Thursday, 17 April 2014

More than 10 million messages a day pass through Facebook's messaging products

"Q - On the other hand, WhatsApp is huge — huger than Facebook’s Messenger. And you bought that because you think it will move the needle someday. So, tell me about that acquisition, but also tell me: Why couldn’t Facebook invent that? Do you worry that Facebook didn’t invent that?
A - Well, so there are a bunch of things here. One thing is that Facebook Messenger is actually a really successful thing. More than 10 billion messages a day that flow through Facebook’s messaging products. But I think we basically saw that the messaging space is bigger than we’d initially realized, and that the use cases that WhatsApp and Messenger have are more different than we had thought originally. Messenger is more about chatting with friends and WhatsApp is like an SMS replacement. Those things sound similar, but when you go into the nuances of how people use it, they are both very big in different markets."
Source:  Interview with Mark Zuckerberg in the New York Times, 16th April 2014

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Paul McCartney has 10 million followers on Line

"One Direction aren't the only heartthrobs making use of these apps. Sir Paul McCartney has released eight schmaltzy stickers on Line, where he has some 10 million followers. Sharing and sticking the former Beatle's likeness comes at $1.99 a pop. Line, which is dominant in Japan, has over 500 such sticker characters, whose sale -- together with in-game purchases -- raked in $338 million in revenue for Line's parent company in 2013. This month Line will open up a market for anyone to sell stickers. Over the weekend, the company trumpeted ambitious plans to hit one billion users by 2015."
Source:  AdAge, 15th April 2014

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

200 million people used Tencent's QQ messenger and network simultaneously

"Last Friday, Tencent’s 15-year-old QQ messenger and social network might have hit it’s final major milestone – 200 million people used the service simultaneously. That’s more than the entire population of Brazil all concurrently using a single application. While Tencent’s mobile messaging app WeChat is renowned for having 355 million monthly active users, that number is still dwarfed by its desktop-first predecessor. In it’s latest quarterly report, Tencent reported 808 million monthly active users on QQ and a peak of 180 million simultaneous users. But those growth figures have started to slow as QQ reaches saturation in its home market and the country shifts to mobile. QQ active users decreased by one percent in Q4 2013. While the number of PC users fell, QQ usage on mobile devices grew 74 percent in the past year. QQ now stands at 426 million active mobile accounts."

Adoption of the M-Pesa mobile payment technology has improved the lives of women in Kenya

"For White, the adoption of M-Pesa has brought significant positive changes for the women in these communities.
Firstly, many women now have the ability to save their money in a safe place and build up resources for costly activities and purchases such as helping their families and, most importantly, sending their children to school. Women stated that they were much less likely to spend their money when they saved it in M-Pesa rather than in their homes. Also, in the past, men often used their wives’ money to buy alcohol or other personal items, leaving the women with insufficient funds to process fish. With the women’s money saved in M-Pesa, their husbands no longer have easy access to it.
The women’s transportation expenses have drastically gone down too. This includes the direct costs of transport and the money the women save since they would otherwise have to stop working for a period of time to physically transport their money themselves. Women use their extra money and time to expand their businesses and profits, most often by processing more fish to sell or, for the most audacious, constructing their own fishing boats.
White emphasises the case of a college-educated women, very involved in her community. Using M-Pesa allowed this woman to have more free time to attend different meetings and trainings, from which she gained knowledge on issues like maternal health and business strategies to share with her community. 81% of White’s interviewees said that the use of M-Pesa makes women more independent; they no longer have to rely on others for money."

Sales of George Orwell's 1984 rose 6,000% following the Edward Snowden revelations

"Sales of George Orwell's 1984 have shot up following revelations that the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) is accessing data on people around the world.
Sales of Orwell's novel have risen by 6,000% since the Guardian revealed the allegations of former NSA sub-contractor Edward Snowden.
In the dystopian novel, all citizens are constantly spied on by an inner elite party in the government.
Banners reading "Big Brother Is Watching You" cover the city and citizens are monitored by the Thought Police, who punish people for independent thinking.
After Snowden leaked the top secret files relating to the Washington's highly confidential Prism programme, questions have been raised about the ethical implications of the surveillance."
Note - Clearly if we don't know what they rose from and to, and over what time period, (how many copies would it sell normally), which countries this covers, and what other activity was happening (new editions, promotions) it's a bit of a suspect stat.  #CaveatEmptor

Monday, 14 April 2014

The number of scripted shows on American cable TV has more than doubled in 5 years

"Basic-cable networks now offer some 125 scripted series — that’s nearly double what was offered just five years ago. And networks that weren’t typically purveyors of original scripted fare, such as History, VH1, BET, Starz, Hallmark Channel, OWN and Sundance Channel have jumped into the space, joining the likes of USA Network, TNT, ABC Family, AMC, FX, HBO and Showtime. And viewers are watching: 59 scripted cable shows garnered 2 million or more viewers on a live-plus-seven-day basis in 2012, compared to only 16 shows in 2007, according to Nielsen. Despite this, television viewing hasn’t increased precipitously over the same period. Viewers watched an average of four hours and 53 minutes of television per day in 2012, compared to four hours and 38 minutes in 2007, according to Nielsen."
Source:  Multi Channel News, 10th June 2013

Facebook stores 600 terra-bytes of data a day

"At Facebook, we have unique storage scalability challenges when it comes to our data warehouse. Our warehouse stores upwards of 300 PB of Hive data, with an incoming daily rate of about 600 TB. In the last year, the warehouse has seen a 3x growth in the amount of data stored. Given this growth trajectory, storage efficiency is and will continue to be a focus for our warehouse infrastructure."
Source:  Facebook Code blog, 10th April 2014

Britons spent £4.9 billion online using mobiles & tablets in 2013

"In 2013 alone, eager British spenders also accounted for a £4.9 billion spend online using mobile devices – over ten per cent of Europe’s total splurge online of £38.8 billion that year.
However, Britain was topped globally by the US, who had the most people purchasing items using mobile devices. Shoppers in France and Italy, in contrast, are the least likely to visit retail stores on their mobile devices.
Computers still currently remain the most popular choice for browsing online, accounting for 85 per cent of last year’s web activity in the UK and seven other EU countries analysed during the research.
Still, mobile shopping in Europe is forecasted to increase by 85 per cent over the next year – demonstrating that people may soon start using computers to browse the web less and less.
Giulio Montemango, Senior VP of International at RetailMeNot Inc, who commissioned the study, said: “As smart phones and tablets have become increasingly sophisticated, more consumers are using mobile devices to shop.”
“The study shows that mobile is now the key driver behind the growth of e-commerce. To take advantage of this shift, retailers must adapt by optimising their websites to mobile devices and ensuring payments are secure.”"
Note - Not too sure RetailMeNot is the most authoritative source...  #CaveatEmptor

Only 11% of Twitter accounts created in 2012 are still tweeting

Click to enlarge

44% of Twitter accounts have never Tweeted

"Twitter is having no trouble signing up users. But some new research provides an update on the size of an ongoing problem: getting people to tweet.
A report from Twopcharts, a website that monitors Twitter account activity, states that about 44% of the 974 million existing Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet.
Twopcharts, which provided some data about tweeting activity last month, is unable to track when someone has logged into their account. It can only tell when the account retweets or tweets its own message.
Twitter said it has 241 million monthly active users the last three months of 2013. Twitter defines a monthly active user as an account that logs in at least once a month. By Twitter’s standards, a person does not have to tweet to be considered a monthly active user.
To be sure, people don’t have to actively tweet to find the service useful. There’s more than enough stuff to read on almost any topic in the world on Twitter to keep users occupied."

The ideal length of a Tweet

Click to enlarge

Source:  The Buffer App blog, 31st March 2014
Note - Also includes length of a Facebook status update, and lots more.
(Although it claims the ideal length of a blog post is 1,600 words - huh?)

Friday, 11 April 2014

Mobile ad spend rose to $7.1 billion in the US in 2013

"U.S. interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion, according to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for the full-year, exceeding broadcast television advertising* revenues ($40.1 billion), for the first time ever. This momentous figure marks an increase of 17 percent from 2012’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion. The report, unveiled today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and prepared by PwC U.S., also reveals that fourth quarter revenues for 2013 came in at $12.1 billion, an increase of 17 percent from the $10.3 billion brought in during the same quarter in 2012. In addition, this total represents an uptick of 14 percent from 2013’s third quarter revenues at $10.6 billion.
Other highlights include:
For the third year in a row, mobile achieved triple-digit growth year-over-year, rising to $7.1 billion during full year 2013, a 110 percent boost from the prior year total of $3.4 billion. Mobile accounted for 17 percent of 2013 revenues, whereas it was 9 percent of revenues in 2012.
Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, brought in $2.8 billion in full year 2013, up 19 percent over revenues of $2.3 billion in 2012. As a result, it also increased its share to become the fourth largest format, directly behind mobile.
Search revenues totaled $18.4 billion in 2013, up 9 percent from 2012, when search totaled $16.9 billion.
Display-related advertising revenues in 2013 totaled $12.8 billion or 30 percent of the year’s revenues, a rise of 7 percent over $12 billion in 2012.
Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 21 percent in 2013, followed by financial services and closely trailed by automotive which account for 13 and 12 percent of the year’s revenues respectively."