We’re already helping Optus, eBay, Kia Automotive, Nivea, Expedia, Sony, Roadshow Films, Seven Network, Open Universities Australia & Adidas.
Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on the evolution of mobile development and the digital portfolio. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
As new offerings from Apple, Google and others are integrated into the digital portfolios of clients, users and agencies, Paul Napier coins a name for the new generation of developers are being given the chance to arise: ‘Mobile+’.
Each year Apple and Google compete to bring increasingly audacious technologies to market. As a marketer it can sometimes be difficult to know who to approach for advice on how these new innovations can help our clients and users. Welcome to the era of Mobile+. But how did we arrive here?
On a chilly Cupertino Wednesday in October 2007 the world was casually informed that their way of life would change profoundly. But beyond the general population, there was a subset of people, myself included, whose lives would be so heavily impacted we would barely be able to remember what it was like before the advent of iPhone. Apple had created an industry: mobile app development.
In 2008, when the first software development kit (SDK) was released, mobile app development was fairly straightforward. There was one device. One screen size. Two orientations. Apps would run in portrait, or landscape or have it transition between layouts and the concept was one of immediate need fulfillment. Brands could integrate an app into their digital portfolio that simply performed a task, which enhanced a user’s life.
Then the likes of Apple, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry and others began to add more dimensions, greater functionality, APIs and new devices to their phone portfolios. So we adapted, learned the relevant programming languages, grew. Mobile development became more of an art than a job and each new release gave us opportunities to discover ways of meeting clients’ and users’ expectations through improved speed, functionality and technology.
Tablets were released and a new dimension of creativity began. Apps that were hitherto confined by the space of a standard mobile phone were given free reign in the not-quite-laptop sized arena. Since this technology is something you can pick up and take with you, and since it follows similar rules, structures and layouts as well as the same programming languages and APIs, this was absorbed in the catchall ‘mobile’. And yet this term already began to feel strained as brands had to make choices over how to interact with their users when discussing the creation of apps.
Fast forward a few years to the current day, where the exciting news has arrived of the Apple Watch hitting the stores in 2015. Throughout this time we have seen a surge in technology breakthroughs: smartphones, tablets, clothing, jewellery, cars, watches, glasses and even fridges. Utilities, apparell and appliances all talk to us or help us to perform our daily tasks. We integrate a host of touchable screen sizes on various parts of our body through the day even using biometric data to identify ourselves. Usage across these technologies is growing at an explosive rate with the Australian market penetration for smartphones alone being predicted as high as 90% in 2015 (Australian Smartphone Market Study 2011-2015).
And who do we look at when we think about these technologies? Mobile app developers? Perhaps. But if so, this leaves us with two options:
- We explore a new way to define the developers that cover these areas – perhaps a mobile developer is just that: one who creates apps for mobile phones, and these new platforms are a separate and new development area akin to the way the role was created for the original mobile development pioneers, or
- we redefine the meaning of ‘mobile’ beyond the scope of phones – the raw constraint of a mobile developer is no longer applicable, since technology has expanded beyond it.
Truthfully, though, the answer lies in combining both. When we work in any environment, we cannot be constrained by the limitations of a title. Nor can we allow technology to move beyond us. We are living in a time where users are being given exciting new ways for them to interact with the world, their friends and their favourite brands. Now ‘mobile’ development means riding on the crest of technology changes, seeking innovation as we would draw breath. These burgeoning technologies open up avenues and choices for existing mobile developers to grow and transcend beyond the standard definition.
This parallels with our clients, who now seek guidance and advice on the right technologies, platforms and systems to help them express their messages and address their customers’ needs. The idea of the digital portfolio has evolved beyond a simply a website, a social presence and possibly a smartphone app. It is now a living breathing ecosystem, which encapsulates anything from a simple Facebook app, through to a system of integrated cross-platform, multi-device applications and can give birth to a new concept at any time. We must think beyond the means to deliver and focus on the message in a truly agnostic fashion.
So, as we seek to integrate the new offerings from Apple, Google and others into our clients’, our users’ and our own digital portfolios, a new generation of developers have been given the chance to arise: ‘Mobile+’.
Set against the backdrop of city lights at Darling Harbour, Friday night’s B&T Awards were indeed a gala affair. Hosted at The Pavilion and emceed by Craig and Chris from The Chaser, over 900 guests - including two large tables from We Are Social - were welcomed to the dinner event by B&T publisher David Hovenden.
There was much anticipation in the air and the night was a big success – we were delighted to receive a Highly Commended award for ‘Specialist Agency of the Year’. With an unprecedented number of entries, this year’s B&T Awards were highly contested, with over 40 entries in the ‘Specialist Agency’ category.
On hand to receive the award were managing director Julian Ward, managing partner David Fairfull and creative director Oz Dean. Celebrations continued with music and dancing after dinner, with a good time had by all.
For a full list of category winners: http://www.bandt.com.
For all the pictures from the night: http://www.bandt.com.
adidas launches #LeaveYourMark campaign
We Are Social Sydney has created the new #LeaveYourMark campaign for adidas featuring brand ambassador Sonny Bill Williams, a rugby player and boxer with some pretty impressive achievements under his belt. We Are Social worked with adidas to create three branded content films focusing on how the sportsman achieved his goals, in the aim of sparking a conversation across social around how fans leave their mark in life. The videos were launched on both Sonny’s and adidas’ social channels and amplified with supporting content and teasers.
Facebook launches new ‘Groups’ app
If there is one thing we all need, it’s another Facebook branded mobile app. So we’re happy to introduce to you the new Facebook Groups app, which launched earlier this week for iOS and Android. In a similar style to the messenger app, it consolidates all your current Facebook groups into one place, allowing for faster sharing within groups, whilst making it easier to find other communities relevant to you.
Facebook adds structured status feature to pages
Ever wondered if your favourite brands were feeling blessed, loved or sleepy at any given moment? Well, with the introduction of structured status updates for Facebook pages, now you’ll know. The feature provides brands with a drop-down menu of automated emoji-style status updates that can be shared with their page’s fans.
Snapchat introduces ‘SnapCash’
A selfie AND money? Yes please! Snapchat brings peer to peer bank transfers into the social age. The photo messaging app has partnered with Square Cash to create a new money sending feature. It allows users to link their bank accounts to the app to send and receive money from friends. Currently only available in the US, the new feature has sparked discussions about the future potential of Snapchat, particularly the obvious benefits the update could have for e-commerce businesses.
The intro video is worth watching just for the LOLs…
Snapchat debuts brand-sponsored ad format
Snapchat debuted a new type of ad last night during the American Music awards. A stream of posts about the event played out on Snapchat’s ’Our Story’, a feature that curates user posts about live events. For the first time, these posts were sponsored, with Samsung the brand in the spotlight. Stay tuned for more real-time ad opportunities on Snapchat soon.
Kik buys GIF messaging app
Kik, the instant messaging start-up that now reports 185 million registered users, has just bought Relay, an increasingly popular GIF sharing app. With the ever growing popularity of online video and video advertising, this represents a strategic move for Kik, to both keep up with current trends and make its offering more visual.
Viber messaging app becomes more social
Viber, the WhatsApp-y instant messaging app, has introduced a new public chat feature which will allow users to follow chats and view conversations between celebrities. Perez Hilton and Pixie Lott are already confirmed, so one can only imagine the huge gossip potential. There are currently no plans to put ads in the public chats, but as the content is at the discretion of the celebrity we’re sure brands will soon find a way to get involved.
Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button has first Christmas promotion
Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button debuted back in June, and it’s now about to experience its first ever holiday promotion. Starting this week, AMC Theatres will be making the most of the new Twitter ‘buy’ button, offering its US Twitter followers the chance to buy a $30 gift card without ever leaving the platform.
Tesco App scans Twitter feeds for gift suggestions
We Are Social UK has created a Twitter app for Tesco Clubcard, offering to take the stress out of the search for Christmas presents by offering thoughtful and personal suggestions. The ‘app’-tly named “Secret Scan-ta” service analyses Twitter profiles to select appropriate gifts from Tesco, based on who that person follows and what they’ve been talking about. The site links directly to all the products shown for easy purchasing, and encourages sharing across social channels.
Argos creates Tinder-like gift-giving app
Argos has also launched a gift recommendation app; this one lets you enter the basic details of your intended recipient, then provides targeted gift suggestions from the retailer’s catalogue. In true tinder-style, swipe right for yes and left for no – and the app even gets smarter the more it’s used. To provide a more social element, the app also hosts the game ‘Friend or Fraud’ through Facebook, which lets users pick their favourite gifts and see if their friends can guess them correctly.
Lacoste’s #SpotTheCroc Snapchat Campaign
Lacoste continues to experiment with social platforms popular among younger fans with a new Snapchat campaign, asking followers to find a crocodile hidden in a series of five short videos. The videos will be released every fortnight, illustrating various sports such as tennis, golf, skateboarding and rollerblading, in line with Lacoste’s brand signature: “Life is a Beautiful Sport”. Users are encouraged to view the videos, take a screengrab of the exact frame on which the crocodile appears, and send it back to Lacoste for a chance to get 20 percent off their next Lacoste purchase.
1 in 4, let’s support Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
Everyday is a good day to help others. Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, the leading Australian national organisation helping people who suffered childhood trauma and abuse recover, have just launched the campaign 1 in 4. The campaign highlights that one in four adults suffer from the effects of childhood abuse or trauma. On the website, thanks to Facebook Connect, users can see a visual representation of this dramatic statistic, based on their network of friends.
On the website you can also donate and show your support: all funds raised will be used to deliver workshops for survivors, family and friends. So, do it. Like, now. There is no better time than now.
Sport and Reality drive conversation on Twitter
Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings have launched in Australia, enabling networks and advertisers to understand how audiences are reacting to TV shows and the reach of these conversations taking place on Twitter. The aim is to highlight the commercial opportunities TV networks can find on social, and how online conversation can help to drive TV audiences.
In October, viewers sent 1.2m tweets relating to TV shows, which led to 97m impressions. Looking at what happened last month, we can say that Aussies are crazy about sport and reality, and they aren’t afraid to tweet it. The highest rating programs of October were the NRL Grand Final, the Bathurst 1000, and the finales of reality shows The Block, The Bachelor, and The X Factor.
Promotional posts to lose organic Facebook reach
Uh oh, organic reach on Facebook is about to drop again. The network has announced that any “overly promotional” posts will suffer – that’s those which push people to buy a product, install an app or enter a competition, among others. Our very own Robin Grant spoke to Marketing Week about the changes:
Brands are producing more content than ever, but News Feeds only have limited inventory – the obvious solution for Facebook is to sell eyeballs to the highest bidder. That doesn’t mean that producing quality content is no longer a priority, as engaging content will get the lion’s share of the little organic reach available, but more importantly drive media efficiency, maximising the effectiveness of Facebook spend.
Digiday was quick to point out that organic reach isn’t dead yet. Brands can still reach 25% of their audience per month, especially if they’re producing high quality content. The importance of that last point is highlighted in the below graph.
Facebook adds Yelp-like ‘Places’ feature
Facebook has added a feature called ‘Places’, which collates and showcases ratings and locations of local businesses. Now, we don’t want to start any rumours, but it’s pretty Yelp-y. Looks like there’s a new pair of rivals in town.
Facebook creating ‘enterprise social network’
If there’s one problem with Facebook, it’s too many friends and not enough colleagues. Thankfully, Facebook is working on a new network, ‘Facebook at Work’, which will allow everything from internal messaging to document collaboration. Hopefully it won’t be another outlet for your boss’s baby photos.
Twitter responds to stock price fall
What do you do when your stock price plummets? Well, if you’re Twitter, a whole host of things. First things first, the network has pointed out the value of its “logged out” audience, which it numbers at 500 million unique visitors every month.
CEO Dick Costolo also announced a number of updates to the way the platform works. First of all is something called ‘Instant Timeline’, which will make it easier for new users to find and follow the accounts relevant to them. There are also going to be better video capabilities in the main app, tweaks to celeb pages and users will be shown the most popular messages they missed from their network when not logged in. Finally, direct messages are going to change – you’ll be able to share tweets within them.
WeChat adds 30 million users
WeChat has reached 468 million monthly active users, which is a lot, isn’t it? However, growth is slowing – 6.8% in Q3 2014, down from 10.6% the previous quarter.
YouTube plans premium music service
YouTube is launching a paid music subscription service, through which users can stream high-quality, ad-free music and music videos. It’s also adding a new way to discover full albums, with discographies listed on artist pages.
Pinterest plans to position itself as pre-search engine
Pinterest has a vision. It’s hoping to become a resource for people who have the faintest hint of an idea, long before they’d use a search engine. This was made clear in a presentation by head of engineering, Michael Lopp, using slides like the below.
Updates to Instagram
Instagram has made a couple of changes. First of all, you can now go back and edit captions on posts, particularly useful for typos/failed jokes. It’s also added a new ‘People’ tab to the Explore section, where users can see any accounts that may be of interest to them.
Oily bum ‘breaks the internet’
— Nissan (@Nissan) November 12, 2014
— JC Le Roux (@JCLeRoux) November 12, 2014
— metmuseum (@metmuseum) November 13, 2014
Banana Republic joins the We Are Social club
We Are Social has partnered with Banana Republic in the US on social media strategy, activations and community management. So far, work has included #thenewBR, a campaign to promote the autumn range through influencers and contests, as well as #ShareHappy, through which users could tweet @BananaRepublic to get cupcakes and balloons sent to someone in NYC.
Discounts for followers
OnePiece has opened a New York pop-up shop that trades social media popularity for discounts. Shoppers will receive $1 off for every 500 followers they have across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Not meaning to brag, but if I pop in, I’ll be saving myself a tidy total of $1.
Radar gets turned off
The Samaritans have pulled their ‘Radar’ app after a petition amassed over 1,000 signatures. Radar allowed users to sign up for alerts if anyone they followed on Twitter posted a message that contained a number of key words that might suggest negative/suicidal thoughts. After a number of questions about privacy, the app is now gone for good.
Facebook creates a donate button to encourage users to contribute to the Ebola cause
Facebook has added a ‘Donate Now’ button that appears to users in their news feeds in an attempt to encourage them to contribute and raise money to fight Ebola. As of last Thursday, Facebook users now have a button at the top of their news feed that enables them to choose one of three nonprofit organisations to donate to. The organisations include The International Medical Corps, The American Red Cross and Save The Children. Facebook has additionally partnered with UNICEF to deliver messages in affected regions, ensuring that lines of communication remain open and that current information is shared.
Instagram users can now edit captions
Have you ever posted something to Instagram only to realise shortly after that you have spelt that hashtag or comment incorrectly? Instagram has changed its settings so that users can now go back and fix typos without having to delete and then rewrite the entire post. Users can edit captions by tapping the menu button under the post and selecting ‘edit’. Posts with edited captions will include a note showing that a change has been made. Instagram has also added new recommendations to the app’s ‘Explore’ menu.
Lynx launches Social Club in partnership with Vice
Sydneysiders love a good pop-up and that is exactly why Lynx, in partnership with Vice, will be holding one for two weeks in November. The ‘Social Club’, to be held in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, will attempt to boost the brand’s credibility and shed its long standing association with teenage boys, encouraging men to express their individuality in the process.
This pop-up space will be open for two weeks from the 12th of November and is being hailed as a new meeting point – a mix between a local bar, barber shop and gentlemen’s lounge. There will be special guests, including experts on music, gin, design, hair, scent and styling, on hand to help out even the most clueless of Sydney’s male population!
Together with the Pop-Up, a content series called “coolest guy ever’ will run on Vice, featuring a range of musicians talking about their take on ‘the coolest guy ever’.
Brands go social for Movember
It’s November and the world has been preparing its razor and getting Movember started. Naturally, so have brands. Fancy an example? Good, because you’re getting one.
Digital to overtake TV ad spending
US Digital ad spending will overtake TV in 2016, according to new research by Forrester. By 2019, digital will account for 36% ($103bn) of all ad spending and, as if that wasn’t enough, next year we’ll have hoverboards and automatic dog walkers. Fine, that last bit’s from Back to the Future.
The graph below breaks down the progress within digital itself. Social media’s growth is set to be the strongest, followed by display advertising and search.
Facebook users can set limits on content from brands
Bad news, oversharers – Facebook is clamping down on you lot. The network will now allow users to access a list of how many posts they’ve seen from friends and pages in the last week, and set a limit on anyone that’s posting too much. Brands will have to be careful to ensure high content quality, or else find view quantity slips, too. Facebook produced the below video to explain the changes.
Snapchat planning new ad types and partners
Snapchat is planning to up its ad game. It is reportedly planning to introduce TV-style ads in ‘Our Stories’, allowing brands to either sponsor a whole ‘Our Stories’ or include branded snaps within a collection. That’s not all, either. It’s going to launch a ‘Discover’ tab, where users can find articles, music and video from some pretty big name partners. Now, time for a game of ‘name that logo’:
Subway falls in love with National Sandwich Day
There’s no need to fear loneliness on Valentine’s Day when National Sandwich Day comes just nine months later. At least that’s what @Subway seems to think, as the restaurant chain used #NationalSandwichDay to reply to fans with some romantic, personalised content, in the form of images, gifs and Vines.
— SUBWAY® (@SUBWAY) November 3, 2014