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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Is Knotel poised to turn WeWork from a Unicorn into an Icarus?

August 24, 2019 No Comments

The day of reckoning for the “flexible office space as a startup” is coming, and it’s coming up fast. WeWork’s IPO filing has fired the starting gun on the race to become the game-changer both in the future of property and real estate but also the future of how we live and work. As Churchill once said, “we shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.”

Until recently, WeWork was the ruler by which other flexible-space startups were measured, but questions are now being asked if it deserves its valuation. The profitable IWG plc, formerly Regus, has been a business providing serviced offices, virtual offices, meeting rooms and the rest, for years, and yet WeWork is valued by 10 times more.

That’s not to mention how it exposes landlords to $ 40 billion in rent commitments, something which a few of them are starting to feel rather nervous about.

Some analysts even say WeWork’s IPO is a “masterpiece of obfuscation.”


Startups – TechCrunch


How AMP technology can upgrade your email campaigns

August 22, 2019 No Comments

Accelerated mobile page (AMP) technology is what going to revolutionize bulk email marketing as we know it today.

It enables to add dynamic content to previously static flat email pages, and lets recipients react to it right in the message. To view extra photos or scroll through price offers, customers no longer need to download the site page, open a new tab or click on the link – now they can do it without leaving the email body. Supported by Gmail and Mail.ru and adapted by major online platforms, it will soon extend to other email clients and brands.

How it works

AMP technology is a series of HTML tags backed up by CSS and JS. It aims to speed up the mobile web and optimize page performance, creating new ways for more versatile customer engagement. To send AMP-powered bulk email campaigns, you have to undergo registration at Google as a dynamic content sender and make sure your email automation service provider supports this technology. As for today, the following companies have announced AMP support:

  • eSputnik
  • Stripo
  • Litmus
  • Amazon SES and Amazon Pinpoint
  • SparkPost
  • Twilio Sendgrid

This list will definitely grow, as gearing emails with app functionality is a great opportunity to increase the ROI of your email marketing campaigns.

Benefits of AMP technology

  • Interactive elements increase the recipients’ engagement and as a result the time spent on the emails. The more time a subscriber spends on the email, the more chances they would respond to the offeror make any other active action.
  • Email recipients can directly interact with the content without the necessity to download separate pages. It saves time and makes the shopping experience easier and more satisfactory. And satisfied buyers are more likely to turn into repeat customers.
  • Easy to use, AMP-powered messages improve usability which again leads to bigger responsiveness and engagement.
  • AMP messages do not involve third parties, and the conversation goes only between a sender and a recipient.

Where to apply AMP technology

1. Online shopping

Though a regular flat email can also contain interactive elements like carousels, countdown timers or rollovers, customers should still land on a webpage to browse a catalog or check current product availability. An AMP-powered campaign allows a complete checkout process directly in the email. You can decide upon size/color/material and complete the order without leaving the email. The same approach can be integrated with cart abandonment campaigns allowing people to revise their abandoned carts and make necessary changes if needed.

2. Booking

AMP email can benefit travel industry brands by enabling people to check available tickets, rooms, car trips, or tables at your favorite restaurant. Apart from simply seeing how many offers are left, you can also choose a seat number or specify a location. For example, you might state you would prefer a back row buying a movie ticket or a window seat when reserving a flight.

3. Delivery

Companies providing delivery services can send AMP emails that will allow real-time tracking of the courier with their order rather than just notify the status change.

4. Event invitations

Backed up by AMP technology, invitation emails now can let recipients RSVP to an event and make the necessary comments, for example, confirm participation in a webinar or choose the time for a skype call.

5. Surveys and polls

AMP technology can generate benign conditions for expanding survey emails, making it easy to participate in polls and fill out questionnaires. It also makes possible leaving feedback or review in the real-time, seeing all updates on the existing comments.

6. Financial sector

Adopting AMP emails can also be transformative for the financial industry. An online calculator form built within the email will help clarify the loan details, perform an estate appraisal or make other basic calculations straight in the email.

7. Subscription

With the help of AMP technology, you can manage your subscription in a more convenient way. Now you can not only subscribe to newsletters but also choose the time and frequency of these messages.

How to start sending AMP emails

Before you dive into the creation of AMP campaigns, make sure both email agent of the recipient and your ESP support the AMP technology. The next step is to contact Google as a dynamic content sender and ask them to add your email address to the whitelist. Here is how to do it:

To register with Google, create two similar emails: HTML email and an email with an AMP part

how to use amp in emails

HTML – email

AMP HTML – email

  1. Add dynamic content and make sure AMP elements get validated.
  2. Test whether the AMP campaign has the appropriate appearance and behavior.
  3. Verify your sender domain with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
  4. Send both emails from your corporate email address to ampforemail.whitelisting@gmail.com.
  5. Fill in the Sender Registration Form.
  6. Wait till Google sends you an email notifying that you have been approved for sending AMP email to Gmail accounts.

Keep in mind that your authorization may take several days after which you will be able to send AMP-powered emails.

Though the technology of accelerated mobile pages is still under development, its potential is great. Billions of emails are sent on a daily basis, and almost 70% of them are read on mobile devices. This means that a bigger part of the interaction between the brand and its customers happens via emails and SMS campaigns.

AMP technology, when smartly integrated into the overall marketing strategy, will definitely make this interaction more beneficial for each party. Customers will get more convenient and satisfying interaction experience, and companies will be able to grow email responsiveness and encourage more active actions.

Zhanna Tarakanova is PR Manager at eSputnik.

The post How AMP technology can upgrade your email campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Twitter picks up team from narrative app Lightwell in its latest effort to improve conversations

August 22, 2019 No Comments

Twitter’s ongoing, long-term efforts to make conversations easier to follow and engage with on its platform is getting a boost with the company’s latest acquihire. The company has picked up the team behind Lightwell, a startup that had built a set of developer tools to build interactive, narrative apps, for an undisclosed sum. Lightwell’s founder and CEO, Suzanne Xie, is becoming a director of product leading Twitter’s Conversations initiative, with the rest of her small four-person team joining her on the conversations project.

(Sidenote: Sara Haider, who had been leading the charge on rethinking the design of Conversations on Twitter, most recently through the release of twttr, Twitter’s newish prototyping app, announced that she would be moving on to a new project at the company after a short break. I understand twttr will continue to be used to openly test conversation tweaks and other potential changes to how the app works. )

The Lightwell/Twitter news was announced late yesterday both by Lightwell itself and Twitter’s VP of product Keith Coleman. A Twitter spokesperson also confirmed the deal to TechCrunch in a short statement today: “We are excited to welcome Suzanne and her team to Twitter to help drive forward the important work we are doing to serve the public conversation,” he said. Interestingly, Twitter is on a product hiring push it seems. Other recent hires Coleman noted were Other recent product hires include Angela Wise and Tom Hauburger. Coincidentally, both joined from autonomous companies, respectively Waymo and Voyage.

To be clear, this is more acqui-hire than hire: only the Lightwell team (of what looks like three people) is joining Twitter. The Lightwell product will no longer be developed, but it is not going away, either. Xie noted in a separate Medium post that apps that have already been built (or plan to be built) on the platform will continue to work. It will also now be free to use.

Lightwell originally started life in 2012 as Hullabalu, as one of the many companies producing original-content interactive children’s stories for smartphones and tablets. In a sea of children-focused storybook apps, Hullabalu’s stories stood out not just because of the distinctive cast of characters that the startup had created, but for how the narratives were presented: part book, part interactive game, the stories engaged children and moved narratives along by getting the users to touch and drag elements across the screen.

hullabalu lightwell

After some years, Hullabalu saw an opportunity to package its technology and make it available as a platform for all developers, to be used not just by other creators of children’s content, but advertisers and more. It seems the company shifted at that time to make Lightwell its main focus.

The Hullabalu apps remained live on the App Store, even when the company moved on to focus on Lightwell. However, they hadn’t been updated in two years’ time. Xie says they will remain as is.

In its startup life, the company went through YCombinator, TechStars, and picked up some $ 6.5 million in funding (per Crunchbase), from investors that included Joanne Wilson, SV Angel, Vayner, Spark Labs, Great Oak, Scout Ventures and more.

If turning Hullabalu into Lightwell was a pivot, then the exit to Twitter can be considered yet another interesting shift in how talent and expertise optimized for one end can be repurposed to meet another.

One of Twitter’s biggest challenges over the years has been trying to create a way to make conversations (also narratives of a kind) easy to follow — both for those who are power users, and for those who are not and might otherwise easily be put off from using the product.

The crux of the problem has been that Twitter’s DNA is about real-time rivers of chatter that flow in one single feed, while conversations by their nature linger around a specific topic and become hard to follow when there are too many people talking. Trying to build a way to fit the two concepts together has foxed the company for a long time now.

At its best, bringing in a new team from the outside will potentially give Twitter a fresh perspective on how to approach conversations on the platform, and the fact that Lightwell has been thinking about creative ways to present narratives gives them some cred as a group that might come up completely new concepts for presenting conversations.

At a time when it seems that the conversation around Conversations had somewhat stagnated, it’s good to see a new chapter opening up.


Social – TechCrunch


T-Mobile hit by hours-long nationwide outage

August 22, 2019 No Comments

T-Mobile customers across the U.S. said they couldn’t make calls or send text messages following an outage.

We tested with a T-Mobile phone in the office. Both calls to and from the T-Mobile phone failed. When we tried to send a text message, it said the message could not be sent. Access to mobile data appeared to be unaffected.

The outage began around 6pm ET.

Users took to social media to complain about the outage. Users across the U.S. said they were affected. A T-Mobile support account said the cell giant “engaged our engineers and are working on a resolution.”

In a tweet two hours into the outage, chief executive John Legere acknowledged the company was struggling to get back online but noted that the company had “already started to see signs of recovery.”

By 10:34pm ET, the issue had been resolved, tweeted T-Mobile chief technology officer Neville Ray, without saying what caused the four-hour long outage.

T-Mobile is the third largest cell carrier after Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) and AT&T. The company had its proposed $ 26.5 billion merger with Sprint approved by the Federal Communications Commission, despite a stream of state attorneys general lining up to block the deal.

Updated with acknowledgement by chief executive John Legere, and later from Neville Ray.

Mobile – TechCrunch


New Releases on Hero Academy! Starting Pinterest & Apple Search Ads

August 21, 2019 No Comments

Hero Academy is Hanapin’s newest initiative featuring short and basic how-tos on paid advertising in a variety of platforms.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: The League founder and CEO Amanda Bradford on modern dating, and whether Bumble is a ‘real’ startup

August 20, 2019 No Comments

Welcome to this week’s transcribed edition of This is Your Life in Silicon Valley. We’re running an experiment for Extra Crunch members that puts This is Your Life in Silicon Valley in words – so you can read from wherever you are.

This is your Life in Silicon Valley was originally started by Sunil Rajaraman and Jascha Kaykas-Wolff in 2018. Rajaraman is a serial entrepreneur and writer (Co-Founded Scripted.com, and is currently an EIR at Foundation Capital), Kaykas-Wolff is the current CMO at Mozilla and ran marketing at BitTorrent.

Rajaraman and Kaykas-Wolff started the podcast after a series of blog posts that Sunil wrote for The Bold Italic went viral. The goal of the podcast is to cover issues at the intersection of technology and culture – sharing a different perspective of life in the Bay Area. Their guests include entrepreneurs like Sam Lessin, journalists like Kara Swisher and Mike Isaac, politicians like Mayor Libby Schaaf and local business owners like David White of Flour + Water.

This week’s edition of This is Your Life in Silicon Valley features Amanda Bradford – Founder/CEO of The League. Amanda talks about modern dating, its limitations, its flaws, why ‘The League’ will win. Amanda provides her candid perspective on other dating startups in a can’t-miss portion of the podcast.

Amanda talks about her days at Salesforce and how it influenced her decision to build a dating tech product that focused on data, and funnels. Amanda walks through her own process of finding her current boyfriend on ‘The League’ and how it came down to meeting more people. And that the flaw with most online dating is that people do not meet enough people due to filter bubbles, and lack of open criteria.

Amanda goes in on all of the popular dating sites, including Bumble and others, providing her take on what’s wrong with them. She even dishes on Raya and Tinder – sharing what she believes are how they should be perceived by prospective daters. The fast-response portion of this podcast where we ask Amanda about the various dating sites really raised some eyebrows and got some attention.

We ask Amanda about the incentives of online dating sites, and how in a way they are created to keep members online as long as possible. Amanda provides her perspective on how she addresses this inherent conflict at The League, and how many marriages have been shared among League members to date.

We ask Amanda about AR/VR dating and what the future will look like. Will people actually meet in person in the future? Will it be more like online worlds where we wear headsets and don’t actually interact face to face anymore? The answers may surprise you. We learn how this influences The League’s product roadmap.

The podcast eventually goes into dating stories from audience members – including some pretty wild online dating stories from people who are not as they seem. We picked two audience members at random to talk about their entertaining online dating stories and where they led. The second story really raised eyebrows and got into the notion that people go at great lengths to hide their real identities.

Ultimately, we get at the heart of what online dating is, and what the future holds for it.   If you care about the future of relationships, online dating, data, and what it all means this episode is for you.

For access to the full transcription, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free. 

Sunil Rajaraman: I just want to check, are we recording? Because that’s the most important question. We’re recording, so this is actually a podcast and not just three people talking randomly into microphones.

I’m Sunil Rajaraman, I’m co-host of this podcast, This is Your Life in Silicon Valley, and Jascha Kaykas-Wolff is my co-host, we’ve been doing this for about a year now, we’ve done 30 shows, and we’re pleased today to welcome a very special guest, Jascha.

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff: Amanda.

Amanda Bradford: Hello everyone.

GettyImages 981543806

Amanda Bradford. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Kaykas-Wolff: We’re just going to stare at you and make it uncomfortable.

Bradford: Like Madonna.

Kaykas-Wolff: Yeah, so the kind of backstory and what’s important for everybody that’s in the audience to know is that this podcast is not a pitch for a product, it’s not about a company, it’s about the Bay Area. And the Bay Area is kind of special, but it’s also a little bit fucked up. I think we all kind of understand that, being here.

So what we want to do in the podcast is talk to people who have a very special, unique relationship with the Bay Area, no matter creators that are company builders, that are awesome entrepreneurs, that are just really cool and interesting people, and today we are really, really lucky to have an absolutely amazing entrepreneur, and also pretty heavy hitter in the technology scene. In a very specific and very special category of technology that Sunil really, really likes. The world of dating.

Rajaraman: Yeah, so it’s funny, the backstory to this is, Jascha have both been married, what, long time-

Kaykas-Wolff: Long time.

Rajaraman: And we have this weird fascination with online dating because we see a lot of people going through it, and it’s a baffling world, and so I want to demystify it a bit with Amanda Bradford today, the founder CEO of The League.

Bradford: You guys are like all of the married people looking at the single people in the petri dishes.

Rajaraman: So, I’ve done the thing where we went through it with the single friends who have the app, swiping through on their behalf, so it’s sort of like a weird thing.

Bradford: I know, we’re like a different species, aren’t we?


Social – TechCrunch


The 11 best startups from Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Day 1

August 20, 2019 No Comments

Y Combinator, the genesis for many of the companies that have shaped Silicon Valley including Airbnb, PagerDuty and Stripe, has minted another 200 some graduates. Half of those companies made their pitch to investors today during Day 1 of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 Demo Day event and we’re here to tell you which startups are on the fast-track to the unicorn club.

Eighty-four startups presented (read the full run-through of every company plus some early analysis here) and after chatting with investors, batch founders and of course, debating amongst ourselves, we’ve nailed down the 11 most promising startups to present during Day 1. We’ll be back Tuesday with our second round of top picks.



Startups – TechCrunch


How to View Click Map of a Page in Google Analytics

August 20, 2019 No Comments

Click maps are a great way to visually see where visitors are clicking on a page. Google Analytics provides click map under Content –> In-Page Analytics (See below).

Click on In-Page Analytics and the first page that you will see is your site’s home page. To view a different page, either click on a link on the home page (still within In Page Analytics) or select a page from drop down available on top left (see below).

Other options

  • Select click, goal value or a goal to display on click map and also a threshold from the drop down next to it.
  • Show Bubbles – this shows the orange bubbles and the numbers that you see in the report. This is the default view, when you first land on the page.
  • Show Colors – this options add another visual to the way you view click map, it is sort of heat map of clicks.
  •  Browser Size – This options show what percent of your visitors who see the area displayed in your report. By choosing this option you get a slider that allows you to slide and choose percent of visitors. As you choose the visitor percent, the page resizes to show the area of the page, those percent of visitors see.

[adsense]


Google Analytics Premium


3 Killer Strategies for Custom Affinity Audience Campaigns

August 20, 2019 No Comments

Learn more about 3 killer strategies for using custom affinity audience targeting on the GDN, results and key lessons learned from managing this campaign type.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


The Poem on the Statue of Liberty Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

August 19, 2019 No Comments

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, thinks the poem on the Statue of Liberty could use a rewrite. Yes, really.
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