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The Strategy Corner’s Digital Trends of the Week: August 25th

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A recap of this week’s digital trends, brought to you by BBDO’s Digital Strategy team. This week features SoundCloud’s Ad push, Uber’s API, and Vine’s new camera.

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Think The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is Stupid? You’re Wrong.

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From Forbes:

The Internet is alight with the Ice Bucket Challenge, a silly joke that’s being shared on social media by billionaires. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dumped a bucket of ice on his head. He was followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who, in a playful video, built a contraption to do the dumping, and Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the drug development guru and chief executive of the Gates Foundation.

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THIS WEEK IN THE DIGITAL LAB: BRIGHTLINE.TV

This week, The Digital Lab hosted Brightline.TV, an innovative platform that helps bring bytesize, micro-content both to connected TVs as well as cable set-top boxes. They have partnered with a number of major brands across a few verticals, and their engagement figures are impressive. Visitors to their custom channels tend to spend, on average, around five minutes per visit.

The company has essentially placed itself in the ‘Twilight Zone’ middle ground between pre-digital television consumers and second screen TV viewers, giving advertisers the ability to effectively serve digital-style content to viewers that might not otherwise be using a smart device to engage with it.

Contact Daniel.Charness@bbdo.com to learn more about Brightline.TV and to view the deck that they presented.

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Product Hunt, the ‘Reddit for apps,’ Launches on iOS

By Owen Williams

Product Hunt, the hot startup that helps you find the best new products and companies, has today launched an iOS app as it announces a $1 million seed round.

If you’re somehow still not familiar with Product Hunt, it’s a mashup of Reddit and Hacker News with the sole purpose of surfacing cool new products from around the world on a daily basis.

The startup has gone from strength to strength, with founder Ryan Hoover recently announcing the team had joined YCombinator.

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Google Street View Now Lets You Peek at Indonesia’s Biggest Cities and Stunning Underwater Reefs

By Kaylene Hong

Google dispatched its distinctive cars to bring Street View to Indonesia back in 2012, and now the first fruits of that labor are finally showing. Today, nearly two years later, Google launched its first Street View imagery of the massive country on Google Maps, starting with four of the largest cities.

Google partnered with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to embark on what was termed as its biggest project in Asia, since Indonesia has a population of more than 240 million and is a large country that consists of many islands. The panoramic photos of Jakarta, Bogor, Denpasar and Surabaya will now let people around the world see 360-degree street-level views of public locations around the cities.

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Just How Creepy Can Targeted Ads Get? New Tool Promises to Tell You

By Selena Larson

Ever find yourself scrolling through a website and seeing an advertisement that’s a little too well-targeted? You know, as if the advertiser knew you recently twisted your ankle and need to buy some sturdier shoes? 

Columbia University researchers are working on XRay, a tool to help innocent Internet users make sense of those ads that stalk us, sometimes in ways that are worse than creepy.

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Get Ready To Say Goodbye To The Traffic Light

By Bradley Berman

The traffic light turned 100 years old this month. At the rate things are going, though, it seems unlikely to survive another century. It might not even make it past the next decade.

The first electric traffic light, installed on Aug. 5, 1914, in Cleveland, was intended to bring some order to the chaos of mass-produced automobiles that were starting to flood the roadways. Now, a century later, these cars are on the cusp of driving themselves and communicating directly with each other.

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The 10 Best Startups from Y Combinator’s Summer 2014 Mega-Demo Day

By Roberto Baldwin

Something happens to you when you sit through 75 Y Combinator startups all vying for press coverage and investment dollars. Well, besides the fact that you body goes numb from sitting in a plastic chair for nearly seven hours, you see the patterns of a pitch: intro, product explanation, financials, team experience and a call to talk while they wander the event floor.

But while the patterns are similar, this latest batch included companies that were vastly different. From valet services for commuters to nuclear fusion. From a fellowship for data scientists to a projector for furniture showrooms. The Summer 2014 Y Combinator was long, sometimes confusing, but a good barometer on where technology is headed.

Here are the startups that we think are not just the best of the day, but potentially could be larger than what was presented on stage.

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Evermind Allows You to Keep Tabs On A Vulnerable Relative from Afar

By Nicholas Fearn

Launched last week by Nashville entrepreneur Dave Gilbert, Evermind is a smart system that allows you to monitor a vulnerable relative

The idea here is that by using the device, you’ll be able to take a step back from constantly going round to a relative’s house, which can cause a lot of worry.

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Uber Launches ‘Corner Store’ Delivery Service in Washington DC

By Ben Woods

Uber has branched out from providing on-demand rides for passengers to offer on-demand product deliveries for people living in Washington DC as part of an experimental service.

Starting today, Uber users can request items like “allergy medicine, diapers, toothpaste and over 100 other items” through the Uber app. All you need to do is toggle to the ‘Corner Store’ option and select a delivery location within the operational area, then, if a driver is available, Uber will send you a message with a link to items available for purchase.

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Roku TV Disrupts Nothing, Which May Make it the Smartest Smart TV Yet

By Adriana Lee

Disruption is overrated. Just ask Roku. The device maker doesn’t want to change the game; it likes its game just fine, thank you very much. And that’s why the streaming device maker hasn’t gone back to the drawing board with its very first lineup of smart TVs, announced late Tuesday night.

These televisions, manufactured by TCL and Hisense, are pretty much what Roku first showed off last January at the Consumer Electronics Show: These are flat-screen Wi-Fi-equipped televisions with a Roku streaming box crammed inside.

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Google Buys Instagram-analyzing Mobile App Startup Jetpac

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By Derrick Harris

Google has purchased Jetpac, a startup that launched in 2012 and analyzes Instagram photos to build what it calls City Guides for travelers — stuff like which bars have the most women (or men), or which beaches have the best views. According to the Jetpac website, the company will “be removing Jetpac’s apps from the App Store in the coming days, and ending support for them on 9/15.”

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