From start-ups, acquisitions and apps to platform tweaks: our weekly Stay aHead has everything you need to stay in the social loop.
It appears that FreshPlanet, the NYC-based social gaming company, may have struck gold – and it’s certainly music to all of our ears. SongPop has arrived and it is really one absolutely brilliant execution. Currently available and synched across iOS, Android and Facebook, the free app is essentially a fusion of Draw Something and “Name That Tune”. With impeccable game mechanics and a simple UI, users can challenge their friends or random others to see who has the quickest ear for music recognition across various genres. The synchronous simulated gameplay is what gives SongPop its truly addictive quality, making it seem as though you’re playing against the other person in real-time. Expect to see massive growth in the user base followed by an even larger acquisition.
TV w/ Benefits
There are plenty of startups attempting to perfect the “second-screen experience”, but Function(x)’s Viggle recognizes the power of tangible incentives. Describing itself as a loyalty program for television, it has a simple mantra: Watch TV. Get Rewards. Using audio fingerprinting technology, the app is able to listen to your TV and understand exactly what you’re watching within a few seconds. Earn points by checking in to what you’re viewing and participating in Viggle LIVE activities that interact with the real-time content. After casually using the app on my iPhone for about 6 months now, I have cashed in my points for two free movie tickets. It appears that plenty of users have also taken Viggle up on this reward as it has now more than tripled in points needed to redeem it. With the recent launch of an Android version, expect to see a dramatic increase in users, more innovative LIVE activities, and heaps of new brands looking to get in on the (inter)action.
Looking for a way to showcase your online identity? Described as your “social front page”, RebelMouse aggregates your social footprint and makes it more easily digestible. At first glance, it’s kind of like staring at your social presence in the mirror. With a very Pinterest-esque design, automated pages are currently populated with content from a user’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. A handy bookmarklet allows for sharing quick additions found on the web directly to your page and detailed analytics are provided for each piece of content. After a few weeks of usage, I clearly see value in directing people to this visual snapshot of my interests and I have a feeling more brands will as well. The roadmap includes deeper integration of Facebook Pages, Instagram and Tumblr in the coming weeks as well as offering an e-commerce platform and sponsored content. Expect to see big things from founder Paul Berry and his team.