The narrative that the messaging apps of the world (Kik, Tango, WhatsApp, Snapchat etc) are the next big “growth hacking” channel continues to gain momentum. This article from TechCrunch adds a bit more fuel to that fire. It describes Kik’s new promoted chats, which allow users to opt in to connect with brands. I haven’t tested this yet myself, but the actual functionality sounds odds to me. Apparently, brands can set keywords that trigger predefined responses based on a user’s messages to the brand.
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VP Growth @ HubSpot
Founding Partners @ 500 Startups
Bing is planning to follow in Google’s footsteps in removing device specific targeting entirely. In conjunction with that release in Spring 2015, Bing announced that App Extensions will be available for sites that have mobile apps. These extensions will only appear in response to queries on mobile devices. If you run Bing campaigns this would be well worth the 60 seconds of setup time come Spring.
Product & Design
I’m a sucker for the “tear down” genre because I always come away from each post with at least one steal-able idea. This post takes the tear down to the next level in that he uses short, looping videos rather than screenshots as he looks at the Square Order app. I really like the animations used in the app’s walkthrough.
Phones are getting bigger, but our hands aren’t. In this post Luke Wroblewski presents a few UX patterns that may help mobile interactions remain comfortable even on jumbo phones. I particularly liked the idea of Floating Action Buttons (it is at the bottom of the post).
The general theory about Penguin 3.0 is that if you have spammy, inbound links then you will be/have been penalized. This post rejects that theory, and suggests that that if your outbound link portfolio is spammy then those links will be ignored, or you may be penalized in some cases. If search represents a material percentage of your traffic I highly recommend you give this a quick read.
This post should bring you up to speed on the latest and greatest in email. The author describes the Gmail Grid View trial, Google Inbox, and a few other developments you may have missed in the past year. I thought the most interesting point (albeit an intuitive one) was that bigger phone screen sizes mean preheaders in email will have even more real estate & importance.
Search Engine Land has the scoop on a new, experimental Google Shopping ad flow. For this experiment, Google is returning products, grouped by category, in response to branded queries. The trick here is that on click users don’t end up on the brand’s site. Instead, they are dropped into a pre-filtered Google Shopping page. At this point this is just an experiment, and it may or may not roll out more broadly. I’m guessing the argument in favor of this format is that it would make it easier for users to find and buy specific products. You could also argue that, in this case, Google Shopping looks a lot like a spam website that scrapes all of its content from other sites.
Jobs & Hiring
I know this listing is a bit atypical for this newsletter, but I wanted to give this a try:
I have over 3 years of experience in the trenches adapting Salesforce to fit the needs of large sales & marketing teams. I’m comfortable working with both the Sales & Service cloud solutions. I’m looking for project based work and I am happy to come on site or work remotely.
If you are interested in connecting with Steve please email me (Adam) and I can connect you.
Twenty20 is bringing stock photography into the modern, mobile age. We’ve got 250,000 photographers and 45mm photos on our platform for authentic, artistic stock photography. The next step? Acquiring buyers who are looking for a new, different kind of photo. We’re looking for an acquisition expert who can help us architect and iterate on a strategy to market to buyers through a number of different channels and work with our senior team on building a product awesome enough to retain them.
Trove is an innovative social news reader launched in January 2014. An incubated start-up business within Graham Holdings (the new name of The Washington Post Company), Trove used to be known as WaPo Labs and was the R&D team that supported The Washington Post Media unit. At its core, Trove is a cutting edge news personalization technology. We’re looking to add a marketing manager to our team in Washington, DC who can help us scale the Trove community by efficiently bringing new users into the mobile app and web experience.