ANALYTICS AND INVESTMENTS

A few things caught our eye this week via Peggy Anne Salz (@peggyanne), Chief Analyst at Mobile Groove.

How to Build a 5-Star App with Mobile Analytics

First and foremost was Peggy Anne’s recent TechBeacon article in which she highlights the use of mobile analytics as being key to user experience. With good UX comes the increased chance of success for your app, so if you’re a developer check the wise words on this article out.

There’s an interesting case study on SpeechTrans and some golden rules to follow (Think proactively, not reactively; Make data part of the daily routine; With great power comes great responsibility). Check out the full article here.

five-stars

Selfie Service?

We also spotted via a RT by Peggy Anne the news on Business Insider UK about the announcement of “Selfie Pay”. Sounding like a really weak attempt at an April Fools’ joke by a selfie-obsessed tabloid newspaper, this is in fact a real thing.

The verification process, which will involve the user taking a quick snap that is then mapped against a stored image in order to help prevent fraud, is currently being trialled by MasterCard with First Tech Federal Credit Union in the USA.

selfie-age-pic

Invest, Invest, Invest

Elsewhere it looks like people have money to spend, as a couple of stories featured by Business of Apps (@BusinessofApps) showed.

Sports app GameOn is a name that keeps popping up in app news recently, and the latest headline is about its relaunch following a $1.5 million seed funding round. Among those contributing to the funding were American Football big names Joe Montana and Lawyer Milloy. It’s definitely one to watch – sport’s such a big passion for so many millions of people that a dedicated app connecting fans around the world makes a lot of sense.

And the people at Snap Fashion, which gives its users a visual search engine for clothes, will be celebrating after receiving an “undisclosed sum” of investment from publishing giants Time Inc. Time Inc. owns the likes of Marie Claire and Look magazines so this is a real vote of confidence from the fashion media.

montana

TIME TO MOBILISE

Lots of interesting news over the past week, and there’s a recurring theme… mobile is King!

A Little More Than Ten Cents…

We start with some heavy financial stats from China, where investment holding company Tencent recorded a second quarter profit of 10.3 billion yuan ($1.6 billion/£1 billion) – nearly half of which was generated by online advertising revenue. Dig deeper into these figures and, as ZDNet reports, over half of that online advertising revenue came from mobile platforms.

Make sure you check out the story on ZDNet as there are lots of interesting points. Like the quote from Tencent CEO Ma Huateng that “Operationally, we made notable progress across our portfolio of mobile utilities, with our mobile security solution, browser, and app store moving into industry leadership positions.” And their plans to develop mobile versions of popular games like FIFA Online 3.

USD_10_Cent

YouTube Changing the Channel?

A few weeks ago we were talking about the big part that photo and video play on the app scene. We mentioned YouTube in passing as one of the big online success stories, but the household name has been a little quiet when it comes to app accessibility.

That looks like it’s about to change. According to a report on CNBC YouTube is well aware of the challenge it faces from mobile-dominating social platforms like Facebook and isn’t ignoring the fact that last year nearly half of its users were logging on via tablets and phones.

How does YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki regard mobile growth? “Superimportant”.

We’ll be watching to see if YouTube starts to offer more for the mobile user. Don’t forget it’s a massive advertising platform.

51816-img_2687

A Nation of App Users

Completing our round up of facts and figures this week are some stats from right here in the UK.

Communications regulator Ofcom has reported that 33% of UK internet users identify their smartphones as the most important device for going online, now surpassing laptops at 30%. With two thirds of UK adults owning smartphones that’s a huge audience to tap into. Yet there’s a feeling that this opportunity is not being taken up as it should be. Mobyaffiliates quote Mark Haviland – managing director at Rakuten Marketing, Europe – saying “It’s crucial that marketers respond to Ofcom’s research and change their approach to match how people are consuming the internet.”

Read more about the Ofcom report and what Haviland and others had to say about it at Mobyaffiliates.

Complementing this news – like a tasty starter from your favourite takeaway – was news from Just Eat, via this article on BusinessofApps. The food ordering and delivery service reported a 50% increase in pre-tax profits for the first half of 2015, with 60% of orders now coming via mobile devices and well over half of these being made directly from the Just Eat app.

WINDOW SHOPPING

It’s a bit like sales time at the big stores this week as we’ve been drawn to some colourful window dressing and some big and bold TV advertising… and more importantly some interesting stats to go with these.

Matt Lacey (@mrlacey) gave us a shout about some research he’s been doing on ASO for Windows and the results make for interesting reading. He took the icon for his demo PhoneBook app and tried it out in different colours from its usual distinctive pink.

Each colour was given a week on the store and the increase and decrease in downloads related to each colour is worth taking note of. Blue saw downloads increase by around 23%, followed closely by green. Red on the other hand saw downloads fall by about 19%. Other – more modest – increases were achieved with yellow and purple, while orange recorded a bit of a drop. The results in all their colourful glory are below – you can read Matt’s post here.

phonebook-results

So is this a psychological thing? Blue and green – colours of calm, of the sea and the earth – appealing to us more than aggressive red of stop sign and blood fame? Maybe this is why the big players – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – choose blue; or maybe it’s because of them that we’re drawn to blue…

Bridge Building

Windows has been on our minds in other ways this past week too. Engadget reported that Microsoft had released an early look at its iOS bridge, which is designed to make it easier for developers to reuse already written code in new Windows apps.

As Engadget states in the article “…Microsoft needs more apps on Windows 10…”. We couldn’t agree more – in the past 10 days I’ve had my bank recommend I download their app, only to find that it’s not available on Windows, and had to explain to a friend that a well-known social app is not available on my phone. Hopefully the bridge will make Windows more accessible for developers and users alike.

From Windows to Screens

Other interesting news this week came from Quaid Media via mobyaffiliates.

It was reported that in the first half of 2015 the company booked 10 times as many TV advertising spots as it did in the whole of 2014. That’s 12,000 appearances in six months compared to last year’s 1,200.

Factors like reasonable pricing for campaigns and the ability to join up with digital campaigns are cited among the reasons for the increase.

We’ve watched app ads featuring well known celebrities and cinema quality animation and for us they’re proof that apps have been established as a mainstream industry.

hay day

IT’S ALL ABOUT IMAGE IN THE APP WORLD

It’s all about image… and we’re not talking about how slick your app appears, or about your business’ public reputation. We’re talking good old images – still and moving; photos and videos if you will.

Image based apps have had a busy time lately, and this has been a reminder of how important this type of content is to audiences.

selfie

The desire to view and share photography and videos is nothing new. Look at the popularity and range of print titles pre Internet that used imagery to sell – whether it was the tabloid newspaper with the latest scandalous paparazzi snaps, or the powerful and eye opening content of publications like National Geographic.

So it’s no surprise that photo and video content are big business in the world of apps…

The platform has been in the headlines recently with the news that Instagram plans to open up to all advertisers by the end of this year. With Instagram advertising previously having been limited to big brands this is significant news for smaller businesses, particularly those of a specialist nature. Take, for example, the small tour operator, the boutique and the up and coming brewery who can tap into Instagram’s popularity with travel, fashion and food and drink aficionados.

The Instagram news is also a biggie for app marketing. Just think about the potential brand exposure that can be generated via this hugely popular platform. Not convinced? Maybe this additional bit of news – also via mobyaffiliates – will convince you. Instagram is expected to surpass both Google and Twitter in terms of American mobile display advertising revenues by 2017. That’s no mean feat.

The past week also brought us news of two new video-related apps – one the latest output from an old guard and the other a twist on an existing concept…

Yoohoo, Yahoo’s back

Yahoo haven’t had the greatest of fortunes over the years, with Google becoming the definition of search engines and (initially at least) negative responses to changes made following their acquisition of products like Flickr. So it will be interesting to see how things pan out with their new Livetext app – announced last week and featured on Marketing Land.

The app is being described as “Snapchat-like” (hmm) and gives users the opportunity to conduct live video interfaces via their phones. Notably there is no sound featured on the videos, however users can overlay text to communicate via the videos. This launch seems like something of a gamble – taking on an app as established as Snapchat is a bold step, but the big question is whether or not a service providing silent video with overlaid text is even necessary and therefore what will the uptake be?

…Boom Goes the Dynamite

Dynamite App last week announced closure of $1.6 million in Series Seed funding, paving the way towards its public beta launch. A few things stand out on a first glance at Dynamite – its loud logo, the fact that it has a dog called Shmee listed as one of its team members and a similarity to Vine.

By similarity to Vine we’re talking about the concept of short, snappy videos but Dynamite immediately distinguishes itself by giving the user 42 seconds to work/play with as opposed to Vine’s six. And that’s not all – Dynamite looks like an app that’s setting out to show it has a conscience from the very beginning. Its website and news releases downplay the sugar coated appearance of some social media platforms and reach out to the world’s victimised and disenfranchised, inviting them to share how they feel either publicly or – thanks to face mask and audio filter tools – anonymously.

Could Dynamite be one of the next big things in the world of mobile video? Using the term “cultural juggernaut” to describe the app’s potential future, Jonathan Perl – of venture capital firm Observatory Capital – certainly hopes so.

However things pan out for Livetext, Dynamite and many more it looks like Bill Gates’ words are as true as ever – Content is King.

queenphotobomb