Every once and a while a viral video on Youtube makes a big impact. Just last week I came across this promotional video for The English National Opera. The video is being used to promote a new opera entitled Two Boys and the performance is said to “lift the lid on the risks of life online.” To spread their message, they created an entertaining video that features one man roaming around and approaching strangers in public to ask them questions. The video is intended to open our eyes so, as social media users, we become aware that the way we’ve been conditioned to act online isn’t necessarily normal or safe. Sometimes it takes a video to make us realize that online interaction does not translate to human interaction as seamlessly as we’d like to think. Watch the video below and let us know what you think.
As more and more companies are turning to social media for a presence online, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are giving way to the next big trend for these established companies; the social sign-in. This new form of sharing information allows customers to login to a website using their social media login credentials rather than registering for that specific website separately. Because Facebook’s registration and platform provide so much user insight, retailers are excited to embrace the social sign-in as it will give them access to this detailed information that they wouldn’t normally be able to retrieve from a simple website log-in. Preferences and likes are very important to retailers because their strategy is simply increase orders, attract new customers, and minimize returns. Thanks to the social sign-in, they can begin using this data to learn more about their customers and to ensure they’re providing users with the best possible experience.
From a customer’s perspective, not having to memorize 26 different login passwords and usernames can mean a lot less time and frustration. But on the other end of the spectrum, people are becoming increasingly more protective and weary about their information online, and for good reason. For the time being, retailers are treading lightly with social sign-ins so customers don’t feel like their privacy is being violated.
Although the concept isn’t brand new, only a few ecommerce websites have implemented the social sign-in so far. A report from eMarketer states that 18% of online retailers have implemented this technology for their visitors as of August 2010. Another 18% reported that they were in the process of implementing it while 32% planned to roll it out sometime in the next 12-24 months.
With the world of social media ever-changing, it will be interesting to see if this new trend catches on with retailers and how the platform may change and evolve over time. Most importantly, will customers be willing to sacrifice their privacy for a convenience like the social sign-in and if so, will it be worth it in the end?
Infographic provided by Gigya
We all do it; letting our friends know we’ve gone out to see a movie, we’re at the park, the mall or our favourite restaurant. It seems harmless at first, updating status’, tweeting, blogging but how far is too far? We never seem to think twice about sharing our daily activities online from the mundane to the insane, so letting your friends know you’ve left the country, the city or even the house has never been something to dwell on, until now.
Earlier this year a website called www.pleaserobme.com began raising awareness on this topic and has since received a lot of attention for their approach. The site is no longer running but essentially it used Twitters search functionality to show location based updates from people all over the world who had no problem letting everyone know exactly where they were. The creators of this website had a simple message, take caution in what you post online that may let others know when you aren’t at home.
Location based applications such as Four Square are allowing users to check-in and notify all their friends of their current location. An awesome way to find trendy new hangouts and the best sushi in town, but on the flip side you’re letting everyone know that you aren’t home. These applications are revolutionizing the way consumers interact with businesses and brands. Although they may seem flawed, it is our responsibility, as account holders on these social media sites, to restrict our content, maintain our privacy, and interact only with people we know and trust. It becomes very easy to point fingers in a situation such as this but when someone leaves their entire Facebook profile (cell phone number and all) completely open to the public and adds 1085 people they have never even met in a race to be popular, I find it difficult to sympathize.
We value our privacy offline so why is the internet so different? We build large fences around our back yards, we lock our car doors, and we guard our credit cards and social security number with our life. Aside from the frequent criticism of Facebook’s policy, privacy seems to have taken a back seat when it comes to social media. In the past few years people seem to have grown more comfortable with the internet and have gone from providing fake names to posting full addresses and phone numbers.
Before the internet blossomed into what it is today, people used phone books to look up an address or telephone number. Today, personal database sites like www.dirtyphonebook.com are offering “uncensored people reviews” that prompt visitors to enter phone numbers and leave comments about the people with that specific number. Websites like www.pipl.com are powered by search engines that pull data on a specific person from every corner of the internet from facebook profile photos and data to news stories from local papers. Websites like these are causing a growing concern as internet users attempt to defend what little privacy they have left. Check the privacy settings on mobile apps and social networking sites so you know exactly what is being shared and remember, sometimes less really is more.