With spring finally in the air, and our new website finally launched, I thought it was time to bring back our weekly “Things You Need To Know” post. From Twitter experimenting with placing ads in your profile to people going through their monthly mobile data allowance by “Periscoping” and “Meerkating” all over the place, it’s been another busy week. Here’s what we think you might want to know about.
According to a December 2014 by Principal Financial Group, 70 percent of Millennials surveyed said having financial security was their top priority and 60 percent were also focused on making a comfortable salary. The two kind of go hand-in-hand, no?
In another study by Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), just over half of US internet users ages 18 to 34 were worried about not having enough money in their emergency savings fund, 42 percent feared not being able to pay off monthly expenses, and toughly 33 percent were concerned about not being able to pay off student loan debt or not being able to retire.
Even with all those concerns about money, surprisingly only about 25 percent of Millennials surveyed were working with financial professionals to manage their finances. More than one-third didn’t want to pay a fee for advice, and a quarter didn’t think they could afford to work with a financial professional. So, they’re worried…but cheap!
Older Millennials are open to paying for financial services, though. Note to marketers there, pay attention, here’s an opportunity. Lastly, a February 2015 study by SNL Financial found that US mobile banking app users ages 26 to 35 were the most willing to pay to use banking apps. Maybe because, we’re old. And scared. Or just old. I know I love my mobile banking apps!!
Twitter is testing promoted tweets on some profile pages, according to a Re/code report. While these test ads will only be displayed for Twitter users who are logged in, it’s possible that could change down the road once the company’s recently reported deal with Google — one that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said would take “several months” before we see anything come of it — officially rolls out.
While Twitter’s deal with Google all but ensures people will eventually notice tweets in their Google search results, it also means those same people are likely to visit Twitter.com, provided they click on content. Once that happens, they could see promoted tweets on user profiles, too. As if ads in toilet stalls wasn’t bad enough.
According to data from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, loyalty programs are among the most effective mobile campaigns. According to Christopher Barnard, president of loyalty commerce transactions and currency management firm Points, loyalty comes first, and mobile payments will follow.
People used to think writing a check was easy enough, Barnard pointed out. “But credit cards became more interesting for people to use as a new form of payment when miles were added to them.”
The killer app for mobile and loyalty, according to Barnard, will come when an app developer succeeds in marrying as much data as possible about the consumer and the loyalty programs she participates in with offers from multiple retailers or brands—and especially if that app incorporates location-based offers, loyalty program data, and payment capability.
Sure enough, we’re already starting to see people report that thanks to using these apps — which allow anyone to easily broadcast live streaming video to the world from their iPhone or Android phone — they’ve gone over their monthly mobile data limits.
The amount of data a stream uses varies from service to service, and of course, if you’re Meerkating or streaming from Periscope using Wi-Fi, then it’s probably not an issue. But Ryan Cooley, the co-founder of Meerkat, told VentureBeat that 40 percent of all the streams on the service are broadcast over carrier networks.
However, David Gibbons, the vice president of marketing at Ustream, long a leading provider of live-streaming technology, said users of that service could typically expect to safely stream about seven or eight hours of video without going over their caps.
To Gibbons, it’s all about market pressures. The more people see the need for services like live-streaming apps, the more “people are going to want free access to data everywhere.”
At the same time, Gibbons added, as people use more and more video, there will be increasing pressure on the developers of services like Meerkat, Periscope, Ustream, and Stre.am to come up with more efficient video compression technology.
According to the research, messaging app retention was higher than that of total mobile apps worldwide between January 2014 and 2015—and the former actually expanded the gap over the course of the year.
However, the research revealed one key way to boost app retention: Interaction post-download. Among apps where the makers proactively reached out to users in some way during the first month of install, the average retention rate was 57 percent, vs. 25 percent for those with no interaction. After one year, mobile apps that interacted with users saw retention of 25 percent, compared with a mere seven percent among those with no interaction. Take note of that if you’re developing an app. Don’t develop, launch and forget your users … or chances are good they’ll forget you! And if that happens, don’t you kind of deserve it?
Google just introduced a whole new kind of Chrome OS computer—a dongle that plugs into any HDMI-equipped display. It’s called a Chromebit, and it isn’t your run-of-the-mill streaming stick. For under $100, you’re looking at a full computer that plugs right into your TV.
It won’t be the most powerful PC you could plug into a TV, but it shouldn’t be too bad for the browser-based OS.
Look for this one in the summertime… and don’t expect it to be the only Chromebit. Google product management VP Caesar Sengupta tells us we can expect other computer companies to build dongle-PCs as well. Oh, and don’t expect the Chromecast to go away, either. Google says the streaming stick is a totally separate product that fills a different need.
Flyp is a new iOS/Android app that lets you have up to six different phone numbers simultaneously active on your smartphone. The first number is free and each additional “premium” phone number (a maximum of five) costs $2.99 per month (or $29.99 per year) to maintain. The Flyp app manages all the numbers, voicemail, text messages, and notifications. Announced at SXSW 2015, the app is actually live in the iOS store and Google Play today.
It’s also important to note that the intention of and messaging behind Flyp is different from other disposable number apps out there. Flyp numbers are instead permanent numbers—or at least last as long as you keep paying your monthly bill.
At only $2.99 a month per number, it seems like an affordable option for a second (or third or fourth or fifth) phone number. I think that’s kind of cool, what about you?
A new third-party website, Periscope Streams, makes it easy to get an overview of everything that’s live-streaming on Periscope. The service shows each stream as a thumbnail and lets you jump right in with a single click.
The same team also built Meerkat Streams, which helps surface all streams on Periscope’s competitor, Meerkat, as well.
As Facebook’s core audience has aged, there are a lot more users with kids who (as we all know!) post thousands of baby photos onto profiles. Facebook is now making it easier to collect photos strewn across various albums with a new Scrapbook tool. It basically lets you tag your children in photos so you can collect them in one place, even if your two-year-old doesn’t have her own Facebook account. You can then share the Scrapbooks with your friends. I’m not very much of a fan of this, for privacy (your kid’s privacy, that is), but time will tell how this plays out.
Scrapbooks can be co-owned with your partner to make it easier for parents and guardians to work together on the albums. Only you and your partner can tag children in the photos.
To start a scrapbook, go to your profile, click About, and then the Family and Relationships section. You’ll see the option to create a scrapbook there. Please, do yourself, and your kids, a favor and think about this long and hard before doing it.
This week Twitter released of an update to the TweetDeck Mac app, which now brings teams support and more to Twitter’s software for power users, including the ability to view GIFs and videos in-line, DM in groups, share tweets via DM, and other features.
TweetDeck Teams is the real killer addition among the bunch. The new feature allows a Twitter user who manages a given account to delegate access to as many others as they like, then remove that access when it’s no longer required. To do so, the process is fairly simple – the user selects the account they want to provide access to, then types in the name of the delegates to authorize. Those users then receive an email invite which they have to accept in order to join the team.
The TweetDeck Mac app update also brings a number of other features, including the ability for multiple users to chat via direct messages (DMs) as well as the ability to share a tweet through a DM to others. You can also now share up to four images with a tweet through the TweetDeck interface, and GIFs and videos will now play in-line. All we can say here is that it’s about time! We’ve long loved TweetDeck, but when you have many people who need to be a part of day-to-day community management, HootSuite (or some other dashboard) usually won out. Definitely check this out if you’re a TweetDeck fan like we are.
Google announced today that it will make photos from Google+ available within users’ Google Drive accounts. It’s a handy new feature for people who use Google+ to store their digital images.
Could this move be more evidence that Google plans to dismantle Google+ and concentrate more on the sum of its parts, especially the popular photo and Hangouts features?
Google’s official silence about the social network that it regularly touted as a priority is only fueling the fire, making it natural that any new wrinkle inspires fresh reading of the tea leaves.
The Drive update, which is rolling out today on iOS, Android and the web, will create a new photo folder within Drive. New photos will start appearing immediately and the full Google+ library will be available in a few weeks. Users will be able to organize photos within Drive folders, but that organization will not be reflected within Google+.
A Ride Through Time! WARNING: May Contain Naked Hot Chicks (not really, that’s not true at all—no naked chicks) This might be the best thing on the Internet this week. I promise.
photo credit: First Meerkat App Stream From Helicopter Over New York City via photopin (license)