This week’s examination of the intersection between technology, creativity and advertising.
If a week’s wait is too long, you can experience the venn in real-time by following me on twitter.
Ben & Jerry’s allows Twitter users to donate left-over characters
In an effort to raise awareness for World Fair Trade Day, Ben & Jerry’s developed a tool that appends links to Fair Trade content using the left-over characters in your tweets.
Why it Matters: While people use Twitter for a multitude of reasons, one of it’s most publicized uses is to spread the word about a cause. It’s not easy to amass a large following in a quick period of time, so rather than create one central Twitter handle for World Fair Trade Day, Ben & Jerry’s enabled Twitter users everywhere to help spread their message. The technology-based approach uses an algorithm to determine what message it can append to the end of a tweet based on how many characters are left over. Like any charity this campaign relies on the generosity of people, but the innovative concept alone has already been able to garner a lot of buzz.
Instagram, Hipstamatic effects now easily replicated with the release of Aviary’s ‘effects’ API
Aviary’s photo effects API levels the playing field for camera-app developers and makes it easy to integrate photo effects functionality for non-camera apps.
Why it Matters: Developers will now easily be able to add a photo-editing layer that replicate the common filters seen in apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram. In case all the images in your social feed aren’t sepia-toned or over-exposed enough, it’s likely you’ll be seeing a lot more in the future. While the API release could result in a lot of Instagram clones, there’s a bigger, more important story here: non-camera apps can now give it’s users the ability to add effects to their photos easily, so you might see interesting uses by gaming, entertainment, or utility apps.
Google runs first test of NFC Foursquare check-ins
Google’s annual developer conference will feature NFC markers that allow people to check-in to Foursquare by tapping in at a physical location.
Why it Matters: Although NFC has been slow to gain adoption in smartphones in the US, the technology is already available in the newest Android devices and is rumored to be integrated into the next iPhone. NFC ‘tap-ins’ have been a feature on Foursquare’s app since it’s March release, but there haven’t been any publicly available NFC markers for people to check-in to. In order for NFC tap-ins to scale to a wider audience, more people need NFC on their smartphones, and every foursquare location needs a NFC marker to tap-in to. The fact that an Android developers conference is the first public use of the system shows that there are still many technological and logistical hurdles before it’s use could become mainstream.