The Best of 2017 in Technology, Content and Culture

The Best of 2017 in Technology, Content and Culture

End of year means the inevitable flood of ‘top’, ‘most’ and ‘best’ lists, along with the obligatory predictions for what’s to come next year.

Here at Kamber we’ve been keeping our eyes on the best of the best in technology, content and culture from Australia and around the world. Here’s what’s caught our attention – all conveniently curated in one place for your enjoyment.

Happy Holidays – bring on 2018!

Google’s most searched 2017
The top trends data reveals that we’re mostly asking Google ‘how’, seeking to make sense of the world around us. Sport was the single most searched topic in Australia.

The most shared Facebook content
The team at BuzzSumo supply a nice wrap up with insights broken down by sector. Not everyone can break the internet like some of the content featured, but there’s important and valuable lessons for content marketers in here nonetheless.

Facebook Australia’s most discussed topics
When planning and developing content it’s always great to know what’s resonating and what people are looking for. Facebook Australia’s most discussed list for Australia in 2017 is a great insight into just that.

Twitter Australia’s most discussed topics
Not to be outdone by Facebook, Twitter Australia also released its most discussed topics list… and there’s some differences in there. Not to spoil it for you, but politics and marriage equality topped the list.

Apple’s apps of the year
Chosen by App Store editors, this list crosses a heap of themes (from photography to mindfulness) and will definitely pique your curiosity. Give some of them a try over the festive season break!

100 Best Android Apps of the Year
Not an Apple user? We’ve got you covered – this top 100 from Digital Trends covers everything from productivity to news and sports.

Car of the Year
Never heard of a Skoda Kodiaq? You have now – and news.com.au’s team of reviewers think it’s pretty darn good.

Albums of the Year
The team at BBC’s 6 Music has spoken – this is what your ears should feast on over the festive season. Enjoy!

TIME Person of the Year
Yes it’s already been reported far and wide, but we love it. Here’s to all the silence breakers.

Netflix’s Most Binged Shows of the Year
Check how your bingeing compared to others and add to your ‘must watch’ list for the festive season.

Pantone’s Colour of the Year
Pantone has spoken – Ultra Violet 18-3838 is where it’s at in terms of colour for 2018. Get familiar with it – you’ll be seeing A LOT more of it in the year ahead.

The New Yorker’s Best Podcasts of 2017
It’s been a great year for podcasting – feast your ears on these recommendations from The New Yorker.

Best books of 2017
The esteemed panel at The Guardian has put together a formidable list of reads featuring something for everyone.

Best memes of 2017
Who doesn’t love a good meme? Here’s 50 of the best courtesy of Thrillist.

Best new TV shows
Netflix ain’t the only one serving up binge-worthy content – Paste Magazine has compiled its best 17 from across TV-land this year.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 108)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 108)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Facebook’s new Local app, updated ad optimisation and more Stories distribution. There’s extra visual search on Pinterest and following Instagram hashtags.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Facebook unveils new and improved Local app

This latest offering from Facebook is an updated version of its Events app, which will connect users with places and events areound them based on categories (e.g. sport,food,shopping). With users able to filter results by categories such as relevance, distance and rating, it’s never been more important to have your ratings in top shape on Facebook and your profile complete and up-to-date.

Read more here.

Instagram testing hashtag follow feature

If this test works out, people / profiles won’t be the only thing you can follow on Twitter. Instead, like using Twitter on platforms like Tweetdeck, you’ll be able to follow hashtags to stay up-to-date with specific topics and interests. If your brand’s hashtag game isn’t on-point on the platform, now’s the time to review and update to ensure your content’s included in these hashtag feeds (assuming, of course, the feature rolls out globally in the months ahead).

Read more about the test here.

Facebook’s new ad option

Advertisers just got a new Facebook tool. Aptly named Campaign Budget Optimisation, the tool will automatically allocate budget to the highest performing ad set once the campaign budget is set, meaning total campaign spend is optimised and not spent unnecessarily on under-performing ad sets within a campaign.

More about Campaign Budget Optimisation here.

Pinterest now has 3,000 visually searchable categories

The platform this week announced updates to its Lens and Visual Search capabilities, including a QR code style tool called Pincodes which will allow users scan direct from a code through to a board. It’s a timely reminder of the importance of visual search for brands in their content marketing strategy.

More on updates to Pinterest Lens and Visual Search here.

Facebook expands Stories

Brace yourself, Facebook Stories are coming to your newsfeed. The updated version of Stories launched this week and it’ll allow Stories to be linked to Events, Pages and Groups. It’ll also start delivering these Stories (including those from Instagram and Messenger) to the top of your Facebook feed – another opportunity to get timely, daily snapshots out to your community.

Read more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

New tech news: GoPro Fusion and 360 video

New tech news: GoPro Fusion and 360 video

Every now and then something comes along with the potential to shift the landscape. In our first edition of New Tech News we dive into the growing use of 360 video and video production, along with the latest 360 video offering from market leader GoPro.

 

The state of 360 video

Across the industry, 360 has yet to be fully embraced by large audiences, despite the high positive sentiment it’s received to date. This could be attributed to a number of things – capable hardware, slow internet speeds or even lack of interest. But, as the major players like Youtube, Facebook and Vimeo continue to develop support for 360 and VR videos, we’ll likely start to see that change.

Until now the production of 360 video (particularly post-production), has been a complex and arduous task that demanded a lot of specialised equipment, software and know-how to be able to produce a quality final product. This started to change this year thanks to Samsung’s redesigned Gear 360 camera and software (which does most of the hard work for you), Adobe’s integration of 360 video editing directly into Premiere Pro CC and now the GoPro Fusion.

 

GoPro Fusion

Although there’s already a number of consumer-focused 360 cameras on the market, the GoPro Fusion is a step above.

Why? Basically, it seamlessly fits within the existing GoPro infrastructure including mounts, gimbals, grips and software – instant appeal for those already operating within the GoPro world.

The camera boasts two lenses, gyroscopic image stabilisation (negating the need for a gimbal), GPS, accelerometer and a built-in compass. The results are incredibly smooth, and with the added benefit of being waterproof (up to a depth of 26’/5m) it continues GoPro’s ‘action cam’ legacy.

One of the most interesting features, however, is what GoPro has dubbed ‘OverCapture’ – a term used for all of the footage captured by the camera that is ‘behind you’ when you are navigating around a 360 video.

The idea is to be able to shoot everything in 360, then choose your angles in post-production – meaning you’ll never have to frame a shot ever again! The result is a 1080 video with extremely slick transitions, visually stunning effects (such as the ‘tiny-planet’ look) and far more flexibility than a single-lens camera will ever offer.

Although the capture of 1080 isn’t a new concept, it’s interesting to see GoPro featuring this and creating software geared towards using the potential of that ‘unused’ footage. The program geared towards this is called Fusion Studio and allows you to create some unique effects that haven’t been possible in the past, as well as being able to colour grade and seamlessly (360 video pun intended) flick your footage through to Premiere and After Effects.

 

 

What does this mean for brands and filmmakers?

The biggest impact will be the almost certain influx of people stepping into the 360 video space and, like any new tech, this present the opportunity to get in on the ground floor with creative productions.

Other opportunities lie in creating something outside GoPro’s intended use. We’ve seen numerous creative executions including commercials, short films, experimental films and even a couple of GoPros getting pretty close to being put in orbit! It’s through these executions that GoPro has cemented itself as a major player in the filmmaking world – if 360 video and the GoPro Fusion are adopted in the same manner we’re set to witness some special filmmaking in the years to come.

 

 

The GoPro Fusion will be available in Australia from November. Shop it here.

References and further GoPro reading: PetaPixel, The Verge, Wired

Image credit: Peta Pixel

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 107)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 107)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

New rules and expanded characters on Twitter, Facebook adds polls for Pages and Messenger chat plugin, Instagram tests tool to add older images to Stories.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Twitter rolls-out new rules

Twitter’s latest rules come into effect this month, aiming to improve user experience and safety by clarifying how it will enforce rules relating to hate speech and harrassment. It’s been a long-standing issue for Twitter and comes as Facebook faces its own issues related to fake news and transparency.

Read more here.

Facebook polls for Pages

Facebook now allows for Pages to quiz their followers thanks to the launch of its new polling tool. Available across desktop and mobile, the tool enables brands to more easily gauge the opinion of and collect information about followers’ opinions. Time to get polling!

Read more about the new polling tool here.

Twitter’s new character limit

This week saw Twitter roll-out its new 280-character limit globally. It’s a change that sees the creative scope and space for tweets expand, while maintaining the brevity that the platform is known for. Double trouble!

Read the Twitter announcement here.

Instagram Stories testing throw-backs

The Instagram is testing a tool that will allow you to a add picture more than 24 hours old to your Instagram Stories. The feature comes with a catch though – all images older than 24 hours will be subject to a ‘date sticker’ so viewers can easily identify older images.

Read more about the test here.

New Facebook Messenger chat plugin

Facebook’s new Messenger chat plugin will allow users to initiate a Messenger chat session with a brand direct from the brand’s website. The plugin is one of Facebook’s most requested features and will support all current Messenger functions (including payments and rich media). This is great news for Messenger users and brands as it means they can connect on the platform they’re already using, rather than via an alternative chat tool.

Read more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 106)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 106)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Facebook ad transparency, Messenger Discover feature, WhatsApp’s delete function, save your tweets and stop-motion being tested on Instagram.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Facebook’s latest transparency initiative

Last week it was Twitter, now Facebook has followed by announcing its own moves towards greater advertising transparency. The changes will see a new ‘View Ads’ option added to Facebook Pages, allowing users to see all the ads being run by a page at a given time. All pages will be subject to this change, with advertisements required to be associated with a page as part of the advertising development and publishing process.

Read more about Facebook’s transparency changes here.

Facebook Messenger’s Discover feature rolls out to Aussies

More than half of Australians now use Facebook Messenger, as the platform this week rolled out its Discover feature to users. The feature allows users to find brands offering services through the Messenger app, with brands including Qantas, Tennis Australia the ABC and Domain already taking advantage of the offering.

Read a full re-cap of the announcement here.

Take that back! You can now delete WhatsApp messages

Ever hit the send button on WhatsApp only to realise you need to take it back? Now you can, with WhatsApp allowing users to delete messages. Be quick though, you’ll only be able to do so within seven minutes of the message being sent.

Read more about the feature being rolled out here.

Finally! Twitter to make it easier to save tweets

Get ready to farewell all the workarounds for saving tweets for later – Twitter is testing a feature that’ll let you save them with a simple bookmarking button.

Read more about the test here.

Is stop-motion coming to Instagram?

Reports this week that Instagram is allowing select users to test a stop-motion tool for their Stories. In a throw-back to the days of Vine-style videos, the tool will let users put up to 50 frames together to create their own stop-motion story. No word yet on if or when the tool will roll-out more widely beyond these select users, but it’ll present brands with another way to create Stories on the platform when it does.

More details here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 105)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 105)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Facebook’s Explore Feed and new group admin features, LinkedIn unveils smart replies, Twitter’s ad transparency centre and Instagram announces Live Guests.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Twitter increases ad transparency

In the wake of the ongoing investigation into how social media advertising impacted the 2016 US Presidential Election, Twitter has announced it will launch a new transparency centre in coming weeks to provide greater transparency over all ads on the platform. It will cover how long ads have been running, overview of advertising creative, ads targeted to you and the personalised information available from your profile which impacts ads you’re eligible to be targeted for.

Read more about the new transparency centre here.

Facebook expands new Explore Feed

Is this the end of organic reach? As part of its new Explore Feed, Facebook is exploring whether to make this the place to receive posts from all pages – not just those you aren’t connected to. While organic reach has been dwindling for years and the ‘pay to play’ mantra for brand content has increased, any permanent switch to this Explore Feed set-up could spell the end of organic reach for good and shake up paid strategies even further.

Read more about the trial of Explore Feed here.

LinkedIn smart replies

LinkedIn wants to help you keep the conversation going, unveiling its smart reply feature which will suggest phrases to keep you chatting. These predictive phrases will help improve the messaging function on mobile and tablet, ultimately aiming to help LinkedIn built its market of professionals using its messaging service. It also signals the platform’s commitment to trialing Artificial Intelligence technology and how it can improve user experience.

Check out more about smart replies in LinkedIn Messaging here.

Facebook group admins get new features

LinkedIn isn’t the only platform looking to improve dialogue this week. Facebook has launched new group admin features this week to help admins communicate with and build their communities. A new welcome post feature will help admins welcome new members, admins will be more readily identifiable, and group-specific profiles based on publicly available information will help group members learn more about each other in the hope that this will foster more and greater connections.

Read more about the features and how they’ll impact your in-group experience here.

Instagram extends Live Guests access

Instagram has rolled out its Live Guests feature to all users. Aimed at young users and the increasing popularity of Instagram Live, the function will allow users to invite anyone who’s watching to join the chat. For now, you’ll only be able to go live with one other person at a time – though you can change who that person is mid-stream.

View the full announcement and additional features from Instagram here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

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