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When apps won’t give you instant access after signing up…Looking at you Confide!

I love new social media channels, apps and technology. Everything about it gets me excited. With that excitement also comes the expectation that we’ll be able to test it and use it ASAP.

Most startups that launch apps provide access to users during launch. Sometimes their servers crash but they ensure that when someone requests an invite, it’s fulfilled ASAP.  However, there are some apps (for whatever reason) just don’t get that message.  This happened today with the Confide app.  The app is a more professional version of Snapchat, something many users would like to test and even adopt.  Confide doesn’t let you use the app without confirming an email.  That’s normal but after signing up and then requesting the confirmation email again, I still didn’t receive it. As of writing this post, it’s been about 3 hours since I signed up.

The problem with this delayed tactic (again, who knows why there’s a delay. There isn’t anything on their Twitter account), is that users who want to test and share their thoughts don’t get a chance to do so. When creating something new, you want people to use it when they’re most likely to do so. If I open the app and want to use it right away but the app doesn’t let me, what are the chances that I’ll continue to check for the moment when I’ll be able to?  Probably slim.

For the sake of Confide, I hope they figure it out because they are getting media coverage and I’m sure others would like to test it out. I wasn’t a big fan of Snapchat but would love to give Confide a chance.

Have you ever run into issues with an app that wouldn’t give you access right away?  

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Marissa Mayer is Bold and Promises Not To Screw Up Tumblr

All the rumors from last week led to the final act – Yahoo acquired Tumblr for around $1.1 billion this morning.  Will this be the peak of Marissa Mayer’s legacy or does she have other tricks up her sleeve?

I didn’t know much about Marisa Mayer until she became CEO of Yahoo.  Afterward, I read extensively about her work at Google, the type of manager she is and of course her existing moves at Yahoo.  Every move she’s made has impacted Yahoo in a way the company hasn’t seen in the past decade or so. She’s made Yahoo more nimble, attractive and mobile.  It seems like her vision is to run it like a startup but with the relevancy missing in startup culture.

I’ve become a huge fan of hers since she started making some acquisitions, focusing on moral, creating leaner teams to ensure higher quality of work.  And with the Tumblr acquisition, she’s taking some bold steps to ensure Yahoo can generate revenues to meet Wall Street’s demands, while becoming a household name again with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google.  Even if the Tumblr acquisition crashes and burns (we won’t know for at least a year), her moves are creating buzz for Yahoo and that kind of buzz seems to be resonating well with marketers and agencies who Yahoo relies on for advertising dollars.   

We don’t know that the Tumblr acquisition will fail for Yahoo. Everyone seems to be bringing up the past but Mayer has a plan or at least it seems like it, and if she can execute on that plan, the old mistakes may not longer be what the technology community remembers. Just look at what she’s doing with Flickr, a brand that Yahoo abandoned before she got there or the recent string of mobile app updates. She’s making Yahoo relevant again, one update at a time.

Do you think Yahoo will ruin Tumblr’s brand? Will you stay or leave?

 (pic source)

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New iOS 7 Design Concept Looks Awesome!

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Check out the new design concept for iOS 7 from Simply ZestyTheNextWeb says the new OS should exactly like that. They be right! I think it’s a wonderful and refreshing look at iOS with some elements from Android and Windows Phone thrown in there. 

The design is super clean and looks very interesting. It also incorporates the flat design concept that’s been rumored the past few months.  Job Ive likes the flatter design over the skeuomorphic design from Steve Jobs’ days.  Take a look at all the concept images along with a video below:

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Do you like the concept? Would you want Apple to implement this? Let me know. 

(pic source)

 

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Does Anyone Care About Location Based Services Anymore?

This morning SocialMediaToday.com questioned if location based marketing is slowly dying. Deborah Sweeney ran down the list of reasons why it’s slowly losing its relevancy: 

–       Too difficult to control

–       Business owners are too busy or don’t care

–       Not much incentive for the consumer

I’ve noticed this more and more with the primary LBS I use, Foursquare. I, along with a number of my friends, were initially intrigued with the gamification of check-ins to collect badges.  After a while, especially when they weren’t offering any incentives, we stopped. I rarely check-in, even though I think about doing it. I no longer see any value in doing so. I realistically think I’m a few weeks away from deleting my Foursquare app.

I strongly believe the second reason from Deborah’s article feeds into the third. If merchants are too busy or don’t see any value in running a location based campaign then naturally there isn’t any incentive for consumers to check-in. I’ve seen this first hand with a friend of mine who runs a small business. He ran LBS campaigns on Foursquare but didn’t get the kind of traction he was looking for and eventually just stopped offering incentives.

To further bolster this argument, take a look at Shopkick’s success. They’ve been able to provide consumers with deals for some of their favorite shopping locations. As a result, business owners continue to offer deals to get customers walking in through the door.   Shopkick recently announced that they’ve led to over $200 million in sales for their partners.  Without the deals, consumers don’t care and if consumers don’t care then businesses won’t care either. It’s vicious cycle, one that requires participation from all parties. In the case of Foursquare, it sounds like both consumers and businesses don’t really care as much as they used to. 

Companies like Google, Facebook and Apple will always take stabs at LBS offerings but it’ll never be a standalone product like Foursquare or Shopkick. It’s a market that most businesses haven’t seen much value in yet and until they really do, it’ll be tough to get consumers on board. 

Have you stopped using your favorite location based service? If so, I’d love to know why. 

(pic source)

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Facebook is Losing Users in North America…(Infographic)

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History has taught us that social media users are a fickle group. They’ll leave one network for another if it becomes boring or stale. It’s not happening to Facebook. Facebook is seeing a decline in users in North America.  It’s due to a number of reasons, here are a few of them:

Mobile: Teens are more mobile than ever and communicate via a smartphone instead of staring at a computer screen. Facebook has tried their best to reach the 300 Million+ people who access their platform via mobile but it still hasn’t figured out how to provide the best experience or how to monetize the platform, as users flee the desktop for mobile. 

Family: The average age of Facebook users has now increased to 41 years of age. That means family members, including grandpa and grandma are now on Facebook. Teens don’t want to share their daily activities with this group. Did you ever want your parents to see all the dumb things you said and did as a teen or in your 20’s? Exactly. 

Ads: Like MySpace, Facebook’s ad are becoming intrusive and hurting the experience enough for users to look at other platforms. Unlike MySpace, Facebook hasn’t launched an all out assault with ads. They’re trying to be innovative while maintaining user engagement on the platform but Sponsored Stories are becoming more frequent with product and sales announcements, instead of actual engaging content. This will only increase when Facebook launches “video ads

Competition: Mobile competitors are popping up left and right, taking away valuable Facebook users. Instagram, a Facebook company with over 100 million users, along with SnapChat are leading the charge, as users find new ways to communicate via social networks without the need for Facebook. 

2013 will be a big year for Facebook as it figures out mobile. They’ve already made strides by releasing new and faster mobile apps and introducing Facebook Home on Android. Home is a clever experiment that may or may not perform as Facebook envisions. If it fails, it’ll bring additional pressure on them to innovate advertising for revenue but more ads will likely mean more users will flee the platform. Personally, I’ve moved away from Facebook to Instagram and Twitter to have conversations and share images. Of course, I maintain a presence on Facebook to stay in touch with a few friends but as I mentioned in the past, it’s no longer my go to site.

To get an idea of what the recent unlike trend looks like in North America, check out the infographic below from Social Media Today

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