Tag Archives: Google+

Mobile multitasking and the future of TV

Guy with mobile in bed

Mashable recently reported on the increase of people multitasking with their mobile devices. My iPhone addiction combined with my Gen Y short attention span has resulted in me constantly multitasking. Weather, news, social feeds and email are all updated and checked several times throughout the day.

In a recent Yahoo and Razorfish poll of 2,000 Yanks, 94% engaged in some form of mobile communication while watching TV. Reality, News, Comedy and Sport are the most attractive to multitaskers with ad time becoming their mobile prime time. Mobile traffic also spikes during breaks in sporting events; Yahoo Sports saw a 305% increase during the last Super Bowl halftime show.

Bottom line: TV Advertising is stuffed.

Result: TV channels (not content) will die.

Musings: Here are some of my crystal ball predictions on how things might change:


  • Multitasking whilst watching the box is more strenuous so people will watch less TV and go to bed earlier.
  • The mobile will become the new remote control. Viewers will turn to their mobile instead of changing the channel.
  • People won’t enjoy watching TV channels as much as they aren’t as engaged.
TV Production
  • TV networks will be forced to interact with viewers. Hashtags are just the beginning – there will be more polls, more ‘let the audience decide’. Choose your own adventure won’t just be the books you read in the primary school library, it will be its own TV subgenre.
  • TV channels will focus more on live entertainment – more live sport, variety shows and live dramas (essentially – theatre) – everything will need to be live to give TV a unique selling point.
  • Content will become shorter. That means The 7.30 report will end at 7.45 and True Blood will go for 27.5 minutes.
  • Sports broadcasting will be supported by mobile experiences where viewers can view game related content and information. Watch the entire game from seat FF 66 in the Great Northern Stand on your iPad.

TV Advertising

  • TV Ads will need to try harder to get our attention.
  • To engage TV Ads will need to incentivise and engage viewing. Live competitions, more yelling of the words FREE, BOGOF, SEX and SALE (not in that order), Google + hangout broadcasts….hmmm.. TV advertising will struggle.
  • More branded content. Red Bull won’t just sponsor teenagers with mullets who ride motorbikes.
  • Mobile User Experience (MUX) will be the next boom for smart digital gurus.
What do you think? Do you find yourself on your phone during intense and complex dramas like Damages and Dexter? Does the mobile detract or enhance TV viewing? Are any of these predictions going to come true?
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Is Facebook Open Graph Doomed?

Facebook Dislike button

Facebook recently announced a raft of take-over-the-internet updates at their yearly conference – F8.

A significant update is an auto-share feature that will mean everything you read on certain sites will be shared with your Facebook buddies. Instead of selecting the Recommend or Like button on every SMH article that you want to share you will just tick once the Add to Timeline button. It will share anything you do on the site like comment, watch videos, listen to music or any other interaction.

This has a few potential issues including the embarrassment of viewing articles you probably shouldn’t. My beef with the feature is that social media isn’t about sharing everything – it’s about sharing the best stuff. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Last.fm, FourSquare, Yammer, Google+ shine light on what your network likes. This is the underlying strategy behind the Google +1 button and Facebook’s social ads and sponsored stories. Turning Facebook into a stream of people’s entire online activity will dilute it’s value.

Auto-sharing won’t do Facebook any favours in winning over privacy skeptics either. Who wants to be thinking – is this site on my timeline? Have I shared this article already? What if I want to add a comment to a story I’ve already shared automatically?

What do you think? The Like button is possibly the most passive/meaningless way to share content but is auto-sharing going one step too far?

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Why Foursquare is failing Down Under

australia foursquare

One of my favourite apps in the whole wide world is Foursquare. I’m constantly checking into places. The only time I have deliberately not checked in was when I was at a funeral. Inappropriate.

I love finding out Lonely Planet style tips on what to order, the best time to visit or any special deals on offer. The stalker in me is also interested in where my Foursquare buds are hanging out and if they have just discovered the new micro bar or hole in the wall piccolo joint. I’m also trying to be the mayor of my new apartment complex in Leichhardt. Be warned that Karen C is going down.

I digress.

Despite the joy Foursquare provides and its worldwide success (over 10 million worldwide) Foursquare has failed to crack the Australian market. How come?

1. Australians are inherently lazy and without greater incentives won’t use a separate app for location-based  check-ins. It’s just too easy to check-in on Facebook.

2. Not enough places have deals. Australians love a bargain so more bars need to offer free beer with check-ins. Coffee shops need to get rid of loyalty cards and start rewarding loyalty check-ins like with eCoffee Card.

3. You can’t ‘tag’ users in Foursquare. Tagging significantly increases the reach of apps. Haven’t checked in lately on Facebook Places? That’s ok – your geek mate has tagged you. It’s reminded you of the app, the check-in functionality and reminded all your friends of the feature. Check-in fueled conversations put the ‘social’ back into what, some might say, is just narcissistic sharing. Social media can use location to stay relevant as, unlike interests, locations change all the time.

4. Australians are a modest bunch and Foursquare’s unique selling point of gamification isn’t enough of a draw card to get people to start checking in.

5. Despite Gen Y and many other Australians been obsessed with themselves and self-promotion, the audience simply isn’t there to call for the cries of  ‘look at me’.

So in summary, Foursquare is lacking the mainstream critical mass of features, users and deals to grow and become popular in Australia. Of my Foursquare friends 47 out of 58 are in the early adopter/yuppie, media/arts, geeks/attention seekers world. Like Google+ Foursquare is stuck in geekdom.

Follow me on Foursquare

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