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We Are Social: Curiosity Stop #17

  1. Curiosity Stop: The Social Innovation Roundup
  2. CURIOSITY STOP ‘Social Thinking’ is understanding how and why people communicate. We use this insight to provide value for our clients. This understanding is an ongoing passion project for We Are Social. Our global team of 600 keep a keen eye out for intriguing changes in the social landscape. We take the best of these innovations and compile them in the monthly Curiosity Stop. You’ll see some examples which prove our social trendspotting, and others which indicate what might happen next. But if you look really closely, you might just catch a glimpse into the future of how and why we use social.
  3. Curiosity Stop > Welcome to We Are Social’s latest Curiosity Stop, which addresses trends we identified as key in our future-proof Think Forward report. Social Interactions bring us closer to brands, while wearables and other innovations can bring us closer to one another, bridging distances that might be physical or linguistic. In the months and years to come, more and more of the things we’re familiar with will be integrated with the internet, whether it’s cars, shops, or whole experiences. This poses a real challenge for business, as customers come to expect more and more from the brands they love. It is, however, a very positive challenge, which is already resulting in some fantastic innovations. Matteo Starri, Research & Insight Director, Milan
  4. Social Trend 1: Chatbots - The Rise Of Instant Interaction The likes of Facebook Messenger and Slack opening up their platforms to chatbots heralds the beginning of a new era of opportunities for messaging-as-a-platform. However, while most developers still obsess over making chatbots as ‘human’ as possible, the best developers understand that it’s not AI that makes chatbots innovative, it’s their ability to fulfil consumer needs through simple, instant action and interaction.
  5. Chatbots - The Rise Of Instant Interaction > Forksy What’s it all about? People are increasingly paying attention to their health, and food is key part of that. Forksy attempts to change unhealthy eating habits by suggesting alternatives to poor food choices. The app works through Facebook Messenger and Telegram, so is designed to be on-hand, like a well meaning (and slightly annoying) friend, to give dietary advice. The bigger picture Chatbots create a huge window of opportunity for brands to make a positive difference in people’s lives and help them make healthier choices. The chatbot mechanism also opens up a two-way dialogue for brands to gain a better understanding of consumer needs, as well as create a relationship with the brand.
  6. Chatbots - The Rise Of Instant Interaction > Swelly Bot What’s it all about? People are always looking for inspiration and fast feedback. Nowadays it’s a common practice to ask for advice through social channels, and this is where Swelly comes in. If the user is stuck between two options, they can share their question and ask other people to vote. Swelly then helps provide the user with instant community feedback - so wave goodbye to being indecisive and adios to bad daily decisions. The bigger picture Understanding audiences’ behavior is more important than ever, allowing brands to engage in relevant conversations. Swelly acts as an example of how tools can help consumers make choices, while providing insights to those facilitating them
  7. Chatbots - The Rise Of Instant Interaction > Nordstrom What’s it all about? Nordstrom partnered with Snaps to develop a personal assistant to help people to find the perfect gift. The chatbot asks a set of questions about who they are shopping for and responds with personalised ideas and direct links to buy the items. The bigger picture Chatbots offer brands the opportunity to boost their ability to engage with online (mobile) shoppers. They benefit both parties by helping consumers find inspiration and enabling brands to push selected products at relevant times.
  8. Social Trend 2: Facilitating Intimacy While technology has often been perceived as something that creates distance between us, we are finding more and more ways to use it to reinforce our social bonds and satisfy our fundamental needs for intimacy and closeness.
  9. Facilitating Intimacy > Zero-Shot Translation What’s it all about? Google Translate is now using a system called ‘Google Neural Machine Translation system’ (GNMT). It’s an end-to-end learning framework that learns from millions of examples of real translations between different languages. This system, in addition to improving translation quality, also enables ‘Zero- Shot Translation’ which is a translation between language pairs that have never been seen by the system before. The bigger picture Language can be one of the greatest barriers between people. The impact of research in language recognition and deep learning helps both regular users and professionals - such as linguists and translators in this specific case - to bring people together. In the future we may well see our phones being capable of breaking down language barriers as effectively as a bilingual human being.
  10. Facilitating Intimacy > Baby's first wearable What’s it all about? The Czech company Daatrics Ltd. has launched Neebo, a new piece of wearable tech for babies which sends parents an accurate data stream about their newborn. A smart combination of physical sensors and artificial intelligence provides information on factors including blood oxygen, temperature and heart rate, and raising the alarm if abnormal measures are found. The bigger picture Wearable devices are more and more ubiquitous in our everyday life, putting into our hands information that would have previously been out of reach. Real time data collection and continuous monitoring can help in predicting potential risks and, above all, allow users to understand their physical condition and empowers them to improve their health.
  11. Facilitating Intimacy > What’s it all about? A startup called is introducing a system that claims to generate stunningly realistic avatars from a single still image. The technology uses a combination of machine learning and cutting-edge special effects from the film industry to create personalized 3D animated experiences. The bigger picture Facebook wants to make social interaction in VR feel as lifelike and intimate as the real world: the magic is in bringing the avatars to life and making an emotional connection. This new technology aims to democratize the process of building believable 3D avatars for everyone; a process that was previously expensive and exclusive to people with a Studio infrastructure.
  12. Social trend 7: The Internet Of Social Things 2.0 Common household appliances, products and skills are already part of the sharing economy. But mistrust of strangers and the internet of social things has kept this trend from expanding into more niche services that involve areas like our health, loved ones and luxury services. But as our trust of online peers increases, we are accepting the internet of social things into these areas of our lives.
  13. The Internet Of Social Things 2.0 > Mojio What’s it all about? Founded in 2012, Vancouver’s Mojio is a cloud-based connected car platform based around a small, Internet- connected device you plug into your car’s OBD port. The platform provides secure connected car apps and services for enterprise customers, wireless carriers, auto manufacturers and more. The bigger picture Mojio unlocks hidden telematics data from nearly any car, bringing “dumb” cars into the Internet of Things and enables new automotive experiences that could provide something we’ve all been searching for: peace of mind for our cars and the people in them.
  14. Social Trend 8: Behaviour As Currency Thanks to sharing economy businesses like Uber, it's no longer just celebrities and politicians whose behaviour is under scrutiny. Our behaviour is now held to account wherever we are. Now people - like brands - must remain vigilant about how our behaviours are perceived.
  15. Behaviour As Currency > Buzzin What’s it all about? Buzzin App allows people to earn coins for qualifying actions like volunteering work or using green transport solutions. These coins can be used to purchase rewards at participating retailers, or for travel fares. The innovative approach is about creating a virtual currency whereby people can earn it by carrying out community based socially and sustainable activities. The bigger picture Brands have the opportunity to impact people’s attitudes and lifestyles, and to shape better behaviours. By rewarding people for approaching the world in a more sustainable way, they create a win-win situation that contributes to shaping a better society for everyone.
  17. WE ARE SOCIAL We Are Social is a global agency with offices in five continents (Antarctica is a little too chilly for our liking). We deliver world-class creative ideas with forward-thinking brands, and have fun doing it. Our clients include adidas, Google and Netflix. As an international team of 600+, our passion is people. Our mission is to put social thinking at the centre of marketing. Trendspotting might get us unnaturally excited, but what really counts is action. If you'd like to speak to We Are Social about how to make innovation work for your brand, email us at