Posts tagged What’s

What’s the Best Way to Spend 30 Minutes of Your Time on Social Media Marketing? by @kevanlee

Social media management can be a full-time job, and even for those who do social along with any number of other tasks, social media marketing can still take 10 or more hours every week. So what would you do if you only had 30 minutes to spend on social media? How would you prioritize your tasks so you make the absolute most of your valuable time? I tend to find pockets of time throughout the day where I wish I could be as productive as possible in windows here and there. When a 30-minute window opens up, what should I be doing […]

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WordPress 4.1 is Now Available: Here’s What’s New by @mattsouthern

WordPress announced the release of version 4.1 of it’s software today, which is now available to either download or update directly from your WordPress dashboard. The new version of WordPress is code named “Dinah” in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington. In addition to a new default theme, it comes with several new features designed to keep you focused on what matters most — creating content. In this post I’ll go over some of the new features of WordPress 4.1 and how they can benefit you. WordPress 4.1 New Features New Default Theme With every new year comes a new […]

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Google Adds New Features To Keep Up With What’s Trending In Search and On YouTube by @mattsouthern

Want to know what’s trending in Google search? What about the hottest videos on YouTube at this moment? Now it’s easier than ever to find out. Google announced that as of today you can search for “2014 trends”, or an equivalent search in over 45 different languages, and Google will populate a list of the year’s top trends based on Google Trends data. Simply click on one of the topics while in Google search to learn more about it. Google is bringing similar functionality to YouTube, but making it even better by showing you what’s trending in real-time. If you […]

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What’s Next for Twitter Advertisers: Video, SEO, & Expanded Audience

In the coming year, look for a focus on native video, SEO, and syndication from the social media platform.

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SEO trends for 2015: what’s coming next (plus: scoring our 2014 predictions) – VentureBeat

SEO trends for 2015: what's coming next (plus: scoring our 2014 predictions)
Sadly, there are great companies out there that happened to hire unprofessional SEO providers – and they are the first to get hit by the massive fuzzy animal born in Matt Cutt's mastermind. Then, there are also great websites that were hit by negative

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What’s The Point Of Wearables?

ReadWriteBody is an ongoing series where ReadWrite covers networked fitness and the quantified self.

One of the interesting things about writing ReadWriteBody, where I’ve chosen to focus on digital fitness, is the constant conflation of health and fitness.

As I remarked during a panel I moderated on Wednesday evening, it’s often treated like it’s one word: “healthandfitness.”

You see this confusion in the wearables market, which has lurched in its marketing between these two poles. Is a smart wristband designed to get couch potatoes moving? Or will it help people who are already very active optimize their bodies?

Big Health vs. Fast Fitness

This is a large market that’s getting larger. A year ago, 1 in 10 Americans owned some kind of wearable device. That’s now up to 1 in 5, according to PwC, with half of the people who have a wearable using it daily.

That still leaves lots of people who have never owned a wearable, though. 

The problem for people building apps and gadgets which track our bodies and our movement is that the broadest possible market—and the biggest gain to society—is on the health side of things. If you can move someone who’s prediabetic—there are an estimated 86 million such people in the United States—away from the danger zone through better exercise and nutrition, that’s a huge win for that person and for our health system.

But the people buying hardware and signing up for premium subscriptions tend to already be healthy. The people who are most engaged with fitness apps are worried about winning triathlons, not fighting for their lives. They also have a glut of choices.

So you see two contradictory trends in the market: Companies who came out with lifestyle-oriented products are emphasizing workout-friendly features. An example of this is Intel’s Basis: Its original B1 was more of an all-day tracker, while the new Basis Peak has athletic features like compatibility with apps like Strava that can pick up its heart-rate signal.

Fitbit, too, which started with simple pedometers, has two new products coming out next year which include heart-rate measurement.

See also: Fitbit Launches Suite Of Fitness Trackers

Heart rate may one day be a mass-market feature, if developers can figure out simpler ways to present insights about your health from subtle variations in your pulse. But right now, it’s more appealing to the track-and-field and CrossFit sets.

Fitness Goes Wide And Cheap

Meanwhile, makers of fitness apps which initially appealed to hardcore runners and gym rats are trying to appeal to a wider set of consumers. Examples of this include RunKeeper’s Breeze and Runtastic’s Runtastic Me, a fitness-dashboard app.

The other trend with fitness trackers is to get, well, cheaper. The Misfit Flash and Jawbone Move, both priced at under $50, are examples of this. They’re competing with free apps on users’ smartphones, which simply use built-in sensors to track activity.

Amid these cross currents come the smartwatches. There’s the Apple Watch, out next year, which has some vaguely defined fitness features—for example, it’s not clear how precise its heart-rate data will be. (Apple only says it will help “gauge your intensity.”) Other smartwatches now on the market, like the Microsoft Band and Samsung Gear Fit, offer heart rate, but don’t do a great job of putting context around it.

See also: ReadWrite’s coverage of the Apple Watch

I think we’ll see smartwatches take the high end of the market, sophisticated trackers like the Fitbit Surge and Basis Peak going for the middle, and the cheap sub-$50 trackers persisting because of their low, gift-friendly price point. And more and more functions will move into smartphones, which many people now consider to be wearables, too, given the time they spend on our bodies.

This process of market segmentation is a natural one. But it still doesn’t answer the key question for wearables: Why? For health? Or for fitness? Smarter, cheaper devices won’t answer that question. Only when we see more thoughtful design, animated by specific goals for improving users’ lives, will we find out what wearables are for.

Photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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What’s Ahead For Paid Search?

As SERPs become more intuitive and in-app ads increase, the nature of paid search is changing. Columnist Mona Elesseily discusses how such shifts can shape the future of paid search.

The post What’s Ahead For Paid Search? appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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What’s the Future of Google Authorship? by @neilpatel

I woke up one fine June morning to discover that my familiar photo had disappeared from the search results for dozens of articles that I’d worked so hard at writing. After three years of optimizing my authorship, discussing the topic, and connecting my profile to my personal site, it seemed as if it had all vanished. Google Authorship has changed. For the past few weeks, we’ve analyzed the issue from every angle, explored every theory, and bemoaned the loss of our photos. Does this signal the end of Google Authorship? Does the removal of photos mean the entire upending of […]

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Get What’s New/What Works at SMX Social Media Marketing

You’ll Learn Paid, Earned & Owned Tactics to Foster Engagement, Drive Sales & Achieve Your 2015 Marketing Objectives With over 200 million users and 55 million photos posted daily, Instagram is the fastest growing social network. Since being acquired by Yahoo in May, Tumblr has seen growth…

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What’s Apple Going To Do With All Its Loose Ends?

Thank goodness Apple didn’t announce more devices. It would’ve ruined everything. 

To judge by its two most recent public events, Apple has three big priorities right now: Its supersized iPhones, the forthcoming Apple Watch and Apple Pay, its new mobile payments system that just launched. If nothing else, that became utterly clear last Thursday when CEO Tim Cook and other executives spent the first 30 minutes of its iPad presentation reiterating announcements they’d already made a month earlier.

Of course, Apple is a company in transition. After more than two years on what looked like autopilot following the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, Apple under Cook is branching out in a variety of new directions. It’s perfectly natural that it would focus on its most important efforts. 

But that also leaves a lot of loose ends dangling around the periphery of Apple’s empire. Despite rumors and hopes that the company might announce a new Apple TV, MacBook Air with “retina” display, 12.9-inch iPad and sixth-generation iPod touch, all were conspicuously missing. 

It’s easy to cast them as collateral damage in Apple’s campaign to reinvent itself from mere gadget maker to architect of connected life. But there’s plenty of reason to think the company has grander plans than that. 

Well, for most of them, at least.

Patience, Apple TV

The Apple TV (rear), crowded in by the Roku 2 and Chromecast.

Two years ago, one of the first comments Tim Cook made as a newly minted Apple CEO was about how he loved his Apple TV and hoped to expand on it someday. Now the 7-year-old Apple TV has finally sloughed off its status as hobby and became a money maker, selling 20 million units and funneling more than a billion dollars into the company’s pockets

That’s plenty of incentive for Apple to refresh its only TV gadget. And yet, no new product update came this year, which seems to defy logic. Streaming media has become so hot, channels like HBO and CBS are bypassing cable bundles by offering online-only services. Meanwhile, a new set-top box just hit the scene—from Google, Apple’s main competitor, no less. 

But if Apple has been quiet about the set-top box, that doesn’t mean it has ignored it. 

In 2012, Cook said, “[I] always thought there was something there, and that if we kept following our intuition and kept pulling that string, we might find something larger.” That larger thing appears to be Apple’s new smart home system. Clues in the iOS 8 mobile software (Apple TV is technically an iOS device) point to the streaming box working with HomeKit as a remotely controllable hub.

See also: 5 Things To Consider Before Wiring Up Your Smart Home

Smart home features in the device would require some hardware changes, like antennae for Zigbee or Z-wave, short-range wireless signals often used in connected home products. Changes in the Apple TV’s remote control might also be in order, possibly delaying the device. 

Apple’s Craig Federighi and his spectacular coiff go over a list of HomeKit partners in June, at the Worldwide Developers Conference

A bolstered Apple TV could thus serve as Apple’s Trojan Horse for smuggling smart-home features into people’s homes. If they already have a control console or hub, even skeptics might be inclined to try out a product or two that hooks into it. 

The company could further boost appeal by giving the Apple TV access to an App Store. Currently, users get a few dozen pre-selected streaming channels. But they can’t download Spotify, Pandora or Rdio, much less game apps or alternate streaming services, the way they can on Google or Amazon TV streaming gadgets. 

The thought of Apple opening that up would have been laughable a year ago. But now it has loosened developer restrictions for iPhone apps, making the prospect of it opening up Apple TV apps more credible. I’ve spoken with various developers who told me they couldn’t wait to make iOS apps for the big screen. So if the company is putting some finishing touches on a software developer kit alongside its work on HomeKit integration, plenty of services will be available to tempt customers. 

In other words, this already decent set-top player could be on the verge of becoming awesome. 

No “Retina” MacBook Air For You! (For Now)

After Apple released a marginally better MacBook Air earlier this year, anticipation was high that it was saving the best for last—namely, a new update with a high-resolution “retina” display. After all, the beefier MacBook Pro got one this summer

Instead, the new, more powerful iMacs got Apple’s high-resolution IPS screen—and not just any old retina display, but its next-generation “5K” version, with 5120 x 2880 resolution. Apple also announced some much-needed upgrades for the Mac Mini, including a faster processor, faster Wi-Fi, speedy PCie-based flash storage and a price cut of $100. 

What did the MacBook Air get last week? Bupkis. 

But before hopefuls despair, they should know that Apple is probably holding things up for customers’ own good. These high-resolution retina displays draw a lot of power, so putting them on a laptop hyped for its battery life could potentially be a disaster. 

So if you’re holding out for a MacBook Air with a retina display, take heart: Apple loves to tinker with energy optimization, so the extra time is likely going into slaying that battery dilemma. 

The Monster iPad Cometh

The iPad’s market share has been plummeting recently, in part because people just don’t upgrade their tablets as often as they do phones. Case in point: The 3-year-old iPad 2 is still the most common Apple tablet in use today. 

Source:&nbsp;<a href=””>Localytics</a>

With consumer sales flattening out, the logical course of action is to go after business customers. 

Indeed, the office may be the tablet’s greatest hope. Plenty of workers have already swapped their laptops for iPads, as tablets are more convenient on showroom floors, at construction sites and in other field or travel situations. For more incentive, Apple partnered with IBM a few months ago to offer business apps, cloud services, support and device management. 

The 12.9-inch iPad was supposed to be another carrot to dangle in front of business users, completing a troika of tablet updates. Too bad it never made it to the stage. 

Something’s still missing, no?

Had it joined the updated iPad Air 2 and (very) slightly tweaked iPad mini 3, Apple would have had a three-part strategy locked in: One lightweight, world-mode tablet for globe-hopping executives (potentially as a laptop stand-in), another tiny version fit for the small carry-ons of frequent travelers, and the largest version for folks missing those larger laptop screens. And they will all transition easily between computers and phones, thanks to the newest software.

Ultimately production issues, not lack of faith, may have hampered the biggest iPad of them all. Apple reportedly focused its mighty supply chain on its new larger iPhones, relegating the tablet to a later launch date—probably in early 2015 with the Apple Watch. 

Whither The iPod Touch?

Fall used to be iPod touch season. It was the perfect schedule, as it gave people plenty of time to add the product to their holiday wish lists. 

But not this time around. Apple delivered a minor low-end summer update, but no 6th-generation model. Some think it may still come, only early next year, which makes sense if the iPod touch suffers from the same production issues plaguing the mongo iPad.

But releasing it after the holidays would set it on a strange timetable. To get back on track, Apple would have to skip a year, or launch two new versions in the same year. 

See also: What Apple Announced At Its Thursday iPad Event

The company may be in the midst of figuring out those complexities right now. Or, given its other ambitions, it might have other intentions. Here’s a somewhat depressing thought: The company retired the last of its 3.5-inch displays last month. It also killed its iPod Classic. For now, no one outside of Apple knows if it’s done pruning its product lineup yet. 

Even if it’s not, that doesn’t mean death is imminent for the iPod touch. In fact, it could linger for a while. There’s even a chance that it may get the bigger screens of the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, which would certainly simplify Apple’s manufacturing pipeline. Either way, it may point to the company’s lack of interest in advancing any more handhelds with 4-inch screens. 

One More Thing: Apple Meets The SIMs

One of the most intriguing things to come out of Apple was something else it neglected to mention: The company built its own SIM, a tiny identification card inside phones and some tablets that allows them to work on cellular networks.

Apple’s SIM is its first, notes GigaOm, and it’s going into some of the LTE-equipped versions of its new iPad Air 2. The new tablet supports global LTE bands, plus older 3G, and it appears this card is how it will connect to those networks (starting with the U.S. and the U.K.).

iPad customers usually pick a cellular provider at the time of purchase (unless it’s a Wi-Fi only model), and there they remain. But the Apple SIM can be programmed (and then re-programmed) to work on different networks. This means that people could buy the tablet first, and then choose carriers later. 

There’s speculation that the Apple SIM may be the company’s first step to becoming a cellular operator. That’s pretty far-fetched. Much more likely is that Apple saw adaptable SIM cards appealing to international users and business travelers, Apple’s new target audience for its iPads.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, with so few product announcements last Thursday, Apple’s presentation seemed a bit dull. But it wasn’t a sign of complacence. Far from it. It’s clear that the work is only just beginning. So far, Apple has had a tough time maintaining equilibrium as it figures out what to let go, what to keep and how to establish entirely new product categories—some of which it has never tried before. 

It’s a balancing act, and the company has already been thrown off-kilter a bit. Over the next year, we’ll see how strong its footing in these areas really is. 

Apple images courtesy of Apple; SIM card photo by MIKI Yoshihito; Pie chart courtesy of Localyticsall others by ReadWrite

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