Twitter Tries App Install Advertisements

App install advertisements aren’t uncommon on some social networks. Facebook has plenty of them, allowing users the opportunity to download a game or other related app to their devices instantly, with the push of a button. The results have been terrific for Facebook, resulting in a substantial part of their revenue growth. Now, it appears that Twitter is giving this practice a try.

The Next Web is reporting that the social media company will test an all-new system that displays advertising for direct app installs. The program has already kicked off for some users today, showing a “suggested apps” section with large, hard-to-miss advertisements for programs sponsored by RelayRides, AsAforRally and other companies, who tie in their official Twitter accounts with the apps.

As you can see from the image above, the pop-up ad is hard to miss, taking up nearly the entirety of the screen. However, users shouldn’t be worried about them blocking their activities, as it can be found by “swiping right” on the menu screen, which will then take them to the aforementioned “Suggested Apps” section.

The campaign hasn’t fully launched yet, but some users have already taken notice, noting not only the size of the ads, but also the “side-swiping cards” that show off additional apps that can be installed, as seen below.

While this will no doubt help Twitter’s advertising side — and thus bring in a slightly larger revenue with its user base — there’s a question as to how obtrusive they could be in someone’s feed. This “testing ground” limits them to a certain section, but Twitter has put smaller ads in an active feed before, and it could be likely that these will find their way into said feed, which could irritate those who just want to keep an eye on messages from friends and others within their social network. The large size, and having to skim past them if there’s no interest in installing the ad, could get in the way of the experience.

Twitter has yet to note just how much of an effect this ad campaign will make on the entirety of its network, since it doesn’t have a large outreach on its massive audience just yet. So it’s a matter of waiting and seeing what kind of effect it has in the long run. However, here’s hoping that the company keeps the program firmly balanced, so users don’t have to scroll past everything just to get to their messages. It’s still a social network, after all.

Is The Website Dead? Marketing To The Post-Digital Consumers

One of the most interesting take-aways from this year’s SXSW Interactive for me following it via social media here from the office in Los Angeles was summarized in a Mashable article with the provocative title “Buzzfeed’s latest vision: who needs a website .”

The article was based on BuzzFeed co-founder Jonah Peretti’s SXSW talk in which he revealed a new vision for the company, which basically means less focus on driving traffic back to the publisher’s website and instead let them consume BuzzFeed content on the social network of their choice.

Why is this a big deal Let’s put this in context. If we have seen the evolution of analog media focused on monetizing (for example) a physical newspaper, to digital media where the focus was on monetizing the website, to what now can be called the post-digital era.

This means that BuzzFeed would not measure its audience by the 200 million people that it attracts to its site every month, but by the 18.5 billion impressions that BuzzFeed gets across its Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages. Broken out by social network, BuzzFeed‘s content saw 847 million views on Twitter, six billion on Pinterest, and a whopping 11.3 billion on Facebook.

What Peretti is on to is that the post-digital media consumer wants content served up right here, right now, on the social network or newsfilter of their choice. Modern media should be pushing our actual (native) content to social networks, not just links.

“You should be using this distribution channel to show them content, not just a pointer to some other space,” said Peretti in TechCrunch, continuing to explain that showing people links in hopes of luring them somewhere else “feels a little bit outdated.”

So what does this all mean for marketers and advertisers Take a look at BuzzFeed‘s business model of native advertising in form of branded content and no display advertising. They are betting the company on original branded content and especially content that is optimized for social network distribution with a focus on sharing as they way of the future.

Check out this 1 minute video to get a better idea of what has worked for BuzzFeed when it comes to video being produced by its new Motion Picture division based in Hollywood.

While BuzzFeed right now is at the forefront of these social-first publishers, they are certainly not the only ones. Brands like Marriott and Pepsi have already built their own studios to produce this kind of content as part of their marketing mix.

It might be premature to call the website and display advertising dead, but marketers and advertisers should probably start thinking about how well prepared they are to reach and engage the post-digital consumer.

Sony Starts Internet-TV Rollout With A $50 Bundle And Three Cities

By: Sahil Patel

Sony has finally launched its cloud-based online TV service, called the PlayStation Vue, which offers live and on-demand programming from a bundle of broadcast and cable TV channels.

Starting at $49.99 per month, Vue offers access to broadcast channels like CBS, Fox, and NBC, and more than 45 cable channels ranging from Discovery to Fox News, USA, and TNT. AMC, home to “Mad Men” and cable’s biggest hit “The Walking Dead,” will also be available starting next month.

That’s the “Access” bundle. Other bundles offered by Vue include “Core” ($59.99 per month for the Access package plus local regional sports networks like YES Network in New York, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, as well as some other sports and movie networks) and “Elite” ($69.99 per month for Access and Core packages plus 25 lifestyle, music, and family channels).

Read more…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Smartphones And Watches Become Motion Controllers

Smartphones and smart watches can do quite a bit in terms of features and accessibility – but now, thanks to a new project from Rolocule, they’re about to do something a little bit more.

TechCrunch has reported that Rolocule, based out of India, has launched a new game called Motion Tennis Cast. With it, players can utilize a game that works with the Chromecast and Android-based devices, syncing together to create a motion-based sports experience. Kind of like Nintendo’s Wii Sports did years ago, but with a more modern twist.

Right now, the program is limited to use with Android-based smartphones, but the company is hard at work on a new prototype that will utilize Android Wear smartwatches for similar controls. Imagine being able to swing your arm while holding a virtual tennis racket, using your device in its place.

Rolocule is no stranger to motion-based gaming experiences, as it’s been working on this tech for several years now, including the original Motion Tennis for iPhone and Apple TV, which launched back in 2013. However, with Android tech, the company has managed to make the experience more refined than ever, so it actually feels like people are playing sports activities – without the need of a Wii, obviously.

This could open up a potential new market for mobile gaming, being able to use your device for motion-based activities and interaction. Considering Apple’s recent push for its Apple TV device, it could easily reach out to developers to make it interactive with both iPhones and the Apple Watch to introduce a new level of gameplay. The same goes for Android, which will no doubt benefit from Rolocule’s tech.

It is just a casual start, though, and Motion Tennis Cast does present a unique introduction to the format. It’s free to download now, and also works with smart TVs (via Mieracast or AllShareCast) and Chrome browsers, in addition to Chromecast.

Check out the video below to get a better idea of how it works.

ESL eSports Documentary Debuts This Summer

eSports-based competitions have come a long way over the past few years, gaining immense popularity both online and with live attendees, and drawing in players with multi-million dollar prizes. Now, they’re headed for the movies.

The ESL has teamed up with filmmaker Patrick Creadon to create an original film that documents the popularity of eSports, titled All Work All Play: Full Screen Mode Live. The documentary will feature both top players and personalities in the eSports world, taking a behind-the-scenes look at the growing phenomena of competitive gameplay and tournaments, primarily the Intel Extreme Masters tour, the longest running global pro gaming tour to date.

The film will make its debut on July 23 at the ESL Burbank studio, followed by a Q & A in front of a live studio audience with many of the game players and personalities featured in it. Following that, the film will premiere at the ESL Cologne studio in Germany in July 28, and then make its way to theaters around the world, through a partnership with BY Experience. The project will tie in with an even larger campaign called eSports In Cinema, which should feature more films on the subject.

“I think this documentary is symbolic of how far we’ve come,” said Ralf Reichert, Managing Director of ESL. “When we started out, I dreamt about us filling stadiums, but I never entertained the idea of filling cinemas. Everyone who works with Intel Extreme Masters here at ESL is passionate about eSports and I think this documentary is a testament to that. I’m very excited to see it in the cinema and can guarantee I’ll be the first to buy a ticket.”

“Traveling around the world with Patrick and his crew was a unique experience both for us and for them. People very often don’t understand the amount of work that we do to make events like the Intel Extreme Masters happen, nor what it takes to be a world class gamer,” said Michal Blicharz, Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL. “eSports has turned into a massive show and a business, but the people behind it are still passionate hobbyists. I think that’s the story the movie will tell.”

“BY Experience is honored to partner with ESL to create unique live events for cinema audiences globally, starting with the spotlight on the Intel Extreme Masters through All Work All Play,” said Julie Borchard-Young, Co-President of BY Experience. “The documentary is a first in a series of cinema broadcasts that will afford eSports fans an unprecedented opportunity to get together in their communities to enjoy several high-profile events throughout the year, as part of a global shared experience. Cinemas provide the optimal setting for spectators to watch their favorite players and teams compete across an array of gaming titles, broadcast live on a 70 foot cinema screen in surround sound.”

Indeed, this is a bold step forward for eSports, which is bound to continue its success in the years ahead. Here’s hoping more movies capture the experience and give viewers an idea of what it’s really like, warts and all.

Windows 10 Adds Games For China

Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10 will launch it across 190 countries in 111 different languages this summer. It will be offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 owners, per an announcement on the official Windows blog. Most important for Microsoft is getting the huge numbers of China’s users to upgrade, and to do that Microsoft is enlisting some help. Microsoft move underscores just how much the software giant will be supporting gaming as a vital part of Windows 10 and why people should upgrade.

Microsoft’s key partnership in China is with the world’s largest game company Tencent, who will create a new Windows 10-based universal app that ties in with its popular QQ app. This will be hugely important in extending the program’s userbase, since the QQ app currently has over 800 million users in China.

As a result, Tencent will adapt a number of popular games for use with Windows 10, including Riot Games’ immensely popular League of Legends, as well as Cross Fire and Dungeon & Fighter. The video below details just how important it is that Microsoft and Tencent are working together through Windows 10.

Other partners in the Chinese market include Lenovo, which will offer Windows 10 as an upgrade across 2,500 service centers and retail stores in China; and Qihu 360, a leading Internet security company that will offer the upgrade for free to customers through seamless upgrades.

This could be a huge push for Microsoft in China, and could also lead the way for other business opportunities for the company’s tech, including the Xbox One, which recently went through a soft launch following the country’s lift of a ban on game consoles. However, one step at a time, as Windows 10 is getting the focus – and a huge one, at that.

Microsoft isn’t stopping with consoles and PCs, though, in its quest to make the most of Windows 10. TechCrunch has reported that Microsoft is working on software that converts Android phones to Windows 10, and it will be testing that out with users of Xiaomi’s best-selling smartphones in China. Like all Windows 10 versions, that will include an Xbox app, which may help convince people to keep Windows 10 on their smartphones. If that process of converting Android phones to Windows actually works well, it could be a significant way for Microsoft to gain a credible market share in the smartphone market.

Windows 10 is shaping up to be a very significant upgrade, and the most important Windows version ever for gaming. We’ll be keeping an eye on its progress.


Square Enix Uses New Game As Marketing Tool

For years, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series has performed well in the video game industry, with each subsequent sequel posting big sales numbers worldwide. Now, while gamers around the world wait on pins and needles for the next big arrival in the series, Final Fantasy XV, Square has delivered a new game to sate their appetites — and build demand for the next game in a smart marketing move.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is now available in stores in the U.S. for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and set to arrive in Japan and Europe this week as well. This “side adventure” puts players in the shoes of Class Zero, a group of students that attend an elite military academy. When their country comes under attack by a neighboring Empire, they must use whatever powerful abilities and magic they can muster to hold them off.

The game takes more of an action-based approach than previous Final Fantasy titles, but it’s still true to the lore of the series, featuring enough of its staples to keep fans happy – including the traditional Chocobos, giant-sized chickens that can be used for riding and other purposes.

The most important part of Type-0 HD is what’s included as a bonus with it – a fully playable demo for Final Fantasy XV. A demo code is included with the game, which players can download to get an idea of where the next big entry in the series is headed. This game was clearly far easier to create than a full-fledged Final Fantasy game, hence the title numbering that clearly puts it off to the side of the main series. This game is, in effect, a way to market Final Fantasy XV in a way that actually makes money. It’s content marketing, in effect, building on the franchise and amplifying demand for the next big title in the series.

Although this “side story” isn’t likely to be as big a seller as, for instance, the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy that came out over the past few years, it’s still bound to get a great deal of attention, both for the main game and the Final Fantasy XV demo. Devoted fans can also pick up on a special edition of the game, available for $99 and featuring a Steelbook case, art design by artists Yoshitaka Amano, the game’s original soundtrack, an art book and five life-size replicas of cards featured in the game. Early sales have indicated that this version sells out quickly, so collectors are probably already on the prowl.

The full trailer for the game is below, for those who want to get an idea of what Type-0 HD has to offer. It’ll certainly hold fans over until the “true” sequel arrives sometime this or next year.

At SXSW, ‘Community’ Cast Kicks Off Move To Yahoo Screen

To promote the premiere of the sixth season of Community, airing March 17 on Yahoo Screen, creator Dan Harmon and the show’s cast made a splash at SXSW.

After enjoying five seasons on TV, the show is now being resurrected by Yahoo to the delight of millions of fans. The sixth season now lives on Yahoo Screen, the company’s online streaming service, which will be the home to additional upcoming Yahoo Originals like Sin City Saints (premiering March 24) and Paul Feig’s Other Space (premiering this April).

At SXSW, Yahoo set up camp at Brazos House downtown, opening the doors Saturday morning. By Saturday night, the venue was decorated as a “Community College Dance”. All throughout the weekend, the official mascot of “Community College,” the very creepy “human being” wandered the streets, allowing fans to take official school ID photos and post on social with the hashtag #CommunityLivesOn.

The celebration kicked off with a live recording of Harmon-town Podcast, hosted by Community creator Dan Harmon. Later, Harmon joined writer-producer Chris McKenna on the red carpet, along with cast members Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash, Paget Brewster, and Keith David. Everyone was introduced to the fans by Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt before the sneak peek of the first episode of the new season was screened, closing out with the Community College Dance after-party.

The cast later discussed the big move to Yahoo Screen on a panel at the convention center. Among the big announcements made at the panel was the widely-popular news from Dan Harmon that a new paintball episode will air during the new season, a piece of info that garnered over 35k likes on Facebook.

Community premieres today with episodes 1 and 2 on Yahoo Screen, with all new episodes airing every Tuesday. Follow the show on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Believe the Hype: What Apple Watch Can Do for Advertising

There is a saying in Silicon Valley that “any bet against the Internet is a bad bet.” In the last decade, you could exchange Apple for Internet in that sentence. In my previous article about the Apple Watch when it was first introduced, I pointed to the promise of this device to drive mass adoption of wearables.

While the Apple watch is not cheap, its basic version is cheaper than an iPhone or an iPad and no one today would question that those devices are increasingly important advertising vehicles. Reports project 20 million Apple Watches to be sold in the first year, dwarfing previous smart watches like Pebble, the first smartwatch to launch, which has sold around 1 million copies in its two years on the market.

So if wearables really take off next month when the Apple Watch will become available for purchase in 9 countries, how should marketers respond Should you stand by the sidelines or get in on the action right away

Certainly brands with an already high presence in mobile media have the potential to amplify their mobile campaigns in what’s poised to be the most personal media channel yet. That should be something that’s of interest to gaming and lifestyle apps such as those that enhance your diet habits, workouts and maybe also dating apps.

But perhaps the category with the most potential for advertising success on the Apple Watch is messaging apps. In the US alone, 23 percent of smartphone users use IM services as opposed to text messages or SMS, but messaging app use is much more mature in other countries like Spain, Singapore and South Korea, where these apps are the dominant form of communication on mobile.

On the [a]listdaily we have already noted that brands have started to embrace Emojis to do branding and marketing on the many messenging apps popular with Gen Z. Brands like Taco Bell, IKEA and Mentos have all gotten in on the action. If they want to stand out, it’s not a long step towards doing something similar on Apple Watch.

We have also seen hotels, airlines and other travel and hospitality brands get in on the action. It’s a great way to appeal to tech enthusiasts, high-end travelers and early adopters if those categories index high on your list of (potential) customers.

Another aspect of the Apple Watch is the degree to which it (potentially) could analyze user data such as pulse and other things and for example target ads based on if the user is resting or exercising or stressed.

These opportunities also present a new set of challenges when it comes to privacy and how users will react to this kind of targeting. However, these challenges will be worked out eventually and the Apple Watch and wearables in general will be an exciting new frontier for marketer where the players who figure out how to navigate this new technology first most certainly will see a high payoff.