Posts Taged social-media

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 facebook f8 conference

What do you think about Facebook’s F8 statements? The Canvy Team summarized them for you

Facebook is one of the most important social media platforms, currently engaging 1.86 billion monthly active users. As you all know, it is one of the platforms integrated by Canvy, communications-wise. With our contact manager app Canvy, you can see your contacts’ Facebook account, and you can reach them via this channel, if active and set as preferred.

Therefore Facebook-related news is a matter of tangential interest for us. Recently (aka, on 18-19 April 2017), the company held its (quasi) annual F8 conference. The future plans unveiled this year in San Jose, California, sent ripples all through the tech world. Why is that?

Mind-controlled technology

As he confessed in 2016, Mark Zuckerberg wants to build a next-generation computer platform in which “people are the foundational element.” In view of this, his company uses R&D that should lead to valid prototypes of brain-computer experiences.

A while ago, Zuckerberg referred to AR and VR as appealing extensions of traditional human interactions. Yet Facebook’s Oculus VR venture got hit in 2016-2017 by a lawsuit where the court ruled in favor of their opponent, Zenimax. The $500 million in damages Facebook has to pay dampened a bit Zuckerberg’s VR enthusiasm. Add to this the fact that at the beginning of April 2017 the company is dragged into court via yet another Oculus-related lawsuit, the immediate future of Facebook VR is not looking so good.

However, the plans for brain-computer integration are not suspended, as the F8 discussions revealed. Apparently, a team of 60 engineers lodged in the Building 8 works on a technology that should allow us to type words on a computer by using just our minds.

Technology aims to materialize SF concepts

Although we are living in times of huge scientific and technological progress, many of us tend to still feel amazed by concepts like the ones of the Facebook F8 Conference. Typing words by using just our minds, hearing via the skin (for hearing-impaired persons), creating brain interfaces – all these are unsettling in a certain way, as TechCrunch puts it.

Perfecting such technology would break the inner-outer world barrier, in what the human mind is concerned. The optional character of giving up the privacy of our thoughts already is the big question for some. The F8 news reached various mass-media publications and became viral, and there are voices talking about tech-induced telepathy as a Facebook project.

Of course, all those familiarized with science know it’s a long and winding road from concept to prototype. Yet, it is also only logical for a company as big as Facebook to either understate the magnitude of its progress, in order to (relatively) keep it under the wraps, or to overstate it, as part of trying to raise brand interest.

Whichever the case, the recent unveilings surely managed to create quite a buzz.

How close are we to this utopian future of communications?

By utopian, we mean close to SF depictions, as we also hinted above. It all points towards an image of people employing technology to a high degree, while dropping the current hardware and UI. Imagine talking on your phone, without having to get it out of your pocket or sending a message by using just your thoughts. And, apparently, thought-sharing is not language-conditioned, so this kind of communications would go beyond cultural barriers as we know them today.

The head of Facebook’s experimental technologies division is Mrs. Regina Dugan, who previously led DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) as its 19th Director. She left in 2012 for Google, where she created and lead the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. The ATAP generated Google’s Project Tango and Project Ara.

Now with the Building 8 research team, she hopes to reach the stage of having a brain sensor prototype ready within 18 months. This prototype should be able to type 100 words per minute, as instructed by human thought. Once marking this milestone, the company aims to mass-produce and sell the resulting sensor.