What I read online last week

Report: Tablets now drive more ecommerce traffic than smartphones

“In the last year, tablets’ traffic increased 348 percent while smartphones visits grew by 117 percent over the same period. Almost all of the traffic (95 percent) was from the iPad, said Monetate.”



Facebook Plans to Speed Up its iPhone App

“According to two Facebook engineers who asked not be named because they are not authorized to speak about unreleased products, Facebook has completely rebuilt its iOS application to optimize for one thing: speed.”

The New York Times


OK, This Is Awesome: Gilt Taste’s iPad App Has A ‘Touch-Free Recipe Mode’ To Keep Screens Clean

“When you switch on Touch-Free Recipe Mode, the screen will remain active and awake while you’re cooking, based on each recipe’s length. Also, while you’re in Touch-Free Recipe Mode, each step of the recipe you’re following is designed to fit within one single screen. And here’s the coolest part: Waving a hand across the iPad camera will turn the page to the next step.”


how much does a responsive web design cost?

 “Answer: $13.47.”

brad frost web


Instagrammed: 15 Minutes of Fame

I keep what I consider to be a fairly modest profile online. Most of the content I create and share publicly is professional and I keep the more personal content on my Facebook account with strictly monitored privacy settings. So when I posted a picture of the Pier 29 fire yesterday to Twitter, via Instagram, I didn’t think much of it. The throngs of people watching the fire were doing the same. Then I received the following email.

Instagram shared my picture on Twitter to their 5.5+ million followers. The following 18 or so hours my iPhone was a steady barrage of alerts from mentions, retweets and likes. Here are the results as they stand today.

My Instagram circle consists mostly of friends, coworkers and a couple of brands.

    • New Likes: 59
    • New followers: 19

I use Twitter mostly to discuss professional news and conduct some personal interactions.

    • New Mentions: +130
    • New followers: 19

My blog is another professional outlet consisting mostly of mobile industry news. Since it is listed on my Twitter account I thought to check Google Analytics and I’m glad I did. Surprisingly the most popular browser was Android, driving over 60% of the pageviews.

    • 8x increase over average traffic

Klout Score
I still have some reservations about Klout due to the secrecy behind their algorithm. Still, my score generally hovers around 51 – 52 and it shot up in the last 24 hours.

    • 68 (a 17 point increase)

While this is an imperceivable ripple for most sites, it’s a sizable change to my online footprint. While I do not expect to keep a lot of these new followers, it will be interesting to see how many of them stay.

Footfeed for Symbian released

Footfeed launched a Symbian client today bringing multi check-in functionality to millions of handsets. Features include:

– Multi Checkin Capability: check in once to multiple networks simultaneously including Facebook Places, Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude, Facebook and Twitter,
– Nearby Check-in Deals & Rewards: find all of the deals and rewards available from local businesses just for checking in. You can even search deals, and
– Tips & To Dos: we aggregate all of the tips and recommendations shared by users across all the check-in networks so you can easily get ideas on where to go and what to do.

Download Footfeed for Symbian at the Ovi Store.

Apples to Oranges; Twitter to Foursquare

PewInternet released a report titled, 4% of online Americans use location-based services, and it was picked-up by several media outlets and re-posted on blogs and Twitter. One line in particular has seems to get quoted most:

“Pew reports that a two years after Twitter launched it only had 6% of the population using it. This suggests Foursquare (and Gowalla, to a lesser extent) are growing just as fast as Twitter did in its early going.”

While it is easier for people to consume data when comparisons are involved, I find this one very inappropriate and explained why in a post on LinkedIn which I wanted to share here.

There is a great deal of room for growth in LBS, but this is an unfair comparison. There is a significant difference between comparing an entire segment to one company.

Twitter is a communication channel (and a revolutionary one at that.) It is conversational medium and has more in common with email than LBS (though that line is blurring more and more.)

In this particular report “Location-based services” accounts for a handful of companies using game mechanics and offers to encourage sharing your location. And while brands are partnering with Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook places, these apps have not become the communication channel that Twitter has.

So where does that leave LBS? In a great spot for growth. Twitter’s meteoric growth was partly spurred brands embracing the platform and extending a value (offers, promotions, customer service) which led to more users signing up for Twitter. In a similar fashion I expect that we will see more brands embrace their own LBS strategies (either partnering with the existing networks or building their own) and then we will see real user growth in this segment.

Footfeed 2.0 is Now Live

The New Footfeed Dashboard
As some of you know from previous posts, I have been working with the Footfeed team for a while now. For those who don’t, Footfeed is a check-in aggregator. With a couple of taps you can check-in to Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Facebook & Brightkite all at once.

Version 2.0 of Footfeed on iOS went live last night [iTunes link.] The app includes several new features including:

    Search for check-in deals near your current location,
    A redesigned check-in dashboard,
    Aggregated Tips & To Dos, and
    Added support for Google Latitude.

More platforms will be supported soon. We have also updated the Footfeed Multi Check-in Platform that allows brands to easily add check-in capabilities to their own apps.

If you’d like to learn more about our platform, please email me at kemp [at] footfeed [dot] com.

Footfeed at Fall DEMO 2010

In addition to my other activities I have been working with the team at Footfeed, the first multi check-in platform. We just wrapped-up Fall DEMO 2010 and it was a huge success.

TechCrunch named Footfeed as one of The Seven Best Start-ups at DEMO and CNET highlighted Footfeed in their article 10 Cool DEMO Products You Can Use Now.

Footfeed also previewed version 2.0 of their iPhone app. Take a look at the presentation below. Email me or leave a comment if you want to learn more.


Accuracy in Location-based Apps, part 2: Facebook Places

Facebook Places launched last Friday, and after using it for a week it appears to be in last place when it comes to accuracy.

At the beginning of the month I compared Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp for accuracy in determining my location. The results placed Foursquare and Yelp at the top with Gowalla trailing. Now Facebook has taken the bottom position when it comes to accuracy.

The screen shots below were taken while sitting inside my local Starbucks. As you can see, my location doesn’t even appear in the top listings for Facebook. In my origal post I noted that Foursquare uses ‘favorites’ to keep your most frequent locations at the top and Yelp does not allow user-submitted locations, thus keeping their results clean.

Search results - Click to enlarge

Still, Facebook’s options have continually been the worst, with my actually location often not showing up in the first three pages of results. The locations are usually there when I search for them, but I can only imagine that new users, or users with less patience will take the time to search for their location.

Places is a new feature for Facebook so there is some leeway allowed for them to make updates and improvements, but they had better not wait too long.

Footfeed: All Your Check-in Belong To Us

Footfeed Main Screen
It is here, the best check-in aggregator to date: Footfeed (iTunes link.) The concept is simple; one app that checks you in to Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Whrrl, with one tap. Previous executions (like Web-based Check.in) have been shoddy at best. Footfeed pulls all of these apps together beautifully and alleviates check-in fatigue . In addition, users can see where all of their friends are checking in, no matter which service they use, in one app .

Footfeed’s website also displays user statistics and check-in by friends.

The app is not without it’s drawbacks. Features unique to apps (like Gowalla’s photo-sharing) are not available, but users can still access those features after completing a mass check-in via Footfeed.

I recommend this app to any iPhone owner using more than one check-in application. Footfeed is free.

– Check-in to multiple services at once
– Consolidated view of check-ins across all services
– Crisp user interface
– Consolidated stats and friends check-ins

– Features unique to apps not available
– Check-in services without an API are not supported (Yelp)
– iPhone only

Check-in and Stats Screens