Rethinking The Mobile App “Walkthrough”

A tutorial of how to use your app should be in a clearly identified place that can be visited at any time by the user. By adding a “walkthrough” upon start-up/log-in, you are already making the user think that your app is more difficult than it really is.

Halftone is a great example of an app that does it right. They offer a “how-to” section and a video within the app to explain the usage. Props to Halftone for keeping it simple!

halftone app review top digital marketing blog b culture media blog

@BCulture_Britt

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Is Technology and Data Spooky?!

Let’s be real. Technology is getting creepy. It’s the scary teacher from grade school that somehow always knows what you’re doing even when she isn’t even looking at you. It seems to be watching our every click spanning the vast universe of the Internet. Companies are focusing on developing technology that processes all of our data to make inferences that could help them turn us into customers, or more importantly, into advocates for their brand. Recently, a brand we’re all familiar with, Netflix, held a competition that rewarded a million dollars (no one we knew won to note) to the group that could create an algorithm that could create better movie suggestions for their members.

It is becoming more and more noticeable to all of us we know; the advertisements on Facebook are generated by endless data based on your profile and pictures posted. Did you notice if you’re wearing a certain brand or piece of clothing that you’ll somehow get an ad with that same information in it? It’s all about targeting, but that’s almost scary targeting! (They’re watching you)!

We have now a developed generation that focuses on individuality, and this evolution inspires us to publicize ourselves on social platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, among others. The science behind this data as stated above is rapidly growing due to the high demand of how to use it despite how complicated it is. Going back to the Netflix competition, out of the thousands that entered their competition, only two teams were actually able to create algorithms that improved movie suggestions by ten percent. Acquiring data is easy, but making successful inferences from all of that data is the hard part. But even the smallest improvement can make a large difference by using data properly, which is why companies aren’t afraid to invest.

We’ve been thinking about that a lot on our end here at B Culture Media. How can we help the industry understand what to extract, or more importantly, what to put in place to make that extraction of data all the more usable from the get-go? And, how can we help them understand to the ‘T’ what their target audiences’ want so that all those ad monies are spent wisely. We feel it’s a bit like being Beauty from “Beauty and the Beast” and you have all of this amazing food enticing you to “be their guest”, but instead of that cute dancing cake, now it happens to be advertisements for billions of things you can put into practice to give you lots and lots of data…but, at the end of the day, what does that all translate into? Sales? Growth? Advocacy? What are you Mr./Mrs. X Brand actually searching for?

That’s what makes us understand that we’re circling around back to the technology/data days that existed before the Internet craze started. We need to fully understand the depth of a business, what they need to accomplish, and put into place strategies and metrics to ensure that the “cool” marketing recommendations using innovative technology will actually help an entire organization meet their business goals. Big data is useful, spooky targeted ads are useful, but you have to understand first as to why it’s useful and what you want out of it. I mean, of course besides tracking traffic to a website and the numbers of fans on social channels… those are easy!

@natbdold

@claudiavon

Would You “Like-A-Hug”?

What’s better than logging into Facebook, to discover that there’s a new message in your inbox, or a dozen friend requests waiting for your approval? Social media has become an integral part of our lives, something that we literally thrive on.  But what would you think if the social media craze turned physical?

A project by designer Melissa Kit Chow, does just this. The “Like-A-Hug” jacket combines Facebook, design and fashion, creating a groundbreaking piece. Let’s say someone likes your recent post about cute cat hats; for every comment or like the jacket inflates, giving the person wearing it a “hug”. Did you just receive a “hug?” With a simple hugging gesture – send the hug back to the person who sent it to you.

Ideas like this take social media communication to the next level. Rather than just reading comments from your loved ones, get hugs that really show their feelings and affection for you. The future of social media and technology is still a mystery but thanks to Chow’s “Like-A-Hug” we know warm hugs and fuzzy things are in store.

@BCulture_CourtB

Don’t Get Scammed on Facebook

You’ve probably seen them appear in your news feed. Offers so good, they can’t possibly be real. Or, maybe the old “they’re going to start charging to use Facebook…” Or maybe the shocking celebrity sex tape. OMG! As Facebook now has over 1 billion users, the temptation for criminals, scammers, and hackers will only continue to rise.

On the other hand, companies sometimes do offer great deals or contest entries to win an iPad, so how can you be sure of which is which. A suggestion from The Bulldog Estate, where “we take pride in exposing scams,” double check the retailer’s main website or Facebook page before clicking the offer. If it isn’t there, or there’s no mention of it all: Beware.

Usually, fake celebrity gossip videos turn out to be survey scams, where the user must complete a survey, then can view the alleged shocking tape, only to realize the video doesn’t play. Words like “Shocking” or “OMG” usually are good indicators.

Facebook will be charging for their services if you don’t click here or sign a petition. The gist of this scam has been floating around for years, but people still bite to this day. Instead of threats, like being charged for Facebook, scammers also try sweeter approaches. In September, the website Facecrook, who exposes Facebook scams, reported on a post that offered to change the colors of your Facebook layout. “WOW!!! Hello PINK Facebook!!! Goodbye BLUE Facebook! You can now change your Facebook color to 8 different colors using color changer v1.3 here.”

Odds are if you are skeptical about a news story, offer, or newly updated Facebook feature, it’s best not to click.

@BCulture_Matt

iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 5: Is It Worth It?

Apple junkies have been lining up to get their hands on Apple’s newest release of the iPhone: the iPhone 5. While other companies have mocked Apple’s following regardless of the specifications, functionality, or price, simply because it has an apple on the back, there are many legitimacies to the latest update as well. Here is a comparison of the 4s and 5.

iPhone 4

  • Width: 2.31 in
  • Depth: .37 in
  • Height: 4.5 in
  • Weight: 4.9 oz
  • Display: 3.5 (diagonal) Retina display
  • A5 chip
  • 960×640 resolution
  • Siri
  • 8 megapixel iSight Camera
  • FaceTime Camera: VGA- resolution video
  • Apple earphones
  • 30-pin connector
  • Standby battery life: 200 hours
  •  Up to 16GB available on Apple.com

iPhone 5

  • Width: 2.31 in
  • Depth: .3 in
  • Height: 4.87 in
  • Weight: 3.95 oz
  • Display: .4 (diagonal) Retina display
  • A6 chip
  • 1136x 640 resolution
  • LTE3
  • Siri
  • 8 megapixel iSight Camera
  • FaceTime Camera: 1.2MP photos
  • FaceTime Camera: 720p HD video & backside illumination sensor
  • Apple EarPods
  • Lightening connector
  • Standby battery life: 225 hours
  • Up to 64 GB available on Apple.com

So, is it worth it? I still have my iPhone 4, but at a social media conference this weekend, a co-presenter of mine did indeed already have the 5. Watching him show off some of the new features, the what felt like and looked like skinnier and easier to maneuver display, and the speed, I would advocate, if you can afford it, and you utilize your smartphone more often than your tablet or laptop, go ahead and upgrade. If you can’t afford it, it won’t hurt you too bad to have to wait a little bit longer to upgrade.

The neatest feature that I witnessed, and you have probably seen touted on some of Apple’s newest television commercials, is the panorama picture display. Not sure the practical use for it, but I still enjoyed it. Plus, the speed. Some argue that the speed of the iPhone 5 will rival your home’s Wi-Fi! Which, it’s that is true, is just another step toward smartphone domination.

Did you upgrade to the iPhone 5? If so, what do you think of it compared to earlier versions? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section below.

@BCulture_Matt