April 24, 2015

FigDigEst: 24 April 2015

This week we bring out the cake for YouTube, battle Mobilegeddon and join Google in the search for Nessie.

YouTube Turns 10

Happy birthday, not-so-little video platform. Ten years ago yesterday, 25-year-old YouTube Co-founder Jawed Karim posted the first ever video on the site—an 18-second clip called ‘Me at the Zoo’. It’s still there. Ten years on, and YouTube generates 800 million users a month, with 300 hours of new videos uploaded every minute. Every nine days content equivalent (in volume, not quality) to the BBC’s entire TV output goes up. After Google and Facebook, it’s the third most popular web domain. It’s even offered a platform to a whole new generation of sought-after celebrity vloggers. That’s pretty impressive for a 10-year-old.

Mobilegeddon Strikes

It was scary for a moment there, but we made it through. This Tuesday marked ‘Mobilegeddon’—the Google algorithm update that promises to privilege ‘mobile-friendly’ sites in the search rankings. But Kerry Sheahan, PR Manager at Absolute Digital Media, thinks that the update has been over-exaggerated, and that marketers should make mobile a significant element in their digital strategy, rather than just a quick fix to satisfy the update.

Dr. Peter Meyers of Moz wrote this article on the day after Mobilegeddon, noting that the data so far shows relatively little movement in the search rankings. He also notes a wave of last minute updates in anticipation of the deadline. Speaking at our Search Marketing Seminar yesterday, Gareth Morgan at Liberty Marketing emphasised that, although the term ‘-geddon’ may have been a bit strong, the update will be rolled out over time and will make a significant difference. So don’t write it off just yet. Google’s still watching.

Digital Brand Of The Week: Lush

Vegetarian handmade cosmetics retailer Lush launched an m-commerce iOS app this week, their first venture into the mobile market. The app allows customers to browse through products according to mood or scent—extending the sensory experience that Lush pride themselves on creating in-store. It also highlights the brand’s environmental stance. Next to each product, there is a full list of its ingredients, origin and benefits. The app was made in partnership with global digital product studio Ustwo. It’s been a busy week for the folk at Lush, as their new flagship store on London’s Oxford Street also opens today.

Google Earth Joins The Search For Nessie

It wasn’t too long ago (four years, in fact) that Google Earth’s popularity was largely due to the novelty of being able to search for images of your own house. The technology alone was enough to entertain us for hours on end. But Google’s capabilities rapidly grew, and with it users’ demands. In 2014, Google sent Rafia the camel across the Liwa Desert in Abu Dhabi with the Street View ‘Trekker’, making searchable a landscape that, until then, most of us could only have imagined.

And now, in 2015, Google Earth has entered into the realms of legend, joining the search for Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. Teaming up with local divers and Nessie experts, Google has used its Street View ‘Trekker’ cameras to take images above and below the waters of the loch in the hope of capturing the elusive cryptid. The project has been timed to coincide with the 81st anniversary of the publication of the famous ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’—the original Loch Ness Monster image, published on 21 April 1934. A ‘Nessie’ Pegman can be used to explore the new images.

Launch Of The Apple Watch

The long-awaited launch of the Apple Watch is happening today, although Apple Stores are not actually stocking the product, so we guess there were no traditional queues of tents last night. A bit of a shame for tech fans, really.

So how do you get your hands on this most sought-after gadget? You can order an Apple Watch online or, if you really want to see the watch before you splash out £479 to £949 on one, you can book an appointment in advance to try one on.


The 45th annual Earth Day happened this Wednesday, and the Google Doodle marked it with a suitably distracting avatar. The iconic logo was fashioned with a spinning globe and an array of wild animals, also offering up a personality quiz to reveal your ‘spirit animal’. We’re sad we missed out on the quiz. We’d be a lion. Twitter also came alive with two trending hashtags, #EarthDay and #EarthDay2015, which prompted celebrities, brands and global supporters to post images of their earth-friendly offerings. With a rising number of consumers backing the drive for sustainability, Earth Day is becoming an important event in the public calendar, and one that brands should definitely take note of.

Word Up

Thursday was World Book Day and Twitter lit up with users celebrating the original mobile device. It’s often asked what the great writers of the past might have made of Twitter. We think they’d have embraced it. The definitive piece of micro-fiction – and an object lesson to copywriters everywhere – is attributed to Ernest Hemingway (no one’s certain) and contains everything you need to know about storytelling in 33 characters. Here it is, in full: ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’

Over at Mashable this weekend they’re running a Twitter poetry competition. All you have to do is Tweet 140 characters of your most lyrical prosody by 27 April on #mashreads for a chance to feature on the site. If the muse is proving elusive a site called Poetweet will generate mind-bogglingly odd verse based on your social media output. The site tracks “the data of your inspiration” and “analyses your deepest feelings”, then introduces some head-scrambling rhyme schemes. Check it out. Though maybe not from your work account.

Round-up by Estelle Hakner and Jon Fortgang.