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API’s: Google doing it wrong, and Foursquare doing it right – The RAAKonteur #91

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4 July 2012

Everybody – except advertisers – hates page takeovers


Uniqlo did a veritable page takeover on Pinterest this week, creating a full-page scrolling animation-like effect with pins. It was to promote their new Dry Mesh t-shirt range. Over a hundred Pinterest accounts were set up and pinned from simultaneously to create an animated billboard of colour and graphics that run uninterrupted down the page for what seems forever. One of those disruptive ads that made us keep scrolling.

Google Plus is here to stay, but it's still not Open

Google+ now has more than 250 million total accounts and more than 150 million monthly active users. More than 50 percent of Google+ users sign in daily, and they also spend more than an hour on the site every day. Pity then that it still does not have a full read/write API. Yes, Google has just announced a History API, but that is more akin to Facebook's Open Graph that sends actions (like I have read an article) to your timeline. Google Plus also launched events, but Robert Scoble ranted (on Google Plus) on how spammy it was.

Foursquare becomes an even better App platform


Foursquare's always had an API. Quite an adequate one, which proved to be their saving grace, handing it some of the traffic of successful apps like Instagram. Well, it seems they've realised that, and they've turned their adequate API into a great API. This might just get them to the forefront again. In a nutshell, they've launched an API which lets your app know when one of your users checks in somewhere. On top of that, it allows your app to attach stuff to the checkin, like photos, links or text. Since the app knows about your checkin, it can also respond to it, by sending you push notifications. On the topic of app platforms, and possible trojan horses – Google has managed to get Chrome onto iOS! Yes, the bull is in the Cathedral! They were not allowed, however (and will probably never be) to bring the Chrome Extension ecosystem with them. They've brought quite a nice bag of other tricks though, like synching your open tabs and bookmarks from desktop to mobile, and my personal favourite, the universal bar, which let's you search and type URL's in the same box.

Google Glass – What's the fuss?


I'm putting myself on the line here, to be proved ridiculously wrong within a few years time, but I really don't see the potential behind Google Glass. In fact, Sergei Brin's obsession with it proves to me that he's an engineer, and not a UI expert. I just don't think putting a small screen in front of your eye will be the future of Google. I think Google's driverless cars are. A related cool project (albeit only conceptual), is Instaglasses, a retro set of goggles that lets you experience the world around you through Instagram filters. They will not change the world either – they might not even build it – but it's fun!

Weekend days are Tweet days

If you have been following the @RAAKonteurs Twitter account you probably know one of our mantras: most marketeers Tweet at the wrong time. Or rather too much in the week, while weekends are the real opportunity. For more on that go here.

Life: reassuringly expensive on a Mac

Finally a reason to get a PC. In his book, The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser argues that increasing personalisation is leading all of us down a road where we experience less diversity, less serendipity. But shit just got far more real. Orbitz – a site that sells accommodation – shows more expensive rooms to those visting them on a Mac.

Creative of the week – Dan Malec


After last week's Lego Turing machine, we're starting to see Lego everywhere. Google is teaming up with the manufacturer for a Google/Lego map project, but it was Dan Malec who made us smile the most. He's built a fully functional mini display that can be integrated into your Lego construction. For instance, who wouldn't want his Lego train station to show a realtime train schedule? Exactly. And of course it's all open source.

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