Brands Fare Better On Instagram

Instagram is fast catching up to Twitter in number of users in the U.S., and the social network appears to be doing much better for engagement than both Facebook and Twitter when it comes to brand posts.

A comparison of the same posts on Facebook and Instagram from Red Bull shows that the Instagram video vastly outperformed the other. The study surmises that the uncluttered feel of Instagram’s feed is what is propelling engagement on this channel.

SimplyMeasured found that only 71 percent of the Interbrand 100 are currently using Instagram and advise brands who are not yet on the platform to get there now. It is possible that brands may “ransack” the network and thus create a drop in engagement. When it comes to emerging platforms, it appears the earlier, the better.
Source: SimplyMeasured

Pocket Molecular Sensor Finds Success

For those of you wishing to have a real-life Tricorder, like the ones they use on Star Trek, you’re in luck.

The SCiO is the world’s first affordable molecular sensor, one that easily fits in the palm of the hand of whoever’s using it. With a tiny spectrometer, it enables users to get instant – and relevant – information about the chemical make-up of pretty much anything you scan.

There are a number of purposes the device can be used for, including getting nutritional facts on food, seeing the quality of cooking oil, analyzing soil and hydroponic solutions and more.

Consumer Physics, Inc. launched the KickStarter not too long ago, and the device has already seen tremendous success, with $407,000+ raised with 44 days to go – over double its original goal of $200,000.

Those interested in this high-tech device can still pre-order it on the KickStarter page before it ships this December. If you’re a Trekkie, you’ll want to jump on this.

Source: KickStarter

Are Personal Tweets More Valuable?

Twitter isn’t about how brands advertise products, but rather how people perceive them, according to a new study from ShareThis.

According to the study, users are more likely to trust the word of people rather than a direct Twitter brand, including technological items as well as cars, recipes and other goods.

“Recommendations have more of an impact than brand or price,” said ShareThis CEO Kurt Abrahamson. “We found that highly positive online shares can generate an almost 10 percent increase in purchase intent, and negative reviews can also have a correspondingly negative impact, (reducing purchase intent by) 11 percent.”

The research went across 6,000 people, asking them how different kinds of reviews can translate into the desire to pay more or less for items. One such comparison was the iPad, which showed that customers would pay $22.26 more based on an “online share,” and $27.42 based on a share from a personal friend or family member. It also goes the other way when a review or feedback is negative.

Do you agree?

Source: The Atlantic

Facebook Introduces Mobile Ad Network

After speaking about it for the longest time, Facebook has finally made its mobile ad network a reality.

Speaking at the f8 developer conference in San Francisco, Facebook’s mobile monetization chief Deborah Liu introduced the network to mobile publishers and developers alike. With it, the process of selling ads will be much easier. “We bring it all together for you so you don’t have to hire a sales team to sell ads,” she said.

Interested parties can use Facebook data to gauge what kind of audience their ads would be best for, with a targeting system that Liu believes is “the best in the world,” due to how much data it actually collects.

The network supports a variety of ads, including banners, “native units” and interstitials, customized to whatever the developer/publisher setting up the ad needs.

“Formats really matter in mobile,” said Liu. “We encourage you to work with us on native advertising.”

Several companies are on board with the program already, including Coca-Cola and Disney.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Microsoft Working On Virtual Reality

If the Game Developers Conference proved anything back in March, it’s that virtual reality is a trend that’s coming back into gaming at a rapid pace, between the Oculus VR and Sony’s Project Morpheus. Now, Microsoft is moving in on the digital picture.

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox Entertainment, stated that Microsoft is dabbling with virtual reality, but stopped short of confirming specific technology.

“Virtual reality is a really interesting idea, especially for games, and while it seems like it’s been ‘just over the horizon’ for the last 20 years or so, I think we could finally start seeing it prove out soon for both gamers and developers,” said Spencer. “Our Microsoft research team has been playing with virtual reality for quite a while, and while we don’t have anything to officially announce, it’s clearly an area people are excited about.

“The potential is definitely there,” he concluded.

(Illo above from supposedly leaked Microsoft documents prior to the Xbox One announcement.)

Source: MCV UK

Glu Mobile Acquires Developer PlayFirst

Glu Mobile has recently added a huge chunk to its mobile gaming empire, acquiring the developer behind the popular mobile game Diner Dash, PlayFirst.

Gluy Mobile will pay for three million shares of PlayFirsts’s common stock, worth around $12 million, and cover $3.55 million of PlayFirst’s debt. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of May 2014, though PlayFirst will continue to operate on a standalone basis.

“PlayFirst brings to Glu one of the largest casual gaming brands of all time, as well as the studio DNA to take Glu’s casual portfolio to even greater heights,” said Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi. “We are delighted to add PlayFirst to the Glu family and look forward to the launch of a free-to-play Diner Dash mobile game in Q4 2014.”

“Glu continues to search for globally-recognized IP that can be reinvigorated by leveraging our global studio and publishing organizations,” de Masi concluded.

Source: Polygon

‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ Revealed

Originally planned for an unveiling on May 4th, Activision and Sledgehammer Games unveiled the new Call of Duty game when Destructoid leaked the information through a “reliable source” Thursday evening.

The game is called Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and it takes place in the near future, where soldiers use gravity-enhanced gloves, rocket exosuits and hoverbikes to deliver justice, as well as good old fashioned weaponry. The trailer below showcases just what kind of action players are in store for, and promises to bring a compelling single player campaign, alongside the reliable multiplayer component.

In the middle of the story is an operative commanding the soldiers, with actor Kevin Spacey in the role. He’s provided the likeness and voice for this hardened character, who appears to be ready to take on the U.S. government with his private military crew.

Though specific platforms for the game weren’t mentioned yet, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is likely to release for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, along with PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (since the gameplay featured in the trailer below utilizes Xbox One hardware). The release date is November 4th, 2014.

More information about the game should be unveiled next month during the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Source: Destructoid


Return Of The Subservient Chicken

Burger King had a viral hit a decade ago when it had the Subservient Chicken, but this mockumentary takes us on a somewhat depressing journey into how the years have been unkind to him. However, he’s trained up and he’s not so subservient anymore, and he’s promoting the new Chicken Big King Sandwich.