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Regent Street retailers launch social media hub

Shoppers can engage in real-time conversations with Regent Street shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels

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A group of retailers on Regent Street have clubbed together to build a social media hub called 24/7 that brings together online conversations from multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Over 100 Regent Street brands are participating in the hub, including Liberty London, Whole Foods Market, Coach, Reiss, Hollister, Gilly Hicks, sketch, Kirk Originals, Brasserie Zédel, Superdry, Ted Baker and Anthropologie.

Users can engage with the Regent Street community 24 hours a day by signing in to 24/7 using their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account and sending messages using the hashtags #RegentStreet, #HeddonStreet or #SwallowStreet, or related hashtags such as #Fashion or #Shopping.

"We are delighted to offer shoppers and visitors from all over the world a new way of engaging and enjoying their Regent Street experience," said David Shaw, Head of Regent Street Portfolio at The Crown Estate.

The 24/7 hub has been developed using .NET technology, MS SQL Server Database systems and HTML5/jQuery/JavaScript client side code. Ajax technologies have been used to provide seamless integration of social media content, allowing the content to have “infinite scrolling” and to automatically update every 2 minutes to pull in new content.

Various APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are used to pull live social data to the website. The APIs currently in use are Twitter streaming, Facebook real time update, Instagram real time update, Vimeo, YouTube v3, Soundcloud Connect and Flickr.

A custom API is used for Pinterest to get images from the Regent Street account as there is no publicly available developer API yet.

The hub is designed for use on both desktop and mobile devices, and can adapt to many formats and screen ratios.

"We currently aren’t linked to the stores' CRM systems. However 24/7 is under continuous development and we are already developing further sections that will encourage people to engage experientially with Regent Street shops, restaurants, cafe bars and restaurants. Announcements for this will be made in May 2013," 24/7 told Techworld.

According to Nielsen’s US Social Media Survey (2012), 46 percent of social media users access social networks via their smartphone. Nielsen also reveal that people spent 32.7 billion more minutes on social networking sites in July 2012 than July 2011.


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