There Are Too Many Apps For That

This past weekend, I gave into temptation and bought myself an iPad2. I wasn’t as thrilled as I thought I’d be but that’s another story. This story is about apps, because one of the first things I did, when I took it out of the box, is look for apps to load.

I started with the ones I use most on my iPhone, like Skype, eBay and GetGlue. I also use a lot of shopping apps, but those didn’t make sense. I won’t be taking my iPad to the grocery store, but I do carry and use my iPhone there. Then I remembered the advice I’m always giving in this column — iPad apps shouldn’t simply be resized versions of iPhone apps or web pages, they should encompass the whole iPad experience. And therein lies the problem.

Google+ Business Profiles Are On the Way

Marketers, start your Google+ engines! Speaking at Ad Age’s Digital West conference last week, Google’s Christian Oestlien, said it’s “close to unveiling Google+ business profiles.”

Right now, only Ford and General Motors have official profiles, but since Google+ opened the gates to everyone and anyone, a few “unofficial” profiles have popped up for brands such as Snapple and Taco Bell. Most of these branded pages are blank which leads me to believe people are place holding in hopes of a coup. It’s not going to happen, though, because there’s no limit to how many times the same name can be used.

If a company wants to complain about misuse of their logo, Google+ will listen and possibly shut down the offending profile, but it doeesn’t sound like verification will be a priority at all.

Bing Launches Daily Deal Aggregator

Daily deal sites are out of control. They’re like. . . well, you know. . . everybody’s got one. Now Bing has one, but instead of running their own deals, they’re aggregating the ones that are already out there.

In theory, it’s a good concept. In practice, I’d say they have a little work to do.

First off, the PR on the site says it’s all about daily deals, a phrase that has come to take on a certain meaning. A daily deal is one of those short-term, limited quantity, discounts usually for some kind of food or service. But the top line on Bing’s very graphically-oriented deal site is dedicated to retail items with a “find the best price” engine attached to each. That’s not a daily deal. That’s not even necessarily a deal!

Spotify and Facebook: How Free Can Turn into Big Dollars

One of the most well-thought out new features on Facebook is the sharing of music between you and your friends. Much of this comes from their partner Spotify, whose CEO Daniel Ek spoke at yesterday’s F8 Conference.

He brought up two points that really stuck with me.

First is the concept of the record collection. In the days before the internet, we used to go to our friend’s home and browse through their albums. They were often proudly displayed in the living room (if you were a grown-up) or in an orange crate in the bedroom (if you were a teen). We were defined by our collection. A collection of current artists said you were cool. If you had Johnny Mathis mixed with Johnny Rotten, you were an individualist. The biggest collection of Broadway soundtracks this side of the Great White Way? You’re probably a little flashier than most.

New Study Says the More Personalized, the Better

When you travel around the internet, you come across ads that are somewhat personalized. You’ll see banners for sites you’ve previously visited and ads for stores in your neighborhood because advertisers know where you live. But how about an ad that responses to the weather at your location or your age?

Enter Eyeview. They’re a provider that specializes in highly-targeted video ads. Here’s a panel from a Target ad customized by gender and weather.

The ads begin the same but change to show the location of the nearest Target store and then an appropriate item. In this case, a short-sleeve Glee t-shirt for the sunny, Southern California girl, and a cozy, long-sleeve shirt for the guy in rainy Chicago.

Facebook Puts on a New Face with Timeline and Ticker

Facebook is about to change and this time it’s not about a shake-up of your sidebar or a reshuffling of how things show up on your wall. This time, the change is big. It’s a whole new way to connect with the world and share the things that are important to you.

It’s about the timeline, the ticker and a whole new series of open graph apps. I spent the morning listening to Mark Zuckerberg present the new Facebook on a LiveStream from the f8 conference and here’s what I came away with.


Timeline is one of two big, structural changes to Facebook. It’s meant to tell the story of your life by presenting everything you’ve done (and mentioned on Facebook) in chronological order. It really is a timeline – just like the ones they made you use in history class when you were in school.

AOL Adds E-Commerce to Project Devil

AOL’s Project Devil was supposed to be the key to the company’s future financial success but things haven’t gone as well as they’d hoped. Everyone likes the bold, interactive ad units but not everyone is in a position to fork over the kind of cash it takes to run one.

The big boys like Ford, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s are using the program, and AOL’s Tim Armstrong says that the response to the ads themselves has been good. He says folks stay on Project Devil ads almost four times longer than the industry average. In this case, time really is money, because longer engagement times usually result in conversions and better brand recognition.