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The Apple Watch is the simplest way to buy from Amazon yet

Amazon

While many early third-party Apple Watch apps aren’t that impressive, a few stand out – Amazon’s, for one. It’s perhaps the most streamlined and straightforward way to buy something from the retailer yet. Here’s how it works…

The only thing you can do from the app’s homescreen is tap the search button.

IMG 3270 220x275 The Apple Watch is the simplest way to buy from Amazon yet

This brings up the Watch’s standard voice interface screen, allowing you to say what you want to buy. This isn’t something you’ll always be happy to do in public, of course, but voice is often your only option when it comes to interfacing with the Apple Watch.

(Incidentally, while the Apple Watch lets you take screenshots, it doesn’t work on some screens, such as the voice interface – so here’s a photo of my wrist).

Watch search 520x390 The Apple Watch is the simplest way to buy from Amazon yet

I decided to order a UK power plug with two USB sockets. There’s a single power outlet next to my bed, and now that I need to charge both a phone and a watch at night, a splitter will be convenient.

The Amazon app quickly displayed the top five results from its database of products. You don’t get a full list of results, but in many cases, you’ll want one of the top five items anyway.

IMG 3266 220x275 The Apple Watch is the simplest way to buy from Amazon yet

Tapping any result brings up a few details, but not much – only a product’s name, a photo, the price, a star rating out of five and the name of the seller.

IMG 3267 220x275 The Apple Watch is the simplest way to buy from Amazon yet

If you want to buy directly from your Watch, you’ll need to have set up 1-Click purchasing within your Amazon iPhone app. The alternative is to use the Handoff feature to open the Amazon app on the product page and then finish your purchase there. Handoff is also essential if you want the item to be delivered somewhere other than your default 1-Click shipping address.

IMG 3268 220x275 The Apple Watch is the simplest way to buy from Amazon yet

And boom – there we go.

shipping 220x275 The Apple Watch is the simplest way to buy from Amazon yet

Obviously, this isn’t always going to be the best way to buy from Amazon, but for those impulse purchases on the go, I’m a fan and can see myself using it quite often.

Amazon [iOS]

Don’t miss: Here’s one reason you might not want an Apple Watch Sport

The Value of Links

Links aren’t valuable because of Google; Google is valuable because of its use of links.

How and when to post on social media

socialmediatiming

This post first appeared on Buffer. 


So much of digital marketing these days is about producing high-quality content that gets published and shared.

You can control the publishing part. Can you control the sharing part?

Sharing begins with promotion—the timing, targeting, and strategy behind solid distribution.

To achieve your social media benchmarks, you need to understand what type of content will resonate in specific verticals, and when.

Fractl recently partnered with BuzzStream to analyze 220,000 articles from 11 verticals over six months – June to November 2014 – to determine how and when to publish content in order to score big on social media.

We’re excited to share with you what we found and to hear your thoughts!

how and when to publish social media 520x260 How and when to post on social media

Infographic: How and When to Publish Content in Order to Score Big on Social Media

We took the guesswork out of six months of content planning and created this social content calendar, which can help strategists determine the optimal month, vertical, and format for all of their content in 2015.

GfZLt1H How and when to post on social media

Study by  Fractl and BuzzStream.

The 5 Types of Content (and Which Gets Shared Most)

First and foremost, know which content type performs best with your audience.

A successful campaign begins with great content, and the best content offers something new and valuable to your target audience while making an emotional connection. There are multiple ways to produce informative and engaging content, but if you want high social shares, your final asset depends on your promotion cycle’s month and vertical.

A successful campaign begins with great content, and the best content offers something new and valuable to your target audience while making an emotional connection. There are multiple ways to produce informative and engaging content, but if you want high social shares, your final asset depends on your promotion cycle’s month and vertical.

We divided the content of articles into five types: how-tos, lists, what-posts, why-posts, and videos:

The most consistently shared formats were lists and why-posts, varying less than 2.5 percent and averaging around 21,000 shares per month.

What-posts were the riskiest format, with a high variance at 13.45 percent, performing lowest in July with fewer than 15,000 shares, yet outperforming every other vertical in October with nearly 30,000 shares.

Further analysis of the six-month period revealed:

  • October was the most popular month for shares: all but one content type (videos) exceeded 20,000 shares.
  • Lists narrowly claimed the most social traction at 22.45 percent with why-posts in a close second at 22.32 percent.
  • Videos drew 18.94 percent of total shares and performed well in Q4.
  • How-to articles earned 18.42 percent and saw extra shares in August and November.
  • What-posts had the lowest social traction, earning 17.88 percent of total shares, but got the most shares out of every content type in October.

custom types shares per month 800x437 520x284 How and when to post on social media

The content type also influenced social metrics depending on which vertical published the asset, proving that each audience has its own preference.

For example, lists earned 40 percent of total shares in the automotive vertical but only managed 10 percent in education. How-to posts did the best in the food vertical at 37 percent. And although they earned around 30 percent of shares in both the education and entertainment verticals, videos were one of the lowest-performing content types overall, coming in last in multiple verticals.

How Social Shares Vary by Month

  • News was the only vertical to see three content types reach more than 5,000 shares in June.
  • None of the five content types reached 6,000 shares in any vertical during July and August.
  • All content types exceeded 4,000 shares in October although not within the same vertical.
  • Only two content types – videos and what-posts – exceeded 6,000 shares in September.

A great example of a high-performing article in June is this feature on Twitter reading levels by state. Lists was one of only two content types that exceeded 7,500 shares during the month, and the campaign capitalized on this trend by including an interactive map that lists each state’s average IQ. The result? The article earned over 9,000 shares.

The Most Popular Industries for Social Shares

Next, get to know your verticals and their target audience.

An effective social content calendar looks at all channels for promotions in order to determine what is popular and timely for your target audience. Within each of the 11 verticals – automotive, education, health, finance, food, business, technology, travel, entertainment, news, and lifestyle – we identified the top 20 websites.

Filtering these results by content type and date, we saw that although the average number of social shares per vertical did not vary wildly – usually less than 10 percent each month – some verticals outperformed others.

For example, the news vertical saw the highest social traction, averaging more than 28,000 shares each month. Its high performance is likely due to it being the most all-encompassing vertical.

The second highest-performing vertical, entertainment, averaged more than 17,000 shares a month, while travel rounded out the top three with an average of more than 10,000 shares.

average shares per month 800x575 520x374 How and when to post on social media

 

A breakdown of the other verticals revealed:

  • Lifestyle, tech, finance, business, and education averaged between 5,000 and 9,000 shares, nearly three times less than the news vertical.
  • Business was the only vertical to have a single-digit variance for all content types, emphasizing that its readers have a consistent sharing habit.
  • Automotive, health, and food averaged between 2,000 and 5,000 shares, food being the lowest-performing vertical with fewer than 2,500 social shares a month.
  • News was the only vertical that saw specific content types pass 5,000 shares.

A high-performing article that reaffirms the entertainment vertical’s high social traction is this feature on superhero style. Videos within the vertical were some of the highest-performing content type during the entire month of August, and this post earned over 5,000 views.

Content type vs. vertical

The type of content that performed well per vertical also reflected audience behaviors within the specific niche.

For example, lists proved the best content type for the travel vertical, claiming 32 percent of shares. The list format corresponded with what people do when planning for a trip: Write down where they want to go, what they need to pack, and other details.

Similar findings include:

  • Social shares within the technology vertical increased during the end of the year, possibly corresponding with when its audience searched online for the latest gadgets to complete their holiday shopping.
  • July was the lowest-performing month for the education vertical, claiming only 10.57 percent of total shares; this coincides with school being closed for the summer.
  • How-to articles were the most consistent performers within the automotive audience, corresponding with the highly practical and technical nature of the subject matter.

Final takeaways

With more than 128,000 shares, October emerged as the month with the highest social traction, while June and August seemed to have the lowest shares for most verticals.

But that doesn’t mean you should save your promotional efforts for the fall. A closer look at the data determined:

  • Automotive earned most of its shares in July, specifically with what-posts exceeding 3,000 social shares.
  • Social traction in the business vertical remained consistent for five months, between 8,000 and 9,000 shares, before dropping in November.
  • Lifestyle and finance both saw their highest monthly shares in September, with what-posts performing the highest in lifestyle and lists providing the highest social traction in finance.
  • Videos did best in September with more than 24,000 shares.

Great content is at the heart of successful content marketing strategy, but one of the biggest takeaways from our research is timing.

A month early or a month late can make your campaign less relevant and affect its overall social traction.

Using our social content calendar as a reference, you can create a promotions strategy that will deliver timely content to a highly-engaged target audience, especially if you want your content to “go viral.” Understanding what type of content will resonate with your audience and when to publish it will help you hit high social metrics, and continually monitoring these metrics is the best way for content marketers to create a successful outreach strategy.

Over to you

What stood out to you from this research?

Might the findings impact the type of content you create and when you schedule it?

Read Next: 61 key social media metrics, defined

 

4 Effective Customer-Centric Content Marketing Ideas for "Boring" Industries

Here are four ideas to help you create powerful content, no matter your industry, that will engage your target audience and earn links and shares, boosting your search rankings.

Here’s one reason you might not want an Apple Watch Sport

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.57.55

Not all glass is created equal. While the more expensive Apple Watch models come with Sapphire glass, the cheaper Apple Watch Sport uses less resilient Ion-X Glass.

The video below from US-based Ukrainian YouTuber TechRax shows what happens if you drop your brand new Apple Watch Sport face down onto concrete. Spoiler: It’s not good.

Apple says Ion-X glass is “hardened down to its molecules…[creating] an extremely hard surface layer that is resistant to scratches and impact.” Based on TechRax’s example, it seems best not to push that claim too far.

It’s worth noting though that the video blogger has a long history of subjecting Apple technology to serious abuse. Earlier this year, he posted a clip where he boiled an iPhone 6 in Coca Cola for…um…some reason:

➤ Blue Apple Watch Sport 42mm Drop Test! [TechRax]

Read nextMy Killer Review of the Apple Watch

Yes, I’ll buy ANYTHING that Apple sells


A few days ago I had dinner with some people, and of course we discussed the Apple Watch. Some people were skeptical and took the position that it wouldn’t be of much value, and challenged me to explain to them why it would be a useful gadget. I was about to mention some reasons when someone interrupted me and said ‘Boris would buy anything with an Apple logo on it, so he doesn’t even need a reason.’

We all laughed, but then I started thinking. The thing is, he’s right. Almost. I’m very much inclined to consider anything that Apple produces. If it comes up with a new product I’ll at the very least give the company the benefit of the doubt and give it a try. The reason goes deeper than mere fanboyism though.

Over the years I’ve come to trust Apple to offer me products that make the rest of my Apple gadgets more valuable. I used to own a MacBook only. But then you get an iPhone, and suddenly you notice that both the iPhone and MacBook work together so well. Then you might get an Apple TV, and suddenly you can stream from the two gadgets you already own, and everything gets better.

It’s like a personal network effect where every Apple node I add makes my other gadgets more useful and therefor more valuable to me.

We are already hearing stories about people who noticed that suddenly the battery on their iPhone lasts a lot longer than it did before they got an Apple Watch. It simply means that they interact with the Apple Watch more and leave the iPhone locked in their pockets or bags. This is ‘the Apple Experience.’

So yeah, some people, including me, seem to buy almost everything that Apple sells. But that’s because Apple manages to come up with products that aren’t just individual items, but components of a system where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Read nextHere’s one reason you might not want an Apple Watch Sport

Quick Tip: Using the HTML5 “download” Attribute

Creating a download link in HTML is straightforward; add an anchor tag and point to the file within the href attribute. Some file types, however, (such as images, .pdf, .txt, and .doc for example) won’t be downloaded. They, instead, will be opened in the browser.

If you have server-side access to your website there are some workarounds you can use, such as configuring the .htaccess, to download these files directly. If your site is hosted with a free service like WordPress.com, Blogspot, or perhaps Github pages which don’t allow you to do so, consider using the download attribute.

Using the “Download” Attribute

The download attribute is part of the HTML5 spec and expresses a link as download link rather than a navigational link.

The download attribute also allows you to rename the file name upon downloading. When the file resides on the server, especially if it’s been automatically generated, it may be named systematically with numbers and dashes, for example acme-doc-2.0.1.txt. It would be better for users to receive the file with a more sensible name when downloaded, perhaps like: Acme Documentation (ver. 2.0.1).txt (not forgetting the file extension).

Here’s how that would look in practice:

Give it a try on the demo page, and you should find the file downloaded with the name specified in the download attribute.

A Couple of Notes:

  • Firefox only allows users to download files of the same origin due to a security concern. The file must come from your own server or domain name, otherwise it will be opened in the browser.
  • While downloading cross-origin files is allowed in Chrome and the latest Opera (with Chromium/Blink), they will both ignore the attribute value. In other words, the file name will remain unchanged.

Providing Fallback

At the time of writing, the download attribute is not yet implemented in Safari and (as you might expect) Internet Explorer. Saying that, according to modern IE status, it is currently at the top of the development list and receiving a great deal of votes. 

In the meantime, we can add a decent fallback, such as providing extra instructions below the download link for non-supporting browsers. To do so, we will need to download Modernizr with the download feature test included.

Configure Modernizr build.

Then we can add the following script.

The script will test whether the browser supports the download attribute; if not it will append a new <div> with the class for styling purposes as well as the instruction text, and insert it immediately below any link which has been furnished with the download attribute.

The text instruction appears in Safari.

Wrapping Up

The download attribute makes handling download links very convenient for anyone who has no access to server-side configuration. I’m looking forward to Internet Explorer and Safari implementing the download attribute soon!

Hey JJ Abrams! Two guys from the UK just put an X-Wing into orbit

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.35.38

Two guys from Essex had a plan – to photograph the Earth from space and grab the attention of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ director JJ Abrams. It looks like they’ll manage it after getting an X-Wing into orbit.

The Project Helium Tears is the latest mission from the Essex Space Agency – aka Matt Kingsnorth and Phil St. Pier. Now they’ve grabbed their images from high above the Earth – using high altitude balloons and GoPro cameras – they’ve just got to nab that premiere invite.

Project Helium Tears [via TruthRevolt]

Read nextStar Wars Emoji Hit Twitter

 

Kwambio wants to bring a friendly face to 3D printing with its $1,000 platform-locked printer

Kwambio2

Building a closed software and hardware ecosystem gives companies the advantage of being able to control how the technology is used and helping to get customers tied into buying compatible products.

An interesting new attempt at creating such an ecosystem comes from Kwambio. The Ukraine-based startup, which has attracted $500,000 from an unnamed local angel investor and won $19,000 in prize money at the IDCEE conference in 2014, is gearing up to launch a 3D printing marketplace along with a printer called Unique One priced at just somewhere between $800 and $1,000.

UNIQUE One1 730x365 Kwambio wants to bring a friendly face to 3D printing with its $1,000 platform locked printer

The secret behind the relatively low price is that the device is locked to work only with the Kwambio marketplace, where designers can upload their models to be customized and bought by customers. Most 3D printers use the popular .STL file format as the basis of the designs they print, but Kwambio is using its own proprietary file format instead.

The Unique One has a printing speed of 300 mm per second and a 300×300×250 mm build volume, which is on par or even better than other similar devices on the market.

The platform itself is supposed to bring a simple and user-friendly interface to 3D printing, saving users the need to download files or install specialized software to their computers.

Kwambio’s marketing director, Kate Kolambet, says that it has 2,000 subscribers, 43.3 percent of whom are in the USA. Before the planned shipping date of the Unique One in fall 2015, the Kwambio software will be released over the summer to allow users to print with their own printers and use print-on-demand services that will be offered by partners.

➤ Kwambio

Offline over the weekend? Read all the tech news you missed right here

Weekend Roundup

With Monday upon us, it’s hard not to sit around daydreaming about the quickly fading memory that was the weekend. Maybe you spent it in the tulip fields of the Netherlands (as some of the TNW team did), or perhaps you just spent it trying to get over your horrific hangover, as the other half of the TNW editorial team did. Whatever you did, there’s a good chance that you weren’t paying much attention to tech news.

Luckily for you though, we’ve put together a quick list of everything you missed so you can get back up to speed in just a few minutes. All you need to provide is the coffee.

News from over the weekend

Good reads from The Next Web and beyond

So, there you have it, the biggest news and features from the last two days. Of course, if you fear missing out in the future, you can always subscribe to our individually crafted newsletters or Like our Facebook Page to stay in touch.