Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-news-feed-apps-2011-7

Facebook users spend most of their time in the News Feed, the river of information about your friends, and comparatively very little (just 10%) using apps according to a comScore report on how people use Facebook. 

This is interesting because the biggest app company, Zynga, filed to go public, and more generally because tons of Facebook apps are getting zillions of VC money all the time.

If people spend so little time on Facebook apps, why the excitement?

First of all, 10% of usage on Facebook, the second biggest site in the world, is still a huge market.

And also almost certainly because those who do use apps, use them a lot. Social games are a perfect example: not everyone plays them, but those who do, play them a lot. And a smaller minority pay for virtual goods in those games, but that minority pays enough to fund a thriving social games industry.

It’s definitely possible to build big businesses on the Facebook platform. But those numbers are a useful reality check: Facebook isn’t becoming a new internet, with Facebook apps replacing websites, as some fear. People still overwhelmingly use Facebook for what it’s designed for: knowing what our friends are up to.

chart of the day, time spent on facebook, may 2011

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/06/30/summer-cinema-smash-or-site-traffic-stinker/

movie theatre marquee

36 years ago, Stephen Spielberg released Jaws during a traditionally quiet time of the year for the box office. It took in seven million dollars that opening weekend, and became the highest grossing film of all time until Star Wars debuted two years later. What followed was a new era of Hollywood, a period in which the summer quarter would account for 40 percent of the entire year’s box office earnings.

It also began the era of extreme (read: shameless) Hollywood marketing. On May 6, 2011 Thor was released, grossing 65 million dollars in its first weekend, and going on to earn more than 430 million dollars worldwide. We’re now deep into the summer blockbuster season.

So it got me wondering: are major studios using their mega movies to drive traffic to their websites?

uvs to major movie studios

Over the last two years, it looks like they’ve rarely gotten more than a million unique visitors in a month, with one glaring exception: Warner Brothers, which consistently gets over 2 million UVs a month. Half-Blood Prince was the second highest grossing film of 2009 behind movie mammoth Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes was at number 8. Because these films were driving WB’s traffic up so much, why weren’t other studios benefiting from their movies’ hype? Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, but it did nothing for Fox’s UVs in December 2009. I realized that unlike WB, other studios don’t host their movies on subdomains—they set up new sites specifically for each movie.

So how do these sites stack up? Here are five of the six top grossing movies domestically this year. Each has a significant spike in daily reach right around their release date.

daily reach for summer movie sites

After just a few days, though, the sites become almost obsolete. Even The Hangover Part II, WB’s subdomain, falls to almost nothing. So then what is it keeping Warner Bros. at the top of the internet game? If it’s not blockbusters bringing in hundreds of millions, what is it?

uvs to warner brothers sites

Ellen DeGeneres’ show seems to drive about half of Warner Bros’ traffic.

I guess daytime TV is a blockbuster, too.

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hulu-plus-2011-7

Hulu Plus now has 875,000 paying subscribers according to CEO Jason Kilar. It pales in comparison to Netflix’s 23 million subscribers, but considering Hulu is primarily a free ad-supported video site it’s not too bad.

In a blog post revealing the data Kilar says,”we proudly and profitably pay the content community approximately $8 per subscriber per month for the content offering you see today on Hulu Plus. A portion of the $8 payment to the content community comes from our $7.99 subscription fee; the balance comes from the revenue we generate through advertising.”

This is good news for Hulu, but it comes at an uncertain time for the site.  Disney CEO Bob Iger said today Hulu’s owners are committed to selling the site, and it was just reported that Kilar is not under contract.

chart of the day, hulu plus subscribers, july 2011

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/06/30/summer-cinema-smash-or-site-traffic-stinker/

movie theatre marquee

36 years ago, Stephen Spielberg released Jaws during a traditionally quiet time of the year for the box office. It took in seven million dollars that opening weekend, and became the highest grossing film of all time until Star Wars debuted two years later. What followed was a new era of Hollywood, a period in which the summer quarter would account for 40 percent of the entire year’s box office earnings.

It also began the era of extreme (read: shameless) Hollywood marketing. On May 6, 2011 Thor was released, grossing 65 million dollars in its first weekend, and going on to earn more than 430 million dollars worldwide. We’re now deep into the summer blockbuster season.

So it got me wondering: are major studios using their mega movies to drive traffic to their websites?

uvs to major movie studios

Over the last two years, it looks like they’ve rarely gotten more than a million unique visitors in a month, with one glaring exception: Warner Brothers, which consistently gets over 2 million UVs a month. Half-Blood Prince was the second highest grossing film of 2009 behind movie mammoth Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes was at number 8. Because these films were driving WB’s traffic up so much, why weren’t other studios benefiting from their movies’ hype? Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, but it did nothing for Fox’s UVs in December 2009. I realized that unlike WB, other studios don’t host their movies on subdomains—they set up new sites specifically for each movie.

So how do these sites stack up? Here are five of the six top grossing movies domestically this year. Each has a significant spike in daily reach right around their release date.

daily reach for summer movie sites

After just a few days, though, the sites become almost obsolete. Even The Hangover Part II, WB’s subdomain, falls to almost nothing. So then what is it keeping Warner Bros. at the top of the internet game? If it’s not blockbusters bringing in hundreds of millions, what is it?

uvs to warner brothers sites

Ellen DeGeneres’ show seems to drive about half of Warner Bros’ traffic.

I guess daytime TV is a blockbuster, too.

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/05/24/compete-releases-ranking-of-top-50-websites-for-april-2011/

NYTimes.com Declined in First Full Month With Paywall; Daily Deal Sites Continue to Thrive

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwire) - Compete, a Kantar Media company, today released its ranking of the top 50 websites for April 2011. Notable changes during the month included NYTimes.com, which saw unique visitors (UVs) decline during its first full month behind a paywall. Elsewhere on the list, daily deal sites thrived and video site Ustream.tv climbed more than 200 spots.

NYTimes.com Drops
NYTimes.com dropped 20.4 percent in April — a 24.9 percent decline from one year earlier; traffic decreased across nearly all of NYTimes.com’s subdomains. But NYTimes.com sports blogs were interesting exceptions in April: bats.blogs.nytimes.com (baseball), offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com (basketball) and fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com (football) increased traffic during the month, with month-over-month growth of 57.8 percent, 142.4 percent and 44.5 percent respectively. Readers, it seems, do not part as easily with their sports content.

Daily Deal Duel
As the race intensifies in the daily deals space, Groupon still leads the way with nearly 24 million UVs, increasing 5.4 percent M-O-M and 655.8 percent Y-O-Y. While LivingSocial.com only boasts half as many UVs at this point (roughly 11.5 million), its rate of growth for the month, 32.7 percent, was six-times greater than Groupon’s, and its Y-O-Y growth rate stands at 418.4 percent. It is catching up quickly.

One to Watch: Ustream.tv
In April, traffic to video site Ustream.tv grew 46.6 percent for the month (92.3 percent for the year). This helped the site shoot up more than 200 spots in Compete’s rankings, likely a result of the growing popularity of video sharing sites.

Top Ten Order Unchanged
The order of top ten sites remained unchanged in April and no site had a monthly traffic increase. While YouTube.com, ranked #4, stayed steady with no change, the other nine sites experienced drops in UVs during April.

Information regarding top 250 websites is drawn from the Compete PRO Enterprise edition on Compete.com. For more information on the enterprise offering, please contact Lauren Streisfeld at lstreisfeld@compete.com.

Rank Site Unique Visitors Monthly Change Yearly Change
1 google.com 150,132,536 -0.29% -0.34%
2 facebook.com 137,917,539 -2.00% 13.33%
3 yahoo.com 137,281,886 -0.11% 2.02%
4 youtube.com 123,404,304 0.00% 22.42%
5 bing.com 86,836,886 -3.51% 48.43%
6 wikipedia.org 81,157,591 -2.31% 6.01%
7 amazon.com 74,978,780 -1.29% 12.71%
8 msn.com 73,799,209 -2.74% 8.95%
9 live.com 72,369,485 -4.69% 4.21%
10 ebay.com 67,372,294 -1.65% -10.04%
11 blogspot.com 65,940,748 -5.50% 12.10%
12 microsoft.com 62,162,835 -0.94% 9.19%
13 craigslist.org 57,500,250 -1.86% -5.52%
14 ask.com 54,508,628 -3.14% -10.72%
15 go.com 49,504,372 -8.20% 17.32%
16 about.com 47,709,562 -4.30% 3.88%
17 aol.com 46,906,652 -6.07% 2.32%
18 walmart.com 46,349,561 5.44% 14.15%
19 ehow.com 45,960,705 -7.74% 60.20%
20 answers.com 42,276,025 -10.87% 38.03%
21 mapquest.com 36,700,156 -0.60% -9.61%
22 target.com 36,178,431 1.79% 24.64%
23 weather.com 33,728,429 10.51% 11.58%
24 wordpress.com 33,459,473 -2.92% 1.92%
25 netflix.com 33,129,869 -1.74% 52.15%
26 myspace.com 32,876,686 -16.55% -53.60%
27 paypal.com 31,870,573 2.97% 11.06%
28 apple.com 31,103,237 -11.00% 10.79%
29 adobe.com 31,079,363 -14.31% 3.17%
30 twitter.com 27,504,233 -11.33% -0.75%
31 chase.com 26,432,079 1.00% 5.86%
32 att.com 25,744,344 -9.11% 12.12%
33 bankofamerica.com 25,671,467 0.79% 4.82%
34 imdb.com 23,787,667 -9.47% -2.86%
35 groupon.com 23,768,883 5.40% 655.82%
36 cnn.com 23,341,250 -15.81% -13.93%
37 flickr.com 21,514,439 -1.85% -13.68%
38 photobucket.com 20,523,415 -4.93% -23.97%
39 comcast.net 20,077,436 11.53% 57.38%
40 bestbuy.com 19,690,984 -6.36% -1.66%
41 yellowpages.com 19,683,713 5.93% 40.39%
42 irs.gov 19,682,366 -2.12% -4.02%
43 jcpenney.com 19,452,462 5.67% 33.94%
44 sears.com 19,348,832 11.41% 25.28%
45 homedepot.com 19,244,361 12.20% 3.58%
46 verizonwireless.com 18,440,068 -7.54% 11.74%
47 cnet.com 18,405,154 -5.23% -13.40%
48 comcast.com 18,362,992 -5.35% 60.51%
49 wellsfargo.com 17,984,172 4.04% 26.90%
50 lowes.com 17,949,686 13.16% 19.84%

About Compete
Compete, a Kantar Media company, helps the world’s top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Leading advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Compete’s products and services to create engaging online experiences and highly profitable advertising campaigns. Compete’s online panel — the largest in the industry — makes the web as ingrained in marketing as it is in people’s lives. Compete is located in Boston, MA, with offices throughout the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.compete.com/.

About Kantar Media
Established in more than 50 countries, Kantar Media helps clients master the world’s multimedia momentum through analysis of print, radio, TV, internet, cinema, mobile, social media, and outdoor worldwide. Kantar Media offers a full range of media insights and audience measurement services through its global business sectors — Intelligence, Audiences, TGI and Custom. Kantar Media companies also include Compete, Cymfony and SRDS. Drawing upon the deepest expertise in the industry, Kantar Media tracks more than 3 million brands and delivers insight to more than 22,000 customers worldwide. www.KantarMediaNA.com/.

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-video-conversion-2011-5

While there’s not a lot to brag about for AOL, here’s one thing it has done incredibly well. It has the second most video views across the web, according to data from comScore.

Considering how small its overall audience is compared to the rest of the web, it’s an impressive feat.

In this chart we take a look at how many unique video views are garnered in relation to the amount of unique visitors to a site. As you can see AOL is getting more of its visitors to look at video than anyone other than Google, which has YouTube.

chart of the day, video conversion, march 2011

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Source: http://kotaku.com/#!5791565/sued-ps3-hacker-says-hell-never-buy-a-sony-product-again

Sued PS3 Hacker Says He'll Never Buy A Sony Product Again After a court order was issued preventing rapper-turned-hacker George Hotz from ever hacking Sony products again, Hotz is now boycotting the electronics giant’s wares.

As previously posted, Hotz agreed to, basically, never mess around with another Sony product ever again. He’s barred from “unauthorized access to any Sony product under the law”, and will be in deep trouble if he violates a Sony product’s terms of service, “whether or not Hotz has accepted such agreement or terms of use”.

If he’s found to have breached those stipulations, he’s liable to face a $10,000 fine per violation, up to a maximum “cap” of $250,000.

In the wake of this, Hotz is taking part in a Sony boycott. “I am joining the SONY boycott,” Hotz blogged earlier this week. “I will never purchase another SONY product.”

“I encourage you to do the same,” he added. “And if you bought something SONY recently, return it.”

If Hotz was buying Sony products to hack and tinker with, it doesn’t make much sense for him to purchase them. But it’s like he’s rolling over, taking his toys and going home. Not everyone likes what Sony did to Hotz, sure, but then again, not everyone tries to hack Sony products. Some people like to play video games on them.

Even with the order issue settled, Hotz doesn’t seem like he’s ready to let it go. In one of his most recent posts, titled “A New Topic”, Hotz continues to rail on Sony. He now says the focus of the blog will be the Other OS lawsuit. His next post details his appearance in the mainstream media. Go figure.

But why should anyone care what Hotz thinks about this Other OS case? He caved, gave in, agreed he wouldn’t hack Sony products again. Sure, he didn’t get sued for a gajillion dollars, but Sony “won”. Hotz did not.

Writes Hotz, “Basically if Sony does bad things, you better not call them out, or they’ll attempt to make your life hell.”

geohot got sued [Official Site] [Pic]

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Small Businesses

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/11/huddlebuy-the-groupon-for-small-businesses-raises-350k-in-angel-funding/

Is there no end to the group buying craze? It seems not and today news comes that Huddlebuy, the ‘Groupon for small businesses’, has raised £350,000 in Angel funding. Those that participated in the round include Alex Chesterman, co-founder of LoveFilm and Zoopla, and well-known Angel Sherry Coutu.

UK-based Huddlebuy is founded by Per Larsen (ex-Apple), Chieu Cao (ex-Microsoft) and Saurav Chopra (ex-Deloite/Yahoo!) and like a typical group buying site, offers discounts – this time aimed at small businesses – through the so-called power of group buying, which in reality is achieved through a sprinkling of economies of scale supported by a heavy dose of social media marketing as offers are designed to go viral.


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Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/angelpad-round-two/

Last August, we broke the news that a new startup incubator was about to launch that was run by seven ex-Googlers, AngelPad. By November, the initial class of eight startups were ready to launch. Today, barely four months later, class number two is ready to be unveiled. And this time there are thirteen of them. At this rate, to quote the best line in Jaws, they’re “gonna need a bigger boat”.

The fact that the class was whittled down to even thirteen is impressive, as the AngelPad team had several hundred applications to go through this time, co-founder Thomas Korte tells us. And while many in the initial class also featured fellow ex-Googlers, this group is more diversified (though the Google blood still runs deep with a number of them).

Below, find a brief description of the 13:

Shopobot

Shopobot is all about leveraging your social graph to make better purchasing decisions. Say you want to buy a camera, but want advice you know will be unbiased, the best way is to ask your friends. Shopobot allows you to easily find that information on their site, alongside a timeline of a product’s price on Amazon (these are much more volatile than you may think). They’re also focusing on creating useful widgets for other sites that get around the “banner blindness” issue which most shopping widgets lead to.

Astrid

Astrid makes mobile applications that allow you to easily share and collaborate on tasks. This is ideal for groups because everyone in the group can be assigned something to do, and make it known once it’s done. And unlike some other collaboration software, the interface is super simple. From a broader perspective, the idea is to inspire others to join you in doing certain things — ideas you get from reading a book or a blog post. They have a button to make this all easily shareable. The team already has 1.7 million downloads on Android and now they’re coming to iOS.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a service built around the idea of extending the current abilities of QR codes. Right now, you scan a code and you’re often just taken to a website about a product. These guys want to create a web browser for the real world, meaning that all physical objects can have elements that show up when scanned. If you scan a QR code on a concert poster, your social graph should know that you’re into that band, and maybe one of your friends would like to go to that show with you. While the core idea is based around QR codes right now (both existing ones and new ones that they’ll help others create), eventually the plan is to get into NFC or image recognition as those technologies mature.

Cloudbot

Cloudbot calls themselves the “cloud command line”. What that means is that their aim is to be one app (both mobile and web) that allows you to easily interact with many other apps and services. You might enter in “call XXXXX” and you’ll it will call the friend’s name you entered. Or you might enter “gram XXXXX” and it will show you the Instagram photos from that person. And it uses real world data. If you type “eat with XXXXX”, the app will look at your location and the location of the friend you entered and find a good place near both of you. Currently, they have 24 integration points with various apps/services and more are coming.

Kismet

Kismet is a mobile dating site focused on real identity and real photos. The founders note that most dating sites are a sea of faces, but most are false advertising. And many mobile dating experiences right now skew towards the sleazy side of things. Kismet aims to be a more natural dating app with women in particular in mind. They look at locations you actually go to and pictures you actually take on other social networks to provide a real profile for yourself (naturally tide into your real Facebook identity as well). The idea is that where you spend a lot of your time and what you do already says a lot about you, Kismet just surfaces it for potential dates to see.

Splash

Splash is a new social plug-in for mobile games (first for the iPhone, then for Android). It’s essentially a social platform that developers can have include in their gaming apps as an always one-touch-away overlay. When touched, it shows you your friends also playing games online and allows you to interact with them. You can also send gifts (virtual goods) this way, get notifications, and make announcements. On the developer side of things, there is a dashboard to help you keep track of all of the data flowing in. Unlike Apple’s Game Center and OpenFeint which focus on leaderboards, they focus on the social layer in realtime.

Crittercism

Crittercism provides a way for developers to monitor bugs and crashes in their mobile apps. If you read over reviews in the App Store, you’ll see that many are actually bug reports — Crittercism has a way to hopefully stop that from happening as they monitor issues in realtime and provide a simple way for a user to provide feedback through their own channel. The service gets baked into the app by the developer before launch and resides in a place that a user can access and share issues (either anonymously or with a Crittercism profile). And problems are automatically tracked and emailed back to developers. The platform is already up and running on five hit apps and while it seems like something that Apple or Google could eventually offer, Crittercism’s view is a cross-platform one that very easy for developers to work with.

Stickery

Stickery makes learning-based games for kids. But while that’s already a crowded market, their twist is that there games are actually data-driven. As in, after kids play the games, reports are sent back to parents to let them know what areas the children need help with and what they excel in. “We are focused on the post-game highlights,” is how they put it. And while this seems like it could be a platform play, the team is also committed to making their own fun games. Right now they have one with seven more planned.

LocBox

LocBox looked at the crowded daily deal space and saw a big problem: customer retention rates. Because there are so many different deal services that people are trying out, everyone seems to be only partially committed to it. LocBox aims to simplify the experience by giving everyone an important cool to keep customers: an iPad. That is, they give merchants an iPad loaded with their CRM software to reduce the friction for trying out and sticking with their system — and also for customers using it.

CompanyLine

The easiest way to think of CompanyLine is as a sort of Facebook Groups for business. But a key part of it is the nice integration they have with other services like WebEx and Dropbox. It works so well that AngelPad themselves apparently use it now internally over the old way of doing things: Google Groups (again, these are ex-Googlers we’re talking about). The name is drawn from the idea that the way companies collaborate today is sort of like phone line switchboards in the 1950s. They want to change that.

Feedgen

Feedgen is a sales lead platform that utilizes social elements. They note the disconnect between marketing and sales — the amount of leads brought in by marketing don’t end up meaning much. But leads can come from elsewhere: enter social networks. Another key is the UI. They use the familiar inbox style to manage leads. You can think of it as a “priority inbox” for leads, they note (referencing Google’s newish system for ranking email in Gmail).

Coverhound

Coverhound is simply online insurance shopping that works. “It’s a complete scam right now,” the founders say pointing to how much of what you see online is little more than bait. And that shows on the other end as something like 300 leads are needed to sign just one new person up for a policy. Coverhound changes the dynamic by being a filter for both sides. They take customers basic information (name, address, email) and pull up information about them from third parties that is then used to serve up accurate estimates from the insurance companies. It’s sort of like Kayak for car insurance.

SecondLeap

SecondLeap is a search engine for people who want to change careers. It’s not about career advancement, it’s about people looking to make a true total change. The service show those people what the potential impact is in terms of years needed for a new career and what the financial impact will be. If it’s determined that the career change will be a good one, SecondLeap helps the user find the right school and loan to make the change happen.

Information provided by CrunchBase


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Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/stocktwits-continues-to-expand-steals-vp-david-putnam-from-yahoo-finance/

StockTwits, a realtime platform for stock traders to share information, has been undergoing a rapid growth spurt of late. According to Quantcast, 465,000 people are now visiting the site per month, which means the company has more than doubled its visitors since early December, when less than 200,000 were checking in to share and trade. This seems largely due to the service’s continuing evolution beyond its TweetDeck roots and creation of its own true investor ecosystem chalk full of video, news and charts — all enabled by an AIR app.

What’s more, the company announced in December that Yahoo would begin pulling data from the StockTwits API and adding it to individual stock pages, complementing the similar deals it had already forged with CNN, MarketWatch, and Bloomberg.

And now it seems that, while Yahoo is pulling data from its API, StockTwits has been busy pulling senior executives from Yahoo’s staff. (I guess turnabout is fair play?) In yet another victory for a company not named Yahoo, David Putnam, who for the past five years has been responsible for global product strategy and management at Yahoo, announced on his blog today that he will be joining StockTwits on April 1 as VP of Product.

This comes on the heels of StockTwits hiring Chris Bullock as its new VP of Corporate Services. Bullock was formerly the senior managing director for global investor relations services at NASDAQ and is charged with bringing investor relations departments to the StockTwits ecosystem.

Putnam, for one, sees a bright future for the up-and-coming stock conversation curator, saying, “StockTwits is big, getting bigger, and going to be huge”. In leaving Yahoo Finance, Putnam is stepping away from, in his words, “the largest financial website in the world”, which he helped to grow to 45 million users a month. Aside from Yahoo’s notorious (and seemingly never-ending) struggles, that’s no easy feat. If StockTwits is hoping to one day take on the big players like Yahoo, nabbing the company’s execs is a great way to start.

As Putnam turns his sights to “helping build the biggest financial idea network in the world”, it will be important for the company to remain focused on building a rabid community and not monthly site traffic.

Investor relations will be a big area for StockTwits going forward, as quite a few companies have started using the service to disseminate information among investors and answer their questions. As part of its features, StockTwits distributes companies’ messages to Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, CNN Money and Bing Finance, a big selling point for many companies. If the service can continue to add to its investor relations, we all may be StockTwitting in the near future.


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