How Coca-Cola, Nissan and Kraft mine selfies for ‘invisible’ insight

Shona Ghosh:

Brands are slowly finding ways to make sense of image-based social networks such as Instagram and Tumblr, mining user photos for insight into how their products are used.
 The rise of the ‘visual economy’ poses several challenges for marketers. One is understanding how consumers like to share post-production edits of their lives. Another challenge for brands is finding a way to participate in that activity with authenticity. And the final one is how to parse this visual data for insight.
 David Rose, founder of image recognition startup Ditto Labs, thinks he has found a way to solve the last problem and give brands a way to “quantify” how consumers use their products.

How big is email?

Ian Baker:

I think about email a lot because my company makes email software. I was talking with a friend yesterday and it got me thinking, just how much email is there, anyway?
 So, I looked. A lot of email, it turns out. Like, a whole lot. In 2013, humanity sent about 150 billion emails each day. That’s 21 messages received per earthling per day, or 79 each if you only count actual email users.

Find Out What Your ZIP Code Predicts You’ll Buy

Jamie Condliffe:

Where you live says a lot about you—and nobody knows that better than marketeers. Now, though, you can take a glimpse at what they know, using this searchable map built by software company Esri.
 Its Tapestry Segmentation project rolls together demographic data from the Census and marketing data from GfK Mediamark Research & Intelligence to… well, to terrifying effect. The results are sliced and diced into 67 profiles of American market segments, which are shown in percentage terms when you search by ZIP code. You can search for your own in the interactive map below (or on their full site).

This new “Apple SIM” could legitimately disrupt the wireless industry

Dan Frommer:

It’s early, but it’s easy to see how this concept could significantly disrupt the mobile industry if Apple brings it to the iPhone. In many markets—especially the US—most mobile phones are distributed by operators and locked to those networks under multi-year contracts. People rarely switch operators, partially out of habit and satisfaction, but mostly because it’s annoying to do so.
 Apple has already taken a more direct role in handset distribution than some of its rivals—like Samsung or HTC—via its retail outlets. So it’s smart to try taking over even more control. (Recall that Steve Jobs once referred to mobile operators as “orifices.”)

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Bloomingdale’s fitting room iPad app

Phil Wahba:

We’ve all been there. While shopping for new clothes, you enter a fitting room to try on a stack of possibilities—except some of the items, it seems, aren’t the right color or size. You crack the door and crane your neck past the threshold. Where did the attendant go? And how on earth are you going to describe exactly which pair of jeans you really need?
 Bloomingdale’s, the upscale department store owned by Macy’s Inc., thinks technology can help solve a common problem that has cost apparel retailers dearly in sales: frustrated customers who give up and leave rather than take the time to acquire the right piece of clothing.
 The solution? “Smart” fitting rooms equipped with wall-mounted tablet computers. At five of its 37 stores, Bloomingdale’s has installed Apple iPads that connect to the complex inventory-management systems it uses to keep track of tens of millions of items. With the iPads, a customer or a store associate can scan the item in question to find which colors and sizes are in stock, as well as see ratings and reviews by other customers. The tablets also recommend items that would complement the scanned original. And with a tap, a customer can summon an associate. (No neck craning necessary.)

Will Ads Become Next Net-Neutrality Battle?

Christopher Mims:

If you think the fight over net neutrality is only about content, here’s fresh evidence it could be about a lot more: Executives at an Israeli tech startup believe that some wireless carriers around the world are prepared to use the company’s technology to open a new front against Internet firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.
 The fresh battleground? The billions of dollars in revenue generated by advertising on content and services delivered over wireless networks. Since the wireless infrastructure is owned by the carriers, Ron Porat and Roi Carthy of Shine Technologies say, the telecom companies want and deserve a cut.
 It’s an audacious idea. Some Web giants already pay Internet service providers such as Verizon and Comcast to deliver their traffic to end users faster, an arrangement called peering. To make this work, Internet companies pay by the amount of speed provided.

Teens are officially over Facebook

Caitlin Dewey:

Since children are the future, and no one over 21 really knows what they find “cool” (do the kids even say cool these days…?), researchers have devoted many, many surveys to the exact quantification of what it is #teens do online.
 In May 2013, they were fleeing Facebook’s “drama.” A year later, they flocked back to the network like lil’ lost sheep.
 Now, a pretty dramatic new report out from Piper Jaffray — an investment bank with a sizable research arm — rules that the kids are over Facebook once and for all, having fled Mark Zuckerberg’s parent-flooded shores for the more forgiving embraces of Twitter and Instagram. Between fall 2014 and spring 2014, when Piper Jaffray last conducted this survey, Facebook use among teenagers aged 13 to 19 plummeted from 72 percent to 45 percent. In other words, less than half of the teenagers surveyed said “yes” when asked if they use Facebook. (A note: There’s no spring data available for the “no networks” option, which is why that spot is blank.)

Dilbert on SEO, 1999

State of the Internet Report


The globally distributed Akamai Intelligent Platform delivers over 2 trillion Internet interactions and defends against multiple DDoS attacks each day. This provides us with unique visibility into Internet connection speeds, broadband adoption, mobile usage, outages, and attacks. Drawing on this wealth of information, the State of the Internet Report provides a distinctive view into today’s online trends: