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Posts Tagged ‘location

I’m uninstalling my Facebook for Android app today. Three main reasons:

  1. It continually tells me I have new messages I already read
  2. It is always running however often I use my app killer to shut the damn thing off
  3. It can see where I am, who I am calling, and read my text messages if it wants

I don’t have a problem with anonymised data being used to fund the free exchange of information online by helping marketers to target people efficiently and effectively. But many mobile apps can see and use too much of our personal information and communications as standard. So starting with Facebook I’m taking a stand on this…

Google said: ‘From the beginning, Android has had an industry-leading permissions system which informs consumers what data an app can access and requires users’ approval before installation.’

Tom Kelly

This ‘approval’ comeback completely misses the point… we want the app so we click yes, even if we don’t agree with or understand why it wants access to so much of our mobile data.

I’d suggest as a first step before the law catches up with this problematic area that the Apple App Store and Android Market include a ‘report unnecessary data collection’ button on every app in their collections so that potential users can report that although they want a certain application – they would like to protest at the level of information it has access to.

Some might argue that if we want free apps we need to pay the price by giving over everything about us to unaccountable corporations and institutions. I’d argue that if your business model depends on intruding upon people’s private lives to the extent of needing to know where they are all the time and who they are calling the world can do without your sociopathic stalker-esque enterprise. Seriously.

Last week while I was sunning myself my lovely colleagues at Porter Novelli hosted a Social media week event, presenting research into social media behaviour across Europe – focusing in upon gender differences. The event was run by our UK head of digital, Helen Nowicka, and entitled Men are from Foursquare, Women are from Facebook.

The presentation was based on the EuroPN Styles survey 2011 – an annual study of 10,000+ people across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands. In terms of Facebook and Foursquare, it found that European men check in more than women – for example in the UK 45% of UK men use social media to check-in to places compared with only a third of women.

The overall take-out for consideration across social media campaigns, including and beyond Facebook and Foursquare, is that:

Women tend towards interacting with friends and family, using social media to build existing and close connections, whereas men tend towards sharing their status, including location, and sharing opinions with those they do not know in person.

This is borne out with other platform stats – in the UK,  34% of men vs 27% women are on Twitter, and 34% vs 24% write a blog.

Of course demographic groups and individuals will always vary (stereotypes / categories = tensions in between)… but it is useful to have these overarching trends in mind. I, for example, have never been inclined towards checking-in, mainly for privacy reasons – but am far more likely to be found spouting unsolicited opinions than sharing holiday snaps with real-world nearest and dearest.

Perhaps I will take to Pinterest, like the other ladies (when I stop sulking about my name being taken)…  isn’t that a bit like opinions in the form of pictures? Apparently 83% of US users are female (I’m putting the current UK male skew down to early-adopter tech / marketing community excitement). On the other hand… I’d rather a thousand words than a picture most days.

(Disclosure: I am employed by Porter Novelli)

With the ultimate aim of reducing homeless dogs in the United States – this new ‘Best Friends’ mobile app enables users to upload pictures of themselves to be shown a doggy ‘match’ based on facial characteristics. (Similar to this earlier Doggelganger site)

 The App also provides:  adoptable dog search by zip code, simple giving to help homeless pets, and their  grassroots pledge to start seeing invisible dogs.  The dual purpose of the app is to raise awareness of the thousands of dogs waiting in shelters to be seen and adopted..

Beth Kanter

What the app does well then, is combine multiple information points, ways for people to take action around the core issue, and entirely personalised fun… as for the numbers:

[Beth Kanter] asked Best Friends Marketing Coordinator Claudia Perrone how they were measuring success.   The ultimate KPI, of course, is dog adoptions.  But they are looking at associated metrics such as:  downloads, user comments, sharing, and Google analytics to show dog searches… then data collection (emails and mobile opt-ins), microdonations, and buzz via earned media.

Social Local Mobile curation, where content and places are shared with a simple click, and value perception is added (often condensed in a line that is most probably shorter than 140 characters ), will drive a lot of the social web in 2012

Danny Devriendt

Disclosure: Danny is a colleague of mine at Porter Novelli

Mobile is more mainstream than ever – are we even saying smartphone anymore? Some of the more exciting technological innovations – now we have explored every size screen for every type of scenario may not start to come from its blending with the everyday objects around us – like footwear.

Adidas social football boot showing data transmitter

These new social football boots from Adidas are about to launch to the general public. They come with their own on board computer that stores data and helps analyse personal performance. As soon as wearers have finished playing, the boots transmit data wirelessly to computer, phone or tablet on speed, distance traveled and top speeds. Professional players will be able to start using the boots from mid-November and from then many of the world’s most celebrated footballers will start sharing their stats with the Adidas community.

GPS-enabled shoe showing data transmitter

GTX Corp in the US have have partnered with footwear company Aetrex to design a shoe specifically targeted at Alzheimer’s sufferers, with a miniature GPS tracking device embedded in the heel. The idea evolved when it became apparent that tracking devices typically used to locate people with Alzheimer’s were being rejected by the wearers, usually because they did not recognize or were suspicious of them. Family members and carers can monitor the wearers of the smart shoe on an interactive map, viewed via their mobile or computer. There is also the option to programme “safe” areas, with a text being sent to a family member or carer if the wearer crosses this boundary.

Taken together one can’t help consider the potential of bringing these two concepts together for the purpose of keeping track of teenage boys. But this, of course, veers rather wildly into the realm of optimally balancing privacy, safety, freedom and compulsive nosiness.

you might want to create a geofence around your “home” or “school” that only allows “Friends and Family” to see the location of photos you geotag in that area. So the next time you upload a photo with a geotag in the radius of a geofence, it will follow the default geo privacy you’ve designated for that hotspot. That way, you can easily make sure only people you trust see the location of photos taken inside your house or any other sensitive areas while still showing the world exactly where you had those amazing cheese covered duck fat fries

Denise Leung

The key to closing the redemption loop is definitely payments. Investor Chris Sacca recently told Kevin Rose in a video interview the best reason why Twitter should buy Square is because Twitter has the broadest reach to distribute offers and deals, and Square has a built-in way to track redemption. This was just an off the cuff remark in a friendly chat (Twitter isn’t even in this business yet), but it makes sense.

We are moving from a world of online ads that produce impressions and clicks to online and mobile offers that produce real sales. If the deal companies can figure out a way to actually measure those sales, it could open up local commerce in a massive way that makes what they’ve done so far look like child’s play.

Erick Schonfield


This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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