The Original View-Master Gets a Makeover

The makers of the original View-Master are teaming up with Google to launch a re-make of the popular 1980’s toy. Most of you know the exact toy I’m talking about. The red plastic viewer that showed 3-D images on a picture reel. You could instantly transform yourself from starring at your bedroom wall to looking at the vast expanse of the African desert.

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Last week Mattel and Google unveiled plans to sell a virtual reality version of the toy. It will offer an easy-to-use and affordable platform that will empower users to take dynamic field trips where they can explore famous places, landmarks, nature, planets and more in 360 degree photospheres. The goal of this toy is to create imaginative and interactive learning environment for the users.

Fortune magazine had the opportunity to demo the newest replica of the View-Master and says they were blown away. They were able to visit Alcatraz from the comfort of their New York office. They were able to walk in through the front gates, explored cells, and walked up and down the hallways and were able to look in every nook and cranny of the space.

The product is set at $30 for the device and additional reels are expected to cost $12 for a set of four. Seems like a steal, right? Well, as of now, the device only works with an Android phone. That’s right…you need a phone. While the original View-Master used the goggles to project the images, this version uses your smartphone screen and an app to see the virtual worlds. The price of the app has yet to be determined.

It’s no secret that Mattel has been facing challenges in the toy aisle. The re-branding of this product came about because Mattel is now looking to create the future of play and design toys for this generations kids, not the last one. But with availability of the new View-Master limited to only Android users they are cutting off a large portion of their target audience that use other systems. Only time will tell if this is a smart move and if it will increase sales and brand loyalty.

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Timehop Gives Users a Valentine’s Day Gift of it’s Own

Over the years services like Facebook have come under fire for the news feed’s algorithm and its ability to unearth emotions that user want to forget.

You know exactly what I mean after something distressing happens (maybe you broke up with a partner or someone passed away), Facebook seems to endlessly show you the exact person you don’t want to see.

Timehop found a simple solution for Valentine’s Day this year. A special splash page that provides a warning of what you might see on a day like this.

Not only does this graphic quickly remind you that you could be in for some “exes and feels,” it gives you the opportunity to walk away from Valentine’s memories completely if you’re not quite prepared this year.

Instead of simply assuming that the harsh realities of the algorithm would be okay, Timehop gives you the power to not run into something that could be distressing to you personally, ultimately making you like the service that little bit more.

Timehop has your back this year to avoid hurting your feels on Singles Awareness Day. This type of thoughtful design can speak much louder to users than writing out a long warning about how algorithms might bring up bad memories.

YouTube vs Vimeo

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More businesses are turning to video for their online marketing efforts. This is due to the widely held belief that video is the future of content marketing. This is a well founded belief as the level of personal touch that you get with video. There’s nothing like the feelings of having a human face and voice speaking to you.

The video sharing market largely comes down to YouTube and Vimeo. But which one of these video giants is the right choice? That answer comes down to to the types of videos you want to produce, who is in your target audience and where they watch videos and what your budget is.

In a recent AdWeek article, they compared the two video platforms. This is what they had to so say.

YouTube Pros
1. YouTube is the worlds most popular video sharing platform
2. YouTube is free for all to use
3. YouTube has plenty of advertising opportunities

Vimeo Pros
1. Vimeo is the epitome of professionalism
2. Vimeo’s video player is completely customizable
3. Vimeo has to better, more in depth analytics tool
4. You can build a community around your videos

YouTube Cons
1. Anyone can get a free YouTube account
2. YouTube’s advertising is incredibly aggressive
3. YouTube’s analytics tool isn’t very insightful

Vimeo Cons
1. Vimeo gets less traffic than YouTube
2. There are fewer features available with a free account

As you can see, both platforms have their merits when it comes to content marketing. While this article isn’t meant to make a case for one or the other, I do hope it gives you more insight to help you determine which one is right for your marketing needs.