STATE OF AMERICA
Aging: A Move Beyond Youth Culture – As youthfulness becomes increasingly less tied to one’s chronological age, people of a “certain age” are no longer willing to be put out to pasture. Rather than shying away from growing old, more people are embracing their later years and the unique satisfactions they’ll bring. Euro RSCG’s Prosumer Report on Aging found concerns related to aging no longer center on physical beauty. People are more confident that they have the tools they need to keep wrinkles, paunches, and other signs of aging at bay. What worries them now is loss of autonomy. The potential for physical and cognitive deterioration is of widespread concern, as are worries over long-term financial security. The report also found consumption gaps are shrinking as people in older age segments continue to enjoy and employ new technologies, products and entertainment options. The traditional notion of older people withdrawing from consumer markets no longer applies.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Tablets Are Ushering In A New Era Of Online Impulse Buying – Many consumers are sold on using their iPad for online catalog browsing and buying. They are spending more time and money curled up with the touchscreen device than they have with their bulkier laptop, desktop computer, or smartphone. According to Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester Research in Cambridge, consumers are likely to spend more time shopping from a tablet because people tend to use their tablets during idle hours, such as when they are watching television or relaxing in bed. “This not only increases the overall amount of time online, but the state of mind is more leisurely, when people are more inclined to browse, add more things to their shopping cart, wait for pages to download, discover items,” Mulpuru said. With more than 60 million Americans forecast to own a tablet computer by the end of this year, retailers say the devices are driving an increasingly larger share of online revenue. Merchants reported their average order value from tablets now exceeds Web sales from laptop and desktop computers and smartphones. Mobile phones – once viewed as the best growth vehicle for online shopping – have proved a dud with many consumers because of their small screens and keypads. While people may still flip through paper catalogs they often end up on the coffee table with no action taken. But with tablet browsing it’s much easier to buy immediately.
Foursquare’s Promoted Updates – Foursquare recently started pilot testing paid ads called “Promoted Updates”. Foursquare Chief Revenue Officer Steven Rosenblatt said, “Promoted Updates are a natural progression for Foursquare. The ads are designed to be organic and relevant to each user.” The Promoted Updates appear in a section of Foursquare known as the Explore tab. They use the same algorithm that Explore uses to display non-paid updates to decide which ads will appear. The criteria includes a user’s location and whether users or their friends have previously expressed interest in the business. To keep it all feeling spam-free, Promoted Updates will only show up on a users screen if they’re nearby and they’re relevant businesses, based on previous check-ins, unlocked specials and even the time of day. For example, people won’t get a two-for-one Margarita special promo from Margaritaville on the way to work at 9 a.m., nor will they get that promo if they’re a well established fan of Irish bars. Promoted Updates work on a cost-per-action model, in which merchants pay each time a user checks into their business, unlocks a special, or otherwise actively engages with the update.
YouTube’s Creator Space – YouTube is inviting creators to leave their bedroom studios and come work in state-of-the-art production studios. They are launching a collection of creator spaces, starting in the coming weeks in Google London’s Soho office, where YouTube creators will be able to book time to work with the latest equipment, collaborate with other YouTubers and more. The London space is just the first of several YouTube creator spaces. Launching soon will be spaces in Los Angeles and Tokyo as well. People from all over the world will be able to book time in the space to create and collaborate, learn new techniques, as well as gain access to audio visual equipment, to help them generate great new content for their channels. The creator space is complete with DSLRs, cinema cameras and two studios including a green screen and editing suites. The space will be overseen by the YouTube Next Lab, a team focused on accelerating the growth and development of channels and creators on YouTube.
ON THE RADAR
Read This: The Art of Choosing is a book about choice and how less can be more. Written by psycho-economist and Columbia University professor Sheena Iyengar, this is a must read for those who want to know why consumers make the choices that they make. In a world full of choices, what drives people to sometimes make decisions that go against their best interests? Having options is good, but how much is too much? Iyengar answers these questions and offers profound insights drawn from her award-winning research.
Watch This: Gotye’s popular song “Somebody That I Used To Know” has inspired countless YouTube covers. As a sign of appreciation to his fans, Gotye rounded up his favorites and edited them together into an orchestral love letter. He credits everyone appearing in the video on his official blog, includes links to their “Somebody That I Used To Know” covers on YouTube, and provides timestamps specifying when in the video they appear. There’s no better way to make fans feel involved than by actually including them in a video.
Try This App: Keeping up with thousands of tweets, not to mention figuring out which ones are actually valuable, can feel like a life-consuming task. Twheel, a new app aimed at reducing Twitter’s information clutter, solves the problem by turning your tweets into a beautifully designed map. With Twheel, your Tweets are laid out in a circle and the intuitive navigation means you just have to move your thumb a little bit to Retweet or Favorite any of the Tweets.