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The latest buzz in the check-in service space is around Shopkick, a mobile app that is partnering with Best Buy and Macy’s to launch its own version of the check-in. Rather than rely on consumers to check in to a retailer using GPS (and risk the possibility of fake check-ins), Shopkick has installed custom “Signal” […]

Wildfire Apps, a branded application developer and interactive marketing platform, has officially launched Group Deals, an application that allows brands to feature Groupon-like discount offers on their Facebook pages. The look and feel of the application is customizable, and brands can designate the discount value, minimum number of participants and required user actions to unlock the […]

MyTown is running a limited promotion to reward users with Facebook’s virtual currency, known as Facebook Credits. The location-based mobile game is one of the first third-party apps to integrate Facebook Credits off-site from Facebook.com, according to the All Facebook blog. Facebook Credits can also be purchased (in the form of physical cards) at half a million […]

Old Spice’s recent social media stunt was a novel way to leverage Life in Real Time, one of our 10 Trends for 2010, and a great social media case study. Extending the popularity of the brand’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercials, the now iconic Old Spice Guy starred in about 200 personalized […]

Hot Potato is a location-based social event service that allows users to socialize in real time around live events, upload photos/videos, organize upcoming events and seamlessly integrate these activities with Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Hot Potato 2.0 now lets users “check in” to any activity, unrelated to a physical location (e.g., “I’m thinking about …”, […]

StickyBits (described here) recently released its brand toolkit, which allows brands to attach official content to their products, monitor product scans and connect directly with consumers who “check in” to their product. Pepsi is the first brand to sign up. Whereas StickyBits originally enabled consumers to scan the barcode on a real-world product to view […]

On Memorial Day weekend, Travelocity’s notorious traveling gnome was making his rounds on Foursquare, as Mashable reported. The gnome, who also utilized his robust presence on Facebook and Twitter, traveled to London, where he posted photos of first-class travel on Virgin, “checked in” to hot tourist spots, offered Facebook users and Twitter followers a $150 Travelocity discount to […]

In March, Facebook announced it would soon be launching location-based functionality, and it’s now preparing to roll out these features—which will allow users to attach their location to status updates—within the month. As Facebook continues its campaign to become “the fabric of the Web,” these geo-location features may make location-based sharing more prevalent and mainstream. […]

In the wake of Facebook’s new Open Graph, various privacy flubs and buzz about its making more user information public by default, there’s been much debate about online privacy and some backlash against the site (Quit Facebook Day, for example, has 14,000-plus members, who have pledged to deactivate their accounts on May 31). In response, […]


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Things to Watch

  • Tindergram
    April 17, 2015 | 11:03 am

    Tinder Instagram

    Swiping just got more interesting—with its latest update, Tinder lets users browse the Instagram feeds of their potential matches. The pairing (which, Adweek notes, seemed inevitable) offers “a sort of social diary, co-written by your friends and family” to help people better stalk their dates.

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  • Everlane’s Transparent City series
    April 8, 2015 | 2:33 pm

    Everlane LA

    “We call it Radical Transparency,” says e-tail startup Everlane. The company, known for its luxe basics, was built on the principle of disclosing production costs and keeping markups as low as possible. Now, Everlane has launched the Transparent City tour, a first-of-its-kind look at the inner workings of like-minded local companies. The kickoff event in LA brought guests behind the scenes with local bloggers, designers and chefs to learn about their creative inspiration. And, perhaps the culmination of the week — Everlane invited a select few on a tour of their factory, sharing the garment construction process from start to finish. The tour had a 300-person waitlist.

    Continue reading “Everlane’s Transparent City series” »

  • Crossing ‘the digital divide’
    March 19, 2015 | 4:24 pm

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    In a piece on an 82-year-old going online for the first time, The Washington Post called attention to a rising issue—the divide between those who use the Internet and those who don’t (13% in the U.S., and 41% among senior citizens).

    Continue reading “Crossing ‘the digital divide’” »

  • Incremental saving and giving
    March 11, 2015 | 1:51 pm

    Call it progress or just laziness—apps are popping up that harness our small change and put it to better use. Acorns, dubbed “the Tinder of investing,” links to a user’s debit or credit card and rounds up to the nearest dollar on every purchase. The app then takes that spare change and invests it in a portfolio of the user’s choice—portfolios range from low to high risk (and reward). Or users can opt to let Acorns choose for them based on their age, goals, income and other factors. Meanwhile, apps like Qapital and Digit facilitate regular small transfers from checking to savings, and banks themselves are getting on the incremental savings bandwagon. (See: Bank of America’s Keep the Change and Wells Fargo’s Way2Save.)

    Continue reading “Incremental saving and giving” »

  • Augmenting sleep
    March 9, 2015 | 12:02 pm

    Sense orb

    Digital platforms are already integrated into our every waking minute—now they’re moving into our sleep. A spate of apps and devices aim to aid and facilitate better sleep, from ambient lamps to a lucid dreaming sleep mask to an app that wakes you up with a phone call from a stranger.

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  • The sharing economy grows up
    March 3, 2015 | 3:30 pm

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    Hotel giant Starwood has bought in to the sharing economy. The group, which owns W Hotels, St. Regis and Sheraton, has announced a partnership with car service Uber in which every dollar spent by a guest on an Uber car earns points toward free rooms and other perks.

    Continue reading “The sharing economy grows up” »

  • Digital immersive exercise
    February 25, 2015 | 4:04 pm

    immersive-fitness-the-trip

    Equinox’s new revved-up cycle class speaks to a growing exercise trend—digital immersion. This month the gym brand unveiled Pursuit, an immersive cycling concept, to limited U.S. gyms. Equinox describes the program as “an immersive studio cycling experience that uses groundbreaking gaming and data visualization to drive competition and inspire peak performance.”

    Continue reading “Digital immersive exercise” »

  • Science fare
    February 20, 2015 | 2:07 pm

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    The worlds of science, gastronomy and art are continuing to cross-pollinate—from edible conceptual art to molecular gastronomy “lab cafés” to synesthetic dining events. Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass., is a recent example. Opened late last year by David Edwards, a Harvard engineering professor, the café serves whiskey “fogs” through a special carafe that turns the liquor into vapor (which means consumers don’t take in any of the calories and feel none of the intoxicating effects).

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  • Aman’s authentic-luxe travel
    February 11, 2015 | 1:06 pm

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    As travelers continue to seek out authentic and unique experiences, hospitality brands keep raising the bar on hyper-localized offerings and exceptional access. Aman, for instance, is introducing a phinisi-style sailing ship in Indonesia, marrying the brand’s ultra-luxe sensibility with regional tradition. With an outdoor lounge and bar, the option to travel by motor, and air-conditioned cabins, the ship brings every modern comfort to an age-old means of navigating the Indonesian archipelago. Another Aman property, meanwhile, offers a dip into paleontology: Guests at Amangiri in southern Utah can join an official dig at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, working alongside fossil experts for a half-day. The cost of getting one’s hands dirty starts at $600. (Resulting Instagram images: priceless.) —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Aman

  • Adidas’ ‘virtual line’
    February 5, 2015 | 6:55 pm

    Adidas

    Adidas’ new Confirmed app cleverly harnesses the fervor of collectors who normally line up for limited-edition shoes, moving fans onto a mobile platform. App users create an account, then get push notifications when hot new releases are on the way. Interested buyers in a given metro area—only New York City at launch—indicate their size and, if approved, receive details on where and when to pick up the shoes. An Adidas exec calls it a “virtual line.” In addition to collecting data on these super-fans, the app lets Adidas control which influencers get various styles, drives traffic to selected stores, builds additional buzz and cuts out secondary-market sellers armed with bots that secure advance orders. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Bloomberg

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