Category Archives: MOBILE

Reality Check: Why There Is No Instagram For Video.

Every week, there’s a new buzz around an app that is purported to be the “Instagram for Video”.

It was Socialcam, Viddy, and several others in the past. Today it’s Ptch.

But I can confidently say that there is no “Instagram for Video”.

And for anyone over the age of 16, there may never be.

The main reason is that our brains care more about candid still moments than candid moving moments.

Think about it. If you go to a friend’s house and they have a wedding album on the coffee table, you’re likely to open it up and start a conversation about the people, the wedding, the couple, or anything else that it might inspire.

But say that same friend asked you to watch their wedding, or vacation video. Even just clips from the wedding or vacation. That’s not wistful reminiscence. That’s torture. Because we all know that vacation (or any amateur) videos (unless directed by Ridley Scott) are probably going to be boring. And we all know that the video you’re sharing with us on the next “Instagram for Video” is probably going to suck.

Celebrities may dominate these new apps, and spam may be used to distribute them, but the “Instagram For Video” is a MacGuffin, and probably not happening any time soon.

But if it does, I’ll revisit this post :)

SocialCam? More Like SocialSpam.

I’ve been in digital marketing for a long time. About as long as you can be, really. I’ve seen a lot.

There is a special “hall of shame” that should exist for products that have tried to force their way into people’s lives. Products like Gator. X10. About 50% of antivirus software. Self-installing toolbars.

I’d like to nominate SocialCam (not even linking to them) as the latest entrant into the those not so hallowed halls.

They have abused Facebook’s Open Graph (shame on Facebook for letting them) to frictionlessly broadcast videos to newsfeeds everywhere. They have been scraping YouTube videos to place into their player because most users’ content isn’t interesting enough to share. Most engagement with SocialCam is potentially embarrassing for the engager.

If they don’t change something soon, it’s likely going to end very badly for them.

Take this as a lesson, and a suggestion. As a user, be vigilant when you grant apps permission to publish on your behalf. as a marketer, you are who you associate with.

**UPDATE** Looks like Facebook just implemented the crackdown. Read it on TechCrunch.

One Big Reason Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate Apple’s iAd: Twitter.

In today’s WSJ, there’s a story about Apple’s compromises in the mobile ad space, as they face legitimate competition from other players/networks.

This is true. But for a conspiracy theorist like me, I see one advantage that can be played against any of their competitors, should they choose to unlock it.

In iOS5, Twitter integration becomes part of the core iOS experience. If you have a Twitter account, it can be associated with your device. Which means, in theory, it can be associated with your Apple ID. Your Apple ID is the unique identifier (along with your device ID) that Apple can use to track downloads and app behavior. What if you married app usage data with the content you post and/or consume in your Twitter stream? What if you also married that to what you do on sites that you log into with your Twitter ID?

Add mobile payment data and you may have the most targeted advertising ever.

Mobile advertising is still in its infancy. Everything we use to target now is a proxy for what we should be using. But if you want to know where it’s going, you can start by extrapolating like I just did.

Why Google’s Acquisition of AdMob Isn’t Just About Advertising.

In case you missed it, Google acquired mobile ad network AdMob for $750 million in stock.

There is a lot of speculation on why, but the obvious reason is that Google wants more direct access to what they are betting heavily on — that mobile is the next great advertising medium. They’ve made a huge bet on mobile with Android — which is an obvious move to own the mobile search ad market, but now they’ve got their hooks into the mobile display ad market as well.

But what many might be missing could be the biggest reason Google bought AdMob: the data.

With the acquisition of AdMob, Google now has access to usage data of many of the most popular mobile apps — especially the apps in the iTunes App Store. For iPhones. If Google is taking on Apple for mobile OS market share, they just scored a huge competitive advantage. Google will know more details than ever about how people are using iPhone apps, how they are engaging with advertising within those apps, and users loyalty to those apps.


Dashboards like the above only provide a window into the beginning of the mining that Google is likely about to do on their mobile handset competition. There has already been lively conversation about just how much of our personal data Google has access to. Now, even if you don’t own an Android phone, Google will be able to collect data.

Until there is enough mobile display advertising to sell to generate healthy-enough revenues (Shazam, anyone?), it may be the access to the data that generates the biggest return on Google’s investment.

Nokia Launches Ovi (App) Store. Deep Focus Helps.

This would be news in its own right, but Nokia just announced the launch of their app store, the Ovi Store, at the CTIA and Web 2.0 conferences, and Deep Focus is proud to be a part of it.

Deep Focus helped with the launch by bringing in our friends at Howcast to work with us to develop the video you see below, explaining the ways developers can build on the platform and make money.

Check it out. You just might learn something.

Just in Time For Thanksgiving Football, Astroturfing.

There is a burgeoning controversy happening on the top gadget sites about a shill for Motorola haplessly blathering on about the qualities of the Motorola Krave.

It’s happening on BoingBoing.

It’s happening on Crunchgear.

And it’s happening on many other places as well.

Posting as a shill in the comment sections of blogs is a practice commonly referred to as astroturfing. And blog readers are too smart to let it go unnoticed.

Here’s an example of what’s been going on:


Online Spending to Surpass Television Spending in the UK in 2009.

Yes. You read the headline correctly.

Online advertising is poised to overtake television spending in the UK by the end of 2009, as reported by, and via the results of research conducted by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the World Advertising Research Centre.

Now granted, the UK is a smaller market, but this is a clear signal that it may not be too far in the distant future until ad spending catches up with media usage here in the US.

A 2007 report by the UK's Office of Communications (Ofcom), stated that average daily internet use in 2006 (36 minutes) was up 158% on 2002 and time spent on the mobile phone (almost 4 minutes per day) was up 58%. Time spent watching TV was down 4% at 3 hours and 36 minutes.

All signs point to the increases likely being even greater in 2007, and will not likely stop climbing this year.

So why is the US so far behind? The latest numbers from TNS say that 2007 saw TV ad spending grow 17% to $64.4 billion, while online was not even at $17 billion. eMarketer predicts that in 2008, online ad spending will account for 8.8% of all ad spending ($25.9 billion).

We know that the Internet accounts for more than 8.8% of all time spent with media (not to mention all the behavioral signs that point to the web being a great place for great advertising). So why can't we catch up with the Brits?

It's ironic that a society that still has parliamentary meetings with wig-wearing electorates has a more progressive grasp on the media mix than we do. But then again, we've got Miley Cyrus, so there. And John Adams.

(Wigs-off to AgencySpy for the tip-off).