Tag: mobile

Welcome To The Centralised Web

Digital Strategy11 Comments

The number of industry stats that get published every week is truly remarkable, but two in particular released in the last few weeks really made me sit up and take notice:

  • Smartphone and tablet sales are continuing to grow as PC sales decline [1]
  • Google and Facebook account for over 70% of mobile advertising revenue [2]

As a long-time citizen of the web, I fell in love with the Internet precisely because unlike the traditional media that it would go on to fundamentally disrupt, it grew from the premise that it is open and decentralised. Anyone could access the network and establish a presence.

It struck me then, that those two stats – particularly when taken together – are a clear signal that things are not like what they once were. While the web is still vast, expansive and continuing to grow, for many users their entire online experience revolves around just two web properties: Facebook and Google.

Facebook users check the smartphone app an average of 14 times a day, while Google handles over 4 billion search queries a day. Not being on Facebook can be seen as either a badge of honour, or being horribly out of the loop (but mostly the latter). I’ve long contended that as we continue to share more and more of our digital selves on Facebook, the gravitational pull of Zuckberg’s network will grow exponentially making it increasingly harder to leave. While in the case of Google, we have simply outsourced our memory while simultaneously gaining access to the entirety of our digitised knowledge.

Add to this the impending demise of Google Reader (and by extension RSS which gave us the ability to consume what we want, where we wanted), the pervasiveness of Android devices (750 million and counting) and the recent launch of Facebook Home, there will soon be no escaping either of these two online behemoths anytime you’re connected – which is already close to ‘always’, especially with Google Glass on the way.

Why the aforementioned mobile ad spend is important is that where the dollars are spent is where innovation and content will follow. Publishers and developers who still primarily look to ad-supported as their monetisation strategy will by default seek to develop closer and closer ties with the networks that control the ad dollars.

The unavoidable truth is that in a post-PC world, Facebook and Google will command our attention more than ever. When two companies have effectively become our gateway to the rest of the Internet, we run the serious risk as marketers of turning it into something bland and derivative as we rinse, recycle and repeat ideas we’ve seen work elsewhere in order to get a higher search rankings, likes, +1’s or shares.

Let’s hope we don’t.

i-will-follow-the-rules

 

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We’ve Come a Long Way Baby

Uncategorized2 Comments

This tweet from YouTube caught my attention last week.

Increasingly better, faster processors and connectivity are the hallmarks of the Internet age. Combined with the convergence of technology, access to knowledge and information is now truly (or at least nearly) ubiquitous.

What we can do with content and how we consume it is changing every day.

Who would have thought that online video would constitute half of all mobile data traffic, let alone that we would even want to watch it on our third screen?

And now, according to YouTube, not only is the rate at which video is being uploaded growing, but so too is our capacity to download and watch it faster than ever before. We can now watch video almost as soon as it is uploaded.

Our appetite for information has grown, but is there a point where won’t be able to consume any more, any faster? Will the day come when we say enough is enough or will our consumption keep pace with the technology?

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3 Digital Trends Every Marketer Needs To Know

Digital Strategy3 Comments

As I wind down my time at Square Holes, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on the digital trends I’ve observed over the past 18 months. While there have been dozens, these are the ones that have the biggest implications for marketers and communicators.

So without further adieu…

  1. Mobile finally takes off. Seriously.
    We’ve been saying this one for a few years now, but this time it really is. In the last 12 months there has been a seismic shift in the role mobile phones play in people’s lives. Driven by falling data prices and the spectacular growth of the smartphone market (seriously, 1 in 3 people I know has either an iPhone or Blackberry with a few Android phones starting to pop up as well) we are becoming less reluctant to use our phones for things other than voice and text. Even the way we use social media is quickly shifting to mobile.

    Quite simply, people are demanding content where and when they want it. With the imminent release of the iPad, how we consume content is about to change forever. Add to this the fact that 40% of Australians would rather lose their wallet than their phone and you can see our changing attitudes.

  2. How we find news has changed.
    In the days pre-social media, if you wanted to find out what was happening in the world you needed to actively seek it out by either reading a newspaper, watching the 6 o’clock news or tuning into a radio news bulletin. Now, the news finds you. Social media and the evolving web has changed how we find out about today’s breaking news stories. We have become less and less reliant on offline and online news outlets, and are instead finding out from within our networks on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Not to say that mainstream news is irrelevant, rather that social media is driving traffic there.

    And just recently, Jon Klein, Presdident of CNN had this to say,
    “The competition I’m really afraid of is social nets. We want to be the most trusted source. But on Facebook, people are depending on their friends as news sources.”

    With stories like the Michael Jackson’s death and the Hudson river plane crash either breaking or finding legs on social media, we’ve only just scratched the surface of where this is headed.

    Huson River Plane Crash

  3. Forget the water cooler. Shared experiences are happening online.
    The internet has transformed how we exchange information with each other. Rather than being reserved solely for times when we are hanging out socially at the backyard BBQ or around the water cooler, we now share what we are feeling, thinking or doing 24/7 on social networks. Instead of making us feel disconnected (as the skeptics predicted), we are in fact more connected now than ever before and with an ever larger network of people to boot!
    Social media has empowered us to share information in ways previously reserved for pundits and the media. We trust the recommendations of our peers over so-called experts and aren’t afraid to let the world know when we have a bad experience. You only need look at awards shows or events like the release of ‘Avatar’ to see how powerful social media can be at making, or breaking, your success. Similarly, brands are also more accountable than ever before and can no longer afford to ignore the conversation e.g. Domino’s, American Airlines, Dell, etc.

What do you think? Do these trends apply to your business? What other digital trends have you observed?

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