Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 41.
LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry.
Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask pretty much any internet user, and they’ll tell you they don’t like ads. They’re intrusive, ubiquitous, and — particularly when viewed on your mobile — sap bandwidth. But could the mobile web survive without them?
The use of ad blockers has been on the rise for some time. Indeed, during the second quarter of 2014 there were approximately 144 million monthly active users of the major ad block plugins globally, an increase of 69% over the previous 12 months. Their growth doesn’t show any sign of slowing.
Enter Shine Technologies, a company that claims major mobile carriers are ready to sign up to their service to block video, display and banner ads at source. This move, if it proves possible, would significantly impact on the operations of every company that depends on ads to reach their customers — or depends on the revenue generated by delivering the ads themselves.
So should brands be worried? The answer is….not simple. According to Shine, some ad formats will survive their filtering process. These include Facebook sponsored video posts and Hulu commercials, and any other ad that Shine and the carriers deem acceptable. And here’s the reason to take heart: such a set up seems grossly unfair (and certainly falls foul of net neutrality rules). It favours some formats over others, and leaves the decision to show them not in the hands of users — which is the empowering message Shine and other ad blockers espouse most often — but in the hands of the carriers and the developers.
No one likes overly intrusive ads. But ads are an integral part of the internet’s economy — and if anyone is going to choose not to see them, it should be users themselves. Ad blockers are on the rise, and brands will have to be quick on their feet to find ways of reaching their audience without tempting them to flick the switch.
Delta Airlines previewed its latest in-flight safety video on YouTube this week, which may seem like an odd move until you take a look…
Describing it would be a little head-bending, but needless to say if it’s a pop culture reference that’s been big on the internet in the last ten years, you’ll find it here. (If you’re curious, Delta itself has provided a list of everything you can see in the video’s YouTube description)
Is cramming content full of memes and in-jokes the format for the world’s most shareable video? Or — more simply — has Delta finally hit upon the best way to encourage people to pay attention to in-flight safety?
More or less? It’s up to you!
While the smartphone industry continues to shave down buttons and create more software, some innovators seem to miss the good old days when we used the phone to talk (vocal chords and all).
It is dubbed the anti-smartphone — but don’t freak-out, it’s still cordless and fits in your pocket…though it seems a reasonable name since the battery allegedly lasts for 20 days!
“This project is really about a conversation we want to start. Is where technology is going really the way we want in terms of living our day to day lives in the happiest sense?” Hollier said.
What do you think?
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