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Real-Time, Big Data and Pinterest


As part of an effort to make the app less about self-expression and more about utility, Pinterest has revamped their mobile profile page to be more useful for users.

describe the imagePhoto Courtesy of WIRED

Previously upon opening Pinterest, the collections in your profile appeared in a grid, with the first image you ever pinned acting as the billboard for all pins within a certain collection. Since most users returned to their profile page to view their recent pins, they did not want to waste their time searching for old content buried deep within a collection. Acknowledging the inefficiency of the app’s original structure, Pinterest did what they could to make up for this kind of counterintuitive organization and poor search function.

The new design pushes the six most recent pins to the top. It’s a pragmatic approach to organization that makes Pinterest more of an archival timeline than a tool for curation, although the two oftentimes go hand in hand. In effect, the app has moved toward big data as it begins to incorporate the exact times images were pinned by a user. The result is a more accurate representation of what the user is interested in at a given moment, and updated in real-time.

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The new design isn’t just a timeline. It’s an iteration of a user’s current (even “live”) consumer desires. Therefore, your profile page evolves as you pin, making pinned content a more relevant and up-to-date profile of a user’s interests. In other words, Pinterest profile pages become platforms for relevant content that actually represents the user and encourages more shares. While simply allowing the ability to curate pins would have made Pinterest nothing more than a platform for self-expression, the archive (functioning as a timeline), becomes a more transparent use of real-time data. Thus, as Pinterest’s features and capabilities become more transparent, so do the platform’s users.

Pinterest can now begin providing real-time measurable data that isn’t just useful for the user, but also for the marketer and media buyer. All in all, Pinterest’s new feature will prove to be beneficial both for the company and the platform’s users.

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.

Making Brands (and Ads) Personal with Adictik


The personalization of branded content has gotten, well, a little bit more personal. In an age where consumers are increasingly buying products to construct an identity or find public validation, Adictik (a Barcelona-based startup), is hoping to make money off of the unwavering phenomenon some call “brand loyalty”.

Shady? Maybe. Innovative? Definitely.

Let’s be real, if just for a moment. Not everything about sharing personalized branded content is bad. As written on TechCrunch in their recent review of the app, Adictik allows users to create ads for their favorite brands. In fact, in a time when personalizing content is essential for driving conversion rates, the app has aptly made the reverse occur by allowing users to instead convert their consumerism into shareable content.

I gave it a go myself:

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One could say that one of the app’s functions is to encourage brand loyalty. By using already made branded content, the app encourages its users to find creative ways to show how certain brands–logos and phrases, in particular–shape their lives. However, it’s the result that is astonishing. As you scroll down the app’s feed, you are confronted with a stream of new images that resemble, if not slightly then rather uncannily, the original branded content used.

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Oftentimes, a post like the one above will look as though it were an official advertisement for the chosen brand. It’s in those moments that you might actually find yourself thinking, “Hey, some of these have got to be sponsored ads!” And yet, they are not. They are user-generated social posts that simply use branded logos and catch phrases as one would use a hashtag. Therefore, in using the app to share personalized branded content, the user isn’t sharing branded content in an advertorial sense in order to bolster their brand loyalty or drive product sales. Instead, through customization and thus personalization, the Adictik user has actually made this branded content theirs to share.

In effect, Adictik users are able to advertise their own lives as they would a brand. And although the same could be said for Instagram, something about Adictik makes the comparison between brand and consumer a bit more transparent. One could say that Adictik makes competing with other consumers over who has the most brand loyalty easy and fun, and that part of this gamification is getting to choose the branded content you want to include in your personal posts. Yet, what some see as loyalty could actually be the obsessive and compulsive behaviors of the competitive, capitalist consumer. I would go so far as to argue that the app is really hyperbolizing the compulsive tendencies of capitalist consumers for all to see and share, making it quite a parody of the lives we currently lead.

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.

Trends-Based Marketing and the Short Video Loop


Content marketing has come to define, albeit to a certain extent, the kind of work we do in our industry. In fact, the term "content marketing" actually contains social media marketing within it, since social media is just one iteration of the content brands and businesses use to engage a target audience.

As we have learned and continue to put to practice, successful content marketing, on top of engaging with customers, is what actually drives profitable customer action, as Joe Pulizzi says in his book, Epic Content Marketing. I would also say that social media, due to its reach and emotional capabilities, has had and (continues to have) the greatest potential for converting consumers of content into profitable customers.

Those reporting on content marketing in the online publication sphere, within the tech and media industries, are particularly interesting. They write about the professional worlds they are a part of and circulate the latest news that were once just thoughts or phrases said by the same people making the decisions that define our experience of social media. It's the content of content marketing, sometimes commenting on the very thing that it is.

In fact, I would argue that online publications investing in circulating media and tech news have authoritative power when publishing content that is trustworthy and reflective of our own marketing realities. This kind of published content has more stakes in not only identifying trends, but also generating them. We look to sources like Adweek and Digital Trends for something more than news. As we motion through our daily routines, we look to the commentators for trends in order to set our own lives in motion. At least I do––as someone who writes regularly on social media and marketing.

When TechCrunch published two posts about “the short video loop,” (one about Snapchat's profile GIF and the other about Facebook's profile video) I was blown away by how quickly and how much traction that one topic quickly gained. I was also beginning to believe there was a conspiracy in motion, or that the top social media gurus from Facebook and Snapchat and Instagram had met to discuss new developments with each other in some dimly lit room in Central Manhattan. Of course, that isn't true. What is true, however, is that TechCrunch's reporting influenced my understanding of the short video loop and its recent uses across a variety of social media platforms.

In other words, TechCrunch published content that allowed me to identify a trend, and gave me the feeling of being an insider. Furthermore, knowing that TechCrunch is also “in on it” proves that I am now emotionally invested in this trend, and thus invested in the kinds of content that make such trends gain traction. I developed a relationship with this source of media news, which is why I was pretty sure I had also developed some kind of sixth sense when Instagram launched Boomerang.

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After the Boomerang announcement, I was stunned by how the timing accorded with the short video loop trend. I was beginning to believe that Instagram had leveraged this trend to boost its launch of Boomerang, and fulfill the branding necessary to make the product a success. I believe that Instagram used trends-based marketing, albeit not intentionally, by launching Boomerang when it did, thus monetizing the concept of the short video loop and packaging it into a consumable 1-second long version that is easily shared.

Has marketing gained an inherent paranoia that not only defines, but also drives our work? Maybe. But one thing is for certain: when an app like Boomerang attaches to a trend like the short video loop - which is a trend that aligns well with Instagram as a business and has been used across social media platforms––the outcome could end up generating more buzz for your brand than you had hoped for. Social media has the power to make something what it is and affects how it is perceived and/or consumed­––no matter if the company producing that thing has contributed content to market its products or not. I’ve learned throughout my reflection of the short video loop that, in more ways than not, content is marketing is business. The rest is chance. 

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.

The ANA Masters of Marketing Conference



Held at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida, the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference is a gathering of the nation's chief marketing officers and leaders from the marketing industry. The conference offers opportunities to learn and engage with people who have built brands, leveraged an expanding array of media and emerging technologies, and improved the quality of marketing organizations across the board.

Some of the highlighted speakers at #ANAMasters included the CMOs from General Mills, Target, T-Mobile, Walmart, Cisco and Microsoft. Among the variety of events that took place during the conference was a forum called "Things I Wish I'd Known Then," during which Microsoft's GM of Global Advertising Kathleen Hall discussed why bigger isn't better, the importance of building relationships, and why chasing the "new" isn't always the right move. Other forums scheduled included "Putting Brand Champions at the Center of Everything You Do," as well as more market-focused panels such as "Bringing Humanity Back to Air Travel." Each of these aforementioned events took place over the course of one morning, which goes to show us just how happening this conference was. 

In fact, board members who attended the conference spent an entire day "behind closed doors," according to Adweek, discussing a number of issues that have been riddling the marketing industry, including whether agencies are receiving large rebates or kickbacks from media outlets in exchange for buying ads in large amounts. Among the considered solutions to this concern is whether the organization should hire a "fact-finding" firm to look into certain allegations of media agency fraud. Adweek contributor Lisa Granatstein (who covered the conference for the online publication) goes on to suggest that "the rebates controversy" affects marketers and agency executives alike. And with only a small number of agency execs at the conference, some "observers," as Granatstein mentions, say this lack in representation may have to do with the divisive issue at hand. All in all, the daylong discussion speaks to a collaborative effort on the part of attending board members to find a common ground.

On a more inspiring note, Bob Liodice, the president and CEO of the ANA, initiated the conference by giving a speech on the industry's efforts this year to transform the marketing landscape by leveraging emerging technologies. According to Adweek, Liodice spoke of "exploding gains in technology," and how it affects innovative media platforms and generates creativity. Among topics discussed by Liodice during his opening remarks were "advances in multi-screen platforms and integrated programs, efficient programmatic media strategies, real-time marketing, outdoor digitally-based placed media and connected TV."

Liodice even mentioned the second annual Marketing Disruption Study, a collaboration of the ANA and McKinsey & Co. Most notably, however, was that Liodice emphasized the need for the industry to come together to fight ad blocking, which he believes "represents consumers outrage over substantially diminished user experience." Liodice, a self-proclaimed "true believer" that "marketing can make a difference," denounced, among the list of industry grievances, "page clutter, lengthy video pre-rolls and long load times."

In light of these deficiencies, Ad Exchanger claims marketers are relinquishing their strict control over messages in order to better associate their brand with positivity. Be it a quick laugh or paying it forward by buying a stranger a meal, marketers are increasingly switching out that firm ground of data and measurement in favor of risk-taking and experiential efforts that leverage the emotions of the consumer through, for example, empathy. Arby's Chief Marketing Officer Robert Lynch calls this marketing behavior "being authentic to a fault", because although it's a risk to not rely on metrics, experiential marketing provides more opportunities to reinforce a brand's core beliefs, which makes for better marketing and a more satisfying consumer experience.

No matter the challenges the marketing industry has had to face (or continues to face), to return to the concerns of the president and CEO of the ANA, Liodice boldly closed his opening statement at the conference with an acknowledgement of real opportunities for positive change. Ultimately, Liodice highlighted a shift in marketing that began with the tried-and-true metrics, and has moved toward the more unchartered waters of consumer experience and service-oriented marketing.

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.

On Facebook's 'Reactions'

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When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company might be developing ways to integrate a “dislike” button, users everywhere seemed to be vocalizing their opinion on the potential change. In fact, discussions about a “dislike” button have been taking place on Facebook for some time now, even before officials legitimized the concern. From posting statuses to commenting on photos of their friends, users have been interested in finding out if they will be able to dislike content on the social network for years.

While many users do not see the harm a “dislike” button would cause, others are doing all they can to legitimize the concern for the button’s potential consequences. No matter the outcome, however, it’s a bold decision to make. People are concerned. And, it’s a decision that will affect brands much in the same way as it will affect Facebook users, meaning ‘Reactions’ will also change the way users interact with brands on the social network.

For the first time since Honesty Box and Formspring (two platforms that allowed users to share anonymous information with each other), people are beginning to think about the emotional repercussions of social media engagement. And now more than ever, articles are being published on the effects of social media on teenagers, and its relation to violence. This influx of scrutiny denotes a shift in the public’s changing perceptions of social media. In other words, the tired notion that social media is inherently disposable and time-sensitive is no longer as strong a claim, as the reality that social media produces very real material consequences in the forms of anxiety and depression. Yet, we also know that social media still has the potential to create feelings of joy, excitement and inclusion. It’s in this spirit that Facebook makes a network of users feel like a group of friends. In fact, findings show that when brands treat their consumers as friends, consumers are more likely to be impressed and foster more intimate connections.

What it comes down to is that approving the implementation of a “dislike” button would polarize opinions and hurt business, wreaking havoc among users of the social network and advertisers, and creating controversy for the media to exploit. Furthermore, the user’s act of disliking would occur at the expense of another user’s health and the community Facebook has attempted to maintain since its inception. It would mean the disappearance of a social networking ethics, if ever there were to be one.

Thankfully, it is now widely known by consumers of social media news that Facebook’s famously unlikely “dislike” button will actually be a set of emoticons called ‘Reactions’. As part of this new feature, users will be able to choose from the following expressions: Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry. 

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I like ‘Reactions’ for multiple reasons. First of all, it fulfills my prediction of the “dislike” button actually becoming more of an expression of empathy, and completely discards any attempt on the part of the user to breed negativity and Internet troll behavior. ‘Reactions’ empathetic authenticity also solves a practical problem that many users face when they read bad news from people and brands on their News Feeds. This makes sense, especially since empathy can actually help build effective strategies for brands like Facebook.

Lastly, I approve of the change in direction because it accords very well with current trends like the Emotional Internet, which have revealed technology’s investment in emotion and feeling. It is also widely known that tracking the kinds of emotions users experience when reacting to a brand’s content will provide metrics that will indeed help advertisers better cater to their audiences. The potential for accuracy in the kind of content published by brands, along with the kind of emotional integrity that comes with being able to react to a post as though you were talking to a friend in person, will make for a truer Facebook. Furthermore, the removal of a status quo via the inclusion of various reactions will make the experience of using Facebook, and thus social media, a more honest form of expression. If all goes well, ‘Reactions’ will mean a devaluing of the far-too-broad “like” button, in favor of more authentic and empathetic engagement.

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.

Co-Operative Insurance Develops Unique Interactive Social Media Campaign


Research from The Co-Operative Insurance has revealed that four in five drivers associate their first set of wheels with fond memories of the past. According to the report, over 69% of  respondents love to ‘car-oke,’ and sing along to music in their cars.

Capitalizing on these findings, The Co-Operative Insurance launched its biggest social media campaign on September 14th, called “Nostalgia FM.” Nostalgia FM is a musical flashback to when you passed your driving test. It prompts users to enter the month and year they passed, which then creates a playlist of hit tunes during that time. 

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How does it work?

  • Users type in the date they passed their test to get a list of tracks that were popular around that time. 
  • Users are then prompted to share their results on social media, or listen to the tracks on Spotify. 

Over the course of 5 days, the interactive tool welcomed 200,000 engagements on Twitter and Facebook (which includes likes, comments, views, re-tweets and favorites). In only 24 hours, The Co-Operative Insurance’s twitter followers increased by 6%. The conversation surrounding the campaign  surpassed twitter’s 1.5% barometer for engagement, reaching a figure of 5.3%. The campaign also successfully captured the attention of celebrities, including Vanessa Feltz and Lisa Snowdon. The impressive success of the campaign highlights the fact that social media is playing a pivotal role in The Co-Operative Insurance’s marketing and customer offering strategy. According to the company’s Director of Marketing, Charles Offord, "We will build on the success of this campaign to continue to engage with our customers and members in new and appealing ways.”

The campaign has two key virtues – the web page loads quickly, and it gives people the opportunity to listen to the playlist via a preinstalled app or a default web player. The musical jukebox harbors 650 individual spotify playlists to cover 55 years between 1960-2015, with over 1,600 songs. Overall, the campaign is a great way to get their brand name out there by creatively engaging with their customers. 

This post was written by Renegade intern Ria Doshi. 

“Moments” is Twitter’s Most Important New Feature


Apple Music has taste experts to give us recommendations on what to listen to. Snapchat’s Discover gives publishers a unique platform to broadcast their stories. Now, Twitter’s “Moments” is curating the top tweets that Twitter thinks you should be reading. 

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Photo Courtesy of Slate.Com

What is it?

With 500 million tweets sent each day, even the most steadfast follower can have a hard time keeping up. “Moments” provides users with a quick rundown of the day’s must-read tweets, regardless of whom they follow. According to Twitter’s Blog, the new feature launched on October 5th gives users, “the best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant.” Twitter uses trending data, conversation spikes and the editorial judgment of its curators from partners—including Buzzfeed, Getty Images and Vogue—to consolidate noteworthy stories and topics that people are discussing on the platform at any given time. 

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“Moments” appears as a lightning icon on Twitter’s mobile app and website between the tabs labeled “notifications” and “messages.” Tap it, and you’ll load a compiled selection of the day’s most prominent tweets. If you click on a story, you’ll pull up a page that looks different from Twitter’s usual theme. Each tweet appears as a full-screen photo or video, with the text of the tweet itself substituted as the caption.

You can swipe through various topics—including entertainment, sports, news and fun.

How it works:

  • When you click on an individual Moment, you’re taken to an introduction with a title and description.
  • Start swiping to dive right into the story, with immersive full-screen images and auto-playing videos, Vines, and GIFs.
  • A single tap gives you a fuller view of the Tweet, which you can favorite, re-tweet, and more. A double tap lets you instantly favorite the Tweet.
  • A progress bar at the bottom of the page indicates how much more content each Moment has to offer.
  • Swiping up or down dismisses the Moment and takes you back to the guide.
  • At the end of a Moment, click the share button to Tweet your thoughts, and send it out to your followers.


“Moments” is a great way to get the platform’s users and non-users to dive deeper into the Twitter world. Even if you aren’t logged in, you can still access moments by visiting Twitter’s homepage. The new feature also provides users with a Facebook  style news feed to keep them updated on the latest hot topics. It’s a welcomed step forward for the platform! 

This post was written by Renegade intern Ria Doshi. 

Advertising Week – New York, 2015: Roundup & Takeaways


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                                                                                                                                                                             Photo courtesy of NYSE.

This year, the world’s premier gathering of marketing and communications leaders saw its 12th year in New York, and hosted more than 290 events, 95,000 attendees, 246 seminars and workshops, 10,100 delegates and 902 speakers.

Drawing from brand, agency, technology, startup, media and broader cultural communities, Advertising Week is a weeklong assembly of the industry’s best and brightest thought leaders. With dedicated forums for elite brand marketers and creative visionaries looking for an immersive and accessible experience, Ad Week generates excitement about the advertising industry, and provides a positive platform for the growth and nurturing of successful talent.

Among the most anticipated things executives hoped to gain from Ad Week was networking with fellow industry leaders. However, networking wasn’t the only perk attendees were looking forward to. According to this article from Ad Age, leaders like Gian LaVecchia, MEC’s Managing Partner of Digital Content Marketing for North America, were concerned about the ever-changing role of the CMO as the marketing environment becomes more turbulent due to emerging technologies. Additionally, Chief Marketing Officer of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Jackie Hernandez was excited to find out how consumer consumption and technology are converging, and how marketers are looking to reach consumers in this evolution.

Hopes and wishes aside, Ad Week attendees quickly learned that the panels weren’t all flowers and daisies. One executive claims Ad Week isn’t about advertising anymore, but more about general creativity. R/GA’s Global Chief Creative Officer Nick Law expressed deep concern during a panel last week, in which he said, “It’s pretty hard to be an agency right now.” Law says the difficulties are partly due to startups disrupting the industry, affecting clients and going after talent.

Adding to the laundry list of concerns for the future of the advertising industry, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said during a panel, “Advertising is going to get exponentially more expensive.” According to Ad Age, the increase in costs is occurring because every time e-commerce makes another purchase routine, it gets that much harder for marketers to tempt consumers into a switch. Not to mention the ad block crisis taking the Internet by storm, especially among the younger generation.

As if responding to similar worries for how ad agencies are faring in today’s marketing climate, Facebook’s CEO Gary Briggs said during a panel last Thursday that he’s giving his in-house creative team more work. What this means is that Facebook is taking more of its advertising jobs in-house, presumably for reasons having to do with expertise, trust and compatibility, since the role of the CMO is evolving to encompass more technology than creativity.

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg also said in a panel last Tuesday that advertising on the social network’s Messenger app is in the very early experimentation stage, meaning Facebook is bringing ads to the chat room!

But not all happenings from this year’s Advertising Week were as deeply concerning as some of the comments made by industry executives.

Instagram’s Director of Brand Development Daniel Habashi made breakthroughs regarding the photo-sharing app’s affect on consumer marketing. As the industry adjusts to the shift to mobile, Habashi noted during a panel that it makes sense for marketers to push out content on Instagram because people use the app on average one out of every five minutes on their mobile devices.

On a slightly more inspiring note, GLAAD, the organization dedicated to positive representation of the LGBT community in areas such as entertainment, marketing and advertising, recognized the best LGBT advertisements during a panel last week. The panels included representatives from DirectTV, Tylenol, Target, Wells Fargo and Google Talk.


  • The role of the CMO is evolving
  • Technology is changing the marketing landscape
  • Consumer marketing and technology are converging
  • It’s hard out there for agencies
  • Advertising is going to get more expensive
  • Facebook is taking advertising jobs in-house
  • Facebook might bring ads to Messages
  • Instagram is a strong influencer of consumer marketing
  • Diversity in the industry is being recognized

 This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.

Swarm App by Foursquare Transforms Mobile Users into Influencers


In May 2014, Foursquare released Swarm, an app that allows users to check into locations and follow their friends' activities.

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It should be. In fact, most initial reactions to the release of Swarm were that of frustration as users realized the app's functions mirrored those of the original Foursquare many had grown to love. Yet, according to International Business Insider, Foursquare's split made sense because only one in twenty consumers were using the original app for both check-ins and search. Consequently, Swarm became the product of an app unbundling process by Foursquare, similar to how Facebook unbundled its mobile into single platforms such as Messenger and Groups. So, while Foursquare focused on developing one main service: personalized, local search, Swarm became the place to check-in and follow your friends.

So, we ask ourselves, why is Swarm ranked 174th in the App Store and why are people angry about it looking exactly like the original Foursquare?

I believe that the primary reason why the app is not as popular as one would expect is that there simply is a lack of knowledge about Swarm and Foursquare's “app unbundling” process.

Let's start with Swarm’s uses:

  • Check in to earn prizes and compete with friends to see who's having the best week on the leaderboard
  • Try to earn the Mayor title at your favorite spots by checking in every time you visit
  • Keep track of where you've been and who've you hung out with
  • See who's hanging out nearby
  • Send a message to your friends to make plans to meet up

Sounds fun, right? To echo the Swarm's description in the App Store, "Swarm turns every day into a game!" So even when you are eating your usual meal at your favorite local restaurant, you don't feel an overwhelming sense of ordinariness. With Swarm, you’re playing a game and, "the usual," with its feelings of stillness and bore, suddenly becomes spontaneous and full of life. To a Millennial generation of mobile users who have been described as apathetic in the past - but who have learned that emotions are the future of technology - Swarm redefines social media as a way of living, where emotions are generated through movement and gamification, instead of just being expressed or represented.

I spoke with one of Foursquare's marketing interns about why she loves Swarm. Here's what she had to say:

I like Swarm because it's fun to keep a record of the places I visit, and because I love to see where my friends are and have been. It's especially awesome when you check in somewhere and see that your friend is at a venue nearby. With Swarm, you can actually arrange a run-in with them.

Hearing this, I understood her point. And then, as though reading our mind, she added:

And of course I love it because it keeps a record of the places I've been to in my Foursquare app, as well, so that I won't forget to rate places or leave tips. I can also use Swarm to share my experience with the Foursquare community.

What I got from this explanation is that yes, Swarm is an unpopular stand-alone app, but it was specifically made to complement your Foursquare experience, not be its own thing. When you check in on Swarm, Foursquare reminds you to rate the place you visited and provide a tip. And because it is the primary means through which you check in, Swarm enhances networking among Foursquare's community of users.

However, the two diverge as a result of gamification, the main difference between Swarm and the original Foursquare. Furthermore, as Swarm users collects coins, stickers, prizes and Mayorships (previously a Foursquare feature), the more they start to represent actual capital, and in an even stranger way, the establishments they visit. So, as much as Swarm generates fun and games, winners and losers, leaders and followers, the app actually extracts value from a user's consumer experience instead of simply identifying a user’s desired location as Foursquare does with its personalized searches. 

This reading of Swarm's user experience adds a branding aspect to Swarm that Foursquare lacks, where users actually become live, branded social content that people consume. In other words, Swarm is a marketing haven because it exposes users to previously unknown businesses by allowing them to create and follow a network of friends. In this way, each user is an influencer. I would go so far as to conjecture that the app's gamifying features (i.e. the leaderboard) actually drive sales and increase customer conversion rates because it makes the user want to check in and reap their rewards. Thus, in reaching previously untapped audiences, small businesses without developed social strategies could benefit from Swarm's potential for user-generated content marketing the most.

What I’ve learned is that the Foursquare/Swarm split wasn't just an app unbundling process, but a strategic redistribution (followed by an enhancement) of services that became exclusive to Swarm, yet continued to supplement Foursquare. All the while, Swarm was built to visually resemble the original Foursquare app, while being successful enough as a stand-alone app. And this is ultimately why Swarm is unpopular, because it's seen as Foursquare's past self, ugly sibling or fierce competitor; when in reality it's Foursquare's gamifying descendent, doing what its role model should have done for users and businesses from the start (and doing it really well), even if mobile users don’t see what I see quite yet…

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.

The Fitness Tracker that Doubles as a Digital Trainer


Our Founder Drew Neisser and our Chief Operating Officer, Linda Cornelius are in constant competition in regards to who takes more “steps” on their Fitbits. In light of this I thought it would be interesting to look at a competing fitness tracker and evaluate its effectiveness.

Fitness trackers are the one type of wearable tech that encourage healthy living. They offer users a plethora of data regarding sleep activity, exercise habits, and general heart rate, but they don’t take that next step to tell you what to do with all this new information. Moov goes beyond traditional fitness tracking by providing live integrated smart coaching, which delivers more efficient and effective workouts meant to improve your form and make you more fit by progressively increasing the workout intensity. Here are all the details that will tell you everything you need to know about the new fitness tracker on the market: 


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Photo Courtesy of Digital Cosmopolitan


Moov has a circular, waterproof tracking disk that can be removed from the band and placed almost anywhere on your body. The tracking disk is specially designed so that you can also fasten it into the laces of your shoes or place it in your pocket. The light indicator around the rim of the disk glows in your chosen color when actively tracking your movements and when charging.


Moov comes with a small charging dock; you connect the tracking disk to the dock and charge via a USB cable. Once the sensor is fully powered, download one or both of the available companion apps for iOS and pair the device to your smartphone. Upon opening the app, you will be asked to make a Moov account, which you can do by connecting to your Facebook account or signing up with an email address. You're then asked to input basic information, including your age, gender, height and weight, and you can upload a photo of yourself to your profile.

Once your profile is complete, the app will prompt you to connect your Moov to your phone. Simply press the top of the Moov to send a signal to your handset; once the Moov is recognized, you will be asked to name your Moov and pick the color you want your Moov to glow during activity and charging.  


Moov’s apps encourage you to engage in a variety of fitness activities, while catering to a wide range of abilities. For example, the “Cardio Punch” app for boxing allows you to choose from three intensity levels: Light, Semi-Pro and Champion. However, if you’re a beginner, simply follow along the “Basic Training” workout that teaches you how to box from scratch. You can use the Moov “Cardio Punch” app at home with no boxing equipment, as the device and app track your movement and force.

Battery Life:

Moov lets you know when your battery is low by glowing red. Moov is rated for eight hours of active tracking, meaning if you’re working out for an hour a day, four days a week, Moov can last up to two weeks without needing to be recharged.


Moov brings something unique and necessary to digital fitness. For those of us who can’t afford personal trainers, this seems like a sure way to reap the benefits of personal training without dishing out a boatload of cash. 

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