Technology

Technology

Five Video Marketing Trends That Dominated In 2017

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2017 has been an action-packed year in the world of video marketing. Video content has become even more effective thanks to the faster Internet speeds and integration into social media platforms. The potential uses for video content have increased and many businesses are discovering new ways to promote their brand using videos.

The amount of video content that people are consuming is still growing strongly. Statistics published earlier this year show that 82% of Twitter users now watch video content on Twitter. A staggering 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube each day, with 45% of Internet users watching an hour or more of video on Facebook and YouTube each week. The amount of video content being uploaded to the Internet every 30 days is more than the major U.S. television networks produced in the last 30 years.

Businesses have noticed the growing importance of video content and have started investing more capital into video marketing. Video marketing has gone from being an optional component of a content marketing strategy to a critical one in the space of a few years.

As the year comes to an end, now is the perfect time to take a look at the video marketing trends that dominated in 2017. Understanding these trends will help you create a strong video marketing strategy for 2018. Let’s check them out!

  1. Video marketing takes off on social media

Video playback and sharing capabilities are now integrated into most social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.  This has allowed businesses to push video marketing campaigns across all major social media networks simultaneously.

Having access to social media networks allows business to develop their brand and tell a story directly to social media users.  They can now share multiple videos in successive social media posts and combine them with other types of media.  Users can easily share videos across multiple platforms, which also makes viral video marketing much more powerful.

  1. Videos are now being customised to suit different platforms

Content marketers have discovered that users on different platforms prefer different kinds of video content.  For example, Twitter and Facebook users tend to prefer short-form video content that gives them a quick overview on a topic in less than a minute.  YouTube and Vimeo users are more willing to watch long form videos that might run for 10 or 20 minutes.

Marketers are also developing specific video content for different devices. People using mobile devices prefer shorter videos because they are typically on the move.  Users on desktop computers and devices like the Apple TV are more willing to invest time into a longer video.

  1. Video storytelling has become popular

Businesses have discovered that they can now share their story with consumers very effectively when using video. They can offer consumers a behind-the-scenes view of how their company runs, showcase their product development process, or introduce their staff to the general public.  By sharing these stories, businesses can increase brand awareness, showcase new products, and humanise their business. An explainer video in Melbourne, New York, or Seoul can do your company wonders. Storytelling using video marketing campaigns is going to be massive in 2018.

  1. More videos are designed to play without sound

Content marketers have discovered that many consumers are watching videos with the sound off.  One content publisher found that 85% of their videos viewed on Facebook are viewed with the sound off.  The most likely reason for this happening is that many people are using mobile devices to view videos.  They are turning the sound down so they don’t annoy the people around them.

In 2017, content marketers responded to this discovery by making videos that could grab a user’s attention without the sound on.  They looked for more exciting visuals and used videos that can be understood without sound.  They also ensured that videos designed for mobile were available with captions and subtitles.

  1. Video is becoming the preferred method for providing support and training

In 2017, more business began using videos to provide support for their customers.  Videos explaining how to use a product or service became very common.  In addition to FAQ pages or a support desk, companies would answer common questions with short explainer videos.  Watching videos is quickly becoming the preferred method for obtaining new information for many customers.

More companies created online video courses to train their own staff.  This trend is expected to continue in the coming years as video technology advances.

How to Pick the Best Hobby for You

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Hobbies are a great way to spend your idle time. Some hobbies sharpen the mind and can boost memory. Some hobbies focus on strengthening the body. Others are purely for just fun and socializing.

In looking for a hobby, it’s best to consider your wants and needs first. Are you searching for a hobby that relies on your logic and wits to be successful? More interested in a creative activity that builds camaraderie and friendships? To help you out, let’s explore some modern hobbies below.

Photography

You don’t have to buy an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera to get into photography nowadays. Just get creative with your smartphone camera and you’re all set. Get into the groove of it first and see if it’s really your cup of tea before committing to an expensive camera upgrade.

Target Shooting

You can go the firearms route or the archery route when it comes to target shooting. The former is more practical as you can hone your skills with gun handling and self-defense. Archery is more primitive but can be just as fun. Take into consideration whether ammunition for sale is affordable enough for your budget.

Online Gaming

If you have a computer with hardware built for it, gaming can be an interesting, enduring hobby. There’s plenty of genres to choose from so it’s all up to your preferences. You can go social with online games as well and join gaming clubs and leagues out there. If your smartphone can take it, you can even go the mobile gaming way and play on-the-go.

Lockpicking

Lockpicking is a hobby that builds mental discipline and muscle memory. Requiring just a simple practice lock or a Bogota pick, it’s relatively cheap and easy to get into. It’s also a very practical skill for daily life if you’re fond of losing your keys. Some enthusiasts have even turned it into a competitive activity called “locksport.”

Culinary Arts

Food is an essential part of human life. Why not hone your skill in cooking food then? Aside from being a practical skill, knowledge of cooking can also lead you to a healthier lifestyle. If you become very proficient at it, you can even turn the hobby into a business or a career. Everybody loves good food, after all.

Survival Prepping

Want to be prepared just in case the world blows up and SHTF? Survival prepping is the hobby for you. Learning how to survive in post-apocalyptic situations involves a lot of know-how and skill sets. Gun handling and lockpicking, two hobbies we discussed earlier, are also part of a diligent prepper’s arsenal. Even cooking and knowledge of ingredients is a vital skill to have for survival prepping.

Closing Thoughts

Whatever hobby you choose, consider your physical and mental fitness first. There are hobbies that will require a certain degree of these aspects, so assess whether you’re ready for the challenge. There’s also the matter of financial cost as some hobbies can be very expensive to get into.

Don’t hesitate to try a lot of hobbies out before committing to a single one. The best way to find out whether you’re a great fit for a hobby is through trial and error.

Make Your Car Journeys Better with These Top Driving Apps

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Technology impacts all parts of our lives now and driving is no different, in fact our smartphones are powerful tools we can use to make our journeys better by telling us where to go, the best places to park and can also keep our passengers entertained.

YourParkingSpace researched some of the best driving apps on the market and have come up with a list to help make driver’s journeys less demanding, faster and more fuel efficient. Check them out below:

Best smartphone apps while driving:

Waze

Waze is one of the most popular navigation apps. Owned by Google, it is constantly updated with new roads, but what makes it unique is the fact that traffic, accidents and road closures are updated in instantaneously by other app users. The app continually updates, telling drivers of congestion, broken down vehicles or accidents and automatically plots alternative routes for the quickest journey.

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Google Play download

PetrolPrices.com

The PetrolPrices.com app allows drivers to compare petrol and diesel prices from all over the UK and with their database covering over 95% of the UK marketplace you can always find the best deal. Once you tap on the icon the app quickly finds the cheapest fuel in your area and drivers can also specify their preferences like the type of fuel or a location radius in miles they want the app to search.

Users can also search specific locations to see how much fuel is there, ideal for when you are going on a long journey and want to check prices. Another great section of the PetrolPrices app is its route planner; key in a starting point and destination and the app will find the cheapest fuel along your journey.

App Store download

Google Play download

YourParkingSpace app

Finding a parking space, particularly if you are visiting a someplace new can be problematic, but with the new YourParkingSpace app you can book and pay for parking spaces with just a few clicks.

With access to over 250,000 parking spaces from all over the UK, YourParkingSpace can save you money and time, and you can also put your unused spaces on there to generate extra income for yourself.

Whether you need parking for 1 hour, a day or a long term parking solution, this app allows you to choose the perfect parking space.

The app allows you to pay using PayPal, Apple Pay, credit or debit cards and you can save your information to make it even easier for subsequent bookings.

App Store download

Google Play download

Best apps for passengers:

Spotify

Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming apps in the world and has a vast array of artists, tracks and albums to listen to. Registered users can create their own playlists and share them with friends, or download other people’s playlists covering every music genre.

Those who opt for the premium version of Spotify can download songs and playlists to their devices to listen to offline, perfect for travelling.

Spotify Premium service offers an ad-free interface and unrestricted streaming starting at £9.99 per month.

App Store download

Google Play download

Netflix

Netflix is one of the world’s biggest streaming services and allows users to view an array of TV series and movies on a variety of devices. Whether you’re into documentaries, comedies or action movies, Netflix has something for everyone. The app also has built in parental options to make sure that the content is child friendly.

Netflix users can now download TV series, movies and documentaries straight to their phone and tablets, making it a great app for long journeys.

Netflix subscriptions start at just £5.99 a month.

App Store download

Google Play download

LiveTrekker

Have you ever been on holiday and wished you had plotted your journey on a map? Then the LiveTrekker app is for you. This great app allows you to create a digital footprint of your travels on an interactive map.

LiveTrekker tracks your phone GPS location and marks the route taken on a map. Users can upload their own pictures and videos as well as text at any point along the route creating a digital diary of their journey. The app can also track altitude and speed making it great to use from the beginning of your journey to the end.

Completed journeys can be saved and shared with family and friends or kept safe to look back at time and time again.

App Store download

Google Play download

Cool Games To Play On New Year’s Eve

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New Year’s Eve is always one of the party highlights of the year. But what can you do to build up the excitement whilst you wait for the chimes of midnight?

Whilst there’s always party food and drinks to keep you going, there’s nothing like a few party games like smartphone charades and online pokies to really ramp up the fun!

Traditional board games like Monopoly and Cluedo may be good for much of the festive season, but nobody wants to mess around with dice on an exciting night like New Year’s Eve. This is why some of these unusual party games can be great for breaking the ice and finding out much more about your fellow guests.

Most of these games tend to rely on the players’ imaginations to be played properly. But if you’re worried about trying to get your guests to behave themselves, then there are some great smartphone based gaming apps that can help you gain control of even the most rowdy of New Year’s Eve parties.

We may all know Ellen Degeneres as one of our favourite TV stars. But she’s also caused shockwaves across the internet by making Heads Up one of the surprise gaming hits of 2016.

This acts much like a digital version of charades, but the smartphone is introduced as a way to provide endless subjects to act out. And regardless of whether you’re trying to communicate the concept of a movie star or a celebrity, it’s always when the players make mistakes that provides the biggest laughs.

However, if even that sounds a little too complicated for your New Year’s Eve party, then think about some of the simple party games that were featured in the blog over at Lucky Nugget Casino NZ.

Whilst the likes of shot roulette might not be to everyone’s taste, the site also includes access to some quick and easy online pokies games that just about everybody should be able to play.

 

And although some party-goers may want to roam around your neighbourhood attempting to play Pokémon Go in the dark, it’s probably a safer idea to try and keep everyone contained within the house.

Thankfully there’s been a real trend for some fairly low-tech games to be big hits in 2016. So whether you’re playing Pie Face, getting your head around Speak Out, or just having another online pokies session, it showed that there’s many ways to stay entertained as 2017 approaches!

iOS update: What’s New with the iOS 10.1.1 update?

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Apple released the iPhone 7 and the iPhone Plus barely two months ago and shortly after, they have come out with the iOS 10.1.1 update. While download time was quick for only seven minutes and the file just eats up around 70MB, this update includes cool features.

iOS 10.1 has the new “Portrait” mode for users to be able to take advantage of the two included cameras in iPhone 7 Plus. This mode uses telephoto and wide-angle lenses to come up with a shallow depth of field with blurred backgrounds. With the use of the wide-angle camera, a depth map is created. Conversely, the telephoto lens will capture the image and separate the layers of the photo to identify which one to blur using the “bokeh: effect.  However, proper lighting is needed to achieve the result.

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Improvements and fixes also come with the update. These include, but are not limited to, improvements in Airplay Mirroring performance, Bluetooth connectivity with 3rd party accessories and in performance when sharing websites from Safari to messages. In terms of fixes, the iOS 10.1.1 update include addressing the issue in Health, certain selfie apps, face filters, Safari and some Mail messages. Moreover, the issue related to the audio playback using Bluetooth that results to the Taptic engine stoppage is also fixed with the update.

When updating your iOS version, ensure to have your login information handy. You need to have the passcode for the device ready to continue with the update. If iOS10 has not been installed, you will be prompted to input your Apple ID for the installation to continue.

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OS updates are important whether on iOS or Android phones. They are released to fix bugs and add security to your devices. Moreover, they also offer new features such as improved UI and better app compatibility.

While some may not be major updates and can be as small as using 70MB, it is crucial to be smart when it comes to updating your iOS.

Apple Releases iOS 10.2 Beta 2 Version Amid Rumors of iOS 10.1 Jailbreak Tool

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In the middle of questions concerning the possible release of an iOS 10.1.1 jailbreak tool, Apple has finally rolled out the beta version of iOS 10.2 more than a week ago and has now made the iOS 10.2 beta 2 version available for beta users. With this new development, it might be safe to say that iPhone users and the jailbreak community should abandon hopes about the tool and move forward.

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One interesting feature to look forward to is the Apple’s TV app which is very helpful for finding what movies and television shows to watch on the Apple TV. The app was presented the same time Apple introduced the new MacBook Pro computers. For other services that come with the features, these include the Emergency SOS feature that will allow getting in touch with emergency services when user presses the button for five times.

For music lovers, there is also another treat via a music app that has bigger shuffle and repeat buttons while camera settings can now be saved, thanks to the update, so there will be no need to reset to Auto whenever the app is restarted.

Texting has also become more exciting with the new emojis, wallpapers as well as the new Video app widget. Moreover, the new version now has a “Press and Hold to Speak” option that can be found in the Accessibility settings.

For beta users to sign in, the iPhone models should be iPhone 5 and newer models. Also, this is available for download to iPad Pro devices, iPad minis, 1 to 4 as well as iPad Air and iPad Air 2.

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The iOS 10 has been released months ago and soon after, upgrades were already launched to fix bugs and holes. Until now, jailbreak tools for iOS 10 and the succeeding updates are not yet available although there are rumors that hackers like Luca Todesco and an another team have already developed the tools. With the latest iOS update, all these rumors might simply fade away.

Xbox Scorpio – World’s Most Powerful Gaming Console Yet

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In this year’s E3, Microsoft revealed what could be the most powerful console ever – the Xbox Scorpio – marking a new beginning for the computer giant’s role in the traditional console gaming space.

However, the company has not released any information about the Scorpio’s features yet. It has been very secretive pertaining to it. Gaming enthusiasts also could not expect any news bout the upcoming device in Microsoft’s event this October 26. In a tweet, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said that the company won’t be talking about Scorpio at the event as his team will be focusing instead on the future of Windows 10.

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Information about the console is very scarce, but in its official website, Xbox said that the Scorpio will be the first and only console in the market that will enable 4K gaming and hi-fidelity virtual reality. It also said that the device will be compatible with all Xbox One games and accessories, allowing Xbox fans to level up their gaming experience easily.

We’re building a beast,” said Xbox marketing head Aaron Greenberg during Microsoft’s own E3 2016. “It’s gonna be the most powerful console ever made, and as a guy who was here when we built the original Xbox, that being such a powerful box, and we pioneered with Xbox Live, and some of those innovative games, it really feels like we’re getting back to our roots.”

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Spencer shared the same optimism and, like others before him, have said that Scorpio is ‘premium‘ when its comes to power, features and hardware, which suggests that it will not be cheap. Since it is going to be more powerful than the One S, it will be introduced at a much higher price – though that remains a mystery for now.

By the way, Microsoft is targeting to release the console in December 2017, a perfect holiday gift for Xbox fans out there.

Software Issue on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Affects Lighting EarPods

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On 16 September 2016, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models became available in the UK with customers able to pre-order as early as the 9th of September. As in the previous releases of older iPhone models, people line up for days outside the Apple stores to get their hands on these phones.

But barely two weeks after the successful release Apple has admitted that iPhone 7 has an issue. This has something to do with the headphone jack or rather the lack of it, a move that the company first considered to be a bold one to give way to the Lighting port.

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According to reports, the Lighting EarPods malfunction. While music can still be heard, the controls become frozen so some functions are affected, such as the volume control, shortcuts for Siri and call answering features. They are pointing at the software as the culprit.

Lighting jack-based earphones use software to operate as opposed to the good old analog 3.5mm pairs. Since there are still glitches in iOS 10 and iOS 10.0.1, these things can happen.

The latest software for iPhones and iPads, the iOS 10 was in beta testing for months and now that it is out, Apple boasts of its extensive update as well as its new capabilities and features. Dubbed as the most advanced mobile OS in the world, updates include more animated and impressive ways to send messages, Siri working with new apps, improved 3D Touch, new design for Apple Music, Photos and Maps, among others.

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But then again, this controversial Lighting EarPods incident happened. Despite the issue only happening at random, this can still be disappointing for mobile users. Meanwhile, Apple is already fixing the problem and this will be expected in the next update.

The 3.5mm port might be old school and the Lighting EarPods are state-of-the-art but still, many users are not happy about their EarPods freezing.

 

Cool Tech Gadgets That Should Be in Your Game Room

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An ideal game room should have the balance of comfort and an assortment of technologies to make it satisfying for you to play your favorite games even in long periods. While other game rooms are set in common spaces without actual planning, you should make yours optimally set up for comfort from the start. Here are some tech gadgets that you should have in your game room:

  • Multimedia Remote

There would be enough hardware to put in your game room, which means that there will be a lot of remote controls. So, why not reduce such clutter with a multimedia remote? This small-sized gadget can work like an all-in-one remote for your TV, video player, sound system and more. You can also communicate with it using certain apps that use Bluetooth technology.

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  • Cable Organizer

Before, tangled cords have been a hassle in any space that uses modern technology, but today, companies have already created solutions for those helplessly drowning in cable clutter. One of these inventions is the cable organizer that will let you focus on the game, instead of the stray wires.

  • Gamer’s Wireless Router

If you are an online gamer, then you most probably have faced a situation where a lapse in your broadband connection resulted in a lag that adversely affected your gameplay. Now, with a gamer’s wireless router, you will have an intelligent system that prioritises which devices will get consistent and more broadband feed.

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  • Control Charge Station

Your video game controllers should no longer have to be attached to their systems themselves, but in this case, they would require constant charging. With a charge station, your controllers will be kept on standby and their batteries would be topped up without the messy cables.

Now, do you want to make your game room more comfortable and enjoyable? Do not miss having these cool tech gadgets!