This week Twitter announced they’re launching a new type of Twitter card to the U.S. market over the Holidays. Twitter Offers allow advertisers to offer a promotional discount that users can claim right there on Twitter. [Read more…]
The other day I was talking to my wife about picking up some prescriptions from the pharmacy down the road. I needed to know what time they open so I can get there as early as possible. Naturally I pull out my iPhone to do a quick search.
Right away I see that the store near me opens at 8:00 am which means I can stop in after I drop the kids off at school, right? Not so fast! You see, the store opens at 8:00, but the pharmacy doesn’t open until 9:00. [Read more…]
LinkedIn has never been one of my favorite social media platforms. I’m not a big fan of pushy sales people and LinkedIn is full of them. Recently they have been trying to shift that culture to encourage more sharing of useful content. They started the journey when they introduced Pulse and LinkedIn influencers. This hand picked group of influencers set the stage for quality content. The articles they wrote were helpful and not spammy like many of the blog posts we see shared in groups.
After several months of these influencers setting the tone, LinkedIn opened up their article platform to allow other users to create their own content. This week, they’ve taken it a step further by making the article creation process easier. [Read more…]
On Thursday, Facebook announced the launch of a brand new app called Rooms. This is supposed to be a modern take on the specialty forums and chatrooms of 10 to 15 years ago where people who didn’t know each other came together to talk about a common interest.
A user can create a room around whatever topic they fancy and invite others to join in and share photos, videos and text. The browsing part of the interface is similar to Instagram or Vine. Those of you that know me well, know that Instagram is my favorite social platform for personal use, so this user experience is very comfortable to me.
So far, I’m really enjoying Rooms. I’m very impressed by the level of activity early on. Oddly enough, I had more notifications for Rooms than I did for Facebook when I woke up this morning.
Room for improvement
There are a few things that seem a little quirky. When I recorded the TBMnews video, I had only played with the app for about 45 minutes which is why I only brought up two points.
- Pinning a message to the top of a room – I’m used to using vBulletin forums which gives moderators the ability to make a post “sticky” so it always appears at the top of that section of the forum. I mistakenly assumed Rooms worked the same way, so I created a nice graphic and crafted a welcome message in a post and tried to pin it to the top. No go. Room moderators have to create text-only pinned messages from the admin section.
- The invitation method – When you create an invitation, it makes an image with a QR code that you share by posting on other social media platforms, in messages or email. The person you invite takes a screenshot of the invitation and uses that image in the Rooms app. QR codes … let’s just say they aren’t terribly reliable. I came across a few Rooms invitations yesterday that didn’t work at all. Part of that may be due to the circular cropping of the code in the image. Either way, I’m sure it will be addressed. Note: QR Codes Kill Kittens
Overall I really like Facebook’s Rooms app! After spending the day with the app, I found a few things I would like to see added or done differently:
- Discovery – there’s no way for discovery other than finding an invitation. I’d like to see a search option for open rooms and hastags
- Universal Usernames – Ok, I get it, part of the charm is supposed to be that you can be anyone you want in any room. I saw one user with the name TacoBellOfficial that openly admitted they weren’t Taco Bell. Personally, I’m not a big fan of anonymity — it opens things up for trolls and copycats.
- More on Usernames – I’d like to see a request to enter a username when joining a room. Currently, you don’t have to enter a username until commenting or creating a new post. I see all of these people joining my rooms and liking my posts, but I can’t tell who they are. Did my mom like my post or was it Ted Rubin?
- Left Justify Rooms when opening the app – The Rooms are sorted left to right based on recent activity. The rooms with the most recent activity are at the left. The problem is, when you open the app, your rooms are centered on the screen. I’m currently part of 19 Rooms with only a few of those being active. The Rooms I see when I open the app are inactive ones. I have to swipe back to the left to see the active rooms.
Businesses and Marketers using Rooms
The Rooms app gives you the opportunity to own a subject. You can create your own rooms based on your areas of expertise and share content. Now is the time to get in while its new and establish your room or rooms as the place to be on that subject and, since you run the room, you’ll be the authority.
Don’t Screw it Up!
What I just told you can be dangerous, because us marketers tend to screw up a good thing. People will be coming to Rooms for:
Do not screw this up by spamming rooms with your content and sales pitches. Don’t do it!
If you sell trail running shoes, visit trail running rooms and share awesome pictures and race reports. Don’t toss around your latest product shots with your logo splashed all over it.
I’d love to hear what you think about Facebook’s Rooms App. Have you used it? Will marketers screw it up? Feel free to share invites and feedback in the comments section below.
Here are invitations to a few rooms I created. Come in, hangout and join the conversations!