SO MOnday: 17th August 2015


Abbey Torrance and Hewie Dalrymple round up the best social and mobile news from the past week – including Alphabet and Google, Apple’s driverless cars, Land Rover’s Instagram Adventures, Snapchat and the PGA Championship, and President Obama’s summer listening on Spotify…

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Google to Alphabet?  

Breaking news last week was: ‘Alphabet is now the holding company headed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and the company’s various businesses are divided into subdivisions of alphabet.

'This means that Google is not just one standalone company any more, it is part of a company that owns lots of businesses.

'Sundar Pichai is now the CEO of Google, Inc. the largest of the divisions that contains the company’s core business operations.'

Why? The move comes as Google have hinted that search cannot remain the core of their business any more. There are bigger aspirations for the clever minded folk over there - they want to work for business within the health, transport and energy sector.

For example, creating technology to cure cancer, and producing driverless cars, as well as ensuring everyone world wide has access to the internet (Project Loon). 

Reports of Apple creating driverless cars

Documents which the Guardian received show that Apple have been working on a project to create driverless cars using Apple technology. 

‘According to the documents, which the Guardian received under a public records act request, Apple’s engineers met with officials from the 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco, GoMentum Station, in May to turn the location into a secure testing ground.

‘Apple has long been rumoured to be working on driverless cars but this is the first time it has been documented. Apple’s senior vice president Jeff Williams has previously deemed the driverless car the ‘ultimate mobile device’ and confirmed the company was ‘exploring a lot of different markets…in which we think we can make a difference.'

This is another example showing us that the big companies like Google and Apple are having to diversify their product offerings in order to future-proof their companies. 

Land Rover Instagram Adventures

Land Rover have teamed with Y&R NYC to create two fictional Instagram adventure stories. The first story follows a young couple as they explore the Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho, obviously with a trusty Land Rover taking them across the rough terrain. This story is viewable @SolitudeInSawtooth. The second story, viewable @BrotherhoodOfWonderstone follows two brothers as they head off through Kanab, Utah.

In each adventure landscape shots are interwoven to create seamless panoseries (similar to a panoramic shot but where multiple shots make up a bigger picture). You can also click on some tiles to see video footage that allow the story to develop.

This is a very cool development by Land Rover, who have made the most of Instagram’s visual format to immerse the user in the adventure. You rarely feel you are interacting with a promotional piece which allows Land Rover to effectively showcase various off road capabilities (for example, you learn how to properly ford a river). 

Click Here to see a video of the Sawtooth adventure.

Snapchat Live Stories and the PGA Championship

The golf fans among you will have woken up to discover that Jason Day won his first Major yesterday. Well, the 2015 PGA Championship might also be remembered for its inaugural Snapchat partnership. Users were able to contribute video and photos for potential inclusion in the official PGA Championship Live Story. Although golf fans tend to be from the older generation and Snapchat tends to skew to a younger audience, Turner Sports believed there was an opportunity to use the social channel to engage their users.

"There’s never been a more exciting time to be a golf fan,” Morgan Dewan, Director of Social Media, Turner Sports, tells Found Remote. “We feel this PGA Championship is stacked with talented young golfers that are ushering in a new style of play and popularity: Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. With them comes a younger audience.”

The Live Story was geo-fenced so only attendees could contribute, allowing viewers at home to catch the best moments from fans on the course. Snapchat, much in the same way as Periscope or Meerkat, allows users to get a real time experience of a live event. We are likely to see many more partnerships like this at live events in the near future.

Somo Fun: Obama releases his Spotify Vacation Playlist

Are you at a loss as to what to listen to on your summer holiday? We all know that streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are making the decision process easier by creating personalised playlists. Well, if you feel these have missed the mark somewhat with their latest recommendations, then why not listen to the same music as the most powerful man in the world? Obaama took to Twitter this week to announce his relaxing holiday playlists.

Among the artists who feature are Beyonce and Leonard Cohen.

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