Friday, February 27, 2015

Using social media? Here's three tips to boost results by effectively using hashtags.

More than 27 million people have seen Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake join forces in the fight against #overzealous #hashtaggers.

Here's our top three tips for using hashtags:

1). Beware of hashtag overload: The use of excessive hashtags seems desperate and can even be perceived as spam. According to one study, the number of hashtags for optimal engagement is 7. Be strategic with the help of sites like Websta, Populagram, and TagsforLikes - they’ll tell you what’s trending at any given time to help you maximize your hashtag’s impact.

2). Consider color theory: Stay away from posting anything too dark. Light, bright images produce 24% more likes than dark photos. Photos that have blue as the dominant color also reportedly attract 24% more likes (when compared to images in red).

3). Offer a “behind the scenes” glimpse: People are inherently voyeuristic. Giving your customers a sneak peek into how the sausage gets made can be an effective social tool. If you’re a jewelry designer, post photos of your studio or a mood board that inspired your latest collection. You’ll make your customers feel like they have a closer relationship to your company.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's Magic - send a text and get anything you want!

It's one of the latest additions to the service economy, similar to Alfred, WunWun or Instacart. But it's trying to one-up them all.

Customers can request literally any (legal) item or service by texting "Magic" to 408-217-1721 (no app download required). All communication is over text, and payments are processed by Stripe.

"Our premise is basically, if there's something you want, there's a way to get it to you," said Magic co-founder Mike Chen. "The only barrier is time and money."

The startup has helped people pick out outfits and order them online, find legal help and get Indian food delivered. (They don't do any deliveries themselves -- everything is outsourced).

In just three days, Magic has added over 1,000 customers to its database and fulfilled over 1,700 requests.

Magic wasn't intended to launch so soon, and some have reported glitches. Chen and his co-founders - Ben Godlove, David Merriman, Nic Novak and Michael Rubin - were working on a different app in Y Combinator's current batch of startups. Magic grew out of that business, and the founders let a few friends test it out.

But for users, there are no price guarantees. Because Magic piggybacks on services available in your locale, those living outside major cities will likely pay a pretty penny.

Other similar startups have chosen to scale at a very careful pace. (WunWun, for instance, has been around for 16 months and only services three markets). Magic, meanwhile, accepts customers from the entire US - those in major cities like New York and San Francisco have been the most frequent.
But so far, Magic's happiest customers have been those living on the outskirts of cities, since up until now, few startups have catered to their needs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Parents rejoice - new YouTube app now offers parental controls.

It is touted to be "the first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind" and is available for Android and iOS users.

It offers a curated selection of videos appropriate for young viewers and features a "bright and playful design" meant to grab the attention of kids.

YouTube for Kids has four sections: shows, music, learning, and explore.

The collection of videos comprise a pretty extensive vault of popular children's content from Reading Rainbow, DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends, and others.

Also, it comes with a number of parental controls such as, a timer to set viewing limits, sound options at your disposal to cut off music or sound effects. It is also possible to disable the search function, a move that can limit your kids programming options to what's on the app's home screen.

YouTube said that it was "just getting started" with the app and invited parents to send in feedback.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lenovo in hot water after shipping laptops with malware pre-installed.

Computer maker Lenovo has been shipping laptops pre-packaged with malware that makes you more vulnerable to hackers - all for the sake of serving you advertisements.

Made by a company called Superfish, the software is essentially an Internet browser add-on that injects ads onto websites you visit.

Besides taking up space in your Lenovo computer, the add-on is also dangerous because it undermines basic computer security protocols.

That’s because it tampers with a widely used system of official website certificates. That makes it hard for your computer to recognize a fake bank website, for instance.

Customers started spotting this on their Lenovo computers in mid 2014.

After facing a fierce backlash by customers and computer security experts this week, Lenovo acknowledged that "user feedback was not positive." As of January, Lenovo has stopped pre-loading the software on new computers, a company spokesman said. Lenovo also promised it "will not pre-load this software in the future" and said it disabled the feature on its servers, which essentially kills the program on everyone’s computer.

Source: Yahoo Tech