Here’s what I see coming for voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Lots of marketing opportunities here, and perhaps finally one eco-system to combine all social app data. More on that later.
What date did I move to San Francisco?
Who joined me at the Bruce Springsteen concert a few years ago?
What was the name of that Portland, Maine dive bar on the water with the oysters we loved?
When did I first buy raw maca powder?
That’s fairly simple stuff. The required data sources (which we’re already comfortable sharing) include:
Apps like Timehop can already tap into high level info like this and tell you where you were three years ago, but the social and detail layers will require more information and networked data.
What did I wear to Blackdiamondskye?
Which outfit should I wear today?
What topics did I research after my first lunch with Sandra?
Mobile GPS data (location services) from apps like Google Maps
Passbook (boarding passes, movie ticket stubs, event badges)
Messaging app history (iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.)
When was I happiest during the time I lived in New York?
Which job offer suits me best?
When did I know I was in love?
Everything we say and type? No – just all of the aforementioned sources, plus a future wearable or implanted device to monitor energy. Triangulate the data and apply some algorithms and AI.
Essentially, I think everything I currently rely on Evernote for will be available through a voice assistant that is continually self-improving a personalized tagging convention and data-rich picture of who I was, who I am, and who I will be (how I will behave).
Location, check-in, and social data – your digital footprint – will be accessible. Visuals included. The more you check in and document your every move, the richer your look-backs will be. This is similar to the re-do in my favorite Black Mirror episode, The Entire History of You, except what I envision is not based on a 24/7 life recorder, but an aggregation of experiential data shared by permission.
ICYMI – The Entire History of You premise: In an alternate reality, most people have a “grain” implanted behind their ear. It records everything they see, hear, and do, like a first person recorder for life. This allows memories to be (quite realistically) played back either in front of the person’s eyes or on a screen, a process known as a “re-do”.
I’m not advocating for a grain implant or anything as terrifying as what’s available in this show. But the personal data recall possibilities are pretty exciting.
Upside: wonderful for re-experiencing memories or pulling up information quickly.
Downside: our memories will get even weaker because we will exercise that muscle less and less. Oh, and privacy.
In the last 1-2 years we’ve seen a trend of complimenting brands who are “rocking” Snapchat and other relatively new one-to-one social messaging apps. (I prefer Allison Steele’s term: attention deficit content creation platforms.)
After 5-10 years of oversharing, narcissism, and selfie culture resulting in enough privacy backlashes, firings, and divorces, many users are crunching inwards toward more private communication. Brands automatically assuming they belong in this new crop of apps is a me-too mistake, the result of too much demand for rapid reaction.
Where is the data indicating that Taco Bell, McDonald’s, General Electric, Heineken, the New Orleans Saints, 16 Handles, etc. are successful on Snapchat?
Brands on Snapchat hope to reach Millennials (those born in roughly the early 1980s to the early 2000s). Targeting a demo whose childhoods were filled with every-loser-gets-a-trophy-for-showing-up has translated to brands showing up – without even keeping score – being considered winners.
You can’t measure engagement within Snapchat.
A snap can’t benefit from the interaction of a Like, retweet, favorite, or share. Brands get more buzz off the flowery Mashable campaign coverage written by AYSO trophy-saturated writers who continually fail to proofread (a symptom of “A for effort”? – this is too easy). I’ve personally seen brand impressions from articles lauding the “organic/intimate/forward-thinking/risk-taking” efforts of marketers and their agencies for experimentation with Snapchat, Vine, etc. worth more than any fleeting impact the disappearing content may have on consumers. Not only do the messages disappear, the attention span of their target user base is the shortest on the planet.
Resources devoted to Snapchat when your other social ducks are anemic makes good linkbait when we’re all tired of hearing about the reach woes of Facebook and ineffective YouTube pre-roll. Instead of fixing problems on platforms with better tracking, targeting, reach, and content longevity, it’s easier and more fun to make stop motion videos. Now, Snapchat’s 32.9% penetration among 18-34 year-olds should not be ignored. And if you want to reach 18-25 year-olds with exclusive content – things like limited time coupons, flash sales, and behind-the-scenes footage – I see the draw. But where is the yardstick?
Lastly, we all know what Snapchat is for. Do you really want a brand’s snap next to your sext? The proximity alone should cause a panic attack.
Andrew Cunningham at HUGE wrote a nice summary of considerations if you choose to market with Snapchat. I am not saying avoid it: I’m saying stop handing out trophies for showing up at try-outs.
It’s a mobile messaging app that allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after a short time once the recipient opens the message (after 1-10 seconds or 24 hours for Stories). As of July 2014, users were sending 700 million photo messages each day, up from 400 million in October 2013.
This week on the Digital Dive, we discuss the way technology has radically changed the world of dating and relationships – for better and for worse. Take a walk through the good, the bad, and the ugly ways that social media, online dating sites, search engines, and apps impact the experience of romance in modern culture. Is the level of transparency afforded by technology a good thing?
I. “Facebook me.” – When first meeting, how soon should you share your social profile? Is sharing a social profile more intimate than sharing a phone number? (I say yes.)
II. Online dating websites – The popularity of online dating sites has ballooned over the past few years, and the average age of users is dropping. Melanie and I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of meeting organically vs. meeting online. Is there still a stigma to online dating?
III. Breaking up digitally – “Out of sight, out of mind”is increasingly difficult as individual online presences grow. Avoiding an ex online can be almost impossible when you have mutual friends. Listen for websites and apps that can help ease the pain.
Tips on Tap:
I. Block Your Ex – Browser add on that blocks you from seeing your ex on social media, search engines, and blog networks. blockyourex.com
II. Never Liked it Anyway – Online marketplace to sell gifts from exes that are too hard to keep. neverlikeditanyway.com
In 2007, a reporter asked former Google CEO Eric Schmidt an “easy question:” What is Web 3.0?
After some grumbling about “marketing terms,” Schmidt obliged, saying that, to him, Web 3.0 is all about the simplification and democratization of software development, as people would begin to draw on the tools and data floating around in the Internet “cloud” to cobble together custom applications, which they would then share “virally” with friends and colleagues. -Rough Type, What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 Vision
Already in motion, the no longer air-quoted Web 3.0 will be the Internet’s vast data semantically linked to generate a highly efficient, customized user experience. Even physical objects like food containers will have an online address. (We can see early iterations of hardlinking with QR codes right now.) In 2010, farmers began receiving data from cattle transmitting gigabytes of biological and geographical status updates. Your home will become more communicative, with electricity and water usage data sent to the cloud. TripIt will talk to my Brinks Home Security account when I’m on vacation. Don’t be afraid, this is progress. Knowledge is power. AI can be good. The semantic web facilitates machines to understand the meaning of information online.
You will be continuously logged in, not having to re-enter passwords. Sharing with a friend will pull the contextually relevant contacts from your list, aggregating your address book, social network, and suggested second-degree mutual friends. Today, user-generated content (UGC) not only constitutes an increasing amount of online data; it affects consumer behavior more than advertising does. In April 2011, “people who read customer ratings and reviews for Dell products [were] 138% more likely to make a purchase.” UGC will inform even more information and behavior. However, the format will change skins and become more concise.
We have largely unnetworked, unlinked data. It would be an historically accurate prediction to expect a micro crunch from the exploding conversational and social Web 2.0. But can you envision a trend reversal of the send-happy, prolific publishing of the average Facebook user’s 90 average pieces of monthly content? Google+ indicates a step toward Web 3.0 because it aggregates data and is cloud. Google Plus may seem similar to Facebook, but in key ways is a departure and progression.
We’re going to the cloud and bringing inanimate objects with us. Once there, micro personal status updates will be overshadowed by immense opportunity. On the current trajectory, I predict that this shift will seem like a big bang, but comprise small behavioral crunches. I.e., we will seem to share much more data, but it will be more 0’s and 1’s and less OMGs; more meaningful bytes overtaking 360 billion pieces of mostly banal user-generated content.