Weekly Roundup: August 10th

Observations August 13, 2014 8:14 am


Updates From The Instant Gratification Economy

  • “I want it, and I want it now:” Re/Code kicked off a week-long series on the “Instant Gratification Economy” with this quote. The series takes a look at the changing consumer desire for on-demand service and the host of startups who have emerged to make life more convenient. Established companies, like Google and Amazon, are also making on-demand service a differentiating factor in their business models. Google partnered with Barnes & Nobles this week for same-day book delivery and Amazon expanded same-day grocery delivery to six more US cities.
  • Sharing economy spurs on-demand economy: The sharing economy has played a large role in facilitating the growth of the instant gratification economy, providing consumers with the opportunity to rent or share, not own, things only when they actually need them. The transportation industry, especially, has been disrupted by the sharing economy. This week Uber made several announcements that expand the reach of its service: a carpooling option that lessens the cost of a ride, chefs on-demand through a partnership with Kitchen Surfing, and in China, “People’s Uber” that takes profit out of the equation.
  • Uber For X… Product Hunt has compiled a list of companies that bill themselves as “Uber For X.” Find a one-button pizza ordering app, on-demand marijuana courier networks, and house-call services for doctors.


Social Media News

  • Social Commerce on the Horizon: We sound like a broken record saying this is the year social commerce sticks, but this time we mean it. Twitter users reported seeing a “payment and shipping” option in their app settings, signaling that a shopping service is not far away. Rumors of Twitter commerce have been ramping up all summer; a “buy now” button briefly appeared in June. Wanelo is also experimenting with in-app purchasing, essentially making it easier for users to make impulse purchases.
  • New Features That Matter: Foursquare 8.0 launched this week, ditching the check-in for a focus on local discovery. The new app will use the data amassed from years of check-ins to power personalized recommendations. Pinterest launched messaging, allowing users to start conversations around pins. This new feature could be especially helpful for collaboration.
  • Ephemeral, but not Forgotten: Could interaction on Snapchat be more valuable than Facebook? Snapchat argues that because users have to press and hold the screen to see content, rather than simply scroll through ads, brands are better off on the ephemeral messaging network. Inside Snapchat’s Pitch to Advertisers

Celebrities For the Digital Generation

  • YouTube Rises in Popularity: Hollywood stars have always captivated American audiences, but YouTube and a new generation of digital content producers are starting to steal the attention. Self-made YouTube celebrities are now more influential among teens than stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Katy Perry, mainly because teens think YouTube stars are more authentic. But as YouTube stars parlay their Internet fame into book deals, TV shows, and even makeup lines, can they retain this authenticity? Fast Company goes “Inside YouTube’s Fame Factory.”
  • Traditional Networks Adapt: YouTube has changed how teens watch TV, and traditional networks like Nickelodeon are shifting their programming strategies to reach this new generation of digital viewers. Nickelodeon released “Welcome to Wayne” this week, an online and mobile first show that will later be repurposed for the television screen. Nickelodeon has also experimented with YouTube stars in the sketch TV series “AwesomenessTV.” MTV and Disney have also experimented with mobile-first shows, and Cartoon Network is developing fifteen-second shows for a new mobile app.
  • Bonus: Who are these Internet stars? NY Mag looks inside “The Weird World of Internet Fame” and Huffington Post profiles Nash Grier, “The Most Popular Kid in the World.

Debate of the Week: Native Advertising

  • The advertising industry vs. John Oliver:
    • John Oliver slams native advertising for destroying editorial integrity
    • The 614 Group releases a study showing that 69% of marketers believe native advertising is valuable.

images: YouTube, Sacred Beauty, Uber

*originally published on R/GA FutureVision

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