You know it was probably only a matter of time before someone did it. In light of all the popularity and hype over services like Instagram, Pinterest, and even Tumblr, somehow the industry has managed to forget about a special set of people. They were first recognized in the era of email marketing when folks using UNIX and PINE accessed their email. Just who am I talking about? Why, the text-only generation…the people who never liked looking at images in their inbox with HTML emails and those that slows down their download speeds. And that’s why over the past few days, some interesting Twitter accounts have popped up to (supposedly) make it easier for people to understand what people are sharing on some of the most popular services on the Internet today.
The first one that apparently popped up is called Text-only Instagram and it was created by Josh Helfferich, a man who found it appalling that people would need to be subjected to endless bad photo filters and having to engage with followers. He created Text-only Instagram as a means of taking what people would normally see on Instagram and converting it into a text-based feed without all the “messy and superficial social interactions“. All you need to do is go to the service’s Twitter account and you’ll be able to see tweets of some of the millions of photos shared on Instagram, but without needing to worry about the Lo-Fi, Amaro, Hudson, Earlybird, Brannan, Inkwell, Hefe, or Nashville filters mucking up the image.You can just use your imagination to see what people are photographing and let THAT be your memory.
It was probably about time for Path to do it. Today, the private social network app announced that its Android app users can update their app to get a pretty cool feature on there.
That’s right, Path has now released to the world lenses to help make photos you share on the app much more stylized and glamorous. This might not seem like it’s jaw-dropping new for most people, especially the 30 million original users of the service, but this is in fact a big deal for those with Android devices. Why? Because we never had it before! Over the past few months, users like myself have been forced to snap photos using the default camera app and apply whatever limited filters existed. Sure, I could have used a vignette, distortion, depth of field or any other filter assortment, but it would have been another step removed from what I wanted to do…simply post a photo taken on Path and shared exclusively on the network. Now that’s all changed with Path giving what many people on Android have been clamoring over–we want to be able to do cool photos on Path like our iPhone brethren!
We all know by now that Facebook is pretty huge and will be getting even bigger in the near future. And we also know how rich the company is (as evident by their $1 billion acquisition of Instagram). But now, another piece of their financial puzzle has been revealed that shows that in the immediate future, both the world’s largest social network and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is set to become even richer! Yes, that’s right, D-day has arrived…multiple sources have told TechCrunch’s co-editor Alexia Tsotsis that Facebook is set to go for their IPO on May 17 (in about a month!).
But don’t start trying to find all that loose change in your sofa in an attempt at going after a piece of the IPO–the May 17 date is apparently still in flux and depends on whether the SEC filing holds muster and gets approved. But the signs seemed to be there. Ms. Tsotsis reported that there was news that Facebook would be making its debut on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the third week of May and cited another source telling CNBC that the public date was going to be either May 17 or 24.
Perhaps one of the hottest companies to go public in 2012, or maybe even in this decade, Facebook is rumored to be gunning for a $100 billion valuation and people are reporting they wish to raise $10 billion in capital. With the historic Instagram purchase by Facebook, it will be interesting to see how their stock price skyrockets. One can only speculate that once Facebook goes public, those lucky enough to get in on the IPO will certainly buy the stock (because you can’t exactly sell stocks you don’t have) and hold onto it until the next day and then sell it soon after and make out on millions of dollars. Sure, that’s all a guess, but you can’t tell me that it’s never happened. Or, perhaps the stock price difference could be a sign of the investors thoughts at the Instagram acquisition–were investors happy with the $1 billion buy or would they withhold simply because they wanted to voice their displeasure? It’s probably highly improbable to think that investors would withhold money from an IPO just because they weren’t happy with the deal…I mean, who would pass up on money?
We will wait and see whether this May 17 date is true or not. If it is, within a month, we’ll most likely see some very brand new and happy millionaires coming out of Menlo Park. Oh to be at Facebook headquarters when Mark Zuckerberg and his team ring the bell to open morning trading. I’m sure there’s going to be lots of “likes”.
Image Credit: “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” via Zap2It.com
For at least the past few years, people have become fascinated with the measurement of influence. Just how can you easily determine whether someone is influential about a particular topic? Is it quantitative? If so, just how can someone make money trying to figure it out? If someone could help companies determine someone’s influence, then that might stand to make a few bucks as a result.
Enter Klout, the market leader in influence measurement. This startup has helped pave the way into creating a business out of a vague concept most people probably had and found an appeal to both businesses and individuals. Of course, determining one’s Klout score doesn’t come without any criticism. But even when faced with public backlash about how vague it seemed, Klout still manage to persevere and grow into a sound business–they ran their race without compromising their integrity or standards–they knew what they wanted to accomplish and set forth to make it happen. Led by founders Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran, Klout has made some major strides in growing the business and developing new ways for the company to build. From introducing perks to their +K program, Klout has found ways to get people involved in helping to determine just who is influential.
One of the thoughts I had when thinking about Klout is that it’s not about the score that really determines whether someone is influential about something or not. It’s actually what they have done to merit them being considered an influencer. So if Klout tells me that I’m influential about photography, just what have I done to make that justified? Are people constantly talking about me and associating me with photography? Am I posting photos on Flickr and other photo-sharing services? Am I actively talking about photography and promoting the topic in my social graph? These actions play an active part in the grand scheme of what influence really is. I suppose that’s why Klout introduced their +K program as a means to help people share their thoughts about what topics an individual is more credible about. For businesses, this helps give them an answer to one of the missing pieces of the puzzle in understanding just what a score of 64 means in Klout. Now, those eager to reaching out to unofficial evangelists will be able to understand that while I may have a 64 Klout score, they know what topics I’m influential about and can work that into their program. This helps them justify their outreach.
We all know that Silicon Valley can’t be the only place where tech innovation is taking place right? Yes, yes…I know it’s a bit blasphemous of me to say such things, but have you heard of Silicon Beach, Silicon Alley, and other fun nicknames for tech hubs around the United States? Innovation is happening all around this country and even in places where you might not think it exists. But today, I’d like to share with you a story of one innovation hub in Hawaii that has produced a brand new product that looks to help make your event a bit more interactive.
Through the efforts of The Greenhouse Innovation Hub in Hawaii, they’ve devised a new service called Screenfuse, which is designed to host all your event’s conversations in one place. It’s designed to work with your live events, restaurants, venues, and retail properties. By their description, Screenfuse is a service that “provides intelligent social interactive displays for events, venues, restaurants, and retail. Leveraging social media networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and others, a Screenfuse display will increase onsite customer sharing and brand engagement and will encourage customers to promote your brand to their friends and family.”
If this sounds a bit familiar, then you’re right. Screenfuse is another incarnation of the proverbial “back channel” that everyone refers to when they’re at a conference or event. It’s the place where side conversations, criticisms, praise, and other social media shenanigans take place while others are attempting to pay attention to what’s happening in real life. There have been many different attempts at creating the back channel, including tools like Twitterfall, but there’s not a “one size fits all” service that also incorporates the myriad of social networks where people could be having conversations. They are all currently subjected to one particular social network. What Screenfuse looks to do is to integrate the most popular networks to give attendees and organizers a really great view of what people are thinking.