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The RAAKonteur #59: Facebook on the iPad, Twitter on iOS5 and Instagram in the air

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18 October 2011
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Here at RAAK we are big fans and avid users of Instagram. After trying to wedge Instagram into quite a few ambitious pitches, we finally have one flying: Check out Ted Baker Rutting Season – a project we’re doing with the Guided Collective, based on Instagram and Facebook. It’s happening live in Manchester tomorrow, and in London next week Saturday.

Rutting Season

Instagram joins the mile high club
Speaking of flying – social media savvy low cost airline, Bmibaby, has been encouraging customers to hashtag their holiday snaps via Instagram.

Now they are taking it to the next level, by flying Instagram groups around Europe. Brilliant!

Facebook on the iPad

Facebook releases their iPad app
After a year and a half of delays, rumours, denials, lunches and lawsuits, Facebook has finally released an iPad app. While it delivers on quite a few visual aspects, reports about how buggy it is made it to the top of my Google News search on “Facebook iPad app”.

Well, isn’t this just classic Facebook – they will fix all those bugs, quietly, one by one, slowly move features they don’t want you to use away from the interface, and tweak, tweak, tweak, until they’ve optimized their money-making potential to the teeth.

This approach seems to be paying off in a big way for them – Cost Per Click has risen by 54% during the third Quarter of 2011- as a result of marketers spending 25% more on Facebook advertising.

To see the dramatic effect such tweaks can have on big brands, consider The Wall’s listing of top brands, firstly by likes, and secondly by the new “talking about” metric. All of a sudden the focus shifts, as it should, from enlistment to engagement, leaving many top brands in the dust.

The Guardian – Crowdsourced
Jeff Jarvis has been talking for quite some time of news as process, as opposed to news as a final product – Often in reference to Google’s culture of releasing half finished, Beta products. The very act of finding, making sense of news should now be part of news, he says. It is part of Beta culture. Release information early and release it often, and get feedback from your audience.

Live blogging is an early manifestation of this trend, for example: live Tweeting during the UK riots.

Now The Guardian has gone one step further. They’re opening up the traditionally closely guarded newslist.

If you want to suggest a story to The Guardian, just Tweet it with the hashtag #opennews.

Foursquare, Twitter and Apple iOS 5
Apple’s new iOS5, the latest version of their mobile operating system, integrates tightly with Twitter. This is a major development, allowing you to share photos, links, places and videos from right within Apple’s iOS apps, requiring only a single, system-wide signin.

Foursquare has also released a big new feature built on iOS5’s push notification improvements. It is called Radar, and it determines when you are close to a venue you might like, and prompts you to check in there.

How does it calculate this? You’ll be prompted to check in if the venue is:

  • on your To-Do list
  • on a list you follow
  • has three or more of your friends already checked in

Sounds great, doesn’t it? And Facebook is glaringly absent from all of this.

Google does everything well, except what really matters
In What Will Google Do?, Jeff Jarvis claims that part of Google’s success is that it is a platform. He highlights their ads: embeddable by any media owner. YouTube videos is another example.

That’s all superficial, says a Google engineer Steve Yegge.

In a bitingly honest and eloquent rant on Google Plus, the engineer goes on to point out how Amazon has done what Google has not managed. They’ve made every part of their organisation into a possible modular business, and they’ve worked very hard to accomplish this.

If you’re interested in the future of business, read this rant or this summary.

The network beats the hierachy, now what?
As the #occopywallstreet protest spreads across America people are starting to ask: “what next?”. When Matt Taibbi wrote a list of things protestors should demand in Rolling Stone, one of the smartest thinkers out there, Zeynep Tufeckci, was dismissive.

As Egypt liberals encounter increasing problems, and the Wall Street Occupyers are still looking for a strategy, the question remains: can the network – which has been successful in defeating hierarchies, offer solutions? Read a RAAK Storyfi of the interesting Twitter exchange.

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