Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Engagement’

When Kickstarter Projects Go Missing

September 23rd, 2012 09:50 admin View Comments

Businesses

On Friday, we posted about Kickstarter’s new rules of engagement, including some new rules under which some of the most popular Kickstarter projects to date might never have surfaced. But what about ones that make it to the site, then disappear? Wired takes a look at what happens to those Kickstarter projects that for one reason or another get yanked from the site. (DMCA complaints apparently are often that one reason.)

Source: When Kickstarter Projects Go Missing

Apsalar Taking a Holistic and Integrated Approach to Mobile Analytics

November 15th, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

apsalar_150x150.jpgApp developers are looking for ways to gain users and keep them in the fold through actionable data. There are a variety of ways to do this and several startups have popped up in the last couple of years to focus on particular elements of analytics, advertising, marketing and engagement layers. To this point most of these startups are focusing only on one or two of these problems.

Analytics and engagement startup Apsalar wants to change that. The company has been working all summer on products for analyzing data, engaging users across app platforms, optimizing the time spent in apps and helping developers monetize their users. It is a holistic approach that none of the other competitors have fully grasped yet.

What Apsalar Is Trying To Do

To understand Apsalar, you have to understand the ecosystem in which it is playing. The categories fit into the survey that Appcelerator and IDC released yesterday: reach, engagement, loyalty and monetization. Apsalar, and most of the other analytics/marketing tools available to mobile developers right now, focuses on the latter three categories while reach is more focused on developer frameworks and integrated developer environments (IDEs) like Appcelerator and Sencha.

The principle of re-engagement is what Apsalar is pinning its product offering on. It calls the environment it works in “mobile engagement management” (MEM) and is similar to what analytics company Flurry, likely Apsalar’s closest competitor, does with its analytics and AppCircle Re-Engagement tool. Localytics uses its data to help premium publishers push notifications to readers. Socialize and BeInToo have engagement layers based on social and gamification layers. To a certain extent, Apsalar is playing in all of these realms.

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This is the way Apsalar CEO Michael Oiknine described Apsalar’s MEM offerings; ” … [It] bridges the gap between analytics and behavioral targeting by offering best-in-class analytics paired with an action engine that provides developers and publishers with concrete steps to take in their quest for greater engagement, retention, and revenue.”

The way Apsalar does that is by taking a “lifecycle management” approach. This approach is similar to what PlayHaven does with its real-time marketing tool for games and its engagement dashboard. Apsalar provides a ways and means to reach a user anywhere in the mobile ecosystem, either in the target application, another app from that publisher or a completely separate app that is tied to Apsalar through its partnership with advertising networks.

Apsalar calls this “re-engagement” and is based on segmenting the user base on common use behavior. Think of it as in-app dynamic targeting with the intent on maximizing the reach of the app by re-targeting a user that has a certain pattern of behavior, thus making them candidates for Apsalar’s notifications and messages across apps. The data from a user in one app informs the decisions that Apsalar can help make in another app.

The product of this approach is Apsalar’s integrated product suite that has three main components: analyze, optimize and monetize. Let’s take a closer look.

Three Pillars: Analyze, Optimize, Monetize

Analyze: Apsalar takes a sophisticated approach to data analytics. It is reminiscent of Sun Tzu’s Art Of War; “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.”

Here is how Oiknine describes Apsalar’s approach to analytics; “The first imperative is to understand the lay of the land. Indeed, publishers must understand and segment their users. They need to answer the “how, why and what” questions from the data they collect. Ask themselves: How is my app doing? Why is it performing well or poorly in certain areas and with some type of users? And, what can be done to improve the user experience?”

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Oiknine correctly identifies that “analytics are a means to an end,” not the end unto themselves. That leads us to the next points.

Optimize: Apsalar uses its customizable conversion funnels and flexible cohort analysis to then target the user behavior in such as way that the platform can then find them in a different app and bring them back to the fold with personalized messaging. This is the crux of “re-engagement.” This type of behavior analytics is akin to predictive analytics that a company like Sonamine does with its segmented behavioral analysis. Apsalar then takes the PlayHaven approach to acting upon this granular data.

Monetize: None of this means anything if nobody is getting paid in the end. “This is where the logic of engagement fades to allow a logic of conversion to come to the front,” Oiknine said. Basically, add up all the different points of integration mentioned above with the ability to find a user almost anywhere in the app ecosystem and you have a higher probability of converting that user behavior in to tangible dollars.

There is more coming from Apsalar in the first quarter of 2012. As of yet, this is one of the most comprehensive analytics and engagement platforms on the market. Publishers: are you likely to use or give it a spin? Let us know what you think about Apsalar’s approach in the comments.

Source: Apsalar Taking a Holistic and Integrated Approach to Mobile Analytics

Triple Your Twitter Engagement With Buffer For Android

November 7th, 2011 11:15 admin View Comments

bufferapp150.jpgBuffer, an app that stacks up your tweets and automatically publishes them at the best times for engagement, just launched its free Android app. The app allows you to add any Web page to your Buffer, which you can then edit, manage and view analytics. It supports multiple accounts, which you can navigate with a swipe.

Buffer analyzes social data and automatically publishes your updates at the times when most of your followers are awake and clicking. This summer, Buffer studied its user data and found that it increases clicks on Twitter links by 200% and doubles the amount of retweets.

bufferandroid.jpgTweet scheduling has been shown to increase activity on shared content, but knowing when to schedule is a challenge. Buffer eliminates that guesswork by finding the best timing itself. You can just add your tweet to your Buffer and forget about it.

The Buffer team says its working on Buffer for iOS next. In the meantime, there’s an email workaround for adding links to Buffer. It’s also testing Buffer for Facebook.

Grab Buffer from the Android Market or by scanning the QR code here:

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Do you schedule your social Web updates, or just post when you feel like it?

Source: Triple Your Twitter Engagement With Buffer For Android

Triple Your Twitter Engagement With Buffer For Android

November 7th, 2011 11:15 admin View Comments

bufferapp150.jpgBuffer, an app that stacks up your tweets and automatically publishes them at the best times for engagement, just launched its free Android app. The app allows you to add any Web page to your Buffer, which you can then edit, manage and view analytics. It supports multiple accounts, which you can navigate with a swipe.

Buffer analyzes social data and automatically publishes your updates at the times when most of your followers are awake and clicking. This summer, Buffer studied its user data and found that it increases clicks on Twitter links by 200% and doubles the amount of retweets.

bufferandroid.jpgTweet scheduling has been shown to increase activity on shared content, but knowing when to schedule is a challenge. Buffer eliminates that guesswork by finding the best timing itself. You can just add your tweet to your Buffer and forget about it.

The Buffer team says its working on Buffer for iOS next. In the meantime, there’s an email workaround for adding links to Buffer. It’s also testing Buffer for Facebook.

Grab Buffer from the Android Market or by scanning the QR code here:

bufferqrcode.png

Do you schedule your social Web updates, or just post when you feel like it?

Source: Triple Your Twitter Engagement With Buffer For Android

US Troops To Leave Iraq By End of Year

October 21st, 2011 10:10 admin View Comments

The Military

mayberry42 writes with news that President Obama has announced an end to the U.S. military engagement in Iraq. All U.S. soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of the year. “Mr. Obama said that as of Jan. 1, 2012, the United States and Iraq would begin ‘a normal relationship between two sovereign nations, and equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect.’ In a videoconference on Friday morning with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr. Obama told him of the administration’s decision, which grows out of an inability of the United States and Iraq to come to an agreement on leaving a few thousand military trainers in the country. The United States had earlier agreed to exit Iraq by the end of the year and leave 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq as trainers, with some members of Congress advocating the retention of a reduced fighting force as well. But Pentagon lawyers insisted that the Iraqi Parliament grant immunity from legal prosecution to the troops if they were to remain.”

Source: US Troops To Leave Iraq By End of Year

Web Of Games

June 18th, 2011 06:18 admin View Comments

Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Adam Bosworth, co-founder of Keas, a startup that turns staying healthy into a game. Previously, he spearheaded Google Health, was chief architect at BEA Systems, and one of the fathers of XML.

In the tech industry, it is usually bad to be over 30. I’m 55. But there is one advantage to age, and that’s perspective. I witnessed the deep change that PCs brought, enabling technically skilled people to access computing power, call it tens of millions of people. Next was the Graphical User Interface (GUI) which brought productivity applications to most knowledge workers, call it hundreds of millions of people. Then the Web and mobile phones brought access to anyone and any information anywhere at any time, call it billions of people.

I predict that the next inflection point won’t be about numbers of users. It will be about engagement.

The tech industry has a neologism: “Gamification.” Inside this awkward term are three profound truths:

  1. Social games change engagement in deep and dramatic ways. If you want to get people to do something that they might not otherwise do—such as plan for retirement, study for exams, learn something new, get healthier or pick a school for their kids—make it a social game. You will see engagement rates change from a mere 5% to 70% or more, and people will sustain those rates week after week after week. Why? Because games are fun and appeal to the primitive brain in all of us that wants constant rewards, social recognition and adventure.
  2. Gamification will accelerate the movement from physical to online solutions.  Already, we read about vanishing shopping malls being replaced by online shopping, but as websites that sell goods and services become games rather than content sites (and this is already happening), the trend away from buying at bricks-and-mortar stores will accelerate dramatically unless we can make shopping more fun—because as Groupon has already demonstrated, people like this juxtaposition of shopping and games.
  3. Mobile will finally take its place as king, a position to which it has rapidly been ascending the last several years. Japan provided early evidence of this (watch any group of people there riding the train), but social games lend themselves to this form factor and this form factor is location-aware and constantly with you. We will see the end of PCs within a decade. They will be replaced by mobile devices, including tablet devices.

We used to teach information design. Then we taught UI design and UI interaction. But now it will be game mechanics. Within two years (if not already), lack of understanding appointment mechanics, game mechanics and leveling will be as crippling to someone who aspires to design online solutions as it is today for someone who doesn’t understand HTML and CSS and AJAX and JQuery.

For the old world, it’s game over.

Photo credit: Daniela Hartmann

Source: Web Of Games

Mobile Q&A App Opinionaided Has Generated 90M Responses To Over 1.2M User Questions

June 3rd, 2011 06:00 admin View Comments

When we wrote about mobile Q&A app Opinionaided two months ago, the app had generated 40 million responses to about 500,000 questions. In only three months, Opinionaided more than doubled those numbers, generating 90 million responses to over 1.2 million user questions for an average of 73 responses per question asked. Opinionaided says users are spending an average of 2 hours and 33 minutes in the app per month.

Opinionaided’s free iOS app allows users to get advice and opinions on the fly. Within the app, users can input a question, determine a category (i.e. relationships, politics) and submit it for other Opinionaided users to answer. You can also publish your questions to Facebook and Twitter. After a question is posted, fellow Opinionaided users can comment on the question and the app will calculate the percentage of users that responded positively or negatively. From there, consumers can reply back to the comments or create a new question for peers to vote on.

So what’s driving this much growth in users and engagement? Opinionaided founder Dan Kurani says that the ability to get real-time feedback at the point of decision-making is helping drive usage growth. On average it takes less than 2 minutes to get your first 10 responses to any question, says the company. And the simplicity of the app makes it appealing as well.

Interestingly, the average age of the Opinionaded user is 24, so perhaps usage also skews to a younger audience that is more engaged on devices like the iPhone. And while Opinionaided offers a web platform, Kurani says the company is seeing 90 percent of engagement on mobile.

While many app developers don’t generally release average engagement times, a recent study from GSMA reports that an average of 15 mobile apps are responsible for 667 minutes of use per user each month, or about 45 minutes per user per month. Opinionaided’s engagement is well above this.

With the impressive engagement data, especially on mobile devices; it comes of no surprise that Opinionaided is launching apps on other platforms. An Android app should be launched in the next few months, says Kurani.

Source: Mobile Q&A App Opinionaided Has Generated 90M Responses To Over 1.2M User Questions

Where the Boys Are (Reading Tech Blogs, Apparently)

May 31st, 2011 05:00 admin View Comments

royalpingdomlogo.jpgMen outnumber women in the tech industry. This isn’t particularly newsworthy, although it continues to be quite disheartening.

Figures released today from web monitoring company Royal Pingdom highlight another repercussion of the skewed gender representation in tech – namely, the overwhelming predominance of male visitors to technology blogs.

Royal Pingdom looked a number of popular tech blogs, including ReadWriteWeb, and examined the ratio of male to female site visitors by using demographics data from Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner.

Of the popular blogs that Royal Pingdom examined, only Mashable comes anywhere close to a 50-50 split between male and female visitors. Sites like Techmeme and Slashdot have closer to 90% male visitors. About 72% of ReadWriteWeb’s visitors, according to Royal Pingdom’s stats, are male.

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In a survey from last summer, comScore found that women outnumber men on social networking sites and tend to spend more time on those sites as well. But that interest and engagement hasn’t seemed to spill over into the tech blogosphere.

What contributes to the difference? Is it a reflection of the tech industry at large? Is it the content on the sites? The authors’ gender? The editorial voice or tone? Is it the community that surrounds it?

Source: Where the Boys Are (Reading Tech Blogs, Apparently)

Facebook Acting Buggy? You Could Be a Test Subject

March 30th, 2011 03:46 admin View Comments

Have you ever been using Facebook and randomly found that you were suddenly unable to do some very basic thing, like update your status? Or comment on and “like” your friends’ statuses? Maybe the design suddenly changed slightly and you were the only one seeing it?

Don’t worry, Facebook is a website and websites aren’t haunted, so there’s nothing supernatural at play. Rather, it could be that someone at Facebook is intentionally messing with you to see how you react…but in the end, it’s all for a better user experience.

Facebook product designer Adam Mosseri spoke earlier this week at a Design Drink Up at Yelp headquarters about how “design is ‘informed’ by data, and not the sole driver.” During his talk, Mosseri discussed a number of different ways that the world’s largest social network slightly tweaks certain settings for a small percentage of its users. The funny thing about having more than 600 million users, of course, is that even just 1% means 6 million people.

According to Mosseri, 2010 was a year of design focused on increasing user engagement. They knew that the number of friends a user had was related to their engagement with the site, but what other factors were driving this engagement?

To find out, Facebook’s design team began running different studies. One, informally dubbed the “Yo Momma” study, consisted of interviewing new mothers about their experience on Facebook. Just your garden variety user study, right? Another study, however, turned off the ability to like or comment on friends’ status updates for a “small percent of users.” That small percent accounted for “several million” users, said Mosseri.

Facebook ran the study for two weeks, before finally ending it early because users were getting so annoyed at their situation. The company found that the “bug” caused a 7% drop in sessions and a 10% drop in time on the site for affected users. These users did, however, find a way of expressing their grievances.

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So, the next time something goes completely awry with Facebook and everyone looks at you like you’re crazy, worry not – it might not be you, your computer or the wires in-between. It might just be the friendly folks over at Facebook seeing how you react so they can try to make things better.

Source: Facebook Acting Buggy? You Could Be a Test Subject

Visibli Raises $500K To Give Brands And Companies A Way To Personalize Links

March 3rd, 2011 03:00 admin View Comments

Visibli, a startup that gives brands and companies a way to personalize links, has raised $500,000 in seed funding from Extreme Venture Partners and undisclosed angel investors.

Visibli solves a pain point for brands and companies that want to send outside links to fans and followers but want to personalize these links. Called the Engagement Bar, the StumbleUpon-like technology adds a bar on the top of any web page that allows brands to link to their own sites, videos, images and more. So when you link to a page, your customized Engagement Bar will appear at the top your linked page. Engagement Bars can incorporate a number of different types of content, including social widgets, online videos, links to Amazon, iTunes or Etsy stores.

In the past year, Visibli has signed a number of high-profile clients to use the service, including John Legend, Quincy Jones and Interscope Records. The company says that trials with these clients received a 5.35 percent engagement rate (in terms of click through rates), which is fifty times what these brands were seeing on non-Visibli enabled websites. And Visibli has launched a specific product for the music industry, that includes integration with iTunes, SoundCloud, FanBridge, and other interactive music sites.

Source: Visibli Raises $500K To Give Brands And Companies A Way To Personalize Links

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