Twitter takes flight with new a mobile developer platform

Twitter FabricTwitter took one giant step closer to the big boys this week when they held their first developer conference in San Francisco. The event was appropriately called Flight and from there Twitter launched Fabric. (I’d love to see a list of the names they discarded before landing on that one! Why didn’t they call it Nest or Perch or Birdbath . . )

Fabric is a modular, mobile platform that’s supposed to help developers create better apps – and in turn, make more ad money with those apps.

The platform has four features that are. . . what’s the word I’m looking for. . . uneven?

It starts with stability and a bug detector called Crashlytics. The tool helps developers detect a problem, locate the root and repair it faster so you can “spend less time debugging and more time focused on building great apps.”

The chat room revisited: Facebook Labs launches Rooms

Social media is moving backwards. That may sound like a bad thing but I think it’s a wonderful thing. We started out meeting in chat rooms talking with people from all over the world who shared a common interest. From apples to zeppelins, if you were into it, there was a chat room for it.

Then MySpace and Facebook came along and blew the doors off the chat room. Instead of going to a digital meeting place, we invited people to visit our own personal space. And that meant stripping off our fantasy masks and handles because on Facebook we could only be our real selves.

Today, Facebook Creative Labs released an app that takes us back to the old chat room days – including the ability to assume an alter ego. It’s called Rooms.

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Groupon pivots with the rollout of Pages

Where do you go if you want to get the real scoop on local businesses? Yelp? Angie’s List? Groupon?

Groupon just announced the launch of 7 million new merchant listings called Pages; “making Groupon the first place to go for ratings, tips, money-saving opportunities and other useful information for local businesses in the United States.”

I don’t know about the “first place” part, but it’s a nice try.

This is the merchant page for Adventura. It’s cleaner than the Yelp page and the long, Groupon header makes it easier to focus when you hit the page.

Groupon Pages

Right underneath this section is Groupon’s not-so-secret marketing weapon:

Inbox by Google: Gmail as your new ‘to do’ list

InboxIf you use your email box as a To Do list, you’re going to get very excited when you see what Google is rolling out this week. It’s not so much a Gmail update as it is a whole new way to process email. It’s called Inbox and it takes the best of what other third-party apps do and rolls it into one, simple unit.

Unlike most email handlers, Inbox groups, highlights and reschedules messages. It also acts as a personal assistant, adding information you might need to complete an anticipated task. Really. It’s spooky and it’s pretty.

Check out this clean interface. It looks much more like an app timeline than an email inbox. That’s going to take some getting used to.

inbox-nexus6-500

68 percent of consumers say coupons promote loyalty

If you want to keep the same customers coming back over and over again, send them a coupon and then send them another one and another.

In “The State of Digital Coupons: How Digital Coupons Are Adapting to Mobile and Omnichannel by Forrester Consulting on behalf of RetailMeNot, we learn that coupons are still a prime motivator for both online and offline shoppers. 59% of consumers said coupons were most likely to influence their purchasing decisions. Luckily, there’s an upside to selling things for less money – customer loyalty.

Retail Me Not Coupon Loyalty
68% of consumers say coupons build brand awareness and lead to customer loyalty. Look at the chart above. The lighter the blue, the more positive the response. A large number of respondents said they were likely to tell friends about online coupons and promotion codes. 29% felt strongly that coupons led to brand loyalty and another 62% agreed to some extent.

Tablet users visit a site 5 times before buying and other mobile commerce facts

Tablet UsageToday’s infographic comes to us all the way from Paris. Not Paris, Texas. The Paris – Paris, France.

This intriguing missive came to me from a company called Content Square. They’re a French start-up whose raison d’être is optimizing digital platforms to increase conversion rates. A noble cause.

Their first infographic is called the “E-Commerce Tablet Barometer“. The English translation is a little wonky, but the data is interesting and so I thought it was worth sharing.

The main point of the piece is that tablets aren’t exactly the “one-click” wonders we expect them to be. Few, if any customers sit down with a tablet, go right to the product they want and buy it with a single tap. I can hear you rolling your eyes and sighing. . . ‘well, of course not’ but there are mobile apps that let you can buy just that easily – Amazon, eBay, any site that takes Apple Pay. . .

Snapchat to users ‘this is going to feel a little weird’

OuijaSnapchat launched their first in-app ad today and with it came the all-to-familiar, we hope this will save us, apology.

This one might be my all-time favorite:

This weekend we’re placing an advertisement in “Recent Updates” for Snapchatters in the United States. It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this because it’s the first time we’ve been paid to put content in that space. It’s going to feel a little weird at first, but we’re taking the plunge.

The app caters to young users and it has a reputation for naughty behavior, so I get the thinly veiled, double entendres but still. . . .

 An advertisement will appear in your Recent Updates from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it. No biggie. It goes away after you view it or within 24 hours, just like Stories.