In the big, grand world of MediaPost conferences, the session that usually proves most illuminating is when we get actual people, who don't work in this business, on stage. (No, none of us who read -- or write -- this column qualify as actual people; we are overanalytical wonks.) What the people on those panels tell us is what media, devices and platforms they use -- and how, or whether, branding really has any impact on their daily lives. Guess what? Branding always barely registers.
Remember Highlight? Sure, it's still around, and it's premature to write it off. Yet the new app that received the most buzz at South by Southwest (SXSW) this year just gained a new competitor: Facebook. There have been many instances recently of the rich getting richer, with the best functionality and features getting incorporated into the most dominant platforms. Facebook, Google, Apple, and Twitter are among those especially adept at making dreams come true while simultaneously unleashing nightmares. Here are four ways this has been happening lately:
Let's not get too excited, ladies and gentlemen, but maybe, just maybe, the term "mobile-social advertising" isn't an oxymoron, along with, say, "display ad click-through rate." I say this because two stories about mobile social ads recently caught my eye:
One of the fastest-growing Facebook groups this year must be for people whose companies have been acquired by the social network. Following Instagram, Facebook acquired loyalty app Tagtile, proximity network Glancee, photo sharing service Lightbox, social gifting app Karma, and, this week, facial recognition platform Face.com. The last one's a fascinating company with cutting-edge technology for marketers and publishers, as well as a new consumer-facing iPhone app, Klik, that can learn to recognize friends' faces based on their Facebook profiles.
I just learned about this cool new product called Tide Pods, which uses neat little pods of detergent to brighten laundry. I learned about it on Facebook because a friend of mine from college shared it. And it made an impact.
Instead of waiting for the so-called "Facebook phone" to come out, there's already a pretty decent mobile handset running an operating system that's somewhat social today and will be far more social this fall. It's called the iPhone, and the upcoming software update is so social that iOS should be renamed WeOS.
If it weren't for what happened in Wisconsin, or the latest headlines in the Greek tragedy, social media probably would have led the news in the category of doom-and-gloom this week. A sampling: 1. Facebook Will Disappear by 2020, Analyst Says 2. LinkedIn Confirms That Passwords Stolen, Leaked by Hacker (the hacker behind it also allegedly did the same with 1.5 million eHarmony passwords -- but who's counting?) 3. Is Social Media Killing You? TrekDesk & BodyMedia Offer Prevention through Motion and Metrics Wow, this social media thing is so over, ain't it?
How is it that Israel, the land of milk and honey and engineers, is beating New York at marketing its startup scene?