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Twitter Partners with Vine to Share Mini Looped Videos

If you’re into six second videos then Twitter has a fun, new tool for you called Vine. (Shouldn’t it be called branch? Get it? Twitter bird – tree branch. . . )

Vine is a camera gizmo for the iPhone. You use it to shoot a six second video and then the app creates an auto loop so it plays over and over and over and over. . . you get the picture. Here’s a sample:

It makes me dizzy but I have it on good authority that it will be popular with Millennials, so prepare for the shaky, bouncy, loopy onslaught.

Google Helps Audi Drivers Get Around

Google has teamed with Audi using Google Maps and Google Earth to help drivers find what they need and to more safely get from Point A to Point B.

In the process they are catering to a high end crowd that likely make corporate decisions as well. Hey, I bet the “if it’s good enough for Audi it’s good enough for us” strategy has more impact than one might think.

Here is a video from the Google Lat Long blog showing the service in a perfect world.

Notice that the language used to describe the program stays in line with the ‘beautiful’ motif that Google is using everywhere. Here it is ‘elegant’. That’s a far cry from the ‘engineered by engineers for engineers’ motto that seemed to define Google since the beginning.

Facebook Mobile App #1 in US, Beating Google Maps

Well, if Apple was looking to take a bite out of Google with its own native Maps app it appears that it has worked, at least in the short term.

According to comScore, Facebook has replaced Google Maps as the top mobile app in the US in 2012.

Google_Maps_App_vs._Facebook_App_Image_1

That is certainly interesting but Google need not fret based on the following data also from comScore

Top_US_Mobile_Apps_Ranked_by_Unique_Visitors

What should be of most interest is that Google Play number. No matter what statistics or reports or whatever come out, it is obvious that Android’s position in the mobile world is growing and marketers will ignore this at their own risk.

Are you surprised by these results?

There’s A New Mobile OS in Town: Firefox

Thought it was enough to have iOS and Android mobile platform concerns while still knowing that BlackBerry is still lurking about?

Well, now you can check out a developers version of the new Firefox mobile OS.

Firefox OS

From the Mozilla announcement

Firefox OS is a new mobile operating system built entirely using open web standards. In Firefox OS, HTML5 apps can do “phone things” – they can make the phone vibrate, make a phone call or send a text message.

This week we are announcing our new Firefox OS developer preview phones because we believe that developers will help bring the power of the web to mobile. These developer phones are being developed by Geeksphone in partnership with Telefonica and Geeksphone.

Experts Predict 14 Billion Dollar Increase in Mobile Commerce in 2013

sephora to goMobile has been very, very good to beauty product retailer Sephora. Speaking at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2013 conference, exec Johnna Marcus noted that the company saw a 167% increase in mobile orders last year, a 75% rise in mobile traffic and more than 50% of their email opens are now coming in from mobile devices.

Their goal is to develop mobile as a consumer’s personal shopper delivering reviews, keeping track of preferred brands and highlighting hot, new items on an on-going basis. They’re also highly invested in the concept of a mobile wallet that integrates with the Sephora gift card. And see that scan button in the upper corner of the app? That allows consumers to scan barcodes on in-store packages or items in their girlfriend’s purse in order to instantly see reviews and buying options. It’s a make-up lovers dream.

Android Tablets Denting Apple’s Market Share As Well?

Nexus 7I know I appear to be anti- Apple. I am not. In fact, I have several generations of iPods in my house, a MacBook Pro and I use a Mac Mini as well. If I hate Apple I guess I have a weird way of showing it.

On the phone side though I have become an Android devotee with a Samsung SG3. I have yet to enter the tablet game (yeah I am the one guy left) and while I have to seriously consider the iPad or iPad Mini I am more seriously considering the Nexus 7. According to a report coming from Japan I am not alone by a long shot.

cnet reports

Google’s Nexus 7 is gaining market share in Japan and topped Apple’s iPad in one survey.

More Consumers Are Researching Online and Buying In-Store

Showrooming, the act of researching a product in a store then buying it online, has been a concern for many retailers. It’s not a new concept, but mobile made it a rising trend in 2011. With smartphone in hand, a consumer can test drive the HD TVs, check the reviews online, locate the best price and make the purchase from a different retailer while they’re still standing in the store.

They can – but is that what shoppers are doing?

The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group surveyed 1,000 US consumers to find out how technology is impacting their shopping behaviors. They published the results in a study called “Catch and Keep Digital Shoppers” and they even made a nifty infographic for us to share.

Here’s the section that caught my eye: