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Canvy Facebook messenger for kids

Social media market enlargement – as reflected in Messenger for kids

We seem to be hearing a lot about technology use among seniors and/or social media for the elderly. Of course, this is just one side of the audience spectrum, while the other consists of the young(est) audience. Both segments are potential sources for a demographic market enlargement, as they provide constant technology and social media users, currently embedded in the overall audience.

Targeting these categories separately would surely be a profitable move – but is it also a common sense decision?

 

Quick case study of the Messenger for kids situation

The Facebook Messenger App for kids is designed for “kids 6-12 to connect with their family and friends, with parental controls to ensure they do so safely. It includes real-time video chat with AR effects for more fun!” – see more details here.

But why the fragmentation? Of course, as a contact management app, we may easily say that the more social media channels, the better. This means that people have an increasingly acute need to centralize various messages incoming on different channels, much to their exasperation. As long as the main channels are integrable at a policy level, as well as at a technical level, their fragmentation provides for the thriving of contact management apps.

However the question remains – why go for fragmentation, as a social media company? The messenger for kids seem to be packing in Snapchat-esque features and a hybrid type of parental control, where Facebook vouches for parental approved content circulating between the kids, yet the parents cannot see the chats. At least that’s what we gathered from a brief browsing of this topic.

The audience would consist of the kids that already use the full Messenger (doubtfully, since going for a lesser, more childish version is frankly a no-no), and the kids that would use the full Messenger, but aren’t allowed to. So it would be parent-approved, Facebook-supervised tool. The dream of every 6-12 child that yearns for digital communications.

 

How about the elderly?

Imagining a symmetrical move to the other side of the audience spectrum, the elderly should get their own Facebook or Messenger, where they could… I don’t know, exchange nostalgia messages, apply retro filters, play Bingo or have other “specific” activities.

Isn’t it weird how we stand united in separation? Why split the audience (besides dreams of, no, not of sugar plums, but of profit), and this after a century long experience that people do not like to do as they are told?

The elderly do, generally, have more time on their hands, compared to how their schedule looked like one or two decades ago. But they are also re-enjoying life as it is, with fresh air in the morning, with telling stories to their grandsons, with having tea with friends and real-time gossiping. In fact, they are a fickle audience when it comes to social media, because they might just be wiser and more real in their options than the younger adults are.

Welcoming them on social media could mean embedding extra options into the already-existing apps. Or, yet again, it may translate into a lot of fuss, market studies, extra apps or customized apps. Which one do you think it would be the best?

 

Market enlargement done right

Yes, there are audience segments that could use some extra attention and custom-tailored options.

Yes, by stimulating these people to be more active on social media, the specific market would most likely increase its dynamism and in fact would stand an “enlargement” process.

But adding extra apps in the already crowded digital landscape is counter-intuitive. Competitors have to stand together in the same niche, yet two and more apps from the same brand, due to, well, different targeting, is just too much.

Supplementary fragmentation leads to annoyance and confusion. Friends, business contacts, family and peers would be ultimately spread out among an indefinite number of social media applications, randomly open and shut, each one beaconing their notifications, each one difficult to configure, mute and so on.

Why not put users in control – for real? Allow the existing apps to be refined in a way that would meet specific needs. Kids – load preset configuration number 1! Elderly – load and customize preset configuration number 3!

Wonder if that is actually technically possible – but what isn’t, nowadays?

 

Canvy Team digital precognition

The Canvy Team ponders on the need for digital precognition, as displayed by the Google Search

In a world of progress and digital revolution, the leading-edge tech companies have made it clear that mastering big data is the key to success. However, not all businesses have the resources to directly tap into this ocean of raw information. Yet all need to get exactly the right details out of it – in order to sell better, and provide better services to their customers. The percentage of companies that pay for “Interpreted-Data-as-a-Service” is most likely higher than the one of the companies that handle their own data needs on premise.

This is definitely one way to succeed in the modern business world – extrapolating and interpreting data. We might even say obsessing about it, when the results prove unsatisfactory – a sort of passion about numbers that holds the promise of the ultimate clarity, of the logical anticipation of the following key strategic steps.

 

Reducing the options, a way of better handling big data

Recently, Google’s search app on iOS got a Twitter-like “trending” feature, as well as the capability of displaying the estimated search results “even before (the users) press the search button”. Of course, the Android users of the Google App are already used with the “trending” suggestions, which appeared approximately one year ago – generating a long line of complaints.

Well, it seems like not all customers complaints’ are seen as constructive feedback by the company. Google simply goes on with certain features, regardless of the way the audience receives them. Probably, the higher purpose in introducing certain changes prevails.

And definitely a very important role of many of the latest changes, from algorithms to app updates or digital tools’ changes is related to what the machines need, in order to be able to process the global data and produce relevant results. For attaining a reasonable predictability, the algorithms need to evolve or – a more short-term alternative – to be fed logically organized data.

 

The randomness that usually characterizes human nature just isn’t that productive at the moment

Therefore, when searching for whatever goes through your mind on Google, its search app prompts various “nearest” categories, trying to eliminate unnecessary variation. Perhaps you call the same thing a different way, and in fact you are looking for exactly what your next-door neighbor is looking for. Perhaps you are susceptible of being influenced and you will end up looking for the same thing your neighbor looked for… the reasons you might take Google’s suggestions instead of using your own head are countless.

The outcome is what matters – big data becomes more logical, more efficiently digestible. Bots and algorithms can provide valid final predictions and results, businesses adopt these tools on a large scale. This technology is successful, even in its more rudimentary forms (as opposed to the highly advanced projects that try to materialize AGI)…

 

Digital precognition, data and businesses

Machine Learning is built on the (valid) assumption that the human brain works as a machine would, only it is an extremely sophisticated system. Well, this theory would find a lot of opponents, and even when accepted, it includes listing many exceptions, in order to fully describe the way we think and function.

However, the schematics of this concept are enough for the ML promoters to work on. Developing more and more advanced software tools, those who work in this field learn as they go along, combining the commercial value of each step and intermediary tool with their experimental value. The activity is both interesting and profitable.

Digital precognition, or the capacity of anticipating certain elements, from market movements to people’s reactions or choices, is already incipiently present in various software tools. Monitoring or cybersecurity tools, for example, are in some cases capable of alerting the users on the probability of an incident.

Therefore, we may say we already have achieved a certain degree of digital precognition.  Also, by teaching people to organize their thoughts and think in a less complicated/sophisticated way, the point where machines meet human thinking gets closer and closer.

Out of curiosity, just ask yourself what each update in your favorite apps that does not feel quite comfortable is in fact trying to teach you?