The Potential of Wearable Social
The smartphone may have completely revolutionized the way we communicate, to the extent that many of us feel incapable of surviving without one. But thankfully, technology hasn’t ground to a halt, and we’re now on the brink of a new era, as Wearable Tech starts to become mainstream.
Last night Apple unveiled its Watch, Google’s Android Wear has already hit the shelves; consumer tech is undergoing a revolution. And these gadgets allow us to become even more invested in the internet and social. It’s exciting, it’s new – but this is just the beginning – there’s much more to come, and it will undoubtedly impact social and the brands using it.
The size of wearable technology reduces messaging space and experience, so information on smart devices needs to be useful, or risk of being removed. Thus social media apps need to be simple, and will better support things like notifications, one-to-one messages and photo albums that can be viewed with a simple swipe.
Currently, brands on social media are creating campaigns that are easy to digest, simple and straightforward, for the benefit of the user. With wearable social, brands will need to make content even more concise – the well-worn phrase “quality over quantity” has never been more apt. Brands developing content for wearable tech will face a similar challenge to those producing banners of old – they used to annoy many users, but they were were clicked on. The better thought out ones put forward a simple message or call to action for users who wanted what they were offering.
Creative, Design, UX & Development teams will also need to adapt to the way that wearables are redefining the user experience. With each new device comes a new design language, with different challenges. People expect their products to be intuitive, so analysing natural behaviours and adapting to accommodate will be essential if social is going to be viable on wearable devices.
Whilst waiting for figures to be released on sales for both Android Smart Wear and the Apple Watch, developers and brands, including social networks, will be keen to take up the all important real estate on the watch.
Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat have already had a crack at the Wearable Social market. Snapchat’s Snapchat Micro on the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch stealthily captures stills using the Gear’s camera, Facebook launched on Google Glass last year, allowing users to upload photos from their hi-tech specs to their Facebook timelines and Pinterest has updated its Android app to add Android Wear compatibility.
Just shared a photo #throughglass pic.twitter.com/AVjxo0GGRC
— Matt McGee (@mattmcgee) September 3, 2013
With platform adoption, of course, comes opportunities for brands to connect with consumers. But what now remains to be seen is how branded content will work within these applications. Something you wear constantly on your wrist is automatically more personal than a phone that you keep in your bag or pocket; content absolutely has to be something that people want, need or find useful. Brands will need to be less business-to-consumer and more person-to-person. Tolerance for non-relevant content will be even lower than ever before, and brands won’t be given any second chances.
Lastly, an important point that could easily be forgotten by us in the tech community, as we get worked up about new features and functions. Wearable tech has finally started to leap over one of the biggest hurdles to mainstream adoption – fashion. The latest wearable tech no longer looks clunky, or ridiculous, it’s smart and sexy. Brands take note – it will be less time than you think before a smartwatch is on the wrist of your target consumer. We’re looking at the future.