For the first time since Yelp became a publicly traded company, it reported a profit (Q2 of 2014). Today, its valuation sits around $5 billion, and boasts a monthly average of 138 million unique visitors. And while Yelp faces competition from some pretty heavy hitters -- Google, for one -- the future of the company looks promising.
Advanced communication systems allow people to easily find other coworkers and engage them through multiple channels and devices. Coworkers can dial each other into voice or video, screen sharing and collaborative file sessions, giving those casual conversations a range of tools to enhance the experience and exchange.
Applications (apps) on smartphones are accessible, convenient, inexpensive, and have the potential to be far reaching BUT can they be effective for weight loss? The public and software developers certainly think so, as there are an estimated 400 iTunes apps and 480 Android apps available in the "health and fitness" category with 30 specifically designed for weight loss including self-monitoring (1).
Twitter is the latest in a string of companies putting users at the whim of hasty policy changes and a rapid monetization policy put in place for IPO. You want to use it? Pay for it. While there's technically nothing wrong with this idea -- Twitter is a company and they should make money -- the fact that they're still alluding to the impression that all users have an equal opportunity in achieving influence is just inaccurate.
If we are ever to have kids that will benefit from screens, instead of wasting their time on it, it is the adults who will have to do a better job of figuring out ways to turn these devices from a time killer into an idea generator. Technology has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This isn't about how much time kids spend with screens, it's about what's on the screen. Screens are no longer the things we use to waste time and take our collective minds off of our day-to-day lives. These screens have come alive, and a child's ability to understand this, work with them and -- ultimately -- use them to create something is going to be a key indicator of their ability to be successful in life.
I'm usually not one for jumping on the bandwagon of championing smartphone apps but recently I have been using fewer and gaining more awareness and ability as I navigate around Vancouver and have fun with friends. I am not associated with the apps I am talking about here. They just work really well and make living here a little more fun. Let's start...
Siri, Jeannie, Andy and even Edwin all reply to their users in female voices, and the trend of "female" virtual assistant apps isn't going anywhere. The multitude of "female" personal assistant apps in the marketplace feels terrifyingly counter-productive to all the strides women have made in the work place over the last few decades.
I recently heard how the new Vine app was taking the Social Media world by storm. It's an iPhone app that allows you to shoot a 6 second looping video and upload it to Twitter, Facebook and the Vine network. At first the idea of making a mini movie didn't sound novel to me, but I still knew that I wanted to check it out!
The most effective brands driving engagement are those who are able to be relatable, and those which use their social media channels to talk about things their audience cares about. When people feel they're touching on something that matters to them, they're much more likely to participate and give back. But what will brand engagement look like in the future, and how do you stay a step ahead of trends?