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The RAAKonteur #28 – Instagram, Social TV & the Facebook revolution

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14 February 2011
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Photos are the new location data

One of the most exciting things about web businesses is their ability to open up their engines to others via APIs. The wildly popular Instagram has just done exactly that and it looks like it includes all their functions. 

That made us think: we have written in the past about the paucity of location information on Twitter. Google is as bad, and Facebook not much richer in location data (yet). FourSquare punches above its weight, but its check-in frequency is still very small. But Instagram, where most of the pictures are taken on a mobile, includes a hell of a lot of location data. We can hear those potential-bells ringing!

Is Twitter the killer app for social tv?

An American survey by Sidereel found that traditional TV viewing is starting to supplement online viewing and not the other way around. So we can't help but think that telly people are not having an easy ride to integrate social, especially not when it comes to the format of the tv ad. At this panel chat we attended at Social Media Week, a lot of expectation was put on the technology of internet-connected tv sets and about new forms of multi-layered transmedia narrative.

But isn't Twitter the one killer app that enhances the 'old medium'? It's a natural platform for people to discuss tv content. And it could also enhance the content in simple but creative ways. Like Audi did with their Superbowl ads, which pointed people to a Twitter-driven competition.

The social side of music

Since Spotify has integrated their social recommendation service through Facebook integration, traffic from FB has increased by 400% in a year. A while ago the streaming service claimed that the amount of paying subscribers doubled after implementing Facebook Connect.

The most powerful Facebook 'campaign' ever?

On Tuesday evening Wael Gnonim, Google's MENA marketing manager, revealed that he is the secret administrator behind We Are Khaled Said Facebook page. It's on this page where the date for the current uprising was announced, January 25. Newsweek provides some background.

At home in Cairo, Wael Khalil, a democracy activist since 2004, saw the post and scoffed. “Come on,” he remembers thinking. “We can’t have a Facebook revolution. Revolution has no time and hour.”

On Tuesday evening, a brand new Fan page created in honour of Wael Gnonim himslef, was growing by 50 people per second.


Influence is the new black

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on the growing significance of systems that measure your influence/reputation on social media like Klout and PeerIndex:

Last year, Britney Spears' managers, Adam Leber and Larry Rudolph, requested a meeting with Klout Chief Executive Joe Fernandez in San Francisco. Over a lunch of Chinese food, they grilled Mr. Fernandez on why Ms. Spears' Klout score, then around 64, was lower than Lady Gaga's 78 and Ashton Kutcher's 77.

Even politicians are subject to the new pecking order. The Twitter accounts for President Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are both registered on Klout, with scores of 90 and 80, respectively.

We checked Elbaradei, President Mubarak and Ghonim and can report that the pecking order is: Elbaradei: 74 - President Mubarak: not registered – Ghonim: 84.

Layar now a platform

Remember Augmented Reality? It was all the rage a few Tweets ago. One of the most-anticipated AR apps was Layar and we only just discovered how interesting it is.

We were always under the impression it was a stand-alone app, but turns out it's actually a platform that allows developers to create content layers. Which turns Layar into an app-store for AR apps. So within the same app you can check which museums are close-by, play all kind of games or discover that the Wiley album cover was taken not so far from RAAK HQ.


Twime traveling

With Twitshift you can follow yourself on Twitter, but the Tweets you will get are the ones you sent a year ago.

A very simple but great idea. We were thinking, perhaps 50 years from now, our grand-children will be tuning into our timeline and thinking, wow granddad was obsessed with Egypt!

Mobile video is the new video

We all know that mobile internet usage is rapidly increasing. That's especially true in development countries. Proof in point: South African video service Zoopy (previously seen as the SA version of YouTube) has repositioned itself completely as a mobile platform. Here's an infographic they made with lots of beautiful stats on mobile video usage.



We love Flickr. But we fear for its future. It has what seems to be a dysfunctional adoptive parent in Yahoo! Users accounts have been deleted without explanation why, and when people query this behaviour on their forums, they shut them.

Perhaps serious photographers should start thinking of another platform? Or move to Tumblr or WordPress?

Tech insight of the week – Cyberbattle of the Tor Brigades

At the start of the current tumult in Egypt, the Egyptian government attempted to cut off communications in and out of Egypt, including the Internet. While succeeding to a large degree, a small group of people, more specifically, a guy called Jacob Applebaum, worked day and night to keep a communication lifeline open to Egypt using literally a handful of routable servers.

This is a snapshot of what happened.

And not to be ignored

  • Video service Vimeo has added a few new features, including the ability to create custom URLs for your videos.
  • After we talked about ASOS a few weeks ago, both Dove and French Connection will be launching fully-integrated shops on Facebook.
  • Oh, and there's the small matter of Twitter being in sales talks with Google and Facebook and Anyone Else. Gordon McMillan has an overview of what it could mean for Twitter.
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