Thanks to Benedict Evans for noticing this. From his newsletter:
Apple proposed web standards that give web pages access to the smartphone (or PC) GPU to run ‘general purpose computation’ (i.e. machine learning) as well as graphics. Very surprising – I’d have expected this from Google or Facebook rather than ‘everything should be an app’ Apple…
This is good news for the open web, and I don’t find it surprising at all. The open web is under attack from many directions, but it is not going away even in an all mobile world. The question is its relative share with proprietary channels, and neither Apple, Google, or Facebook knows just how that will evolve. The article is a bit technical. Read More
Marketers note… Gen Z Rising Fast
Millennial entrepreneur Brit Morin…
… lately, I’m beginning to feel like I’m no longer part of the popular crowd at school. The focus has shifted to a new group of kids in town: Generation Z. … Last year, I sat in on an internal strategy discussion at a Fortune 500 beauty brand where the CEO spent 30 minutes discussing this new generation; the term “millennial” seemed to be used in the past tense. … Gen Zers are more diverse than past generations in both psychographics and demographics, and can’t be reached by traditional business tactics.
And to think how far behind so many companies are even providing a good mobile experience! Read More
Google makes it easier to see and share publishers’ real URLs from AMP pages
This is an example of the ongoing tug of war between platforms and publishers for control over content. This is not a war someone wins, but a long sometimes painful rebalancing. This concession addresses a big concern about AMP, but will it be enough to attract a critical mass of publishers? Read More
Cognitive Overhead is Your Product’s Overlord
No one intends to build a product with large cognitive overhead, but it happens if there isn’t forethought and recognition for it. “We saw the value being added with Flock’s predictive abilities — and a small group of users really loved them — but it was a cognitive maze for the rest of the world,” says Lieb. “The moment you assume people understand the value you’re adding — especially when it’s a new concept — you dive into cognitive overhead territory.”
David Lieb has some interesting, perhaps counter-intuitive, ideas for navigating this problem. Read More
Software Startup Markets Raising the Most Capital in 2017
Hopefully some validation rather than a surprise for investors, startups, and of course analysts. Read More
Hope you had a fantastic summer. We are back from vacation and our new school-year resolution is to publish more bite-sized issues more frequently – tougher curation and quicker delivery to you.
Beyond the iPhone
is the watch, as the next general purpose personal computer that is. I still think that has always been Apple’s plan, with fitness a viable commercial entry point and learning path to the much larger health care market and everything else. In this regard the AirPods were the most interesting of the recent announcements. As Ben Thompson points out…
… one of the devices that pairs with AirPods is the Apple Watch, which received its own update, including GPS. The GPS addition was part of a heavy focus on health-and-fitness, but it is also another step down the road towards a Watch that has its own cellular connection, and when that future arrives the iPhone will quite suddenly shift from indispensable to optional. Simply strap on your Watch, put in your AirPods, and, thanks to Siri, you have everything you need… just as the iPhone makes far more sense as a digital hub than the Mac, the Watch will one day be the best hub yet. Read More
Facebook’s Power Struggle Over App Links
This long slow cold war requires monitoring by marketers, developers, and publishers. The Information’s Cory Weinberg is watching.
Apps are caught in the middle of a power struggle between Apple, Google and Facebook to control mobile browsing habits. The fragmentation benefits Facebook, which keeps people inside its browser instead of supporting apps’ deep links on iPhones. Read More
Google’s AMP Viewer: the Tinder UX for content?
Google is also increasing its reach and control over the browsing experience. All marketers, not just news publishers, will be affected.
AMP links will no longer be limited to the Top Stories area of mobile results; instead, Google will link to the AMP version of a webpage any time a valid AMP is available. This “blue links” expansion will dramatically increase AMP traffic overall and enable discovery of a rapidly growing universe of non-news and long-tail AMP content. … Publishers might not realize that Google won’t just link to AMPs, but will present them in a Google-hosted viewer which is certain to alter user flow and engagement from mobile search. Read More
How The Daily Beast gets 40 percent of readers to visit its homepage
While the Beast gets its fair share of traffic from Google and Facebook, it focuses more on getting those readers back via email (its subscriber base has doubled in the past year) and its app than on maximizing the reach of content it publishes elsewhere. It has eschewed Google AMP and, after a brief dalliance with Facebook Instant Articles, has stopped using those too. Read More
There are tectonic shifts underway among competing web, mobile, and social platforms, that will have profound effects on digital strategies. There are too many moving parts and shifting alliances for anyone to predict outcomes with any certainty. But Apple, Google, Facebook, and others are making moves that need to be considered in the context of platform competition, whether it is Apple ad-blocking, and News, Google AMP, and Polymer, Facebook Instant Articles, and Notify, or Twitter Moments. Some thoughts…
Mobile is not a neutral platform
For sure. Benedict Evan’s lead-up discussion on desktop vs mobile platform doesn’t sit quite right, but it isn’t necessary to the argument or the other insights which are on target. It is certainly true that mobile operating systems are becoming less neutral and more intrusive and there will be serious consequences as this trend continues.
… this summer we saw moves from Apple and Google to create their own real-estate around the home screen. … but the broader point is that this is Apple’s screen or Google’s screen, and another content provider gets there only if Apple or Google want (and if they implement the indexing APIs that Apple and Google require). This will get bigger… Next, Apple and Google are exploring new ways to unbundle the content within apps into new usage models. Hence Apple’s 3D Touch unbundles app content into the home screen … Can there be apps where this is the main UI? (And of course this isn’t on Android, so the fantasy of a cross-platform app gets even further away.) Read More
Notes from the Platform’s Edge
“Platforms for everyone, publications for no one”. John Herrman on the fascinating dance between publishers and platforms and social “platforms” like Facebook and Twitter who want to compete / survive via notification control. Referrals to websites from Facebook are trending down for many and the top ten membership is changing, and…
Facebook is … experimenting with a new editorial space… an app called Notify, which lets people aggregate… notifications? It was previously reported by Business Insider to be “a standalone mobile news publication.” … An Apple Watch future or a Siri future or a notifications-based future would threaten the most obvious ways Facebook and Twitter make money—by cramming ads into feeds—so it makes sense, probably, to at least try to get ahead of it, by becoming a sort of news notification clearinghouse—better or more vital than the notifications sent to users by, say, an Apple or Google News app…All along, platforms and publications have been interacting in two ways: on one end, by mingling audience and attention; on the other, by the advertising business model of one replacing the advertising business model of the other. Read More
Apple wants mobile devices to be filled with apps. Google supports a world where people browse the web for most things. Now websites are increasingly caught in the middle of those competing visions.
The full title of the article is “Publishers Straddle the Apple-Google, App-Web Divide”, but it is not just about publishers—everyone has to to figure out how to navigate among this divide and all of the exhaust from it. Ad-blocking, app-blocking, AMP-advantaging, non-neutral mobile platforms, and (healthy) web standards (e.g., web components) development competition, are all driven by the competing business models. Read More
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages AMP Project
Google’s latest strategic salvo in the app-web battle is to provide another way to speed up web pages with an open source project based on the web components standard. The idea is to neutralize any speed advantages of Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, or other apps. Of course this also serves to influence the direction of the web components standard development in the same way as Polymer. This is all good, but there are some concerns about how open AMP is in its current form. There is already a (beta) WordPress plugin which I have installed on gilbane.com but haven’t tested yet. Danny Sullivan’s post from the announcement contains a description and useful links. Read More
And now back to our regularly scheduled programing…
Integrating marketing technologies? That’s the easy part
It would be difficult to find someone more qualified than Scott Brinker to talk about integrating marketing technology. He knows firsthand how hard it is, which is why you should listen to what he has to say about what’s even more difficult.
Is the “integration” challenge of marketing technology really our top obstacle?… There are two studies that I’ve come across in the past couple of weeks that have caused me to wonder if integration has become a bit of a red herring for marketers who are wrestling with the much more hairy, vicious, pointy-toothed beast of digital transformation… Integration is getting easier. Marketing, however, is not. Read more
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