Archive for the Marketing Category

Facebook Arrives On Google Glass Thanks To Unofficial Photo Sharing App

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As the days go by and developers get their hands on Glass, the basic apps that we need to survive in the wild and share our photos are popping up. Today, Glass To Facebook is available for those who want to post the moments captured with Glass to the social network. It’s the first third-party app that allows you

The setup is similar to that of other third-party apps like GlassTweet, but requires you to give Facebook permissions to post to your timeline. It only takes a few seconds to get going:

 

 

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After you’ve turned on the Glass To Facebook sharing contact within MyGlass and approve the permissions on Facebook, you’re ready to start posting:

fbconnectJust take a photo and choose the Glass To Facebook option:

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The nice thing about the app is that it creates a photo album for you that will start piling up your Glass-taken photos:

Your photo shows up like any other one would in your friends’ News Feed, too. This means that all of those annoying baby pictures that you see on the daily will now come from the vantage point of the parent’s face. Exciting, I know. On a serious note, it’s nice to see photos from Glass being brought to networks other than Google+, which was the only out of the box option.

While we haven’t heard anything recently about an official Facebook Glass app, we’ve heard that there’s a team of four working on something. What could Facebook look like for Glass? We know that there won’t be ads, since Google isn’t allowing them on the Glass platform as of right now. Aside from that, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Poke pop up on the device.

Facebook Must Make Home A Layer Atop Your Widgets And Homescreen, Not A Replacement

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“Where did my Android go?” is the common refrain of Facebook Home user reviews. We want the widgets and old homescreen we’ve meticulously curated. That’s why Facebook needs to preserve and offer quick access to the phone we’re used to if it’s going to make Home a hit. Facebook’s reading the reviews too, so bet on the early Home updates to make it more of a bonus than a trade-off.

Facebook proclaims “Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps.” But that completely new experience disrespects the work we’ve done to personalize our phones — arranging apps and putting them into folders, choosing what goes in the coveted first screen spots, and building widgets of real-time information we care about. We shouldn’t have to sacrifice so much to get Home’s added benefits.

Luckily, Facebook has committed to releasing monthly updates for Home, with the first one expected on May 12th. There are plenty of “nice” features it could add, but before Facebook decorates Home, it needs to get the foundation cemented.

Opening The Doors

I spent some time poring through hundreds of Home reviews to get a sense of the public’s perspective. Journalists and techies, including me, focused on features like Cover Feed and Chat Heads. The somewhat complicated install process didn’t faze them much. But the average Joe got quite confused when he downloaded Home only to find his familiar Android experience had been evicted.

home-widgetsPlenty of people like it, and say they get used to it after a while. But many of the 1-star reviews dragging down Home read like this [sic]:

  • “Ugh! Not an intuitive app. Made my phone so frustratingly complicated to use that I uninstalled after just four or five hours. Unless major changes are made including an easy way to get to my home screen I will not reinstall.” – Victoria Wiley
  • “It literally took over my phone. Its almost as if it a whole new OS and not user friendly.” – joe smith
  • “Where are my widgets, not impressed” – David Marner
  • “It gets rid of everything u have and have to reset it” –J Erickson

Judging from these reviews and hundreds more I read, the first change Home needs is to do a better job of walking us through the transformation our phones are undergoing. Many people won’t be sure they’re supposed to select Home when asked which app to “Complete Action Using”. That should be explained up front. Then once Home is fully installed, Facebook should do a deeper tour not only of its own features, but of explaining what happened to the other parts of our phone and how to get back to them.

Preserving Personalization

Home has no widgets and no app folders, and users hate that. It won’t stay that way for long, though. Facebook Director Of Product Adam Mosseri told me when Home debuted that “There’s a lot of stuff we wanted to do in the launcher like folders and widgets. But that’s the beauty of the update cycle. We’re already working on stuff that will come out [in later versions of Home.]“‘

facebook-phone-screenSo is Facebook going to build its own foldering and widget-building system? Perhaps, but that doesn’t actually solve the problem prevalent in Home’s negative reviews. Users don’t want to do redundant work to re-personalize their phone.

That’s why I suspect Facebook will look for a way to integrate our existing folders and widgets within Home. This is a pretty fundamental shift for Home from a replacement launcher to a layer that rides on top of what we’ve already done to our phones. Ideally we’d be able to temporarily push Home aside to reveal our old homescreen and all our customization. Importing the folders and widgets we’ve already made into Home’s own app drawer would work, too.

Right now from Cover Feed you can swipe left for Facebook Messenger, right for the last app you used, and up to open your app favorites screen. I’d imagine Facebook would either add a down swipe to surface our former homescreens lying in wait underneath, or swap in this action for the app favorites up swipe.

With these fixes made, Facebook would get most of the prominence and immersive experience it wants from Home without forcing us to ditch our old system. That erases a huge barrier to installing and enjoying its “apperating system” and could help it grow beyond the 500,000 to 1,000,000 downloads it currently has. There’s a lot of people out there who want people to come before apps, just not instead of them.

Yahoo Wants To Touch People’s Lives “Every Day”, And Is Developing For Google Glass

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What is Yahoo? Marissa Mayer just laid out the company’s identity and future at Wired Business Conference. The key words she repeated over and over was “Every Day”. That’s when Yahoo wants you to use it, and it’s why it’s now developing for Google Glass, acquiring app talent like Astrid, and relaunching products like Yahoo Weather she’s sees as part of your “daily dozen” activities on mobile.

Mayer explained to Wired’s Steven Levy on stage in New York City that the company wants to help you do all the core mobile activities you do each day, including checking news, email, sports, finance, and weather. While other companies are more focused, she said “it’s okay for us to have an overall offering”.What is Yahoo? Marissa Mayer just laid out the company’s identity and future at Wired Business Conference. The key words she repeated over and over was “Every Day”. That’s when Yahoo wants you to use it, and it’s why it’s now developing for Google Glass, acquiring app talent like Astrid, and relaunching products like Yahoo Weather she’s sees as part of your “daily dozen” activities on mobile.

Mayer explained to Wired’s Steven Levy on stage in New York City that the company wants to help you do all the core mobile activities you do each day, including checking news, email, sports, finance, and weather. While other companies are more focused, she said “it’s okay for us to have an overall offering”.

It hasn’t worked too badly. Yahoo now has 300 million mobile users per month, and 700 million on desktop. “Yahoo has an amazing brand. I’m Midwestern and the brand is really strong there.”

The only problem with having so many apps is the switching costs. It takes time to do each of your “daily dozen” activities, but they shouldn’t interrupt your life. That’s why Mayer says Yahoo is developing for Google Glass, which could make its offering a seamless part of your day. Special apps may have to wait, though, as first and foremost she wants to make sure Yahoo’s homepage and other existing products work flawlessly on the tiny Glass screen.

That’s also one reason Yahoo was so excited to acquire news condenser Summly in March. ”Summarization will be a core technology in mobile. Short summaries add value”, especially when you’re trying to keep moving, or are imbibing information through a wearable computing device like Glass.

The renewed focus on the user experience is what ties together Yahoo’s strategy. Rather than just throwing content at people, it wants to make that content enjoyable to consume. It’s not abandoning content by any means, and is planning original programming plus more licensing deals like buy Saturday Night Live clips. But it’s UX that will bring Yahoo back into the spotlight. For example, Mayer says Yahoo hopes to innovate in search by returning results pages in more creative and helpful formats than just lists of links.

Mayer took a moment to tout her new policy against working from home as critical to building enjoyable apps, and despite industry hubbub, she says it was well received internally. She mentioned that the new Yahoo Weather app that integrates Flickr photos couldn’t have been built so fast without the team in the same room. The result was a hit app, that she says got all the downloads they expected for the quarter in the first four days after launch.

Close collaboration is what will let Yahoo move fast and make products for all of us. “The moonshot for Yahoo is being on every smartphone, every tablet, every PC for every Internet user. For me the word portal is somewhat limiting.” Yahoo doesn’t want to just lead you to utility, it wants to be that utility.

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