Almost twenty years ago, Google was just a concept in somebody’s mind – a way to formulate and create an online archive to store data. The idea was first made concrete on Stanford’s campus. It was so popular storage space ran out. A year and a £100,00 angel investment later, and Google entered the public sphere. It was an experiment, and no one knew, or predicted rather, how far it could go.
In addition to being the largest search engine hub, Google has also managed to create one of the largest email accounts, it competes regularly with companies like Apple to develop creative “hit” technology like the Android phone or the Google Nexus “iPad,” and it is even rumored to have developed an automated car. Now, Google has entered the world of business.
For companies looking to do business to business transactions, Google+ is becoming not only the best social media platform to do it, but the best way to do it period. It’s public, it’s free, and it allows for private circles to expand and be shared in other private business circles. Here’s out it works:
Pinterest and Shopify strategically working together
Back in July, Pinterest and Shopify made a joint announcement about a partnership between the two companies. Now the dust has settled we thought we’d investigate what happened and how this has benefitted Shopify customers and users of Pinterest.
What was the agreement?
As from July 18th Pinterest revealed that they had enabled rich pin functionality for all Shopify merchants. This is an exciting move for Shopify merchants who can benefit from functionality such as stock availability and real-time pricing. Previously rich pins were created by unnecessarily complicated metadata behind the scenes but this can now be achieved through the Shopify API integration with Pinterest.
What are Pinterest rich pins?
Rich pins are enhanced pins on Pinterest. Pins with additional information that make the Shopify customers experience more enhanced. There are currently five types of rich pins, these are i) Article, ii) Movie, iii) Place, iv) Product and v) Recipe.
An example of an article pin
Why are rich pins so important?
Rich pins will enhance the user’s experience. Examples are improved click through rates, price notification emails on Pinterest notifying customers who’d pinned the product where a price drop occurs (this is a free and effective form of marketing).
So why not experiment? If you haven’t already set-up your Pinterest account today at http://www.pinterest.com, it’s a social media channel which is especially effective for eCommerce sites.
A screenshot from the new Pinterest Analytics dashboard
On August 26th Pinterest launched their new notification and analytics dashboard, we review the functionality and features and what this brings for users.
Reason for the new Notifications and Analytics Dashboard
Pinterest has been a tremendous success since its launch in March 2010. No business can afford breathing space in the social market though so to address a gap with competitors such as Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest have launched their new Analytics dashboard.
We are aware that many customers rely solely on Google Analytics but using other sources such as Pinterest Analytics is well worth experimenting with particularly if you have a lot of Pinterest activity.
Pinterest commented about the launch of the new functionality:
“The aim is to enable customers to improve their marketing and product strategies, with meaningful insights about what their customers are interested in.”
Need for a Business Account
Unfortunately only business account holders of Pinterest will have access to the Analytics functionality. Given its value it is definitely worth considering paying for a business account.
Link to Pinterest Analytics
Pinterest Analytics information can be found at http://analytics.pinterest.com/
How to use the Pinterest Analytics Information
The best approach is to study, analyse, tweak and react to the information you see. Continual revision of your Pinterest approach until its fine tuned to perfection will pay rich dividends in the medium-long term. We strongly recommend all customers to investigate Pinterest Analytics and are here to help with any questions or queries.
Apple are all a buzz with the new iPhone 6 !
Yes it’s the day that all technology fans have been waiting for, the day that Apple announced the launch of it’s latest members of the iPhone family, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The event took place at the Flint Centre for Performing Arts (the venue used to launch the original Mac computer and iPhone 5) at around 10am California time (6pm UK time) and whilst we weren’t one of the lucky few at the event, we did manage to catch the live stream so we can tell you all about the new product launches !
Introducing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone is a product that has ultimately changed our lives and today marked an important day in Apple’s history, the announcement of the biggest advancements in iPhone technology to date. They will be bringing out two new models, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus which will come in two sizes. The iPhone 6 measuring 4.7” and the iPhone 6 Plus measuring 5.5”. The extra screen size has allowed for a new landscape mode that facilitates a bigger keyboard and extra functionality for apps like Messenger.
However there is a lot more to the new iPhone models than the larger displays. Apple CEO Time Cook has described the new models as ‘without a doubt the best iPhones we’ve ever done.’
Brand new look
One of the most notable features of the new models is their new sleek look. Instead of having distinctive corners they have a rounded, seamless service. The two new models are also the thinnest phones Apple has ever made. The iPhone 6 is just 6.9mm thick and the iPhone 6 Plus 7.1 mm.
Brand new Retina HD display
Both iPhones will feature Apple’s brand new Retina HD display – the best display in the industry. The iPhone 6 has a resolution of 1334 x 750 with 326 pixels per inch and the iPhone 6 Plus has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with 401 pixels per inch.
The new Apple iPhone 6
84 times faster than original iPhone
The graphics on the iPhone 6 are a whopping 84 times faster than the original iPhone and the new devices also benefit from a processor performance that is 50 times faster than the original devices. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be powered by the Apple-designed A8 Chip which has up to 25% faster processing power and up to 50% faster graphics.
Better battery life
During the even Phil Schiller came on to talk about battery life – something that is of interest to the majority of smartphone users! According to Schiller, Apple have improved the battery life using ‘every metric’ over the iPhone 5S and have also put the extra space in the iPhone 6 to good use by installing a bigger battery.
The iPhone 6 has a battery life of fifty hours of audio and eleven hours of video. The 6 Plus has a battery life of eighty hours of audio and fourteen hours of video.
8MP iSight Camera
The new camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has a sensor feature called Focus Pixels, which is designed to speed up the auto focus. The cameras on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will also be able to take 43 megapixel panoramic photos, using the iPhone’s A8 processor to achieve advanced face detection. The 6 Plus will also come with a new optical image stabilisation system to help you take sharp photos; great for if you have shaky hands or are photographing in low light conditions.
iOS 8, Apple Pay and the Apple Watch
It’s not just two new iPhones that were announced at the event, but also the launch of iOS 8. The new system supports the following devices: iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display and will be available to download free from 17th September 2014.
If that wasn’t enough, Apple also announced the launch of Apple Pay (a technology designed to replace the wallet) and the much anticipated Apple Watch (or as everyone seems to be calling it the iWatch). Apple Pay will be launching in the US sometime this year, but there is currently no word on when it will be launched in the UK.
The Apple Watch has a completely customisable watch face and a dial on the side known as ‘the crown,’ which will allow you to perform tasks on the Apple Watch without obstructing the screen with your finger. Like the new iPhones, the Apple Watch is also integrated with Siri.
Back to the iPhone 6…
The new iPhone 6 will be available in the same colours as the 5S (gold, silver and space grey) with three storage variants: 16, 64 and 128GB. Prices will start at $199 for an iPhone 6 on a two year contract. The 6 Plus will start at $299. The iPhone 6 will be available for pre-ordering from 12th September 2014 and will be officially launched in stores on 19th September 2014.
Image credits: DownloadsourcesES and Worldleaks
The Money Saving Expert website reported on 4th September that many Facebook users are being charged for unexpected data play charges. We report on this issue here, so that you can be forearmed and forewarned about the issue – and of course so you can avoid the charges!
What are data play charges?
Facebook recently confirmed that videos embedded into users newsfeeds will automatically play by default. This is the case for Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G connections. To stop this auto-play feature you have to opt out.
How to avoid the charges
The charges occur when users exceed their data limit. This quite easy to do when consuming video content as this is very intensive from a memory perspective.
The way to avoid the charges is quite simple. All you need to do is change your device settings and the videos will not auto-play. This trend is fairly recent and therefore is catching many people out, change your settings to avoid unnecessary charges.
How to turn auto-play off?
The following advice is taken from Money Saving Expert about how to turn the auto=play function off your devices.
Advice taken from the Money Saving expert website
Facebook lack of comment
Facebook are officially not commenting about this auto-play debacle. Their only related comment is to say that users can avoid the charges by changing their configuration settings. Unfortunately this is too late for many people.
It was announced on 4th September that the once popular TwitPic service is to close permanently. Still ranked in the top three thousand most visited sites in the world TwitPic says this is due to a trademark dispute with Twitter. We explore the ramifications in this article.
What is TwitPic?
TwitPic is an image hosting website which can be used independently of Twitter. It was very popular in the early days of Twitter as it contained functionality not originally in Twitter which has now been added in. The extra functionality in Twitter has reduced the functionality of TwitPic over time.
On 4th September TwitPic announced:
“A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API. This came as a shock to us since TwitPic has been around since early 2008, and our trademark application has been in the USPTO since 2009.”
“Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down TwitPic.”
A screenshot of the TwitPic image sharing service
Why did people use TwitPic?
TwitPic was used by hundreds of thousands of users originally as Twitter didn’t offer this functionality, Twitter has now bridged the gap and this has led to a decline in TwitPic usage.
TwitPic was famed for providing photographs in real-time and as such provide images of news events “as they happened”.
Perhaps the height of TwitPic use came on 19th January when birds hitting the engine of US Airways Flight 1549, caused the plane to land in the Hudson River. New York locals took pictures of the crash scene and uploaded them to Twitter via TwitPic. There were so many people trying to view TwitPic that the servers crashed.
What implications does TwitPic’s Closure have for me?
None really, all of the functionality provided is offered inside Twitter or from alternative external providers. TwitPic is largely a redundant technology following upgrades to Twitter over the past few years.
For more details about how you can use Twitter effectively for your business or for a relaxed technology discussion call us at Online Media Direct.
WordPress announced the launch of Version 4.0 on 4th September; we discuss in this article what this new version brings in terms of new functionality and why you should upgrade.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most implemented Web Content Management System in the World. Established in 2003, WordPress offers a large variety of functionality through 30,000+ plugins developed by its worldwide community of Developers.
What is Version 4.0?
Version 4.0 is also nicknamed “Benny” in hour of Jazz musician “Benny Goodman”. It’s not just another patch/minor release it’s a major evolution in the WordPress platform and takes a huge step from version 3.9. This version was collaboration between 275 WordPress contributors.
A screenshot from the WordPress system
New Functionality Provided Overview
Here’s a list of some of the new functionality:
Smoother writing and management experience
Improved ease of embedding objects
Improved ability to find the best related plugins
An expansion of the number of embed options (e.g. YouTube playlists and talks from TED)
A more visual browsing experience
Improved search capabilities
WordPress 4.0 New features Video
Click the link below to view the official WordPress video for version 4.0:
Image Credit: WordPress