Social Networking

The Instagram Ikea Catalog.

here is an interesting use of Instagram in terms of advertising without feeling quite so much like an ad or an online catalog.

Ikea Russia created  an “Instagram Catalog Website” for a 34 piece designer collection of products. The Instagram account used the tagging feature to promote items and encouraged followers to share images and videos of their own Ikea PS 2014 products using the same hash tags. The campaign snagged over 15,000 followers in less than a week. With the “Instagram Catalog Website” functioning much like a microsite, the cross linking feature allowed each product to build out it’s own Instagram microsite for each product. The social sharing users generate with their own photos tagged with the product’s Instagram name allowed the campaign to go viral.

Oh and the cost was marginal for Ikea Russia.

tumblr Emerges From the Tumble Weeds.

A few years back a colleague asked me what I thought the next big social network/micro blogging site would be and I half jokingly replied Tumblr. At the time my comment was dismissed with the belief that Tumblr was just another social site in an ocean of social media outlets. My colleague was somewhat justified in dismissing me. Tumblr had been around since 2007 and wasn’t really gaining much ground in the world of micro blogging. Then something changed, and Tumblr caught the eye of Yahoo.

Through out Yahoo!’s history they have been known for buying some really great, and some not so great startups, and letting some of them wither and die. What Yahoo! plans for Tumblr is unknown. Right now they are functioning as an autonomous group, and simply displaying Yahoo! ads within the space. One thing is certain, Tumblr is on the rise and the numbers don’t lie. 

Tumblr

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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Vertasium Explains the Facebook “Like” Fraud.

Anyone that knows me, knows that my personal engagement with Facebook has wained over the last few years as the social media giant has grown into a giant ad revenue giant. The video below from Veritasium has drawn almost a million views in the last two days. Why? because it punches a gaping hole in Facebook’s pay for “Likes” system and the  way Facebook’s pay to play promotions work. If you are a marketer, advertiser, or anyone that uses Facebook as a platform to engage with your target audience, you should watch this. What Veritasium points out is hard to deny, and the point they make about audience engagement effects you more than you know.

Oh Polaroid, What Are You Thinking?

Polaroid was an iconic brand that is now a fading giant. If you want a good read on Polaroid and what happened, I highly recommend “Instant: The Story of Polaroid“. It is a look into a corporate giant that lost it’s way and was ultimately devoured by it’s lack of vision and corporate culture after Dr. Land was removed from the company.

Today Polaroid is struggling to stay alive, and like Kodak trying to compete in a world dominated by smartphone cameras, and a different view on photography. I’m a huge fan of what Polaroid was. I think the original SX-70 is one of the most beautiful cameras ever manufactured, and there is a quality to the images that were produced by higher end Polaroid cameras that is unique. At this point though, I’m not sure what is going to happen to Polaroid.

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About a month ago, Polaroid released a new camera. The Polaroid Z 2300. It is a simple point and shoot camera that records images and video to a HDSC card an allows the user to print instant photos via zink ( zero ink) technology in a 2 by 3 inch form factor. The images come with a sticky back, and are ready in a few seconds. Polaroid is banking on the instant gratification, and physical sharability of the images to help sell the camera, and they might be on to something. My issues with the Z 2300 are its limited functionality, lack of connectivity, and the fact that it is an kind of an ugly piece of photo gear.

The Z 2300 is a 4.7 x 3x 1.4 inch black or white  box with a fairly basic 10-megapixel camera. It has the familiar Polaroid rainbow stripe with body styling and details that make this thing feel more like 1995 rather than 2013. It’s retro, but not quite, and that is a big miss for Polaroid. If they are going to pull on the retro vintage heartstrings, why not go all the way and pull a Fuji, or Olympus with solid retro styling like the X-100 or the OMD. I know for many people the physical design isn’t that big a deal, but when the novelty factor of instant printing wears off, Polaroid is going to need something to keep this camera alive.

The Z 2300 features 3-inch LCD that opens to reveal the space for the Zink printer paper, (the same technology that is used in PoGo instant printers). Unlike Polaroid Instant Film, there is no waiting for the picture to develop and it takes less than a minute to print a single photo. Printing can be set via the LCD to print every photo, or selected photos. The camera also lets you add frames or you can print with the classic Polaroid border. There are also color filters that can be added to enhance the retro feel.  Aside from that there isn’t much else. No advanced features to speak of, and no ability to share digital photos, a space Polaroid should probably want to play in.

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You would think that if you are expecting people to shell out more than 150 bucks for this camera, it would have built in WiFi so you could share your photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tadaa, Tumblr, Flickr, etc. It just makes sense to play in that space. The combination of a camera that prints instant images, plus shares them to every major social network is much more powerful, than an ugly point and shoot digital camera that lets you print small photos at a cost of about .50 cents a print. ($24.99 for a 50 image pack of Zink paper)

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If Polaroid had teamed up with Instagram, and produced a camera that not only printed instant prints, but shared directly to that service, this could be huge. Unfortunately if you want to share your Z 2300 photos on a social network, you’ll have to take the memory card out, load the photos to another device, and push them out. Not exactly a solid user experience. It’s to bad. I really love the polaroid brand. I really want them to make it another 25 years to the 100 year mark. In order to do that though, they are going to have to do some serious thinking about the state of digital imaging in the 21st century.

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.