We discussed whether brands should still try to be their customers’ friends – which I think about daily. Gossage says no and you know I love me some simple Fina copy. But my favorite topic was at the end: social media and children – (Facebook’s new messenger app for children under 13). Yikes, right. I was the strongly anti-FB voice. More on why later.
The white supremacist internet radio advertising topic was timely because marketers are worried across all platforms about their ads being served next to problematic (racist, violent, or other discriminatory) content. And there’s no great solution today. Check out Mitch Joel‘s post-show insights on why internet radio is different from podcasting:
…But, there’s one fatal flaw that many brands haven’t considered: it’s largely a wild west on the content front. Without knowing it, many brands are unwittingly sponsoring some fairly unsavory shows including those supporting racism or even terrorist thinking.
It was a pleasure joining Mitch again and speaking with Kate O’Neill for the first time. Even with just the three of us and Bob, this was a solid episode full of debate and exploring tangible realities like tin foil tech when it comes to ads.cert, and more philosophical ideas surrounding brands and parenting.
Nextdoor is a neighborhood social networking app used by more than 150,000 neighborhoods in the U.S, It’s a great app in so many ways. The initial product was unique and filled a need that most people didn’t realize they had (like innovative, successful products do, #PC #ipod). Nextdoor offered utility and community that Facebook couldn’t. But Nextdoor is so focused on monetizing through local business promotion (sponsored content) that they seem to have forgotten the importance of user experience, namely in the P2P buying/selling area.
Until 2016, Nextdoor had been entirely funded by venture capital firms including Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tiger Global Management and others.
Recently, we have begun testing sponsored content from a select group of businesses who we believe have valuable products and services to share with Nextdoor’s members. We are also testing allowing local real estate agents and brokerages to promote listings in their zip codes. –Nextdoor
The biggest problem is the search functionality, which is abysmal. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to search results. They are infuriatingly unhelpful. It’s like the app wants to show you that once upon a time there was a perfectly relevant post but now you’re SOL. Recency is paramount for this type of app, focused on quick sales or neighborhood updates. The content is mostly fleeting and time-sensitive.
For example, search “table” and you’ll see six-month old posts but nothing new, even if a table was posted to the classifieds section yesterday.
You can’t access your own activity easily. Also, I don’t know if it’s my issue but there is no way to get your iPhone to add a visual notification badge (red number) to the Nextdoor icon. So you have to check your email or keep opening the app, which you forget to do, and then miss PMs, and the agave plant you were eyeing gets sold to someone down the block.
I once worked for a home services review provider in the same space. I predicted Nextdoor would eat that company’s lunch. They are, as is Amazon Home Services (fantastic, smart model there – go Bezos GO.)
Why Nextdoor is Special
Here’s what I saw two years ago: Nextdoor offers a convenient, focused platform for a select group (a tribe, more importantly) based on location. It’s the closest thing to an inherently trustworthy digital community you can find and its geo restrictions keep it relevant. Neighbors on Nextdoor just trust each other more when transacting or discussing. There’s more respect. Because it’s literally your neighbors. That is unique online.
But Nextdoor is going to need to invest heavily in a better UX if they want to survive the war of Classifieds with Facebook Marketplace utterly dominating the P2P selling space.
Facebook: Talk about great UX. That GD app which is the entire internet for most people may well beat out Craigslist for (G-rated) selling because it offers social proof and greater trust among sellers and buyers, plus total convenience because its messages are right inside Facebook versus your throwaway email. Easy mobile photo upload and price adjustment notifications to users watching your listing make the experience better for all. It’s a better experience than listing on Nextdoor, and clearly Zuck has already figured out monetization. Nextdoor needs to clean up the selling/buying features or there won’t be many users left to see the ads.
By the way, here’s the funniest Craigslistmoment I’ve had in years. I was shopping for a table, and used my Google Voice number as usual to maintain some privacy:
This was the most serious BeanCast I’ve been on, understandably so in the wake of Weinstein / the #MeToo movement and news confirming Russia’s interference in our presidential election. Our brand loyalty chat was really interesting too, especially with Farrah’s insights from market research suggesting that there really is no loyalty. The discussion was so intense that we ran about 15 minutes over the hour mark. P.S. I second Rachel’s recommendation for the 10% Happier App – meditation for fidgety skeptics. It’s great.
This Fourth of July, I had a memorable WTF moment with one of the rudest people I’ve ever met. What makes it noteworthy is that many consider his behavior normal. I tell the story in this interview with StandFor: Technology as an Escape Mechanism
…To put it in context with technology: the Like button came out in 2009, then Facebook’s first mobile app was released in 2010, but it was pretty awful. Smartphones outsold PCs for the first time in the last quarter of 2011. Facebook improved its app, and with every iteration, it became smoother and more addictive, fueling phubbing.
In the U.S., having and responding to work email on your phone at all hours became expected as smartphone use increased, encouraging the unhealthy always-on worker mentality. The pendulum swung further when Instagram hit a penetrative point, having 150 million MAUs by late 2013, three years after launch.
I’d say 2012-2013 is when phubbing became really noticeable.
These social apps are engineered to be highly addictive. It’s a business that profits off usage. I noticed people checking their phones not just for text messages (actual communication) but being addicted to refreshing their social feeds like slot machines (passive, receptive entertainment) because the apps for Facebook and Instagram became so addictive. Facebook became the internet for many people. These apps are designed to encourage addictive checking just like cigarettes and McDonald’s fries cause cravings. Smartphones with apps, messaging, and email provide what became a socially acceptable escape mechanism for the boring or awkward moments of daily life…
I hopped on The BeanCast to discuss the fickleness of influencer programs and whether content marketing offers up truly better results. Facebook will offer mid-roll video ads– ugh. This seems like a cash grab to me, and is at the very least cart before the horse considering their tracking failures with existing pre-roll. Of course Facebook has ambitions to advertise on connected TV apps and mid-roll on the site/app may just be research, but I’m not a fan. That said, audiences will probably deal with it, as Zuck has a great batting average at predicting what users will tolerate.
A sloth is the featured image because Twitter’s $99/month premium subscription plan (in private beta now) seems like way for non-marketers and small businesses to check a box that won’t really do much for them. Tamsen zeroes in on the appeal of this budgetable expense. Then we talk about GIFs – how marketers should use them, and the fact that we’re probably devoting too much time to discussing GIFs.