Tuesday, September 16, 2014

App Integrations

One trend we're seeing at the moment is that apps are becoming more like the mobile web.

Apps (& games) are most people's experience of mobile - stats from Flurry show that apps now make up 86% of the time spent on mobile, and the mobile web just 14%.

The experience with apps used to be that you would open one, do something, and then open another one.

As time has gone on it's become possible to deep-link into apps.

My favourite example of this is CityMapper, the app that has done so much to demystify public transport (buses especially) in London for people like me,

The button below, if you open it up on a mobile, in CityMapper will direct you to my office.  No need to open the app, and put the address in, this link takes to to precise instructions to get to 10 Triton Street, NW1.

Get directions with Citymapper

While this is deep linking into an app from the web (which YouTube has been doing for years), we're now starting to see examples of deep linking to a precise place in an app, from another app.

Uber is a leader in this.  Their recent API announcement unveiled a number of integrations -

"Here are just a few examples of how our partner apps are making it even easier to get where you want to go with Uber:

Dinner date? Request an Uber to your favorite restaurant right from the OpenTable app. Your driver will arrive already knowing where you are headed.

Catching a flight? The United mobile app shows ETAs of the closest drivers and fare estimates, so you can get reliable ride to and from the airport for less.

Night out? Time Out shows different Uber options—from low-cost to luxury—so you can be sure to arrive in style to the city’s best nightlife.

Need a place to stay? Book a room through the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts app and request a ride to your hotel right from the reservation screen.

Want a recap of your journey? Use Momento to view a timeline of your Uber trip history alongside other moments in your life."

There's now even ain integration with the Starbucks app (in the US) that lets you order an Uber to take you to your nearest Starbucks, or even order a coffee for delivery by an Uber driver.

Apps did not used to behave like this, and in doing so now they're behaving more like the web, with things linking through to other things.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Buying on Twitter - Pilot programme announced

Twitter has finally revealed plans for a pilot programme allowing people to buy things within a Tweet.

"In our test, an entire purchase can be completed in just a few taps. After tapping the “Buy” button, you will get additional product details and be prompted to enter your shipping and payment information. Once that’s entered and confirmed, your order information is sent to the merchant for delivery."

The test includes partners like Stripe for card payments; you'd have thought that shipping and payment details could be saved within the app (as they are with Amazon) before too long - that would cut down on the stages.  [The video actually suggests that payment card data will be stored]

So far launch partners are mainly musicians, but also Burberry, Home Depot and some others are in there.  Full list in the blog post here.

I'd love this to work - but AmazonBasket hasn't exactly set the world alight so far.

Watch this space!

Nissan's speedy 'Royal Baby' tweet

Nissan apparently tweeted this just 7 minutes after the announcement that The Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with her second child.
Pretty impressive when you consider that it wasn't particularly expected, or at a time when people were on high alert, e.g. during a sporting event.

Fewer than 200 RTs 3 hours later though - and I imagine that lots of them are from media obsessives like me, rather than royal fans (or petrolheads)

Full story here

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Brands using Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse is Instagram's new video app, that steadies your images, making it possible to make professional-looking films in motion from an iPhone (iOS only at the moment)

Here is Instagram's video explaining it

Stabilization for Hyperlapse from Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

It's had great reviews - 'It's like a $15,000 video set-up in your hand' - and brands are starting to use it:

Mercedes USA


Burton Snowboards

AriZona Iced Tea

Jimmy Fallon Tonight



The Science Museum

Dr Pepper



Any more..?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fanta's Vine Comedy with College Humor

Many brands have commissioned Vine stars to create videos for them, but Fanta has taken this one step further with a 6 minute show on College Humor called Fanta For The Funny, which consists of lots of these one after an other, to make a sort of '100 Best Vines' show.  It's not heavily branded, but the 'Fanta orange' colour features a lot.

Have a look at the full thing below - or see some of the individual pieces on the creators' own channels, for example here, here and here.

I suspect that this looks like a total mess to anyone over the age of about 22 - it does to me - but let's give it time and see if the audience takes to it.

More info here

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Audi's Barely Legal Pawn - Hijacking the Emmys

An amazing ad (or piece of branded content, if you want...) with stars from Breaking Bad and Veep, cunningly released just a week before The 66th Emmy Primetime Awards, which take place on Monday 25th August.  It's not hijacking per se, as Audi is the official sponsor of the event, but it's a very good move, and the ad has actually been placed on the Emmy YouTube channel.

Don't forget that Audi also did this film with two 'Spocks' last year

Monday, August 18, 2014

Amazon's Local Register

A competitor to Square, iZettle and more, but with the reassurance that Amazon's size brings.

I wonder why it took them so long

(US only at the moment)

Full story here

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Push For Pizza - 'Yo for Pizza'

Push for Pizza is one example (I expect there are many) of the influence of Yo.

Yo is an app that only lets you do one thing - send a message that says 'Yo' to a friend.  Nothing else.  As such, the interface is extremely basic and easy to use (but all you can do is send a message that says 'Yo').

Push for Pizza lets you order a pizza to be sent to you.  It's not quite as simple as Yo, in that you need to set up card payment details, address, and so on, and also you get two options (Plain or Pepperoni), but essentially, you press a button for pizza.

More details here

Yes, it's been done before, with a simple fridge magnet in Dubai:

What I think is interesting though, is this follows the trend of simplification and single purpose apps.  If you look at other pizza apps - Domino's etc - they can get quite heavy with different options, 'create your own pizza' and more.  I'm not completely sure that this is a problem that needs fixing urgently, or that people can't get around, but I suspect we'll see lots of apps going through a simplification process.

Update - See also The Pizza Button

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Chipotle's #BurritoWatch Mystery Site of The Day Promo

Chipotle has a promotion happing in the UK where they will give away 2,000 burritos a day for the next 7 days.

Each day they will release a mystery website and the first 2,000 to get there will get a voucher (presumably in exchange for an email address).

Today's first site is given above.  You can slow down YouTube by using the 'cog' icon on the lower bar - but even so it's pretty hard!

Full details of the promo here

Day 2 - an Instagram video

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

& then...

Day 6

Day 7

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Red Bull's #AirRace Promoted Tweet

I'm not quite sure how Red Bull has done this, but it's possibly the best use of a Twitter Card yet - the promoted tweet bleeds into the tweet above,,,

See the tweet here - sadly embedding it into Blogger doesn't show off what they've done.

The tweet clicks through to this page

Update - apparently it's made with 'unsafe' characters - see other examples here

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Airbnb for...

Airbnb re-launched earlier this month with its new 'Belo' symbol, and the idea of 'belonging'

I think one of the reasons for this is that it can help Airbnb move away from purely accommodation  and into other parts of the sharing economy, where you can also feel you 'belong'.

The classic Airbnb model - you rent something from someone who doesn't need it at that time - is so flexible that it can apply to so many different things.

A few examples from Google Auto-complete:

Airbnb for...

boats, bikes, business travel
cats, cars, camping, commercial space
dogs, dinner parties, desks
eating, education
food, flights, freelancers
gyms, garages
jobs, jets
meeting rooms, motorcycles
office space
pets, parking, popup shops
restaurants, retail, RVs
storage, skills
tools, toilets, tour guides
workspace, weddings

There are already companies that offer almost all of these as a business model - in some cases lots of companies (e.g. 'airbnb for retail space' or 'airbnb for (homecooked) food').

Airbnb's new identity should help them move into these areas.

(I did the same on Netflix - because lots of companies are also attempting their 'single regular fee for all you can consume' model, but fewer business ideas came up - anime, audiobooks, books, comics, clothes, games, hotels, and jewellery - although all of these are quite interesting)
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