Connect with us

Featured

Africa takes to Slideshow

Published

on

Facebook has revealed that numerous brands throughout Africa are using Slideshow, a lightweight video ad format, to tell their stories to people who wouldn’t usually watch online videos because of their local bandwidth constraints.

South Africa is one of the top ten emerging markets for usage of this innovative advertising format from Facebook, with momentum also growing in other markets like Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. To date, people from 200 countries have viewed Slideshow advertisements.

Slideshow makes it easy for advertisers to create video ads from still images. All they need to do is upload three to seven still images—they can be from an existing video, a photo shoot or even stock imagery—and choose the length of the slideshow, from 5 to 15 seconds.  In addition to providing users with rich, interactive content—irrespective of the device and internet access medium they use—Slideshow reduces the need for video production time and resources. That means small businesses, too, can use video to engage with their audiences without needing a massive budget, equipping them to drive real business results.

Due to Slideshows being 5X lighter than the average video file, it extends eye-catching ads to people on basic devices or with poor connectivity. It can be used by nearly any African business to accomplish a variety of advertising objectives namely:

·         Build a video easily and quickly: Create videos on Facebook using photos or Facebook’s stock image database

·         Use an eye-catching new format: Use images in succession to capture attention and tell a story with photos

·         Display products or tutorials: Upload product photos or display a tutorial, recipe, or how to using photos

·         Recycle existing creative: Reuse old creative assets in a new and eye catching way

·         Reach people on slow connections: Take your video ad to people on 2G and slow connections

“We aim to make it easy for advertisers to tell rich, compelling brand stories to people, no matter which connection speeds and devices they use to connect with Facebook,” says Nunu Ntshingila, Head of Africa at Facebook. Ntshingila went on to say, “Even in sub-Saharan African countries – where connectivity can be slow and expensive and feature phones are common – people want to engage with more video content on mobile, including ads. Slideshow is easy for advertisers to use and engaging for people.”

Slideshow has already proven its worth in a range of campaigns in Africa. For example, Coca-Cola in Kenya and Nigeria ran a video ad to raise awareness of the new season of its show, Coke Studio Africa.

To extend the reach of the ad to people within its target audience who were on slow connections or features phones, Coca-Cola took high-resolution screenshots from the video, uploaded them in sequence along with some basic text and ran the story as a slideshow on Facebook. And the results were

encouraging: the campaign reached 2 million people—twice their goal—and raised ad awareness by 10 points in Kenya.

Featured

Smart home arrives in SA

The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

Published

on

The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.

The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.

The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.

The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.

The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.

My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.

Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.

Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?

These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.

Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.

Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.

Previous Page1 of 2

Continue Reading

Featured

Matrics must prepare for AI

Published

on

students writing a test

By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.

Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.

With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.

Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.

Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist. 

So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?

For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.

In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.

This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.

In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.

As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.

This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.

The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 World Wide Worx