finished atop the list of ”The 16 Most Popular Cable News Anchors on Facebook” from Business Insider’s The Wire, despite the minor detail that he is no longer a cable anchor, having left Fox News Channel June 30.
Other observations on the list: Anchors who want to make the list should look for work at Headline News, as the CNN spinoff claimed seven of the 16 spots, but those who aren’t satisfied with merely making the list and want to own it should seek airtime at Fox News Channel, which accounted for three of the top five spots.
Speaking of the top five spots, there was a severe drop-off after number five, with fifth place totaling nearly five times more Facebook likes than sixth place.
The complete list, in order of likes on Facebook, according to The Wire:
- Glenn Beck, formerly of-Fox News Channel, 2,030,119
- Sean Hannity, Fox News Channel, 794,438
- Nancy Grace, HLN, 786,117
- Anderson Cooper, CNN, 576,164
- Bill O’Reilly, Fox News Channel, 455,785
- Jane Velez-Mitchell, HLN, 96,033
- Fareed Zakaria, CNN, 79,864
- Richelle Carey, HLN, 71,448
- Joy Behar, HLN, 57,565
- Drew Pinsky, HLN, 52,508
- Piers Morgan, CNN, 49,077
- Greta Van Susteren, Fox News Channel, 43,581
- Mike Galanos, HLN, 36,924
- Shepard Smith, Fox News Channel, 36,892
- Christi Paul, HLN, 32,281
- Soledad O’Brien, CNN, 27,177
Readers, which cable news anchors do you follow on social media?
Apple is planning a new retail store inside Grand Central Station in New York. The company paid the current tennants of the spot $5 million to leave their slot early and will pay $1.1 in rent, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Now the Metropolitan Transit Authority has released some renderings that show us what the new Apple Store in Grand Central will look like.
The planned store will take the place of the Metrazur restaurant inside the station as well as an adjacent balcony. Construction will begin immediately and take a bout 4 months, the MTA said.
Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut said that the addition of the store would maintain Grand Central as “the iconic structure and place that it is.”
In addition to the new Apple Store, Grand Central will also be gaining a branch of the popular east coast burger franchise Shake Shack. MTA Real Estate Director Jeffrey Rosen, who announced the coming o the stores said ““I can’t imagine why any kid in Westchester would want to do anything other than go into Grand Central and shop at Apple and eat at Shake Shack.”
They couldn’t resist taking swipes at cross-town Penn Station either, as board member Mitchell Pally said “It makes the Penn Station customers no longer second-class citizens, It makes them third-class citizens.”
The new store actually looks really great and should be a nice addition to Grand Central, although its unlikely to make the already hectic station any less crowded.
We Apple users fall into 2 groups: Those who will gladly help you with problems and those who will gladly make fun of you because of them. Both groups , in a thread on the Apple Support forums.
You just can’t make this stuff up, folks. Unless this is fake, which is entirely possible. But if it’s not, it’s hilarious.
And here we thought that the iPad was the easiest device in history.
Reigning Mark Zuckerberg has another trophy for his case.
The Guardian just chose the Facebook founder and chief executive officer as number one on the annual MediaGuardian 100 list of the U.K.’s 100 most powerful people in TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital media, advertising, marketing, and public relations
Social media also accounts for the number two and three spots on the list: Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey claiming the former and Google CEO Larry Page claiming the latter.
TheMediaGuardian 100 entry on Zuckerberg reads:
It is only four years since Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook made its debut on this list — at No. 100. “Social networks come and go — only time will tell if this latest example is fab or fad,” we said of the site, which back then was trailing Myspace.
How times change. Today, Zuckerberg’s seven-year-old social media phenomenon is the world’s busiest website. It is the United Kingdom’s largest display advertising publisher (and responsible for one in four display ads in the United States) with projected revenues for 2011 of $4 billion — double the figure for 2010.
Zuckerberg’s ambition was nothing less than to reconfigure the web through social navigation, enabling people to search via friends’ recommendations, rather than the results of a mystery algorithm. He is well on the way, said our panel.
With 750 million users, Facebook is already the world’s biggest photo website and a burgeoning platform for video, gaming, and television — a key traffic driver for media owners, offering specifically targeted advertising and interaction. Our judges described it as an “immense media distribution platform” and the “No. 1 media player” of the moment.
The past 12 months have seen further rapid growth, although its popularity stalled in some of its biggest territories, including the United Kingdom and United States. But with more than one-half of the United Kingdom’s online population now using Facebook, it is a problem other media owners would love to have.
There have been serious blips too — ongoing concerns about privacy and revelations that it had hired a P.R. firm to smear Google — but none serious enough to topple him from the top of this year’s list.
Facebook is still a small company. It has only 2,000 staff compared with Google’s 26,000, but is an increasingly attractive place for Silicon Valley’s star developers. Its risky strategy of developing new features rapidly has always triggered blasts of protests from users, and the past 12 months has been no different.
Readers, what do you think about U.S. social media company leaders topping a list of the most influential people in the U.K.?
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Just last night, our own MG Siegler unveiled that Facebook’s top secret iPad app was hiding in plain sight right within the publicly available iPhone app. All it took was a quick, mostly-pain-free modification or two, and you were knee deep in unexplored Beta territory.
Alas, it looks like Facebook has found a way to close things back up.
We’re hearing tons (as in hundreds) of reports that users who are just now getting around to checking out the trick are unable to do so. The iPad-friendly app still launches — you just can’t do much, as newcomers are being turned away at the login screen.
Oddly, it seems that those who managed to sneak in to the party before Facebook started closing the gates are still on the guest list.. to some extent. MG is still able to click around the app, though certain things (like notifications) are acting strangely or not functioning at all. No word yet on whether they plan to give everyone outside of Facebook HQ the boot completely.
Oh well. If all else fails, you can always load all the photos from our full photo gallery into your iPad’s photo app and pretend.
You’ve got a great idea and you’ve built an even better product. Now that the hard part’s over and your product is ticking along nicely, what’s next? It’s time to let people know about what you’ve done. The fact remains that if nobody’s using your product, it’s going to be pretty hard to move forward.
But how do you do it? Blogs? Presenting at a conference? Throwing out press releases? The short answer is yes. To all of these. The longer answer? We’ll cover that here with 10 actionable steps that you can take toward marketing yourself better.Be What You Are
You’ve built a business that is only applicable to corn famers in Northern California? That’s great. Focus on that and be the very best NorCal corn resource out there. So many businesses don’t see themselves for what they really are or they want to be everything to everyone. But understand that how you see yourself is not necessarily how others see you.
Just as it’s very difficult to get your users to change their behavior (and it’s well-known that you should avoid trying), it’s probably even more difficult to get them to think about you differently. Do some homework, find out what people think about you and then make sure that you’re marketing yourself to that topic. Anything else is going to border on a waste of effort.Make It Pretty
This is something that’s so easy to overlook and people forget about it, losing themselves in the product versus the presentation. Whether you’re building an app, a website or even designing your business cards, take the time and invest the necessary money to make them look good.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times we’ve seen interesting ideas come through here at TNW, only to pass them by because they were ugly or too difficult to use. If Google has learned its lessons, then it’s high time you do too.Know Your Customer
Often times, as businesses evolve (not pivot, evolve), we find out that our base of customers expands or even changes completely. I was recently talking to a CEO who had that exact problem. The product could be used as a white-label offering and it made the CEO realize that the customer wasn’t only the end user, but also the businesses who bought the white-label option.
When you’re building your product, make sure that you’re spending ample time to think up the scenarios that might not be immediately obvious. At the same time, make sure that you’re not catering to the fringe cases, but please do make sure you’re paying attention to them.Find Your Audience
I’ve talked about this in my interview on Mixergy, but I’ll go over this again here. There should be no shame in making sure that you’re sending things to the right people. For instance, if you send me a pitch on a location-based service, it’s probably going to get passed over. Send it to Martin Bryant, however, and you’re likely to get a more open mind.
Likewise, it would be foolish to send a story on the inner workings of your bookkeeping app’s technology to Cosmopolitan, even though they might be very interested in how the app could make someone’s life easier. That is to say, often times, there are 3 or 4 different stories all surrounding the same product. Make sure you find them.Craft Your Media Pitch
There are common mistakes that we see so often and they all make it more difficult to get media coverage for your startup. The number one mistake is that people view a press release as a pitch. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Your press release is the supporting information of your pitch. It should contain all of the things that we need to write the story, but the pitch is the hook that will make us want to write it in the first place.
Are you in a private beta? Let us know. Can we get access for 100 or so people? We need to know how. Have assets such as videos, social media profiles and the like? Make sure to include them. Are there big changes coming up soon? That’s important to the story. Put it all together, include it in your release and please be available to answer questions.Avoid Cliches Like The Plague
It can be argued that cliches are cliches for a reason – they’re often little nuggets of truth that have stood the test of time. But when it comes to marketing, they’re near certain death. You’ve heard them all before, usually in local radio and TV commercials. Those claims of “free parking” and “conveniently located” have been repeated so often that they’re meaningless.
If you want to stand out, you need to do so by saying (and being) something different than what everyone else is beating to death. Pivot, ground-breaking, magical, synergy…these are words that make me delete a press release on-sight and you would be best-served by avoiding them entirely. Even if you are have pivoted into a ground-breaking photo-sharing application that uses synergistic analytics to seem magical, you should find another way to say it.No More “Me Too”
When Skype announced a partnership with Facebook, we got a flood of pitches that were all directed at “we do this too”. While it might be natural to want to be included into a flood of news about something with which your company is related, it’s very easy to get lost in the shuffle.
You can bet that there’s something about your business that’s unique to you, instead of being just another version of something else. If that’s not the case, then you might want to stop reading this now and start over with a new idea. Your idea’s already been done. If you do find it to be true, make sure that you’re providing us with what sets you apart instead of what makes you the same.On Embargoes
It’s Monday and you want your story to go out on Wednesday. If you have a definitive reason (new code push, updated application, etc.) for why you need to wait until Wednesday, then that’s great. But if you’re just deciding to make everyone sit on the same story for no particular reason then you can bet that your embargo will be broken by someone anyway. You might as well not use it.
On that note, nobody wants to play second fiddle. That is to say that every media outlet should have the go-ahead to publish the information at the same time. If you tell someone “just wait until The Next Web has published, please” then they’re likely to tell you to get bent.Go Where Your Customers Are
While trade shows, media coverage and the rest might be important, nothing beats customer interaction. If you’re using social media and your customers are too, make sure you’re doing it right. Just blasting out information with no interaction is useless. Nothing will build loyalty quite like someone feeling like they’re talking to a real person.
Monitor for mentions of your name using every tool you can. Be that through Google alerts, a social media dashboard or something as simple as a Twitter search. When conversations are going on, walk up (virtually) and introduce yourself. We’re in an age where people don’t always buy products, they buy a feeling. Make sure you’re there to give it to them.Return To Mom and Pop
There was a time when your walked into a corner store to buy something from someone you knew. You did that because they were appreciative of your business. As the big box era came on, the focus shifted to being all about saving dollars, appreciation be damned.
These days, the Internet is the corner store and everybody can talk to anyone regardless of location. You have to bear that in mind and start providing that same warmth that the old stores used to or else face the consequences of Internet wrath.
So there you have it. 10 tips to help relieve the mystery of marketing your startup. In reality, these could go for just about any business, but they’re especially true for startups. Often times we’ll see people who are geniuses at building products, but they have no idea how to get the word out about them. So takes some time, follow some steps and find your success.
If you haven’t attended one of our social media boot camps, you’re in luck: There’s another opportunity to do so this September 13 through November 1. The whole thing takes place , and the speakers include many top influencers in social media, such as:
- Jessica Bennett, writer for Newsweek and The Daily Beast
- Harry Gold, chief executive officer and managing partner of Overdrive Interactive
- Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
- David Meerman Scott, author of Real-Time Marketing & P.R.
- Lisa Aragon, co-founder and digital architect of Double Dutch & Company
- Danica Kombol, managing partner of Everywhere
- Heather Lutze, chief executive officer and founder of Findability Group Search Marketing
- Jason Boog, publishing editor at Mediabistro
- Lauren Dugan, co-editor of AllTwitter
- Justin Smith, founder of Inside Network
- Josh Constine, lead writer for Inside Facebook
Click here to see the full program. This boot camp shows you how to use social media tools and create effective content strategies to build your fans quickly and increase your business. Over the course of six weeks, you create and implement a social media strategy, track results, and get feedback from advisors and peers. This combines the best elements of conferences and online learning:
- Keynote speeches: World-class social media pioneers give presentations followed by with interactive question-and-answer sessions.
- Practical how-to sessions: These show you how to put big ideas into immediate practice.
- Homework: It’s designed to get your social media strategy up and running quickly.
- Peer interaction: Work closely with a small group, get feedback from an advisor, and make meaningful connections with the entire attendee roster.
If you register by August 23, you’ll qualify for our early-bird discount.
Apple has released an update to its firmware for iPhone, iPod and iPad portable devices, iOS 4.3.5. The update appears to be a minor one that fixes a vulnerability. You should be able to plug your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into iTunes now to obtain the update.
The update notice says that it “Fixes a security vulnerability with certificate validation.”
The Verizon version of the iPhone 4 has also been updated, but continues its firmware fork by moving to iOS 4.2.10. This fork is expected to merge with the main version of iOS with the release of iOS 5 this September.
Apple has provided further information about the vulnerability fixed on its :
Impact: An attacker with a privileged network position may capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS
Description: A certificate chain validation issue existed in the handling of X.509 certificates. An attacker with a privileged network position may capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS. Other attacks involving X.509 certificate validation may also be possible. This issue is addressed through improved validation of X.509 certificate chains.
Download links for iOS 4.3.5
- (Verizon, version 4.2.10)
This is a breaking story, we will be updating continuously. Please refresh.
The Bible has rebounded from a temporary dip in on Facebook. And soccer — or football, depending on where you live — continues a solid offensive effort as a number of star players and teams successfully place on this week’s countdown.Name Fans Interactions 1. Jesus Daily 7,156,682 2,456,892 2. The Bible 7,884,906 975,528 3. Mario Teguh 4,425,874 973,355 4. Justin Bieber 33,141,633 529,657 5. Harry Potter 29,686,293 509,937 6. Lady Gaga 40,744,334 477,220 7. Real Madrid C.F. 16,964,582 476,245 8. We are Khaled Said 1,506,077 447,852 9. Manchester United 17,084,686 445,232 10. MTV Roadies 2,373,166 382,089 11. Werevertumorro 2,324,097 363,935 12. Jesus Christ 2,804,432 354,071 13. David Beckham 12,639,149 342,291 14. WWE 6,332,751 332,912 15. Cristiano Ronaldo 31,102,859 326,101 16. Mehmetcik 2,357,539 313,859 17. Im a Muslim & Im Proud 6,006,628 309,684 18. Avril Lavigne 24,140,639 300,608 19. Dios Es Bueno! 3,986,176 300,224 20. ILoveAllaah.com 6,151,848 289,563 Religion
Officially spending two months at number one, is the victor once more. Though engagement drops from the previous week — a slight uncharacteristic decrease in comparison to an increasing weekly total seen throughout the month — 2,456,892 interactions gives the page bragging rights as the number one contender. After weeks of slowed conversation, 975,528 likers help propel forward to reclaim a spot just behind the front-runner.
Heading into the second half of the countdown, finishes with an improved 12th place finish with a thank you owed to 354,071 talkative fans. stages a comeback that has 309,684 partakers in the discussion—a 17th place week. Two places back, a 300,224 total leaves settling for 19th.
drops eight places this time around, but hangs on at the 20th spot with 289,563 thoughts posted to the wall.International
Ousting pop star Justin Bieber for third this time around, 973,355 chatty social networkers aid in taking this notable step forward. Seeing a positive progression in Egypt, ‘s 447,852 interaction total places it in eighth.
Though dropping a few places, an improved profile photograph is brewing a growing discussion—keep this in mind, page administrators—for Spanish comedic group ; the page garners a 363,935 seven day conversation total. In Turkey, holds down the 16th position for another week engaging 313,859 users.Music
He created a registration explosion on Instragram by simply posting a picture of traffic, and now he is handing out invites to popular music start-up Spotify on Facebook. Landing in fourth this time around, completes the week with a 529,657 interaction total. In another shake up on the countdown, ‘s 477,220 finish has the pop diva slipping to sixth.
continues to provide fans with updates from her trek around the world; 300,608 noisy social networkers help set the stage for the Canadian musician’s return into the 18th position.Movies And Television
The conversation seems to already be fading just a week after the latest release, the film’s 509,937 commenters has it slipping to fifth. India’s has Facebook users buzzing at a continuous steady rate; the conversation grows by 382,089 posters—a 10th place landing.Sports
European football becomes soccer this week as the teams and players making the cut were all playing in the United States. visited the states for a match against the Philadelphia Union, and 476,245 diehard likers continue to add their two cents to the conversation. The team slides forward to seventh. are finishing up their tour of the states; 445,232 comments give the champions the ninth most engaging page.
‘s 342,291 interaction total has the star dribbling past much of the defense to the thirteenth spot. This weekend’s game also leads to the return of Madrid’s Star forward as his updates land him in the 15th spot accruing 326,101 responses.
The hype is building for ‘s annual seasonal event, Summer Slam. The 332,912 post total helps the page conquer the 14th position.
Readers, did you find yourself engaged in any discussions on this week’s countdown?
If you want to measure interactions on your own page and compare them to others, take a look at AllFacebook Stats, which allows you to track and compare your pages in different dimensions. The tool is available in a free version, along with multiple business packages.
Charity, branded gaming, purchase selection and free food were part of the ways brands engaged customers on Facebook this week. We’ve excerpted two of the campaigns below. You can see the full week’s coverage in the Facebook Marketing Bible, which also includes detailed breakdowns of dozens of other featured campaigns by top-performing brands and businesses on Facebook.Craftsman’s Public Park Rehab Project
Goal: Engagement, Product Purchase, Network Exposure, Charity
Core Mechanic: A photo that allows users to encourage their network to vote for their photo.
Method: Essentially this photo contest asks users to submit a photo of a park in their area that could use some revamping. Whichever park wins will receive a $10,000 makeover, the user who uploaded the photo will receive a set of Craftsman tools, and there will be runner-up prizes of tools as well. Once a user completes the contest entry, they may publish a story to the stream.
Impact: The Craftsman has 496,900 Likes so far, but the contest is not Like-gated, thus the company is losing out on potential growth to their Page with this contest. Though users must return to the Page to vote for the entries, the only real viral component of this contest is the publishing of a feed story upon entry, which is optional.Unilever’s Lux Featured on FarmVille Chinese
Goal: Network Exposure, Product Purchase, Brand Loyalty
Core Mechanic: Unilever’s Lux brand launched a FarmVille Chinese tie-in.
Game: Within FarmVille Chinese, users will have the chance to wherein to beautify their farms with Lux limited edition beauty products. Users then are rewarded with virtual currency they can use to redeem for beauty crops inspired by the company’s products, such as a cooling mint tree, apricot or cherries.
Method: Within the game users who interact with Lux’s icon, actress Shu Qi, are rewarded for doing so. This gives users the incentive to interact with the company’s product within the game, thus making the product placement an integral part of the gaming experience.
Impact: According to AppData, FarmVille Chinese has about 850,000 MAU; thus, product placement within this app is guaranteed to reach a wide audience.
How are top brands in the industry designing their Facebook marketing campaigns? See the Facebook Marketing Bible for detailed breakdowns of dozens of Featured Campaigns by top-performing brands and businesses on Facebook.
A has to be close by now, right? As it turns out, it’s a lot closer than most people thought.
TechCrunch discovered the Facebook iPad app not in the App Store, but within the code of the social network’s iPhone app.
The good news: MG Siegler was able to confirm via a source that the app he discovered is the very same one Facebook intends to launch. The bad news: iPad users who want it right now will have to jailbreak their devices, according to an installation guide posted by The Next Web.
Siegler’s comments after using the app for a few hours were all positive, other than the jailbreaking issue:
In particular, the navigation system is great. Unlike the iPhone app — which now as being stale — the Facebook iPad app uses a left-side menu system that can be accessed by the touch of a button or the flick of the iPad screen. The app also makes great use of the pop-overs (overlay menus) found in other iPad apps. When you flip the iPad horizontally, the list of your online friends appears, and you can chat with them as you do other things on Facebook. The photo-viewer aspect looks great — similar to the iPad’s own native Photos app. Places exists with a nice big map to show you all your friends around you.
I’ve confirmed with a source who had previously seen the Facebook iPad app that this is in fact the very app that they were planning to launch with. We’ll see if that timetable gets sped up now.
In a second TechCrunch post, which included several screen shots, Siegler wrote:
After months of downplaying the importance of having an iPad app, and instead playing up HTML5, Facebook has clearly spent some time working on this. At the same time, it is an HTML5-rich experience, with things like the News Feed being populated this way. But other things, like image uploads, simply cannot be done without native code at this time.
At the end of the day, would I use this app over the full website, which functions pretty well on the iPad already? Absolutely. I cannot wait for this app to actually launch.
And for those adventurous types who can’t wait, The Next Web’s installation guide, mentioned earlier, follows:
- Ensure that you’ve got the latest update of Facebook’s iPhone app on your iPad.
- Jailbreak your iPad. Yes, this is something that not everyone will be happy doing, seeing as it’s against Apple’s terms and conditions, and you do this at your own risk. However, as we recently reported, JailbreakMe is a really easy way to do it (at the moment), and you can always reverse the process by reverting to your iTunes backup of your device.
- JailBreaking via JailBreakMe will install the Cydia app store on your iPad. For the purposes of this exercise, it doesn’t matter which version of the App Store you install (you’re given three options aimed at different types of users).
- In Cydia, search for the iFile app and install it.
- Open iFile and navigate to var > mobile > applications > directory.
- Open the iFile settings using the cog wheel icon at the bottom of the screen and switch “Application Names” to “on.”
- This will allow you to see which folders relate to which apps. Find the Facebook folder and open it. Inside that, open Facebook.app.
- Find the “Info.plist” file and tap on it. Choose “Property List Viewer.”
- Find the “UIDeviceFamily” option and select it.
- Change the value here from “1” to “2” and tap “Done.”
- Reboot your iPad and then open the Facebook app.
Readers: Will you follow the directions above and jailbreak your iPadsto get a piece of the new Facebook app, or, since you’ve waited this long already, will you simply hold off for the official rollout of Facebook for iPad?
Screen shots courtesy of TechCrunch
In case you’ve not seen the news lately, Google is wrestling with an argument over names on its massively-popular Google+ service. Since deleting all non-public profiles only a couple of weeks ago, the company has stressed that only “real” names are to be used on Google+ and no companies are allowed to have profiles just yet.
Fortunately for you, Google has provided a way to somewhat work around this naming convention, while still following the rules. Mitch Canter, of Studio Nashvegas, points it out in a .
- Edit your Profile
- Down at the bottom look for the field labeled “Other Names”
- Enter your pen name / pseudonym down at the bottom
- Make sure it’s marked as public – this will index it along with the rest of your info on Google’s Search
The field that Mitch is pointing to looks like this:
“Other names” is the one that’s proven to show up in search results, but it appears that “Nickname” will as well. So, if you own Bob’s Bait Barn, make sure to put that into the “Other names” field, while holding on to your actual name for the profile. That way, when people do a search for Bob’s Bait Barn, you should appear, even while you’re sticking to Google’s rules.
Hey, did you hear? Google has a new social network!
It’s called Google Plus, and it’s kind of a big deal. At least, that’s what we’re being told. Over, and over, and over. Yep, Google Plus is the best thing since Facebook. In fact, it’s better than Facebook. And it’s better than Twitter. In fact, Google Plus is going to be the death of them both!
Poppycock. Not only is Google Plus one of the biggest examples of style-over-substance and over-hype that the Internet has seen, it will be prove to be absolutely no threat to the dominance of Facebook and Twitter within their respective niches.
And while there are some aspects of Google Plus that are fairly innovative (and have made it attractive to early adopters), other parts of the platform have been so poorly thought out and executed that it begs belief. Other highly-celebrated features flatter to deceive, whilst being all-but-ignored by those clapping the loudest.The Hype
Google Plus has certainly arrived with considerable fanfare. Using the same approach that made Gmail so desirable, Google Plus launched as invite-only, with the platform open only to a lucky few. This wasn’t entirely random — Google was careful to pre-invite many thought leaders, bloggers and pundits in the tech space (particularly in Silicon Valley), as they were always going to have a lot to say. And say it loudly.
This created an early demand that probably hasn’t been matched in internet history. The Wall Street Journal reported that in just three weeks, Google+ has had 20 million unique visitors since its launch. Even signed up, quickly becoming the most-followed user on the network.
Of course, visitors isn’t the same thing as users, and users isn’t the same thing as active users. So how many people have signed up for Google+? Using a surname-based analysis system, Ancestor.com founder and statistician Paul Allen pegged the membership at on July 7, a feat achieved in just 16 days. As a comparison, it took Twitter 780 days and Facebook 852 days to reach the 10 million user mark.
I mean, look at this growth — insane!
Since then, Allen estimates that Google Plus is up to 18 million to 20 million users, all achieved in about three weeks. No wonder Zuck has signed up — he’ll have nowhere else to go at this rate.The Reality
Google Plus seems exciting now because it’s new and shiny and lots of major tech players are giving it a decent amount of attention. But it’s deceptive, and underneath very little is actually going on.
Google Plus’ 20 million signups in such a small period of time certainly seems impressive. But this is Google, a well-established search giant that already boasts over a billion users. Couple that with the must-scratch-itch that is invite-only, and you have an influx that was both predictable and self-fulfilling.
But it’s not as good as it looks. For the week ending July 19, 2011, Experian Hitwise says that Google Plus had some 1.8 million visits. That number was up 283 percent from the previous week, but relatively it’s tiny, both compared to Facebook and Twitter, but also to the number of registered profiles on Google Plus.
If Google Plus actually has 20 million signups, that means that on any given day of that week only a fraction over a quarter of a million bothered to come back. That’s about 1.3 percent. Even if you assume there are only 10 million registered users, that’s still only 2.6 percent. It’s actually less than that, as number of those visits are from brand-new users.
Either way, it’s hardly a healthy stat for long-term growth. And anecdotally I’ve seen a lot of evidence of this myself. I’ve invited dozens and dozens of my friends to Google+, and of those who have bothered to sign up (probably less than half), the vast majority – easily 90% – have registered, had a quick look round and then promptly departed, never to return. The question I’m hearing again and again is: I already have Facebook and/or Twitter, so why do I need this?
The thing is, if you register on Google+ and follow a portion of the most-followed users – people like , , , and – you’ll start to believe that Google+ is the most popular thing, like, ever. Look at all those posts. More impressive, look at all those comments. Such engagement!
But it’s an illusion. These guys come with a ready-made audience, most of whom follow them pretty much anywhere. Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to them. This isn’t a criticism – they all produce first-class content. But just because they’re seeing a lot of reactions and getting a great response to their posts doesn’t mean everybody else is. In fact, virtually nobody else is. Try visiting the Google+ profiles of many of the people commenting in these guys’ posts. With a few exceptions, it’s a ghost town.
And Mark Zuckerberg racking up at least 350,000 followers isn’t proof of anything. Zuck could show up at MySpace and have 350,000 followers by the end of the day.
And let’s not forget that Google Plus had the help of Facebook and Twitter to generate all of this publicity. I don’t think we can credit this enough. A combined billion users (give or take some crossover) went completely nuts about Google Plus, with some 1.9 million tweets, 107,000 blog posts, 30,000 online news articles and 153,000 forum posts made about Google+ in the first two weeks of its launch. But this isn’t proof of success, as the vast majority of these people didn’t even have invites to the platform. It’s proof of hype, but also proof of the power of Facebook and Twitter, both of whom didn’t have the same help when they first opened their doors.
When it launched, Twitter had a little bit of help from Facebook. And Facebook had a little bit of help from MySpace, because it was so decidedly awful.
(Also, it’s worth observing that even with all this fuss, mentions of Google Plus were dwarfed by mentions of Facebook and Twitter over that same period.)
People have very short memories. When the much-derided Google Buzz opened it generated 9 million posts in the first 56 hours. It’s Google. These kinds of launches are inevitable. It doesn’t mean anything.Where Google Got Social Right Hangouts
Hangouts, the Google Plus live video chat, are proving very popular with a lot of users (although typically only when launched by somebody well-established and/or downright famous). Because Hangouts support multiple users, Google has one-upped Facebook’s one-on-one Skype integration, although it can’t be long until that also supports group video chat.The User Interface
Google Plus looks great. So clean and minimalist, it totally reminds me of FriendFeed (more on that later).Where Google Got Social Wrong (Again)
How about everywhere else?Circles
This is being touted as Google Plus’ killer feature, as circles allow anyone to digitally organize their friends, as proposed by Paul Adam in his much-loved presentation, The Real Life Social Network. It’s so easy — simply drag and drop a friend into the circle of your choice. You can then click on any circle in your sidebar to see just content from those users. Even better, you can send your own content to any circle of your choice. Talk about targeted marketing!
The thing is: this is broken. Circles sound like a good idea on paper but in reality they don’t work. Why? Two main reasons. One, because people cannot digitally organize their friends by interest. And two, even if you could nobody talks about that same interest constantly and nothing else. In other words, a given person cannot be defined by something they like. Certainly not just that.
I’ll give you an example: Danny Sullivan. Danny is head of Search Engine Land and produces a ton of outstanding content about that space. I follow Danny on Google Plus, and filed him away in the appropriate circle. But the problem is that Danny doesn’t just talk about search engines. He also shares a lot of photos of sunsets and and stuff like that. Which is fine — he can write about what he wants. Which, of course, is the crux of the issue. I could file Danny over multiple circles (search, tech, photos, sunsets, and so on) or I could keep him filed under one, but none of them are going to be accurate, because Danny Sullivan is not a robot, blindly mass-producing content about a finite number of subjects. He’s a person, and people aren’t easily pigeonholed.
This is an ongoing issue. Not only is the circle filing system likely to be inaccurate, but to make it even remotely useful you have to keep modifying and revising your circles as you start to follow new people and existing followers prove themselves to be somebody else.
Bottom line: most people won’t bother. They’ll just start to file everybody under one big circle, and put it up with it. And that’s exactly what will happen when you group too many people into one circle, especially if they’re pundits or self-promoters — the circle becomes unusable, almost instantly. A veritable nightmare of ramblings and noise.
This is the problem when you don’t have a character limit on status updates. Twitter has 140, Facebook has 420, and Google+ has no limit, at least not one that I’ve seen reached. Some of the updates are so long that they fill up multiple screens. Seriously: who wants that? Who signed up to see that? If I wanted to see every word of every article you’ve written I’d visit your blog. And cherry pick.
That’s the problem with circles as an input measure. For output, they’re even worse. Google thought they were being really smart by letting us, as individuals, decide who goes where, and then broadcasting to them accordingly. But as a system it simply does work, because of the reasons I’ve already outlined: I don’t know what you like. And you don’t know what I like. You might think you do, and Google might even be able to provide you with an algorithmic guesstimate that’s pretty accurate at this moment right now, but come tomorrow things will have changed. Come next week and next month and they’ll have changed completely. I’m not all about Twitter, and I’m not all about social media. I don’t want to see everything ever written about those things. I don’t see no ring on this finger. You don’t own me!
As you can see the way the output part of circles has been defined is backward. I shouldn’t be tagging you by your interests — you should be tagging yourself based on your own interests. You know what you like. Nobody else does. And you know that tomorrow you might not like that thing anymore. But I’ll still think your its biggest fan, blinding pushing my now-irritating content your way 24/7. Right up until you unfollow me. Hooray! Everybody wins.
If Google had set up circles so people tagged themselves, it could be a world-beater. I’d set up a Circle called Twitter, and other people would opt into it, ike a mailing list, circa 2011. Visit my profile, check out my different circles of topics, and sign up for what you want. That’s a winning content delivery system. And it will work because users choose what they want to see, rather than the broadcaster picking for them. Moreover, I could quickly see which of my circles was the most popular, and focus my efforts on that.
To me, the biggest proof that circles don’t work is the way that the Google Plus superstars like Scoble, Rubel and Sullivan are using them. Namely, they don’t. They post everything they do public. And why wouldn’t they? Who wants less people to see their content? It’s fundamentally opposed to everything we’ve ever been taught. Sure, targeted marketing certainly has its place, but only when people opt-in. Not the other way around.
And let’s remember that Facebook has had this feature forever, except over there it’s called Groups. And nobody uses it. Why would it be any different on Google?Sparks
Are you having a laugh, Google?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a fundamentally useless, bolted-on-at-the-last-minute worthless piece of crap.Search
The Google Plus search feature is… non-existent. You can find people and you can search via sparks (so sweet), but that’s it.
I mean: this is Google, right? Who thought leaving out a search box was a good idea?Brand Profiles
Google Plus didn’t launch with brand profiles, promising to add them later, and announced that they only wanted real people to make profiles. Specifically: no non-humans (which I have to say I welcome). Google warned users that they’d remove any brand profiles that were set up. And on July 21, that’s exactly what they did, much to the chagrin of those involved. All except for Mashable, whose excess of 100,000 followers was saved and renamed as founder Pete Cashmore. All the other accounts — which included some major players such as Coca Cola and Good Morning America — were nuked. Talk about one rule for one.The Scoble Effect
I’ve touched upon this a couple of times in this post but it needs more explanation. Basically, Robert Scoble ruins everything. He’s the Jack Nicklaus of social networks, because when you factor in what he’s done and doing compared to everybody else, it all falls apart. There is no comparison. He’s out there, alone, like Jonah versus the whale.
This isn’t me knocking the guy. I like him. Scoble is the early adopter personified, and gives every new major social network 100 percent of his attention. He follows bazillions of other users and seems to read everything they all post. He also generates a lot of his own content, all of which gets a bazillion comments.
So what happens is if you want Robert Scoble in your network, you are basically saying: I do not want to use this network. In fact, I want it ruined. This was true on FriendFeed, it was true on Google Buzz and it’s even truer on Google Plus. It isn’t an issue on Twitter because of the strict character limit. But when anything goes, then it’s game over. As I said, Scoble ruins everything. He even acknowledges this himself. It’s the litmus test of every new social platform.
But it’s not just Robert who breaks Google Plus. It’s all the other power users, too. Because Google Plus has relatively no controls over content, if you add more than a couple of these guys to your stream then Google Plus becomes essentially unusable. With their continuous updates and pages and pages of comments, they drown out everybody else so much that it’s both impressive and completely infuriating. Don’t worry — very soon you won’t care, because you’ll have stopped using Google+.FriendFeed Again
To me, Google Plus is basically FriendFeed all over again. Bigger platform, and beefed-up, sure, but it’s essentially the same tech crowd (almost exactly), each of whom are showing the same enthusiasm, which delivers the same hype, which ultimately produces the same lack of returning users, simply because very few of them care about the same things to the same degree.
On that initial visit, Google Plus is just as overwhelming for most people as Friendfeed was. (And I liked FriendFeed, but it was never going to appeal to non-technical folk.) It doesn’t have the simplicity of Twitter and it doesn’t have the familiarity (and comfort) of Facebook. Instead, it sits somewhere between the two, satisfying neither one user nor the other, and ultimately appealing to neither.Why Google Plus Is No Threat To Facebook
The people who are most active about the threat posed by Facebook, or what it is that they don’t like about the platform, are often the same people mentioned in this article. That is, early adopters, tech pundits, web entrepreneurs, journalists and high-profile bloggers. But cool as a lot of these guys are, they aren’t normal people. They aren’t the majority. They aren’t the hundreds of millions of people who use Facebook to chat with friends and family, and to play games. There’s fundamentally no reason whatsoever for these same people to leave Facebook and move over to Google Plus. Even if Google Plus copies Facebook exactly there’s no reason, as they already have what they need on Facebook.
Yep, it’s certainly true that nothing lasts forever — MySpace and AOL are the best (and increasingly cliched) examples of that. But at 750 million users plus, Facebook isn’t going away anytime soon. And Google Plus isn’t enough of a temptation to make any significant dent in that user base.Why Google Plus Is No Threat To Twitter
People who want Twitter — that is, the majority of users, not the loudest users – want it because of what it is: a short, quick messaging service that, if one follows the right profiles (and ‘right’ is of course a very relative term – what’s right for you?) provides an easy (and powerful) way to position yourself right on the edge of the information curve.
Those same short updates also works brilliantly on most mobile phones, making Twitter very addictive.
If Google Plus has any appeal to the man in the street, it’s for vastly different reasons than why they’re using Twitter.Google Plus As A Blogging Platform
Because there aren’t any limits to content updates, GooglePlus does work as a blogging system, and it could become a viable alternative to WordPress, Tumblr and Posterous for bloggers.
We’ve already seen some evidence of this with people like Kevin Rose and Bill Gross pointing their personal web domains directly at their Google profiles. Of course, they can reverse this any time they like, but it could be a trend of things to come, and it will be interesting to see if Google+ begins to take some share away from the established blogging platforms.The Big Question
Google Plus could top 100 might users with little or no effort — because it’s Google. The key thing is what it takes to get the platform to the next level in social networking: The much-desired billion users. So let’s ask this question again: why would the average person leave Facebook for Google Plus, when it’s mostly the same and what’s different is a bit of a mess? Why on earth would they leave Twitter, when they’re a complete apple and oranges comparison?
Why do they have to leave at all? Surely there’s room on the block for another major social network — can’t we all just get along? So here’s what I think is the biggest question: Can people really cope with the work it takes to successfully manage three social networks?
More importantly, will they?
Because if they can’t, or won’t, it doesn’t matter what Google Plus does, what features it introduces and what fixes it makes to those already on the system. Because, relatively at first, and later in actuality, almost nobody will be paying attention.
60 Photos continued to dominate on our list of applications growing by monthly active users this week, although a handful of other friend apps and quizzes made the list, too. There were some Page tab apps, a few mobile apps, then Yahoo and Bandsintown.
The titles on our list gained the most MAU of any apps, growing from between 337,100 and 3.6 million MAU, based on AppData, our data tracking service covering traffic growth for apps on Facebook.
Top Gainers This WeekName MAU Gain Gain,% 1. 60photos 37,504,312 +3,660,564 +11% 2. Static HTML: iframe tabs 36,083,728 +2,468,084 +7% 3. Facebook for Every Phone 6,940,320 +2,097,177 +43% 4. MyCalendar 2,785,744 +1,853,062 +199% 5. 21 questions 18,472,843 +1,532,092 +9% 6. Friend Buzz 5,713,237 +1,255,214 +28% 7. Mahjong Saga 1,876,231 +1,035,266 +123% 8. Yahoo! 17,943,921 +817,658 +5% 9. Gourmet Ranch 2,370,949 +575,151 +32% 10. Global Warfare 4,767,343 +550,285 +13% 11. Static Iframe Tab 6,209,884 +541,861 +10% 12. Socialbox 2,211,935 +472,870 +27% 13. Hosted iFrame 2,599,941 +433,518 +20% 14. Zoo World 4,741,847 +396,633 +9% 15. The Pokerist club — Texas Poker 835,558 +392,625 +89% 16. Bandsintown 2,808,079 +384,065 +16% 17. Samsung Mobile 9,202,693 +380,503 +4% 18. Gardens of Time 15,636,971 +379,307 +2% 19. Between You and Me 5,675,511 +344,566 +6% 20. The A-List 396,305 +337,087 +569%
60photos, if you recall, is an app that induces virality by using photos and asking users to rate them either “nice” or “pass.” Every “nice” rating is posted to the Wall of whoever’s photo it is; the app grew by 3.6 million MAU this week. MyCalendar, which allows users to create their own customized birthday calendars, grew by 1.8 MAU.
Quiz app 21 questions grew by 1.5 million MAU, and a similar app, Friend Buzz, grew by 1.2 million MAU. Both apps allow users to answer questions about their friends, posting answers to their Walls. Socialbox, a chat app download, grew by 472,900 MAU and Between You and Me is also a quiz app that publishes answers to questions to the Walls of a user’s friends with 344,600 MAU this week.
Page tab apps this week included Static HTML: iframe tabs with 2.4 million MAU, Static Iframe Tab with 541,900 MAU and Hosted iFrame with 433,500 MAU. Then there were mobile apps, Facebook for Every Phone with more than 2 million MAU and Samsung Mobile with 380,500 MAU. Finally, Yahoo’s app grew by 817,700 MAU and Bandsintown by 384,100 MAU.
All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppData. Stay tuned for our look at the top weekly gainers by daily active users on Wednesday, and the top emerging apps on Friday.
Unlike over 99% of engineers who graduate in India, I decided that a job was not the way to go after graduation. Software companies expect me to do mindless so-called “programming” and pay me $6000 a year? What are you freaking kidding me?
It’s not so much the money (which is obviously insulting), but it’s the “programming” they make you do at Indian software shops. Sure, there are some better than others, but most of them are crap. I wanted something bigger, better and more challenging. After graduating in mid-2010, I attempted a startup – the product would be something on the lines of a web application that simplifies contact management.
In Feb 2011, just over half a year later, the startup crashed and burned. Worse, I was burnt out from constantly nurturing a web-app I knew would never take off under the circumstances then. I made a bunch of mistakes – way too many if you want your startup to succeed. The failure wasn’t sudden – it was a feeling gradually growing inside me for a couple of months.
So, (gulp), here’s the list:
1. Not learning web-programming earlier
2. Not finding a co-founder / building a team
There’s this debate whether single-founder startups are worth investing in, and whether they should even exist! I agree with Gabriel Weinberg with the list of qualities a good founder must possess. I must add tenacity to that list – the lack of which in a founder is often the reason why some their startups fail. Take me, as an example.
Sometimes, I had help from a couple of guys, and it was great when they would drop in and take me out of my lonely abyss. Their feedback on the product was great, and I often thought to myself that if I had someone as a full-time co-founder, things would’ve been very different today. Programming for a startup alone can get very lonely/intimidating if you are doing it from the town of Zirakpur in Punjab, on the world’s slowest Internet connection. Having a team would’ve helped me, for sure. If you’re stuck over whether you should find a co-founder, there are many great debates strewn over the Internet over this issue, and I’ll let you be the judge of whether this was a mistake, or an excuse on my part.
3. Not looking for funding
From my understanding of the Indian startup ecosystem, this is the #1 problem with Indian startups. They don’t realise how important funding is, and they don’t even think about approaching investors. There’s a huge deficit of early-stage investors in India, and that’s probably because there’s an even bigger deficit of startups to invest in.
I was so confident of making it as a bootstrapped startup, that this thought never crossed my mind – not even once – not even when I read about the most random startups/ideas being splashed with funding in the Valley. Funding is too important, even sometimes necessary for a startup to reach the next level. Sure, there are many great bootstrapped startups, but we’ll never know how much better they would’ve been with funding.
4. Not valuing my time / Distractions
I never realised how valuable my time was, when I was building my product. I spent hours learning programming, then programming and building my product and finally reading about successful startups, interviews, TechCrunch, Paul Graham’s essays, Hacker News, Proggit, Swombat – you name it. And at the end of most days – nothing much would’ve been achieved – probably a slightly faster loading page or a slightly cleaner interface. I often wasted my time attending startup events and networking with entrepreneurs who had nothing to do with my startup. Everyone talked about networking, and I was so scared I would be left behind. All this time, I should have been building my product – moving fast and breaking things – but I realised this much later.
5. Not Going Mobile
The thing with contact management is – it’s tied really close to people’s phones. I should have started building an iPhone app as soon as I launched the alpha web-app. It would’ve increased my product’s credibility and user base. But, again, it never struck me as something important enough to focus on, and I kept developing on the web-app.
6. Doubting The Idea
Online contact management / business cards is nothing new. My product was contact management with a bunch of twists. The product resonated with people when they heard about it. But then – the worst thing that could EVER happen to a startup founder, happened.
I started doubting the idea itself – and it all went downhill from then. I came up with another product idea, which I would integrate with contact management. I started building the new product on a new vertical, and even that ended up in shambles, as I was torn between the two half-baked applications.
7. Feature Lists
I was obsessed with my product being an online equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife. I wanted it to be loaded with features that would be useful to anyone and everyone. But this attitude had a big role to play in delaying the second/beta launch of the product. In fact, I quit before I even launched the beta version, and it’s still lying on my hard-drive.
8. Not accepting jobs from awesome startups
This may seem strange, but when people in my network started realizing my startup wasn’t doing too great, I received a job offers to become Employee #1 from two really amazing web-startups. These were funded, growing fast, and at the back of my mind I knew I could be a part of something big. But, only as a fool would, I politely turned them down and returned to my laptop to continue programming my product which I knew would fail, sooner or later. And a few weeks later, it did.
I personally thought (and still do) that becoming Employee #1 for a web-startup (especially if you’re a programmer) is the next best thing to founding it, but I wasn’t satisfied with that. I wanted my own startup to succeed, just as theirs had, and I forced my heart and nerve and sinew into my product, and finally I was left burnt out.
9. Having a second love / option
As much as I loved and treasured my startup, I had the same (if not more) amount of love for research in Computer Science (specifically Computational Linguistics). During building my startup, I often spent hours on reading research journals, learning from textbooks, programming solutions for the problems in the books, and reading anything I could find on the topic of computational linguistics. Secretly, I wanted to attend graduate school, and that’s why I couldn’t treat this as just a distraction like Hacker News. I had to work hard if I wanted to get into and do well in grad school. I guess this second option took a little bit of tenacity out of me.
10. Blaming the System
As much as I love India, I love criticizing it. I snickered when I thought of my situation : I was stuck in a small town, living off less than $70 a month, eating bad food and drinking dirty water, living in horrible conditions, and with an Internet connection that would often compete with dial-up Internet in surfing speeds. Even though I paid out of my nose for a supposedly 3.1 Mbps connection, it would be so mind-numbingly slow that I would take about 5 minutes to upload patches (which were a few kilobytes big) to my Mercurial repository on Bitbucket.
I thought to myself – how will a startup, run by the above mentioned person, compete with the awesome startups in Silicon Valley – the funded ones with plush offices and teams of ex-Facebook/ex-Google programmers? Impossible! Blame the System!
Even though some of my complaints about India being a hostile environment for startups may be valid, I still think this would be an excuse. Nobody said entrepreneurship would be easy.
Now that I look back, these mistakes were way too basic. I’m sure most American startups would never make these mistakes. But, unfortunately, many struggling startups in India are making these exact same mistakes. I’m not even sure if these mistakes would come back to haunt me on my next attempt at a startup (which is a little into the future – Right now, I’m heading to University of Southern California for my Masters in Computer Science.) Yes, my second love got me.
Even the has become a fan of Facebook, asking people on the site to help choose stamp designs for 2012.
The U.S.P.S. Facebook stamp site had 1,492 likes at press time. The sevice used the social media stamp promotion in order to raise awareness of its stamp program and to also go appeal to younger folks.
The design of the stamps vary greatly and offer eye-catching designs and themes. Appearing one day at a time which began on Monday and continued over a five day period, the first in the series was the Cherry Blossom Centennial Forever Stamp which was created as a symbol of the solid camaraderie between Japan and the U.S. The stamp is reminiscent of the time when Japan gifted America 3,000 cherry trees a century ago.
Other stamp designs up for vote include:
- Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs
- A swirl of ribbons that spell out love
- Black heritage portrait of Ebony/ publisher John H. Johnson (pictured), and
- A celebration of one of America’s most popular outdoor actvities, bicycling.
U.S.P.S. Executive Director of Stamp Services Stephen Kearney said in a press release:
Stamps reflect our American culture, icons and lifestyles. We have stamps with nearly every topic imaginable. By providing a sneak peek at next year’s stamps, we’re helping customers find stamps that they’re interested in and excited about. Social media is a great way to do that — and to make it easier for people to share the news about stamps of interest with their friends.
Voting results will be announced on Facebook Monday, July 25. If you’d like to give the designs your stamp of approval, visit the U.S. P.S. .
Did you know that more Americans have Facebook accounts than have ?
Yup, half of all Americans socialize with friends and family through Facebook, but only 37 percent of people in the U.S own a passport.
So says Tripl in an infographic we’ve reproduced beneath this post. Other highlights from this rendering include:
- 72 percent of social network users access their social networking sites on a daily basis while traveling (though only 7 percent use mobile Internet while traveling)
- One million passengers will board flights that have Gogo Wi-Fi this year
- 69 percent of travel companies have seen traffic growth from Facebook
- 46 percent of travel companies have seen traffic growth from Twitter
- The top five airlines have a total of over 2.5 million Facebook fans (Southwest, United Airlines, Lufthansa, American Airlines and Delta Airlines)
Learn more in the infographic below and let us know in the comments section which data points resonate with you the most.
Dubai doesn’t seem to be able to get enough of the BlackBerry Messenger service. The Middle Eastern city is certainly at the forefront of finding innovative ways to use BBM beyond just a messaging service.
First the Dubai Police announced their very own BBM pin number for communicating with Dubai residents and informing them of awareness campaigns. Now Simon Hudson and Amanda Hollinshead have decided to launch a start-up catering to that very demographic.
The service, aptly named BBM Baby, announces daily deals to subscribers using the BlackBerry Messaging Service. Rather than use email, as local competitors like Cobone and GoNabit are doing, they’ve opted for using BBM to communicate their deals.
By adding BBM Baby’s pin, customers will receive 4 daily deals straight to their phones. Rather than send out actual messages, however, BBM Baby will create a status update which contains the deal. Users can then open up the deal directly on their BlackBerry phones.
The idea is to provide a completely non-invasive way of letting customers know about deals. You won’t receive any alerts and won’t see the deal unless you check your recent updates .
The idea of using BBM to communicate daily deals in an instantaneous manner is definitely a smart move, considering the popularity of both the service and the method of communication in the region, but whether there’s a need for a non-intrusive method is up for debate – particularly where getting a discount or a good deal is involved.
Either way, it’s no surprise that BlackBerry innovation is taking off in Dubai of all places, since a recent survey revealed that the BlackBerry is the most popular choice in the the UAE, snapping up 51% of smartphone users in the country.
Despite Twitter’s recent work to integrate media such as images and videos directly into its site, scanning tweets for interesting links is still not as easy as it could be thanks to the necessary use of shortened URLs in tweets. What’s behind that Bit.ly or Goo.gl link? Sometimes a clue would be nice. That’s exactly what TweeTool, a new extension for Chrome and Firefox, offers.
Install the extension and it displays a preview logo of the source of a link in a tweet right next to the text. So, a link to this article would be accompanied by a The Next Web logo, a BBC News article by a BBC logo.
In all, developer Woolik says that 20,000 website logos are supported. Additionally, YouTube videos are accompanied by their thumbnail, giving you an idea of what’s being shared, before you click through to view it.
Woolik is based in Israel and the six-person company formed last year. TweeTool is one of its first products. While it’s the kind of thing that could be implemented by Twitter overnight, removing the need for a third-party extension, it’s a useful little addition if you find yourself annoyed by a sea of short URLs on .
Love it or hate the idea, meet the man responsible for the double rainbow guy running for President.
A new Facebook app from Votocracy makes it possible for anyone to run as a candidate for President through its new app and a $99 filing fee. Their mantra? More voices and more choices.
Who are some of the 377 candidates to date who have decided to throw their hat in the virtual ring? The enthusiastic double rainbow Internet guy, a cat — the first animal to jump in the race — and a female oil rig worker. Thus, the company’s mantra is “more voices, more choices.”
The Votocracy system calls for a primary in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia that mirrors the actual presidential primary calendar in the U.S. Here’s the twist. Every vote will actually count, so instead of using the primary process to eliminate candidates as the primaries move forward , the process will actually add candidates, since people can vote for more than one candidate.
When there are 51 winners at the state level, the company hopes to initiate an American Idol style competition on TV along with Facebook-based contests the site will use to spur engagement.
We spoke to Votocracy chief executive officer Bryan Lee, who’s background includes executive positions at both Sony and Microsoft, about the genesis of the app and new features to look for on the horizon.Are you marketing to the average citizen or could candidates at the city or state level use this app?
Yes, and everything in between. There are a few actual political candidates that, due to FEC regulations, we can’t discuss right now.
People are dissatisfied. These are people who don’t have a background in politics but have a lot of energy. Votocracy offers a vehicle to express themselves.
We want the tone initially to be very open and welcoming, more in the Jon Stewart vain than Wolf Blitzer or Sean Hannity.
There are a couple ways that a local city or council person could tackle Votocracy. It’s a great way to get notoriety on a big scale. Our suite of services offers an outstanding social media solution for someone in the political space.What are some of the interactive elements unique to Votocracy?
Interaction is a two-way street. It’s not a simple broadcast of ideas that mirrors what a candidate already says in a speech or an interview. Voters participate. They find candidates, share links, can check out a candidate video that can go viral.
One of our design principles is engagement, which is a stark contrast to the more traditional presidential candidates. The app helps candidates harness emotions that turns into a dialogue.How is Votocracy’s Facebook approach different from that of a more traditional presidential candidate?
It’s a distinction at the most fundamental level. The current crop of Democrat and Republican candidates are selling their own product. They want you to stay on their team.
Votocracy enables a voter to start with one candidate, but then also allows them to look here for one they might like better.
Most traditional political candidates today are fundamentally following a broadcast model, which isn’t social media.
We hope to launch town halls of the 21st century. Voters can jump in at any time, on any topic, add a poll and anyone can jump in at any time.
We also will plan competitions, some silly along the way. During March Madness, we may have head-to-head videos where Tom can take on Jane on a particular topic, sort of like a bracketology competition.
So engaging and interactive.Given your entertainment ties, will you try to get actors or celebrities involved to add “star power?”
At this point we want to sit back and let people come to us more naturally. Some famous people might jump on board, which would be a nice. We welcome them all.Can you describe the TV deal you have in the works?
I can’t talk about partners or platforms, but I can talk about the vision, which is, “What would it mean to create a real and viable alternative candidate?” We worked backward from that goal. We knew we needed notoriety and the ability to find other people who like what you have to say.
We realized we started describing American Idol. Through several weeks of TV exposure, one person emerges. It’s the same thing in music so why can’t there be the same thing in leadership. We’ve made it so that the only people suitable to run in our country are professional politicians.
Personally, I’d prefer someone like Steve Jobs run for president. That’s someone who can actually turn this country around. Why are they always former governors or senators?What do you think the current crop of presidential candidates from the two main political parties can learn from your app?
It enables listening, connecting, enabling dialogue allowing different ways to filter the conversation. A lot of politicians use social media as an alternative broadcast, using Facebook to reinforce what they already say in the press or in a speech.How long did it take you to develop this app?
Facebook is a wonderful platform to get up and running quickly. We bolted two functionalities together to make an even richer experience. We think our offering is a more interesting product, with video, the ability to find people of like minds through polls, and eventually donations.
We started talking over beers around Thanksgiving and went public June 1 so about 7.5 weeks to develop.What will future enhancements look like?
Last night, we added a new feature that includes both a poll combined with enabling wall comments. So it simulates a back and forth conversation.
One feature we offer is a simple matchmaking service around polls. If someone has answered 30 polls, for example, we might identify Joe from Indiana who has also answered 29 of those polls.
Votocracy is like a social media navigator for voters, almost like a political dating service.Why did you start Votocracy?
Dissatisfaction. People are saying that our choices are down to the lesser of the evils. The general feeling no matter which direction you lean politically, very few people are satisfied with where we’re sitting.
Readers, would you support a candidate on Votocracy?