Tag Archives: Apps

Daily Scroll: Apps in the future; publishers cooling on Facebook?

23 Oct

The longest article today — “THE END OF APPS AS WE KNOW THEM” — is a great one.

The NYT loves native, not so much programmatic (Digiday)

As The Times’ readership goes mobile, the publication will phase out display ads in favor of native advertising.

“Display has real value, but it feels transitional, specifically when you’re talking about a smartphone-centric world. Advertisements are going to have to be in-stream and intrinsically attractive enough to engage readers,” CEO Mark Thompson said.

“We need to generalize [having our journalists engage readers],” Thompson said. “We need to make sure that it’s not a handful of stars but part of the workflow.”

Publishers cool on outsourcing community to Facebook (Digiday)

To turn the tide, some publishers are reinvesting in their own tech in an effort to build stronger communities on their sites.

“It’s really important to maintain some sort of ownership on those conversations,” said John Longbottom, editor at the English magazine Kerrang! “As great as Facebook is, we need to keep people on the site to bring in more revenue. That’s the black and white of it.”

Barber said that one of the issues with many current commenting systems is that they don’t give readers the sense that their contributions are important and have long-term value. If publishers don’t signal to readers that their comments matter, then readers aren’t going to leave good comments — or comment at all.

Inside Discovery’s digital video journey (Digiday)

“We made a strategic decision early on to invest in original programming rather than attempt to aggregate a staggering scale,” as YouTube multi-channel networks typically do, DDN general manager Colin Decker told Digiday. “If there’s one thing that the founder of Discovery understood, it’s building an audience over time and building a brand.”

“We are always looking for expansion opportunities,” said Decker. “We want our content to be wherever the audience is.”

“The more you own, the bigger cut you take, the better the business model works,” said Paul Kontonis, executive director of the Global Online Video Association.

How video at Vice News engages younger audiences (Journalism UK)

The number of subscribers to the Vice News YouTube Channel passed the one million mark earlier this month, and the media outlet announced plans to expand its news service to seven countries on 17 October.

Vice News launched back in March in reaction to the interest in the “hardcore longform documentary” Vice was already producing, and its YouTube videos have been viewed over 150 million times since.


(Very long but worth the read.)

The idea of having a screen full of icons, representing independent apps, that need to be opened to experience them, is making less and less sense. The idea that these apps sit in the background, pushing content into a central experience, is making more and more sense.

In a world of many different screens and devices, content needs to be broken down into atomic units so that it can work agnostic of the screen size or technology platform.

We’ve moved pretty quickly from notifications as signposts, to containers (cards) that include content, and actions on that content.

The number one way people use your app is through this notification layer, or aggregated card stream. Not by opening the app itself.

I really believe screens of apps won’t exist in a few years, other than buried deep in the device UI as a secondary navigation.

If a publishing company, for example the New York Times, can push content to cards, and those cards can be seen in many different third party places (with revenue sharing agreements) why bother having a website at all? It’s just a huge overhead.

A new problem emerging is an overwhelming volume of notifications. Things will need to be ranked, which will make them more manageable. It’s also a better experience, apps maximising their usefulness in a quick lightweight fashion rather than dominating your attention in a slow heavyweight app-oriented experience.

We’re talking about designing content that may appear on an incomprehensible number of devices and in an incomprehensible number of situations. This will need new design principles, new ways of thinking about researching context.

Worldwide Subscription Video-On-Demand To Grow Nearly 30% In Revenue In 2014 (MediaPost)

Survey: Publishers embracing shift to time-based metrics (Capital)

Of the 25 members who participated in Digital Content Next’s survey, 80 percent said they are already using time-based metrics, and 20 percent said they plan to in the future, 16 percent within the next six months. Among the publishers who gave their feedback were NBCUniversal, Condé Nast, Time Inc., The New York Times, Gannett Co., and ESPN.

Within the small sample set, 60 percent of respondents said they are considering using time-based metrics to appraise the value of and sell ad units. One company is already testing time-based transactions, two will begin testing the method before the end of 2014, and two other before the end of 2015.

Smartphone-Toting Millennials Fuel Demand for Mobile-Optimized Sites (eMarketer)

Among US millennial smartphone users polled, nearly 90% said their phones never left their side—both night and day—and 80% admitted they instantly reached for them right when they woke up.


How UK publishers are rethinking audience measurement (Digiday)

As the publishing industry redefines its business, it’s important it can bring clarity to advertisers about the relationships news providers have with their users.

The Daily Scroll is a roundup of my favorite media articles, Monday to Thursday. All excerpts are copied and pasted. I encourage you to click on the links.


Foursquare’s in trouble after Yelp’s latest app update

10 Jul

I’m one of those people who checks in on Foursquare everywhere I go, to the point where the last girl I hung out with used to give me a hard time about it. But then she slept with another guy on my birthday, so we don’t talk anymore.

But forget my relationship, now one of my favorite apps is in deeper trouble than ever. Not because the product is getting worse, or because it’s not useful – it is. In fact, I love Foursquare. But Yelp’s latest app update is just another blow to the location-based social network.


One thing that girl did do before breaking my heart was introduce me to Yelp. Not that I hadn’t heard of it, I just never really used it until we hung out, but she often used it to pick where we ate. So I developed this habit of checking into places on both apps everywhere I went.

Sure, a lot of my friends are on Foursquare, and it’s fun to see who’s nearby, especially in a place like New York City. And there are also some decent specials, fun tips and worthwhile recommendations, all bolstered by Foursquare’s explore upgrades.

But there are three things Yelp has that Foursquare doesn’t, including Tuesday’s mega app update. It’s bad enough that Foursquare is having trouble monetizing, but now it’s the clear bridesmaid among check-in-based apps. Here’s why:

1. Useful Profiles:


You can click on a Yelp user’s profile and see, among other things: compliments; rating distribution; fans; recognitions. There many more things, which you can see above, or view on a profile like Alexandra’s, who I don’t know and chose at random. The more accolades someone has, the more you can (theoretically) trust their reviews, which is especially helpful with “bought reviews” floating around.

The Yelp profile features I highlighted were carefully selected for the way they dominate Foursquare’s parallel features, if Foursquare even has comparable features. And in the last two major differences, they don’t.

2. Ratings: No need to over-think this one. On Yelp, you can give fairly long, detailed reviews of businesses. On Foursquare, you can only give tips. i.e. “Try the shrimp linguini – it’s great!” You can leave tips on Yelp, too, which is part of the beauty. If I want to know specific things about what to do when I get somewhere, I’ll check the tips. But before I even decide, I’ll check the reviews, which are rated from 1-5 stars.

Foursquare has some kind of rating system, too, but it’s based on a formula that’s supposed to be tailored to your profile. Instead of being able to read what others say about a place in more than a couple hundred characters, an arbitrary rating on a scaled of 1-10 pops up when I pull up a business on Foursquare. I can never actually rate a business, not even with a simple “like” or “don’t like” feature. Not helpful.

3. Delivery Option: Last, but certainly not least, comes from Tuesday’s app update. (Androids excluded for now – sorry.) Apparently the feature isn’t available in all locations yet, but eventually you’ll be able to order straight from your Yelp app. No phone calls, no outbound links – nothing. Yelp’s basic listings (phone, hours, address/map) were already more useful than Foursquare’s, but to add a delivery option is a monster step forward. And that’s not just a blow to Foursquare, but Seamless and any other delivery-based apps, too. Even if you don’t have anyone with whom to order in.

Do you use Foursquare and/or Yelp? What are your pros and cons of each?

What Does Yelp have Planned for Halloween 2012?

31 Oct

OK, Yelp – you have me curious. I went to update my app today and was greeted by, among others, the following update:

“We’ve also got a spooky halloween surprise for you… MUAHAHAHAHAHA”

(Never mind that you contracted “we” and “have” – ew.)

Full update:

I’ll be in San Francisco, the Yelp capital of the world, so I’m quite looking forward to the surprise. Any guesses?

Also looking forward to trying the other updates, particular the menu one, which connects “people with great local food porn,” according to the company’s Twitter account.

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