Archive for the ‘tool’ tag
Are you measuring your social media efforts? Do you know what’s working? Over the years, there have been dozens of social media monitoring tools launched, but not all social media monitoring platforms are created equal. In this article I’ll show you five platforms that may work for your business. Social Media Monitoring 101 Before taking [...]
YoYo Games hopes to revolutionize the way that game developers make money from their games by making it easy to tap monetization and analytics services from within its cross-platform game development tools.
The integration of new services is part of a plan to promote GameMaker: Studio, the company’s cross-platform development tool which it sells to developers, as a lingua franca for making games. Those tools make it easy to publish games on any system and have them run at native performance speeds as if they were authored specifically to run on that particular platform. On top of this advantage, Dundee, Scotland-based YoYo Games also says it has taken the hassle out of adopting monetization and analytics services.
Now it’s a simple matter for developers to choose different monetization options and publish their games in a variety of app stores. That makes the process of making money from games more accessible, efficient, and scalable than ever before. It effectively lowers the barriers that stand in the way of making money on games.
“The challenge associated with monetizing games is one of the biggest concerns facing developers,” said Sandy Duncan, chief executive officer at YoYo Games. “In GameMaker: Studio, we’ve removed the technical limitations so that games developers can focus on creating great games and selecting the best monetization strategy with no additional resources required. It’s a win-win situation for developers as well as service providers who now have access to GameMaker: Studio’s large and rapidly growing community and the treasure trove of new intellectual properties they are creating.”
YoYo Games launched GameMaker: Studio as a $99 package for professional game developers in May. The tools are based on free versions of the GameMaker, which were originally released in 1999 by game creator Mark Overmars and have been downloaded more than 10 million times. For the past six years, YoYo Games has been working on beefed-up versions of the development tools so that they can be used to make games that can easily run across many different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Facebook, Android, iOS, HTML5, and Chrome. GameMaker has a community of half a million registered users and is offered in more than 5,000 schools.
YoYo Games has around 20 or so employees, including a number of people who previously worked at Realtime Worlds, creator of All Points Bulletin. Duncan said recently that the company would begin a new round of fundraising soon. Rivals include Spaceport.io, Z2Live, and Unity Technologies.
The free services upgrade will be available in GameMaker: Studio’s 1.1 Update coming in September. The company is showing the service at the Game Developers Conference Europe this week in Cologne, Germany.
“The integration of MoPub Marketplace into GameMaker: Studio is groundbreaking in that it gives thousands of developers easy access to the critical resources needed to successfully monetize their apps,” said Jim Payne, CEO and co-founder of MoPub. “Our real-time bidding exchange and scalable ad-serving platform are designed to give publishers the ultimate in control and transparency while tapping into new sources of demand which can ultimately result in more ad revenue from games.”
Filed under: games
You aren’t working? What? What’s wrong with you?
Well, in case you haven’t noticed (if you’re reading this, you probably have) people aren’t just handing out jobs. But if you’re looking for a job in marketing — specifically inbound marketing — there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Read the rest of this entry »
This year’s Olympics earned the nickname “Socialympics.” It has inspired huge waves of tweets, brought down the reputation of old media giants, and earned athletes millions of new followers in weeks.
Since the Beijing Olympics four years ago, the use of Facebook and Twitter has exploded. In 2008, there were only 6 million people on Twitter. Now, the network has rocketed past 600 million. Athletes can engage directly with their fans; social media marketing and analytics companies can track shifts in public opinion and serve real-time advertising; and for the first time, London’s tech startups have benefited from an influx of tourism.
In the spirit of a little friendly competition, we’re evaluating the dollars earned and headlines won to anoint the real winners of the 2012 Socialympics.
Gold Medal: #NBCFail
Social media monitoring companies have been tracking the eruption of chatter on Twitter and Facebook like hawks. It’s favorite meme? #NBCFail. NetBase, a social media analysis tool, found that there were a whopping 93,000 #NBCFail posts this month, which generated nearly 148 million impressions. View an infographic here with more social data from the world’s first social Olympics.
Topsy Labs, a Twitter tracking tool company, claims its algorithm can pinpoint the most important Olympics-focused tweets in seconds. The company tracked the #NBCFail tag throughout the Games, and served up real-time reports to media companies like the Washington Post and Mashable.
“This is the first time we have seen something like this,” said Duncan Greatwood, Topsy’s Labs’ CEO. “When a race or story around the Olympics catches the public’s attention, we can help advertisers and the media react fast.”
Steven Marx, an occasional Twitter user who first used #NBCFail on a whim, achieved more acclaim during the Olympic Games that the fallen television network. PeopleBrowsr, another social media analysis tool tracking the Olympics, revealed Marx as the originator of the hashtag.
According to PeopleBrowsr, on July 27, the day of the ceremony, there were just 212 #NBCFail tweets. By July 28, there were 6,000 and by July 29, the number had risen to 20,000.
NBC walked away with its tail between its legs, but #NBCFail proved to be a true money-maker for social media and analytics companies.
Silver Medal: Michael Phelps
Phelps left London a decorated hero with 22 medals. But he also received a new honor: one million new Twitter followers and 800,000 Facebook fans, according to social media monitoring tool, Starcount.
The Olympics has been the ideal venue for these athletes to communicate with fans. We hung on Phelps’ every tweet during the Olympics, mostly congratulating fellow athletes and retweets of inspiring quotes.
Others didn’t fare quite so well. Two athletes were expelled from the Games for their racist tweets. Serena Williams failed to issue a single tweet to her 1.15 million Facebook fans.
Bronze Medal: Usain Bolt
The American swimmer’s popularity was very nearly eclipsed by Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt. Before the Olympic Games, Bolt had 7.6 million Twitter followers and Facebook fans; after his gold-medal Olympic record in the 100 meters, he’s eclipsed 8.5 million.
When Bolt won the 200-meter final, the Twitter ecosystem went nuts. Bolt also set records for how many tweets per minute contained his name. ”Record alert!” Twitter tweeted. “(at)usainbolt sets a new Olympic Games conversation record with over 80,000 TPM for his 200m victory.”
This Olympics has been a testing-ground for athletes to build a brand on social media. In future, their accounts will likely be controlled by managers and agents. But for now, we enjoyed getting a look into the uninhibited thoughts and feelings of the athletes, most especially Usain Bolt.
Special mention: Londons’s Tech Startups
“The best thing the Olympics has done for startups in London is brought wider attention and validity to our existence in the East End of London,” said Ben Reyes, a London-based entrepreneur and programmer.
In East London, where the majority of the city’s tech companies reside, government organizations like the TCIO have organized a series of events for local startups to strategize how they can benefit from the Olympics.
Michelle You, cofounder of Shopkick, explained that startups like hers have been networking and partnering with Silicon Valley tech companies in town for the Olympics.
One Fine Stay, a Clerkenwell-based startup, has benefited from the influx of tourists. According to founder, Greg Marsh, this summer has been the startup’s busiest season since it was founded in 2009.
It’s already Sunday?! Man, the weekends fly by so quickly in the summer. And at the speed this summer is passing, I’d say it’s time to hightail it to somewhere warm and sandy for a week and just relax ’til next weekend. Summer doesn’t fly by when you’re on a beach, right? If you need some reading material for the plane/train/bus/car, scroll on and check out the best inbound marketing stories we found this week across the web.
How Top Brands Are Using Instagram, From Simply Measured
This story comes to us from the Simply Measured analytics blog. Instagram recently made headlines with the news that it had surpassed the 80 million user mark (up from just 15 million in January 2012!). It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, then, that among those 80 million users are 40% of the world’s top brands, as classified by the Interbrand Top 100 list. B2C brands like MTV and Starbucks dominate on Instagram, and 25% of the brands that are leveraging Instagram post at least once per week. It seems like Instagram is going to keep growing, and the 60% of top brands who are missing out have created a unique opening for smaller brands to make a name for themselves on the photo-sharing social network. Check out the full story here.
Facebook Launches New Ad Creation Tool to Help Marketers Align Campaigns With Goals, From HubSpot
This week in Facebook updates, we covered the news of a new ad creation tool that will take some of the anxiety out of Facebook advertising. With Facebook elaborating upon an earlier-released feature allowing advertisers to measure the success of their campaigns based on their stated objectives, this updated ad creation interface will make it easier for Facebook advertisers to create ads and Sponsored Stories that are more closely aligned with those stated goals, such as generating more business page likes or promoting page posts. These changes will aim to give advertisers more guidance as they’re building their Facebook ad campaigns and help them achieve the right balance of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve their particular goals. Facebook has also added a preview option to the process, allowing marketers to view what their ad will look like in actual news feeds. The changes will be especially beneficial to marketers trying out Facebook ads for the first time. Check out the full story here.
Brands Missing Out On Mobile Ad Opportunities, From MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs highlights the takeaways of a HipCricket study on mobile advertisement opportunities — namely, that many brands are leaving those opportunities on the table, and then walking away. Yikes. According to the study, 46% of mobile users have viewed a mobile ad, and 64% have completed a mobile purchase as a result of viewing a mobile ad. But an astonishing 74% of mobile users claim that their favorite brands have never advertised to them on a mobile platform. That’s a lot of brands missing the chance to convert some mobile purchases! Additional details in the study revealed demographic differences in those who take advantage of mobile ads: 55% of those who clicked have an annual income of greater than $75,000, and 29% who clicked have an annual income of greater than $100,000. Check out the full story here.
YouTube’s Built-In Video Editor Gets Better, From Mashable
Our last story this week is from the folks at Mashable. For about a year now, YouTube has been offering a built-in video editing tool as a feature that all users can take advantage of in their video publishing endeavors. But as of Thursday, video editing in YouTube has gotten even easier. YouTube shipped some new features, including quick views of every filter and a real-time, interactive preview of the changes you’ve made, consistently available throughout the editing process. The editor is gradually rolling out to all YouTube users. We’ve still noticed a few flaws with the editor, so we’re eager to see what changes YouTube has in store for the future. Check out the full story here.
Repurposing Content With a Purpose, From Smart Insights
The Smart Insights blog brings us this excellent guide to repurposing content — with a purpose! Aimed at making your content strategy more efficient, the post highlights the advantages of repurposing content, as well as eight ideas for efficient and effective repurposing. Some of the ideas we like best? Repurposing the audio track from video content as a downloadable podcast, creating textual transcripts from your video content, curating your best content into ebooks, and publishing the recordings of live webinars. We’d also venture to add that the reverse is also true; ebook and webinar content can be repurposed as blog content, too. Check out the full story here.
Did you come across any other excellent inbound marketing stories in the past week? Share them in the comments!
Image credit: kansasphoto
There was a large amount of tweeting including the word ‘Farah’ before, during and after the 5000m race – this graph from (free Twitter tool) Twitscoop shows the spike:
|‘Mo Farah’ Twitscoop graph of related tweeting|
This became even more pronounced when TV screens around the world saw Usain Bolt joining in with the fun and ‘doing the Mobot’ to celebrate after his own race:
|Usain Bolt Mo Farah mobot tribute|
Twitter aggregated all of the Mo Farah content and highlighted it for users by including ‘Mo Farah’ in the list of Twitter Trends, but rather than being a standard Trend, ‘Mo Farah’ was highlighted at the top of the Trend list as a ‘Trending Event’:
|Twitter Trending event ‘Mo Farah’|
Clicking on this Twitter ‘Trending Event’ opened a page that pulled in Twitter content around ‘Mo Farah’ – images, videos, people and (of course) tweets:
|Twitter Mo Farah content|
Highlighting the different types of content relating to an event makes Twitter more useful / relevant, but also further fuels the conversation – people talk about what other people are talking about and the effect of ‘the rich get richer.’
Trending Events is clearly a Twitter development / experiment driven by the mass interest in the Olympics, but it will be interesting to see where this goes afterwards – does it mean Twitter becomes even more of a content aggregator / platform as well as a platform for conversation?
(and well done Mo Farah!)
It’s not often you get to interview a nuclear engineer and a physician who run a tiny vaporizer factory out of an oversized garage outside of San Francisco so today is your lucky day. Two weeks ago we spent some time with the guys from Thermovape, a homegrown, self-funded hardware company that just happens to produce some of the coolest and most effective vaporizers I’ve seen.
For the uninitiated, the product is called the Thermo Essence Thermovape, a smoking cessation tool and “botanical vaporizer.” It’s designed for vaporizing the essentials out of botanicals like pot and tobacco as well as and oils. It’s not smoking – the convection vaporizer pulls everything important out of the materials, leaving behind desiccated leaves.
Founded by best buds Noah Minskoff and Nathan Terry, the company has about ten employees, including a pro machinist. The pair turned to vaporizers when they saw that the market was wide open. More importantly, Noah’s mother died of lung cancer and he was looking for a simple way to help people stop smoking. The Thermovape offers the nicotine dosage of a cigarette without the carcinogenic byproducts.
Whatever your take on drug use, these guys are real hardware entrepreneurs on a mission. They are completely self-reliant and haven’t accepted any funding, partially because the VC world is wary of these sorts of businesses. But, as Minskoff pointed out, this isn’t a bong factory. It’s a precision machine shop that uses some amazingly complex and expensive tools to make a product that lasts.
You can see how the pair work on their vapes in this episode of Makers and look for more hardware startups coming up in the next few weeks. If you have something cool you want to show us, don’t forget to email me at email@example.com with the subject line MAKERS.
Google released Account chooser today, which lets you easily toggle between Gmail accounts without having to enter and re-enter your email or password.
Account chooser was first noticed by The Next Web, and undoubtedly excites any person that uses Gmail for both work and personal accounts. In order to enable the feature, you must first go to this link, which automatically signs you up if you’re logged into one of your accounts. That account becomes the default account from which you can add others. You must click “stay signed in” in order for the feature to work.
The new Gmail login screen is a small box that displays your name, the email address, and an image if you have one on your account. Multiple sign-on will be enabled across many of Google’s products, but the company notes that some of its products are not friendly with the feature yet. If you attempt to access a Google product that does not support Account chooser, then you will be automatically reverted to your default account.
Google does provide a set of suggestions on how to protect your accounts if you’re using Account chooser on a shared computer, but it’s always best not to have a signed-in account on a computer accessed by others.
hat tip The Next Web
Filed under: cloud
Been meaning to experiment with Facebook ads but first-time jitters holding you back? We don’t blame you. PPC, no matter which platform you’re using, has the tendency to make marketers who are new to online advertising break out in a cold sweat. You have to learn the nuances of the platform, decipher the meaning of proprietary metrics, understand your segmenting options, and then there’s the bidding. Oh, the bidding! That’s a science in itself.
Well yesterday, Facebook announced plans to streamline the ad creation process, making it easier for Facebook advertisers to create ads and Sponsored Stories that are more closely aligned with their stated goals, such as generating more business page likes or promoting page posts. These changes will aim to give advertisers more guidance as they’re building their Facebook ad campaigns and help them achieve the right balance of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve their particular goals.
The new interface seems to also build off a feature Facebook introduced in May, which helped advertisers measure the performance of their ads based on their stated objectives. Thus, Facebook’s latest move makes the entire ad campaign process goals-driven, from start to finish, creation to measurement.
For those of you who could benefit from a little hand-holding, these changes may be just what you need to overcome those first-time jitters.
What Changes Are Coming?
According to Facebook, the upcoming changes to its ad creation process are simply front-end design changes to its ad creator interface rather than alterations to its application-programming interface.
As you can see from the full screenshot below, courtesy of TechCrunch, the interface first prompts advertisers to select what they want to advertise, and then choose their goal: ‘Get More Page Likes,’ ‘Promote Page Posts,’ or get more specific with their goals by selecting ‘Advanced Options.’ Once advertisers have identified their goal, the ad creator will recommend a combination of ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve that objective. In addition, a new feature enables advertisers to preview how their Sponsored Stories would actually appear in users’ news feeds.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, as reported by AllFacebook:
“We’ve seen that ads and Sponsored Stories, when combined, provide the most impact for advertisers. This is because ads can help people connect to pages, and, once they connect, Sponsored Stories can drive the distribution of those connections to more people … Today’s changes to the ad create flow makes the entire process of creating, optimizing, and measuring ad campaigns easier through objective-based recommendations.”
The Marketer’s Perspective
It’s pretty easy to see how this change will help Facebook, given that the new interface encourages an integrated approach to Facebook advertising, suggesting a combination of different ad types to achieve advertisers’ goals. So if an advertiser only intended to purchase an ad, perhaps the new interface might persuade them to purchase a Sponsored Story as well. Sneaky sneaky, Facebook.
That being said, we can’t help but think that this new guided approach will be a big help to marketers new to Facebook advertising, and we always think it’s a good thing when marketers make decisions based on their particular objectives and goals. This may help keep marketers more accountable to consider their end goals rather than doing Facebook advertising just for the heck of it. So if they hadn’t already thought critically about their reasons behind doing Facebook advertising, the new interface will force them to.
So when will we be seeing this new ad creation design? It’s hard to say. For now, it seems like Facebook currently has the interface in beta for some users, so we’ll just have to be on the lookout for news from Facebook about when it will be rolling out to all users.
What do you think of the new ad creation process? Will it help you overcome your own barrier to entry into Facebook advertising?
Image Credit: topgold
Gaining elite status for travel loyalty programs gets travelers lots of valuable perks. You can even leverage your status on one program to get upgraded status with another program. StatusMatcher is a tool that helps you figure out not only which loyalty program has the best features, but also which ones will match your status. More »