Facebook had a mixed week: While it beat analysts expectations by reporting $2 billion in revenue, the news that led coverage was the fact that young teens are using the site less. The following slide from The Huffington Post makes for worrying reading for Facebook. The amount of teens rating the social network as important has dropped from 42% to 23% – but not to worry too much: Instagram is up from 12% to 23%. Also, it’d really be interesting to know what that ‘Other’ category is made up of.
I jest – but while Instagram is growing in importance for teens, it still isn’t as important as Facebook. Perhaps then, there are different forces at play here?
Generation Analog and the Myth of the Digital Native: An fascinating article on Mobile Youth takes an ethnographic look at human interaction, arguing that an online interaction will never be able to pass on as much unspoken or unwritten information as a face-to-face interaction.
“Offline is the moment of truth. When it comes to the jugular issues of trust and emotion, you can’t cheat the offline world.”
The piece goes on to talk about how our mobiles are the perfect link between our online and offline lives – perhaps an explanation of why platforms such as Instagram, Vine or Snapseed are growing in importance. They provide a quick, simple and always on method of capturing our experiences with friends.
“Mobile phones are a proxy, a surrogate for our times; mobile phones are the tools that can help maintain but not improve our social networks. What youth really want from technology is emotion and connectivity to support the offline world.”
Or, to put that differently:
“Take offline out of the equation and all that online stuff becomes meaningless.”
A top read that I do encourage you to spend some time on!
What’s Google+ up to then? Well, according to this recent blog post it looks like they’re no longer going after the social networking market. Instead, the play seems to be one of media management and enhancement with some nifty new image editing tools.
They’ve integrated the excellent Snapseed mobile platform, which in turn has just added an excellent HDR photo filter that will bring much more depth to your shots and the ‘Auto Awesome’ features look like they will allow you to pull of very impressive photo manipulations in just a few clicks.
For example – going from this…
Twitter overloads on images: Twitter too, has updated their platform and mobile apps in an attempt to make it more image (read: marketer) friendly – providing you use Twitter’s image platform. Flickr doesn’t seem to display automatically nor does Instagram (but that’s no surprise) – it’s supposed to pull in Vines automatically, but I haven’t seen any yet. What it means: more space in feeds to get your message across (after all, an image is worth a little more than seven Tweets), but probably also more time waiting for images to load, likely for images they don’t care about.
Also new with the update are permanent shortcuts to reply, retweet, fave and to the Twitter menu – giving the feed and even more cluttered look. And on the mobile app, you do end up seeing less content on the screen, which is annoying.
How We Shop, Live and Look: According to research commissioned by John Lewis, Brits shop all day long via the web and what they buy is increasingly influenced by news and entertainment events they see on screen. Some interesting facts that caught my eye:
- Sales of food mixers jumped 62% during the Great British Bake Off
- Online searches for trainers spiked during Andy Murray’s triumphant run at Wimbledon
- Prime-time for online shopping is in the evening, 5-11pm
- Board games are set to be a hit this Christmas, with sales already up 17% on last year
Think you’ve got your finger on the pulse? Try The Telegraph’s quiz based on John Lewis research (also: kudos to the PR bods at John Lewis for wall-to-wall coverage this week on this story).
Videos of the week: A gory clip by – oh, you know what, I won’t say – featuring a lot guts, blood, a healthy dose of eyeballs. Perfectly timed to launch on Halloween (HT @CharlieJHSmith.
Starbucks’ Tweet-a-coffee let’s you buy a friend on Twitter a coffee.
Want to live in Berlin for free for a year? No worries. All Lufthansa needs you to do is change your name to Klaus-Heidi (the Berliner accent in the clip is atrocious, but it’s a clever campaign idea).
And finally: Tim Minchin’s nine brilliant life lessons.