Cover

 

DIGITAL ESSENTIALS

October 2014

 

 

Welcome

 

Storytelling…

…is a vital part of connecting with audiences. This month’s Insights article explains how to craft brand content with a story arc, while our Case Study shows how a microsite told a story of adults acting immature (and loving it). Our Feature considers how brands can respond to negativity on anonymous social networks. We take a look at the Melbourne launch of jack+bill, Porter Novelli’s “pop-up agency,” and we interview a PNConnector about his unique take on productivity. All this plus stats, the latest news in social media and digital advertising, and more.


Cover photo: Autumn leaves in Boston, Massachusetts

Social Stats
Social Networking Stats

 What’s Trending

With “Fabric,” Twitter Aims to Win Back Developers
“The company plans to unveil a new app development platform called ‘Twitter Fabric’ that contains tools for developers to help people sign up for their apps more easily, sell ads on them, uncover technical glitches and view other analytics. Fabric would propel Twitter into deeper competition with Facebook, Amazon and Google, all of whom have taken steps to plug their systems deeper into everyday interactions on mobile devices.”
Source: The Information

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
As Twitter collects more data about users’ activities and interests through mobile applications, it could do more than help brands create more targeted mobile ads. Combined with the new Twitter “Buy” button, Twitter has the potential to establish itself as a major player in mobile/social commerce. And, if its efforts to build a thriving mobile app ecosystem prove successful, it would likely ignite user growth and position the platform closer to the center of users’ online identities.

Global Trends

Facebook Hits 100M Users in Africa, Half the Continent’s Online Population
“The news suggests that if drones, satellites, and deals for free access from local carriers can spread the Internet to more people around the world in places like India and South America, a big percentage of them will become consistent Facebook users… Judging by the 50 percent usage rate in Africa, Facebook could stand to gain billions of users if it can get more of the world on the Internet.”
Source: TechCrunch

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Facebook faces slowing U.S. growth, but still has significant opportunities abroad. These data show that the social network continues to offer brands more opportunities to reach international audiences, and that brands will largely reach these users on mobile devices. Organizations looking to reach global audiences should have Facebook top of mind when planning programs and campaigns, and remember that many users will access branded content on a small screen.

After Hong Kong, Instagram Isn’t Just for Brunch Photos
“Instagram isn’t just a second-string substitute… It’s a compelling tool for political protest in its own right… Ultimately, Instagram’s blackballing in mainland China may drive Occupy Central protesters to another social network in the short-term. But the past week has shown that the photo-sharing service can play in the big leagues.”
Source: New York Magazine

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Reportedly blocked in mainland China, Instagram has joined the ranks of social sites the Chinese government views as threats. Instagram’s use by protesters is reminiscent of Twitter’s role in the Arab Spring movements, and reminds us that if a picture is worth a thousand words, the potential for this photo sharing service to build audiences and tell stories can be a powerful device in a communicator’s toolkit.


Worldwide
FACEBOOK
Daily Active Users: 829,000,000
Daily Mobile Active Users: 654,000,000
Monthly Active Users: 1,320,000,000
Monthly Mobile Active Users: 1,070,000,000

TWITTER
Monthly U.S. Active Users: 54,000,000
Monthly Active Users: 271,000,000

LINKEDIN
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 47,800,000
Monthly Global Visitors: 216,300,000
Registered U.S. Members: 100,000,000
Registered Members: 313,000,000

INSTAGRAM
Active Users: 200,000,000
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 38,850,000

TUMBLR
Blogs: 205,600,000
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 28,850,000

PINTEREST
Monthly Active Users: 60,000,000
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 43,280,000

SLIDESHARE
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 5,540,000
Monthly Unique Visitors: 60,000,000

YOUTUBE
Monthly U.S. Visitors: 166,900,000
Monthly Unique Users: 1,000,000,000

GOOGLE+
Monthly Active Users: 300,000,000

WHATSAPP
Monthly Active Users: 600,000,000

RUSSIA
VK
Registered Users: 239,000,000
Monthly Active Users: 92,000,000

Odnoklassniki
Users: 65,300,000
Monthly Active Users: 41,100,000


KOREA
Cyworld
Users: 36,000,000

CHINA
RenRen
Registered Users: 194,000,000
Monthly Active Users: 44,000,000

Weibo
Registered Users: 290,000,000
Monthly Users: 156,500,000

Qzone
Monthly Active Users: 645,100,000
QQ IM Monthly Active Users: 829,300,000

WeChat
Monthly Active Users: 438,000,000


JAPAN
Mixi
Monthly Active Smartphone Users: 6,950,000
Registered Users: 20,000,000

Line
Registered Users: 490,000,000

Pinterest Targeting

 
 
“An advertiser may want to know how often their ads are showing on Pinterest or how many people bought a product after clicking on a Promoted Pin. In the future, we’ll report that info to them.”

– Julie Park, Pinterest head of partnerships, as the network prepares to begin using user data for ad targeting

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising Trends

 


YouTube Drives More Sales Than Other
Social Platforms

“A recent study of paid social media finds that YouTube is more effective at both introducing customers to products and converting sales than any other social platform… The report, which tracked data from 500 million clicks and 15 million conversions, found that YouTube was the clear winner in the first stage of the purchase funnel when it comes to paid advertising on social media platforms.”
Source: ClickZ

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Brands often overlook video as a publishing option, due to lack of experience or perceived budget limitations. But even a simple, inexpensive video can be a great asset, especially for paid campaigns focused on introducing new products or making the final conversion to a sale.


 
 
 
 


 
 
 


Facebook Expands Mobile Ad Network

“Facebook’s mobile ad network is officially open… Advertisers can target the ads in third-party apps with the same targeting options they use to aim their Facebook ads, such as age, gender, interests and whether someone is in their customer database or has similar qualities as existing customers.”
Source: Advertising Age

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Advertisers on Facebook’s mobile ad network must also buy ads on Facebook as part of the same package, which appears to boost the ads’ efficacy. Facebook claims Walgreens reached 5% more people with ads on the mobile ad network than with ads run only on Facebook, and received four to five times as many clicks on the network ads. Results that strong may help Facebook mount a serious challenge to Google’s own mobile ad network.

Twitter Announces Mobile “Buy” Button

“As a result, users will actually be able to make purchases directly within tweets. If you see something you want, you hit ‘buy’, bring up a little information, enter your payment and shipping information while still on Twitter (it’s encrypted and stored for future purchases), and complete the transaction ‘in just a few taps.'”
Source: TechCrunch

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
It’s official: Twitter is no longer a platform just for branding. Consumers can now complete the sales cycle and make a purchase without ever leaving the Twitter app. It will be a huge coup for Twitter if it can make the transition to a proper e-commerce platform. Not only can the “Buy” button generate revenue, it also encourages brands and advertisers to become more active on Twitter. However, it remains to be seen if this method of purchase will actually resonate with consumers.


 
 


 
 


Google Unveils Auto-Resizing Mobile Ads

“Among the new offerings will be mobile lightbox engagement ads, which ‘dynamically resize to fit any screen size.’ … Google described the new styles as ‘big brand ads, built for mobile and resized for every screen.'”
Source: AdWeek

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Responsive design is a critical element of good mobile content, so Google is standing out among online ad platforms by making it easier for brands to create ads that adjust well to screens of any size. This is a good reminder for brands to be mindful of how ads look not just on desktop, but on phone and tablet screens as well.
Noteworthy News

 

Time Spent In Apps Up 21% Over Last Year

“In fact, the average time people spend in their apps is up by 21% year-
over-year, with music, health and fitness, and social apps showing the largest increases.”
Source: TechCrunch

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
The 49% increase in the time spent in social media apps speaks to the ongoing shift from desktop to mobile use of social networks. This doesn’t necessarily mean that apps are preferable to mobile web sites, but as this trend continues brands do need to ensure their social content is mobile-friendly — both social media updates and any content they link to. Otherwise, mobile users will get lost in the transition to a site not optimized for small screens.


 
 



Facebook Pushes Trendy Topics

“If a post from a friend or Page you follow is about something lots of people are talking about, Facebook will put that post right up top where you can’t miss it. That way, you can engage while the topic is still relevant.”
Source: ReadWrite

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
This algorithm change offers a new tactic to help combat Facebook’s steep decline in organic Page reach. If your Page update contains a major announcement or is connected to breaking news, Facebook will now surface it in more user feeds for as long as that topic is trending. Still, exercise caution: if you’re degrading content quality or piling onto trending topics opportunistically, you risk alienating followers and doing more damage than good.


Ello Is a Wake-Up Call for Social Media Marketing

“Businesses need to take Ello and its manifesto as a wake-up call to rethink the way they use social networks to reach customers. The intense interest and discussion engendered by this manifesto attests to the profound misgivings many of those customers now have about the networks that occupy a growing place in our work, our relationships and our lives.”
Source: Harvard Business Review

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Regardless of whether Ello takes social media by storm or fades into obscurity, its explosion onto the online scene indicates that its pro-user manifesto has struck a chord. Even if Facebook and Twitter continue to be the dominant networks, it’s important to be cognizant of some users’ growing negative perception of the way brands in social media choose to advertise, use data, and engage with users.


 
 
 
 

“The context brings the meaning. Because ‘Yo’ means nothing, it could mean anything. It’s stupid but it’s beautiful at the same time.”

– Yo cofounder Moshe Hogeg. Even now that the initial hype has died down, Yo still has 1.5 million monthly active users, up slightly from one month ago.

 
 
 

Feature

When Anonymous Apps Attack

feature-redbus

Today, social networks and online advertisers can cobble together a fairly accurate picture of most web users’ preferences and daily activity. That data can yield benefits to users, such as more tailored content, but it can also leave them feeling vulnerable and invaded. In response, many users, particularly younger ones, are adopting networks and apps that promote anonymity, such as Whisper, Secret, Snapchat, Yik Yak, and Gossup. Others have adopted the networks as a way to share more authentic stories and feelings than they would on Twitter or Facebook (which, incidentally, is reportedly developing its own anonymous app).

But this online anonymity also opens the door to spreading rumors and venting about both people and brands, with little fear of repercussion. Critics, such as the prominent venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, have warned that the high potential for unethical behavior puts these apps on shaky moral and legal ground. It can certainly put brands in a difficult position. Most networks have terms of service banning libelous, fraudulent, or harassing posts, as well as an avenue for reporting abuse, so brands have some recourse. But once a post is out there, the damage may be done. While this new dynamic is still in flux and the roles remain undefined, there are a few core ideas that will help brands find their footing on this new terrain.

Respect the Rules and the Community Spirit

As with established social networks and search engines, subverting the intended usage of the channels, either intentionally or accidentally, is asking for trouble. For example, brands may be tempted to take advantage of account anonymity by posting in the guise of an ordinary customer, sharing positive messages to counteract negative posts. Tactics like this set brands up for damaging blowback, while offering little benefit.

Before engaging in an anonymous community, take the time to understand both the network’s own rules and users’ expectations. Then approach your channel strategy within those parameters. If there’s not a natural way for your brand to participate productively, hold off on getting involved directly.

So far, few brands have established official presences on anonymous networks. In this environment, standard brand publishing tends to come across as “missing the point.” Brands known to be active on these platforms also risk having their identities hijacked, as anyone can claim to be a brand.

Listen

Even if it doesn’t make sense to begin posting to an anonymous network, monitoring conversations can be beneficial. Some anonymous networks have already earned a reputation as sources for rumors and inside information. Much of Secret’s initial user base comes from the tech industry, with Silicon Valley rumors as a key content vein.

For example, a Secret post in April broke the story that Nike would be killing off its FuelBand device and laying off the engineers behind it. Then in February, a Secret user, claiming to be an Evernote employee, shared that a corporate acquisition was imminent. Both stories took off and spread beyond Secret, calling for the brands to get involved. Brands that are paying close attention to notable industry conversations on anonymous networks will be able to react to damaging rumors or accusations like these more quickly.

Respond via Established Channels

If a brand does discover a rumor or negative accusation gaining traction on an anonymous network, the network itself isn’t necessarily the best channel for a response: it’s difficult to have an official presence when everyone is anonymous. Instead, brands can join the conversation via established channels, such as a corporate blog or accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Other users can then share these updates on the anonymous network.

Nike and Evernote both shifted the conversation to other channels to address the Secret posts about their brands. Evernote CEO Phil Libin refuted the acquisition rumor as entirely false via a Twitter post; Nike confirmed the news of layoffs with CNET, while providing additional details and corrections to reframe the message.

Nurture a Community of Advocates

Vocal supporters are a key resource for mitigating negative discussions on any network, but they’re even more critical on anonymous platforms, where a brand has limited room to speak for itself. RedBus, a startup that allows users in India to reserve bus travel online, received criticism from employees on Secret for allegedly failing to honor all their stock options following the company’s acquisition by another portal. The Secret posts told an incomplete story, but they seriously damaged both the company’s image and the founder’s reputation when the story appeared in one of India’s leading financial dailies. If RedBus had had people willing to speak up and defend them, on Secret and elsewhere, they would have mitigated the impact of the allegations.

Of course, it’s not feasible to assemble a strong foundation of advocates overnight. It requires consistently building trust and goodwill, on multiple fronts. Brand publishers can inspire advocacy by being consistently authentic, transparent, useful, and responsive across their content efforts.

While no one can say with certainty where anonymous networks are headed, it’s clear that their success to date stems from users’ desire for authenticity and community empowerment. Brands that embrace this drive will be in a better position to succeed in this new arena than brands who try to exert control.

On Workflow: Chris Thilk

Unconventional Superpowers

In our continuing “On Workflow” series, we hear how Connectors and clients tackle their day and get things done. For this edition, we talk to PNConnect Supervisor Chris Thilk about his strategies for managing his time and working efficiently.

What’s the secret to efficient, productive meetings?

Having an agenda. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but it’s a total game-changer. It keeps me from slipping into digressions and makes me confident we’re not missing any critical discussion topics.


How do you fight procrastination?

When I feel like I’m procrastinating, that’s when I take a few minutes to do a brain dump on a legal pad and then work through everything I’ve written down. That helps me rethink what needs to get done and what the top priorities are so I can finally settle down and pick a place to start.

Tell us about your desk setup.

I have a dual monitor setup with personal stuff like TweetDeck on my MacBook and everything else on my external monitor — edcals, email, one to four different blog back ends. I also divide things by browser — personal email and Facebook in Safari, work email and WordPress in Chrome. That way I can be logged into multiple Google and other accounts at once in different browsers.

I keep a DC Entertainment book on graphic novel essentials on my desk as a reference. In addition to dual monitors I have a dual Klean Kanteen system — one water, one coffee. Above my desk I keep family photos and knick-knacks. Domo Aquaman is my mascot.

Pocket

Wunderlist

What are your essential apps
and tools?

I keep two RSS readers open all day — Digg Reader in Safari for personal and marketing industry reading, and Feedly in Chrome for client reading. I skim through these and save things into Pocket, and then return to Pocket afterward to read what I’ve saved.

I manage my to-dos with Wunderlist. I love it because it allows you to easily add and categorize items and syncs well with iPhone. I categorize by client and assign myself due dates. I also use Basecamp to manage team project to-dos.

Evernote is my other critical app. I’ve basically off-loaded my brain in there. I use it for building call agendas and storing call notes. I try to keep my Evernote as clean and organized as possible. It helps me keep track of items from week to week.

Finally, I do about 75% of my writing each day in TextEdit. I have a “Daily Notes” document I keep open next to Chrome. That’s my sandbox throughout the day for things I’m drafting, notes that need organizing, things I’m copy/pasting for some sort of later usage and so on.


Do you have any routines to help you get through your day?

I start my day in RSS. Generally my two readers accumulate 600 items over the course of the previous evening. What I read in the morning informs how I build client edcals for the day and helps me ensure that we keep up with breaking client-related items. I don’t read many blogs written by individual people; it’s almost exclusively news sites and blogs.


How do you handle email overload?

There’s a scene in the movie The Hustler where Jackie Gleason, the old pro pool player, is getting beat. He goes into the men’s room, splashes water on his face, comes back, and completely destroys Paul Newman. That’s what I do if email is getting the better of me. I step away for a second, crack my knuckles, and get to it. Sometimes it’s just a matter of concentration and powering through.

“Domo Aquaman is my unofficial mascot.”

Minecraft resignation


 

 

“I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”


– Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson in a letter announcing that he’ll be leaving the studio he created once Microsoft takes ownership

Case Study


Case Study

Acting Juvenile with Cheetos

For the past several years, Cheetos has been running a campaign targeting adults. According to Cheetos’ ad agency, adults eating Cheetos “feels like a nonconformist moment. You’re supposed to be eating arugula dip, but you have a nonconforming desire.” Cheetos’ creative has centered on the idea of encouraging adults to engage with the mischievous attitude associated with kids — most notably through commercials directing rebellious adults to the “Orange Underground” and a YouTube channel sharing fans’ “Random Acts of Cheetos.”

For the 2013 and now 2014 execution of this initiative, Cheetos created a microsite, “Project TP,” that lets users digitally “TP” (cover with toilet paper) any location on Earth using the Google Maps API. The payoff for the user is original, high-quality animations and graphics that are customized and highly shareable.

Visitors begin by typing in the address or name of the place they’d like to TP. The site asks them to “confirm target” with a Google Street View image of the location. Cheetos keeps interactivity at the core of the experience: rather than watching passively, users push the “big red button” that drops the toilet paper from a helicopter. The user then sees the Street View image of the target location festooned with toilet paper, and the site offers a link to share with friends and social networks.


Throughout the 2013 Halloween season, Cheetos drove traffic to the site with a series of weekly contests on Twitter and Facebook, challenging users to TP targets like “something spotted” or a location in the town of Earth, Texas. The contest gave Cheetos a chance to re-share the site repeatedly and encourage users to visit again and again, generating further exposure for the campaign.

According to a case study on Google’s showcase site, Project TP was a major success: Desktop users spent an average of 9 minutes on the site, digitally TPing multiple locations, and 15% of desktop users shared the site.

PNCONNECT INSIGHT
Project TP succeeds in a way that a TV spot or more literal ad campaign wouldn’t. The site’s social elements are built into its core concept. It offers a satisfying experience that is inherently shareable, and it keeps its focus on the mischievous attitude of Cheetos’ adult-targeted campaigns.

Moreover, the campaign doesn’t tarnish an enjoyable experience with a sales punchline. Its goal is to generate brand awareness and association using a smart social mechanic. The psychology of being able to playfully deface a favorite target in the real world and share the evidence (the image of a freshly TP’ed building) makes it inherently tailored for spreading to others. The site also capitalizes on a ready-made tool — the Google Maps API — as a clever way to give Project TP a personalized flair.


jack + bill

Supporting Fresh Ideas and Talent

Inspired by the agency’s entrepreneurial founders, Jack Porter and Bill Novelli, Porter Novelli Melbourne has launched jack + bill, a pop-up public relations agency committed to supporting emerging ideas and talent. Last month, PN Melbourne hosted an event to choose three Pozible campaigns to receive pro bono PR representation, valued at more than $20,000. The finalist crowdfunders took turns showcasing their unique campaigns to an audience at Pozible HQ, including an industry panel featuring Roger Box (Director of Interactive, Clemenger BBDO), Isabelle Oderberg (Social Media Lead, Australian Red Cross), Mark Cameron (CEO, Working Three) and Peter Kent (Managing Director, Porter Novelli Melbourne). Here are the winning campaigns receiving jack + bill’s support.



Foster Care Association of Victoria



Jack + bill will help FCAV win the funding to develop the tools they need to address urgent shortcomings in foster care.

Bamboo Monkey



Bamboo Monkey is an emerging label that sources environmentally sustainable bamboo to create silky soft clothing. Jack + bill is tasked with helping Bamboo Monkey get the funds to expand its brand and product line.

Bike Cabs



Convenient, sustainable and quick, Bike Cabs hope to create a less congested and more accessible Melbourne CBD. Jack + bill will help grow Bike Cabs from concept to reality.

 
 
 

“Tumblr is small but mighty and offers retailers a visually stimulating environment. The fact that it produces the highest revenue per visit from mobile devices is likely due to its user base, which is skewed to young, trendy and well-educated urbanites with a greater affinity for online purchases and the disposable income to spend more.”

Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe Digital Index

 
 
 


Insights

Applying Story Arc Thinking to Brand Content

In fiction, a story arc is a plotline that helps drive the narrative by tracking how characters face a challenge and arrive at a resolution. This basic structure can add dramatic interest to brand content too, serving as the backbone for an extended series. It looks a little different, but it follows a similar approach: introduce a challenge, complicate the story with unexpected turns, and ultimately resolve the tension.

A brand story arc centers around a core point of view and explores or complicates that point of view as it progresses. Instead of causing a character to undergo a transformation, a strong editorial story arc brings an issue into sharper focus. In some cases, the core point of view may evolve as it is explored against real-world examples. A story arc can also center on a product launch, describing the need, exploring the market and the challenge, and introducing the product alongside the story of its development.

 

 


How a story arc helps

For readers: In an online context, packing an entire story arc’s worth of exploration and discussion into one written article is overwhelming. By conveying a story arc over a series of content pieces, you can let each installment convey one key idea and a few planks of support, making the content more digestible to the reader.

For search optimization: For search engines and other forms of intelligent archiving, an interconnected series of relatively short posts or articles provides a logical structure that is easy to parse, and those systems are designed to value such series as authoritative.

Starter questions

  • What areas of the topic are unresolved or less explored?
  • Where is the controversy and lack of consensus?
  • What are the indices and data releases that inform experts on this topic, and how can the content react to them?
  • What events, working groups, or innovations related to this topic can produce new areas of discussion?
  • What is going to happen over the next two years that will require new thinking and consideration? How can a story arc follow along with that development?

Sample stories for each phase

Story arcs need to follow the basics of traditional narrative structure: They need a beginning (exposition), a significant middle (tension and complication), and in some cases, a satisfying ending (resolution) — although many editorial story arcs will be ongoing by nature, and won’t need a true resolution.

Introduction: Setting the stage

  • A shallow exploration of the full breadth of a problem area, teasing a main point of view or approach
  • A compilation of evidence and market observations that identify an unmet need or new challenge
  • Identification of an anomaly that hasn’t been fully explained, with an initial theory

Exploration/complication: Where to go next

  • A case study that explores one aspect of the core thesis in-depth
  • An analysis of part of the main concept that makes the resolution less clear
  • An assessment of alternate points of view with evidence and rebuttal, addressing the arguments seriously and not just as straw men
  • A pointed keynote, white paper, or other evidence that adds nuance
  • A consideration of the central argument in an entirely different context or vertical

Resolution or recapitulation: Wrapping up or reframing the main statement

  • A return to assumptions made in the first story, acknowledging additional nuance and lessons learned
  • A new, deeper index of the ground covered so far, and a list of unresolved questions or problems
  • A conclusion and recap of one area of exploration within the statement in order to bridge to another area


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 October contributors.

Shane Jacob in Bangalore, India, wrote this month’s Feature about anonymous social platforms, and Dave Coustan in Atlanta contributed this month’s Insights on story arcs. Mark Avera and Stephanie Pham in Atlanta and Mary Gaulke in Sarasota contributed stories and insights for the Social Networking Stats, Noteworthy News and Advertising Trends sections. Mary Gaulke and Dave Coustan penned the Cheetos case study. Amanda Wu in New York City provided the latest stats, and Chris Thilk in Chicago took the On Workflow hot seat. Mandy Griffiths in Melbourne shared her recap of the launch of jack+bill.

Ketan Deshpande in Boston shot this month’s cover photo. Greg Pabst in Winter Haven, Florida, created the story arc diagram for this month’s Insights. Alan Turkus uploaded the Case Study background to Flickr, Udi h Bauman uploaded the Minecraft photo, and Richard Matthews uploaded the dartboard photo, some rights reserved. Some backgrounds courtesy of subtlepatterns.com.

Thanks to Jennifer Laker, Peter Schiebel, and Sean O’Shaughnessy from the Platforms team for providing design and development support, and to Mary Gaulke, Dave Coustan, Lauren Sandelin, 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

Swype Keyboard – Utilities
Five Nights at Freddy’s – Games
Minecraft Pocket Edition – Games
Color Keyboards for iOS8! – Utilities
Goat Simulator – Games
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock – Health & Fitness
Afterlight – Photo & Video
Heads Up! – Games
Flesky Keyboard – Happy Typing – Utilities
Buddyman: Kick – Games

iPhone Top Free

Facebook Messenger – Social Networking
iTunes U – Education
SwiftKey Keyword – Utilities
Amazing Thief – Games
Instagram – Photo & Video
Facebook – Social Networking
YouTube – Photo & Video
Free Music Download – Music
The Maze Runner – Games
Beach Buggy Racing – Games
iPad Top Paid

Minecraft Pocket Edition – Games
Five Nights at Freddy’s – Games
Goat Simulator – Games
Swype Keyboard – Utilities
XtraMath – Education
Notability – Productivity
Buddyman: Kick HD – Games
Photon Flash Player for iPad – Utilities
Terraria – Games
Dora and Friends HD – Education

iPad Top Free

Facebook Messenger – Social Networking
Beach Buggy Racing – Games
Diamond Digger Saga – Games
YouTube – Photo & Video
Buddyman: Kick 2 HD Free – Games
The Maze Runner – Games
Calculator for iPad Free – Utilities
Google – Utilities
Netflix – Entertainment
Chrome – Utilities

Top Android and Windows Apps

Android Top Paid

Minecraft Pocket Edition – Games, Arcade
Goat Simulator – Games, Simulation
Five Nights at Freddy’s – Games, Action
Nova Launcher Prime – Personalization
Poweramp Full Version – Music & Audio
Bloons TD 5 – Games, Strategy
FoxFi Key – Communication
Plants vs. Zombies – Games, Casual
The Game of Life – Games, Board
Terraria – Games, Adventure

Android Top Free

Facebook Messenger – Communication
Facebook – Social
Pandora – Music & Audio
Instagram – Social
Super-Bright LED Flashlight – Productivity
Snapchat – Social
Diamond Diggers – Games, Casual
Netflix – Entertainment
Tango Messenger – Social
WhatsApp Messenger – Communication
Windows Top Paid

Start Design – Tools & Productivity
Theme+ – Tools & Productivity
Metrotube – Music & Video
Movie Maker 8.1 – Photo
Hot Tiles! – Tools & Productivity
Levitagrma – Photo
Night Stand Clock – Tools & Productivity
Flashlight+ – Tools & Productivity
MoliPlayer Pro – Music & Video
Lumia Battery Saver & Booster 8.1 – Tools & Productivity
Windows Top Free

OneDrive – Tools & Productivity
Facebook – Social
Messenger – Social
Pandora – Music & Video
Skype – Social
Adobe Reader – Tools & Productivity
Instagram BETA – Photo
Music+ – Music & Video
YouTube HD – Music & Video
WhatsApp – Social