Yahoo Acquires Flickr, Target Launches Cartwheel, Bondsy, and Memorial Weekend in Boston

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Top Story: Yahoo Acquires Flickr, Launches Re-design

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In the wake of Yahoo!’s social media shopping spree, they have launched a newer, more hip version of the photo sharing site Flickr. While yahoo managed to acquire the property in 2005, they haven’t done much with the site until now.

The new redesign focuses on three main points. Flickr is now “biggr” meaning more storage is available to users, more “spectaculr” meaning now users can upload full-resolution photos, and of course is now available “wherevr” with ever-so-instagram-like iPhone upgrade.  Now you can host your photos, and of course as is in vogue, add filters.

The site itself is visually stunning. It harkens to the Pinners, Instagrammers, and Facebookers of the world by focusing solely on tiled picture searches. This gorgeous new layout definitely added some pepe to the previously bland white-space background, but will it resonate?

Yahoo! hopes that this will unleash Flickr’s full potential, but many are wondering if it’s too little too late, in light of their last-ditch effort to keep the failing company afloat with the recent acquisition of the Tumblr name (for which they paid a cool $1.1 Bil for). Time will tell with this brand. In the meantime, We want to know when Yahoo! Will invest in bringing back the billboard at the Bay Bridge.

What do you think? Is this Yahoo!’s comeback?

 

Under the Radar: Target Targets Millenials with Cartwheel Launch

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As society becomes more digital, online shopping gains greater popularity as people stray away from physical stores for the convenience of their mobile phones and home computers. Rather than ditching the traditional brick-and-mortar, Target is marrying the digital shopping experience with a physical visit to the store with its new “Cartwheel” application.

Cartwheel is a digital coupon app aimed at creating a more social shopping experience. Consumers use their Facebook accounts to sign in. Once they’re in, they can choose deals and discounts on products. Each Cartwheel user receives up to 10 spots to add coupons and acquires a badge for every item they add. Cartwheel then creates a single barcode for all deals in the “cartwheel.” Users must then go to a Target store, find the items, and have a sales associate scan the coupon.

Where does the social aspect come in? The deals chosen by Cartwheel users then appear in their Facebook Newsfeeds, sparking conversation about the deals with their friends and in turn generating free advertising for Target. The more users shop and talk about deals on Facebook, the more coupons, badges, and discounts they acquire.

Thanks to Target’s new Cartwheel application, shoppers now have the luxury of browsing items online, receiving some great savings, and combining their multiple coupons into a single one on their mobile device.

Do you think Cartwheel will attract more consumers to Target stores, or do you think it counteracts the ease of online shopping and home shipping?

 

Tool of the Week: Bondsy

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We’ve all been there – looking at something that we’ve outgrown or that just isn’t right for us, but would be great for someone else. You could use Ebay or Craigslist, but dealing with strangers just isn’t what you’re up for. In fact, you don’t even want to deal with money. Enter Bondsy, an iOS app bringing bartering into the 21st century.

Founded by Brazilian designer Diego Zambrano, the app allows users to trade anything they want to get rid of in exchange for anything their social connections have to offer. What sets Bondsy apart from other peer-to-peer marketplace models is its move away from purely financial exchange. Instead of money, the app places the real value of service on shared experience between connections.

“It’s beyond sales,” Zambrano says. “It’s about connections and how we interact with each other. When you’re not restricted to paying for things with cash, things get a lot more interesting.”a

When you sign up for the app, you can choose to allow access to your Facebook, Twitter, and phone contact list for a compilation of users in your existing networks who are currently on the app. From there you can see what your connections are looking to trade. Once you post an item you can choose what you are willing to trade for – anything from movie tickets to see The Great Gatsby to a home-cooked meal.

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Bondsy combines the classic trade system of bartering with the added benefits of a closed, social network. Would you use the app? What would you offer to trade?

 

Around the Hub: Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

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Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us. For most of us, that means a long-weekend of barbeque, brews, and beaches in the (hopefully) summer sun. While we’re off with family and friends enjoying the day, let us not forget the true reason for celebration.

If anyone has passed by the Boston Common the past few days, you can’t help but to notice the sea of American flags planted on the green. More than three hundred volunteers met on Wednesday to plant the 33,000 flags, each representing the life of a fallen service member from Massachusetts from present day all the way back to the Civil War.

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Yesterday, Mayor Thomas Menino and Governor Deval Patrick helped complete the garden with the remaining 170 flags, representing the number of Massachusetts service members who gave his or her life defending the country since September 11, 2001. Following the planting, the Mayor and Governor joined family members of the fallen service members for the reading of the names ceremony.

Started in 2011 by the Massachusetts Military Fund, a local non-profit dedicated to supporting the families of deceased Massachusetts military personnel, the flag garden is just one way to honor the bravery and strength of our military heroes.

For those looking for other Memorial services to participate in, here are a few:

Mount Hope Cemetery in Mattapan will host a ceremony and parade Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The short parade will begin inside the cemetery gate and march to the WWI and WWII Monument where the ceremony will be held.

On Memorial Day, an 8 a.m. service will be held at the Fogg-Roberts American Legion Post 78 in Hyde Park. From there, participants will march to a Mass at Most Precious Blood Parish at 43 Maple Street. They will return to the Post for the start of a tour of local veteran’s squares.

The procession will end at the Civil War Memorial at Fairview Cemetery for closing ceremony at 11 a.m.

Evergreen Cemetery in Brighton will also hold a Memorial Day observance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

That evening, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the city’s Veteran’s Services will host a free concert titled, “Remembrance 2013: A Musical Tribute to Our Heroes,” at Christopher Columbus Park at 6:30 p.m. The Metropolitan Wind Symphony and the Boston City Singers will perform.

Tumblr Adds Mobile Ads

via http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/22/4252442/tumblr-launches-mobile-ads
via http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/22/4252442/tumblr-launches-mobile-ads

Tumblr users will soon notice something different about their mobile-blogging experience. This past Monday, the microblogging and social networking site announced the launch of mobile ads on both its iOS and Android apps.

As users scroll through their mobile dashboards, they can expect up to four sponsored posts a day from paid partners. Unlike banner ads, these advertisements will appear as organic posts marked with a small, animated dollar sign. These posts can be “liked” or “reblogged” by users.

Prior to this update, Tumblr’s primary form of advertising was from a small area on its desktop site “Radar.” There, highlighted posts would show up on users’ dashboards, switching between sponsored promotions and content from Tumblr users.

Now, with the addition of mobile ads, advertisers are better able to target users on a more visible, growing platform. Advertisers at ABC Entertainment and ABC Family, as well as Warner Brothers were some of the first to post ads this week. Warner Brothers promoted teasers for their upcoming movies “The Great Gatsby” and “The Hangover III.” Other companies such as GE and Pepsi hope to capitalize from this new ad space as well.

With the vast expansion of the mobile ad market, this move comes as no surprise. According to eMarketer, a company that offers insights on Internet market research, U.S. mobile advertising is expected to be a $7.29 billion industry this year.

Having had a tumultuous relationship with advertisements, Tumblr stressed the need for an organic user experiment. In the past, Tumblr toyed with the concept of “pinned posts” in which users could pay $5 to pin a post at the top of their follower’s dashboards. The concept resulted in clutter and harsh feedback from Tumblr users.

However, Tumblr doesn’t seem to be backing away from the money pit any time soon. Tumblr hopes to eventually expand these ads into desktop computers using a similar model. A spokesperson for Tumblr expressed interest in this idea, but offered no timetable as to when this would happen.

What do you think of this new ad space? Will the addition of mobile advertisements prove worthwhile for Tumblr and brands alike?

 

*Written by Search Marketing Intern David Huang. David is a junior at Tufts University, graduating in 2014 with a degree in Economics.

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How to Experience New York Fashion Week with Social Media

Of course, there’s nothing better than actually being in New York for Fashion Week, but for most of us, that’s not possible. So, think of it this way: Instead, you can be at home snuggled under a blanket on your couch in a pair of ratty sweatpants with an extra-large bowl of ice cream. No one to judge the designers you are or aren’t wearing and no pain from too-high heels and massive amounts of walking. This is Fashion Week in 2012 and we can all participate in the events online and with social media. Life is good.

Cities across the country have begun holding their own versions of Fashion Week, but nothing compares to the one and only New York Fashion Week. Instead of being forced to wait for your favorite fashion publications to update their websites (though, to be honest, those guys can be pretty speedy!), you can actually watch 30 of the fashion shows live as they stream on Twitter. Not to mention, you can follow along with the brands and their show attendees on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and more. Consider this your guide to feeling like you’re at New York Fashion Week without actually having to leave your couch. Who’s popping the popcorn?

Twitter: Of course, the most important thing to know is to always be following hashtag #NYFW, but if you find that to be completely overwhelming (really, I was beyond overwhelmed with it before Fashion Week even started), you might want to put together a list of your favorite designers and follow their updates on Twitter. Here’s a great resource of the Fashion Week designers on Twitter.  Or you can follow #MBFW (slightly less overwhelming, but still non-stop). And for the record, @MBFashionWeek does a much better job posting relevant updates than @NYFW.

 

Even the Wall Street Journal is getting in on the action.  If you don’t care too much what the models are wearing at Fashion Week, perhaps you want to see what NYFW attendees are sporting? People will be using (at least the WSJ hopes so) the hashtag #myoutfitWSJ to show off what they’re wearing as they hit up the shows or the fabulous looks they see on others. Follow along

Facebook: You’ll definitely want to “like” Mercedes Benz Fashion Week ASAP and keep your eye on your Facebook news feed. But be sure to “like” all your favorite designers, too. And any fashion publications whose content you respect. The days of waiting for your favorite pubs to land in your mailbox are long gone as you can see their photos on Facebook first. BCBG already had their show yesterday and updated their Facebook page with lots of fun photos. Bonus points for using Instagram for so many of their photos! I’m hoping they’re setting an example for other designers in the days to come.

YouTube: 30+ fashion shows will be live streaming from YouTube’s Live From the Runway channel. Now you can pretend you’re actually sitting in the crowd. You’ll just miss out on that nifty swag bag.

Google+: Obviously Google will be getting Google+ into the action. Not only will there be hangouts on Google+ (Today with +TeenVogue editor +EvaChen212), but +LuckyMagazine will be posting exclusive behind-the-scenes photos all week long.

Tumblr: I’ll include blogs in here, too. I still prefer the speediness and laziness of Twitter, but if you’re getting your daily NYFW updates in small doses throughout the day, I highly recommend following New York Fashion Week’s feed of all Tumblr posts But Women’s Wear Daily does a fabulous job updating their Tumblr with NYFW posts and Kate Spade always stays on top of their Tumblr.

Pinterest: This is really the first New York Fashion Week where Pinterest has been a huge part of most of our lives. So, we can’t wait to see what designers do with their boards. Be sure to follow all your favorites now, so their pins show up in your stream. And though it doesn’t look like Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is doing too much on their Pinterest page, I’d follow them anyway.

Instagram: I saved this one for last because it’s kind of a given. Many designers and attendees will be shooting all their photos (or at least a few of them) on Instagram. You’ll be seeing these show up on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. throughout the week. But you can also go to the Instagram app on your smartphone and follow your favorite designers. Kate Spade on Instagram? Love. The same can be said for Mr. Marc Jacobs.

 

Foursquare Jumps on ‘Promoted’ Bandwagon with Promoted Updates

 

Foursquare rolled out their first advertising model at the end of July, an inevitable progression for any successful social network. However, this is also the moment that every user dreads because of the possibility of hurting the experience. There has been speculation for a long time as to what direction Dennis Crowley and his team would go to drive revenue besides brand partnerships (ex. badges) because that didn’t seem to be a sustainable and scalable revenue creator.

 

The first generation of advertising on Foursquare is almost identical to that of Twitter and, more recently, Tumblr. Twitter has Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends, while Tumblr recently announced Highlighted Posts. Foursquare’s recent announcement about their Promoted Updates shows that they have been unable to find a better model than Twitter and are avoiding (wisely) display ads that would anger their user base as with Twitter and Tumblr.

 

It appears that many social networks have found what they believe to be the key to advertising with promoted content. The only issue with this is that the more major advertisers spend, the more freedom they will want with their advertising type – Facebook already ran into this issue in a major way.

 

In the short-term, this may be a smart way for Foursquare to dip their toes in the world of advertising, but I do not believe it is a long-term solution that will entice large brands to invest serious dollars. So, here are what I see as a couple of potential options for Foursquare:

 

  1. Similar to Facebook Promoted Posts, Foursquare could allow brands to pay for the ability to reach a larger audience using a recent feature that allows merchants to send out updates to their “best customers” that are nearby. They currently only allow merchants to send a short amount of text with three photos to their best customers nearby – decided by check ins, whether people like it, and other information.
  2. Brands always want to control their own properties, and Foursquare could leverage this by creating a program that allows businesses to pay for a premium, customizable location page. This would complement the existing Promoted Updates well because companies could create a more powerful experience for the user once they have been pushed to the check in page.

While these may not the final answer for Foursquare, I believe they need to take a risk and step out of the shadow of Twitter to really convince major brands to spend money with them. What do you think of Promoted Updates?

451 Marketing

Make the Most out of your summer with Social Media

Finally, summer is here and we all have something to be excited about. Whether we attend picnics, enjoy grilling, love relaxing at the beach or like taking a refreshing dip in our local lake, summer is here and its time to enjoy everything June-August has in store for us!  Honestly, what could be better than spending the summer on the beautiful Atlantic coast? The answer, nothing!  But, the real question is, how can we make the most out of this summer and make it one we will always remember? Why not make use of all the awesome, exciting, innovative and most importantly, FREE social media platforms? But, where should we start? And, which platforms are best to use to finally have and remember our best summer ever?

Instagram: Now that Instagram has integrated with Facebook, it is easier than ever before for smartphone users to quickly take photos and upload them in minutes.  Not only can you share your summer moments instantly with friends on Facebook, but the best part is that your photos look professional! Use Instagram throughout the summer and customize your favorite moments: beach days, picnics, nights out, and categorize all of your memories from the summer of 2012.

Pinterest: If you don’t already have a Pinterest account, you are missing out. It is easy to start and once you get going, becomes addicting! Make different boards of summer content; from summer drinks, places for the perfect picnic, grilling techniques, salad recipes and the best east-coast beaches. With Pinterest you can make your summer last forever and share it with others with similar tastes. Even better, you can look to others on Pinterest for inspiration on how to enjoy the hot summer months or to learn that new Sangria recipe.

Spotify: What would a summer be without music? If you have an iPhone, you can even download this for free! Spotify helps you make the most out of your summer by listening to your favorite tunes, anytime, anywhere! This app is awesome because not only can you use it for parties at your friend’s place, but you can take this with you to the beach, on road trips, or wherever the summer months may take you.

 

Tumblr: Creating a blog is a great way to share your summer memories and to have an online scrapbook titled “Summer 2012”. Tumblr is a great outlet for those who are new to blogging or for those of you that want to share more than just summer stories. This social platform allows you to customize your summer through sharing pictures, videos, music, stories, pretty much anything that you want to remember and share with friends and family. Plus, you can even update it through your iPhone!

Meetup: Want to step out of your comfort zone this summer and do something to better yourself and help out others in the process? Then check out this site where you can organize, search and join local groups in order to make a difference in someone’s life this summer!


 Written by 451 intern, Sarah Meandro, a graduate student at Roosevelt University ’12 majoring in integrated marketing communications.