Web Toolbar by Wibiya

Meerkat is the Evolution of Twitter and Video

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with line of service from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback. All opinions are my own.   

The keyword in the tech world this week has been ‘Meerkat’. If you don’t use twitter much, it’s possible you haven’t heard about it yet. Ask the average person what meerkat is, they’ll tell you they are small furry animals from Africa. So is this what we are talking about? No. Meerkat is a new app that connects your camera phone to your twitter feed.  Combine that with the power of my Verizon network and this means it’s then possible for me to live stream from my smartphone from almost anywhere!

The app launched March 10th and blew up at SXSW. As with most third-party apps that connect to twitter, if you hit the sweet spot you can gain traction fast. This happened for Meerkat when Jimmy Fallon signed up for the app, then began rehearsing the monologue for his show while live streaming it to twitter! Not a bad situation for a new app. The titans of tech like Lance Ulanoff, Gary V, and Guy Kawasaki are also using the service. When people with such large twitter followings join, you can imagine how fast they pick up new downloads, and users.

 

Jimmy Fallon on Meerkat

Jimmy Fallon on Meerkat

 

 

History continues to repeat itself with Twitter and third-party apps. Meerkat just launched and Twitter has already put measures in place to slow it down. Why? Well Twitter has it’s own live streaming service coming soon called Periscope. In the words of Meerkat, “Everything that happens on Meerkat, happens on Twitter.” That’s been the key to success so far, but also could be the end of the app if Twitter decides to cut it off totally.

How does it work? Meerkat connects your phone camera to your Twitter feed; once you’ve installed the app, you type in a status and hit the “stream” button—and just like that, a link goes out to your Twitter followers with live video from wherever it is you are pointing the camera.

Our smartphones have become embedded in our daily lives, and this is just the next logical step. This is yet another reason to make sure you have the correct carrier for your smart phone. Live streaming over the Verizon network will be a powerful tool for many smartphone users. Live stream apps have come and gone before, but we are now in an era of mobile broadband, where everyone has a 4G smart phone.

I can see this being a big help to me this summer when we take our School of Rock students on tour. We can livestream footage of the concerts to the parents at home that weren’t able to make the trip. Live events right from your smartphone, what will they think of next?

They have also added a gamification aspect to the app, where users get points for use. This is a cool site that shows who the leaders are in the Meerkat community. https://www.rise.global/meerkat

Google to Favor Mobile Friendly Sites in Search Rankings

Small businesses and website managers felt a shockwave recently when Google announced the new push toward making sites mobile friendly. This should not be taken lightly, as there are lots of businesses out there who have sites that will be penalized. Google has confirmed that it is now going to take into account whether or not a website is mobile-friendly when it is indexing sites for its search engine. What does this mean for websites? The ones that are not mobile-friendly will not be ranked higher than those who are.

Mobile Friendly Test

Mobile Friendly Test

The announcement says that the change won’t be reflected in rankings until April 2015.  Site owners will now have a little over a month scrabble and make the necessary changes. The last thing any site manager wants is to fail to make the required changes for Google and then see their site penalized for not being mobile-friendly.

The announcement came about through a post on its Webmaster Central blog. Here is an excerpt from the post and the link to it:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Now that we know what’s coming, let’s talk about some solutions to the new challenge. For help with making a mobile-friendly site, check out Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites. If you are a webmaster, you can get ready for this change by using the following tools to see how Googlebot views your pages. You can use the Mobile-Friendly Test to see the status of what needs to be done. You can also use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.

Good luck everyone!

 

 

Smartphones Will Love IFTTT’s New ‘Do’ Apps #VZWBuzz

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with line of service from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback. All opinions are my own.   

IFTTT is already one of our favorite apps for smartphones. Today, the same company launched three new apps for iOS and Android. The Do Camera, Do Note, and the Do Button. At the same time they are rebranding the original IFTTT app by changing its name to IF. For those not familiar with the company, it’s a great tool that allows you to automatically use content, services, or other third-party apps by connecting them all with each other. Once connected then you can create ‘recipes’ to carry out specific tasks. The tasks started by a trigger, or source point, and then using the connection it carries out an action with another connected service.

I have been using the IFTTT app for a long time now, and have been very happy with it. I’ve had two main smart phones over the past year. One was iPhone 5S the other was a Samsung Galaxy S5. I have to say the app has worked very well on both operating systems. I have no doubt these new apps will as well. Put that with the power of the network I am on, Verizon, I can do lots of things with my phone no matter where I’m at in the world.

IFTTT IF and Do Branding

IFTTT IF and Do Branding

This has been one of those services that started out mostly to help people organize and control their content online. Like most tech, the users have pushed the envelope to evolve what the software can do. Hat’s off to IFTTT for listening and going with the flow. By doing so, people are now using their product to turn lights on and off, send important texts without touching your phone, control the temperature of your house while you sleep, and even control your home security.

I just happened to login in this morning to modify a couple of recipes when I noticed the new apps, so I haven’t had a chance to fully experience them yet. Based on what I’ve read on their blog though, they will be pretty cool. Here is the data from their site:

 

Take action with the tap of a button. Do empowers you to create your own personalized button, camera, and notepad. Run Recipes right when you want to.

 

 

The do it yourself button

Do Button empowers you to create your own personalized button with just a tap. Save time and control the world around you with Recipes that connect your button to Philips Hue, Google Drive, Nest Thermostat, and hundreds of Channels you use every day.

 

The do it yourself camera

Do Camera empowers you to create your own personalized camera with just a tap. Save time and share your experiences with Recipes that connect your camera to Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, and hundreds of Channels you use every day.

 

 

The do it yourself notepad

Do Note empowers you to create your own personalized notepad with just a tap. Save and share notes with Recipes that connect your notepad to Evernote, Twitter, Google Calendar, and hundreds of Channels you use every day.

 

IFTTT Do Buttons

IFTTT Do Buttons

 

The new apps all work in a similar way. When you install them on your smart phone or tablets home screen then you can set it up. Use recipes to create your own button.

Use recipes to create your own button. Add up to 3 recipes to save time and control your world. Swipe between recipes to quickly change what your button does. In Do Button’s case, those actions can be anything from turning off your lights with the press of a button, keep track of your time and location, or set your thermostat from anywhere.

For the Do Camera use recipes to create your own camera. Add up to 3 recipes to save time and share your experiences. Swipe between recipes to quickly change what your camera does. It focuses on photography. Try recipes like creating a photo of receipts to notes in Evernote, uploading photos to a specific Facebook album or send your parents pics through Gmail.

Do Note is a notepad app. Nothing fancy, but very powerful. Try sharing a tweet with a tap. Save short notes on the move with Evernote, or quickly create calendar events from the button. that you can share a twee

Based on the power of the original tool, these apps are very promising. Imagine the power this will give you from your smartphone. The possibilities are endless. I would love for you to share you ideas and thoughts on how you can use these. Please feel free to leave the links below.