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Sincerest Form of Flattery – Video Comes to Instagram

instagram videoInstagram, your favorite photo with a filter app, now takes video! Short, 15 second videos that you can start and stop by lifting your finger off the button in order to animate inanimate objects. Cool, huh?

Wait. . . don’t I already have one of those apps on my phone? Oh right, it’s called Vine. Think the boys over there are telling themselves that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? No, probably not.

Video on Instagram is designed to help you capture all those beautiful, fun moments of your life then share them so you can make others jealous. Really. Watch this intro video and tell me it doesn’t make you feel bad. All those happy people doing cute things. . .

Sorry. Back to business.

Mobile Marketers: Are You a Vampire or a Servant?

Marketing research is a lot like mobile marketing. You have to get the potential user’s attention, use clever content to keep him engaged and then hope he likes what you presented enough to act on it. Or you could use bribery – as this study will show, that works, too.

The pitch that caught my eye today was the Millward Brown / SessionM study called “Exploring the Role of Value in Mobile Advertising.” I decided to cover the story because of this graphic:

time sucker

Any company that uses a vampire bat to make their point is full of win. In this case, they asked mobile users to express how they feel about mobile advertising. Many people feel that its nothing but a time suck. On the other hand, they’re okay with ads as long as the content makes them happier, enriches their life or introduces them to a product that will do either of the aforementioned.

17% of Ecommerce Merchants Don’t Know if They’re Optimized for Mobile

683316_mobile_communicationsI think every business should have a website. Small, big, brick and mortar retail, cafe or hair salon – the web is where people go to find you when they want something. Websites are inexpensive and easy to build so there’s no excuse for not having at least a single page with a map, hours and an explanation of what you do.

Next, you have to think mobile. Yesterday, I desperately wanted a cheesesteak but an errand took me to the other side of town from my local Philly’s Best. I knew it was a franchise, so I took out my phone and looked it up. Sure enough, there was another location just a few blocks away. I got my cheesesteak and that franchise owner got a new customer.

Study: Google Takes In Over 50% of Global Mobile Ad Revenue

While mobile ad revenue is still not the lion’s share of ad revenue for most, the fact is it’s a growth area. Whatever the number that is attached to total mobile ad revenue worldwide is, Google is taking in over half of that total for now, according to eMarketer.

The chart comes from reports the research company has put together and if this is trending, Google looks to continue to take even more moving forward.

Net Mobile Internet Ad Revenue

Facebook is also trending well, at least according to this research. Of course, Facebook investors might be relieved to see this considering they are not all too happy with Mark Z. and his band of merry social networkers at the moment.

iTunes Opens Marketplace for App Sales by Developers

for sale signEvery business needs an app, but building one can be costly and time consuming, then you have to build up an audience from nothing. That’s a lot of work. But what if you could buy an app that was already a success? Lay on a little rebranding and you’re out of the box a year ahead of schedule.

Apple’s about to make that happen. Venture Beat just published a copy of an email that explains the whole procedure to developers but it’s pretty simple. The entire transaction happens with a couple of clicks through their iTunes Connect account. The beauty of the deal is that the app details remain the same, only the ownership changes. Leaderboard rankings, reviews, ratings – they all carry over to the new owner.

Google Says ‘Yes Waze’ and Spends Over $1B for Traffic Reporting Service

Waze ScreenshotGoogle is getting even more serious about mapping lately, if that is even possible. So serious in fact, that they have reportedly shelled out somewhere just north of $1 billion to acquire Waze, a company that is relatively unknown (compared to other $1 billion purchases like Tumblr by Yahoo!). Even TechCrunch reports on the purchase with the following headline

WTF Is Waze And Why Did Google Just Pay A Billion+ For It?”

Good question. The reports have been swirling for about a week and Waze was being courted by all the big boys including Apple and Facebook. Google, however, won out with money and this from its CEO Noam Bardin which was posted on the Waze blog after the big win.

Tablet Ownership Nearly Doubled In the Past Year

A third (34%) of American adults ages 18 and older own a tablet computer. A year ago, we were at 18%. That’s a success story right there.

The numbers come from the latest Pew Internet and American Life Project post and they’re even more impressive when you look at them graphically.

pew tablet ownership

Look at that climb! In three years, we went from 3% to 34% and it’s likely that the line will continue on an upward swing for the next few years.

Why is this important to you, the marketer? Because it’s a sign of things to come. We’ve barely figured out how to monetize smartphones and now we have tablets in the mix. The good news is that tablets are actually easier to monetize because of the wider screen and the way we use them. Smartphones are what we turn to when we’re on the go. It’s a quick fix but that means that in most cases, the user doesn’t have time to waste.