Taking control of my data and social media


© Andrei Lacatusu Earlier this month, I set a resolution to blog more and use social media less. While I still need to work on blogging more, I'm certainly spending less time on Facebook. I'm halfway there. So far, only my mom has complained about me spending less time on Facebook.

This morning when my alarm woke me up at 4:45am, I took it a step further. Most mornings, I spend ten minutes checking Facebook on my phone. Today, however, I deleted the Facebook application from my phone, rolled out of bed and started my workday. Great!

As an advocate for the open web, I've written a lot about the problems that Facebook and other walled gardens pose. While I have helped raise awareness and have contributed time and money to winning back the open web, I haven't fully embraced the philosophy on my own site. For over 12 years, I've blogged on my own domain and have used Open Source software instead of using a third party service like Blogger or Medium, but I can't say the same about sharing my photos or social media updates. This has bothered me for some time.

I felt even more motivated to make a change after watching David Letterman's new Netflix series. During a conversation with his first guest, President Obama, Letterman shared the fear that his son will one day ask, "Wait a minute. You knew this was a problem, and you didn't do anything about it?". Letterman's sentiment mirrors Jeff Bezos' regret minimization framework; when you look back on your life, you want to minimize the number of regrets you have. It's a principle I like to live by.

We can't have a handful of large platform companies like Facebook control what people read on the web; their impact on democracy and society is concerning. Even Facebook doesn't like what it sees when it looks in the mirror.

Today is not only the day I uninstalled Facebook from my phone, but it's the day I fully embrace and extend my new year's resolution. Not only would I like to use social media less, I want to take back control over my social media, photos and more. I also want to contribute more to the open web in the process — it will be a worthwhile personal challenge for 2018.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Netflix functions without client-side React, and it’s a good thing

Recently Netflix removed client-side React from their landing page which caused a bit of a stir. So Jake Archibald investigated why the team did that and how it’s actually a good thing for the React community in the long term:

When the PS4 was released in 2013, one of its advertised features was progressive downloading – allowing gamers to start playing a game while it's downloading. Although this was a breakthrough for consoles, the web has been doing this for 20 years. The HTML spec (warning: 8mb document), despite its size, starts rendering once ~20k is fetched.
Unfortunately, it's a feature we often engineer-away with single page apps, by channelling everything through a medium that isn't streaming-friendly, such as a large JS bundle.

I like the whole vibe of this post because it suggests that we should be careful when we pick our tools; we only should pick the right tool for the right job, instead of treating every issue as if it needs a giant hammer made of JavaScript. Also! Burke Holland wrote a funny piece last week on this topic with some of his thoughts.
Direct Link to Article — Permalink
Netflix functions without client-side React, and it’s a good thing is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


Save 15% or More on Car Insurance by Switching to Plain JavaScript

Satire disclaimer: This article is as much satire as it is serious insight if there is even any of that at all. Don’t take it too seriously, but do tell all your friends. Also, the bit about Taco Bell is 100% true. I wouldn’t joke about something like that.

My day usually begins like this: I wake up at 6:15 a.m. (kill me) to get the kids ready for school. They’re mad. I’m mad. Everyone is on the brink of an emotional breakdown because it's 6:15 in the morning.
Usually the first thing that I do when I wake up is roll out of bed and start hammering out pushups like Christian Bale.

BWAHAHAHA. No.
Before I’m even fully awake and out of bed, I grab my phone and look at Twitter. It’s a sickness, I know. I’m not proud of it but at least I’m out here admitting that I have a problem and I believe according to the rules of science that fully negates my problem and makes me better than you.
One morning a few weeks ago I wake up to this tweet…

Removing client-side React.js (but keeping it on the server) resulted in a 50% performance improvement on our landing page pic.twitter.com/vM7JhWhYKu
— Netflix UI Engineers (@NetflixUIE) October 26, 2017
The wonderful thing about Twitter is that there is essentially zero context for anything you see, which means your crazy brain gets to fill in all the holes and, in my case, that’s a recipe for utter disaster.
Here is how I read this tweet….
Heavily doctored by me. My Photoshop skills are a huge embarrassing failure.
I believe my brain read it that way because that’s literally what the original tweet says. My brain just adds the “Your whole life is a lie” part to pretty much everything I read or hear.
Your Whole Life is a Lie
This immediately dumped me into an existential crisis.
To be fair, I’m almost constantly in a state of crisis so it’s not like this was a big leap for me. Just last night at Taco Bell I had to choose between the Beefy 5-layer Burrito and the Cheesy Gordita Crunch and I almost came apart in the drive through. You can’t force decisions like that on people and expect an immediate response! And why do I need 50 packets of Fire sauce!?!
The point is that I’m kind of emotionally fragile as it is, so you can’t suggest to me that you got rid of React because all of a sudden people just don’t need it anymore.
I had so, so, so many. questions like:

What about binding?
What about components?
What about state?
What about templates?

You’re telling me that all of a sudden you just don’t need any of that stuff anymore? One does not simply “move to plain JavaScript” by removing React from their project. If you actually did that you would just be moving from React to your own version of React. Facebook could say that their site is built in “plain JavaScript” too. They just decided to name some of that JavaScript “React" in the process.
It was nonsensical. You might as well have said that you saved 15% on car insurance by moving to plain JavaScript. Thankfully, I only had to wait 6 agonizing days before Jake Archibald took to the blogs to clear everything up.

📝 Netflix "removed" React and improved performance.➡️ Despite appearances, this reflects well on React.https://t.co/R8SohrLX6q
— Jake Archibald (@jaffathecake) October 31, 2017

THIS IS NOT HELPING, JAKE! I’M LOSING IT OVER HERE!
The post goes on to explain that Netflix is actually deferring client-side React until it’s needed and going with server rendered React in the meantime. He also points out that it’s only logical that it would be faster because the browser is doing less work. Netflix is apparently loading client-side React in the background. It’s there when you need it, but you don’t have to parse it if you don’t.
I decided to check this out and see for myself what is going on.
Netflix Login
One of the places Jake mentions that server-side React is appropriate is on the login screen. So let’s start there. I loaded the login screen and it looks to me like client-side React is still every much in effect here.

As an aside, Netflix is great at naming things. I mean, look at these components—AkiraLayout, JawboneLinkProvider, FreezedWrapper? OK, FreezedWrapper isn’t that exciting but you can’t take AkiraLayout from me.

So I can’t find where React has been removed. The login page itself comes in at around 194KB and that’s before it loads the loginController.jsx file which bumps it up another 204KB.
I then did what I should have done the first time which is to watch the video from Netflix that was responsible for this descent into the depths of my insecurity and I noticed that they only mentioned the splash page.
The splash page is just netflix.com. No login. No videos. The splash page. That slide? The one that made it’s way all over the internet and into my therapy sessions? That slide is referring only to the splash page. Netflix did remove React from their splash page and replace the few interactions they had with plain JavaScript.
And there is your context. So let’s fix the slide again…

That is the actual story here.
It’s unfortunate that we latch on to a single slide taken completely out of context. This is not the fault of Netflix. Or maybe it is. I mean, they did tweet it out but, look, this is really the fault of 2017. This is how all of the news in our lives plays out.
What’s super unfortunate here, and what Jake was trying to convey in his post, is that we completely missed some actual cool things that Netflix is doing. Mainly the combination of server-side React and Prefetching. Or rather the idea that more complex code can be downloaded and parsed in the background instead of when the page loads.
Prefetching is Not a Solved Problem
We tend to forget that things like prefetching are not necessarily a solved problem. While Service Workers are awesome, Netflix can’t use them because the support is too sparse. Beyond that, the browser Prefetching API is flaky. In that same presentation, Netflix reports that the API (which is just the link tag) has a success rate as low as a 30%. That means your prefetch will only work about a third of the time in some cases. 😳

The reason for this is that the API is trying to make a bunch of decisions about whether or not it should prefetch depending on your device and resources. It’s not a guarantee that your resources will be loaded at all.
What’s most remarkable to me is that Netflix hit on another solution that is so simple it hurts: just make an AJAX call and don’t do anything with the result; the browser will cache that resource.
MY GOODNESS I LOVE THE WEB!
You Uh, Still Need React
So yes, you still need React on the client-side. Netflix is still using it and never said that they were not.
What they did say was that they had figured out some creative ways to make the experience better for the user and had combined that with their current React implementation. This should be exciting to you if you’re a React developer.
Maybe Netflix will open source some library for prefetching with a way cool name. Is "fakenews.js” taken?
Special Thanks to Brian Holt who reviewed this article and was still willing to be my friend.

Save 15% or More on Car Insurance by Switching to Plain JavaScript is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


Movavi Screen Capture Studio Review: Recording Online Videos is a Breeze

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine - creativity & inspiration daily
You wake up for work. The first item on your to-do list is to open up that social media webinar you’ve been looking forward to.
You’re fifteen minutes early and ready to learn about how you can turn your small business into a presence on Facebook. But then, the phone rings. Your kid got sick at school and now you need to come and pick him up. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a quick way to record that webinar for future viewing?
Quite a few versions of screen capture software exist. Some cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Others come as browser extensions or default software installed into your operating system. These tend to work for limited use, but you often run into problems like the amount of time you can capture, resolution difficulties and watered-down features in general.
The main disadvantage to not having a fully-functional screen capture tool is that you often would like to save these full videos for later, without the regular limitations.
For instance, a college professor or business professional might want to show off some relevant YouTube videos but they don’t get internet access in the classroom or at a conference. A company might want to share training courses online, but they’d rather have local files to give to new employees in one batch.
In addition, every single one of these people may want to take a video, grab a screen capture of it, then cut it down to a certain size. This helps with placing a quick video in a presentation, where the actual video online is far too long.
In fact, many university students are known for inserting shortened YouTube videos in their PowerPoint presentations.
In order to take advantage of this functionality, you need a tool like Movavi Screen Capture Studio. It offers a compact program with Windows and Mac versions. You can record online videos and save them to your computer after making edits.

Furthermore, the Movavi Screen Capture Studio doesn’t limit the type of video you record. It seems to open up possibilities for capturing and saving everything from Conan O’Brien clips to videos on the ESPN website.
Seeing as how quite a few people would find this tool helpful, I wanted to give it a spin to see how it performed.
What Can You Record with the Help of Movavi Screen Capture Studio?

TV Programs.
Live Streams.
Videos from YouTube.
Webinars.
Online video courses.
Video marketing materials.
Videos on social media.

Really, screen capture is entirely up to your imagination. Taking a video of a Netflix video is entirely possible for the entertainment junkies out there. There’s also no reason you can’t use Movavi for more professional videos. And, the most obvious use of a screen capture software is to develop your own videos for things like YouTube videos, courses and webinars.
But enough of that. Let’s take a look at my own experience.
Recording With Movavi – Ease of Use
The Movavi Screen Capture Studio downloads directly to your PC or Mac from the Movavi website. There’s no personal information you have to type in. It’s also not a demo version, so the basic functionality of Movavi Screen Capture Studio is there for you to enjoy.
Upon installing an opening Movavi Screen Capture, you see a box with options. It asks whether you’d like to do one of the following:

Record screen.
Take a screenshot.
Repeat last recording.
Look at the quick capture shortcuts.
Edit your captured files.

You can also find a compact mode for keeping the clutter down.

This review is only on the recording capabilities, but as you can see, Movavi provides several other functions for screenshots and editing.
But now it’s time to find a video I want to record and capture with Movavi. I decided to do so with a few types of videos so that I understand how well it performs. At first, I wanted to see how Netflix worked out. I started a TV show, began the screen capture, then waited for about five minutes. After stopping the capture, it brought me to a basic editing area.

Here are some of the options in this module:

Adjust the playback volume.
Save the current frame.
Save As.
Adjust the language.
Open the video in the more advanced Movavi Video Editor.
Share to YouTube.
Cut the video in its current position.

One of the main features involves cutting the video down. As mentioned above, a business person, student, teacher or a regular person might have a strong need for cutting out the rest of the video. Therefore, the user drags the cutting tool to the spots they want to save. Hit the Cut button, then everything else gets removed.

I also enjoy the Save to YouTube feature, since it’s a pain in the rear to download the video to your computer and go through the regular YouTube upload module. On the Upload to YouTube screen, you can change the title, description, tags and the Save To location. It even provides options to adjust the resolution, category and privacy.

I could definitely imagine using Movavi Screen Capture Studio in my professional life as well. Therefore, I went to a popular WordPress training module on Udemy and joined the course. This was a free course, but I imagine you’d have the same screen capture experience if you paid for videos on Udemy or Lynda. Regardless, the WordPress course recorded nicely and I was able to cut it down whenever I found something that dragged on.

My final test was with a simple YouTube video. What’s cool about Movavi Screen Capture Studio is that you can capture regardless of the size of the video. So, I completed the capture on the smaller YouTube screen, but the fullscreen view worked fine as well.

Get Started With Movavi Screen Capture Studio
Capturing videos like this is both legal and productive. Companies have been doing this for quite some time, and the average TV and movie buff would find this interesting as well. If you have any questions about this Movavi Screen Capture Studio review, or if you’ve tried out the software in the past, let us know in the comments section below.
This post Movavi Screen Capture Studio Review: Recording Online Videos is a Breeze was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.
Source: inspiredm.com


The reason why Acquia supports Net Neutrality

If you visit Acquia's homepage today, you will be greeted by this banner:

We've published this banner in solidarity with the hundreds of companies who are voicing their support of net neutrality.
Net neutrality regulations ensure that web users are free to enjoy whatever sites they choose without interference from Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These protections establish an open web where people can explore and express their ideas. Under the current administration, the U.S. Federal Communications Commision favors less-strict regulation of net neutrality, which could drastically alter the way that people experience and access the web. Today, Acquia is joining the ranks of companies like Amazon, Atlassian, Netflix and Vimeo to advocate for strong net neutrality regulations.
Why the FCC wants to soften net neutrality regulations
In 2015, the United States implemented strong protections favoring net neutrality after ISPs were classified as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This classification catalogs broadband as an "essential communication service", which means that services are to be delivered equitably and costs kept reasonable. Title II was the same classification granted to telcos decades ago to ensure consumers had fair access to phone service. Today, the Title II classification of ISPs protects the open internet by making paid prioritization, blocking or throttling of traffic unlawful.
The issue of net neutrality is coming under scrutiny since to the appointment of Ajit Pai as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai favors less regulation and has suggested that the net neutrality laws of 2015 impede the ISP market. He argues that while people may support net neutrality, the market requires more competition to establish faster and cheaper access to the Internet. Pai believes that net neutrality regulations have the potential to curb investment in innovation and could heighten the digital divide. As FCC Chairman, Pai wants to reclassify broadband services under less-restrictive regulations and to eliminate definitive protections for the open internet.
In May 2017, the three members of the Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 to advance a plan to remove Title II classification from broadband services. That vote launched a public comment period, which is open until mid August. After this period the commission will take a final vote.
Why net neutrality protections are good
I strongly disagree with Pai's proposed reclassification of net neutrality. Without net neutrality, ISPs can determine how users access websites, applications and other digital content. Today, both the free flow of information, and exchange of ideas benefit from 'open highways'. Net neutrality regulations ensure equal access at the point of delivery, and promote what I believe to be the fairest competition for content and service providers.
If the FCC rolls back net neutrality protections, ISPs would be free to charge site owners for priority service. This goes directly against the idea of an open web, which guarantees a unfettered and decentralized platform to share and access information. There are many challenges in maintaining an open web, including "walled gardens" like Facebook and Google. We call them "walled gardens" because they control the applications, content and media on their platform. While these closed web providers have accelerated access and adoption of the web, they also raise concerns around content control and privacy. Issues of net neutrality contribute a similar challenge.
When certain websites have degraded performance because they can't afford the premiums asked by ISPs, it affects how we explore and express ideas online. Not only does it drive up the cost of maintaining a website, but it undermines the internet as an open space where people can explore and express their ideas. It creates a class system that puts smaller sites or less funded organizations at a disadvantage. Dismantling net neutrality regulations raises the barrier for entry when sharing information on the web as ISPs would control what we see and do online. Congruent with the challenge of "walled gardens", when too few organizations control the media and flow of information, we must be concerned.
In the end, net neutrality affects how people, including you and me, experience the web. The internet's vast growth is largely a result of its openness. Contrary to Pai's reasoning, the open web has cultivated creativity, spawned new industries, and protects the free expression of ideas. At Acquia, we believe in supporting choice, competition and free speech on the internet. The "light touch" regulations now proposed by the FCC may threaten that very foundation.
What you can do today
If you're also concerned about the future of net neutrality, you can share your comments with the FCC and the U.S. Congress (it will only take you a minute!). You can do so through Fight for the Future, who organized today's day of action. The 2015 ruling that classified broadband service under Title II came after the FCC received more than 4 million comments on the topic, so let your voice be heard.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


The reason why Acquia supports Net Neutrality

If you visit Acquia's homepage today, you will be greeted by this banner:

We've published this banner in solidarity with the hundreds of companies who are voicing their support of net neutrality.
Net neutrality regulations ensure that web users are free to enjoy whatever sites they choose without interference from Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These protections establish an open web where people can explore and express their ideas. Under the current administration, the U.S. Federal Communications Commision favors less-strict regulation of net neutrality, which could drastically alter the way that people experience and access the web. Today, Acquia is joining the ranks of companies like Amazon, Atlassian, Netflix and Vimeo to advocate for strong net neutrality regulations.
Why the FCC wants to soften net neutrality regulations
In 2015, the United States implemented strong protections favoring net neutrality after ISPs were classified as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This classification catalogs broadband as an "essential communication service", which means that services are to be delivered equitably and costs kept reasonable. Title II was the same classification granted to telcos decades ago to ensure consumers had fair access to phone service. Today, the Title II classification of ISPs protects the open internet by making paid prioritization, blocking or throttling of traffic unlawful.
The issue of net neutrality is coming under scrutiny since to the appointment of Ajit Pai as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai favors less regulation and has suggested that the net neutrality laws of 2015 impede the ISP market. He argues that while people may support net neutrality, the market requires more competition to establish faster and cheaper access to the Internet. Pai believes that net neutrality regulations have the potential to curb investment in innovation and could heighten the digital divide. As FCC Chairman, Pai wants to reclassify broadband services under less-restrictive regulations and to eliminate definitive protections for the open internet.
In May 2017, the three members of the Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 to advance a plan to remove Title II classification from broadband services. That vote launched a public comment period, which is open until mid August. After this period the commission will take a final vote.
Why net neutrality protections are good
I strongly disagree with Pai's proposed reclassification of net neutrality. Without net neutrality, ISPs can determine how users access websites, applications and other digital content. Today, both the free flow of information, and exchange of ideas benefit from 'open highways'. Net neutrality regulations ensure equal access at the point of delivery, and promote what I believe to be the fairest competition for content and service providers.
If the FCC rolls back net neutrality protections, ISPs would be free to charge site owners for priority service. This goes directly against the idea of an open web, which guarantees a unfettered and decentralized platform to share and access information. There are many challenges in maintaining an open web, including "walled gardens" like Facebook and Google. We call them "walled gardens" because they control the applications, content and media on their platform. While these closed web providers have accelerated access and adoption of the web, they also raise concerns around content control and privacy. Issues of net neutrality contribute a similar challenge.
When certain websites have degraded performance because they can't afford the premiums asked by ISPs, it affects how we explore and express ideas online. Not only does it drive up the cost of maintaining a website, but it undermines the internet as an open space where people can explore and express their ideas. It creates a class system that puts smaller sites or less funded organizations at a disadvantage. Dismantling net neutrality regulations raises the barrier for entry when sharing information on the web as ISPs would control what we see and do online. Congruent with the challenge of "walled gardens", when too few organizations control the media and flow of information, we must be concerned.
In the end, net neutrality affects how people, including you and me, experience the web. The internet's vast growth is largely a result of its openness. Contrary to Pai's reasoning, the open web has cultivated creativity, spawned new industries, and protects the free expression of ideas. At Acquia, we believe in supporting choice, competition and free speech on the internet. The "light touch" regulations now proposed by the FCC may threaten that very foundation.
What you can do today
If you're also concerned about the future of net neutrality, you can share your comments with the FCC and the U.S. Congress (it will only take you a minute!). You can do so through Fight for the Future, who organized today's day of action. The 2015 ruling that classified broadband service under Title II came after the FCC received more than 4 million comments on the topic, so let your voice be heard.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Why Are Cinemagraphs Trending in Web Design?

Do you still remember the time when animated GIFs were all the rage in websites? Although web design standards have drastically changed since then, the attraction potential of moving images cannot be denied. That’s why a lot of websites continue to use animation, and one awesome web design trend these days is the use of cinemagraphs.
What are Cinemagraphs?
Cinemagraphs have been making significant noise lately, and are being used across several websites and social media campaigns. A lot of companies have joined the bandwagon of integrating cinemagraphs into their website, such as Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Chanel, Netflix, and Wal-Mart, to name a few.
In a nutshell, a cinemagraph is a still photo but with subtle movements being looped continuously. The technique was the brainchild of American photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who set out to animate photographs starting in 2011.

By Johan Blomström, CC BY 2.0, Link
Cinemagraphs hit it big in 2016, when popular brands started using the animation technique as part of their advertising campaigns. Cinemagraphs can create a wonderful story that is intriguing, which eventually makes the online audience stay longer on the website and look through all the other pages. The design strategy also tells such compelling stories that can leave an imprint in the minds of the audience.
The Importance of Adding The Right Website Elements
Did you know that, on the average, a website visitor spends only about 15 seconds on a website? Knowing that there are websites that can offer more interesting things, some companies miss the chance of making online visitors stay longer. This is where cinemagraphs come into play these days –although a cinemagraph is not a video, subtle movements can already tickle the mind of any visitor.
Apart from providing newsworthy content, websites should be presented in a beautiful way – but not too fancy to the extent of sacrificing function and content. After all, the website should get the attention of its online viewers.
More than having quality content for your website, there is a need to integrate other factors that would make your site followers stay for the long haul. These factors include:

Page loading time
Image quality
Shareability to social media sites
Online support
E-commerce

Web design has dramatically changed over the past years, what with the rise of new design trends. Because of this, businesses should always be at the top of their game in terms of maintaining the website. Having a good website can effectively turn casual visitors into real customers, as well as keep your company ahead of competitors.
Following the trend is very crucial to every website designer. It is inevitable to keep abreast with the constant changes regarding web design.
In addition, keeping an eye on the design of competitor brands may help you become more creative and inspired to make better designs. This, in turn, helps you to improve your online marketing skills while you keep yourself up-to-date with the latest web design trends.
If you are trying to find ways on how to help your client stand out among his competitors, a little tweaking on branding strategies might do the trick. This can be possible through using cinemagraphs on your website.
Cinemagraphs: The New Standard in Web Design?
Photo source: Victoria via Flickr
What is it with cinemagraphs that make companies eager to use them in their websites and online campaigns? Here are some of the reasons why the cinemagraph technique works so well:

Compared to old animated GIFs, cinemagraphs exude a feeling of sophistication, and that the business wants to be taken seriously. The technique gives any website a distinct recognition from other not-so-known brands, and makes it stand out.
The HD resolution of cinemagraphs makes it very much shareable in social media. It has a distinctly elegant appeal that makes anyone instantly click and share it with their friends.
Cinemagraphs create an exceptional way of adding another interesting layer to your story, thereby increasing audience interaction. In other words, it can create a higher conversion rate compared to using still photos for advertisements. This has been confirmed by Microsoft when they launched an 8-day campaign and gained 1.92 million impressions. That’s an extremely surprising 110% increase engagement rate on Twitter compared to using still photos!

Cinemagraphs vs. Animated GIFs
Photo source: From Me To You
We often see GIFs being shared on social media sites. Using GIFs has been used as a way of expressing how people feel online, or an alternative comment in place of text and emojis.
Some people consider the emergence of cinemagraphs as the start of the downfall of animated GIFs. What makes a cinemagraph stand out is that it is considered as a work of art that emphasizes on the beauty rather than the animation that GIFs can provide.
In simpler terms, when a particular brand uses cinemagraphs, it exudes a different kind of feel – a feeling of authority that should be taken seriously. In contrast, GIFs are often whimsical as frequently seen on posts shared on Facebook, easily becoming a way of communicating with other people.
A Quick Guide To Making Your Own Cinemagraph
Here are some tips on how to create your own cinemagraphs, to be used on your website and social media campaign:
Read tutorials on cinemagraph making
You don’t have to be a superstar creative designer to whip up a cinemagraph. Tutsplus has a comprehensive tutorial on how to make cinemagraphs. If you’re serious about using this technique on your site, the best strategy would be to make your own.
Use apps designed to create cinemagraphs
An easier alternative would be to use apps designed to help you make these animated works of art. Here are some amazing apps for this particular purpose:

Cinemagraph Pro for iOS
Echograph
Cinemagr.am
Fotodanz
Pictoreo

Photo source: PHLEARN
Conclusion
Cinemagraphs are innovative recurrences that are quickly spreading like wildfire online. The web design industry is expected to change and adapt to the arrival of cinemagraphs, although only time will tell if this web design trend is going to stick for years to come.
[Coffee cinemagraph, courtesy of cinemagraphs.com]
The post Why Are Cinemagraphs Trending in Web Design? appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com


4 Things You Should Know Before You Start Using Memes on Social Media

Memes are one of the greatest symbols of social media.
They’re edgy. They’re funny. They’re easy to iterate on, and every week, a new one pops up.
But despite their popularity, it seems like using memes is a risky decision for a brand — or is it?

Memes can work well for brands, but only for those that get the essential elements of using a meme right.
If you try to use a meme and don’t hit the mark, you’ll look foolish and out of touch at best, but could also end up seriously offending someone.
So whether you’re new to memes, or looking to spin your meme mastery into good business, this guide will help you nail marketing with memes.

Their simple form and humor give memes inherent virility and a broad appeal. If you’ve been thinking about using memes to promote your brand on social media, you’re in good company.
As memes rise in popularity, brands grow keener on capitalizing on their pervasiveness and charm.
Why Memes Work
Memes are successful because they’re “carriers of culture.”
Memes seem to collect our ideas, emotions, and actions in a simple and transferable form, making them perfect for the Internet age.
Several points make memes great for brands:

They are an easy way to capitalize on shared knowledge.
They are great for humanizing your brand and sharing it on social media with an authentic voice.
They make it easier to showcase complex concepts such as your brand personality and company culture.
According to research, they lead to higher engagement from your audience.
They increase the chance that people will remember your brand when they see the meme elsewhere.

While some companies have managed to use memes to inject new energy in their brands, not all who have ventured in meme-territory have come back victorious.
One of the potentially most damaging ways to use a meme is to get embroidered in a legal battle over licensing rights, as New York-based drugstore chain Duane Read found out.
Although there’s no surefire way to use them, there are various ways in which you can protect yourself from having a meme backfire on your brand:

Check the rights on an image: It’s important to be aware of the risks you’re taking, even if the chance of ending up on the wrong side of the law is minuscule.
Develop a clear policy: Figure out what’s your brand’s tolerable level of risk and create guidelines that everyone on your team understands and follows.
Make sure you’re not implying an endorsement: In the case of Duane Reade, that’s what got the brand in trouble.
Consider the alternatives: If you want to use a particular image but are afraid there might be implications, explore alternative paths. For example, you can try licensing an image that you want to feature as a major part of a marketing campaign.

Know Your Audience
Start by making sure incorporating memes in your social marketing will click with your audience. Learn who your brand followers are and what they care about. Are they the type of people who would enjoy seeing a meme, or would they find it hard to understand it?
Your brand personality holds great insights into the type of people who follow you on social media and the expectations they have of you. For example, if you are a popular brand that appeals to millennials, memes are probably a good bet. However, if you’re trying to project a much classier, high-brow image, a meme might fall on deaf ears.
Good example: Totino’s
Totino’s is aware that their customer base is not looking for a Michelin-star culinary experience. They can poke some fun at themselves while selling their frozen pizza rolls, and their customers will love it.
Totino’s does this well with their version of the “Whomst” meme, which makes fun of those who use linguistic hypercorrection to appear more enlightened:

The brand injects itself into the meme by jokingly suggesting that the higher state of existence is literally to become a pizza roll. The savvy usage of the meme earns them instant recognition from their followers:

Bad Example: Club Orange
Irish soft drink Club Orange shows us what can happen if you don’t know your audience.
In this example, the brand used the “Success Kid” meme as part of one of their regular social media campaigns:

(Image Source)
Club Orange runs a weekly “Crate Friday” contest in which they send a full crate of their product to one of the people who comment on their Facebook update:

This use of meme misses the mark because of how disconnected all elements are — there’s no link between the image, the contest, and the question Club Orange is asking to engage their followers.
To make sure the memes you use on your Facebook page click with your audience:

Develop well-defined customer personas for the main segments of your audience. When you have a clear picture of who you’re talking to, it will be much easier to know if a certain meme is a good bet.
Start on a small scale: Experiment with using a meme on a small segment of your audience. If you suspect a specific demographic might be particularly (un)responsive to memes, use Facebook’s targeting capabilities to confirm your hypothesis.

Use an Appropriate Tone
Success on social heavily depends on the voice and tone brands use—and memes are part of that. Voice and tone matter because they provide consistency for the personality of your brand.
For some brands, memes come as a natural fit to their existing content. But for more serious or professional brands, finding the right tone makes all the difference between a successful meme and a total flop.
Good Example: Gucci
Luxury fashion retailer Gucci is not the first place you’d look for meme marketing. Nevertheless, the brand has found an inventive way to capitalize on the popularity of this internet phenomenon.
Gucci has recently featured a series of commissioned memes on their Facebook page, many of which depict Gucci products. In this example, they have appropriated the “Arthur’s Fist” meme that was popular in late 2016:

(Source)
Gucci:

Notice the great caption that goes along with the image. The accompanying copy describes the image in the same way a curator would describe an artwork. This is an inventive way to fit the meme into the personality of the brand, while still benefitting from the link to popular culture.
Even though this example doesn’t use the original meme, most brand followers spot the connection immediately.
Bad Example: Club Mate
German beverage Club Mate, which is well-known for its affiliation with Berlin’s raucous and youthful nightlife, has taken advantage of meme content in its Facebook presence.
The “Oscars Best Picture Meme” arose in the aftermath of the 2017 Oscars, where the incorrect winner was announced, and the ultimate reveal occurred by a camera shot of the correct winning card:

(Source)
By linking itself to the event, Club Mate is making a risky bet — many people were upset because they felt the whole mix-up was emblematic of racism. Instead of being a lighthearted meme, the Oscars debacle turned into a political issue with a lot of commentary surrounding the event and its aftermath.
Club Mate certainly had no intention to make any allusions to racial issues, but this underlines the importance of thoroughly considering all aspects of a meme and how it may be perceived before using it.

To make sure you’re using the appropriate tone in your memes:

Include a section on voice and tone in your social media strategy guidelines and make sure everyone on your team follows it.
Don’t try to sound too smart with the language you use, and make sure the memes are not too obscure. The beauty of memes is in the fact that they can be understood by everyone in the audience.
Make sure you don’t sound offensive with your memes. Poking fun at racial and gender issues is obviously a big no-no. The best policy is to keep things lighthearted when using memes.

Develop a Great Taste for Using Humor
All memes rely on humor, so it’s essential to know just how much of it to inject into a meme for your brand. Using humor is always the easiest way to make your brand sound human and create an emotional connection with your audience.
Obviously, making fun of your customers should be avoided, but even poking fun at your brand can backfire, as we see in one of the examples below.
Good Example: New South Wales Police
The police force of New South Wales in Australia has successfully appropriated memes for public service announcements. Here, they’ve taken advantage of the “Persian Cat Guardian” meme, which uses an image of a poorly taxidermied cat to express disbelief at a hypothetical situation:

(Image Source)
NSW Police Force uses the meme to remind their Facebook audience about the dangers of speeding.
This is a great use case because this kind of humor is unexpected from a “boring” organization such as the police. The meme immediately draws people in and encourages them to read the full status.
Moreover, by using such a lighthearted tone, the NSW police manages to get across their point on a controversial topic that may have otherwise provoked a heated debate. What’s more, they even sneak in a statistic — without the meme, this message would feel dry and boring.

Bad Example: Jimmy John’s
Sandwich company Jimmy John’s is a no-frills chain known for its no-nonsense, self-deprecating approach to its brand. And while that’s a great approach to have, it should always be used with care.
In this example, we see Jimmy John’s use the “Be Like Bill” meme, which disparages people who are overactive on social media:

(Image Source)
But the Jimmy John’s meme doesn’t quite hit the mark:

A large share of the brand’s audience is heavily committed to social media — telling them that it’s not worth posting what they’re eating might be perceived as a signal that it’s not worth to be a customer of Jimmy John’s at all.
Additionally, happy customers who post on social media provide a great opportunity for word-of-mouth promotion. By discouraging their audience from sharing their experience, Jimmy John’s is missing out on the chance to have those people serve as brand ambassadors.
To make sure you’re using the right amount of humor in your campaigns, remember to follow the basic rules:

A joke can go a long way with your audience, especially if they’re not expecting that level of informality from you. Just remember that there’s a limit to how much you can use this tactic before it gets predictable and commonplace.
Sometimes a good joke is too tempting to pass on, but remember that your brand is on social media to achieve its business goals, not to post anything funny that comes to mind.

Embed Your Brand in a Meme
Some companies venture beyond the established tropes and try to create their own meme where the brand takes center stage. A few are lucky enough to inspire memes, but not all of them have the gumption to capitalize on those opportunities.
In either case, having a meme that features your brand go viral is great for brand recognition.
Let’s see what makes the difference between those who succeed and those who fail:
Good Example: Netflix
One of the most surprising outcomes of the success of Netflix’s Stranger Things was the slew of memes surrounding a relatively minor character, Barb. Through the popularity of these memes, Barb has come to symbolize particular topics and ideas many of us care about.
The Barb-meme phenomenon came as a surprise even to the creators of the show, but Netflix did not hesitate to take advantage of it. Below, we see the brand sharing images that do fan service to lovers of Barb, and capitalize on the memes to generate even more buzz about the show.

Bad Example: Doritos
Doritos misses the mark in trying to create amusing memes that include the actual tortilla chips. While humorous and shareable, they miss the point of memes because they depend on already existing tropes. The result is an unconvincing attempt to blend humor with their brand.

If you’re looking to embed your brand in a meme, remember the following:

It should be simple enough that the majority of your audience can understand it without further explanation.
The meme cannot be about your brand, it can only feature it. Pushing too hard will make it easy for people to recognize your effort for what it is — an ad.

The Tools You Need to Create Your First Meme
To recap, brands interested in including memes in their social marketing should think about the following elements:

They should make sure memes would fit with their audience
They should make sure to use an appropriate tone
They should be careful about how they use humor with memes
They should consider how their brand fits within the meme

After considering these, you’re ready to start using memes in your social media channels.
The first step is to keep an eye on KnowYourMeme.com to stay in the know on trends. Sharing an old meme or overusing the same one are two easy ways to spoil your efforts before you’ve even started.
There are many websites that can help you create a meme quickly — imgflip, Meme Generator, and makeameme.org are just a few you might find useful.
Take slow steps, experiment, and hopefully, you’ll find the power that memes can create for your brand. Just remember that — like any superpower — memes should be used responsibly.
Source: https://adespresso.com/feed/


5 Personalization Hacks that Fly Under the Radar

There’s no doubt.
No questioning or debate necessary.
Every marketer is trying to personalize. It’s seen as THE trend by most.
And yet, results vary.

Some still struggle. Slapping on trite $FNAME or $COMPANY wherever possible.
Then there’s others setting the bar. Setting the tone.
The difference is nuanced. You can’t always see it in front of you when you click on an ad or visit a landing page.
But you can feel it. It’s there. And it’s undeniable.

Some of the most sophisticated marketing today segment customer bases; delivering real-time personalization to each individual – without them even realizing it.
Here’s five examples of what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and you can do it, too.
1. Content vs. Web Personalization
Type in http://Amazon.com and what do you see?
It’s not generic. Or static. But a list of recommended products. And a list of suggestions based on past searches or purchases.

The ‘Recommended Product’ thing is popular on eCommerce sites because, well, it works.
ConversionXL highlighted this with two brilliant studies.
The first was from At Home in The Country, who’s addition of personalized product recommendations (say that ten times fast) resulted in a 12.5% increase in conversions with a correlating 13% increase in revenue.

(image source)
Unsurprisingly, conversions are the #1 indicator for effective personalization (according to Evergage’s 2015 survey).

(Image Source)
Personalization provides visitors with a better experience. Helps them find stuff faster, easier. And it results in better conversions for companies.
Win-Win-Win.
So adoption (and resource allocation) into personalization-techniques is only trending up and to the right.

(Image Source)
Best of all, you don’t need in-house devs and a custom setup on Magento (thank god) for this stuff, either. Off-the-shelf eCommerce business tools like BigCommerce come shipped with advanced features like displaying recent product views, shopping cart abandonment saver (more on that later), and even Amazon-esque one-click purchasing.
But the same thing is happening across industries, too.
Take B2B SaaS for instance. Optimizely personalizes their homepage for 25 audiences (based on demographics and behavior).

(image source)
And the results: “113% increase in visits to our solutions page and 117% increase in clicks on secondary CTAs.”
But here’s the thing.
Yes. These examples all contain personalization. However, that personalization is mostly content-based. Similar to Netflix when you login.
Personalization doesn’t end just there.
Here’s why that’s important.
2. The Death of the Homepage
Let’s try a quick experiment.
Login to Google Analytics.
Go to Behavior. Then Site Content. Then sort by popularity.
Take any date range. Start with the past 30 days. But go back to the last six months or longer, too.
And what do you see in positions 1-5?

Chances are, only one of those is the homepage. The others?  More likely blog content or landing pages from a year+ ago.
In other words, the Page We All Obsess Over isn’t even the most popular visitors. Why is that?  Because the traditional, static homepage has been dying a slow, awkward, painful death. For years.
Instead, organic search consistently generates new page views to old content pages. Social “floods” recent pages with referral traffic from all those sites the kids are using.
People are bypassing the homepage initially. Only to eventually make their way back afterward. The emphasis for traffic and lead gen then, should go towards the landing page, not the homepage.
Years ago, HubSpot surveyed over 7,000 businesses and compiled the findings in a benchmark report. The “no duh” finding was that the number of leads increased as the number of landing pages did.

(image source)
So. How? New pages based on product lines. Industries or verticals you target. And even OTHER products or services that complement yours. That’s what Peter from Databox is doing to hack the landing page hack:
“Every time we launch an integration with another software product, we launch a new landing page. As an example, we’ve generated 100s of new signups from our HubSpot Marketing Connector landing page. Tomorrow, we’ll be launching a directory of report templates for our most popular connectors. Each of those templates will be hosted on a landing page too.”
But don’t forget about use cases, either. For example, Kinsta provides managed WordPress hosting. (To this very blog you’re reading no less.)
So they have one product. One service.
Yet they have different landing pages for WooCommerce Hosting:

And another for Enterprise WordPress Hosting:

Same product. Different use cases. Different potential customers. Means different landing pages.
Funnel segmentation can help you keep it all straight. Creating multiple variations of the same page many times in order to align each with a single traffic channel (or individual campaign).

(Image Source)
But how to keep it all straight? So glad you asked!
URL parameters can be added directly to Facebook ads when you create a new campaign inside AdEspresso.

Terminus is an excellent, affordable option if you’re organizing a campaign across multiple channels (in addition to just Facebook) and you want to be able to compare their performance against each other.

(image source)
This level of OCD-granularity has the added bonus of increasing your odds at better audience targeting. (Which we’ll dive into in the next section.)
Better audience targeting = higher ad relevance = lower costs per click & conversion.

(Image Source)
That’s important. (And why we’ve beat it to death.)
Because segmentation is the key to unlocking this web personalization stuff.
3. Segmentation
Slapping a “Hey $FNAME” on an email before it goes out the door ain’t personalization.
Instead, it’s the detailed database-driven stuff Brennan Dunn is applying.
First, leads are segmented based on actionable information like the type of business they’re in, the size of their organization, and the potential value to his company.

(Image Source)
✅ Where actionable = you can do cool marketing stuff based on it.
❌ And not useless demographic information that just sits in your database gathering dust and moth balls.
That’s an important distinction. Because Brennan then takes it another step further to identify what each of these individuals are specifically interested in.

(Image Source)
Perfect. Now we’re ready to start targeting behavior.
See, you can ask people for this kind of information. But in most cases, you’re not gonna get it. People don’t always know what they want. They just know it when they see it.
So if you can’t uncover their intent explicitly (by them telling you outright in a form, etc.), you’ll have to get it implicitly (by watching their behavior).
How? You set a trap.
For example, let’s do a simple re-engagement exercise.
Take all of those people who’ve downloaded your latest ebook. But done nothing else. They’re stuck. Up there are the top of the funnel. Which does you no good.
First, create a new segment of people for these people using whichever email automation tool you prefer.

Where:

TOFU = eBook download.
35 days = To create a ‘buffer’ after the initial 30-day sequence they saw
BOFU = A free trial sign up, purchase, quote request, etc.
MOFU = Webinar opt-in, audit, etc.

Now take a few blog posts. Or a single, in-depth one with a few anchors. Ideally, you want to present people with different, opposing choices.
Here’s an example I’ve used previously that has different Bitly links to said anchors that all point to different topics (like ‘SEO’ vs. ‘Conversion’ vs. ‘Email’, etc.)

Now hit send. Wait. And watch.
People will tell you what they’re interested in. If you’re looking for it. You can now tag their contact record or add them to a different smartlist based on those different topics (or use cases, or verticals, you get the idea).
And now you can start sending them better-targeted information, to better-targeted pages, with better targeted Facebook ads.
Create a brand new custom audience for this segment using AdEspresso’s Data Sync. And now every time someone clicks on the “SEO” topic in that re-engagement email, they’ll get added to a smartlist in HubSpot and then sent over to this new corresponding “TOFU Re-Engagement SEO” audience in Facebook.

Now you know what ads to send them. They’ll be more appealing. Increasing your odds of getting clicked.
Which means you’ll be able to drive more people down into the depths of your funnel. (Where the money’s made.)
4. User Flow Optimization
Go to Google.
And look for a product. Say, “mens chukka boots”.
If, like me, you’re attracted to shiny things first, you’ll notice the Special Offer extension on one of those. Plus, that means a discount might be in store. Let’s click and find out.

Unsurprisingly we go directly to an individual product page for the boots we just clicked on. Makes sense.
Bonus points: You’ll notice that Macy’s does a good job ‘matching’ our intent by highlighting the aforementioned Special Offers when we arrive.

Priming is a concept that says we’re more likely to take action once we’ve already been exposed to something similar. It’s the backbone of Cialdini’s latest, Pre-Suasion.
Macy’s here does an excellent job of continuing the purchase momentum. Their messages match. And they use a few little incentives along the way to continue making you click ahead.
What happens when messages don’t match, though? When there’s an incongruence of what they looked for, what they click on, and what they now see?
You already know the answer. Bounces. Cart abandonments. Hesitation and distraction.
That’s why optimizing user or behavior flows throughout your site become critical. These paths already exist (to one degree or another).
Like when someone finds a landing page from organic search and hits your site for the very first time. Or whether they’re already brand-aware and go to your site directly to buy. Or goes to a product page after clicking on an ad (like we just did with Macy’s).

(Image Source)
User flow optimization starts with splitting your inbound site traffic and siphoning them off into landing pages.
Intentionally, though. Strategically. Based on who they are and what they’re looking for (see: Segmentation).
Which brings us back to the funnel. The various stages used to split and siphon and segment appropriately. Extending to the ads that follow them across Facebook from day-to-day.
✅ Awareness: The interesting, hilarious, insightful content that piques their attention.

✅ Lead Generation: The drool-worthy incentives and offers to entrance & entice a click or an email.

✅ Conversions: The quote request or low priced product that performs Alchemy; turning strangers and half-interested leads to loyal customers.

The trick isn’t one or the other. It’s ALL of them. Together. Working cohesively. Passing off people from one to the other. So that when they see a proper retargeting ad, they’re already brand-aware. And they’re primed to give you their info.
Each interaction from there is its own path. Its own flow. A bunch of little steps and events (or ‘micro-conversions’). Leading someone from page to page to page until they convert (on those ‘macro conversions’ identified in your tools).
That lead and nurture and get people to stick around for the long haul.
5. Activation is the New Acquisition
Live chat used to suck.
It sat there. Unattended. Manned by robots. Or those who barely could type the same language.
Then something happened. I don’t know what. But products like Drift (among others) started popping up. And now live chat served… a purpose?!
Sujan recounts some early success using live chat to drive conversions in his recent post on concierge onboarding.
Then Content Marketer (now Mailshake) bugged users (in a good way). And bugged them. And bugged them again. Until they needed something.

(image source)
His persistence netted a 30% lift in conversions – from a 3% to a 4.5% conversion rate.
Now conversion rates are everything. In fact, you can go overboard and drive a bunch of crap.
But that’s not this.
Targeted notifications, prompting specific questions based on user status or page view, actually help! Annoying tactics are only annoying if they’re annoying (generic, irrelevant, unhelpful).
However, when you can determine if this specific individual has viewed on page and not the other, or downloaded one offer and not the other, you can actually personalize their experience.

(image source)
Hmmm…. That looks familiar. That IF/THEN sequence. Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah. That’s right. Here:

(image source)
Which, with the help of a beautifully simple tool, looks a little something like:

A custom audience. Tailored to those who started your Free Trial but then… for whatever reason… stopped. Even device and retention targeting based on your 14 or 30-day window.
Now you can do things. Fun things. Interesting things. Effective things.
You can send videos. People like videos.
SlideShark added some tutorial videos to their onboarding (both before and after conversion), with some help from Evergage. And they tracked up 150% increase in free trial signups. In addition to $1.1 million in sales.

(Image Source)
Getting people in is important. Because: math.
The Harvard Business School reported on ‘loyalty economics’ decades ago. The chief finding: “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”
A decade later. Same study. Same peeps. (Albeit, a Touch of Gray.)
Online companies need to spend 20-40% more to acquire customers. And yet most (if not all) are unprofitable within the first year.

(Image Source)
So yeah. Getting them is important. But not half as much as keeping them around.
Pull out all the stops then. Convertibles or overlays or pop-ups or whatever.

Corresponding email messages fired at exactly the right time.

And of course, perfectly tailored Facebook ads that reiterate the same message. Driving people along each ‘micro-conversion’ until you get what you want at the end of the day.

Conclusion
Content personalization is great. It’s a start.
Recommending products. Reminding people of past visits. All those things are helpful.
But that’s not it. Not enough.
Personalization extends to an entire experience. From beginning to end. Helping people find the right page. Based on past behavior. And predicting what they need next.
It’s not easy. But it doesn’t have to be hard, either.
Just be aware of what’s happening. When everything feels so… right. And reverse-engineer.
Source: https://adespresso.com/feed/


19 Amazing Native Advertising Ad Examples

It’s easy to hear the phrase “native advertising” and think, “Psh.”
Native advertising can sometimes get a bad reputation, especially when advertisers (or publishers) make big mistakes with how and what kind of content they present.
Case in point: The Atlantic being forced to eat crow and repent after publishing an editorial that appeared like it was written by the Atlantic editorial team, but in reality came from the Church of Scientology.

Certainly bad PR, but it did inspire some good spinoffs.
Now there are reports that the FTC plans to force publishers to explicitly signpost when native advertisements exist alongside normal content. #FakeNews is the mantra of the day.
Despite this, there’s still one very good reason to not give up on native ads.

Why people are wrong about native advertisements
One of the big criticisms of native ads hinges on the fact that they “look” like normal content and trick users into believing they’re “real.” That’s just not true—when’s the last time you were actually fooled by a piece of native advertising? It just doesn’t happen.
The key to the success of native ads isn’t that they trick users but that they express themselves as exactly what they are. Buzzfeed and other content masterminds have shown that people will eagerly click on native ads even when they’re labeled “sponsored.” Why?
Because a native ad doesn’t require you to abandon the experience you’re currently in. You don’t get redirected to another site and have to figure out how to get back later—you just keep flowing through what Cody Brown calls the content buffet:
(Source: Cody Brown)
So don’t fret if FTC regulations force a little more explicit signaling about the native ads out there, a little more honesty on the part of publishers—the strength of native advertising is not how well they hide. It’s how well they can stand out.
Successful native advertising is brash, it’s colorful, and it stands out amidst the rest of the content around it. Studying it can tell you a lot about how to do advertising in general—especially advertising on Facebook.
1. Adobe (New York Times T Brand Studio)
The New York Times’ “T Brand Studio” deftly combines subtle native advertising with high-quality in-house content marketing befitting of the Gray Lady. This well-researched Adobe piece on the future of shopping provides valuable insights and statistics regarding shopping trends in a VR-centric future, but does so without appearing too salesy.
More info on T Brand Studio: Beyond native: How the NY Times plans to turn T Brand Studio into a full-fledged agency

Takeaway: Just because it’s advertising doesn’t mean you have to let your editorial standards drop. Thoughtful, long-form content, even when it’s part of your marketing, can be a powerful way to get your name out there and create a beneficial brand association.
2. Patrón Tequila (Twitter)
For International Margarita Day (February 22nd), Patrón took to Twitter with a promoted hashtag #MargaritaoftheYear and tweet prompting users to help vote for one of 7 innovative cocktail recipes.

Takeaway: When you’re on a social network like Facebook, you need to look for ways to integrate a social experience into your ads. You want people to be tagging their friends, commenting and sharing the things that your company puts out there, so you need to engage with your audience on a casual, informal level.
3. Morgan Stanley (BBC Future)
While the BBC is thought of as a public service broadcaster, they do have substantial native ad channels such as BBC Capital, BBC Travel, and BBC Future for non-UK audiences. This content marketing is subtly included towards the bottom of the BBC News homepage, with no indication that the article is sponsored. Iceland is certainly in vogue at the moment, so coupled with the authority of the BBC, Morgan Stanley scored a big win with this profile on the gorgeous island nation.

Takeaway: When it comes to advertising, the value that you’re delivering to your audience is what matters, not the fact that the content is hyper-relevant to your brand or your company. Especially when you’re competing with lots of other content for attention (e.g. Facebook’s Newsfeed), you’re going to need to produce something that people actually want to read if you want them to voluntarily check out your branded content.
4. General Electric (The Message)
GE’s 8-week long podcast series “The Message” explores aspects of sound technology through a sci-fi narrative about a rookie podcaster and a group of cryptographers decoding an ominous message from space. The podcast achieved broad media acclaim and won the 2016 Webby Award for Best Use of Native Advertising.

And that’s not all—it also featured a viral, interactive game and inspired a subreddit where people traded theories and discussed questions they had about the program.
Takeaway: While The Message came about well after Serial had popularized podcasting, GE challenged themselves to work with the medium in a way that no one had before. That’s key here—you can look at what others are doing in the world of advertising, and even hop on the bandwagon, but if you want to really make an impact, look for a way to go beyond and do things a little differently.
5. New York Lottery (#JackpotDrumroll)
To increase interest in the record $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot in 2016, the New York Lottery decided to literally drum up sales by hiring 211 drummers across New York State to stand outside of bodegas and convenience stores for twelve hours straight. This stunt led to news coverage across the state, amounting to an estimated $4.5 million in earned media. It was nominated for the 2016 Webby Award for Best Use of Native Advertising.

Takeaway: This may seem like a crazy stunt, but guerrilla marketing pretty often involves physical stunts of this kind. Salesforce founder Marc Benioff was famous for doing things like showing up to protest competitors conferences back in the early 2000s. If you’re looking for a way to set yourself apart from the pack, it’s an option!
6. Cedar Point Catch-a-Ghost
Famed Ohio theme park Cedar Point decided to promote its Halloween offerings by inviting users to screenshot a fleeting image of a ghost on their Snapchat story, in exchange for a coupon/prize. This encouraged repeat viewings, as the task was difficult, but it also spoke to their targeted teen demographic. It increased engagement on their Snapstory by 233% and 144k unique users. Also, since this was not formatted as an interrupting paid ad, but rather a seamless part of Cedar Point’s social media presence, it positioned the brand as a valuable content producer.

(Source)

(Source)
Takeaway: Contests are a powerful tool for drumming up audience interest on social media. In order to create a sustainable content strategy and not just a flash in the pan, however, you want to make sure that the contest leads users to sign up or subscribe to your channels. Otherwise, you could acquire a ton of users—but only temporarily.
7. Taco Bell
Taco Bell’s sponsored Snapchat Lens for Cinco De Mayo 2016 was a record-breaker, garnering over 224 million views in a single day.
That was a huge success, though perhaps not that feasible for most of us, as these custom lenses can cost up to $750,000 for a primetime spot. Taco Bell was, however, also one of the very first marketers to buy into Snapchat’s on-demand geo-filter program.
Prices for these start as low as $5—a worthy investment if you’re thinking about Snapchat as a potential advertising channel.

(Source)
Takeaway: Sometimes big brands pull off marketing campaigns that no small or medium-sized company has the resources to follow. That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t ever have a way to do something similar. There are plenty of ways that your SMB can use Snapchat in your advertising, for instance, even if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to put towards it!
8. Airbnb (South London Hosted by Artwork / Thump)
This portal on Vice Media’s Thump Channel invites users to explore South London as curated by DJ and producer Artwork. The portal includes videos, several original articles, and an explorable map of points of interest. This subtly nods to Airbnb as being the best way to explore South London, but the branding isn’t overbearing, and the content has clear standalone value.

9. Netflix (Cocainenomics by the Wall Street Journal)
To promote its show Narcos, Netflix collaborated with the Wall Street Journal to create an interactive portal exploring the history of the international drug trade, and its nexus in Medellín, Colombia.
Featuring well-designed maps, timelines, articles, and even a quiz, this is a great example of native advertising generating interest and value.

Takeaway: Partnerships can be an incredibly powerful way to take your advertising in directions that would not have been possible otherwise. Other kinds of businesses bring different kinds of value to their audiences—and have different kinds of reputations—so the right kind of partnership can create very powerful effects both with regards to capturing new customers and delighting the ones you already have.
10. Newcastle Brown Ale (Gizmodo)
Newcastle embraced the snark of the then-Gawker affiliate Gizmodo in this 2014 paid article entitled “We’ve Disguised This Newcastle Ad as an Article to Get You to Click It.” The article explains how Newcastle purchased ad space from Gizmodo so they could embed a video about a focus group discussing a Super Bowl ad that Newcastle couldn’t afford to make.
Certainly a meta-approach to advertising, but the wry tone and radical honestly of this piece will cement Newcastle as a self-aware presence in the minds of the Gizmodo/Gawker crowd.

Takeaway: The amount of noise in the advertising/marketing world has grown exponentially over the last decade. One surefire way to make sure that you stand out amongst the crowd is to take a self-aware stance in your advertising. It can also work out for publishers, who have an opportunity to be honest about why they’re putting native advertising in front of their readers—because it costs money to create good content!
11. Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil (Good News by The Telegraph)
Leading British health supplement company Seven Seas utilized a unique native advertising approach by sponsoring a curated page of positive and uplifting news in The Telegraph. You barely notice the Seven Seas branding if you’re not looking for it. Mostly you see a litany of articles having to do with well-being, human interest stories, and the like:

“Scientists reverse ageing in mammals”
“Boy donates hair”
“Man takes terminally ill dog on farewell cross-country road trip”

 
Although these topics have nothing to do with cod liver oil whatsoever, one leaves the page with a small psychological bias to view Seven Seas in a more positive light. It’s simply association.

Takeaway: The content on this Telegraph sponsored page has nothing to do with cod liver oil. That goes to show that you don’t need to be self-promotional for your advertising to work—all you need is a brand an idea of the kind of content you should produce to make a statement.
12. Denny’s (Twitter)
Denny’s is known for its surreal Twitter, aiming to produce content aligned with the Dada-eqsue end of the meme spectrum. These aren’t paid ads, Denny’s is counting on Twitter users to be interested enough in their content to actually follow their account. Clearly targeting a millenial demographic, Denny’s embraces odd haikus and egg-based non-sequiturs to build brand awareness and street cred in a demographic not typically interested in casual dining chains.

Takeaway: No one says you have to adopt the Brand Marketing Voice to have a proper social presence. Denny’s has 355.4k followers and whoever runs their Twitter sounds like a 14-year old with a highly active Tumblr. Feel free to experiment.
13. Xerox (The Atlantic)
Xerox and The Atlantic collaborated to develop a portal for readers interested in seeing the latest ideas in the realm of productivity and growth hacking. Featuring articles by leading experts and a free e-book, the well designed page is also interactive.
Based on the problems you’re having with your business, such as alignment, productivity, or agility—you can choose to receive different kinds of information.

Takeaway: Most of the examples in this post concern consumer-facing content. But B2B customers are just as human and just as interested in reading native content. We’re big fans of this technique—read our guide to marketing and promoting your free eBook here.
14. Ikea (The Telegraph)
The Telegraph scores again with a quirky A-Z quiz from Ikea that provides readers with tips on how to get a good night’s sleep. Like other native ads, this campaign shies away from selling a specific product, but instead aims to strengthen Ikea’s brand association as a quirky yet accessible organization.

Takeaway: The good old-fashioned quiz, brought back into style (mostly) by Buzzfeed, is a cost-effective and fresh format for native advertising. It fits into the same vein as content like eBooks—you want to take the knowledge and expertise that your company has and use it to help others diagnose issues with their life, business, sleep (above), or other facets of their life.
15. Airbnb (New York Times)
This New York Times/T Brand Studio collaboration with Airbnb tells the story of Ellis Island and immigration in New York, by exploring specific family histories through narration, maps, and archival photos. Although subtle, this native ad focuses on aspects of hospitality and homebuilding that newcomers may experience in New York, a well-aligned sentiment for a short-term housing platform like Airbnb.

Takeaway: Even if your advertising isn’t going to be directly about your product or your company, it can still try to fulfill the mission that your company represents. Airbnb’s brand is all about hospitality, so this piece of content about the legacy of Ellis Island and how it has welcomed immigrants for centuries makes perfect sense for them to post.
16. Leidos (Politico Focus)
Engineering consultancy Leidos appeals to the Beltway set through “Hacker Avenue,” an interactive exploration of the vulnerabilities our society faces as we become increasingly reliant on the Internet of Things. Using smart infographics, a mini-game that leads you to important facts and statistics, and a robust piece of accompanying content, Leidos scored a big win on a platform not typically thought of as being aligned with native advertising.

Takeaway: Infographics are hands-down one of the best ways to create content that’s inherently shareable. Combine a great infographic with a great marketing campaign, and you can see your content spread across the internet like wildfire. For more on how to create sharable infographics, check out our piece on the 6 things all viral infographics have in common.
17. YouTube (Awesome Stuff Week)
To drum up interest in YouTube’s new e-commerce integrations, a campaign was launched to leverage YouTube’s top talent in the gadget and fashion spheres. iJustine and Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy were just two of the YouTubers brought together to celebrate what wound up being called “Awesome Stuff Week,” a curated celebration of unboxings and makeup demos. It’s a natural medium for the message that you can now buy items straight from within YouTube videos.

(Image Source)

Takeaway: If you’re trying to tell users about a new service or release a new product, it always helps to build your marketing campaign on the back of something people already know—like influencers. On Instagram, contacting influencers and working with them to increase your exposure can be an easy way to get your brand’s name out there fast.
18. Warner Brothers (Fortune Magazine)
To promote its “Batman vs. Superman” film, Warner Brothers decided to sponsor a native advertising interview with villain Lex Luther Jr, under the guise of sponsorship by “LexCorp.” This is a great way to acknowledge the pitfalls of native advertising (such as the non-discreet sponsorship branding), while also helping maintain suspension of disbelief, for a tycoon like Luther probably would sponsor native advertising in a magazine like Fortune.

Takeaway: You can have some fun with the standard formats of advertising—for instance, there’s no reason you can’t have an interview with a fictional figure appear in the pages of Forbes!
19. IBM (The Atlantic)
The Atlantic proves again that it is at the forefront of developing high-quality and engaging sponsored content, this time for IBM. In this 4 part series, “Blood, Sweat, and Data” new innovations in sports medicine, equipment, and cloud solutions are analyzed alongside accessible infographics and shareable statistics.

Takeaway: Whenever you’re trying to produce engaging content for marketing purposes, you want to identify opportunities you have that will be 1) the least effort for you, and 2) the most entertaining for your audience. Data is a place where you often get this opportunity—you have a lot of it, and when put into the right kind of narrative, it will enthrall your audience.
Source: https://adespresso.com/feed/


Regular or 360°? Both! Our Top 29 Amazing Facebook Video Ads


It’s no secret that Facebook’s video ads are a powerful marketing tool.
Forbes reported in November of 2015 that video had the most reach out of any post on the network, and Fortune reported that Facebook users watch about four billion video streams a day.

360° video came right on the heels of this regular video boom. From comparisons to virtual reality to early adoption by big brands, 360° emerged as a challenger to the supremacy of video ads.
But luckily, you don’t have to choose between regular or 360° video ads — you can harness the power of both.

With Facebook advertising bigger than ever on mobile, and more time spent consuming video than ever before, here are 30 amazing video ads to inspire you to kick off with one, the other, or both.
1. LG G5 Phone release
To launch their flagship smartphone, LG made a short video ad that references the video features of their phone. From a detachable camera grip to two lenses on the back of the phone — on a wide angle — the video emphasizes some of the best features of the device.
The framing of the video is square, and perfect for mobile. Better yet, with no sound, but an eye-catching blue background, viewers are drawn to the ad on their newsfeed without having to work to get the message — that this phone’s photos pack a punch.
When using regular video for your ad, make a bold statement by showing versus telling. This highlights the caliber of your product and allows you to stand out from your competitors.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

LG G5 : Cinemagraphy
The #LGG5 in stunning titan.A device that stands out on its own. ✔ See how the #LG #G5 stands out from the crowd: http://bit.ly/1Vy6Vi3
Posted by LG Mobile on 1hb September 2016

2. Love Has No Labels
The AdCouncil tapped into our emotions with their Love Has No Labels campaign, which has been viewed over a million times. Showing people presenting themselves to a welcoming crowd from behind an x-ray screen, the videos emphasize accepting diverse examples of love and community.
One great feature of this campaign was the number of different versions that the AdCouncil released. Although they all take the same format, viewers could catch different couples and families, keeping the campaign fresh for retargeting efforts.
Use videos to elicit an emotional response and get audiences to respond or react to your message. It’ll be memorable and if done correctly, leave a positive lasting impression.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnDgZuGIhHs?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]
3. Volvo
This clever Volvo ad takes the viewer on a “Thumb Drive” through San Francisco while highlighting the advanced safety features of the XC60.
Perfectly optimized for mobile, the square aspect ratio keeps graphics looking good on the phone. Putting a thumbprint on the screen allows viewers to “drive” on the streets, which is a great way to enliven a video and invite the viewer to interact.
This campaign uses text boxes and graphics to emphasize the safety of Volvos — a trick that captures viewers’ interest and represents the hallmark of the brand.
Whether using regular video or the newer 360° video, the right mix of graphic elements allow your ad to stand out in the minds of your audience. Use clever graphics that relate to your brand, like Volvo did with bold text boxes.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Take a Thumb Drive through San Francisco and across the Bay in the Volvo XC60. Bit.ly/60OfXC60
Posted by Volvo Car USA on 3hb April 2016

4. Red Bull
Known for their sponsorship of extreme athletes, Red Bull does not disappoint in this ad featuring a race between two Norwegians — rally car driver Andreas Mikkelsen and skier Askel Lund Svindal.
With stunning scenery and quick cuts between the car and skier, this video quickly captures interest as it starts to play. Turning on the sound surrounds the viewer with high-octane music to fit the adrenaline of the race.
Red Bull plays perfectly into its brand identity here while mixing in star power and visually appealing elements — and to great success, with over 800,000 views.
By exaggerating the comparison between two vastly different variables, brands can amplify the energy and excitement associated with their products. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold ways to reaffirm what your product can do for the audience.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Aksel Lund Svindal meets Andreas Mikkelsen
First one to the ferry wins.
Posted by Red Bull on 3hb Julai 2016

5. Chevrolet Canada
Chevrolet Canada uses 360° to pull at viewers heartstrings in this ad that features Denna Laing, a former professional hockey player. Denna suffered a career-ending spinal injury but has shared her overwhelmingly positive spirit since her injury.
This ad launched at the beginning of January and shares Denna’s incredible drive by announcing a partnership between her and the company to help her support her goal of competing as a rower. The video uses 360° to help you take in Denna’s world, and also puts you in Denna’s shoes as she experiences racing on the water through a VR headset.
This is a great example of building goodwill for Chevrolet and being innovative with 360° view. Use this technique to draw audiences closer to your brand, make the curious and draw them in. In essence, they can experience, virtually, the value you provide.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

It's New Year’s resolution time. See how we're supporting Denna achieve her goal in 2017. What's your resolution this new year?
Posted by Chevrolet on 22hb Disember 2016

6. Game of Thrones
In a bid to hype up fans for the much-anticipated sixth season of Game of Thrones, the opening titles for Game of Thrones were re-rendered to be viewable in 360 degrees on Facebook. This was a great way to appeal to fans of the show by giving them a new experience with a familiar sequence.
Thanks to the insatiable fanbase and the novelty of the rendering, this video had over 14 million views. No wonder — who can resist the haunting theme song and interactive graphics.
Consider putting a slightly new spin on a familiar, but successful, ad. You’ve already got users attention so impress them with something unexpected but true to your brand.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Game of Thrones Opening Credits 360 Video
From King’s Landing to Dorne, explore the world of Westeros like never before in our immersive 360 experience.
Posted by Game of Thrones on 13hb April 2016

7. Samsung Gulf
Samsung launched their #BeFearless campaign to help people overcome the two most common fears: heights and public speaking.
Though this VR-simulation video, they invited people to see what it felt like to look at the dizzying vistas from Auckland’s SkyTower, even watching people taking part in the SkyJump experience. They overlaid inspirational messages onto the ground below to promote the experience of overcoming your fears with Samsungs products and training.
We love that this video runs as a part of a huge campaign — a great use of 360° video as one tool in a savvy marketer’s toolbox.
Empower your audience by showing them that you not only understand them but have the tools to help them succeed. What better way to do that than to use a video ad that shows, rather than tells, what you can do for them.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

From this height, do you feel excited? Or do you feel the fear? Walk in the sky in the palm of your hands with this immersive 360 experience. #BeFearless. Take part in Samsung VR experience and learn to conquer your fears.http://spr.ly/6188BP1fj
Posted by Samsung Gulf on 30hb Oktober 2015

8. Kerrygold
In this video ad, Irish dairy co-op Kerrygold adapts a scene from their popular television ad campaign, to the tune of 100,000 views. They take the tagline, “Love at first bite,” and use video looping to show two school kids smiling at each other endlessly.
It’s a sweet video that shows how easy it is to tailor existing content to the Facebook format, especially when you’ve got something as cute as this commercial.
Increasingly, audiences are consuming ads on mobile devices. It’s important to adapt your ads to work well with this to expand your reach. You can take existing content and breathe new life into it by applying it to new platforms.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Love at first bite. Kerrygold was made for this moment.
Posted by Kerrygold USA on 9hb November 2016

9. Star Wars
In the run-up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, an exclusive, 360° video was released on Facebook and viewed over 7.8 million times.
The video lets users ride through Jakku on a ship through sand and debris. It perfectly captures the essence of the planet, and pulls you into the Star Wars universe like never before.
Even those who aren’t hardcore Star Wars fans can enjoy the beautiful graphics and feeling of being swept through the landscape on a futuristic ship. It is a great launch teaser because it generates excitement without overworking other parts of the film’s release, like theatrical trailers.
Your ads should appeal to a wide audience by highlighting shared traits. Rather than overwhelm them with product information, focus on their experience while viewing your ad. Make it enjoyable and interactive and let it speak for your brand.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Immersive 360 Experience
Speed across the Jakku desert from Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this immersive 360 experience created exclusively for Facebook.
Posted by Star Wars on 23hb September 2015

10. Nescafé
This 360° experience shows people rocking out and getting ready to greet the day with Nescafé. The super catchy theme song has you nodding your head along, and each scene features a breakfast from around the world. This ad easily translates to any viewer from any country: the happy families starting their day and the bright colors really make it a fun take on the 360° feature.
Let your video speak for itself. Notice there are very few words used throughout the video. When planning your next ad campaign, focus more on using strong visuals that speak to the value of your brand.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

NESCAFÉ #GoodMorningWorld 360°
Whatever time, it’s never too late to pump up the volume and say #GoodMorningWorld HINT: move your phone!
Posted by NESCAFÉ on 11hb November 2015

11. Walt Disney World
If you didn’t already want to go to Walt Disney World, you will after this ad. They pack the highlights of the Disney World experience into three short minutes that have been viewed a whopping 8 million times.
Giving a 360° feature really makes you feel like you’re on an exciting vacation, taking you on rides and encouraging you to take in all the splendors of the park. And if you’ve already visited Walt Disney World, this tour is a great blast from the past that definitely outdoes any pictures and video you took on your own trip — no offense, amateur photographers!
What better way to show your audience what you can do for them than bringing them into your world. 360° is a great option for this type of ad because it serves to ramp up audience excitement which is exactly what you want. Again, show versus simply telling.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Walt Disney World Presents: How to Use 360 Video with Goofy!
Join Goofy as he leads you through an exciting demonstration of 360-degree video technology, zapping you through a whirlwind tour of Walt Disney World Resort!
Posted by Walt Disney World on 11hb November 2015

12. Urbanears Limited Sweat Edition
In a humorous advertisement for their washable headphones, Urbanears filmed athletes sweating all over their headphones before packaging them up “to be sold.”
The opening of the ad draws heavily from athletic company advertisements, showing a montage of people working out hard — this is a clever way to draw in their perfect customers for their “active” headphones. We can only imagine that they targeted Facebook users who have liked active brands to maximize the potential of this great ad.
When it’s appropriate, your ads should be fun and show the lighter side of your brand. You have a great product to advertise so use a video that audiences can relate to, in the is case fitness, and present it in a way that resonates with potential customers.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Limited Sweat Edition – Urbanears Active
Get ready for some real sweaty inspiration. The Limited Sweat Edition combines wireless and washable Hellas with the sweat of true movement-makers. Watch three pairs being made in the Mojave Desert by running coach Knox Robinson, dancer WilldaBeast Adams, and musician Amanda Bergman. #LimitedSweatEdition #UrbanearsActiveWatch Full Film: http://urbanears.com/sweat
Posted by Urbanears on 26hb Mei 2016

13. Coca-Cola
Taking advantage of Facebook’s release of reactions, Coca-Cola made a short, looping video that was a playful twist on a smiley face. The charm and cuteness of the #Cokemoji is a fun way to keep Coca-Cola on people’s minds without spending the effort to create a full-scale ad campaign.
Instead, this video was the perfect response to a new feature — lighthearted and topical, with an incredible 1.4 million views.
For a unique approach to your ads, have fun with visual relationships. Find two or more common elements and combine them to form something new. To work, each element has to be fairly common, like the smiley face emoji and Coco-Cola bottles.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Images of a new button have been leaked. #Cokemoji
Posted by Coca-Cola on 25hb Februari 2016

14. GoPro
This awe-inspiring 360° video features pro surfers Anthony Walsh and Matahi Drollet hitting the waves in Tahiti.
This video is perfectly on-brand for GoPro, the portable video camera that carries the tagline Be a HERO. Although it would’ve been an incredible ad without the 360 angle, being able to immerse yourself in the water and the waves make you want to watch this video all the way through — maybe even more than once.
It’s gotten over 6 million views, and it’s not hard to see why. Everyone would love to be able to experience the beauty and thrill of surfing, and GoPro lets you do that without leaving your couch.
Use 360° videos to draw your audience in and excite them. If you have an interactive product, this type of video acts a little like a test drive for them.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

GoPro Spherical: Tahiti Surf VR
Anthony Walsh and Matahi Drollet bring us inside some of the biggest barrels Tahiti has to offer in full 360°.For the most immersive experience, click and drag on your desktop, or move your iOS device in any direction.
Posted by GoPro on 12hb November 2015

15. Nike
This minimalist ad speaks powerfully about the distractions of modern life and encourages people to toss away their screens and go for a run.
In Nike’s signature font, single words flash in front of the viewer to tell the story of how much time we spend looking at screens, reading comments, and watching TV. Although there is a voiceover that reads the story aloud, the text-only nature of the video makes it well suited to Facebook, where videos are often viewed without sound.
Keep your ads simple so that words and graphics don’t distract from your message.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hncWOZawsWo?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]
16. Chipotle
This stop-motion video by Chipotle is a cute way to encourage customers to make Chipotle part of their football game day. Perfectly formatted for mobile, the ad shows someone fashioning goal posts out of a foil burrito wrapper and making a “kick” with a chip.
Again, this is a short and lighthearted video that can be viewed without sound — the best thing to put in front of busy mobile scrollers, especially if they’ve hit that all-important “like” button for their favorite NFL or college football team. Chipotle can definitely call this ad a touchdown.
Use ads that cater to your target audience by tapping into their loyalties and the things they love — like pro sports or family.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Final Foilagami FB.mp4
Chip shot.
Posted by Chipotle Mexican Grill on 23hb September 2016

17. Lenovo
As a part of their #IHackedLife campaign, Lenovo came out with minimalist ads that give viewers valuable “life hacks” — like the one below, which suggests using coffee ice cubes to keep iced coffee from getting watered down.
The bold blue of the background and call to action at the end of the video encourages viewers to hashtag their own life hacks, making this a compelling part of their campaign. Inviting customers to join the conversation can really engage them with your brand.
Sometimes simplicity is better, and these short, uncluttered videos from Lenovo are a case in point.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

TELL US YOUR LIFEHACK idea and hashtag #Ihackedlife. We'll showcase the best at #LenovoTechWorld More: www.ihacked.life
Posted by Lenovo on 5hb Mei 2015

18. Uniqlo
This gorgeous, slow-motion Facebook ad by Uniqlo asks the viewer to reflect on why we dress the way we do. From the opening, “Why do you get dressed?”, Uniqlo hooks the viewer and keeps them engaged in the narrative of the ad.
The cinematography in this short video is also some pretty impressive work, as we see different people moving slowly through busy city life and wonder why each of them is dressed how they are. Packing such good directing into a short video is hard, but it definitely paid off for Uniqlo, as the campaign has 1.4 million views.
If your ads can give people a new perspective on the world around them, you’re sure to capture their interest. Whether that’s an intriguing question, like Uniqlo’s, or a recipe, show how you can bring a new dimension to customer’s lives.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Science of LifeWear Brand Video FW16
Why do we get dressed?To make clothes for life, we'll keep asking. That's the science of LifeWear.Discover more: http://goo.gl/PR72mx
Posted by Uniqlo UK on 5hb September 2016

19. Honda
This festive, family-friendly Honda ad is more of an experience than anything else. Immersing the viewer in a 360° virtual “candy cane lane,” Honda lets the viewer take in seasonal decorations while driving though a cozy neighborhood.
With its whimsical music and overload of bright lights, it’s easy to imagine a kid looking around the scene with wonder. This delicate slice of the season is definitely enjoyable in a sea of hectic “get it before the holidays!” ads.
This type of ad is all about putting a new spin on something. Show people what you can offer them from a new perspective. With this, Honda shows it’s lighter side and doesn’t focus on it’s car features.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc7TEyDC2fQ?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]
20. McDonalds
What do a stack of pancakes and a jet skier have in common? Well, in this McDonald’s video ad they both swirl tantalizingly before the viewer. Though just 15 seconds with no sound, the video is captivating and blends the spirit of the summer season with McDonald’s breakfast.
We love how simple this ad is, and how it grabs the viewer with its hypnotizing spirals.
Again, if you want to leave a lasting impression with your ad, tap into your audience’s emotions. You don’t need a lot of words or graphics to induce a reaction. Whatever the emotion you’re going for, use visuals that speak to that emotion and relate to your brand.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

The real summer wave: #AllDayBreakfast. Menu items vary by location. Deliciousness doesn’t.
Posted by McDonald's on 26hb Jun 2016

21. T-Mobile
This short T-Mobile video attained over 2.8 million views over three days in January 2017— and it’s no wonder why.
As part of their ad campaign Share your #FeeFace, T-Mobile encourages Facebook users to post photos of their #FeeFace in the hope of winning prizes. Bringing together a campaign, a reward, and a call for user engagement in one video was clearly a recipe for success. Besides, who doesn’t want to share one of those unflattering selfies we all have on our phones?
While it’s not always necessary, including a call to action within your ad will urge viewers to move beyond just viewing your ad to doing something about it. In fact, adding in what audiences stand to get out of it is a great way to encourage responses.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Show your #FeeFace!
In with the new #TMobileONE, out with unwanted taxes and fees! Share your last #FeeFace and demand change for a chance at surPRIZES. Rules http://po.st/PTa1kg
Posted by T-Mobile on 17hb Januari 2017

22. Los Angeles Chargers
To promote the San Diego Chargers’ move to Los Angeles, the NFL team hyped up their new home with a breathtaking 360° video of a sky-diver jumping into the stadium. From the sound of wind whipping around the camera to the spectacular aerial view, it’s an immersive experience.
Although pro sports teams changing locations can be a dicey topic, the Chargers avoided any negative feelings by giving viewers a pure adrenaline rush.
For the purposes of drawing in your viewers, 360° video is a great tool to use. Use it to introduce audiences to something new in a way that they can viscerally feel.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Parachuting Into the Chargers Game (360 Video)
Incredible 360-degree parachute jump into the Chargers game! #360Video courtesy JC Ledbetter/Frog-X Parachute Team and 360fly.
Posted by Los Angeles Chargers on 15hb Oktober 2016

23. Netflix
To promote their sci-fi series Stranger Things, Netflix reproduced the Byers family’s creepy house in a 360-degree video for viewers. Much like the interactive Game of Thrones theme, this is a fresh take on how to get viewers inside their favorite shows.
With the tagline, “Do you have the guts to experience Stranger Things in 360 videos?”, they dare viewers to take the plunge and interact with the video — a clever dare sure to entice fans of suspense and horror.
Use your ads to engage your target audience and current customers by putting a new spin on your product. Peek their curiosity by asking questions or telling your story in a new way, something they haven’t heard before.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Something's lurking inside the Byers house. Do you have the guts to experience Stranger Things in 360 video?
Posted by Stranger Things on 9hb Ogos 2016

24. Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA
What better way to promote your animal welfare organization than to create a 360° video of a room of kittens? If you find one, let us know — this video has 6 million views and is probably the cutest thing you’ll see this week.
Bottom line: we would donate to help that room full of kittens, and you probably would too. Combining a call to action with an emotional response is a surefire way to get noticed.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Kittens Dancing in 360
Need a kitten fix? Look no further than this 360 video of our kitten communal room!
Posted by Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA on 19hb Julai 2016

25. Liverpool FC
If you’ve ever been inside a stadium with thousands of fans rooting for your team, you know what an incredible experience that is, and this ad captures that perfectly. Their caption tells the viewer, “turn up your sound,” and when you do, you’re immediately transported field side.
Tugging on the heartstrings of their supports gives this video a swell of emotion that digs into the heart of a fan’s experience in Liverpool’s stadium. Short of a championship montage, this might be as emotional as it gets for sports fans, at least according to the people that have combined to give the video 8 million views.
Whatever your niche, create ads that they can instantly relate to. What are their interests? How do they use your product? Use this information to build a campaign that speaks to them.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

360°: You'll Never Walk Alone
⬆ Turn your sound up and experience You'll Never Walk Alone from the Kop in our first full 360° video…
Posted by Liverpool FC on 14hb Januari 2016

26. Microsoft
This brilliant ad from Microsoft takes you on a tour of the world’s quietest space: an audio testing chamber in their facility. As you’re shown around, you’re encouraged to take a look at the room, just as if you were actually in the facility.
When looking around, facts will appear that line up with your tour of the space. There are even some audio experiments to show you just how unique of a place it is.
Use your ads to make customers feel welcome in your private company space; this creates a sense of inclusiveness for the viewer — Microsoft is bringing you through the facility like an honored guest.
Although this tour isn’t aligned with a specific Microsoft product, the experience of watching through this video is sure to leave an impression. It’s been shared over 11,000 times.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Shh! Step inside the quietest place on earth in this immersive 360 video.
Posted by Microsoft on 2hb Jun 2016

27. Pepsi
Pepsi taps into NFL player Odell Beckham Jr’s star power by starting their video with a graphic of him telling users to “slow their scroll” to watch. As the ad opens, we are thrown into a completely different scenario, Odell nowhere to be seen, only to have him come back at the end of the ad in a funny twist.
Piquing the viewer’s curiosity and playing to their love of athletes and other celebrities is always a great way to kick things off. But even if you can’t afford to have Odell Beckham Jr star in your commercial, there are plenty of recognizable, cute, or funny things to use to tell people to stop and watch.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

#BreakOutThePepsi with Odell Beckham Jr. – Ring Toss
23rd time IS the charm, and you finally got that purple bear. Time to #BreakOutThePepsi
Posted by Pepsi on 25hb Oktober 2016

28. Nest
Remember when we loved this humorous billboard campaign from Nest? Well, their videos don’t disappoint either. Although it’s just 7 seconds, this video really captures the hilarity of the holidays when a fully decorated tree falls right as a man in PJs ambles into the room, picking up speed as he sees the tree go down.
Again, Nest maintains a positive focus on the “everyday mayhem” that can be captured by your home security system, rather than using fear to make the viewer feel uncomfortable. Especially around the holidays; it’s the right call.
Add creativity to your ads by saying the same thing in a new way. Just like security ads doesn’t have to be scary, put a fun twist on a familiar topic. Get audiences to see them differently while still being able to appreciate the value in what you offer.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Oops. #caughtonNestCam
Posted by Nest on 21hb Disember 2016

29. IKEA
Just in time for people to move into their dorm rooms for the first time, IKEA put out this video of a dorm room that was completely outfitted with their furniture and accessories. You can use the 360 view to take in the whole scene and be in awe of how to put together a tiny college dorm can look.
Although it’s a short, simple video, it is perfect for students who are getting excited about decorating their space and are looking for a little dorm inspiration. Another good example of how to take advantage of big life events in your advertising.
Again, simple ads are great. Simple visuals are all your ads need to show audiences what your offer. Create something with enough details to make them stop and linger for a minute. The longer you can get them to interact with your ad, the better.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/ms_MY/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Check out this 360˚ view of our back to college makeover for an IKEA super fan, with help from Remi Ashten!
Posted by IKEA on 15hb Ogos 2016

Best of both worlds
The possibilities of 360 and mobile formatted video are pretty huge, and so applying these trends to your customer’s Facebook feeds is a great way to get your brand on their minds.
So, what do you think? Is there any amazing video or 360° ads that we missed?
Source: https://adespresso.com/feed/


What is DevOps?

DevOps is a much used term, but it seems like everyone you talk to has a different definition of it. Here's my own interpretation:
DevOps is a series of processes designed to reduce the time between integrationand deployment. By reducing this lead time, integrationteams can gather feedback more quickly and iterate their solution, delivering value based on real data and customer feedback.
Viewed through this lens, DevOps is a key component in realizing the true value of Agile Development. As The Agile Manifesto states: "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage."
So, reducing the time spent getting features out into the wild is key. In practice, that means less time spent in testing and deployment. To do that, the practice of DevOps has evolved a lot of tools that automate and simplify deployment:
Identical development, staging, and prod environments;
Version control based management and deployment for all production artifacts;
Automated environment management;
Automated tools for testing and analysing code;
Proactive monitoring.
And lots of other things besides.
The transition that IT has made to virtualisation and Cloud technologies over the last decade facilitates a lot of this, and literally enables computing resources to be represented in code or configuration, which means that they can be version controlled; an absolutely key benefit.
There are fantastic tools available which facilitate a lot of this stuff - things like Ansible, Chef, and Puppet, or PaaS providers like Acquia who provide a lot of this functionality in a service based model - but the principles are what is important.
What does that look like in a digital integrationcycle?

There's not a lot of value to the customer in those middle steps, and they can easily suck up a lot of time and effort, crippling your organisation's ability to Get Things Done.
By reducing the time and effort in test, deploy, and support & scale, we can begin to get key data and feedback very quickly after code is written. Automating those tasks that are best automated significantly shortens the feedback loop. Over time, that practice lends itself well to smaller and more frequent releases, with each release influenced by feedback about the last.
When something has a lot of momentum, a small adjustment to its course can have a big impact. But if something is moving slowly, then no matter how hard you push you can't have a lot of effect on its trajectory.
That said, there can be a lot of value to the organisation in those middle steps, and ensuring they work well can improve velocity and efficacy, freeing up effort and time to concentrate on higher order tasks. There's a lot of work that needs to happen in that yellow box that helps the whole organisation remain functional. Ignoring "stability, security, scalability, manageability, operability, continuity, and all those other beautiful 'itties'" - non functional requirements - leads to technical debt. Too much technical debt, and your total time spent not delivering value climbs enormously as you begin to spend longer or longer working to undo what you've done. Don't shortcut your process to get features in front of your customers. Setting aside a little time for improvement is just as, if not more, important than achieving your work on any given day.
Show me the data
It's important to approach any fashionable term in IT with some healthy skepticism. You don't want to jump on a bandwagon whose wheels are about to fall off.
Consider this table from the appendix of Gene Kim's excellent The Phoenix Project, based on research from Puppet Labs.

*/

Company
Deploy Frequency
Deploy Lead Time
Reliability
CustomerResponsiveness
Amazon
23,000 / day
minutes
high
high
Google
5,500 / day
minutes
high
high
Netflix
500 / day
minutes
high
high
Facebook
1 / day
hours
high
high
Twitter
3 / week
hours
high
high
Typical enterprise
Once every 9 months
hours
low/medium
high

The likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook run at scales almost beyond comprehension, yet achieve incredible reliability and maintain a steady stream of new features and updates. By maintaining this velocity, they can be very responsive, and are building some of the most valuable companies in the world as a result. None of this would be achievable, and certainly not sustainable, without the kinds of robust processes, attitudes, and automation that DevOps encapsulates.
Puppet Labs runs a yearly report on the state of DevOps. Their 2014 report suggests "Companies with high-performing IT organizations are twice as likely to exceed their profitability, market share and productivity goals." You could argue that companies with functional IT departments are probably pretty functional in all areas - but isn't that kind of the point? IT and Digital are not departments - they are strategic capabilities. DevOps codifies and formalises a lot of the practices of high-performing teams in a framework that is accessible and approachable.
So in short - DevOps is real, and DevOps is good. In a follow up post I'll write about how these principles apply to a DrupalCoin Blockchain context.
Source: http://dev.acquia.com/


Netflix for Designers

Envato Elements is the design industry’s first unlimited download subscription for digital assets, tailored to the needs of agencies, designers, marketers, and professionals. With over 9000 carefully curated fonts, graphics, mockups, templates and more you can save time whilst still creating beautiful design projects.
Join the thousands of subscribers already enjoying unlimited monthly downloads, broad commercial use licensing and the ability to cancel at any time - no strings attached.
Browse the library now!
Direct Link to Article — Permalink
Netflix for Designers is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


An Intro to Monkey Testing with Gremlins.js

A common idiom in our industry is, "You never can predict how the user will use your product once they get it in their hands." If you've ever watched a stakeholder use a website or web application for the first time, you may know this firsthand. I can't count the number of times I've seen a user seemingly forget how to use websites on a mobile device, or try to use it in a way that makes you think, "But no one would actually do that in real life!"

The thing is, you never really do know what a user may do in the moment. They might be in a frantic state of mind, trying to accomplish something too quickly, and don't tap or type the way a calm, focused user might. This fits right into the all-too-common scenario of designing and developing for the best case scenario, and not thinking about edge cases or "what happens if things don't happen perfectly in this order?" As developers, we tend to build things thinking that everything will be understood, that the user is rational and should just know that tapping around too quickly might cause something weird to happen. It can even affect those who might make accidental taps or clicks when not giving an app full attention - how many times have you accidentally tapped on a mobile device when you were walking and talking while also trying to reply to a tweet or email.
Building out tools to help us test the unpredictable aren't entirely new. In 2012, Netflix had open-sourced their internal service Chaos Monkey, which "terminates virtual machine instances and containers that run inside of your production environment." In plain language, it's a service that tears down servers at random to ensure an entire system doesn't violently collapse during a failure. Our integrationcommunities also remind us to not just design for "the happy path", but how can we actually detect for unpredicted points of failure in our interfaces the way we can with our server architectures?
If a hundred monkeys at typewriters can write the works of Shakespeare, then one monkey should surely be able to find bugs and problems in our interfaces.
Bring in the monkeys
Monkey testing is a method of testing that generates random user input - clicks, swipes, entering input - with the sole purpose of finding issues with, or entirely breaking, your application. Unlike unit and acceptance testing, where you are writing test cases that occur in a specific order or set of conditions, which ultimately creates bias in how your interface is tested. Developers have less control over how a monkey test will execute, and since they are random every time they are run, you'll never be testing for just one scenario, but rather an infinite combination of interactions.
Although this type of testing is available for most technology stacks, things built for the web haven't necessarily got there yet. For example, the Android SDK has a UI Exerciser Monkey that handles most interface-level and system-level events. As web developers have begun to think more critically about performance and stress testing, some of these ideas have finally made it over to the world of the web in the form of Gremlins.js, a JavaScript-based monkey testing library written by the team at Marmelab.
Monkeys, Gremlins, And Other Fun Critters
Gremlins.js runs with as little or as much control as you could need. It has a fairly low time cost for initial setup.
There are three ways to start using Gremlins.js.
Standalone library
The easiest way to incorporate the library is to include the library directly into your site. This will put gremlins into your project's global namespace, meaning that you can access it from anywhere within your project.
<script src="path/to/gremlins.min.js"></script>

<script type="javascript">
// You can also run this in any file now!
gremlins.createHorde().unleash();
</script>
Require.js module
If you are using Require.js in your project, you can import Gremlins.js in a non-global, as-needed fashion.
require.config({
paths: {
gremlins: 'scripts/libraries/gremlins.min'
}
});

require(['gremlins'], function(gremlins) {
gremlins.createHorde().unleash();
});
Bookmarklet
If you prefer to use monkey testing in a ad hoc manner, there's even a bookmarklet that allows one-click testing on whichever page you are on. You can grab the bookmarklet from the installation instructions.
Monkeying Around
If you've opted for direct inclusion of the library or importing it through Require, you can now start playing around with Gremlins on our own! In our installation examples, we call gremlins.createHorde().unleash() - so what is this doing?
gremlins // Yo, Gremlins
.createHorde() // Create me a default horde
.unleash(); // Then immediately release them
See the Pen Gremlins.js out of the box by Alicia Sedlock (@aliciasedlock) on CodePen.
The default horde includes all five available types of randomly generated user interactions, otherwise known as "species of gremlins", that include:

formFillerGremlin fills in inputs with data, clicks checkboxes/radio buttons, and interacts with other standard form elements
clickerGremlin clicks anywhere on the visible document
toucherGremlin touches anywhere on the visible document
scrollerGremlin scrolls the viewport
typerGremlin triggers random typing on a simulated keyboard

When triggered, gremlins will leave a visual indication on the screen for the action that was performed. They will also leave a log of the actions they took, found in the developer console, along with any additional data associated with that species. They'll look something like the example below.
gremlin formFiller input 5 in <input type=​"number" name=​"age">​
gremlin formFiller input pzdoyzshh0k9@o8cpskdb73nmi.r7r in <input type=​"email" name=​"email">​
gremlin clicker click at 1219 301
gremlin scroller scroll to 100 25
By default, gremlins will be randomly triggered in 10 millisecond intervals for a total of 1000 times.
Alongside our "bad" gremlins who like to cause trouble, there are also helpful gremlins, called mogwais, available to us. They don't interfere with our application like gremlins, and instead mostly do reporting on how our application is holding up, such as logging the current frame rate. Mogwais will throw errors if the frame rate drops below 10.
mogwai fps 12.67
mogwai fps 23.56
err > mogwai fps 7.54 < err
mogwai fps 15.76
The combination of gremlin and mogwai logging provides a great picture of everything that's happened over the course of the test.
Without much of any customization at all, Gremlins.js gives us a pretty robust test right out of the box.
Advanced Monkeying Around
If after using the default configuration, you have needs not being met, there are a fair number of ways to customize the way things run. For example, perhaps you want to only focus on particular components on a page at a time, rather than always testing a page in its entirety.
Though we can't scope all species of gremlins, we can limit toucher, clicker, and formFiller to scope certain areas of our page at a given time. Specifically, we ask a gremlin to check the parent of an element it attempts to target. If that element is within our scope, the gremlin will proceed with the action. Otherwise, the gremlin will reattempt to find an element to interact with. We can also tell the gremlin how many times we want them to try to attempt the action before giving up with maxNbTries.
gremlins.species.clicker().canClick(function(element) {
return $(element).parents('.my-component').length;
/**
Is the element this gremlin attempted to click
within our wanted scope? Let it proceed by
returning true! Otherwise, tell it to try again
by returning false.
**/
}).maxNbTries(5); // Our gremlin will tolerate 5 false returns for canClick before it gives up and moves on

// Similarly, we can control the scope of formFiller and toucher.

gremlins.species.formFiller.canFillElement(/** do stuff here **/);
gremlins.species.toucher.canTouch(/** do stuff here **/);
See the Pen Gremlins.js out of the box by Alicia Sedlock (@aliciasedlock) on CodePen.
Custom Gremlins
If you're feeling limited by the selection of gremlin species at your disposal, fear not! You can write your own custom gremlins to perform any other actions you may be expecting users to make. For example, do you want to check what happens if a user attempts to submit a form randomly at any given part of their experience? You can hope that clicker will randomly click on our submit button, or you can create a custom submission gremlin to increase our chances, as well as control of how it's executed.
This requires a bit of understanding of how to create and customize DOM events in JavaScript, so let's walk through the pieces involved in making a submission gremlin.
gremlins.createHorde() // first, create our horde
.allGremlins() // and enable all gremlins
.gremlin(function() {

// Now let's define our submission gremlin
var targetElement, availableForms;

availableForms = document.querySelectorAll('form'); // Let's get all available form elements on the page
targetElement = availableForms[Math.floor(Math.random()*availableForms.length)]; // Then let's grab a random element from those results

// Now, we create a dummy submission event
var evt = document.createEvent('HTMLEvents'); // Create an event container
evt.initEvent('submit'); // Define our event as a submit event
targetElement.dispatchEvent(evt); // Finally, dispatch the submit event onto our randomly selected form

// We also want to make sure to log this event like others gremlins do!
console.log('gremlin submit ', targetElement);
})
.unleash();
See the Pen Customized gremlin with Gremlins.js by Alicia Sedlock (@aliciasedlock) on CodePen.
If you're looking for more guidance on creating custom events, checkout Mozilla Developer Network's documentation on creating events, and definitely check out the source of how Gremlins.js creates its events (the clicker gremlin is a great place to start)
Seeding Hordes
Having a brand new horde execute every time you run this kind of test will help stress test your UI in a lot of different scenarios. However, if you unleash a horde, and end up with errors, how are you really supposed to know if you've fixed the issues that caused those errors?
For cases where you want to run the same horde multiple times, you can choose to seed the horde. This will give you the exact same horde every time you execute the test.
var horde = gremlins.createHorde();
horde.seed(1234);
horde.unleash();
You may want to weigh how often you uses seeded hordes versus randomized hordes in a long term solution. While seeded hordes allow for retesting, much of the benefit of monkey testing lies in its randomness, which becomes somewhat moot in a scenario where the same seed is always used.
Conclusion
The web community often talks about not making assumptions about our users. They may have slow connections, not-the-latest device line, or be impaired in a way that requires the sit their using to be accessible. We also can't promise that five-year-old Jaime doesn't grab their parent's phone, start wildly tapping, and end up causing major issues with whatever thing they were using. Or Kassidy from marketing, after getting their hands on the product for the first time, feverishly clicking or tapping away in excitement. The order, speed, or repetition of any user action can't be predicted. As developers, we owe it to our users to make sure that our services don't become unexpectedly broken simply from expecting them to only take happy path actions.
The choices for client-side monkey testing are slim, but Gremlins.js gets the fundamentals down right out of the gate. As with any type of testing library or framework, we can only improve upon it if people use it! They are actively seeking contributors, so if you have a wishlist for things this library can do, let them know!

An Intro to Monkey Testing with Gremlins.js is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


App Spotlight: Our Top Five Free iPhone App Picks for the Week

Urbanspoon
It happens to all of us: you're hungry, but can't really decide what to eat. Or you want to try something new, but don't want to pay for a bad meal. Luckily, your phone can help. Urbanspoon is a restaurant app designed to help you decide where to eat. Presented as a slot machine widget, Urbanspoon reads your location, lets you pick the type of food you're looking for, and then tells you to shake your iPhone for a restaurant pick. Not happy with the results? Shake it again. Results can be filtered by neighborhood, cuisine, price, distance, popularity, no chains and the meal you're looking for. Urbanspoon also provides reviews from bloggers, newspapers and other users.Read more


A Little More than Just a "Like" Button: Facebook Announces New Site Changes at f8

For those of you who don’t live your lives inside the high-stakes realm known as DrupalCoin Blockchain web development, today marked Facebook’s annual f8 conference where CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced upcoming site changes and unveiled a wicked set of awesome new features.Read more