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Microsoft Has Released Its Office for iPad as a Free Download

Microsoft has released their Microsoft Office set for the Apple iPad. Microsoft Office For iPad is free to download. With this app, users can view documents and give presentations just like what they can do on a PC. If you want to create a new document or edit existing files, you will need to sign-in with your Microsoft account and have a current Office 365 subscription.

Here is the promotional video of Office for iPad:

The Inside Story of Facebook Paper

facebook-paper

It’s not Facebook. It’s Paper. Is this the next blunder from Facebook?

Facebook Paper is gaining a lot of buzz. It takes nearly 30 months to build the app, which is quite long for Facebook’s standard. When Paper was rolled out, many users were surprised by its design, which is image-heavy. It looks next to nothing like the Facebook app.

While not unexpected, Paper was still uncommon. Facebook has built other standalone apps over ten years, including one app you’ve probably never heard of (like Facebook Pages Manager), and another Facebook hopes you never will (Poke, anyone?).

What about Paper?

Though it seemed like a hit at its launching, Paper has dropped on the App Store charts. Many users are still trying to grasp where Paper fits in with their social media use. By making Paper a standalone app, Facebook is making a big bet that users will find it useful, despite similar competitor apps already available. However, Facebook sees the app differently than most of us do. It’s not supposed to be a newspaper. It’s a printing press.

It’s Not About The News

Paper has been widely labeled as a news reader app by the media, yet that’s not actually how Facebook intended it.

On Paper, users can flip between multiple categories that they choose to follow, like tech or sports or food. One of these sections is the news feed, and users can post to their Facebook profile from within the app.

“It was the publishing aspect that the Paper team intended to build out” says Paper Product Manager Michael Reckhow. “Paper wasn’t just built for consuming. it was built to offer users better tools for sharing and creating their own content.”

The “news reader” functionality is unexpected for the Paper team, but it wasn’t a disappointment. They succeeded in creating something unexpected. On a basic level, publishers really need two things: an audience and tools to create and share their ideas. Facebook has always had the world’s greatest audience, now 1.2 billion and counting. The only one missing is a reliable publishing tool.

Paper users can see more clearly what their published product will look like on the news feed. It’s a more accurate and visual representation of what the user is creating. Unlike the traditional Facebook app, news feed on paper scrolls horizontally, not vertically. This radically different design was one of the main reasons Paper wasn’t simply built into the existing Facebook app. The changes were too drastic for the existing news feed infrastructure. Plus, changing news feed’s design without notice would have probably resulted in a mass panic by users.

Paper will continue to expand its features, and Facebook is already collecting data in order to personalise what the users see. It’s likely Paper will continue to add publishing tools, building an experience that aligns more closely with the way the creators envisioned the app. For online marketers, the strategy isn’t exactly typical for Facebook, but then again, this isn’t Facebook. It’s Paper.

Instagram Has Updated Its Faster and Responsive App For Android

The latest version of Instagram for Android has got a big redesign. Instagram claimed that the app is faster, more responsive and optimized for a wider variety of Android devices. With version 5.1, Instagram stated that it has cut the size of the app in half, while making the app faster. Profile page and newsfeed now load twice as quickly. The function buttons have also been rearranged to make the app easier to navigate.

Buttons for changing the camera’s in-app settings or editing photos will now appear in different places on the screen, depending on what size screen is being used. Here is the official statement from the company:

“We’ve worked to make sure that Instagram feels native and at home on any Android device. We’ve simplified our visuals throughout our app, making use of valuable screen space for small devices and feature phones and rearranging our design to keep buttons within easy reach as you navigate the app on a larger device.”

Unlike Instagram’s update to iOS before, the Android update did not include any additional tools. The iOS latest update added a slider to the app’s Lux tool, which increases a photo’s saturation, so users can adjust the level of color saturation they wish to apply to their images. However, Instagram said that the Lux tool would be “coming soon” to Android users.

Generation Y and Social Media (Infographic)

According to a recent study, 6 in 10 of “Generation Y” youngsters (15 to 34 years old) own a smartphone device, while most of them have a data subscription for it as well. The daily internet access through smartphone is highest in Japan (92 percent) and then in China with 89 percent, while Americans take third place with 84 percent. Among that numbers, “fun and gaming apps” counts as the most popular activity of 56 percent Generation Y smartphone users.

44 percent of Generation Y say that their current mobile phone is doing just fine, while surprisingly, 32 percent still think they don’t need a smartphone at all. In addition, 65 percent use it to store notes and information while 6 out of 10 use their phone to keep in touch with their friend on social media. The study also shows that Chinese and American millennials are clearly leaders when it comes to “mobile apps installation” with respectively 96 percent and 94 percent.

Furthermore, check out this infographic that takes a closer look at what smartphone apps and services Generation Y are most fond of.

the statistics of social media in millennials and generation y

Click to Enlarge

 

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Employed Beacon Technology in Its “Explorer” Campaign

Today, The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has launched its “Australia’s first Bluetooth Smart Beacon” campaign which sends personalised micro-location based notifications to people who are close by to festival venues and have the Festival’s ‘Explorer’ app. If you are unaware about what a Beacon technology is, please take a look at this post, where the Beacon technology was used beautifully in Rubens House Art Gallery. The campaign’s goal is to ensure that the public ‘explore’ the various participating venues during the festival with the technology installed in more than 50 cafes, restaurants and wine bars.

The festival says that it is the first time in Australia the technology has been used for a commercial purpose.

Moreover, these “explorers” have the chance to win exclusive festival experiences. However, they are required to do more than just walk past the venue to win. They need to complete challenges which are picked up by the Bluetooth Smart Beacons when they are completed, rewarding the ‘explorer’ with free food and drinks, unique event experiences and festival tickets. The app and the beacons are part of a broader strategic approach developed by Ogilvy Melbourne. Brendon Guthrie from Ogilvy Melbourne stated that this festival is now one of the world’s leading food and wine events, so the expectations of those who attend are very high.So they want to combine good ideas with cutting-edge technology to make sure exploring Melbourne’s festival is a deep, rich and above all, unique experience.

Facebook Paper is Prepared to Carry Away Native Ads and Sponsored Content Revenue

Facebook has made a play for native ads and sponsored content market that may just crush all its rivals.

In short, Facebook Paper is minimal, intuitive and exhibited on the web news platform Flipboard. It could also be seriously addictive. Tap on a interesting piece of content and it goes full-screen. In other word, Facebook looks better on Paper. It doesn’t even have its own branding or logo on the app.

The cluttered Facebook columns are absent, while users can actively select the topics they want to see. In a brand new form, with only 40 publishers on board, Facebook will be able to push the Paper app to its one billion users and present that audience to advertisers and brand agencies.

Paper is Facebook’s latest step towards controlling the flow of content, and all the native ad dollars that go with it. Want to place a native ad in someone’s social media feed? Facebook’s got you covered. Want to place a sponsored post in their go-to newspaper? If Paper takes off as expected, Facebook will have that covered, too.

Many social media experts have stated that Paper is the best Facebook app ever, noting that this app focuses on content, and not building friend lists. The ability to effectively demote your friends below Facebook’s editorially curated content heralds a sea change for the company. Paper allows you to experience a world built by Facebook engineers that doesn’t have Facebook’s core product in it.

The app still has social sharing and friend notification and messaging features, but the focus is on allowing users to create their own specialised news feed. Content cards scroll along the bottom of the screen, and curation and control is handed to the user. Senior executives at Facebook are said to have switched over exclusively to the app and see it as its future dominant platform.

Snapchat: The New Player in Social Media Marketing Battleground

Snapchat is the latest social media groundbreaking for every online marketers in the world

Every online marketers in the world should pay attention now. The most popular photo messaging app, Snapchat, is now a marketing “player” too. They may only have ten seconds, yet if a brand knows their audience, the impact of an accurate snap can be enormous. When a brand can send a snap that teases a product, previews a campaign that only snappers can see or offer any kind of exclusive/exciting content, it’s going to have an impact.

Forget the old school Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is the latest social media platform brands and marketers are turning their attention to such as shows HBO’s Girls and UK MTV’s Geordie Shore as well as US food chain Taco Bell. The potential for this app is pretty big. It’s one of the only platforms out there right now where the user has to really pay attention and that’s where the potential lies.

Understand the Demographic of Your Audience

Brands must understand their customers and target audience. The use of Snapchat as a marketing tool can really put that knowledge to the test. If they only have ten seconds to sell, promote or market a product, they need to be sure they can do it well. Companies will need to know exactly what they are going to use the platform for and add value. Distributional methods and repurposing content from other social channels via Snapchat isn’t going to work anymore. They will need to map out the stories they want to tell and the content will need to be a lot more impactful, edgier or creative than your usual Facebook, Twitter or Instagram content.

There are two functions of the app that brands should begin to utilise. The first, and perhaps the biggest function, is its ‘Stories’ feature. The ability to construct an evolving story that disappears after 24 hours encourages high levels of engagement and has the potential for some pretty creative campaigns. The second is in the delivery of one time snaps for offers, creating a brand personality, or delivering inspiration and/or information in bite size pieces.

The ‘Stories’ function can allow brands to develop and maintain their marketing campaigns, products or news by continuously adding to their ‘story’. With so many experiences being ephemeral, like festivals, sporting events, etc companies can take advantage of this by creating virtual events in parallel.

Snapchat is Great for Audience Engagement

A snap’s 10-second lifetime is Snapchat’s unique selling point and one of the advantages of using the platform for marketing practices. A user knows it will disappear, the ‘Rule of Scarcity’ kicks in, and a promotional offer or a chance to win etc conveyed by this method should have high engagement from a willing participant. On other platforms, an offer or message sits in a feed indefinitely possibly prompting apathy and inaction.

Brands that are already using this platform are “ahead or the curve”. Once the space becomes more populated with marketing messages the same cut through principles as, say TV, will apply, appeal to emotions, shock value etc.

Advertising agency DDB Oslo is one such company that has discovered the capabilities and marketing potential of the photo messaging platform, recruiting its next lot of creative talent via Snapchat. The initiative invites Snapchat users, where Forbes magazine estimates 50 million people around the globe have tried snapping, to pitch an idea in ten seconds to the agency.

The creative department at DDB will watch every snap and “if you’re idea is truly great, we’ll fly you to Oslo for an interview”.  With this campaign, DDB shows that they understand the communication style of their target market and are clever in the fact they’re going to be choosing a gun from this campaign.

HBO’s Girls is another brand that has hopped on the Snapchat train as it launched its Snapchat campaign to provide a countdown to the show’s US launch on January 12. The campaign posted daily updates using the ‘Stories’ feature in an effort to drive interest and excitement about the third series. In order to promote its sixth season which was filmed down under, MTV sent out exclusive photos and videos to fans who had added the show to their account.

Whether Snapchat will stand the test of time against other social media platforms, we should take a good assumption that the platform is growing and “will definitely have its day in the sun”. Snapchat is only going to continue to grow as it opens up its one to many features shortly.

Apple iBeacon in Rubens House Art Gallery: Bringing Art to Life

For those who are not aware, a ´Beacon´ is a physical object that is hung in a room, e.g. in a store or a museum. This device is wireless. It is battery-powered and uses the most recent Bluetooth technology. Via Apple´s iBeacon technology, a beacon sends a ´push´ message to the iPhone or iPad of people passing by. You can create any message, like: “the clothes on this shelf are on sale” or: “discover the painted-over drawing that hides beneath this work of art.” The technology also works for smartphones and tablets with Android.

Aside from pushing offers and discounts, Apple’s new iBeacon technology provides a whole different way at creating native location based interaction with iOS devices. A good example comes from Rubens House Art Gallery in Antwerp. Using Estimote iBeacons, the art gallery has created “location based” beacons that interact directly with an iOS app allowing visitors to discover a new level of detail via tablet with each piece of art, or locations inside the gallery. It’s a pretty straight forward example of smartphone apps for promoting your brand.

Facebook Paper: The Latest Facebook’s News Reader App

Recently, Facebook has launched its latest app called “Paper”. The app provides an intuitive news reader app experience, which users can choose from nineteen different categories including tech, sports, pop-culture, and more. It looks totally different from Facebook, and all content displayed will be curated through a process that includes both an algorithm and a human selection to ensure the best content gets to you.

For now, Facebook Paper won’t have ads, yet many social media experts assumed that this condition will last six months for sure, with a more personalised new content service to go via location at that point too. This will be just one of numerous new apps released by Facebook this year. Here is the official promotional video:

Google Glass For Fitness: “Race Yourself” Virtual Reality Motivation App

Here comes another creative Google Glass app that attempts to make these wearable devices useful. Introducing “Race Yourself”, an app that attempts to motivate your daily running routine with zombies and boulder, virtual marathon running groups, or your own best score. Somehow, this app is similar to Puma “Run Navi” app, which also shifts your tedious running routine into an exciting one. This is probably the most advanced, and perhaps the most beneficial Google Glass app if you can actually run with them and see the stats at the same time. Check out the promotional video: