Meet Marco Polo, a Visual Walkie Talkie App Believed to Replace Snapchat

Since launching in 2011, Snapchat has been best it in class in the image messaging app market, linking friends, celebrities and influencers and establishing their worth for both iPhone and Android users. Times are changing, and users can’t help but take notice of the newest app on the scene, Marco Polo.

Twitter is a buzz right now over this new mobile app that credits itself as the “video walkie talkie” that lets you send quick messages back and forth. Similar to Snapchat, Marco Polo allows users to record messages that are only a few seconds long. What makes it different from Snapchat, however, is that Marco Polo automatically saves your videos so you can have an ongoing conversation with friends.

Marco Polo app has been around since early 2016 and the momentum is starting to pick up. The app currently has a 4.4 rating on the Google Play Store and more than 84,000 reviews. Also boasting with a 4.5 out of 5 on Apple’s App Store while ranking as the 8th top free social networking app in the App Store.

Owned by Joya Communications, the corporate website states that the company was established in 2012 “to help people feel close no matter the distance, enabling people to remain connected in convenient and meaningful ways.”

Users beware, the app is know to send spam tweets to promote Marco Polo to your contacts.

While it is still early days for Marco Polo, it will be interesting to see how the app evolves. Very few apps and brands have the staying power of Facebook or Snapchat and are able to maintain clout without the support of investors and boards of directors.

Snapchats Looking to ‘Up’ Ad Potential

Facebook and Snapchat are currently in the middle of an all-out war for users, ad dollars, innovation and the coveted crown jewel of the social media empire. Who can ignore the obvious, like introducing stories on Instagram followed with Facebook stories launching just last week?

Snapchat is firing back with a few key changes to step up their ad potential, and this can mean serious trouble for Facebook. Advertisers looking for Snapchat ad exposure will now have access to a state of the art, goal-based bidding tool for app install ads. In short, this new feature will allow the advertiser to identify and target Snapchat users who are likely to install its app. Snapchat is targeting its app install ads, which ask snappers to swipe upwards on full-screen video ads, which uses machine-learning technology. This capability was developed in-house at Snapchat and as of right now is exclusive and unlike any other ad offering.

Peter Sellis, the director of monetization product at Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., told Business Insider in a statement, “We’ve been listening closely to direct-response advertisers and are excited to announce the ability to ‘bid for installs’ in our auction. This is a new, cost-efficient way to drive app installs right from Snapchat.”

These new capabilities will allow advertisers to not only better target users who may be more inclined to use their product but also drive them to download their app. Snapchat has also set a new standard by enhancing how advertisers can get in front of users who have previously interacted with their filters on Snapchat, by allowing advertisers to specifically target these users.

Not only will this mean great things for Team Snapchat ($$$) and advertisers alike, it will make for a much more over-saturated user experience resulting in more targeted ads for users.

The latest in Bitmoji Mania: Style Your Snapchat Crew

In a day and age where social status and appearances (seem) to be everything, we are always looking for new ways to reinvent our online personas. Enter, the Bitmoji free app, which allows users to design a personalized avatar. You can even perfect your character down to the finest of details, including: hairstyle, lip shape, laugh lines and of course outfits (curated by Bergdorf Goodman, Forever 21 and Steve Madden just to name a few).

Yesterday, Snapchat announced they have updated their main iOS and Android app to allow people to create widgets of their best friends’ Bitmoji. With Snapchat’s Bitmoji widget, you can select a few friends and see their avatars right from the ‘Today’ screen on iOS and the home screen on Android phones. These shortcuts immediately open a text chat with those friends. It appears that Snapchat is trying to get back into the instant messaging arena which is owned predominantly by Facebook and Instagram.

While I think this is a new novel idea will work to generate some buzz for Snapchat until a bigger and better idea is unveiled. I am not confident this is a big enough draw to entice social users away from instant messaging on Facebook or Instagram Stories. What do you think? Will this new Bitmoji feature encourage both you and your friends to communicate more on Snapchat?

 

Get it while it’s hot – Wendy’s Serving Up ‘Saucy Tweets’ until March 31st

I’m not sure about all of you, but when I think of the Wendy’s brand I see an ‘Anne of Green Gables’ type with red pigtails, freckles and a big, toothy smile. Also, how can any of us forget Wendy’s founder and former CEO, Dave Thomas, serving up fresh burgers off the girl in commercials during the 90’s?

Wendy’s is taking a step away from nostalgia by using Twitter as an avenue of opportunity to reinvent and carve out a new social identity. Known to be Quirky, hot blooded and not tolerating any comparisons to competitors (sorry McDonald’s).

Guess what? It’s working. Wendy’s is currently best in class in ‘roasting’ Twitter users with relentless sass behind an innocent, homely exterior. Check out this Youtube clip of responses to some of Wendy’s 40 best tweets:

 

Image result for wendys twitter

Who is the quirky social media professional behind the braided pigtails? It is the face of Amy Brown, the Social Media Manager for Wendy’s who recently announced she will be leaving the company as of March 31st. Follow her on Twitter here.

Where will Wendy’s take their social persona next without the brains behind the operation leading the way? Also, what can we expect  next from Amy? Possibly a move to another fast food chain or maybe establishing a personal consulting business? Regardless of where Amy is headed next, I am willing to bet that as we speak Wendy’s competitors are pouring over burgers and soda trying to figure out the best possible way to ‘one-up’ Wendy’s social strategy.

My Digital Valentine

With Valentine’s Day comes endless comparisons and storytelling of how we all spend the holiday with our loved ones. While sitting with some of my baby boomer and gen X friends discussing the topic, I was shocked to hear that many of their partners had memento boxes filled with things like concert tickets (Blondie), hotel soaps (not stolen, I am told) and movie tickets (Titanic anyone?). I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty, I am the ultimate minimalist. I throw away or donate everything! I do not find any sentimental value in crumpled up receipts or napkins with lipstick stains.

What I do truly cherish, is a hashtag I developed for my partner and I in the early stages of our relationship. Shortly after I started dating my fiancee, Ram, we shared our first heartfelt ‘I love you’, and the hashtag #AmandaLovesRam was born. Since this happened in February 2014, it has just stuck. Wherever we go, whatever we do, whatever we post, #AmandaLovesRam is tagged. Our friends and family actually follow the hashtag and look forward to our postings. The hashtag has followed us to London, Paris, New York City, Chicago, Hawaii, San Francisco and Napa Valley. Even through all our travels, at its core the hashtag is about our love and commitment to each other. That’s what makes it special.

In today’s digital age, are memory boxes as valuable as they once were? I can’t help but smile and be proud of what #AmandaLovesRam has become today. I love looking back on our adventures and cherished moments together. In a social sphere where hashtags like #Kardashians and #QOTD are king, I think it’s really great that we have our own slice of the pie. #AmandaLovesRam currently has 99 tags on Instagram, I invite you all to check out all of our adventures. I would also love to hear about how each of you document some of your most cherished moments with friends and loved ones, so please do share!