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Digital Trends in Creative Update December 2012




20.12.2012

In this post we look at the ever increasing world of content and its move towards user-generated and mobile focused growth.

We review how content is being shaped, cool tools to optimise the user-experience and how you and your clients can leverage these, in an ever-changing, ever-expanding landscape.

Pimp my image - making images content
“Visuals” and their international language-free appeal is only one focal point in the evolution of image content. While Twitter and Facebook go head-to-head with Flickr and Instagram filters, the rest of the market is pushing their own photographical content add-ons. Most interesting is the Google & Apple joint venture to buy Kodak patents.

As we have discussed before, Instagram is growing at a rapid pace and as it does so, it continually challenges the leaders of the pack; Facebook and Twitter. Recently Instagram has made some sizeable changes. The app has integrated more deeply with Foursquare, allowing location pages that pull up the Foursquare app (if installed) or mobile website with details about the venue, and has also made changes functionally and cosmetically.

Looking at the functionality, Instagram has introduced features including: crop, scale, improved tilt-shift and a new filter called “Willow”.

Cosmetically, in the camera section of the app you can now see your most recent photos as thumbnails along the bottom. Furthermore, the shutter and shutter release buttons have also been revamped to better align with the app's overall design aesthetic, and the News Feed has been tweaked slightly.

For iOS users, Filtered photos will no longer be added to your camera roll but to a separate album called "Instagram."

Twitter has also ramped up the image content competition, bringing in photo filters provided by Aviary. The long-rumoured feature arrived on the 11th Dec on Twitter for iPhone and Android.

The timing of Twitter's new photo filters release is auspicious after Instagram pulled Twitter Cards support from its app, meaning that users who share their images to Twitter are relegated to simple links.

Additionally, Flickr has jumped on the bandwagon, recently re-releasing their iOS app (android to come) also with photo filters. The 15 photo filters, which are named for animals, from the panda and chinchilla to mammoth and aardvark, are also powered by Aviary. Flickr’s app also integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare.

Samsung is contributing to this evolution with the release of The Samsung Galaxy Camera. Reportedly the gadget of the year, the camera combines Android phone software with a compact camera. The device is a powerful sharing tool, having access to social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as well as photo editors such as Photoshop and Pixlr.

Apple and Google are also making an investment into image content, reportedly taking a break from their rivalry to invest $500 million into Eastman Kodak Co. to help avoid the company’s bankruptcy and leverage their patents.

This is all very good for the user, providing a great range of choice and effects to pimp their images.

The eye of the holder - making it personal
We've all heard about the Google glass project in our last digital trends post, but there is even more “first person” activity in the market place, in the form of sharing content experience. Here are 4 examples of this in action:

1.    UGC live video mixing
Imagine being at a live event and capturing footage from all angles and then editing on the fly. The app automatically syncs and edits footage filmed at the same event, making you a movie from multiple angles in minutes. You can then share our videos and watch videos from other users through the platform.

2.     First person adventure
Cameras can now be attached to the helmet or adventure sport equipment (surfboard, BMX, hang glider, your only limited by your imagination) and capture what the adrenaline junkie visually experiences.

3.    Create your own content mix
This tool allows users to collate multiple formats into a single video. Users can mix their favourite YouTube clips, gifs, and sound bites to become their own Stephen Spielberg.  

4.    Shoot and Share
YouTube has introduced YouTube Capture app on iOS which lets users shoot videos and then share them on social networks. The original YouTube app only allowed users to view videos.
Strong features of the app include colour correction, stabilisation, editing and the ability to add free background music. The best part is the app reminding you to rotate your phone to avoid "vertical video syndrome."
This is a clear indication that video content continues to raise its star status.  

Organising your content – making it easier
With so many different devices and access points, keeping track of all your data can be difficult. Here's some tools that should make it that little bit easier for you.

•    Pinterest is a social media platform you have heard us talking about a lot! It’s a great way to visually organise your content by pinning images and videos to boards. It can also act as a bookmarking tool to save all your links. Last month Pinterest introduced Company Pages for brands to showcase their products, drive traffic and sales.

•     Trello also uses boards to organise your content. The tool uses cards with the front of the card having a quick overview of the task and the back of the card including specific information such as due dates, attachments and comments from others in your team. These cards can then be organised into boards to help visualise a project and track content development.

•    iLoader2 is a mobile app which lets you upload whole albums of photos to Facebook and do all the editing, captions & tagging in a nice interface.

•     Fruux is an easy way of keeping and sharing all your calendars, contacts and tasks in sync across all your devices (iOS, Andriod etc).

•     BugHerd acts as a screen over a website that the developer and client can see. It allows clients to find and report issues from the website by pinpointing where the issues happened, saving emails back and forth between the two parties.

•    Doodle is an easy way for scheduling meetings and events with multiple parties. Its takes a poll between participants on the best times for a meeting.

We’ll leave you with the annual Google Zeitgeist for 2012, which shows a wrap of the year in under 3 minutes.

Have a safe and happy festive season, and we’ll look forward to sharing the latest digital trends with you in 2013.

 

Your favourite, most helpful, life-changing tool, not listed here?
Tell us which tools are your favourite and why.

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