Posts Tagged ‘phone’

Facebook has announced that its two mobile sites — and — have been unified, bringing a simpler mobile experience to Facebook users. And there are a lot of those — a quarter billion, according to Facebook.

Smartphone users won’t be losing any functionality because of the consolidation. If your phone supported the enhacned features offered by, the new site will automatically flip the switch when you visit.

Rolling the sites together helps simplify things for Facebook’s developer team. Now changes can be pushed to a single site instead of two separate sites, which makes it easier to ensure that all mobile users receive a nearly identical experience regardless of the device they’re using.

The new Facebook mobile can also check to see if your phone supports geolocation. If it doesn’t, you won’t be seeing much of Facebook Places — which obviously relies heavily on geolocation. Images can also be optimized on the fly to keep page performance from suffering on less powerful devices. You can see the three different versions of the share button below, courtesy our friends at TechCrunch.

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Posted by Lee Carpenter-Johnson on 4/4/2011 to Everything

QR (Quick Response) codes are much talked about at the moment, but will the adoption of such a simple yet powerful code change the landscape of digital marketing in 2011?

Here are ten ways that QR codes could be implemented into businesses, whether B2B or B2C. You will have heard of some of these, but i’m sure there are a few you haven’t…

A QR code is one of the easiest codes to set up, as in essence in it is a barcode with a URL attached. The QR code can link to any page the owner specifies, saving the need for manual entry of a URL.

Some brands have already starting adopting QR codes in their editorial and used it in very engaging ways, but 99% of brands haven’t. The potential is there for QR codes though, and their uses are almost unlimited.

Here are ten ways that QR codes could be implemented into business:

Till receipts

Placing a QR code on the bottom of a till receipt has not as far as I have noticed been implemented fully across retail. This is such a simple and cost effective way of engaging with a consumer especially for brands with a mobile savvy demographic.

Product labels

Whether on swing tickets or on the printed product information the QR code could link to a dedicated landing page that brings up all of the product information.

Consumer mailing

Why not place a QR code on the bottom of all printed and digital communication directing to the landing page showing further content or indeed encouraging readers to opt in to electronic mailing rather than postal.

In shop windows

Direct consumers to your store page for the location allowing them to bookmark the details including opening hours etc.

Public transport

How often do you look at the seat in front of you when on the train?  Why not put a QR code on the back of every seat and sell the advertising space, the great thing is the URL can be changed without the need to re-label the seats. Advertising opportunity also exists on the label.

At conferences

We all have badges scanned but using QR codes on stands allows potential clients to bookmark your chosen contact details, saving business cards and helping to engage the client.

On business cards

The humble business card could do with a face lift, why not QR the card and allow a landing page of detail about the business or individual.


On every offline ad, put the QR code to divert to a digital experience or Facebook page.


Every drug sold comes with guidelines, place a QR code on the packaging allowing the patient to quickly view the instructions online.


This one is a little different and tongue in cheek but that’s no bad thing. Print a QR on the back of trunks or bikinis very similar to the year that Aussie Bum print on their swimwear linking to the wearers Facebook profile.

There are a few ideas that I have not put on here because they are probably beyond 2011, like projecting QR codes on buildings as well as placing them on billboards, or councils putting them on penalty notice charges, council tax bills etc, allowing us to go straight to the payment portal.

The above list contains practical uses in digital and offline marketing for QR codes, we’ll see if any come to fruition when I review this post in 2012.

Lee Carpenter-Johnson is Head of E-Commerce at Jane Norman and a guest blogger on Econsultancy.


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If you live in Richmond, Va., – or know someone from here – it’s evident that the place has been caught up this week in a haze of excitement about Virginia Commonwealth University’s improbable berth in the NCAA Final Four.
Tuesday night, as I was watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he did a “Pros and Cons” bit about “playing basketball for VCU.” I immediately went to Facebook and posted a comment about the fact that Richmond has arrived because our team was mentioned on Late Night.
The clip also was posted on Late Night’s website, which has been passed around the Internet. That reminded me just how social media savvy Jimmy Fallon’s show is. Mashable proclaims Fallon as one of the first talk show hosts to take social media seriously.
Are there lessons that businesses can learn from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon? Consider the following.
Engage stakeholders in online conversations.
Fallon is a master at starting a bit on his show, then involving the show’s audience via social media. Probably the best example of this is his weekly use of Twitter hashtags. He gives a topic on Tuesday night then asks the viewing audience to Tweet responses the following day. He then reads the best ones on the air Wednesday night. In honor of April Fool’s Day, this week’s hashtag was #bestprankever. Regularly, Fallon’s Twitter topics trend worldwide.
For businesses, the application is simple – use social media for what it was created for – to engage people in dialogue and build relationships. Too often, businesses merely throw out factoids on Twitter with links to news releases instead of using Twitter to really get to know their followers and engage with them.
Don’t stick all your eggs in one social media basket.
Businesses shouldn’t be afraid to try multiple social media outlets in concert. Fallon has mastered the art of using just about every social media avenue at his disposal.
“From Late Night hashtags to viral video mashups, to LNJF, a mobile app featuring clips and joke-apps, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has staked its ground as a tech-friendly kind of show,” according to Mashable.
Another great regular bit is “Remix-the-Clips,” a segment where Late Night band leader, Questlove from The Roots, mashes together viral videos to form a song.
Using Social Media for Social Good.
Smart businesses know that social media has become an important competent of cause-related marketing and corporate social responsibility. Late Night gets that too. Also this week, fellow late-night host Stephen Colbert, Jimmy’s BFFSM (best friend for six months), donated $26,000 to the DonorsChoose charity and also pledged that Fallon would do the same – supposedly without Fallon’s knowledge. So Fallon – claiming not to have the money to pay – once again enlisted the help of his audience to go online and help raise funds. Fans raised more than $50,000 and tonight, Colbert has to perform Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on Late Night with The Roots. It’s all good fun for a good cause.
So, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon may be in the business of comedy, but they take their social media seriously. The business world can learn a thing or two from them.
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Posted by Tony B on 4/3/2011

If there is anything that can be observed about human behavior by examining social media, it’s that people are basically restless. They’re always looking for something new to read, watch, see and interact with. The seemingly impenetrable social media experiences of a few years ago; MySpace for example, is a prime example of how fickle our love affairs can diminish with all things social.

So it’s only natural to wonder: When do we begin to tire of our current online social sites, where will we turn next?

Obviously, the big kid on the social media block these days is Facebook. Its 600 million users collectively spent more than 49 billion minutes on the social networking site in 2010. Those numbers are up nearly 80 percent from the previous year, according to comScore’s “The 2010 Digital Year in Review” report.   Social media mavens expect a similar spike this year.

What’s interesting is that although Facebook is currently the most popular social media site, it only captures about 12.5 percent of the total social network page views. That means thousands of other sites are also competing to grab your attention.  Twitter alone claims to have 200-million account holders who generate 65-million tweets a day.

So what’s the next big trend in social media marketing?  Will another giant emerge to challenge Facebook?  In the short-term, Facebook seems to have the resources to keep the wolves at bay, but well-financed competing platforms are making waves in the marketplace.

Just a few months ago, a business that had a growing number of Twitter followers, a snazzy Facebook page and an engaging blog might be ahead of the curve in brand building and revenue generation.  Not anymore. Among the potential candidates for next big thing are:

  • Bebo; described by some as “Facebook marries Twitter.”
  • Delicious; if you’re all about what’s new to see on the web, this is the site for you.
  •; Where baby boomers come to connect, share information and more.
  • Foursquare; Real “next big thing” potential here, as people move away from their computers and onto their cell phones.
  •; Think “Twitter for Business.” That pretty much sums it up.
  • Friendster: Where gamers go to geek out.

From there, the list grows exponentially, including many industry or hobby-specific sites. For example, there’s Epernicus (for research scientists), Raptr (for video gamers) and LibraryThing (for book lovers).

The next big thing may actually start with a “Q”

Of all the potential “new big kids” in the running, has the greatest potential.  It’s an online community where anyone can post an open question or contribute an answer about anything.  Created in 2010 by two former Facebook execs, Quora has some serious brainpower and dollars behind it. In fact, Business Insider reports that rumors are flying around Silicon Valley that Quora has already thumbed its nose at a $1-billion acquisition offer.  How a business can use Quora to its advantage remains to be seen. Some industry insiders believe that only techies love the new site, but Quora gets the thumbs up from Google’s head of design, Irene Au, who praises its visual interface and content:

“There’s a lot of really rich high quality content there. It’s one of my favorite sites to visit on a daily basis now,” Au says.

As an entrepreneur, where do you find yourself visiting every day? What social media sites are proving to be the best fit for your business? Do you have the insight to predict what the next social media heavyweights will be?   No one knows for sure; but that doesn’t mean you can let social media trends take care of themselves. If you think you can slap together a web site, add a couple of icons from Facebook and Twitter and expect a flood of new business to follow – you have another think coming.

Bottom line: No business can afford to operate without a strategic social marketing plan. That plan needs to be durable enough to adapt to the ever-changing preferences of your audience. If you don’t have the time or know-how to create that plan and implement it yourself, hire someone to help you.

About Tony BTony B. is a Business Development Specialist for If you need full service search marketing services please do not hesitate to contact the SEO Agency. You can also follow us on Twitter @theseoagencycom.

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Posted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt on 4/3/2011

Apple uses a 30-second TV spot to sell not just a gadget, but a philosophy

GarageBand on the iPad 2. Video: Apple Inc.

“This is what we believe,” begins a gravely voiced narrator over an understated piano in the new Apple (AAPL) TV spot that debuted Saturday (and is available here and below the fold).

“Technology alone is not enough. Faster, thinner, lighter; those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful, even magical. That’s when you leap forward. That’s when you end up with something like this…”

This, of course, is the iPad 2. And although it happens to be the lightest, thinnest and fastest tablet computer on the market — at least for now — Apple is reaching here for something deeper and more universal. Something that it hopes will resonate long after the iPad 2 has lost the new-gadget glow that has would-be customers still queueing up in the early morning hours three weeks after its debut.

It’s part of a more philosophical, almost valedictory message Apple has been sending in different forms for several years, starting with remarks Tim Cook made to analysts during Steve Jobs’ 2009 medical leave and most recently by Jobs himself at the iPad 2 unveiling.

Those remarks, and the new video, below.

Tim Cook, April 21, 2009:

“What we’re about is making the best computers in the world, not making the most, and not getting to a point where we are building products … that we are not proud of. And so that first and foremost is our objective, and we believe that if we do that over the long-term that we will gain share.”

Steve Jobs, February 2, 2011:

Source: Apple Inc.

“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing. And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.

And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs.

And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.

And we think we’re on the right track with this. We think we have the right architecture not just in silicon, but in the organization to build these kinds of products.”


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QR codes are a kind of two dimensional matrix barcode that need special QR barcode readers, though the latest camera phones are also able to decode them. Though they were created some time ago, it is only very recently that they have started being more commonly used and are likely to become even more popular in the near future. This is because QR codes offer more advantages than linear barcodes and their capacity to store more data makes them more sought after. Some of the advantages include:

  1. QR codes can be read anytime, anywhere with mobile phones – This makes them so easy to decode and convenient since special scanners are not required and the camera of mobile phones can scan and present the information contained in the codes.
  2. Quick response through QR codes – Though developed a decade ago in Japan to meet the needs of businesses for inventory control, they are now making inroads into multiple other uses in Europe and are gradually catching on in the US as well.
  3. Multiple uses of these codes – Simplify access and without having to type anything, it is now possible to
  • Visit websites
  • See text and images
  • Send emails and messages
  • Dial telephone numbers

The present technology requires the downloading of an app to make this possible, but with new research these will come preloaded in mobile phones.

  1. Numerous apps available to read QR codes – There are tens of apps that help to read QR codes on mobile phones, with some specific ones available exclusively for the Blackberry, iPhone and other smart phones. Most of these apps can be downloaded free of cost.
  2. QR Codes on Social media sites – QR codes can be generated and linked to profiles on social networks like Facebook and this eases the sharing of identities. QR codes can be printed onbusiness cards as well.
  3. Advertising prospects with QR codes – It is possible to use the potential offered by QR codes to advertise in the fashion world, jewelry and other products. QR codes stored on customers’ phones will serve as a future reference and prove beneficial to both parties.
  4. QR codes used in the hospitality segment – Yields excellent results due to ease of accessibility. The codes are seen on many locations next to the name and these coded locations become easier to identify. Customer ratings become easier by just clicking on the QR code next to it. Even restaurants can place these codes on their menus and give details about ingredients etc to customers.
  5. QR codes prove most beneficial in retail – They facilitate purchases. Movie theatres allow phone bookings and the ticket is sent as a QR code which when scanned at the gate allows entry. Codes on product labels gives details of ingredients and other information.
  6. Real estate deals – These can also use QR codes on sale signs and get all the required details about the property.

QR codes hold promise of facilitating numerous services and make things easier for users.

About The Author

Neil JonesNeil Jones is head of marketing for eMobileScan, one of Europes leading providers to the data capture industry. Specializing in handheld computers like the Motorola LS2208 and Motorola MC70.


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Chances are that you’ve seen a few QR (Quick Response) codes by now – the small black and white two-dimensional bar codes that have started showing up everywhere from magazine advertisements to storefront window displays.

QR codes are a physical link that connects the online and offline world — a powerful tool businesses can use to make it simple for consumers to engage with their brand.

According to Jumpscan, QR code scanning increased by 1,200% from July to December 2010. Social media users are a key driver of this growth, with 57% of Facebook and Twitter users reporting that they’ve scanned at least one QR code in the past year. Further, according to a February survey of U.S. smartphone users by MGH, 32% of respondents said they’ve scanned a QR code. Of those, 53% said they used the code to get a coupon or discount and 72% said they were more likely to remember an advertisement with a QR code.

The QR code is a simple and effective tool that brands can integrate into their overall mobile marketing strategies to more deeply engage a new generation of digitally savvy consumers. And as smartphones continue their skyrocketing adoption rate — nearly 1 in 2 Americans will own a smartphone by Christmas 2011 — it is important for businesses to embrace the simplicity of the QR code as a way to enhance the customer experience, drive traffic, and connect with consumers wherever they are.

Here are some examples of potential use cases of QR codes that businesses in the retail and travel sectors can easily incorporate into their mobile marketing strategies.


As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets continues to increase at a staggering rate, the retail industry has taken notice of the massive value that a comprehensive mobile strategy provides to their bottom lines. Since a new generation of consumers is increasingly using the mobile Web as a primary gateway to the Internet, the nation’s retailers are determined to more deeply engage with consumers and strengthen the link between their physical stores and the mobile Web. What retailers have quickly realized is that new mobile technologies can make shopping not only easier for consumers, but also more lucrative for themselves.

One of the most effective ways retailers can take advantage of QR codes is by integrating them into print advertisements as a vehicle to incentivize users to visit their brand on the mobile Web. After scanning a QR code in an ad, a consumer would be directly linked to a product, a special coupon or offer, or other exclusive content. Target is a great example of a retailer that has seized the opportunity to integrate QR codes into its advertising. In a recent campaign, for example, Target directed readers who scanned its QR codes to videos featuring style expert Sabrina Soto, during which she shares information and tips on how to use Target home decor and furnishing products.

Another powerful way for retailers to use QR codes is by incorporating them into the in-store experience — directing shoppers who scan the codes to enhanced product information, reviews, or other related content online. Successfully enhancing the in-store shopping experience, Macy’s recent “Backstage Pass” campaign encourages shoppers to scan QR codes included on product displays in order to access exclusive video content that provides fashion inspiration, advice, and tips from style icons and experts like Martha Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger, and others.

Additionally, Best Buy was an early mover on QR code technology and last year added QR codes to all of its product information tags. Users who scan the QR codes on Best Buy product tags are directed to the product detail page on Best Buy’s mobile site. Demonstrating the emphasis that Best Buy places on QR codes, a Best Buy executive was recently quoted by Advertising Age as saying that they view QR codes as a “personal shopping assistant.”

In addition to their consumer benefits, QR codes also present a unique opportunity for retailers to capture crucial customer information. For example, retail brands can easily include a quick sign-up area on the QR destination page that encourages visitors to enter their email address in order to receive special loyalty deals, exclusive content, or other store information.


Perhaps the most compelling use case of QR codes in the travel world is the paperless ticket, popularized by airlines like Delta, which allows travelers to use their smartphone as a boarding pass. By simply downloading the boarding pass to their phone, travelers can eliminate the threat of losing their printed boarding pass and, most importantly, save time at the airport.

A recent campaign from Jet Blue incorporated QR codes onto poster advertisements in the New York City subway system. Upon scanning the code, users were directed to a landing page where they were prompted to enter their contact information for the chance to win a free flight.

Airlines can also place QR codes in targeted advertisements within in-flight magazines. By encouraging readers to scan these codes, airlines can send customers directly to special offers or deals. Another way for airlines to greatly enhance the customer experience is by incorporating QR codes into their awards programs. By printing QR codes on awards statements or other materials, airlines can easily direct users to the online award status area.

Hotels are another logical industry where QR codes can make a big impact. On the hotel property, QR codes can be used to easily direct guests to local activity guides on their mobile phones so they can avoid lugging printed guidebooks throughout the day. This is beneficial for the guest, in addition to the hotel itself which can use these information guides to deepen relationships with local businesses.

Further, hotels can encourage guests to write online reviews of their hotels while they are still on the property — and the positive experience of their stay is still fresh in their minds — by creating a dedicated display where guests are asked to scan a QR code that directs them to an online reviews page. Finally, to encourage repeat visits and increase recommendations, hotels should integrate QR codes on referral cards they provide guests upon checkout. After scanning these codes, users should be directed to an offer to book additional rooms with a special friends and family rate.

QR Codes Enhance the Mobile Experience

Recent data from IDC states that smartphone manufacturers expect to ship over 450 million units in 2011, a more than 50% increase from the amount shipped in 2010. As smartphones are becoming ubiquitous, brands must take advantage of all available mobile tools to more deeply engage a new generation of consumers who are increasingly shopping on their own terms.

As we’ve demonstrated, QR codes represent a simple and affordable opportunity for businesses to connect smartphone users with branded digital content and enhance the shopping experience. To move the needle on overall mobile Web traffic, and increase revenue, brands must develop a plan that seamlessly integrates QR code engagement into their overall multichannel strategy.

Jason Taylor is the Vice President of Platform Strategy at Usablenet, a global technology leader in mobile and multichannel customer engagement. Usablenet’s transformative technology platform powers the
mobile sites of 20% of the Fortune 1000, including Estée Lauder, Hilton, Delta, Victoria’s Secret, FedEx, ASOS and others. Follow @Usablenet on Twitter.

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