This Is What’s Happening: 2012 Edition

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Remember back when I used to be a social media strategist?

I started before that term was even being used, and as late as this October the L.A. Times still hadn’t gotten the memo that I had move on, calling me a “social media expert” for my crimes (among them: 1, 2, 3).

So you’d be forgiven if you hadn’t realized that I’d become a product strategist. (Social media, it’s not you, it’s me. Well, it’s kind of you. But mostly, it’s  me. Anyway, at this point everything is social, so let’s call it even.)

While 2012 has been the quietest year on Social-Creature since I started the site, elsewhere it’s been quite prolific. So as the year comes to a close, I thought I’d take a break to share some of what’s been going on.

MIRRORGRAM:

This Fall I led the launch strategy for a new iOS photo app, called Mirrorgram. In its first week, the app, created by Justin Boreta, of the Glitch Mob, and StageBloc, had over 165,000 users (!!!), gotten selected as the top “New & Noteworthy” app on the App Store:

reached #1 paid app in the photo and video category:

and #11 paid app overall:

Less than 2 months in, Mirrorgram now has over 300,000 users, there are nearly 45,000 images in the #mirrorgram feed on Instagram, and mirroring has become a cultural aesthetic trend:

You’re welcome / We’re sorry.

Anyway, watching  hundreds of thousands of people use the product has offered visibility into some really fascinating behavioral insights around iPhone creativity, the mechanics of digital art creation, and the white space on the photo sharing landscape. More about what we’ve learned, and how these insights are informing further product strategy, including a truly exciting new direction in the app’s evolution — hint: what’s Instagram NOT for? (porn, aside) — in the new year, so stay tuned!

GATHER:

Gather began as a hip, little boutique, beloved by Racked LA and LA Weekly for carrying all local L.A. designers. Now this idea has evolved into what I, and my partner, Katie Kay Mead, see as the future of hyper-local design discovery and retail.

While shopping has moved online, the discovery of locally-created design is still trapped by brick-and-mortar, and coincidence. The new Gather site, relaunched this Fall, is designed address this gap, allowing visitors to easily discover cutting-edge design just around the corner. As the L.A. Times put it in their recent Sunday feature on Gather:

More to come on the arising cultural behaviors and beliefs that have laid the foundation for Gather’s new direction — including why flash sale leaders are desperate to reposition themselves as purveyors of special (rather than discounted) things, and the emerging local trend, bolstered by campaigns like AmEx’s “Small Business Saturday” and Millennials’ proclivities.

In the meantime:

And there’s other bright news as well, but I’ll tell you when I see you in 2013!

 

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