Video on the go


Image source: Digitaltrends

By now, you should be so used to having a separate app on your mobile phone that is used solely for your conversations held in Facebook. The Facebook messaging app is certainly a very developed platform that was clearly planned ahead of its launch. I remember how it used to annoyed me when I had to download a separate app just for Facebook messaging. But the flip side of having an additional app also meant that we now can have more features within the app making it more robust in features. Not only are you now able to continue text messaging, you can also have the video loading in tandem. It also gives you customizable features like muting the video while you type. Facebook continues to embed more into our daily lives and making many subtle adjustments to accommodate our user experience. Is your brand thinking along the same direction?

Block me!

I know right. Sometimes we block people whom we hate or we filter friends whom we dont want them to see or find out what we are doing. So the ‘block’ function on Facebook then becomes extremely useful. I love how Facebook interprets that and translate it into an interesting fashion. In fact, it is the way they make tutorials more interesting with the help of a humorous script. Not only are these youtube videos short and interesting, it fuses the daily elements and scenarios we face. Check out the video which features a couple facing a little fight and how the block function can come in handy. OR NOT.

Nearby friends


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An article from Mashable, reported Facebook releasing their apps with newer functions. This time round, they added a nearby friends function which is similar to WeChat’s. What could have taken Facebook this long to implement this function? In Asia, Facebook penetration is massive and a function like this might serve its purpose but yet attract adverse effects. I have heard of couples banning one another from Facebook. I guess you probably could visualize what the reasons might possibly be. Nonetheless, I think this is still an innovative addition to the repertoire of tools on Facebook, plus it also aids in further enhancing consumer experience. Now, I shall not go into details how the new function would work, but you can read more of the article here to understand the ‘Nearby Friends’ experience.

There is a group everywhere

Something you and I would least expect – Facebook with killer ads. Apparently, Facebook had been producing notable marketing materials lately. This recent ad by Facebook features people assembling in movie characters, taking photos while they mingle around camera. See, the fact that marketing sometimes cannot be a linear effort sees it diverse its application using unique approaches. In this context, we still see very real, very down to earth creative direction accompanied by a rather straightforward message: “We are not alone.” I believe the message they are trying to commute hasn’t dilute at all. Instead, it emphasizes that every minute, every second, there are someone out there who is the exact fit for you or your community. And that is happening all on Facebook.


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Boy, have I not been blogging a lot lately, my schedule is getting pretty insane. Nonetheless, there is always time for Lego isn’t it? Andrew Whyte, a photographer from UK has been quite popular with his unique photography personality. As he brings along this little Lego minifig, he travels around taking interesting pictures from the perspective of the little man. Calling this Legography, he has spurred the interest of many and even led to the proliferation of Lego minifig photographers riding the waves of his success on social photography sites like Instagram or Facebook.

 “As an exploration of mobile photography, the project was very enlightening and quite liberating — to know I could be just about anywhere and still keep on top of things,” says Whyte. Check out more of his stuffs at  Long Exposures.


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Before there were social media, people scuffle to pen down messages, attempting to capture moments of details on paper and then evolved towards sending text messages and photo images through smartphones. Despite taking social media for granted now, these experiences still impinged upon us as if it happened yesterday. So, when you combine that nostalgia with current social media technology, the formula is suffice to deliver an app so simple, so original yet functional. The new mobile app by Facebook allows us to browse content on Facebook with breeze, filtering the alphabet soup of buttons and controls. Known as Paper, this app will be available for download starting February 3, 2014. Interestingly, this Facebook reader app has such a fluid yet simple layout that lets you share and browse content effortlessly. We could see how the app functions from the video below. The video is almost so placid, so direct, almost like an integration to our daily lives. A strong user interface backed by really solid user experience design, Paper might just set the benchmark for a new category of user oriented app design.



Facebook ‘ReShare’?

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To recreate success is to recreate innovation. I have always believe that some of these social media giants like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest have the most leading example of all time. But to share the technology between one another would be ultimate. While Facebook has got it’s predominantly used function, the timeline is one that allows us to read news feed, share them as well as comment on them. Of course, another integral part of our daily routine is to ‘retweet’ them. Yes, Facebook has decided to have that function on their timeline. While it is similar in a way to the Share button, the new ReShare button allows quick sharing simply by tapping once on it. That makes it easier for one to execute this activity. It is crucial to understand one singular click is definitely more compelling than two. Do you think the ReShare button is necessary?


Die Hard for Nissan

You have seen hard hitting movies, the ones resembling another cliche from Die Hard. Some of the most common scenes involves having a briefcase, cars on fire, high speed chasing and rigged cops. We now have a commercial thats not only just that, it is also highly interactive. Nissan has launched a new campaign for the Nissan Rogue, and the video was just thrilling with lots of action and a large involvement from the viewer after the clip ends. You are required to open a briefcase at the end of the video after being redirected to their facebook page. For all you know, you might just stand an opportunity to win yourself a Nissan Rogue. Great advertising effort!

Ads ruining Instagram?

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Looks like it’s confirmed that more ads will be pouring into our beautifully decorated photo galleries on Instagram. As it seems, it is reported that the company would currently concentrate on pushing a rather small amount of aesthetically beautiful yet high quality photos and even videos from brands that already have a huge following in the social community. And this would be initially targeted at users from the United States. I believed I have touched on the topic of ad insertions being a very sensitive operation as it significantly causes a disruption in the aesthetics as well as the flow of user experience, if it is not done correctly. Of course, Instagram’s parent company, Facebook has now cleverly integrated the ad experience into their social platform and that is a great leading example to follow. On top of that, Instagram also has a similar option of allowing users to hide it from their feed as well as reporting possible spams to Instagram.


Ultimately, companies has long ago took the opportunity to run some of their marketing efforts on this photo driven social platform and it comes as no surprise that Instagram will provide more companies with expanded options to have their brands being noticed. While there are possible risks of brands losing their followers, the idea of having more exposure through ads would still ultimately help companies to establish revenues and stay operational. At the end of the day, Instagram remains a photo-driven social platform for users to upload their pictures and videos and allowing them to hold ownership to their own visual properties. That promise to users remain intact.

Advertising on Instagram

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More and more social media companies are looking to monetize their investments by introducing advertising on their platforms. Then there are companies like Facebook who started having advertisements on the side of the page, which did not directly hindered our user experience. And there is YouTube, a video sharing platform which slots in irritating, disruptive 5 seconds to 60 seconds advertisements before videos. It is no surprise that Instagram, the picture and short video sharing platform has decided to adopt the same process. With 150 million active users, Instagram is prepared to introduce advertising. The company’s director of business operations, Emily White said that advertising should begin selling ads by next year. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram has significantly increase the amount of users on Instagram by 100 million and Instagram itself, has also reported an increase of 20 million active users.

Instagram is definitely actively pursuing new advertisers and has beefed up the staff rooster to include new employees that would help manage client relationships with new brands. Some of the clients that were being approached includes giants like Ford, Williams-Sonoma and Coca-Cola. “We want to make money in the long term, but we don’t have any short-term pressure,” White told the Journal.

Currently, there is no news or leaks about how the ads would look like. However, WSJ reports that it could appear on the app’s Discover page or search page. Advertisers are also keen to link pictures of their products to their websites. My own opinion of such a move is that it is a logical move to bring on more revenue to sustain a product. However, the placements of advertising more often of less, disrupts user experience and causes unpleasant aesthetics if it is not executed correctly. I really do hope that Instagam will do a good job on this.