App engagement is up but it’s still a game for the fortunate few

What time is it? It’s digital time. (Insert snappy dance music here.)

Here in the US we do love our internet connection. Between desktop, laptops, tablets and smartphones, digital time spent rose 24% in just the past year. The real star of the show is Mr. Mobile App. He’s so popular, comScore wrote a whole report about him.

Look at his meteoric rise over the past year. He basically swapped places with the desktop and is now responsible for 52% of digital time spent.

Comscore Digital Time 2014That means the app business must be booming, right? Well, yes and no.

The Chosen Few

Majority of seniors say advertisers don’t treat them with respect

Beatrices wallEarlier this year, Esurance ran a TV commercial where a senior citizen tried to prove how up-to-date she was by posting her vacation photos on her “wall”. But of course, it wasn’t her Facebook wall, it was the wall in her living room. When her friends try to top her with talk about fast insurance quotes, the woman “unfriends” them. Which. . . of course. . . is not how that works. Very funny.

Not really.

This is why 60% of the seniors in a GlynnDevins survey agreed that boomers in advertising are stereotypes. Slightly more than half said they don’t feel like they get respect from advertiser and only one third said they can relate to the seniors they see in commercials. They were particularly hard on pharmaceutical and financial ads. They said that companies have a tendency to go too far in either direction – too good to be true and too bad to be true. The attractive, wealthy, jet-setting seniors were just as off-putting as the feeble, confused seniors.

Channel Sponsors

Instagram rolls out real-time analytics for advertisers

Instagram Ben and JerrysInstagram just took a giant leap into the display advertising pool with the release of several new analytic tools for brands. (Did you hear the splash?)

Almost a year ago, they barely dipped their toe into the water with a blog post that was so tentative it was almost comical.

In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you’re in the United States. Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow.

Advertising backlash is pretty much a given these days but it doesn’t have the punch it used to have. We’re all addicted to our social media choices. Did millions of people abandon Facebook when ads started showing up in the feed? Did they leave Twitter? And they won’t leave Instagram. . . . maybe.

Ode to a Search Engine: A look at Google’s 10 biggest search milestones

Google, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love you for your intuition and how you know what I’m thinking when even I’m not so sure. I love you for your image search that helps me find a name for the thing I just bought at the thrift shop.  I love you for your inventive and amusing Google Doodles. (Doctor Who returns on Saturday!)

google doodle dr who
But mostly, I love the way you serve my content to millions of people on a daily basis absolutely free of charge.

Mobile purchases are up but revenue is down. How did that happen?

yesmail mobile vs desktopYesmail has good news and bad news for email marketers.

First, the good news.  “The number of purchases made as a result of emails opened on a mobile device has grown almost 40 percent over the past year.”

Now the bad news. “Revenue from mobile purchases increased by a comparatively modest 10 percent.”

No big deal, right? Because people who open email on a desktop clearly love to click through and spend. True enough, but Yesmail says that 64.5% of all email opens happen on a mobile device. And since the average order on a mobile device is 33% lower than the average order on a desktop ($55 vs $83) that’s a lot of money missing from the cash register.

Twitter gears up to really ruin your timeline

Cash WhaleRemember when Twitter introduced the official retweet option and thousands of users vowed to start blocking anyone that caused a stranger to show up in their stream?* Well, they ain’t gonna like this update from Twitter either.

As spotted by Quartz, Twitter has quietly changed its help document, What’s a Twitter timeline?

“Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timelineThis means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t followWe select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with itOur goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.” (emphasis added)

Here’s the most honest back-to-school infographic you’re ever going to see

ShoeBuy Back to School 1My back-to-school shopping days are over but it all came back to me when I visited Staples last week. I was there for printer ink but I couldn’t resist the four foot stack of 17 cent spiral notebooks and the racks of Disney character folders and the bins of colorful school tools. I didn’t need any of it but I want it. . . all of it. . . it’s a crazy emotional trigger made worse possibly by the fact that I was a teacher for 10 years.

Then I heard a conversation that reminded me of the real meaning of back-to-school.

“Mom! I NEED this one!”

“That one is too expensive. Get the other one.”

“That one doesn’t have Transformers on it! And Mrs. Shipley says I need 8 notebooks.”