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Mobile Fix — Jan 18


For a while now we have felt the term smartphone sort of misses the point — little of what we do with our devices a phone function. Smart Camera feels better and one of the most profound effects of the explosion in the use of these devices is that everyone now has a word class camera with them at all times. Before only tourists and photographers carried a camera.

So now we take more photos than ever before — many of which get shared on social. Now with all those pictures available for training AI systems new possibilities are emerging. It’s sort of obvious that this helps choosing products and the Pinterest tool is a good example of what is possible. So too is the Snap and Amazon partnership. Easyjet take it a step further with their look and book service.

But have you fallen for the 10 year challenge on social? There is a quite credible theory that this is designed to train the Facebook AI and improve facial recognition.


At a Facebook Blueprint session a client of ours was told that the height of the average days scrolling on Facebook is the height of the Statue of Liberty. (93 metres). I am convinced that people are starting to realise that constant scrolling is the new smoking — i used to do that but i have stopped now

So it’s interesting that GAFA seem to be playing around with UX to change that muscle memory. YouTube are testing a horizontal swipe to move to the next video replacing the tap. And Instagram released a tap to move through posts, echoing how people move through stories. Feedback wasn’t positive and IG stopped the trial, saying it was meant for a smaller group of users. As Snap know, changing the UX can really upset people so any changes need careful consideration. Sure we will see more experiments.

New TV

“We think the market underappreciates the pace of the decline in TV consumption and concurrent rise of online video,” “The UK is the European TV market most ripe for disruption and where we expect the share of TV to fall first.”

A banks research note has sent ITV shares down 7%

The long rumoured free streaming video service from Amazon is finally here. FreeDive is now part of the IMDB site and on Fire TV devices — but only for US customers. We are convinced this Ad supported model will be followed by Netflix too at some point.

The billion $ question with newTV isn’t when the audience shifts or even when TV budgets will switch from traditional broadcast to new OTT and streaming services. That’s already happening.

The question is how user experience of ads changes. Watching 30 second ads really isn’t going to fly and new, different approaches are needed. Where are these new formats going to come from? The way we do ads in football is seen as interesting by the US and embedding brands into the content seems a way to go — but how to do it well? Google are hiring for their UnskippableAds team — they will have been influential in the adoption of 6 second ads.

Experimentation with how the content looks on streaming continues — and Twitter plan a very interesting new approach — watch an NBA game by following just one player. There is a wonderful DVD of Zidane with this approach; the whole 90 minutes of a Real Madrid game and you just watch Zidane. Highly recommended.


The doom and gloom over retail continues with another death of the high street story from Affiliate network Awin, but there is a lot of interesting thinking around on retail at the moment.

A report by Altimeters Brian Solis is a great analysis of the current state of retail and pulls out example of good retail innovation from Samsung, Sephora, Nespresso and more.

“It’s not a store, but a new kind of place filled with ideas, experiences, and Samsung’s cutting-edge devices.”

The same team have another report on online commerce which is worth reading too. This one looks at how real time analytics drives predictive commerce.

An Axiom report has a number of good pieces on retail — with this summing up their view

“The stores that will do well are the ones that know how to get you to leave your house.”

And whilst Amazon get all the headlines for the grocery store of the future we see no sign of their 3000 store rollout. In the meantime US grocery store Krogers — who already have nearly 3000 stores — have partnered with Microsoft to test digital innovation.

Our pals at Albion have launched their Living High Street project and its’ well worth your time.

Faking it

The promise of Influencers is being lost as the market seems to be getting out of control. In the UK the authorities have had to warn hundreds who aren’t labelling their posts as ads. And whilst Instagram is trying to crack down on fake followers it’s hard to manage — now they have been selling ads to firms selling fake followers. This Wired piece gets into how brands are using a wide range of tactics to get featured by influencers and paying heavily. And with that money comes the bad actors and fraud, which continues to be a major problem across digital.

This long article looks at how much of the internet is fake (spoiler alert — it’s lots) With Bots everywhere it is a case of buyer beware. A lot of the opportunity for bad actors comes from people downloading apps that gather more info than they need — this is a good advice on the types of apps to avoid

There is one upside for the big brands with influencers — wannabe influencers feature products without being paid in the hope of luring another brand to pay them.

Quick reads

Fix Friend and econsultancy founder Ashley Friedlein has a good set of 2019 trends

And the ExchangeWire founder has a good set of things to consider in 2019 — refreshingly optimistic.

I get the impression there was a little less focus on actually attending CES this year but this is a very thorough review of the show and the key themes. It’s interesting that Google seemed to have the biggest presence. They are still advertising the (excellent) Pixel 3 phones and it seems they do want to a play properly in hardware.

Still lots going on with Amazon — the free samples based on data is really interesting — but another example of how Amazon rethink old concepts, as sampling is as old as the hills.

Nike continue to learn how new platforms work — with a new shoe launching on Twitch — and using Twitch influencers.

Search engine Duck Duck Go seems to be doing quite well — but can they ever take many users from Google?

Twitter are planning to test a new app

The next phase of WeChat

Finally….Scott Galloways predictions for 2019 are a must read

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