We’re thinking #fludlife should be our new hashtag of choice.
From Apple to Instagram, Twitter to talking watches, there is a lot is happening in Tech news today. We have gathered some of the top headlines for you for some Thursday Tech love.
Facetagram: So far, not too many people seem happy about Instagram’s update. Ever since Facebook’s acquisition of the photo sharing platform, the updates have been increasingly similar to Facebook’s UI and it may not be a popular change. The update didn’t include any new filters, but instead focused on a “new kind of browser experience, Photo Maps,” said the CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom. Location data creates a map of photos so users can tell more “coherent stories” about the photos they have uploaded. In general, the emphasis has been on updates to the UI rather than than details within the app.
Another Self-Indulgent Platform: Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams launched their new project, Medium, a publishing platform that looks like Pinterest and feels like Tumblr. The idea behind the product is to create a way of collecting and displaying stories about our own lives. Posts are gathered into different collections, which may include “When I Was a Kid” or “This Happened To Me” and followers can look through posts that are displayed in the Pinterest tile-based layout. The platform is only open to a select group of test-users right now, but anyone can log in through Twitter and browse through collections. What do you think? Is this another unnecessary twist on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook? Or could this actually gain popularity?
Cox, DirectTV…Apple? Apple has been in discussions with different cable companies in an attempt to create an Apple-branded box for live TV and other programming. There haven’t been any deals made yet, but Apple has already made waves in the TV world with “Apple TV”, a product that allows viewers to watch content on a variety of platforms including Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. There aren’t a lot of details regarding the deals Apple is trying to make and what the product or service will actually look like. Who uses Apple TV? Do you think an Apple related cable service is necessary?
Roger That: Do you wish you could talk to a Martian? Well, now you can. Ok, not really, but you can talk to your Martian Smartwatch! The Irvine-based company, Martian Watches, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring their dream to life: a watch you can talk to. The watch connects to your iPhone or Android handset via Bluetooth and “users can use the watch’s integrated noise-canceling microphone to issue voice commands to the tethered smartphone.” You can even listen and speak to callers directly from the watch. Looks like pretending you are a secret agent just got easier.
Social Media is an ever-growing and ever-changing world of sharing, connecting and promoting. As different platforms come, go and change how do we decide which ones are worth investing our time and energy in? Here are the four of the must-know social platforms to boost your personal and professional networks.
Facebook has been making headlines for years with their ground breaking moves in social networking and more recently when they decided to become a publicly traded company. (A bold move in my opinion, as social media continues to evolve so often). Regardless of the positive and negative press they may receive, Facebook has the largest audience in the world. 800 million people around the world are actively using the site. The Timeline format gives meaning and a backstory to your personal (or business) posts, which is a great way of keeping in touch with your fans and followers. Post questions, updates, polls or links to your blog posts and tweets!
The internet soap box in 140 characters or less. Twitter allows the broadcasting of information and customer service in real time. Twitter is an extremely effective platform for continuous updates or interaction with your followers. Tweeting about relevant topics within your field of expertise allows potential to gain more followers as well. It’s a great way to reach out to individuals and companies to draw attention back to your business or product.
Show the face and culture behind your brand. These social networks allow businesses to put a face to the name. Pinterest is a fantastic way of creating photo archives of your company’s history whether it is your personal blog posts or other press. Pinterest will direct a lot of traffic back to your site if used properly. Instagram is similar to Twitter in that it allows you to share what’s happening in “real time”, but through photos. It’s a fun way of sharing photos in the office, sneak peaks or anything else involving your team that gives your followers the chance to connect to the personality of your team.
Create context around your brand. Share stories that support your product or service, become a thought leader. Flud is a great way of gathering your interests and influencing your followers to be inspired and excited about the same things you are! Create a news profile where people can follow you and your “fluded” stories. Through the activity feed feature you can see who you have influenced and what stories have gained the most popularity through the “Most Fluded” feed. This is also an extremely effective way of staying on top the news related to your field so you are in the know of the latest and greatest, helping you stay on top of your competitors!image sources: pinterest, OMSH
Happy Friday, Fluder! Here’s some fantastic weekend reading for ya.
Today is “Cover The Night”: You saw the Kony 2012 video last month — tonight, supporters of the movement will be out plastering posters across the towns they live in. More from End Genocide and The Guardian.
How Andreessen Horowitz bunted on an Instagram investment: The Bits Blog from the NYT explains a bit of venture capital theory and the track record between A-H, an early investor in Instagram (before it was called Instagram) and A-H’s decision to gamble on a competitor. Every investment decision is a gamble, even an educated one — so stories like these are a good reminder of the big picture (intended pun) and how difficult identifying the “next Instagram” really is.
Facebook and Google must adapt as users embrace “unsocial” networks: The title is a bit of a misnomer, because the article from Bloomberg offers Instagram, Path and others as these unsocial networks. What is really meant, is that these specialized networks allow for full-attention engagement because they fit into our attention spans. For marketers, this means “going viral” is more likely on a smaller, intimate network where the connections are of equal value, and on a larger network like Facebook — stick to paid ads.
Women make groups smarter: A study from Harvard Business review shows that when a group includes more women, the collective intelligence rises. And, the discussion on “why aren’t there more women in tech” continues, via HuffPo.
People in San Fran like to eat caesar salad: It’s true, but I will admit there is more to this article from Fast Company’s Co.Exist. Apparently, Eatery is an iPhone app that allows people to rate other people’s food choices, and in this process, pulls in some interesting data about food habits in various world regions. Massive Health is the company behind it.
What to know before you go rock climbing: Do you hate being a newbie at things, like me? Check out this guide from Greatist to learn some lingo and know what to expect. It’s a great way to be active without being miserable (hello, treadmill) and apparently, can be addicting. Also, happy birthday to Greatist, one of our featured partners. If you’re not familiar, it is the up-and-coming destination for all things healthy and good. Learn more on their birthday post.
*Pic via endgenocide.org
What is news, you might wonder. Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Flud team has not only built an app that helps you find the most important and interesting news of the day, but we’re also going to give you our top favorites. Here’s a few things that happened today:
Facebook Buys Instagram: I don’t think a single person saw this coming — and if they did, it was a lucky guess. $1 billion sounds like a lot but for a buyer like Facebook, it’s a small price to control one service that was killing them with user engagement and mobile experience. AllThingsD points out that Instagram got geotagging right where Facebook has failed. The backlash to the buy was summed up well by PandoDaily — your early users, who were with you when you were small, see success as “selling out.”
Is Facebook essentially about photos, as Gigaom says? And sure, Instagram would lose that indie feel if you can start to contribute to it via third party services, but could in turn become a hub like Flickr instead of a quirky destination. And in Instagram’s place, another app will rise up to be hipster-exclusive for a season.
Microsoft buys $1 billion of AOL patents: With this announcement also happening today — you can’t *not* compare Microsoft’s move to Facebook’s. Patent ownership exchange reeks of old media while purchasing a platform for its user engagement is wholly new media. TechCrunch points out that Microsoft is a shareholder in Facebook so this prevents AOL from suing Facebook over patent issues. Or, as ReadWriteWeb puts it, “Not surprisingly, many of the patents being acquired will help position Microsoft in patent attacks on Google. But they’re not likely to do much to help the tech industry or spur innovation.”
IKEA is building 1200 rental homes in London: Cue the jokes about having to assemble the house yourself and then selling it on Craigslist nine months later. But seriously, did you read this article already? It’s not just cheap houses. It’s a utopian-style neighborhood where no cars are allowed. It’s a whole new level of gated community. Cue the jokes about a real-life Truman Show.
Inside Manpacks: Our Fluders, a savvy group of stylish news junkies, never misses an oncoming trend. So it’s not surprising one of our most Fluded stories today was a behind-the-scenes interview with a founder of Manpacks, via The Next Web. Manpacks are another spin on the Dollar Shave Club (but without the hilarious video). As some would say, it’s Birchbox for men. It’s men’s essentials, delivered monthly, for men who cannot be held responsible for taking care of their own hygiene. Are you a member?
*Photo via geek.com
This morning CNN came out with a list of the 50 New Tech Tools You Should Know About, and guess what … Flud is one of them! We’re really excited to be featured, but what makes it even cooler is that we are side by side with apps we think are just amazing.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
- Path - It’s like Facebook for just you and your closest friends.
- Pinterest - We’re so addicted. It’s a virtual pinboard for anything you can imagine. Recipes, dream homes, the best mustaches you’ve ever seen, motivational quotes, etc. etc.
- Instagram - Has an uncanny ability to make any photo beautiful.
- Oink - Lets users rate specific dishes at restaurants so you know what’s good and what’s meant for the pigs.
So what do they have in common? Two things: fantastic UI’s and doing one thing really well. Whether it’s close friends, inspiration, photos, good eats, or in our case, news — niche network apps are trending in tech this year.