Posts Tagged ‘social’

Ditch the Wristbands: For Next Generation of Wearables, Dumb Clothes Get Smart

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As much excitement as there may be about wearable sensors, most of the activity tracking devices today are pretty lame. That’s because they’re often restricted to a certain body part — usually the wrist — and have limited access to what’s going on with the rest of the body, like heart rate, specific muscle activation, calorie intake, or even what the legs are doing. The fiery activated threads are a visualization; the Athos clothing won’t literally turn the wearer into a girl on fire. The next step in wearables may be for devices to move beyond jewelry and onto the rest of our bodies. But what’s gained in accuracy may be dampened by higher prices and lower convenience. There’s also the simple challenge of the washing machine. After all, physical activity leads to sweating. A company called Athos that launched this week had hoped to make garments with electronics embedded in them. When I met the company more than a year ago, the prototype had spiderwebs of wires glued onto it. Each shirt was going to cost something like $300. So the team revised its vision to make a wireless module that can be slipped into pockets on custom apparel so it lies flat on the skin. That’s not cheap either. Preorders for delivery to U.S. customers in the summer of 2014 cost $99 for tops, $99 for bottoms, and $199 for the Athos Core Module. “We are targeting individuals who are committed to fitness, ones who go out of their way to schedule in a workout, a ride or a yoga session,” said Athos founder DJ Jayalath, via email. “With regard to the price — it can be compared to being less than the price of five sessions with a personal trainer, or hundred dollars more than a Nike FuelBand and a pair of compression shorts.” The Athos workout gear has sensors throughout that pick up on muscle exertion from the chest, shoulders, arms, back, quads, hamstrings and glutes, plus heart rate and breathing. The module insert transmits that info over Bluetooth to iPhones and iPads (no Android yet)

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Facebook Testing Instapaper-Like "Save for Later Reading" Feature

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Facebook wants you to spend more time reading news on Facebook. The company is testing a feature that would allow users to save links shared inside Facebook to a list for later reading, according to recently surfaced mobile screenshots. The functionality is quite similar to the popular apps Pocket and Instapaper. “We’re constantly testing new features, but we have nothing further to share at this time,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . The feature, which was pointed out to AllThingsD by the technology blog MyTechSkool , comes in the form of a small iBook-like bookmark button attached to stories shared in the News Feed. Click the button, and the link will be set aside in a “saved” menu inside a user’s Facebook apps menu. Photo courtesy of MyTechSkool Facebook has made it clear that it wants to play more of a part in how people use the social network to discover and read articles from third-party publishers. In a redesign to its News Feed over the last year, more prominence and visibility has been placed on articles shared on Facebook (though this redesign, for whatever reason, has not yet rolled out widely to all users). “We want to give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper in the world,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at an event earlier this year . The company is also reportedly building its own newsreader-like feature, according to The Wall Street Journal — a further attempt to make Facebook a destination for media content and discovery. This recent test is apparently the second iteration of a “save for later” feature, though earlier efforts were less visible and not as easy to understand and use .

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Newt Gingrich Leads a Totally Digital Lifestyle

November 27, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Newt Gingrich Age 70 Accomplishments Co-host on CNN’s Crossfire (weeknights at 6:30); author; co-founder of Gingrich Productions; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Base Arlington, Va. What’s the first information you consume in the morning? I have a retired research director who edits world news for me across an extraordinary range of topics, and I get probably between one and two hundred emails a day from him. So I start every morning by scanning his emails. Tell us about your social media habits. I have Twitter and Facebook. My staff does Instagram for me—I haven’t gotten around to it. My wife [Callista] is a fanatic Instagrammer. Wherever we are, she’s taking pictures. What’s your favorite gadget? My No. 1 tech gadget is the iPad. I gave up my desktop computer. I have no use for it anymore. I have a laptop sitting at home, but it’s very unlikely I’ll use it.

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Facebook’s Teen Angst (Comic)

November 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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What Pepsi Discovered by Monitoring Millennials During the VMAs

November 25, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As a brand that has long had event sponsorship at the heart of its marketing formula, Pepsi sought a more scientific way to study the correlation between TV viewing and second-screen usage during live programming. So using research methods such as biometrics, the brand looked at consumer behavior during the MTV Video Music Awards telecast this past August—the top-rated entertainment program on cable among viewers aged 12-34 this year, and the most social non-sports TV event. What emerged were some surprising differences in media usage among millennials. During pivotal moments of the show—like Miley Cyrus’ twerk-tastic duet with Robin Thicke (which generated a record 360,000 tweets per minute)—consumers 18-26 immediately shifted from TV viewing to second screens. Meanwhile, those aged 27-34 stayed with the telecast, waiting to engage in social conversations. “The younger group already had their hands ready and immediately went to social media to start talking,” said Chad Stubbs, senior director of marketing at PepsiCo . “The show ebbed and flowed, and a key thing we learned was having a brand message throughout the show was important,” he added. “In the past, maybe we said we would need a big part at the beginning or the end.” Carolyn Kim, associate director of business intelligence at Pepsi agency OMD , pointed out that while there is not a wide disparity of ages among the millennial set, continual advances in technology have led to behavioral differences among those consumers.

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Twitter Beefs Up Site Security

November 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Twitter on Friday announced it had implemented another layer of security measures for its users, essentially adding insurance to protect user data against any potential future compromises of Twitter’s servers. The feature, called “forward secrecy,” is also used by other Internet companies such as Mozilla, Facebook and Google.

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Vine Goes Global With Added Language Support

November 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Vine, the six-second video-sharing app acquired by Twitter last year, announced support for 19 new languages on Thursday. The expansion is focused mostly on European and Asian countries, areas where Vine’s sister app, Twitter, is seeing some of its fastest growth.

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Bloglovin Tripled Traffic This Year as Tumblr-Plus-Reddit for Ladies

November 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

There’s a boom going on in women’s blogging, and a site called Bloglovin is one of the epicenters. The majority of bloggers are women — there are about four million female blog writers in the U.S., or 62 percent of the total, according to Nielsen. Common topics include style, healthy living, interior design and parenting. The readers are primarily women as well. And there are a crop of blogging companion tools, too: Women bloggers use fashion tools like Polyvore and ad networks like Blogher, and of course many of them hang out on Pinterest. Bloglovin started out as a prettier version of an RSS reader, and it’s evolved over time to be a portal for fashion and lifestyle content. The site’s audience of 10 million monthly unique visitors is 93 percent women, with a median age of 20, according to internal stats. Bloglovin says its traffic has nearly tripled since the beginning of this year, building on the introduction of a mobile reader app, widgets that show which readers follow which blogs, and a public aggregator for most-loved posts. Google Reader’s shutdown proved fruitful for the company, as Bloglovin rallied bloggers to tell their readers to follow them on its site. “We got thousands of blog posts about it,” Bloglovin CEO Mattias Swenson said in a recent interview. Basically, the site tries to be the interconnecting tissue between blogs and blog readers. Bloglovin shares many of the social-network-for-blogging tools that are familiar from Tumblr, but it can be used to read any blog site as well as larger news sites, too. The Bloglovin community tends to like things that are different from more general interest sites. “‘Fifteen non-alcoholic summer drinks’ was one of the most popular articles we ever had,” recalled Swenson. “We realized — this is not the stuff you’d see on Reddit.” “There’s something really powerful when you tie people together and help people organize the Web,” Swenson said, citing the young women’s shopping site Wanelo — see our profile here — as a parallel to Bloglovin, where a similar demographic of users curate shoppable content for each other. The most popular blogger on Bloglovin is Fashion Toast , aka Rumi Neely. With what appears to be a constant stream of stylish selfies, Neely has 330,000 followers on Bloglovin, compared to tens of thousands on other RSS readers combined, Swenson claimed. Bloglovin CEO Mattias Swenson Five-year-old Bloglovin was founded by a group of dudes — Swenson and his friends from high school — in Sweden, but earlier this year moved its headquarters to Betaworks in New York

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Pinterest Does Location: Not Just Pin Boards, but Now Pin Maps

November 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Pinterest on Wednesday launched Place Pins, where content can be saved with a location and then laid out on a map. The product from the buzzy social site is aimed to help users plan trips and create guides to their hometowns, both activities lots of them already tend to do. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann said at a launch event at the company’s San Francisco headquarters that the site’s users create 1.5 million travel-related pins per day, with 750 million of them in the system altogether. Now, instead of being displayed like other content on tiled boards, they’ll be shown on maps. Pinterest is launching the product for Web, Android and iOS at the same time. Users can send boards to friends with a couple clicks, and then can use them on the go from their phones. The maps were built with the help of Foursquare, Stamen and MapBox, which is why they’re prettier than the usual Google or Bing Maps. Partners like Airbnb, Yelp and TripAdvisor are also providing structured data that shows up in the pins. Place Pins are part of Pinterest’s larger mission to get people offline : To “inspire you to go out and do things you love,” Silbermann said. Plus, more than three-quarters of Pinterest’s traffic now comes from mobile — it has been the majority of traffic since August 2012 . Over the past year, the company — which is now valued at $3.8 billion, even though it has no revenue — also introduced features that structure pins about recipes, online shopping and articles.

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Snapchat CEO Says 70 Percent of Users Are Women

November 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Roughly 70 percent of Snapchat users are women, the chief executive of the messaging app said at a closed-door Goldman Sachs conference Wednesday. Co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel said Snapchat users are sending 400 million “snaps” a day on the service, where messages disappear after a few seconds, according to a person who was present at the meeting. He said half of Snapchat’s users have tried out “stories,” a feature the company introduced last month to link multiple messages together. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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