Friday, 30 November 2012

There are over 2 billion people with a phone but no internet connection

"Six billion cell phone subscriptions are spread across five billion of the earth’s seven billion people, says Suneet Tuli, CEO of Datawind, maker of the world’s cheapest tablet computer. Yet only two billion people are connected to the internet, which means three billion people have everything they need to connect to the internet—except a suitable device.
“Are they lacking electricity?” asks Tuli. “Of course not–if you’ve got a cell phone, you’ve got some way of charging it. Are they lacking networks? No. If you’ve got a cell phone, you’ve got some way of being connected to it. So what is really left? What is left is affordability. A computer costs three or four hundred bucks, and a cell phone costs thirty or forty bucks. But what happens if a basic computing device that’s reasonably usable gets down to that price point?”"
Source:, 29th November 2012
Note - I think the recent Ericsson mobile numbers are more reliable, so I've used them in the heading; the idea remains the same

4.3 billion people have 6.4 billion mobile phone subscriptions

"Telecommunications giant Ericson has released a massive report on the state of the mobile world. And clearly, unless you live in the almost-fully-penetrated European and North American markets, everything is up and to the right.
China, the rest of Asia, and Africa together accounted for 75 percent of new mobile subscriptions in the third quarter of 2012, with 38 million in China, 31 million in the rest of Asia, and 25 million in Africa. That contrasts rather sharply with only one million new subscriptions in western Europe and two million in North America.
With 6.4 billion global cellular subscriptions and a world population just shy of seven billion, it would seem that almost everyone has a mobile phone or other mobile device connected to the internet. However, Ericsson, says, those 6.4 billion subscriptions are spread over only 4.3 billion people, meaning that many people have more than one plan … for example, a phone and a tablet, both with a cellular connection.
Which leads to a penetration percentage of well over 100 percent in some areas:
Mobile subscriptions penetration globally
40 percent of all phones sold in the third quarter, Ericsson says, were smartphones, but only 15 percent of the global installed base of phones is smartphones … so there is still a long runway for growth. In fact Ericsson is predicting smartphone subscriptions alone will reach 3.3 billion in 2018."
Full report is here

eCommerce sales rose 17% Y-o-Y in the US on Cyber Monday 2012

"Online spending rose 17 percent on the Monday after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest days of the year for Internet retailers, as tablets and smartphones let customers shop anytime and anywhere.
Consumers spent about $1.46 billion on so-called Cyber Monday, compared with $1.25 billion a year ago, making it the heaviest online spending day in history, research firm ComScore Inc. (SCOR) said in a statement today. U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached $16.4 billion in the first 26 days of the holiday season, a 16 percent increase from the same time last year.
The convenience offered by mobile devices, especially tablets, is boosting sales for online retailers such as Inc. (AMZN) and EBay Inc. (EBAY) Consumers are no longer waiting for Black Friday to shop and they’re starting as early as Thursday evening, which will help Internet sales reach $43.4 billion this holiday season, or 10 percent of U.S. retail spending, excluding gas, food and cars, according to ComScore.
“Mobile commerce as a whole has clearly gone beyond what it’s traditionally been, which is something primarily for the research phase,” Clark Fredricksen, vice president at researcher EMarketer Inc., said in an interview. “Tablets are the key driver in terms of the sales element. They’ve extended the length of the shopping day.”
More than 18 percent of shoppers used a mobile device to access a retailer’s website on Cyber Monday, an increase of 70 percent over 2011, according to a Nov. 27 report from International Business Machines Corp. Mobile sales almost doubled, making up 13 percent of total Web-based purchases, the company said.
Amazon’s sales on Cyber Monday increased 42 percent from a year earlier, while EBay’s rose 55 percent, according to ChannelAdvisor Corp., which provides services to third-party sellers on e-commerce sites.
EBay mobile sales volume more than doubled on Cyber Monday, compared with the previous year, and PayPal’s payment volume almost tripled, Johnna Hoff, an EBay spokeswoman, said in an e- mail. Consumers worldwide shopped most frequently from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. New York time, the company said."
Source:  BusinessWeek, 28th November 2012

SocialCam, Viddy & Draw Something have seen usage decline steeply

"When I look at retention on mobile today, a 30% monthly active user rate is much higher than what publicly available data tells us:
Socialcam: In June, Socialcam had 83.6M monthly active users connected to Facebook. Today, it has 4.3M. This is a decrease of 95% in 5 months.
Viddy: In June, Viddy had 20.9M monthly active users connected to Facebook. Today, it has 660K. This a decrease of 97% in 5 months.
Draw Something: In April, Draw Something had 36.5M monthly active users connected to Facebook. Today, it has 9.1M. This is a decrease of 75% in 7 months.
Path: In December, Path had 250K monthly active users connected to Facebook. Almost one year later, they have about 780K monthly active users. While the 2.0 version of their app led to much initial growth, it seems that growth hasn’t affected churn."
Note - on the Path number she says this in the comments:
"Pete Griffiths 
I am puzzled by the Path example. That's a 300% INCREASE isn't it?
Cristina Cordova 
Yes, it's an increase. However, an increase in the hundreds of thousands over a year is worrisome for an app that has been around for over 2 years and has several million downloads. 
Retention should be increasing significantly with growth in this case.
Get TinyVox & Say It
I think the point is that in this bunch, Path is a shining poster child of retention. I hate to admit it but I use it constantly on a daily basis. They possibly just need a solid ad campaign, because the retention thing they've got down, at least CONCEPTUALLY: "a way better mobile oriented news feed like thing". That's retention. .
Cristina Cordova 
I don't think they have it down. They hit 3M downloads in June and are at 780K MAUs 5 months later. That's a 26% MAU rate excluding any downloads they've had since June, which means it's even lower than 26%."

Amazon outscores bricks & mortar retailers in customer satisfaction

"A just-released Harris Interactive Poll of online retailers reveals that online-only Amazon outperforms all the brick-and-click retail competitors and on all measures. The study found that a majority of online US adults are satisfied with the overall online shopping experience; all retailers tested receive a rating of a 5 through a 7 on a 7-point scale. Also, all tested brands show positive recommendation likelihood scores.
The study examined 14 key retailers across numerous measures, including selection, ease of shopping, perceived value and likelihood to recommend, along with overall satisfaction.
This is more good news for Amazon which, according to comScore, was the most-visited online retail site on Black Friday, ahead of the brick-and-mortar-plus-online retailers Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Apple. Overall, 57.3 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, up 18% from 2011.
Harris respondents give Costco Wholesale high marks among mass merchandisers for offering a good value, while Zappos and L.L. Bean share the top spot for selection of products in clothing and apparel. Online shoppers rate Kohl's website highest for ease of shopping within the department category."

Nine of the ten biggest smartphone manufacturers sell handsets with NFC chlps

"ABI Research analyst Phil Sealy comments that "2012 is the first time that ABI Research has raised forecasts for NFC-enabled handsets, up from 80 million units to 102 million for year-end 2012. Nine out of the top ten OEMs now have NFC-enabled handsets commercially available, with most housing an embedded secure element solution. We expect handset shipments to more than double next year with NFC inclusion likely to become a default technology integrated into flagship handsets.""

Americans spent $5.5 billion on Small Business Saturday 2012

"Not to be outdone by major retailers ringing up sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, small businesses generated $5.5 billion in sales during Small Business Saturday.
Results from the “shopping small” push, first launched by New York-based American Express Co. in 2010, exceeded expectations, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express.
Consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 67 percent from 34 percent just two weeks ago. Of those aware, 47 percent shopped small business on Saturday. Those who were aware of the day spent a total of $5.5 billion, higher than earlier expectations of $5.3 billion.
American Express, which offered $25 rebates to cardmembers who shopped on Small Business Saturday, said cardmember transactions at small business merchants rose about 21 percent from last year."

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

eBay & Paypal had record breaking mobile levels of activity on Black Friday 2012

"Both eBay and PayPal have reported record-breaking levels of mobile activity on Black Friday (23 November).
While it is not quoting actual revenues, eBay says that mobile-transacted volumes in the US on Black Friday were more than 2.5 times that of Black Friday 2011 – 153 per cent more, to be precise. eBay also posted a 135 per cent increase in mobile-transacted volumes on Thanksgiving Day, compared to the same day in 2011.
Meanwhile, PayPal says that Black Friday was its biggest mobile shopping day to date. The company saw a 173% per cent increase in the number of customers shopping through mobile on Black Friday 2012, compared to the previous year. It also witnessed a 193 per cent increase in mobile payment volumes on Black Friday 2012, compared to Black Friday 2011."

Samsung's Facebook ads reached 105 million people and generated $129 million in sales

"Everson [Carolyn Everson, Facebook's head of global marketing] offered proof points of the value that Facebook's ads bring from working with Datalogix, a market analytics firm that is measuring how often Facebook's users view advertised products on the site and then make purchases. The data indicated an average three- to five-time return on Facebook ads. A recent ad campaign for the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, amid the iPhone 5 frenzy, resulted in an even larger return on investment. The three-week campaign reached over 105 million unique users, and generated $129 million in sales, a 13-times return on a $10 million ad buy, she said. Samsung now has more than 20 million fans on Facebook to market its messages."
Note - This is Facebook's version of events; it's likely that Samsung also used other media, point of sale etc...

Foursquare users have checked in 3 billion times

"Foursquare has seen phenomenal growth over usage of its service. This week, it announced that it counted its 3 billionth check-in. Not bad for a service with just over 25 million users worldwide.
Two years ago, the location-based check-in service said it had experienced its biggest growth in history which was marked by more than 380 million check-ins, the Rally to Restore Sanity, and a single check-in from space. Now, 24 months later, the number of check-ins has increased exponentially — the company recorded its 1 billionth check-in September 2011, just 9 months later after its 380 millionth check-in.
Last September, the company stated that it had 2.5 billion check-ins counted. In that three month period, it averaged 167 million check-ins, or around 6.2 million per day. To get this number, TNW found the difference between November and September numbers and divided it by the days since (81) and that resulted in 6.2 million daily check-ins."

Popular websites are using more cookies

"The number of third-party cookies -- little pieces of software set on users' machines to track web users for ad targeting or site analytics purposes -- rose from 1,887 on the home pages of the most-popular 100 websites [in the US] in May to 2,324 in October, according to research from the University of California at Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. That's a 23% leap.
The Center's Web Privacy Census, conduced each year, crawled the most-trafficked sites on October 24, measuring the number of first-party and third-party cookies spotted on the top 100, top 1,000 and top 25,000 sites. In addition to checking website home pages, which it calls a "shallow crawl," the census project conducted "deep crawls," checking up to six random links on the same sites.
The privacy census measured the top sites as reported by Quantcast. According to the Quantcast site, the top 10 U.S. sites are Google, YouTube, Facebook, MSN, Twitter, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, and Huffington Post. Others in the top 100 include, eBay,,, IMDB, WebMD, Politico, Flickr, BuzzFeed, and"

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Gangnam Style is the most viewed video on YouTube

"Gangnam Style, the dance track by South Korean pop phenomenon Psy, has become YouTube's most-watched video of all time.
It has notched up more than 808m views since it was posted in July.
The video pokes fun at the consumerism of Gangnam, an affluent suburb of the South Korean capital Seoul.
It holds the Guinness World Record for the most "liked" song ever - currently with a little under 5.4m likes on YouTube.
Previously, Justin Bieber's 2010 teenybopper hit Baby held the record for the most YouTube views.
Bieber's manager Scooter Braun was the first person in the US to tweet a link to the Gangnam Style video."

US Black Friday Sales Data 2012

"Highlights from Black Friday 2012:
Consumer Spending Increases:Online sales on Thanksgiving grew by 17.4 percent followed by Black Friday where sales increased 20.7 percent over last year.
Mobile Shopping: Mobile purchases soared with 24 percent of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer's site, up from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011.
The iPad Factor: The iPad generated more traffic than any other tablet or smart phone, reaching nearly 10 percent of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 8.7 percent and Android 5.5 percent. The iPad dominated tablet traffic at 88.3 percent followed by the Barnes and Noble Nook at 3.1 percent, Amazon Kindle at 2.4 percent and the Samsung Galaxy at 1.8 percent.
Multiscreen Shopping: Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall 58 percent of consumers used smartphones compared to 41 percent who used tablets to surf for bargains on Black Friday.
The Savvy shopper: While consumers spent more overall, they shopped with greater frequency to take advantage of retailer deals and free shipping. This led to a drop in average order value by 4.7 percent to $181.22. In addition, the average number of items per order decreased 12 percent to 5.6.
Social Media Sentiment Index: Shoppers expressed positive consumer sentiment on promotions, shipping and convenience as well as the retailers themselves at a three to one ratio.
Social Sales: Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated .34 percent of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35 percent from 2011."
Full report here

Monday, 26 November 2012

Amazon UK had sales of £2.91 billion in 2011

"Amazon's UK net sales were £2.91bn in 2011, according to information the retailer has been required to file with the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The company's director of EU Public Policy, Andrew Cecil, was asked to turn in extra information to the PAC after failing to provide answers to MPs' queries about the structure of the company and its UK sales and profit at an enquiry earlier in the month.
The PAC has released a document on its website of extra written evidence given by Cecil, in which he states: "Although we have not publicly disclosed net sales generated from specific websites targeting EU countries or elsewhere, in response to the committee request, we would like to share with you on a confidential basis net sales generated
from the website over the past three years."
The table shows that in 2011, Amazon¹s UK website generated £2.91bn in sales, paying £416m in UK VAT. Those sales were an increase of 23.3% from 2010, where it made £2.36bn in revenue, paying £262m in VAT. In 2009, Amazon made £1.87bn in sales and paid £172m in VAT.
This contrasts with the published accounts for the UK-established which in 2011 had revenues of £207m, which it derived from providing services in the UK for Amazon Europe companies, with an after tax profit of £1.2m and a tax expense of £1.8m."

The Versagram app has been downloaded 3 million times

"What it is: Versagram is an iOS app that lets users post what are essentially status updates inside of Instagram. Popular among teens, users choose from a variety of background "themes," including pictures of a sky filled with balloons and a spherical head of dandelion seeds, and either insert their own text or choose from a library of celebrity quotes from the likes of Adele and Effie Trinket of "The Hunger Games." (They can also post to Apple's iMessage.)
User base: Versagram's creator, Ian Broyles, estimates that the app has been downloaded 3 million times since he shipped it to the App Store in February and that it's currently being downloaded between 6,000 and 10,000 times a day. From what he can tell, the majority of users are under 16 and plenty are under 13 (the official cut-off for Instagram and other social-media sites).
A random sampling of recent Versagram posts with the hashtag #versalove supports that assessment. One message in the stream that's overlaid on a picture of clouds reads "OMG!! So happy! I got a new iPod today from my parents!" while another in cursive over a red background says, "I still like that person but I'm not going to tell him!"
How it makes money: The app is free, but Mr. Broyles makes the majority of his income off purchases of supplemental "packs" of themes that cost $0.99 each. As of Nov. 16, Versagram was 23rd in a ranking of top-grossing iPhone utility apps, according to App Annie. (A competitor, Tweegram, which preceded Versagram and launched in mid-2011, isn't far behind in 40th place.) He also said he's exploring the concept of advertiser-sponsored themes."

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Manchester City have 2.5 million followers on Sina Weibo

"Manchester City already displays live Twitter feeds on screens inside and outside the stadium. And with 2.5m Weibo followers, they are doing a good job of tapping into the Chinese football market. “Today, we’ve gained 17,000 new Weibo followers in the past six hours,” [Russell] Stopford says proudly."
Source:  Financial Times, 24th November 2012
Note - this compares to 600,000 followers on Twitter and 3.8m Likes on Facebook (26/11/12)

Thanksgiving 2012 was the busiest day ever on Instagram

"Yesterday, photos of turkeys and pies took over Instagram as people celebrated Thanksgiving Day with friends and family. We saw record usage as Instagrammers shared photos of their loved ones and holiday celebrations.
Over 10 million photos that mentioned Thanksgiving-themed words in their captions were shared yesterday. For several hours throughout the day, more than 200 photos about Thanksgiving were posted every second. Overall, the day broke all Instagram records as we saw the number of shared photos more than double from the day before, making it our busiest day so far."

Friday, 23 November 2012

Twitter users are more likely to buy online than other internet users

"Twitter users are more likely to buy online than other Internet users, according to a new report from marketing research firm Kantar Media Compete and Twitter. 95% of Twitter users between Aug. 1 and Oct. 14 visited retail web sites, compared with 90% of all Internet users.
Moreover, consumers who see retailers’ Twitter posts, or tweets, are more likely to buy online.
The report is based on an analysis of 2,000 consumers viewing Twitter on a PC who saw at least one retailer’s tweet between August and mid-October. The report found that 38.9% of consumers who viewed at least one retailer’s message subsequently made an online purchase during the study’s timeframe. That compares with 33.4% of a control group of Twitter users who did not see any retailers’ tweets and 26.9% of all U.S. Internet users.
Consumers seek discounts on social networks, but few want to buy
The report also found that frequency matters—that is, the more consumers are exposed to tweets from retailers, the more likely they are to visit a retailer site and make a purchase.
As evidence of that, the report points to the following findings:
51.4% of consumers exposed to 12 or more tweets made a purchase on a retailer site (not necessarily the site of the retailer that sent a specific tweet).
45.9% of consumers exposed to five to 11 tweets bought online.
34.4% of consumers exposed to two to four tweets bought online.
33.4% of Twitter users who were not exposed to a retailer’s tweet bought an item online.”
Source:  Internet Retailer, 21st November 2012

2/3 of Facebook business pages are inactive or incomplete

"Pages attract business users to Facebook and lead the social network’s efforts to earn advertising revenues. However, this study of 5.7 million Facebook Pages shows that business users are still struggling to adapt to Facebook as an engagement opportunity. The study updates the findings of a similar research conducted by in March 2012.
The current study discovered low levels of active Pages, fall in average number of posts and a huge drop in engagement rates since March. Page owners clearly need to do more to make Facebook work for them.
The study also found that the share of visual content on Pages has increased after the introduction of Timeline view for Pages. Also, it is found that Pages selecting specific category names such as ‘Spa’ or ‘Restaurant’ tend to be more focused and get better engagement from fans, compared to Pages choosing generic sounding category names such as ‘Local Business’.
Key Findings
About 2 out 3 Facebook Pages are inactive in some way:
63.9 per cent Pages have no cover photo
70.1 per cent Pages make 0 posts a month
83.4 per cent Pages never participated in conversations
50 per cent Pages have less than 300 fans"
Source: Research by, reported in a blog post, 21st November 2012

The effectiveness of Skype ads

"Skype's homepage ad units are now a year old, and its conversation ad unit (see graphic) arrived five months ago to more groans than excitement. Forbes' TJ McCue described them as a "non-starter," lacking the targeting ability that parent company Microsoft offered with its Bing ad units.
The telecom ran a campaign promoting deals on Nokia, HTC, Sony, and Samsung phones, using Skype homepage and conversation ads. Skype claims those ads generated a 29% increase in site visits in the first two weeks of the campaign.
Skype worked with comScore to recruit Skype users. Respondents were divided into two groups of over 300 users each, one a control group (did not see campaign) and test group (opportunity to be exposed to campaign on Skype). Both groups answered an online questionnaire to measure their awareness, opinions, and engagement with the brand, and comScore tracked the behavior of exposed panelists for four weeks after their first exposure.
Among other findings by comScore:
Key metrics like message recall, intent to recommend, and intent to purchase rose nearly 50% among those exposed to the conversation ads, and the lift was nearly 40% for the homepage ads.
Overall Brand Opinion saw lifts of 37% and 46% from homepage and conversation ads respectively.
Compared to the control group, comScore measured a 60% lift in brand message recall for those who saw the homepage ads."

The effectiveness of TV advertising campaigns using Shazam

"The Shazam for TV second-screen "TV companion app" is measurably boosting ad recall and engagement. But don’t take Shazam's word for it: it commissioned the venerable Frank N. Magid associates to conduct a study.
Frank N. Magid Associates conducted the study over three weeks and recruited participants to watch a primetime TV show live, and in their own homes, while a brand's commercial aired. After viewing the TV show, Shazam users were asked to complete a follow up survey based on their recall of the brand's commercial. Surveys were completed by 439 Shazam users who tagged the TV commercial using the application and 431 who did not.
Among the results:
Brand interaction: 68% of those who tagged the ad went on to further engage with the brand, compared to the 23% for those who did not tag the commercial. Interactions included checking out offers, visiting the company’s website or Facebook page, among others.
Word of Mouth / Social Activity: 55% of those who tagged the ad talked about the brand with others, compared to the 25% for those who did not tag the commercial. Among those in market for the product, 65% of people who tagged the ad talked about the brand with others.
Bookmarking for later use: 55% of the people who used Shazam to tag the ad cited that one of the reasons they did so was to save it for later.
Recall: 100% of people who tagged the ad recalled the ad, compared to 65% recall for those who did not tag the ad."
Source:  Marketing Vox, 19th November 2012
Note - more stats in the full article

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Brother makes 30 typewriters a day

"Now the last ever typewriter to be made in Britain has rolled off the production line – and straight into a museum.
Manufacturer Brother brought to an end 130 years of industry tradition when the last of its 5.9million machines left its factory.
Edward Bryan, who has worked at Brother’s factory in Wrexham, north Wales, since 1989, put together the final machine and said: ‘I can always say now, that I’ve made the last typewriter in Britain.’
The last model, an electric typewriter, was donated to the London Science Museum, where it will join 200 other machines in its collection.
Brother’s boss Phil Jones said the typewriter would always have ‘a special place in the hearts’ of the public’.
Brother will continue to make 30 typewriters a day at its plant in the Far East. It makes the machines mainly for the legal profession in the US, where carbon copies of documents are still needed.
The first typewriter was invented in the US in 1829 by William Burt, but the machines were not mass-produced until the 1870s."

Monday, 19 November 2012

Amazon's S3 hosting service stores over one trillion objects

"Late last week the number of objects stored in Amazon S3 reached one trillion (1,000,000,000,000 or 1012). That's 142 objects for every person on Planet Earth or 3.3 objects for every star in our Galaxy. If you could count one object per second it would take you 31,710 years to count them all.
We knew this day was coming! Lately, we've seen the object count grow by up to 3.5 billion objects in a single day (that's over 40,000 new objects per second)."
Note - Not entirely sure what constitutes an 'object' but presumably a picture is one object, and a piece of text (but I'd guess it's more than a character of text)
Here's a definition

Friday, 16 November 2012

Approximately 340 phones, including 170 iPhones are stolen in London every day

"More than 170 iPhones are being stolen every day in London, shock new figures reveal.
Commuters and pedestrians are being targeted for their smartphones by muggers on bicycles in the capital’s fastest growing crime spree.
The plague of thefts is revealed in figures released by Scotland Yard showing that a total of 28,800 iPhones were reported stolen to police in London in six months between April and September this year.
Police say iPhones now make up more than half of all mobile phone thefts in the capital.
In the same period a total of 56,680 mobiles were stolen in the capital, or around 337 a day.
Thieves are also targeting people with Blackberry phones and other popular makes such as Samsung."

A billion dollar company is founded every three months in Silicon Valley

Note - The original quote is from angel investor Ron Conway; essentially he's pointing out that there have been about 4 software-based companies founded each year worth over a billion dollars since the late 1990s
"Ron Conway once said: “There’s a billion company created every 3 months. Now, it is every 2 months”. I finally got the chance compile “The Billion Dollar” list. I tried to limit this list to only software tech companies. I also included a couple of near billion dollar companies (~0.7 B and above).
He was mostly right. Kind of.
There are about 4 billion dollar software tech companies founded every year, with the exception of 2000-2002.
There was a drought in 2000-2002 because of the dot-com bubble crash. Things started picking up again in late 2003 (Skype in Aug). 2004 became the return of the dot-com era (Facebook, Palantir, Yelp, Evernote).
Look around you. A billion dollar company was born within the last 3 months.
This means that there are about 8 companies in 2011 and 2012 that will become the next big thing. They are not big yet, but we will realize their value in years to come. I have included some companies founded in 2009 and 2010 that I think have the potential. It is much harder to hedge my bets on companies founded in 2011 and 2012."
Source:  MiniMing blog, 12th November 2012
E.g. -
2004 - Palantir, Splunk, Kayak, Facebook, Evernote, Yelp
2007 - Nicira, Gilt Groupe, Tumblr, Hulu, Dropbox, LivingSocial, Zynga
2010 - Fab, Instagram, Stripe, Skillshare

Local brands account for 60% of China's smartphone shipments

"China's total Q3 2012 smartphone shipments exceeded 50 mln units, according to global market research firm Canalys, with domestic brands - including Lenovo, China Wireless Technologies' Coolpad, Huawei, and ZTE - accounting for more than 60%.
Samsung led handset vendors with 14% market share in Q3 2012, followed by Lenovo with 13%, while Coolpad, ZTE and Huawei each had approximately 10%. Apple ranked fifth with 8%."
Source:  Sohu IT via Marbridge Daily, 16th November 2012

Coca Cola has reportedly invested $10 million in Spotify

"Spotify has completed a new round of financing totaling $100 million, according to a report from the New York Times. The round, which values the company at $3 billion, reportedly includes a couple noteworthy new investors: The Coca-Cola company chipped in $10 million, and Fidelity Investments is bringing around $15 million to the table. Goldman Sachs’ share of the new investment is about half, and the remaining $25 million came from existing investors, according to the Times. A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by GigaOM."

Stats on travellers & smartphones in the US

"Travelers frequently use smartphones and tablets to research and plan trips.
Forty-eight percent used a tablet or smartphone to plan their trip – while 44 percent used a mobile device to dream of their next trip
Eighty-six percent of mobile planners already knew their destination when conducting research on a mobile device
Forty-seven percent relied on friend and family recommendations and 40 percent relied on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) for destination ideas
Deals and promotions (64 percent), photos (55 percent) and recommendations (38 percent) are the most useful types of content for those seeking trip ideas
Travelers are comfortable making purchases on mobile devices.
Of travelers who own a mobile device, 61 percent have made a purchase on a tablet in the last six months while 51 percent have made a purchase on a smartphone, showing that travelers are more likely to purchase travel on tablets versus smartphones
Of those who have booked travel on a mobile device, 80 percent of smartphone users and 90 percent of tablet users would do so again
Travelers will continue to use mobile to plan travel, but easy-to-use apps will drive usage.
Of the 44 percent who plan travel on a mobile device, 44 percent used an app
Nearly 60 percent of mobile airline and 56 percent of hotel bookers used an app to book their reservation
Accessibility (43 percent), ease of use (35 percent) and app availability (33 percent) drive travel bookings for smartphone users"
Source:  US Research by Expedia & comScore, reported in a press release, 14th November 2012

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Three quarters of the UK's top 100 youth brands have a mobile app

"Last month, The Beans Group released its list of the Top 100 Youth Brands, a report based on a survey of 1,000 students in the UK looking at which brands are most popular among 18-24 year-olds.
Given that the youth market is often one brands try to target on mobile – younger consumers have traditionally led adoption of mobile technology; nearly half of 18-24s have made fashion purchases on a smartphone; and as The Beans Group points out in its report, they're a socially influential group – it seemed a perfect fit. So we investigated what each of the 100 brands is doing on mobile: whether they have a mobile-optimised site, an app, or multiple apps, and what platforms they're available on.
We found that only 53 of the brands' main websites are mobile-optimised – with Apple, Sky, BT, Visa, Sony and WHSmith being among the huge brands without an optimised site.
76 of the brands have an iOS or Android app in some form – meaning nearly a quarter of them still don't, many of which are the same brands which lack a mobile site.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the brands' app portfolio included an iPhone offering. Of the 76 brands with apps, only three didn't include an iPhone app – Doritos and MAC Cosmetics, which only have Android apps in the UK, and Lush Cosmetics, whose only app offering is an iPad version of its customer magazine."

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Texting is in decline in the US

"In countries around the world, text-message traffic has been shrinking because Internet-powered alternatives are becoming so widely used. American carriers have fought off the decline — until now.
For the first time, the American wireless market saw a decline in the total number of messages sent by each customer each month, according to a report published Monday by Chetan Sharma, an independent mobile analyst who is a consultant for wireless carriers. In the third quarter of this year, cellphone owners sent an average of 678 texts a month, down from 696 texts a month in the previous quarter.
Though that’s a small dip, the change is noteworthy because for several years, text messaging had been steadily growing in the United States. Mr. Sharma said it was too early to tell whether the decline here would continue, but he noted that Internet-based messaging services, like Facebook messaging and Apple’s iMessage, had been chomping away at SMS usage. He said the decline would become more pronounced as more people buy smartphones. A bit more than 50 percent of cellphone owners here have smartphones."

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Tumblr hosts more than 80 million blogs

"The five-year-old micro-blogging platform, which allows users to post images and video, has signed up We Are Social, Poke, AKQA and Bartle Bogle Hegarty as its first UK agency partners.
The partnership will give them access to Tumblr data and specialist training in a similar manner to Facebook’s Preferred Developer programme. It has signed up 12 agencies globally.
Tumblr, which receives 16.8bn page views monthly and hosts 80.5m blogs, does not have a UK operation. The agency tie-ups are intended to help them better use the platform for clients and boost creativity.
Foster’s, Topshop and Pringle of Scotland are among the few UK brands using Tumblr to post content, with many preferring Facebook and Twitter for their social-media advertising and brand building."

One Direction have had more than 100 million plays on Spotify

"Spotify and Sony Music have teamed up to launch a dedicated Spotify app for British boy-band One Direction, while also announcing that the band have passed 100m plays on the streaming music service."

TED Talks have had more than a billion video views

"According to our best estimates, TED has surpassed a billion video views! Our most recent metrics show that TED Talks are being viewed at a rate of 1.5 million times a day — which means that a new viewing commences 17 times a second. We in the TED office cannot thank you enough for helping us reach this milestone of 1,000,000,000 views — nine wonderful zeroes.
In 2006, when we first posted six TED Talks online as an experiment, internet video was a new form. No one knew if people would take 18 minutes to watch “taped lectures” online, and none of us could possibly have predicted the way in which TED Talks would take off over the next few years. What does this tell us? That people want to learn. That people want be inspired. That people are hungry for ideas, and that there’s a bubbling desire not to let the unfortunate truths of our world remain the status quo, but to look for creative solutions. The fact that you — and your fellow curious minds around the globe — keep coming back for talks day after day is truly astounding. Consider us humbled."

The US election set a new mobile traffic record for BBC News Online

"BBC coverage of the US election, which my colleague Jon Williams trailed here a couple of days ago, brought the highest traffic to BBC News Online so far this year, and set a new record for us on mobile.
On 7 November, there were 16.4m unique browsers across the website and mobile, 8.1m of which came from the UK. That makes it the highest traffic day of 2012 so far and rivals our two biggest previous days during the August riots and the March Tsunami, in 2011. During the England riots, on 9 August 2011 there were there were 18.2m unique browsers, 10.9m of which came from the UK.
The peak traffic point yesterday was 07:00-08:00 GMT, which saw higher usage than lunchtime, maybe as people checked the results as soon as they woke up. UK usage figures yesterday were 50% higher than the average for 2012, and ex-UK usage was 75% higher than average.
We spent a lot of time working out how to provide the best possible service on mobile, so it's encouraging to see that nearly 5m mobile devices visited BBC News Online yesterday, a record figure for us on mobile, accounting for about 30% of all users yesterday (on an average weekday, we'd expect mobiles to account for about 24% of users)."

Election night on Instagram

Click to enlarge

Source:  Instagram blog, 7th November 2012

Mobile accounts for more than 20% of Orbitz' hotel bookings

"When Orbitz began putting together a strategy to target mobile commerce in late 2009 there were still plenty of questions as to how fast the travel-booking industry was going to move to mobile. Now, three years later, the company ranks fourth overall in projected mobile sales for 2012. With gross mobile bookings projected to surpass $700 million in U.S. sales by the end of the year, Orbitz is only behind Amazon, Apple and Marriott in the annual guide.
"Mobile is a new opportunity to reach people and some of those people have different demographics than our other customer segments,” said Chris Brown, VP of product strategy for online and mobile at Orbitz. “We are looking at how do we target people that have a tendency toward mobile."
Over the course of 2012, more than 20 percent of hotel bookings on Orbitz overall are coming from mobile devices, added Brown. Last-minute bookings for same-day reservations are especially high on smartphones. An average of 60 to 65 percent of all daily bookings on smartphones are for check-ins that evening, he said. When Orbitz first began taking hotel bookings on mobile in 2010, it only accounted for a few percentage points."
Note - Clearly 'mobile' includes tablets

Monday, 12 November 2012

Chinese consumers spent $3 billion on 'Singles Day' on Alibaba sites

"Lei Shujie, a designer in Shanghai, piled up a wish list for the quirky holiday dubbed "Singles Day" that has grown into China's — and possibly the world's — busiest online shopping day.
Singles Day was begun by Chinese college students in the 1990s as a version of Valentine's Day for people without romantic partners. The timing was based on the date: Nov. 11, or "11.11" — four singles. Unattached young people would treat each other to dinner or give gifts to woo that special someone and end their single status.
Companies that rushed to cash in on the holiday ranged from Alibaba Group, operator of China's biggest e-commerce platforms, to rival platforms such as 360buy Ltd., mom-and-pop companies that sell online and delivery services.
"This is very, very big for us," Steve Wang, vice president of and head of website operations, said in a phone interview before sales started.
The 50,000-plus merchants on Alibaba's consumer-oriented Taobao and platforms, took in a total of 19.1 billion yuan ($3 billion) from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday, the company announced early Monday.
That would top the total of $1.25 billion that research firm comScore said U.S. online retailers took in last year on Cyber Monday and might make Singles Day the biggest e-commerce sales day on record.
The spending binge will be welcome news for communist leaders who want to shift the basis of growth in the world's second-largest economy from trade and investment to consumer spending and service industries. Weak global demand for Chinese exports has added to the urgency of ramping up domestic consumption."

American mothers' device ownership compared to the general population

Click to enlarge

Source:  BabyCenter - The 2012 American Media Mom

The half-life of a Facebook post is 30 minutes

"A Facebook brand post will get half of its reach in the 30 minutes after it is published, according to updated data provided to MarketingCharts by Socialbakers. Socialbakers analyzed a select group of brand posts published on October 31st, finding that an average of one-third of post reach was obtained in just the first 10 minutes after publication. Previous data from Socialbakers has indicated that after the first half of reach is obtained in the 30 minutes post-publication, the rest is attained in the following 7 hours.
Socialbakers’ data shows a dramatic drop-off in share of reach after the first 10 minutes, when posts got one-third of their total reach. In the 11-20 minute period after publication, posts reached an estimated additional 13.2% of their total audience, while in the following 10-minute period, they reached just another 4.7% of their total audience. By the time 90 minutes had passed, the average post was reaching less than 2% of its total audience.
This drop-off is even more pronounced than email opens. According to a GetResponse study released in October, some 23.6% of email opens occur within the first hour after delivery. By that time, a Facebook post would have already reached 60% of its total audience."

Apple's share price is 20% lower than its peak

"Apple’s shares have fallen more than 20 per cent from their September peak, the stock’s biggest correction since the share market crisis in late 2008, underlining a change in investor sentiment around the world’s most valuable company.
Since the launch of the iPhone 5, investors have expressed concerns about Apple’s ability to manufacture enough new products to meet customer demand, recent management changes and slower earnings growth.
Yet as Wall Street sentiment has turned more bearish, many of Apple’s supporters in the technology industry have championed the iPad mini as its best new product in years. That marks a reversal of September’s dichotomy, when investors’ enthusiasm about the iPhone 5 stood in contrast to concern in Silicon Valley that the smartphone was merely an incremental improvement over past models.
Wednesday’s decline of 3.8 per cent saw Apple close at $558, a five-month low. The stock now trades at 21 per cent below September’s all-time high of $705.07 and has lost $138bn in market value since then."

7 billion ad impressions are served each day on the Facebook ad exchange

"Appnexus, the online ad marketplace intermediary, hosted an annual summit in New York yesterday and disclosed some interesting metrics about the size of its business as it relates to Facebook.
The company is one of let slip that Facebook Exchange -- the real-time bidding ad exchange in which advertisers are allowed to match their cookies to a Facebook cookie in order to retarget shoppers inside Facebook -- now serves a staggering 7 billion ad impressions daily. According to AdExchanger:
AppNexus is quickly ramping up on the Facebook Exchange, where it is one of approximately 15 real-time bidding partners. It now has exposure to 7 billion daily impressions on FBX, up from zero in July — a large and important new inventory source."

63 million songs were played 22 billion times through Facebook Open Graph in 14 months

"The launch of Open Graph last year enabled app developers to re-think how people discover, share and consume music. Most important, many developers have brought what was traditionally only possible offline - music discovery through friends - into all types of music apps on web and mobile.
Since launching Open Graph last September, 62.6 million songs have been played 22 billion times -- that's about 210,000 years worth of music. This is happening across all types of music apps, from apps that are tailoring music to your tastes, to apps that recommend music based on the time of day, where you are and what you're doing. Here are some music apps taking off."

Apple's share of tablet shipments fell from 66% in Q2 2012 to 50% in Q3 2012

"Worldwide tablet shipments totaled 27.8 million units in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. The tablet market grew 49.5% year over year in 3Q12 and 6.7% over the second quarter of 2012. Android shipments, led by Samsung and Amazon, surged during the quarter, at the expense of Apple, which saw its share slip notably during the quarter.
“Samsung took advantage of an opportunity in the second quarter”
"After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumors of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC. "We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini. Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter. However, we believe the mini's relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter."
Apple's slowdown put a sizeable dent in the company's commanding worldwide market tablet share, which slipped from 65.5% in 2Q12 to 50.4% in 3Q12. The remaining top five tablet vendors all gained share during the quarter as a result. Most notable was the impressive quarter turned out by Samsung—driven by its Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1. Samsung shipped 5.1 million tablets worldwide in 3Q12, up 115.0% from 2Q12; that's an increase of 325.0% from 3Q11, when it shipped 1.2 million tablets."

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Internet data usage is up 120% Y-o-Y in H2 2012 the US

"Internet data usage is up by 120% in North America
Netflix continues to dominate North American fixed networks with 33% of bandwidth share
Asia is the world leader of mobile data consumption with monthly usage of 659 MB, up by 10% in the last 6 months
YouTube represents more than 20% of peak period downstream traffic on mobile networks in Europe"

Barack Obama's 2012 Election celebration picture is the most Liked picture ever on Facebook

"Shortly after President Obama won re-election last night, a simple photo of the president embracing his wife was posted on his Facebook page. Just a few hours later, and with apologies to Gangnam Style, Justin Bieber, and adorable kittens worldwide, that shot became the most "liked" photo ever on Facebook.
At the moment, it's been liked over 3.1 million times, and the number is still climbing.
The same photo was also posted to the president's Twitter account last night, and quickly smashed Twitter records for the most retweets. At the moment it's been retweeted more than 638,000 times. The next most popular tweet from Justin Bieber has under 225,000.
Over on the GOP side of Facebook, where Mitt Romney's page has about a third the "likes" of Obama's, a few simple posts with a shot of the candidate and the words "Thank You" have garnered just under a million digital thumbs-up so far. Understandably, Republican voters seem to have been in less of a liking mood last night."

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The 2012 US Election Night on Twitter

"One hundred million votes and 31 million Tweets later, Election Day 2012 has come to a close. As the results of the election were called by news organizations, the conversation on Twitter surged, hitting a peak of 327,452 Tweets per minute (TPM). Before President Obama took the stage to address the nation, he shared a special update on Twitter. As thousands of supporters cheered in Chicago, more than 455,000 (and counting) retweeted his celebratory message:
While the announcement of results was the biggest moment of the election cycle, there were many other notable Twitter moments tonight:
-327,452 TPM - 11:19pm ET - Networks call Obama's reelection
-85,273 TPM -11:12pm ET - IA presidential race called
-69,031 TPM - 9:33pm ET - PA and WI presidential races called
-65,106 TPM - 8:03pm ET - Polls close in various states; AP calls races for IL, CT, ME, DC, DE, RI, MD, MA"
Source:  Twitter blog, 6th November 2012
Also - 3.1m Likes and 360,000 shares on Facebook

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Starbucks processes more than 2 million mobile payments each week

"Starbucks continues to expand its role as a leading mobile payments provider as evidenced in comments made last week by a company executive who said more than 2 million mobile payment transactions occur every week.
The comments were made by Howard Schultz, president/CEO of Starbucks, during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s fourth quarter results. Mr. Schultz also said that the burden is on companies to recognize the seismic change in consumer behavior as a result of the emergence of mobile commerce and mobile payments as well as social and digital media."
Note - I think that these must all be in the US

Monday, 5 November 2012

Apple sold 3 million iPad 4 & iPad minis in the first 3 days

"Apple® today announced it has sold three million iPads in just three days since the launch of its new iPad® mini and fourth generation iPad—double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi only models sold for the third generation iPad in March. The Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of both iPad mini and fourth generation iPad will ship in a few weeks in the US and in many more countries later this year.
Both iPad mini and the new fourth generation iPad with Retina display are available in 34 countries including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the UK, and will be available in many more countries later this year, including mainland China. Demand for iPad mini exceeded the initial supply and while many of the pre-orders have been shipped to customers, some are scheduled to be shipped later this month."
Source:  Press release from Apple, 5th November 2012
Note - it's interesting that they're not breaking down the figures between the two very different models

Friday, 2 November 2012

There is a strong correlation between engagement & organic reach on Facebook; weak between frequency of posting & reach

"We pulled 4 months worth of data for a client that we have worked consistently with and whose content and campaign focus has changed little over the 4 months thereby minimising the variables. From this data we aggregated the daily organic reach of the page up to the weekly level and subtracted daily likes away from the daily PTAT number. This last step was to ensure that the people talking about this figure was from likes of content, shares and comments rather than likes of the page which do not relate to page posts.
These data sets were then compared to one another to find the correlation coefficient between organic reach & engagements and organic reach & frequency of posting.
We find that there was a strong correlation between engagements & organic reach (0.86)
There was a weak correlation between frequency & organic reach (0.22)
We also found a negative correlation between posting frequency and engagements (-0.011)"

54 of the world's top 100 companies use Instagram

"With over 100 million users, more brands are recognizing the powerful reach and potential of Instagram. 54% of the world’s top brands using the mobile network to engage consumers. In our quarterly study, we take a look at who’s doing it, how they’re doing it, and who’s doing it the best.
When we first studied Instagram adoption in August, brands were starting to engage on the network. Three months later, the brands who adopted early are seeing month-over-month growth, creating a bigger gap between themselves and brands who haven’t started using the service."

53 Percent of Visitors to Enthusiast Communities Make Purchase Decisions Based on Research on these Sites

"Huddler, a digital media company that powers millions of daily interactions on the world's most influential enthusiast communities, today released new research into the impact of enthusiast communities on consumer purchasing behavior for both community participants and the casual internet searcher. Huddler surveyed more than 25,000 members who participate in the 31 communities it powers, such,, and According to Huddler data, more than 53 percent of visitors to enthusiast communities directly attribute their purchase choices to research conducted on these sites."

HootSuite has 5 million users

"On October 12, 2012, HootSuite reached 5 million users.
What does five million look like? At five million users, we span the globe. Our expansion into Europe, Asia and Latin America is driving our growth, and there’s a good chance we speak your language. How fast are we growing? The first million took nearly two years, and the fifth million took just five months.
We are proudest of our international growth and global reach, which has been sparked by listening to users on the ground and responding to their requests. In doing so, HootSuite Community has hosted over a 100 HootUps, assigned regional Diplomats, translated our tools into 20 languages and offered regional apps. Our tools are in use on screens in such diverse locales as Irkutsk in Siberia, San Francisco advertising agencies, London multinational brands, Egypt during their revolution and over on the tiny islands of Palau."

There are approximately 700,000 apps on the Android the iOS app stores

"Google Inc said there are about 700,000 applications available for downloading onto mobile devices that run the Android operating system, challenging Apple Inc’s lead in the race for software tools.
That means Google has matched Apple in the number of games, productivity tools and other programs that are usable on handheld electronics, including tablets and smartphones. Apple said last week that its App Store has more than 700,000 apps."