April Fools' Day brings brand pranks, Amazon goes for service and buttons, the disparate use of smartphones by age, global social media ad spending for 2014, new features from Facebook, Twitter gets into the curation game, Tumblr hires a CMO, the AP bans "ridesharing," Airbnb moves into Cuba, the types of staff you need on a content team, NPR's podcasting strategy, the legal ramifications of livestreaming, the single common trait of good leaders and more, it's This Week in Digital.
A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.
Each week, we compose a newsletter that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, business, digital communications and marketing in order to keep leaders up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in your job. Please subscribe - either to our full feed or just to this newsletter to keep up to date on developments.
Note: we'll be off this week; if you’re on Flipboard, you can get some links by subscribing to the This Week in Digital Magazine.
- Here's a roundup of some April Fool's pranks by brands. Once again, brands used April 1st as their annual display of personality. (AdWeek)
- Amazon launched its Dash button - a single mountable button that consumers can place around the home to submit orders for staples when their inventory is running low. No, it was not an April Fools' joke. (WSJ Digits blog)
- Amazon is also beginning to offer Home Services, allowing users to summon plumbers, electricians and other handymen who provide services to the many products that Amazon sells. This puts the e-retail giant in direct competition with service providers like Angie's List. (The Verge)
- T-Mobile [client] is crowdsourcing its coverage maps as customers self-report the strength of their signals. (USA Today)
- Learning new skills is never easy. But in the age when the PR and marketing industries are seeing more overlap, it's critical to put your mind to cross-training yourself. (SHIFT Communications)
- A new Pew Research Center study on the U.S. smartphone use (click for report) indicates that 7% of Americans use their phones only for Internet access, and that there is a significant digital age divide in users, with . (Engadget and Multichannel)
- 75% of users aged 18-29 indicate using their phone to watch a video at least once a week, compared with 46% of those 30-49 and only 31% of those 50 and older.
- Almost a third (31%) said they used the phones to "avoid people around you" (that figure was 47% for 18-29s), and more than half used them to settle arguments. The vast majority of 18-29s (93%) also said they used their phones to "avoid being bored."
- Global social media advertising grew 41% in 2014 to $15.3 billion; Facebook accounted for 75% of the spend - and this is without China as a market. (Marketing Land)
- Together, Facebook and Twitter will account for 33% of the digital display market by 2017, while Google and Yahoo begin to slip. (eMarketer)
- The future looks bright for native advertising. According to a a report, $7.9 billion is expected to be spent by marketers this year, with as much as $21 billion by 2018. (Business Insider Intelligence)
- Google is bringing together files and photos in Google Drive. (Google Drive Blog)
- A new feature called Riff will give Facebook users the ability to create collaborative videos with clips submitted by friends. (TechCrunch)
- If you don't want to give your kids their own Facebook accounts but still want to tag them in photos, Facebook is giving users an option called Scrapbook to do just that. (Business Insider)
- Facebook's Nostalgia feature resurfaces past posts On This Day - but some people want to put unhappy memories behind them. Another reason to post only positive news and stories on social media. (The Verge)
- Twitter has launched Curator, a competitor to Storify that lets media organizations, publishers, and broadcasters identify, filter and display tweets and Vine videos on any screen in real-time. (TechCrunch)
- Twitter is testing advertising placements in your profile. No word yet on whether they'll throw one into your bio or avatar automatically, though. (re/code)
- Periscope / Meerkat
- There's a lot of potential for Twitter to become a more powerful news source as Periscope provides the opportunity for live video coverage of breaking news and events. (SocialTimes)
- While the death of Meerkat may have been exaggerated, the journalism around the initial coverage was lacking, to say the least. (Mashable and BGR)
- Aside from being a huge data hog, these livestreaming apps to have one downfall: it's difficult to communicate on live video and reply to all of those comments simultaneously. Oh great, another social channel that can be used for broadcast messaging only. (Fusion)
- LinkedIn has acquired Refresh, an app that gives users information on LinkedIn contacts with whom they have meetings scheduled their calendars (WSJ Digits blog)
- Tumblr has named its first CMO. (re/code)
- Airbnb has announced its expansion into Cuba. No word on whether Castro will open the Presidential Palace to overnight visitors. Cuba libre, anyone? (TIME)
- The Associated Press is cracking down: the AP has banned the term "ridesharing" for services like Lyft and Uber, as it deems the term inaccurate. The preferred term? Ride-hailing. (Greater Greater Washington)
- French startup Drivy, a service that allows customers to rent a car from anyone, has acquired Buzzcar and raised $8.6 million. (TechCrunch)
- An Uber driver in Denver was arrested when he attempted to burgle the house of a passenger he had just dropped off at the airport. (The Guardian)
- Unrelated: Uber just hired a chief security officer - the former head of security at Facebook. (New York Times)
- It's Uber for jets: you can now charter private jets with friends for as low as $317 per person. Let's hope they screen their pilots better than Uber screens its drivers. (NextShark)
- If there's one thing that represents table stakes in content marketing, it's good grammar. How's your grammar? 69% of brands don't pass the test. (Marketing Land)
- When you're putting together a content marketing plan, you'd better think out your team. Great content marketing isn't anything without a killer team - and there are about 10 types of individuals you'll need.(B2B Marketing Insider)
- Flipboard is launching a Private Magazines option for groups of individuals that wish to share content among themselves. Sounds like a great option for projects, brainstorms and planning. You can find my public Flipboard magazines here. (TechCrunch)
Have you got your ticket yet for Content Marketing World 2015 in September? Thousands attend this signature event for the content marketing industry - you can register here.
[Disclosure: affiliate link]
- NPR's podcasting strategy is quite savvy. From cross-promoting to linking similarly themed shows, they're growing their listers. (Poynter)
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- Marketing data is not always intuitive. In fact, Christopher Penn calls out a stupid metric that too many people focus on. (Awaken Your Superhero)
Privacy / Security / Legal
- The uptick in personal live streaming (PLS) has gotten a lot of attention recently. But, Ryan Garcia argues, it's always a good idea to think through the legal ramifications of livestreaming. (SoMeLaw Thoughts)
- One area that's going to be next to impossible to control: pirating via livestream. (The Atlantic)
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- The Economist has taken the view that advertising is nice, and we’ll certainly take money where we can get it, but we’re pretty much expecting it to go away. Tom Standage takes a look at digital strategy and the limits of an advertising-based model. (Nieman Labs)
- You're always inundated with events and conferences to attend. Here are 9 questions to help you determine which events are worth your time. (Hubspot)
- Before you go on that rant, think twice. This former CFO ended up on food stamps because of a tirade about a social issue that he posted on YouTube. (ABC News)
- One of the common traits of a leader is the ability to effectively persuade teams and individuals. While this might seem intuitive, in practice it's not quite so easy to achieve. A manager makes himself seem like the most important person in the room; a leader makes you feel like the most important person in the room. (strategy+business)
Image credit: YouTube (Miz Mooz)