RAR: Rob’s App Roundup “EMOJI CRAZE”

This week’s edition of RAR is focused on the infamous EMOJI. Emoji’s are the future of communication and have been growing in popularity with millennials. From this emoji craze, there have been a few emoji-only or based apps that have been popping up. They are weird, fun and amusing. I don’t see a consistent practical use for them yet but I am definitely intrigued by emoji-only communication. These are the only ones I have seen so far but I’m sure there are many more to come soon. If you know of any that I missed please let me know! Also leave a comment if you use and enjoy emoji chatting.  

I. Emojicate - Free - iOS | Google Play

Emojicate is the most established and polished Emoji app so far that I have found. It feels like a social network rather than a basic chat room.You chat & share your status using just emojis. You do make a profile using your real name but everything else is used with emojis. It feels personal and is fun to use once you finally get friends on it. It seems to use it’s own index of emoji’s which is refreshing. Great app, check it out! 

image

II. Steven - Free - iOS

Steven is similar to Emojicate but it automatically converts your everyday life into emoji. With Steven, you can attach pictures to the emoji to give your friends context of what you are up to. It’s like a combo of Instagram, Foursquare/Swarm and Emojicate. As you go places, Steven will update your emoji status based on your phone’s location. Steven is a unique app, it does take a little to get used to, but worth downloading and checking out. 

image

III. Emojli - Free - iOS

Emojli is for the hard-core emoji user. It’s literally all emojis, even your profile name is written with emojis. Simple in form but doesn’t fully grasp it’s potential yet. It’s like Emojicate and Steven but stripped of its features. An interesting or bad feature of Emojli is that you have to know someone’s profile in order to add them. So the best way to get started is just adding strangers using random emoji combinations and hope that they approve your friend request. It’s a basic emoji chat app, but still worth knowing! Hope it gets an update soon! 

image

RAR: “NY TECH MEETUP” Edition

Since the September NY Tech Meetup was last night, I have decided to dedicate this week’s RAR to the meet up and highlight my favorite startups that presented. Also, to point out NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was in attendance last night giving a shout out to Heat Seek NYC and announcing NYC’s first ever CTO, Minerva Tantoco! 

I. Bubble

Create the App that’s been dormant in your brain! A new and very user friendly way of programming web and mobile apps without code. It’s a click and drop interface for developing apps and platforms. Very cool! 

II. Quick MVP

Allows you to test your business idea in just 5 minutes with a one simple click. It uses ad words but it’s platform gets rid of the hassle of filling out long forms. (Bubble and Quick MVP should team up!) 

III. HeatSeek NYC

Heat Seek NYC is trying to reduce winter deaths in NYC by bringing the internet of things to local advocacy groups. By using cool looking tiny sensors, Heat Seek gives tenants all over NYC a better chance to stay warm. What’s awesome about Heat Seek is that the whole team is very passionate about what they are doing. Check them out on kickstarter! One of the team members will be speaking on our October Ad Week “Internet of Things” Panel 10/2 at the Grind Broadway Co-working space. 

Honorable Mentions:

Knotable 

A conversation platform that lets you get into the flow. It focuses people together on topics that matter. It’s for web, iOS, Android, and email. Made to cancel meetings and kill permathreads.

Tengrade

Real opinions from friends. On anything. Yelp with your friends without the fake reviews. 

CampusJob

It just got a lot easier for students to find part-jobs on or off campus. Companies can also use it to search for future employees. I wish this was around when I was in college! 

RAR: Rob’s App Roundup

I’m Rob, the Associate Producer here at DigitalFlash. I have been discovering some very cool, fun or just weird apps lately and usual discuss the good ones with my team. So now I have decided to gather a few of my favorites every week including some honorable mentions and share them. 

Some of the apps I mention are not brand new but may not have the full awareness it deserves. Or maybe it does. Either way, enjoy! 

I. Humin—Free

image

Personalizes your contacts by location and the way you know them, online and offline. If I’m in NYC, it’ll give me a list of my contacts that are in the area. If I want to remember how I met someone, I can enter the location in their contact. What makes Humin feel very personal is that the app pulls info from all your social sites, Twitter, Facebook, linkedin, etc, to better showcase your relation with your contacts. 

II. Looksee—Free

image

A refreshing location based photo sharing app. Looksee puts it’s focus on location first, then if two people anonymously like each others pictures, their name will then be revealed to each other, and you will have the ability to message the person.  

III. Sympler—Free

image

User friendly video mixing app that lets you remix sound with video. Best part is that not only does it make it easy to edit, but you can “re-re-mix” anyone’s shared video. Very cool. I hope Vine utilizes this feature in a future update. The possibilities! 

Honorable Mentions:

Stellar—Free

Storytelling app, share your story behind the picture.

Swing Copters—Free with ads

New game by Flappy Bird creator, somehow even more difficult. Try to get more than 2 points!

Lo- Where are you?—Free

Location version of Yo. Has potential. Different creators then Yo, yet very similar interface. It confused me at first.

Kuddle—Free

Instagram for Kids!

Foodmento—Free

Share specific and favorite meals with your friends 

Know of any interesting apps? Or don’t agree with my picks? Comment me! 

DigitalFlash 028 - Internet Week NY 2014

Tell, Tell, Tell

As part of Internet Week New York, DigitalFlash hosted a panel, Capitalizing on the Consumer at Grind Park.

We thought the conversation would focus on emerging technology in e-commerce and the state of retail today. In actuality, the panelists’ discussion focused on the importance of storytelling and authenticity.

  

Our panel of experienced commerce experts included: Ben Lavely, COO of Best Made Co., Philip Krim, CEO/Founder of Casper, Carla Dunham, a marketing consultant previously at Amazon, and Maxine Bedat Co-Founder of Zady.

In-store Storytelling

As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, we were curious to glean insights on consumer behaviour from the experts. Contrary to our initial presumption, the panelists expressed how brick-and-mortar is very much alive—not dead, but constantly changing.

 
Bedat discussed Zady’s, a company founded to as a response to fast and mass produced fashion, created a pop-up shop located in an airport. Zady used the pop-up to interact on an intimate level with customers and to effectively articulate their story. Whether customers purchased an item or not, Bedat and co-founder Soraya Dorabi were able to translate their brand storytelling to an in-store experience, and providing points of helpful “softer data.” 
 
Krim emphasized that brands dominating their sectors are the ones who are creating connections with their consumers. Dunham made the point that organic reach increases for brands when they tell their story authentically and have a clear idea of their target consumer.

  

Technology only part of the process

"Technology is not part of the storytelling, or part of the brand mission," explained Lavely of Best Made Co. "If you want to feel it you go to the store. If you want to buy something you go to the website." Best Made Co. is a company which creates beautifully designed quality tools like axes and saws, and has developed quite the cult following of urban outdoorsmen. 

Their showroom in Tribeca is the ideal venue for tangibly experiencing products, and a place to experiment outside of the e-commerce space. 

We Can Scale

 The question always on company’s minds no matter size nor sector is how to scale—a problem which still exists in the online marketplace. Caspar, Zady and Best Made Co. all focus on creating the best quality products possible, and have managed to scale effectively. “Sometimes when we’re talking about artisanal people assume small, but there can be very beautiful things created with great integrity at scale,” touted Bedat and Lavely explained Best Made Co. is scaling with people and systems. 

Key takeaway: 

Build amazing products, tell your story— the rest will work itself out. 

Our friends of KITE took a look at a group of eCommerce retailers that are transforming the online shopping experience and maintaining an authentic brand in the process. One standout was  Everlane; a “radically transparent” goods retailer, supplying well-made staples at reasonable prices.


Everlane’s clean, simple design and navigation trumpets its online-only business model that and their close supplier relationships. By cutting out big middlemen manufacturers, they offer authentic, high quality goods at low costs, in the same vein as Zady.

A differentiator for Everlane is their emphasis on suppliers.  They feature in-depth factory profiles that describe how they found each supplier and what each factory makes, highlighting the factory’s proximity to you.

Everlane takes pride in telling the stories behind their products, adding to the strength of their marketing content. Their customer service is incredibly approachable, one feels like they are talking to their college best friend.

Their latest pop-up showroom, which they are calling an “open house” in NYC highlights many of the themes covered in our panel—dangerous shopping territory.

To learn more about KITE, visit https://getkite.co/.

Finding Synergy at Collision Conference

We went straight from the Vegas-based Collision conference into Internet Week New York last week, so forgive us for being a little tardy with our recap.

As many know, we attend a lot of conferences and most of them do have a similar plug-and-play feel to them. Refreshingly, Collision had a more of curated feel; providing opportunities for prime networking and learning, in a natural manner. We found ourselves in super interesting and engaging, impromptu meetings, in all places: Downtown Las Vegas. Aside from the prerequisite main stage activities and start-up village; round tables allowed conference attendees to hear from and interact with the keynote speakers on a smaller scale.

image

A few key tidbits we picked up:

Matt Gilligan of Circa touched on how to build apps smarter, and recommended using Helpshift as an assist. Also, to be realistic about what purpose your app serves.

We really enjoyed the roundtable from Nicole Glaros, managing director of Techstars. She gave some killer advice on how to seek out and secure VC funding, it involved a lot of networking. Her blog shares some other noteworthy start-up musings.

Another highlight was meeting the CEO of Evernote, Phil Libin; a personal hero, partly because our business would be lost without Evernote. We were impressed by his humble demeanor and insight on how to accept and react to criticism from customers. He also stressed the importance of focusing on your product and not industry accolades. 

                                    image

Technology-wise, Wemo from Belkin, a new app to control your home appliances, otherwise known as the ‘Internet Of Things’, blew us away. They also demoed their product with the cutest puppies, a total crowd pleaser.

A few other start-ups that caught our attention were;

Lendup a solution to payday loans
Carelulu - a site that vets childcare options for parents in their area
PhoneSurgeons - a franchise of expert smartphone repair stores and services
Wiser - a closed platform to share new articles with your team

Startup highlight: 3 Questions with Lobster

image

We ran into Olga Egorsheva, Co-founder & CEO of lobster on the street and loved what the company was up to—creating a marketplace for people to legally gain access to Instagram and Flickr images. Users enter the marketplace by using the hashtag #ilobsterit and take a 75% cut when their image is purchased.

Here’s what she had to say:

1. What do you see as the main issues with copyright infringement in today’s social media landscape?
The lack of a simple method to acquire content legally. Our marketplace  let’s you search, discover, choose and buy photos from Instagram and Flickr. Secondly, the culture still needs evolving—like people have largely learned to use iTunes and Spotify instead of downloading pirate music, we are leading them to same recognition of intellectual property rights of content producers. We are building a culture around media’s legal use, by providing a tool to acquire content.

Take for example, Daniel Morel’s story, where the damages to Getty Images were upwards of $1.2 million. Many other less notable users suffer when their photos are illegally copied on most common social networks.  At the same time, digital agencies, from advertising giants to smaller boutique shops are not able to get a hold of lively, diverse, inexpensive content, while users produce everyday.

2. Have you gotten significant interest from everyday content creators looking to earn a few extra dollars?
Yes, we have—especially when content creators hear that there are interested potential buyers, e.g. when we are running a specific photo challenge for #fatherhood photos in collaboration with a brand. At the moment we connect these requests for content on a case-by-case basis, but are automating the process soon.

3. How have you seen people using content purchased from Lobster? We have so far seen demand mostly from digital agencies buying photos for their campaigns or from certain themes like travel and family, which lend well to everyday content from creators and appeals to their users more than that of professional stocks. 

Data Visualization

image

We also created this cool real time data visualization page with our partners Nexalogy to capture the real time social media conversation. Click Here to see the page live.