Cover

 

 

DIGITAL ESSENTIALS

May 2014

 

 

Welcome

 

Planting seeds

With spring in the air, it’s a good time for long-term planning. This month, we turn our focus to getting ahead, not just keeping up. Our Feature examines content strategy, a crucial element in structuring any social media program. In this edition’s Insights, we share a guide to finding brand influencers, an investment that can create valuable, long-lasting community relationships. All this, plus the latest news and stats, a brand new Case Study, a recap of the f8 Developers Conference and more.


Cover photo: An Albertosaurus on The Museum of Life and Science Dinosaur Trail, Durham, NC

Social Stats
Social Networking Stats

  What’s Trending

What Will Social Media’s Giants Look Like in 5 or 10 Years?
“Whether it’s through major acquisitions or seemingly minor service enhancements, the major social networks are making changes to their products on a weekly, daily, even hourly basis. Fortune asked a few experts to daydream about where these networks might be five and 10 years down the line. Their responses were surprisingly realistic.”
Source: Fortune

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Our take: Make sure you have a lot of legs to stand on, think content first, and implement a hub and spoke platform. Your hub (or blog) will last forever and reap long-term search benefits, unless you forget to pay your Rackspace bill. In the long run you’ll produce a solid return on investment. Still, it’s important to track what’s new, what’s changed, and what’s vanished, because that’s the only way to know how to adjust near-term tactics.

U.S. Instagram Usage Surges 35% in 2013
“Nearly 35 million people in the US accessed Instagram at least once each month as of the end of 2013, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast, representing double-digit growth over 2012. By the end of this year, eMarketer estimates that almost 25% of US smartphone users will snap a photo, slap on a filter and share their creations with their friends on Instagram on a monthly basis (or, at least, to sign in and check out what their friends are posting).”
Source: eMarketer

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Instagram has become popular for a number of reasons, particularly among younger audiences who enjoy connecting with friends in an environment their parents largely haven’t discovered. The rise in adoption is huge for brand publishers who want to reach this demographic in a fun way, albeit one that lacks a direct site conversion tool.

Global Trends

Europe Will Let Its Citizens Edit Google Search Results for Their Names
“…a ruling today by the European Union’s highest court will now require [search engines] to consider takedown requests for material that is merely embarrassing or inconvenient, rather than illegal.”
Source: Quartz

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
The privacy bubble is about to burst — if it hasn’t already — and Europe has the needle. This ruling follows on the heels of a strict European cookie opt-in law and tough regulations on companies’ ability to track and maintain user information. It’s doubtful brands will be able to counter this development, as companies don’t have the same level of legal protection as individuals do.

Facebook Reaches 100 Million Monthly Active Users in India
“Javier Olivan, Facebook’s vice-president of growth and analytics, told India’s Economic Times that the landmark number was reached on March 31st. 84 percent of those 100 million Facebook users in India access it via mobile.”
Source: Mashable

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Facebook is an increasingly attractive option for marketing in India. Users in emerging markets often engage with brands more willingly than those in mature markets, and brands may find success with more aggressive campaigns. However, it’s essential to develop a localized strategy. Transposing content created for one region to another is a recipe for disappointment and missed opportunities.


Worldwide
FACEBOOK
Monthly Active Users: 1,280,000,000
Monthly Mobile Active Users: 1,010,000,000
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 167,800,000

TWITTER
Monthly U.S. Active Users: 54,000,000
Monthly Active Users: 255,000,000

LINKEDIN
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 68,700,000
Monthly Global Visitors: 189,800,000
Registered U.S. Members: 100,000,000
Registered Members: 300,000,000

INSTAGRAM
Active Users: 200,000,000
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 29,200,000

TUMBLR
Blogs: 186,000,000
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 24,200,000

PINTEREST
Users: 70,000,000
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 38,300,000

SLIDESHARE
Monthly Visitors: 60,000,000

YOUTUBE
Monthly Unique Users: 1,000,000,000

GOOGLE+
Monthly Active Users: 300,000,000

WHATSAPP
Monthly Active Users: 465,000,000

RUSSIA
VK
Registered Users: 239,000,000
Monthly Active Users: 61,000,000

Odnoklassniki
Users: 65,300,000
Monthly Active Users: 54,000,000


KOREA
Cyworld
Users: 36,000,000

CHINA
RenRen
Registered Users: 194,000,000
Monthly Active Users: 45,000,000

Weibo
Registered Users: 281,000,000
Monthly Users: 129,100,000

Qzone
Monthly Active Users: 625,000,000
QQ Monthly Active Users: 808,000,000

WeChat
Monthly Active Users: 355,000,000


JAPAN
Mixi
Users: 50,000,000

Line
Registered Users: 400,000,000

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising Trends

 


Consumer Packaged Goods Brands See Better Engagement, Reach with Digital Video

“Even as consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand managers talk about the need to rein in marketing budgets, they are increasing spending in the digital video channel. Media buyers and agencies, too, are pointing to increased efforts by CPG brands to put more digital video online… While repurposing campaigns from traditional television is a common way for brands to extend a campaign, more are beginning to create ones that begin and end in the digital space, taking advantage of the lean-forward quality of the internet to engage viewers in deeper storytelling.”
Source: eMarketer

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
CPG brands already have significant portions of their marketing budgets allocated to traditional media buys, but the consumer continues to shift their behavior toward digital platforms. With higher consumption of digital video on mobile and desktop devices, and better technology to help measure effectiveness of campaigns, digital video allows brands to tell their story with a greater reach and, as studies are showing, greater engagement and recall.

 

 

 


 


Revenue, Staffing, Stocks and Digital Show Growth for Agencies in 2014

“Ad-agency employment is at its highest level since 2001, agency stocks have hit all-time highs and U.S. ad spending this year is forecast to grow at its fastest clip since 2004. It’s a good time to be in the agency game — as long as you’re connected to digital or a thriving discipline like experiential.”
Source: AdAge

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
With predictions from almost all industry sources pointing to increased ad sales in 2014, it’s increasingly important to leverage digital promotion and content in all programs for organic growth. As agencies in all disciplines aggressively take advantage of new technology, particularly digital offerings, staying up on trends is essential to spot opportunities for growth across all categories.

The Future of Mobile Advertising
Will be Shaped by Two Trends

“Together, contextual awareness and programmatic buying of ads will help companies target users on mobile apps and websites. For example, I could set up a campaign to target all smartphones in a certain geographic area that have certain demographic traits (like women 25-34 years old etc.) and deliver push notifications or advertisements to their devices and apps. The challenge is to bring marketing and advertising awareness down to the level of the street, in people’s pockets. Solving this problem is what mobile advertisers are tackling right now.”
Source: ReadWrite

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
SoLoMo (Social, Local/Location-Based and Mobile marketing) was the previous hot trend for mobile (as fans of HBO’s Silicon Valley well know), but it was limited in application for various brands and campaign goals. By focusing on contextual targeting at scale, we can actually capitalize on the limited cookie targeting mobile offers, while still reaching users with small amounts of waste. Contextual targeting has always been a key strategy to reach users when they’re in a relevant mindset, and now we can do so on mobile devices in a real-time way.

 

 


Noteworthy News

 


The 5 Key Changes In Twitter’s Big Redesign

“Twitter’s biggest ever redesign rolls out this month and, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it pays Facebook a great compliment. Fortunately for users (and perhaps Twitter’s legal team) the duo’s newfound similarity is only skin deep. Twitter still functions very differently to its social networking rival, but it also functions very differently to the ageing Twitter most users know
and love.”
Source: Forbes

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Twitter’s new look certainly resembles Facebook’s, but it’s tailored to Twitter’s distinct character. While Twitter makes changes to attract more users and increase engagement, brands benefit too. The update emphasizes imagery and video, enables pinning important tweets to the top of profiles, and introduces new filtering options. This is a great opportunity for brands to revisit and update their Twitter program.


 
Adobe Voice


Health agencies track outbreaks on social media

“U.S. agencies want to expand their use of social media to spot potential biological attacks and outbreaks of deadly infectious diseases, including the new H7N9 avian flu that has killed dozens of people in China.”
Source: Boston Globe

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
An early warning system built on social media data has big potential across industries. Adding real-time tracking to the research and analytics that inform strategies today could help brands make intelligent tactical adjustments while a campaign is still in progress.

Vine Adds Content Discovery Features for Desktop

“Up until now, the primary way to watch, share and discover Vine videos has been on your phone. We’ve heard from the Vine community that you sometimes want to explore Vine and view videos on your computer too. Today, we’re excited to introduce a brand-new version of vine.co, which adds a bunch of new features that will help you find and discover Vine videos on the web.”
Source: Vine Blog

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
This greatly simplifies finding Vine videos, essentially walking the line between Twitter and YouTube with a mix of search functionality and thematic channels. For brand publishers, the changes make it that much more important to include targeted keywords and tags in captions and descriptions. The new features also make Vine a better resource for publishers looking to find influencers in their industry.


 
 
 


 
 
“It’s got to be open. Except for legitimate purposes like protecting the network itself, there shouldn’t be discrimination against one form of content or another or one provider or another. And people generally accept that. Until now, the idea in a way has been more important than what the regulations have actually said.”

– Tim Wu, who invented the concept, on the current net neutrality battle

 
 
 

Feature

What Does Content Strategy Look Like?

As a young discipline, content strategy still means different things from organization to organization. It can feel like a loaded term in many contexts, and it’s too often an amorphous catch-all for a range of tactics. At PNConnect, we have a simple way to think about it that cuts through the noise and won’t steer you wrong.


Content Strategy At Its Core

In Content Strategy for the Web, Kristina Halvorson offers this definition as a starting point for understanding content strategy:

“Content strategy is the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.”

To unpack this a bit:

  • “Content” can mean short form and long-form text, imagery, video, and audio.
  • “Useful” means that the content meets an audience need (or needs) as well as serving the publisher’s goals.
  • “Usable” means the content is in a place and form that reaches and engages that audience.


Applying this to a brand communications program, content strategy means developing a cohesive approach to publishing and maintaining content that meets the audience’s needs, achieves the business’ objectives, and is primed for success in the existing publishing context.

Above all, we believe it’s critical for brands to think like publishers, by making serving an audience the primary focus, and by considering all publishers in the topic space, not just direct brand competitors.


For a New Channel

Whether it’s an on-domain blog, email newsletter, section of a web site, or a social network presence, we lead off new programs by developing a deep understanding of the audience needs, business objectives, and larger publishing context.

Our initial discovery work might include:

  • Interviews with business stakeholders
  • Focus group sessions with audience representatives
  • Analysis of content performance on existing channels
  • Analysis of what others are publishing in the same space
  • A review of the resources available to support the new channel

This analysis lays the foundation for the core content strategy work: developing an editorial framework that hits the intersection point of audience needs, business goals, and publishing context.

We’ve developed an approach that covers the categories of content the team will publish, how they will bring this content to the audience, how they will manage day-to-day publishing operations, and how they will measure success.


“Driving the train doesn’t set its course. The real job is laying the track”

– Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios President Ed Catmull, in Creativity, Inc.



For an Existing Channel

Content strategy isn’t limited to launches: It’s an ongoing process that can benefit any channel, whether it’s stuck in neutral or already highly successful. We’ve found that even the most accomplished publishing programs will reach points where further growth becomes difficult, and that revisiting the content strategy is key to moving forward.

For a program with a well-established strategy, our ongoing work typically focuses on reviewing metrics to understand what is and isn’t working and looking for opportunities to grow. This means standing back from the day-to-day work to consider overarching strategic questions:

  • Are there underserved audience segments the channel could engage with new content categories?
  • Are there opportunities to sharpen the experience even more for existing target audiences?
  • Are there ways to capitalize on day-to-day metrics more effectively?

If a channel originally launched without a set strategy, there might not be any success measures in place. In these cases, we include some of the same discovery steps as a new channel launch, such as an audit of existing content, an editorial framework, and a strategic approach to metrics.

For Contained Projects

This fundamental approach also applies to focused, isolated content projects, such as publishing a high volume of content around a particular event or activity, a special report, or a data visualization. As with an ongoing publishing program, PNConnect’s approach is to establish a foundation of insight that defines what success looks like.

By listening closely to business stakeholders and subject matter experts and developing a deep understanding of the target audience and existing content landscape in the space, we establish the standards and mandatories that will position the project for success. In other words, the content strategy work specifies the who and the why as the basis for deciding the what.

Event Recap

f8 Developers Conference 2014

At the end of April, Facebook held their periodic (not-quite-annual) developers conference, commonly referred to as f8. This year, Facebook pushed further into the realm of mobile marketing and integration, announcing several new options for controlling what information apps share with developers.

Facebook also introduced a few programing guarantees, in order to strengthen trust with app developers, and stepped up the data available to mobile advertisers. Finally, f8 brought news of an expanded communications toolset inside apps to allow for greater interactions between users and developers. Here’s our overview of the key updates.



Anonymous Logins

Users can now create anonymous logins when signing in with Facebook. After using an app for some period of time, the user can shift to a named login account, giving the app access to more personal data. A key goal here is addressing the fear of signing in with Facebook. The general notion is that lowering the barrier for using Facebook as a single login will lead consumers to give more data to app makers.

Permissions Control

Users will also be able to dictate how much control an app has over devices and data. If a customer isn’t comfortable with sharing email addresses, names or numbers with an app, she can disable this function when installing the app. This will make it more difficult to use an app to mine for data. Additionally, the change introduces another layer of programing to assure that apps work when certain features are removed.

Mobile “Like” Button

Applications can now include a built-in “Like” button, which will allow people to broadcast that they like aspects located inside an app. With this addition, it’s important to think about what data is presented “in app” and whether it can be used as an outward-facing tool.

In-App Events

Facebook is allowing developers to program “in-app events,” triggered via a user’s activity or inactivity in an app. These triggers can appear on a mobile device or a person’s Facebook page. Brands will be able to program reminders or time-based interactions with customers even if the customer is no longer actively using the app.

Increased Targeting

Facebook has expanded its mobile ad network with a program that allows advertisers to segment and target people by Likes, locations, age, sex, similarities between groups, and a host of other psychographic data points. Advertisers will be able to place these targeted ads across Facebook and Facebook Apps.

Message Dialogue

Apps will be able to open a dialogue directly between two parties, creating “micro-networks” between people via instant messaging. This will allow conversations to occur on Facebook, behind a secure mobile client.

Offline Data Storage

Facebook is now allowing apps to store data locally on a phone or tablet’s internal storage. This means developers can configure apps to launch with limited functionality while offline or in airplane mode.

App Links

App Links is an open source initiative that allows developers to deep-link between mobile apps, so that users can jump seamlessly between content on separate apps, without going through a web page first. Facebook’s own apps support this today, along with apps from a growing list of partners. A key benefit for Facebook is the ability to track user activity across apps for expanded targeted advertising.

Two-Year API Guarantee

When a cloud-based service changes the application programming interface (API), the requirements that control how applications talk to one another, developers often have to race to recode their app. To put developers at greater ease, Facebook announced it will maintain APIs for two years, enable version-tracking on these calls, and fix all major API bugs in 48 hours.

Parse Price Restructure

Last year, Facebook purchased Parse, a platform that allows developers to use cloud-based programing to streamline code. Addressing developer complaints that Parse was priced outside a start-up budget, Facebook has reduced the entry cost for more complex features, which will help expand tracking and integration.

On Workflow: Tim Walmsley

Zen and the Art of Prioritizing

 

In our continuing “On Workflow” series, we hear how Connectors and clients tackle their day and get things done. This month, we hear insights from Tim Walmsley, Regional Managing Director in Dubai for Impact Porter Novelli.

What are your essential apps
and tools?

My life is shoehorned into my smartphone. Most essential is the power cable, since the battery drains quickly. I am old-fashioned and still talk a lot on the phone. My key apps are WeChat, Skype and WhatsApp, with Instagram in close support. I don’t have time for anything else – apart from sneaky 20-minute decompression sessions on Angry Birds.

Tell us about your desk setup.


Everything is within reach – especially the wastepaper basket. It’s my most productive office tool, used as a low-tech filing cabinet. My desk is a spaghetti of wires, devices, two red model 2 CVs (my dream car), a photo of a very happy me with a gorgeous belly dancer, and pictures of my son Caspar.

What do you listen to while you work?

Silence. I regularly bawl out my coworkers as they play music. We did have a vogue for early-morning Mozart, which sent our IQs rocketing for a while until we fell back to Earth. And I will have patches when I want to rock. But silence in our noisy, hyper-connected world is a true gift.

How do you keep up with industry news?

Here, it’s all about blogs that pop up through research, a lot of client and peer discussion, and taking advantage of great reporting by The Financial Times, The Economist and BBC. I often dip into BBC Trending.

To be honest, my overall media consumption is low. Too much noise. You need head space to promote free thinking and time to liberate those hours when we become creative. We need to innovate to take advantage of our strengths in story-mining and story-making. That necessitates blank spaces away from white noise.

How do you handle email overload?

You need a coping strategy to keep it from getting depressing. It’s difficult to focus only on the few big things that matter, and slaying the e-mail dragon is a daily heroic feat. My guiding principles for sanity:

  • Keep the list of e-mails within the length of the screen window. When you have to scroll down, clean it out. You’ll feel better.
  • Use the delete button. You can always search for important emails in the “deleted” folder. Emails older than the archive threshold are ancient history.
  • Wage a constant guerilla war to get off “cc.”
  • Develop shorthand for forwarding and delegation, e.g. TFI for “Thanks for Interest” to the slew of direct job applicants.
  • Have a few folders for the constant, important stuff.
  • Switch it all off as often as possible.
  • For messages that make it through all of the above filters, respond within 24 hours.




The view from Tim's office

What work habit do you have that everybody else thinks is crazy?

Early morning starts. I estimate that two-thirds of my day has to be free to deal with the regular barrage of curveballs, so I get in ahead of the chaos. Everyone else – who is mad – thinks that I am crazy. But I’m the sane one.

What’s your #1 tip for
business travel?

Stop rushing and get there early. Use waiting time as downtime to process stuff subconsciously. Great thoughts will emerge.

SCOTUS Luddites

 
 


“A justice who based her decision on the precise details of today’s media technologies would be crafting law that’s guaranteed to age poorly. So maybe we should be happy that Justice Sotomayor has no clue how a Roku box works. It probably makes her a better justice.”

– Timothy B. Lee , in a Vox editorial on the U.S. Supreme Court’s technical cluelessness

 



PN Case Study
Your Brain Matters

Brain health is as critical to long-term wellbeing as heart and body health, but it doesn’t get the same widespread recognition. As part of International Brain Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s Australia challenged PN Australia to spur social conversation on the topic. PN focused on two brain-healthy activities: trivia and blogging. The team hosted the inaugural trivia events back-to-back in Sydney and Melbourne, and invited bloggers to come compete.

Working with bloggers allowed the team both to engage one-on-one and to connect with the bloggers’ networks, spurring organic conversations and spreading awareness about brain health. Prior to the tournament, PN Melbourne used these connections to help generate excitement, addressing tweets to individual participants.

Together, the two events drew more than 120 attendees, generated 389 social media posts, and reached 128,294 people within the week. The tournaments connected attendees with new people (excellent for brain health) and encouraged exciting conversations about improving brain fitness, even after the events ended. Each participant received a gift bag with more information about brain health as a take-home reminder to continue talking about the topic.

During and after the events, even those who were not in attendance joined Instagram and Twitter conversations wanting to learn more about brain health. One conversation highlight was ProBlogger, a key Twitter influencer, joining the online discussion and praising the initiative. The Yelp Elite in Sydney were so inspired by the event that they are now organizing weekly trivia catch-ups. All participants said they hoped the Trivia Tournament would become an annual event.

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Dementia is rarely a topic people want to discuss. PN chose instead to base the campaign on risk reduction research, creating a stimulating, fun experience that attracted influencers while staying true to the organization’s message. Bloggers are frequently asked to help spread awareness of important causes, so this project went above and beyond to earn their time and attention. The event was the first of its kind for all involved, and it gave bloggers the chance to catch up with friends, make new friends, and share an important message to their networks.

Insights

Finding Industry Influencers

Influencers can be an invaluable resource for social media programs. They connect to your brand or industry, but also have their own established network of followers, who generally trust an individual more than a brand account. They can also help you monitor conversation and sentiment around your brand, and they can share messages on sensitive topics when it’s not appropriate to involve your brand directly. Here are some suggestions for finding industry influencers who are natural partners for your brand.

1. Establish criteria.

Consider some core questions up front: What would you like your influencers to do, and what goals are you hoping they’ll help you achieve? What specific traits are you looking for, and which are the most important? The extent of someone’s social reach isn’t the only factor. Also look for characteristics that will make a person a natural fit for your brand (e.g. passions that align with your brand’s mission).


2. List potential influencers.

Craft an in-depth list of everyone who might be a good influencer. Deep familiarity with the industry and the related conversation online will be a huge first step in starting the list. Some possibilities will come to mind immediately, and you can ask a few colleagues as well. Next, tap any internal resources you have — contact lists, past conference attendees, active fans on social media, etc.

When it’s time to cast a wider net, consider where your influencers are likely to congregate online, whether it’s a LinkedIn group, a Twitter hashtag, or somewhere else. As you survey the conversation in those places, the most notable, consistently active participants will quickly stand out.

Several tools are available that can also help surface influencer communities. AllTop, a legacy Guy Kawasaki project, is still useful for identifying notable blogs in various topic areas. On social media channels, Traackr or Twitter-specific LittleBird can identify high-profile users who frequently discuss a certain topic or keyword.

3. Research.

Gather information about your influencers. If you want to consider many factors, it’s helpful to create a spreadsheet based on your initial list. Some potential factors to consider:

  • Number of followers on each of the major/targeted social platforms
  • If you have several different target audiences, how many of them the person influences
  • The network on which the person is most active
  • Whether the person is already connected to your brand and seems knowledgeable about it
  • Whether the person seems willing to collaborate with a brand
  • Whether the person has an active blog, and the frequency of posts and reader comments
  • Klout score (Klout is not perfect, and we don’t consider it a primary indicator of influence, but it provides an additional data point.)
  • Specific traits you may be looking for (e.g. “Online presence often has educational focus”)
  • If applicable, the “category” in which a person falls

Collect email addresses and URLs for profiles and blogs, and keep an open column for notes: a brief description of the influencer and any other useful information.

4. Tally it up.

PNConnect can work with your brand to determine the best methodology for evaluating candidates and to define a process. Often, with so many factors in play, a quantitative approach can be helpful. In those cases, create a formula in your spreadsheet for totaling up a number that roughly represents how much value each individual would have as an influencer. One approach is to start by totaling up the person’s followers on each social network. Then, assign weight to other factors (Klout score, blog activity, etc.) based on your brand’s priorities, and add the resulting figures to your total. Another option is to calculate multiple “scores” for the person — e.g. general influence and brand influence/savvy — and add those up. Either way, if you sort the list according to these ratings, your best candidates will promptly emerge.


5. Narrow it down.

Whatever method you use to evaluate candidates, if you’ve defined your goals clearly, your choices should match up to those needs. As you create the shortlist of people to contact, also consider external factors, like the need to diversify. Look for variety in level of influence and notoriety. It’s a good idea to include both high-profile influencers, who might give you a retweet at most, and more modest influencers who might collaborate more extensively. Include several options for users who are highly active on each target social media platform. Once you’ve put together your shortlist, reach out and see who’s open to collaboration. And save the full list of possibilities — you might use it later if you’re looking for more influencers.

About PNCONNECT



PNConnect is the global digital services offering from Porter Novelli. Our global team spans 60 countries and brings the combined digital resources of our social media marketing, creative production, paid promotions and web development capabilities together for one purpose — to help our clients share their story with the world.

For more information about our team and approach, or to learn how we can help your organization with digital strategy, development and measurement, please visit the PNConnect site.


 

Thank You

 

Many thanks to our May contributors.

Dave Coustan in Atlanta and Tom Harris in Raleigh wrote this month’s Feature about content strategy, and Mary Gaulke in Winter Haven shared Insights on influencer identification. Chad Hyett and James O’Malley in New York City; Whitney Gonzalez in Winter Haven, Florida; and Chris Thilk in Chicago contributed stories and insights for the Social Networking Stats and Noteworthy News sections. Amanda Wu provided the latest stats, and Tim Walmsley in Dubai showed us his Workflow and provided the photos of his office. Allison Brill and Sarah Parada in Washington, D.C., shared updates and insights on Advertising Trends, and Mandy Griffiths in Melbourne wrote our case study on International Brain Awareness Week.

Tom Harris contributed the photos for our cover and introduction, Facebook provided the f8 Developers Conference image, and the H7N9 image is courtesy of the CDC. Phil Roeder uploaded the Supreme Court image to Flickr, some rights reserved. Some backgrounds courtesy of subtlepatterns.com.

Thanks to Jennifer Laker, Nik Wilets, Peter Schiebel, and Sean O’Shaughnessy from the Platforms team for providing design and development support, and to Josh Hallett, Lauren Sandelin, Mary Gaulke, Dave Coustan and Tom Harris for editorial oversight and proofing.

Drop Us a Line

We’re eager to hear your thoughts on this edition and your suggestions for future issues.

Appendix
Appendix

 

Top iOS Apps

iPhone Top Paid

Blek – Games
Heads Up! – Games
A Dark Room – Games
AfterLight – Photo & Video
Minecraft Pocket Edition – Games
Sumotori Dreams – Games
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock – Health & Fitness
Plague Inc. – Games
NOAA Hi-Def Radar – Weather
Kick the Buddy – Games

iPhone Top Free

100 Balls – Games
Toilet Time – Games
Litely – Photo & Video
Make it Rain – Games
Piano Tiles – Games
2048 – Games
dEXTRIS – Games
Snapchat – Photo & Video
Instagram – Photo & Video
Facebook – Social Networking
iPad Top Paid

Productivity – Productivity
Minecraft Pocket Edition – Games
The Amazing Spider-Man – Games
Dr Panda’s Toy Cars – Education
The Survival Games – Games
Sumotori Dreams – Games
Blek – Games
A Dark Room – Games
Notability – Productivity
Heads Up! – Games

iPad Top Free

100 Balls – Games
Make it Rain – Games
2048 – Games
Microsoft Word for iPad – Productivity
Piano Tiles – Games
Skype for iPad – Social Networking
Google Docs – Productivity
MLB Perfect Inning – Games
YouTube – Photo & Video
dEXTRIS – Games

Top Android and Windows Apps

Android Top Paid

Minecraft Pocket Edition – Games
SwiftKey Keyboard – Productivity
Titanium Backup Pro Key Root – Tools
Nova Launcher Prime – Personalization
Poweramp Full Version – Music & Audio
FoxFi Key – Communication
Beautiful Widgets Pro – Personalization
Root Explorer – Productivity
Bloons TD – Games, Strategy
Plants vs. Zombies – Games, Casual

Android Top Free

Facebook – Social
Don’t Tap The White Tile – Games, Arcade
Pandora – Music & Audio
Instagram – Social
Facebook Messenger – Communication
Snapchat – Social
Monster Wartune – Games, Role Playing
Candy Crush Saga – Games, Casual
Netflix – Entertainment
Super-Bright LED Flashlight – Productivity
Windows Top Paid

Movie Maker 8.1 – Photo
Start Perfect – Tools & Productivity
Melodia – Music & Video
Video Editor 8.1 – Music & Video
Metrotube – Music & Video
Pocket Explorer – Tools & Productivity
Fantasia Painter – Photo
Pocket File Manager – Tools & Productivity
MoliPlayer Pro – Music & Video
WP Central – News & Weather
Windows Top Free

OneDrive – Tools & Productivity
Facebook – Social
Pandora – Music & Video
Instagram BETA – Photo
Facebook Messenger – Social
Weather – News & Weather
Video – Entertainment
MUSIC+ – Music & Video
Adobe Reader – Tools & Productivity
YouTube HD – Music & Video