Facebook’s sort-of apologies in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal have unleashed another round of tut-tutting across the internet. If you (still) use the network, I’m sure you’ve seen friends make good on promises to delete the app or even their entire account because they no longer trusted Zuck with their personal info.
If I may venture a dubious opinion, I believe people got more upset at Facebook than at, say, Target because relative to other social networks, Facebook encourages something approaching honesty.
Yes, you heard me: honesty. Sure, Facebook has featured more than its fair share of humblebrags and flat-out fabrication. However, on Facebook more than other networks, we tend to know our contacts, so they know us better. Meanwhile, Twitter has succumbed to robots and flame wars while LinkedIn feels like a motivational speaker tryout. I can’t speak for other popular networks such as Facebook’s Instagram or the oldie-befuddling Snapchat.
For whatever reason, we seem to put our trust, not to mention baby pictures, political opinions and general goings-on on Facebook. We manufacture ourselves less there. And feeling that someone has exploited that unmanufactured self really feels like betrayal.
Poor Kodak. They invented the digital camera and yet they exist today as little more than a fond memory. Let me add insult to this injury by positing that they developed a pretty smart mobile marketing trick, way back in 1920. It worked then; I suggest that some app makers try it now:
Alas, there’s an app for that now
Even into the 1980s, film and developing cost quite a bit of money. Practically everyone owned cameras but they tended to use them sparingly. So Kodak put these Picture Spot signs in national parks and, most notably, Disney theme parks to remind people to use their cameras.
Let’s put this in 2015 marketing terms. Most of Kodak’s target consumers had mobile devices (on multiple platforms [i.e. cameras] but mostly running the same software [i.e. film]), so they needed to focus on increasing actual usage. Thus they placed these ads at key usage locations.
Many of today’s app makers could benefit from the Picture Spot approach. Obviously, the Instagrams of the app world might benefit from reminding users to post pictures in scenic places. But couldn’t a travel app posts signs in airports reminding users to check the apps for flight changes? Couldn’t a recipe app place reminders in supermarkets to see what they could do with, say, a bunch of leeks?
With the focus on mobile increasing even among real-world brands, physical media have begun to fall out of frame (yes, puns intended). A savvy app publisher taking this approach might see more of what Paul Simon called “the greens of summer.”