Friday Round-up: Twitter fights for transparency and Amazon gets physical

celebrate-the-little-thingsDid you have a good week? Maybe you had a breakthrough? Sales are up, complaints are down – celebrate the good and let the rest go.

That’s the advice portion of the post, now on to all the news that was too (insert adjective) to print.

Twitter Fights for Transparency

Twitter filed a lawsuit in federal court asking for the right to publish their full transparency report. Right now, they’re forbidden from publishing the exact number of national security letters (“NSLs”) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) court orders received, even if that number is zero. Twitter feels that people have a right to know if the government is requesting information – and it’s not like they want to hand out names and dates. All they want is the right to say if it’s 1 request or 100.

The top 10 global brands: this time it’s personal

Interbrand just released their annual list of the most valuable brands in the world. What determines value? Three things:

  • The financial performance of the branded product and service
  • The role the brand plays in influencing customer choice
  • The strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company

Without looking at the chart, I bet you can guess who came out on top.

Top Global brands

Just looking at the top ten (the list goes to 100), a couple of things jump out.

First, there hasn’t been much change over the past year. The top six companies have maintained their rank even though one, IBM, went down 8% in value.

Ads coming to Snapchat? They’re already here.

SnapchatDigital clutter is a real thing. All those text messages and photos and videos piling up on your phone. . . if only they could simply disappear when you were done with them. . . .

That’s the concept behind Snapchat. Send photos and videos to your friends, they mark the ones they want to keep, everything else self-destructs seconds after it’s viewed. No more digital clutter and it’s also a super way to make sure mom never sees that sexy photo you sent to your new boyfriend.

Snapchat may have a bad reputation among those over 30 but for girls under 25, it’s magic.

The app has more than 100 million users. Business Insider adds on these facts:

Will polls make Google Plus posts more engaging? Yes or No?

When Google Plus announced the release of the new poll widget, the one thing they didn’t do was put up a poll asking people how they feel about it. Is it a welcome option or a poor attempt to keep people on the site longer?

We know people love polls. We can’t resist sharing our opinion when all we have to do is click.

I put up a poll, answered my own question then was surprised by the fact that two more people responded within minutes.

Polls on Plus

That’s more engagement than I’ve seen on Google Plus since I created my profile! Maybe there is something to this poll thing.

The trouble with Google Plus has always been a lack of agreement on the numbers.

Optimistic and globally conscious: that’s the face of the next generation

Facebook Coming of AgeMy husband is one of those people who regularly pulls out the old “back in my day” stories whenever the conversation revolves around technology, or books or music or. . . just about anything. My son is on the other side consuming the same quantity of words and music and information as we did just in a different way.

Facebook just posted a heartfelt video that illustrates this point beautifully as part of their “Coming of Age on Screens” study. Mom talks about passing notes in school, daughter talks about sending texts. Then the parents and kids share bits of their lives with each other; hardcopy verses digital. No kidding, I was crying by the end.

Excuse me a moment while I wipe away the tears, then we can talk business.

Half of all mobile shoppers will abandon the cart if the app gives them trouble

Half of all mobile shoppers will abandon the cart if the app they’re trying to use is too much of a struggle. Not much of a headline is it? Of course people are going to give up when things don’t work. So why are we talking about this? I’ll tell you why – because it’s a great reminder of just how little it takes to lose a customer after you’ve worked so hard to get that customer in the first place.

contact solutions mobile app issues

Online holiday 2014 sales expected to grow 8 to 11 percent

NRF Survival GuideIt’s the most wonderful time of the year – if you’re a retailer or marketer. The National Retail Federation just posted their 2014 Holiday Survival Guide and it’s a very pretty picture.

The experts at the NRF say we’re likely to see a “healthy” 4.1% increase in sales this year bringing the holiday shopping total to $619.9 billion.

This is the first time since 2001 that the increase topped 4%. If that doesn’t sound all that great to you, check out the numbers for 2008.

Six years ago, we had our only negative change and 2009 wasn’t much better. After a small lull in 2012, it looks like we’re on our way to prosperity street once again

NRF Holiday 2014 Sales Predictions