gaming app that was developed by New York based, Betaworks One. The game is very simple; try and connect as many same-colored dots as you can using only vertical and horizontal lines in 60 seconds, in 30 moves, or you can play it in endless mode.

Dots interface is extremely clean and simple and has a social media connection allowing you to connect to your friends via Twitter or Facebook to see your friends high scores. Weekly score boards reset every Sunday, giving you a chance to make it to the top of the list and enhance the competition across your network.

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Since it’s release Dots has jumped to the number one mobile game in twenty countries, with good reason. The simple clean interface and engaging user experience makes Dots highly addictive.

Tadaa, I’m Leaving Instagram.

TadaaYesterday Instagram made it official that they were going to be running ads in your feed starting later this month. In the announcement that they posted, they said they would make it seamless, and that it wouldn’t be disruptive to the user experience that Instagram fans have come to love. I hate to say it but this was inevitable.

Instagram is a profit center in a company that is going to make money. Like it or not, Instagram is part of Facebook, and Facebook is a for profit business. That doesn’t mean that you have to stick with Instagram though. There are other photo sharing solutions, some every bit s good if not better.

I have decided to slowly leave Instagram. Well not slowly leave, just quit posting to it as often. It’s sort of like my Facebook usage. The only thing that ever really gets posted there by me are posts from this blog via Twitter. As for Instagram I am moving to Tadaa. It’s free, it offers the same level of social networking, it has all the same kind of filters in it, It has an extended range of features that Instagram doesn’t have, and the user interface is solid. I’m sure Tadaa has its own issues. I know there is a chance they might be bought or start inserting ads in the photo feed. For now though, they aren’t part of Facebook, and they offer the same experience as Instagram and more.

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In case you are wondering what it has that Instagram doesn’t here is a list starting with the most important thing of all.

  • You Keep The Copyrights To Your Photos
  • 26 HD Filters (Retro, Black & White, Sepia & many more)
  • HD Tilt-Shift (selective blur with real Bokeh)
  • HD Clarity
  • Selective Frames and Borders
  • Brightness, Contrast & Saturation
  • Rapid Capture (take series of photos with no delay)
  • Light Table (Review, manage and edit your tadaa photos in your own photo lab)
  • Apply multiple Filters
  • Full EXIF Support: Saves & Reads Date/Time, Aperture/Exposure and Geolocation InformationSave locally without having to post
  • High-res photo Blog on tadaa.net
  • Quiet Hours for push notifications
  • Clear your image cache

Ray-Ban Social Visionaries, from Animade and Stink Digital.

There is no denying the power of Facebook on the social media front. Like Facebook or not, they are the 800 pound gorilla which is why so many brands have turned to them to promote their products. Now when a company promotes something on Facebook, they can do it the wrong way or they can do it the right way. In most cases, companies advertising on Facebook do it the wrong way with an in your face sponsored ad that runs in your feed, on your wall, ignored by your trained eyes. Then there are companies that get it right, and know that if they want to promote their brand in the social media sphere they need to be a bit more subtle, a bit more fun.

Animade was asked by Stink Digital to design and produce the Ray Ban Social Visionaries Facebook app. The app connects with your information to produce a bespoke animation that bestows a ‘Visionary’ title upon you based on your usage. The animations are are built from 50 predefined sequences that are selected randomly by the app and assembled. This is a pretty impressive piece of coding as well as the animations that were created. The video below shows the overview. The videos below that are examples of what the app produced.

 

Fliike it With Facebook.

Lets say you are a business and you want to let everyone walking by your space know just how popular you are on Facebook. What would you do? You could spend a boatload of money on a realtime projection system and some fancy software to display each like that you get, or you could drop $390.00 on Fliike.

Developed by Smiirl, Fliike is the first physical realtime Facebook like counter. It is connected and designed for businesses to show off the growing number of likes they receive. The preorder cost is $390.00. Smiirl is working to get a limited edition of 500 numbered Fliikes ready for the first group of preorders. The cost doesn’t include shipping or tax, so you are probably looking spending closer to 450 bucks by the time its all said and done. It’s still cheaper than hiring a coder and building a projection system for your store front window though. According to the Smiirl website, the first batch of Fliikes will ship in November, just in time for Christmas.

Fliike by Smiirl from Smiirl on Vimeo.

The Growing Mobile Video Explosion

Yesterday Facebook, owner of Instagram announced they were adding video to the popular image sharing software. This is probably to counter act Vine from Twitter. Both services now offer users the option to upload 15 or 6 second video clips respectively. The addition of video to Instagram helps to solidify the ever growing presence of video on the internet and mobile devices.

Mobile Internet specialist Skyfire has produced a new infographic that details the various challenges facing mobile operators looking to make mobile video work efficiently and effectively.

“Who’s in Charge of Managing the Mobile Video Deluge?” by Skyfire looks at the different ways in which mobile operators and content publishers view video traffic. At the same time it also casts an eye over the potential ways by which current trends could meander in the not too distant future.

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