Oct 17, 2023
The Future of Super Apps

The apps facebook, facebook messenger, and whatsapp seem to be advancing rather quickly. Paypal recently expanded the opportunities in facebook and messenger by easily letting people link their paypal account. Now people can pay and receive their receipts right through the platforms.

This last week facebook, which now has over 34,000 bots, opened up their developer program, fbstart, to bot developers. They also expanded their analytics to track bot activity. It may seem like these apps are just evolving to help enhance the user experience. But the real reason could be that they’re taking notes from another powerful app phenomenon, china’s wechat.

What is wechat
Today the digital world is viewed as being split into two – china and everyone else. Most of this divide can be attributed to wechat, the chinese super app operated by the chinese web giant tencent. This app isn’t just a messaging app, it’s closer to a “mobile operating system.” by combining e-commerce and real-world services, the app is leaving the western companies behind.

The app not only allows people to send instant messages and post about personal events

But also allows for many other functions. Users can request a ride, buy movie tickets, send payments to others or pay for bills. It’s also used for online shopping. The app now has more than 800 million users. On average a user checks their wechat account about 10 times a day. Wechat was valued at $83.6 billion last year by hsbc.

The new york times “how china is phone lists changing your internet” video shows just how accessible and convenient the app is for users:

As elaborate as wechat is, it still highly depends on other chinese internet services for users to access the features. Features like hailing a cab, booking an appointment, or paying a bill. These chinese internet services then limit the apps ability to be used outside the country.

Insider view of wechat
Wechat experience

A friend of mine, danielle, recently moved to china temporarily to teach english. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see how someone with no prior experience with the app came to use, love, and depend on it in her temporary home.

I first used wechat to communicate with our host in china

She would message us details on when to meet as well as pictures she took of us sightseeing. I thought it was fairly simple for this function.

how often do you use wechat and what do you commonly use it for?

I use wechat all day, every day! I most IS Lists commonly use it for texting my coworkers and family back home. Also, I use wechat pay often. I can purchase things in store and online using this app.

Q: are there any negative effects from the popularity of the app?

A: I don’t think there is anything negative about this app. It’s all about convenience. You can translate messages into any language, share pictures on your friend’s circle (memories), use it for payment, order a taxi, video & audio call, and much more. It has a very positive affect on society.

Q: are there any us apps you see having similar features?

A: the texting portion is similar to whatsapp and other international texting apps.

Q: are there any us apps that you could see evolve into wechat?

A: this app has so much to offer that I think a new app would need to be created to compare with this. Maybe whatsapp could make changes since it’s a well-known name and many people have it.

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Oct 17, 2023
Are Aliens Planning to Invade Earth? Find Out Now

We’ve all had that moment. You’re reading through a great article online, when suddenly you reach the end. Your world spins out of control as you see a promoted story titled “your cat may be planning to kill you, here’s why”, was everything you just read a lie? It’s difficult to trust the legitimacy of an article when you see ridiculous recommended suggestions below.

Maybe you recently saw your aunt sally share a “news” article. About how hillary clinton has a body double or that pope francis endorsed donald trump. Suddenly, your news feed is full of bogus news and people you once. Thought were intelligent and rational, now look like fools.

I’ll admit, I’ve on-occasion fallen for those click-bait headlines. Or fake news articles, only to be directed to a horrible site bogged down by hundreds of ads. Thankfully, online content is starting to get the scrutiny it needs to change and be useful to all users.

Grouped together under a label like promoted stories or around the web

They provide high amounts of revenue to the site and give advertisers an affordable way to reach large and premium audiences. A report phone lists from changeadvertising.Org found that 41 of the top 50 news sites — including the guardian, cnn, time and forbes — embed widgets from so-called content-recommendation companies. The deal doesn’t sound too bad, everyone is making money and happy, except for those most important, the readers.

Around the web

Publishers are now considering the effect that these articles are having on their own brands. When someone reads a great article on forbes, only to be suggested an immature or false headline, they start to think less about the legitimacy of all the content on forbes. That is why a handful of publishers are now removing them all together, such as slate and the new yorker.

It is not the right look if you’re trying to say you’re a high quality

There is still a lot of progress to be made for a lot of publishers, but the fact that some are listening to the concerns of consumers and taking action is a step in the right direction.

“obama bans pledge of allegiance in schools nationwide”
What’s worse than seeing click bait IS Lists headlines suggested by robots at the bottom of articles? Seeing fake cringe-worthy articles suggested by your friends and family on facebook. According to the business insider, 2.2 million people engaged with the obama article with the headline mentioned above. That’s 2.2 million people who believed that the president signed an executive order banning the pledge of allegiance.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only article that hooked people in, by the time of the election, fake stories had more engagements than real news stories. The chart below shows the engagement for fake and real news stories over the past year. As you can see, the two months leading up to the election actually had more fake news engagements than real news engagements on facebook. This should scare any logical person.

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Oct 17, 2023
An Inside Look at Geofencing

Digital advertising has become increasingly popular over the past several years, but some ad practices are doing more harm than good. As consumers use their mobile devices more, ad experience is becoming more important than ever. Intrusive ads are driving customers off websites before they even view any content and are keeping them from coming back. When planning 2017 marketing, you may want to reconsider certain parts of your web experience.

The most despised
The award for most hated web ad goes to screen takeover! The ad, which is similar to a traditional pop-up, takes up the entire screen covering all content until the user either interacts or closes out of the ad. Hiding the close button or making it difficult to locate it is a guaranteed way to have the users immediately leave the site. Traditional pop-up ads taking up space in front of content also falls into the most hated ad format among internet users. Blocking the content that users came to the site to view usually results in frustration, anger, and site abandonment.

The graph below illustrates which types of ads online browsers dislike

We know that pop-up ads can prove to be effective, but at what cost to your users? Not all pop-ups are bad, but finding the happy medium between conversions and user experience is where most brands and publishers struggle.

Ad block

Pop-up do’s and don’ts
Don’t: hide exit buttons or make it difficult phone lists to close the ad by using small buttons. This will almost always result in an automatic site abandonment or accidental click, neither of which lead to your desired results.

Do: if you have to have a pop-up, trigger it later in the experience, such as when the user gets to the bottom of the page. This way they can still consume content, and may be more likely to engage in a desired action afterwards.

Don’t: use large pop-ups that cover the entire page. Instead, try using smaller ads in the corners or sides of the screen.

Do: test pop-up ad sizes, formats, and placements to see how each is effecting the web traffic on your site. A/b test the page with no interference and see what that traffic does. If they’re staying longer and clicking more pages, you may want to consider different types of advertisements on you page.

If people leaving your site isn’t enough of a reason to stop intrusive

Google values the consumer experience and so sites that are hindering the experience, may start seeing lower organic searches and traffic beginning in early january. This new algorithm will target ads that grey out content underneath them IS Lists or cover large amounts of screen space. Pop-ups and overlays that are needed to meet legal requirements like age on an alcoholic beverage site, will not penalized. Other small banner ads that don’t block content or hinder the user experience will likely not see any negative effects either.

Ad block users increase
It is estimated that more than 25% of internet users have used some type of software to block ads this year. The number one reason people block ads is because they find them annoying and intrusive. Because publishers continue to add large pop-ups, users have decided to stop seeing ads all together. All hope is not lost, 77% of people agree they would prefer an ad filter rather than a complete block.

Large pop-ups could also be slowing down your site speed, resulting in quick bounces off your page. In a study conducted by the new york times, some websites had advertising content that was up to 3 times heavier than the page’s editorial content. Because 74% of people leave a mobile site that takes more than 5 seconds to load, you could be hurting web traffic before they ever even see an ad. This factor is also contributing to the rise in ad block usage. Video ads and large image ads contributed most in the slowed down site speed.

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